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Between the Philippine and China seas there are more than 7 thousand small and large islands, bearing one beautiful name – the Philippines. These islands have always attracted the attention of tourists, and everyone found something to see in the Philippines, based on their interests and preferences, whether it be nature, parks, palaces or entire islands. Incredible landscapes, comfortable beach holidays, original traditions and cuisine, excellent conditions for diving, ecotourism and even extreme mountaineering, as well as the unique sights of the Philippines, dispersed across different islands of one state – all this makes the Philippines one of the most popular Asian countries in the field of tourism. .
First things to see in the Philippines
When choosing where to go in the Philippines, everyone is faced with the need to choose, and sometimes this choice is complicated by the variety of places and the rigid time frame of the future trip. The top 30 below will allow you to briefly get acquainted with the main attractions and choose what to see in the Philippines in 1 day or any available time period.
1. City of Manila
Spanish colonial architecture of the city of Manila against the backdrop of modern skyscrapers
Traditionally, the rating opens the capital of the state – the city of Manila. This is one of the largest and most populous cities in Asia, and as a rule, it is from here that acquaintance with the Philippines begins. Here our time and antiquity coexist, modern business centers and ancient historical buildings, luxurious villas and poor quarters. It is recommended to stay here for 1-2 days, take a sightseeing tour, get into the historical district of Intramuros, the Chinatown quarter, walk through the museums and the Rizal park, and it is best to end the walk in a local restaurant or a bar with live music.
2. Intramuros Region
Manila Cathedral in Intramuros
If you start your vacation from the capital, guides in the Philippines will first take you to the historic district of Manila – Intramuros, which is located right on the banks of the Pasig River. The old city with an area of about 60 hectares, surrounded by fortified walls, was Manila until the 20th century, and after that it became only one of the districts of the city. Unlike the modern districts of Manila, Intramuros is the perfect place to take a leisurely walk and explore local historical sites such as Fort Santiago, the Church of St. Augustine, the house museum of the Spanish colonial era, or the square with the monument to Carlos IV.
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3. Palawan Island
Boat trips to Palawan
One of the largest islands of the Philippine archipelago with the province of the same name located here is the island of Palawan, which is a large land area with untouched tropical forests, mangroves and mountains. This island is considered the safest corner of the Philippines, which bypasses the natural elements. There are no active volcanoes here, and therefore earthquakes and typhoons do not happen – all disasters bypass this place. The main wealth of the island is the El Nido nature reserve, as well as many wild beaches untouched by civilization. The coastal waters of Palawan are ideal for snorkeling.
4. Boracay Island
Beach with palm trees, bars and restaurants on Boracay island
Despite its modest size, the Philippine island of Boracay is considered one of the best places for a beach holiday. Boracay, the beach capital of the Philippines, was the unattainable dream of many adventurers back in the 20th century. A few decades ago, the island did not even have electricity, and only from the 80s of the last century, the first hotels began to be built here. Today, hundreds of thousands of tourists come here every year to dive, surf, bask in peace on the sandy beach, and in the evening to taste cocktails in beach bars or rejuvenate in numerous spas.
5. White Beach
4 km beach with white coral sand
When choosing what to visit in the Philippines in terms of a beach holiday, you should definitely opt for the White Beach of Boracay Island. Why is he so remarkable? White Beach is about 5 kilometers of white coral sand and flawless azure sea, where you can choose a vacation to your taste, since the beach is divided into 3 parts. The first part of the coast has a calm atmosphere, luxurious hotels and resorts. The second part is for lovers of noisy entertainment, restaurants and bars. The third is for fans of the wild, with several cozy bungalows for quiet leisure.
Watch the wonderful views of the Philippines in this exciting video!
6. José Rizal Park
Majestic Rizal Monument in Jose Rizal Park in the heart of Manila Maynard Rabanal
Jose Rizal Historic City Park in downtown Manila has a long history. Back in the Middle Ages, a Tagalog settlement was located on this territory, and in the 18th century, during the era of Spanish colonization, a Spanish military hospital and some fortifications were located here, and nearby is a square in honor of the Spanish king, once known as the center of social life of the people of Manila. Today, the main attraction is the monument to Rizal, the Filipino educator, erected here in 1913, after whom this park was named.
7. Manila Ocean Park
Manila Ocean Park attracts many tourists from all over the world Ninjakeg
Not far from the old district of Intramuros is another of the best attractions in the Philippines – Manila Ocean Park, a marine theme park where guests are invited to visit the aquarium and get to know the many inhabitants of the deep sea, passing through a huge 25-meter tunnel. The glass walls of the tunnel hang right over your head, creating the maximum effect of presence. Here you can also visit other thematic areas: for example, feed penguins directly from your hands, admire exotic birds or communicate with sea lions.
Official website: https://www. manilaoceanpark
8. Historic City of Vigan
One of the streets of the historic city of Vigan
In the western part of the Philippine island of Luzon, right on the coast, is the historic city of Vigan. The history of the city begins in the 16th century, during the era of Spanish colonization, and its streets are an architectural mixture of Spanish and Filipino buildings. Among the most famous sights of the city are St. Paul's Cathedral, the Residence of the Archbishop, Salcedo Square and Burgos. For a complete experience, it is worth visiting the Pagburnian area, where the famous Vigan jugs are made, or walking along one of the main streets of Vigan – Mena Crisologo Street, the pavement of which is paved with stones back in the 16-17th centuries.
9. Underground River Puerto Princesa
Entrance to the Puerto Princesa Underground River Cave
On the island of Palawan, near the city of Puerto Princesa, the underground river of the same name flows, recognized throughout the world as one of the seven new wonders of the world. Its main feature is that its length is 8 kilometers, breaking world records among other underground rivers. This allows the use of the reservoir for navigation, but pleasure cruises are allowed here only at a distance of 1.2 kilometers inland, due to the lack of oxygen inside the cave. However, even after swimming a short distance, here you can admire the views of stalactites and stalagmites. The cavity where the river flows is 80 meters high and 140 meters wide.
10. Chocolate Hills
Chocolate Hills set against the vibrant greenery of the surrounding forests
Excursions to the Philippines rarely do without a visit to the island of Bohol, which is especially famous for the Chocolate Hills – small cone-shaped hills up to 120 meters high. During the dry season, the grass cover on them burns out, due to which these hills acquire a “chocolate” hue, hence their name. To this day, scientists have not established exact versions of the origin of this miracle of nature, but there are three opinions: some say that the hills arose in the process of volcanic activity, the second argue that the hills appeared as a result of lime deposits of the ocean that existed on these lands, and according to the third, the hills are coral deposits that have risen under the influence of various natural factors.
11. Taal Volcano
Amazing view of the lake and its surroundings
A special object of tourist interest is a volcanic island located in the middle of Lake Taal. The main attraction of the island is the smallest in the world, but at the same time one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. Since its formation for almost 450 years, the Taal volcano has erupted more than 30 times, destroying all life within a radius of tens of kilometers. Despite the danger of this place, the surroundings of the volcano are still inhabited, and numerous tourists come here by joining an organized excursion.
12. Mayon Volcano
Active Volcano Mayon in Luzon
Unlike Taal, the Mayon volcano, located on the island of Luzon, is active. Over the 4 centuries of Mayon's existence, eruptions have occurred more than 50 times, including 4 times since the 1990s. Reviews testify that outwardly the volcano is beautiful, it has the correct symmetrical forms. But at the same time, this beauty is very dangerous – the park surrounding the volcano closes at the slightest activity. Especially brave tourists who want to conquer the volcano can climb up with a tent, it will take 2-3 days.
13. Rice terraces in the Philippine Cordillera
Amazing mountain landscapes of the Philippine Cordillera
The real crown of agricultural art on the slopes of the Cordillera is the rice terraces. They were created more than 2 millennia ago by the Ifugao tribes, who, resisting the invasion of foreigners for a long time, managed to maintain their special way of life. Terraces on the mountain slopes resemble a large staircase, where the upper face of each threshold is a plowed field planted with crops. Rice terraces are a vivid example of human industriousness and the ability to adapt to life in any natural conditions.
14. Baroque churches in the Philippines
The baroque church of Paoai in the north of the country in the province of Ilocos Norte
Churches, erected in a magnificent baroque style, have become the decoration of several Philippine cities – Manila, Miagao, Santa Maria and Paoya. Unique architectural structures impress to this day with magnificent carved facades and luxurious interior decoration. All these architectural masterpieces, built by local and Chinese craftsmen, were included in the UNESCO heritage list in the 90s of the last century. To this day, they are a vivid example of the skill of craftsmen who managed to interpret the traditional European style of architecture in their own way.
15. Pinatubo Volcano
Pinatubo volcano crater filled with water
The following recommendations will touch on a dangerous, but even more attractive attraction on the island of Luzon – the active volcano Pinatubo, which has long been considered extinct. In 1993, the volcano, which “slept” for 6 centuries, reminded of itself with the most powerful eruption of the 20th century. As a result, a crater arose at the top, which is currently filled with water – this mountain lake, regularly replenished with rainwater, today enjoys unprecedented tourist popularity. To this day, Pinatubo shakes the neighborhood with small tremors within a radius of about 20 kilometers.
16. Tubbataha Reef Marine Park
The beauty of the underwater world of the Tubbataha Reef
This national park is a large coral reef in the waters of the island of Palawan. The age of the reef, which is approximately 15 million years, deserves special admiration. The incredible underwater beauty of corals attracts divers from all over the world to this place. The total area of the reef is truly huge – about 10 thousand hectares, and the marine life here simply cannot be counted: 5-6 hundred species of fish, several dozen species of waterfowl, as well as whales, sea turtles and dolphins. All this makes Tubbataha one of the most outstanding coral reefs on earth.
17. Taoist Temple in Cebu
Pagoda and dragon sculpture at a Taoist temple in Cebu
Incredibly bright, colorful, impressive temple on the island of Cebu will not leave any tourist indifferent. The temple building, located on a hill, is decorated in a classic Chinese style and is surrounded by lush greenery, standing out brightly against the backdrop of the Philippine landscape. Its facade is finished with colorful ceramic tiles and decorated with various figurines. Visitors, in addition to the external beauty of the building, are attracted here by fortune-telling, which are held here weekly, according to one ancient method.
18. Apo Reef Natural Park
Apo Reef Nature Park – wonderful place for diving lovers
Another of the best attractions in the Philippines is the protected water area on the territory of the Apo coral reefs, which occupy a vast area of more than 30 square meters. km. From December to the end of May, diving enthusiasts come here to see the most beautiful underwater world. In total, there are about 500 species of corals, hundreds of tropical fish, sharks, rays, and invertebrates. In total, there are several dive sites in the park, where the depth of corals varies from 25 to as much as 900 meters.
Official website: http://whc.unesco.org/en/< /p>
19. Mount Apo (volcano)
Panorama of the Apo National Park area from the top of the Apo volcano Edwin Lee
The highest point in the Philippines is a mountain of volcanic origin – a potentially active Apo volcano. A trip to the volcano includes a visit to the national park, the territory of which is located in the vicinity, and the most extreme visits
whether they can even climb to the top – it is only worth noting that this difficult path will take from 2 to 7-9 days. On the territory of the reserve, whose area is more than 50 thousand hectares, you can see evergreen forests with rare endemic plants. Here you can also meet more than a hundred endemic bird species and the largest winged predator, the Philippine eagle.
20. Fort Santiago (Manila)
Entrance to Fort Santiago in Manila's old Intramuros district
In the western part of the old city of Intramuros, there is the ancient Fort of Santiago, the fortress walls of which have been standing for almost 5 centuries, since the construction of the Spanish colonialists. During the Second World War, the building was significantly damaged, and only the reconstruction of the 1980s was able to rehabilitate it. What can be seen today is just the result of that reconstruction. Today, within the walls of the fort, you can visit the museum, go down to the underground chamber, where the famous Filipino leader Jose Rizal once spent his imprisonment, and also admire the gorgeous panoramic view from the walls of the fortress.
21. Fort San Pedro
The oldest and smallest fort in the Philippines surrounded by a green park
The review continues with another defensive monument in the city of Cebu, erected by the Spanish colonialists – Fort San Pedro. For almost 2 centuries, starting from the middle of the 16th century, fortifications were constantly completed and strengthened. The fort-bastion is very modest in size and covers an area of about 2 thousand square meters. meters. But despite its size, it was this fort that once saved the lives of thousands of people by repelling the attacks of Muslim raiders. Later, the fort served as a barracks, hospital, school, military camp and even a zoo. Today, San Pedro is positioned as a historical park, on the territory of which a historical museum is located.
22. Magellan's Tomb and the Lapu-Lapu Monument
Lapu Lapu Monument in Mactan Shrine Park Ipepot
The monuments to these two personalities, located next to each other on Mactan Island, surprise with their inconsistency, because in essence they are both a tribute to the memory of the famous navigator Magellan, as well as the leader Lapu-Lapu, who killed the pioneer. The fact is that the Filipinos revere both of these outstanding people, but each – for their merits: Magellan – as the person who first discovered Christianity to the Filipinos, and Lapu-Lapu – for the fight against colonization. Both relics are located in a park created back in the 16th century at the site of the death of the discoverer.
Official website: http://www.publicartaroundtheworld
23. Cross Magellan (Cebu Island)
Magellan's Cross in a brick chapel on Cebu Island
On the island of Cebu, one of the most important religious sites of the state is stored – the Magellan Cross, a symbol of the Christian faith, to which the famous discoverer introduced the Filipinos. The Christian cross was brought by Spanish sailors on the orders of Magellan in the 16th century, at the time of their arrival on the island. Especially to accommodate the revered shrine, a chapel was erected, in which the cross is kept to this day. Today, the ancient cross is placed in another, modern wooden cross, in order to protect the relic from time and increase the interest of tourists.
24. Maskhid al-Dahab
The huge golden dome of Maskhid al-Dahab or the Golden Mosque of KisekiLacroix
Let's pay attention to another religious attraction – the main mosque of Manila, Maskhid al-Dahab. Its opening more than 40 years ago was timed to coincide with the visit to the Philippines of Libyan leader Maammar Gaddafi, who arrived on the island for peacekeeping purposes. Today, this mosque is a sacred place for Muslims living in some areas of the capital. It is worth noting that Christianity has been the dominant religion in the Philippines since the Spanish colonization.
25. Basilica of Santo Niño
Beautiful square in front of the Santo Niño Basilica
The main attractions of the Philippines are briefly completed by a unique historical and religious monument – the country's oldest Catholic church of Santo Niño, located in the city of Cebu on the island of the same name. There is a legend that after the invasion of one of the Spanish conquistadors in 1565 on the city of Cebu and the devastating fire he set up, the members of the Magellan expedition, who arrived there later, found a statue of baby Jesus on the ashes of one of the burnt houses. To the amazement of those who arrived, the statue was not damaged, it was not at all affected by the fire. It was on this spot that the temple was erected, which at first looked like a modest wooden building, and only in the 18th century was thoroughly rebuilt from stone.
Sights of the Philippines: what else to visit in the Philippines
The above sights of the Philippines photos with names and descriptions are perhaps a very extensive list of places for a future trip, but far from exhaustive. Having become acquainted with the main finds of the archipelago, travelers fascinated by the beauty of the Philippines will always find something else to see here.
26. Coconut Palace
Coconut Palace courtyard with tropical vegetation Paul Shaffner
Another unusual attraction of the capital of the Philippines is the Coconut Palace. This is an amazing structure, completely consisting of various types of Philippine wood and coconut shells. The palace was created by order of the prodigal wife of the Philippine dictator – Imelda Marcos, and struck with its wealth and splendor. The construction of the palace was timed to coincide with the arrival of the Pope, who, by the way, did not appreciate the splendor and richness of this gift and refused to be accommodated there, explaining that he considered it wrong to live in a luxurious palace when the whole country was suffering from poverty.
27. Tabon Caves
Archaeological excavations in the Tabon caves on the island of Palawan Rosino
On the island of Palawan, there is an amazing geological find – the Tabon Caves, which are a whole complex of 3 dozen caves, but only 3 of them are available for visiting. This place became widely known thanks to the remains of an ancient Filipino man found here – for example, during the excavations, a skull was discovered, which is supposedly about 24 thousand years old. In addition, traces of the life of an ancient man were found in the caves – clay products, jewelry, stone tools.
Official website: http://www.nationalmuseum
28. River Loboc
River cruises on the scenic River Loboc
The variety of interesting places in the Philippines is complemented by the picturesque winding Loboc River on the island of Bohol. This reservoir is also known for the fact that cruises are regularly organized on the river, during which you can serenely contemplate the beautiful shores framed by palm trees, and during breaks you can dine in floating restaurants and listen to songs performed by Filipinos. The river tour takes about 45 minutes, ending at the small Busai Falls.
29. Kawasan Falls
Kawasan Falls amid dense tropical jungle
Another natural gem of the Philippines on the island of Cebu is the Kawasan Falls, which includes three waterfalls. The first of them is the most remarkable: there is no rampant water element, but this place is famous for its crystal clear turquoise water, which from the waterfall falls directly into the lake at its foot. It takes a quarter of an hour to climb up the mountain to the second waterfall, but it's worth it: there are fewer visitors here, and you can fully enjoy the beauty in silence. The third level of the waterfall is considered the most inaccessible and least remarkable, so only a few get here.
Official website: http://kawasancanyoneering.com
30. Center Dolgopyatov on Bohol Island
Tarsiers in natural conditions in the park on the island of Bohol Majuro (talk)
One of the interesting representatives of the fauna of the Philippines is a cute animal – a tiny tarsier monkey, no larger than a palm. The highlight of their appearance is long tenacious fingers, soft fluffy fur and, of course, huge expressive eyes. These gentle animals do not tolerate captivity, so the local population creates special reserves for the maintenance and protection of this species. One of these places is the Tarsier Center, where you can hear a whole lecture about the life, habits and characteristics of tarsiers, feed the animals from your hands and take photos with them.
Official site: http ://philippine-tarsier
The island nation of the Philippines is the land of endless sea and sun. No matter where you are in the Philippine archipelago, the sea coast will always be no further than 2 hours away. That is why lovers of beach holidays and entertainment most often come here, and coastal hotels in the Philippines offer a wide range of services. But the sea is far from the only thing the Philippines is famous for. Centuries-old sights, rich history, amazing nature, interesting archaeological finds, friendly people – all this you will find in the Philippines and you will definitely want to come back here more than once.