Check out these 10 unforgettable Philippines experiences

The Philippines is a country of more than 7,000 islands, each with its own unique charm and attractions. Whether you’re looking for pristine beaches, lush jungles, cultural heritage, or adrenaline-pumping adventures, there’s something for everyone in this Southeast Asian nation. Here are 10 unforgettable experiences that you can enjoy on your next trip to the Philippines.

Explore the rice terraces of North Luzon

North Luzon is the largest and most mountainous region of the Philippines, home to the Cordillera Central range and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed rice terraces. These ancient agricultural marvels were carved by hand by the indigenous Ifugao people over 2,000 years ago and are still in use today. You can hike through the verdant valleys, visit traditional villages, and learn about the rich history and culture of the Ifugao people.

Swim with whale sharks in Donsol

Whale sharks are the largest fish in the world, reaching up to 12 meters in length and weighing up to 20 tons. These gentle giants feed on plankton and small fish and can be found in the waters of Donsol from November to June. You can join a boat tour that will take you to the feeding grounds of these majestic creatures, where you can snorkel or dive with them in their natural habitat.

Experience colonial history in Vigan

Vigan is one of the oldest and best-preserved Spanish colonial towns in the Philippines, dating back to the 16th century. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, and elegant ancestral houses. You can stroll along Calle Crisologo, visit the St Paul Cathedral and Plaza Salcedo, and admire the architecture and craftsmanship of the local artisans.

Go island hopping in El Nido

El Nido is a paradise for beach lovers, boasting some of the most stunning islands and beaches in the Philippines. You can hop on a boat and explore the hidden lagoons, secret coves, coral reefs, and sandbars of Bacuit Bay. You can also kayak, paddleboard, snorkel, or dive in the crystal-clear waters, or simply relax on the powdery white sand.

Witness the Chocolate Hills of Bohol

The Chocolate Hills are one of the most iconic natural wonders of the Philippines, consisting of more than 1,200 symmetrical mounds that turn brown during the dry season. They are located in Bohol, an island province that also offers other attractions such as the Philippine tarsier (the world’s smallest primate), the Loboc River cruise, and the Baclayon Church (the oldest stone church in the country).

Visit an underground river in Puerto Princesa

The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is another UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Philippines, featuring an 8.2-kilometer long underground river that flows through a spectacular cave system. You can take a boat ride along the river and marvel at the limestone formations, stalactites, stalagmites, and chambers that have been carved by nature over millions of years.

Climb an active volcano in Taal

Taal Volcano is one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines, having erupted more than 30 times since the 16th century. It’s also one of the smallest volcanoes in the world, rising only 311 meters above sea level. But don’t let its size fool you: Taal Volcano is actually a complex volcano system that consists of an island within a lake within an island within a lake. You can trek to the crater lake of Taal Volcano and enjoy a stunning view of this geological wonder.

Experience tribal culture in Lake Sebu

Lake Sebu is a natural lake located in South Cotabato province, where you can experience the rich and diverse culture of the indigenous T’boli people. The T’boli are known for their colorful costumes, intricate beadwork, elaborate brassware, and unique musical instruments. You can also witness their traditional dances, rituals, and ceremonies, as well as learn about their myths and legends.

Surf the waves in Siargao

Siargao is the surfing capital of the Philippines, attracting surfers from all over the world with its consistent waves and laid-back vibe. You can catch some of the best breaks at Cloud 9, a world-class reef break that produces thick, hollow tubes. You can also explore other surf spots around the island, such as Jacking Horse, Quicksilver, and Daku. If surfing is not your thing, you can also enjoy other activities such as island hopping, kayaking, fishing, or biking.

See the hanging coffins of Sagada

Sagada is a mountain town in the Cordillera region that is famous for its hanging coffins, a unique burial tradition practiced by the Igorot people. The coffins are suspended from cliffs or caves, as a way of honoring the dead and bringing them closer to their ancestral spirits. You can see these eerie but fascinating sights at Echo Valley, Lumiang Cave, and Sugong Cave.

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