10 Islands You Must Visit In The Philippines

 

The Philippines has plenty of things to offer. However, what we have in abundance are beautiful beaches. With the sheer number of islands here in the Philippines, with others still unexplored, It’s hard to narrow the numbers to only ten islands. But the following are some of the most famous must-see islands of the Philippines.

 

1. Palawan

By far one of my favorite. It’s hard not fall in love with this beguiling island with its white sand beaches, azure blue water, lagoons, coral reefs and incredible rock formation.

Puerto Princesa is the gateway to Palawan, but most travelers go further to El Nido, Coron and for the divers, Port Barton. It’s a bit far and probably costs a bit more to travel the islands, but it is worth it.

 

2. Cebu

I’ve met some travelers who regularly ask what to do around the city. Well, for me, being a city, not much. But there are a few heritage sites and places to explore. But if you go south, there is “the swimming with the whale shark” in Oslob (I’m a bit ambivalent about this), indulge in the luxurious Sumilon Island, canyoneering in Kawasan and other falls, or dive in Moalboal. Up north, you can relax in the laid-back vibe of Malapascua or dive with the thresher sharks. You can also head out to Bantayan islands to do some island hopping in the virgin island or explore it on bike or motorcycle. But there’s also some hidden places and islands in Cebu waiting for you to discover them.

 

3. Bohol

After Cebu, Bohol is just two hours away by fast craft. If you know how to drive a motorcycle, it is a plus and can save you a ton of money plus it gives you the freedom to stop anytime you want. You should check out the Chocolate hills, or do the bike zip line in CHAPS. You can also tour the Loboc river or zip line over it. Head out to check the cute smallest primate, the tarsier. Then relax and watch the sunset in Panglao after a day of exploration. There are also some islands where you can snorkel and dive, such as Balicasag island.

 

4. Siargao, Surigao, and Dinagat

I put all these three together because they are near each other. Well, when I meant near, it’s probably an average of three hours away from each other by boat. Although there are direct flights to Siargao, it can be quite expensive at times that people opt to pass by either Surigao or Butuan. So if you have few days to spare then why not explore all.

Siargao is dubbed as the surfing island of the Philippines. But for those who are not into surfing (like me, not because I don’t want to but because I can’t swim well), don’t despair. Siargao is more than just a surfing island. Rent a  bike to explore the island or rent a boat for some island hopping.

Dinagat is more rustic and totally unexplored. But if you have the urge to go off-rid for days, then this island is a must. As I’ve said before, it looks like a cross between El Nido and Halong Bay of Vietnam.

 

5. Siquijor

Siquijor, also known as the mystical island, is used to be rumored as the island of witches. I assure you, there is no such thing, but you can still buy some love potion and have your fortune told. But aside from that, Siquijor has plenty of natural wonders for you to see.

 

6. Boracay

Boracay will always be one of the famous islands of the Philippines. With its party scene, and beautiful, white, fine sand beach, it is worth checking at least once in your life.  Although, it can be quite crowded. On the other side of the island, Bulabog, you can get your adrenaline kick with some water sports such as kite boarding and wind surfing.

 

7. Negros Island

Both Oriental and Occidental. Oriental has Apo island where you can dive, snorkel and swim with the turtles, the twin lakes up in the mountain of Balinsasayao, whale watching in Bais and the sand bar in Manjuyod.

In Occidental, check out the new floating bar of Lakawon, marvel at the view in Sipalay or indulge your palate in Bacolod. There is for sure plenty more I haven’t mentioned. But like you, I still have to explore them also.

 

8. Camiguin Island

This charming little island gave me so much memory. It is also known as the volcanic island. By far the most impressive rainforest I have seen. Not to mention the small islets you can visit, the giant clam sanctuary, the falls, and more. It is small that you can drive around it in a few hours.

 

9. Iloilo

Iloilo is also a big city but also the gateway to some cool islands such as Gigantes and Guimaras. Besides, Iloilo has plenty of cultural heritage to see and food to try.

 

10. Biliran, Kalanggaman, Enchanted River or Mati in Davao.

I tried to choose number 10, but I can’t decide. But your preference may depend on how much time do you have.

Kalaggaman Island is accessible via Malapascua Island. So if you are in Mala, then why not take a side trip here.

Sambawan Island, one of the picturesque island with abundant corals, white sandy beaches and the view magnificent view of land formation. Not so crowded but it is probably due to the travel time and the tumultuous waves on your way there. But Biliran Island has plenty of natural waterfalls that worth visiting.

Enchanted River of Surigao, quite remote and being popular, can be quite crowded. But this enchanting river that seems to just seep from nowhere and flow to into the Pacific Ocean is a sight to behold. Especially at noon where big fish just appear from the bottom for the feeding.

 

I’m sure there are still plenty of beautiful islands in the Philippines that is not part of the list. If you want me to know about them, feel free to introduce them to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

More about Lo Rena

31 thoughts on “10 Islands You Must Visit In The Philippines

  1. Tatum Skipper

    Wow you could go beach hopping around and always find something amazing. That sunset in Cebu is so vibrant and colorful! Ahh, how many have you been to? I would love to visit one day!

    Reply

    1. Lo Rena

      There are still some places I’ve been to. But there are the major ones. But I bet there is still plenty more waiting to be explored 🙂 you should put it in your list:)

      Reply

  2. Joanna

    Philippines seems to be such a stunning destination with all those stunning islands and beaches with clear water and white sand. I would love to visit Palawan, a lot of friends of mine have recommended it for diving and snorkeling.

    Reply

    1. Lo Rena

      Yes definitely Palawan. I think for the diving, Port Barton would be great for it, but it’s also very quiet in there. El Nido is my favorite 🙂

      Reply

  3. Nadine

    Thanks for the tips!! I’ve always wanted to go to Boracay but all the others look amazing too. Especially Palawan and all the photos from number 10 👌🏽

    Reply

    1. Lo Rena

      Hey! Despite being crowded, Boracay is still beautiful. Come visit someday 🙂

      Reply

  4. Livi Bee

    These all sound lovely! I’ve only heard of Cebu. There was actually a glitch fare there a few months ago for $124 out of New York. I was so upset I missed it!!! The Philippines is definitely on my bucket list, and I’m going to look into all of these islands!

    Reply

    1. Lo Rena

      Oh, that’s too bad. live in Cebu, and there are plenty of things to do, a bit of land travel for sure, but closer to some islands also like Bohol, siquijor and negros, and cheap fare for transpo. Let me know when you come 🙂

      Reply

  5. Roving Jay

    I think I’ll add Sambawan Island to my “want to visit list” — glad it made it to you Top 10 (cheated by adding a couple more!) list. Doing battle with the waves on the way there sounds like half the fun! Great roundup for visitors looking for a relaxing time at the beach. @Rovingjay

    Reply

    1. Lo Rena

      Hahaha. I have to cheat, I can’t decide. There are just so many islands to choose from. But Sambawan for sure, especially after checking out some falls. 🙂

      Reply

  6. Rosie Fluskey

    I have wanted to visit Palawan since I first heard about it in 2011. It look stunning.
    Thank you for the tips on Cebu, it gets pretty bad press so it’s nice FYI see it’s nicer side.
    Siquijor sounds like a fun novelty and Negros island is now on my list.

    I’m hoping to visit next January and so I’ve bookmarked this for nearer the time 🙂

    Reply

    1. Lo Rena

      Palawan is my fave but I must say, siquijor, negros and cebu will be cheaper. Let me know when you are coming and how could I help. 🙂

      Reply

  7. ARIANA DEL RIO

    People always talk about thailand but Truly you have showed how much the PHILIPPINES has to offer. I have seen how gorgeous it is through your eyes, and I’d love to visit myself.

    Reply

    1. Lo Rena

      When I was in Krabi, some travelers were asking why I’ve decided to visit Krabi when I am from the Philippines. I like Krabi also since it’s like Palawan but Palawan has bluer water 🙂 Palawan is protected.

      Reply

  8. Aireona- Nightborn Travel

    I love islands so much! So this post is perfect for me and so inspiring. Great guide!

    Reply

    1. Lo Rena

      Philippines should be your next destination 🙂

      Reply

  9. Kristine Li

    Wow, what a list! How many islands have you been in total? =D The bike zipline really piqued my interest, I’m here trying to imagine myself doing that. Just how does a rider stay on it without topping over?!?

    Reply

    1. Lo Rena

      I am scared of height, but I figured, might as well. It’s pretty safe, you are attached anyway, or the bike at least, But you must cycle for you to move. I did it during a windy day. And frankly, I don’t get the helmet 😂

      Reply

  10. Flo

    I am absolutely dying to travel to the Philippines! Palawan looks like another world – would love to go island hopping and snorkeling there!

    Reply

    1. Lo Rena

      You definitely should! Especially El Nido and Coron 🙂

      Reply

  11. monica

    Of late i have been hearing so much about Philippines. your post is a looong list and very informative. Your pictures have inspired me to plan a trip there. Witches island is must when I go there. This a perfect guide for me. thanks for sharing

    Reply

    1. Lo Rena

      Hahaha! Yeah, definitely, Siquijor. Very laid back island and i love that they keep things natural. 🙂

      Reply

  12. Kelly

    Thank you so much for such a great post. I know the Philipines are a series of islands but it’s so nice to see the diversity and multitude of beautiful islands that this nation has to explore. Thanks for sharing. Really looks like an island paradise I want to explore.

    Reply

    1. Lo Rena

      Plenty of places and these are only the islands. Up north we have different attractions. Plus the people are hospitable, especially in the province and the islands. Hopefully you can explore Philippines fully soon.

      Reply

  13. Karin

    Wow, that bike zip lining looks like a ton of fun! I´d love to try that <3 Philippines look really stunning in your photos 🙂

    Reply

  14. Karin

    Wow, that bike zip lining looks like a ton of fun! I´d love to try that <3 Philippines look really stunning in your photos 🙂

    Reply

    1. Lo Rena

      Thanks Karin! Yes, the bike zip line was fun especially since it is over the chocolate hills of Bohol 🙂

      Reply

  15. How Not To Travel Like A Basic Bitch

    Ugh all of these look amazing. But in particular the surf island the witch island is so much more my speed! Thanks for this comprehensive list and PS your pics are to die for!!

    Reply

    1. Lo Rena

      Thank you! Just let me know if you have any questions about Ph.

      Reply

  16. Jean

    Oh how I love the Philippines. Such an amazing place to visit. I loved this list of some of the wonderful islands.

    Reply

    1. Lo Rena

      thank you! You’ve been around here?

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *