The Philippines is home to some of the most exotic and beautiful natural wonders of the world. Big modern cities collide with small undiscovered villages. There is much to explore so we’ve mentioned some highlights to get you started below.
Palawan is the last frontier and is the one place you must see when traveling to the Philippines. Filled with every imaginable scene from white beaches and abundant wildlife, to serene green fauna, you will not want your visit to leave. Palawan is made up of over 1,700 islands and witness their beauty firsthand will overwhelm the senses.
Palawan’s capitol city, Puerto Princesa has beaches of white scattered about as well as iconic limestone shapes that climb from the depths of this azure sea. At Tubbataha Natural Reefs, you can drop anchor and enjoy this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Puerto Princesa Underground River was just declared one of the new 7 Wonders of Nature. On the northeastern side of Palawan, you can visit the Batak tribe, one of the first Filipino aborigines and are shrinking in numbers each year. Visit them before it’s too late!
Adams, Ilocos Norte
Travelling to Adams will be an adventure unto itself. The road is very rocky 4 wheel vehicles are needed to make it through the rough terrain. Hiking in a rainforest is a highlight of this town. They are beautiful and fantastic for nature and landscape photography. Make sure you take plenty of water and snacks because the hike can be strenuous. Head to the top of Mt. Magnas and Pico de Loro to see the sunrise in the morning. The view is breathtaking and the closest you may get to heaven; the surrounding landscapes are a photographers dream.
If rock climbing is your thing, then a trip to Anuplig Falls is a must do trek. As you make your way to the falls, you hang onto vines while climbing up vertical angles that are slippery and precarious. It’s all worth it at the top when you gaze at the falls for the first time. The water is as clear as glass and after the hard workout a jump into the pool below really hits the spot!
Coming back from the falls, stop and enjoy the cool waters of the Bolu River where the locals fish along the banks. Near the river’s edge are small huts, rice fields, and suspension bridges to cross the river. In Adams, learning the local culture is an especially special experience. There are no accommodations in Adams so staying with the inhabitants is a unique way of enjoying the hospitality and the warm, friendly locals. Saving money is not the objective (but it won’t cost you much at all), but learning about the extreme resourcefulness and way of life might just change your overall attitude. Adams a hidden gem in the Philippines, Go There.
Samar and Samar Island
Eastern Samar is the second biggest island in the Visayas region of the Philippines. The capital is Borongan, while other cities found here are Dolores, General MacArthur, Arteche, Hernani, Guiuan, Llorente, Taft, and Oras. Eastern Samar holds some of the largest expanses of temperate lowland rainforest that remain in the Philippines. The rivers here are clean and clear with mysterious waterfalls and unexplored caves. The coast is beautiful with pristine beaches and the surfing is excellent with no tourists to spoil the views. 2400 species of exotic flowers, some 400 endemic to the Philippines and another 400 found only on Samar can all be found on this island of paradise. Twelve species of trees and plants such as ferns and rare endangered orchids also spot the area. Endangered animals like the Philippine Cockatoo, the Flying Lemur, the Philippine Eagle, and the Tarsier, inhabit the land. Other animals include birds such as Kingfishers, Hornbills, and Pheasants. Nature photography is at its best when traveling to the Phillipines and visiting Samar. Its beauty and attraction is the few tourists combined with nature’s surreal beauty.
The Best Beaches
Cabong: The best swimming beach near Borongan is Cabong beach. Found just three km south of Borongan, it can get pretty crowded during weekends. There some cottages along the beach that can be rented for the day to escape the sun.
Lalawigan Lalawigan Beach: is just the opposite of Cabong with very few people. The only caveat is the strong currents at low tide. There is very little shelter at this delightful beach, so bring your sunscreen.
Bacayawan Bacayawan Beach: with its unspoiled white sand is found just a few short km south of Llorente town. The picturesque rock structures gives views worthy of a travel magazine. Travel photography of the Pacific Ocean are truly awe inspiring.
Sulangan: If you ever wanted to see a Golden Cowrie, Sulangan Beach is where they are found (hint: it’s not a bird). The beach is located 24 km south of Guiuan.
We’ve listed a few off the path highlights when traveling to the Philippines and it’s just touching the surface. Once you’re enchanted with the beauty this country has to offer you may visit it over and over, and you can do it without even seeing the same place twice!
Our travel club is looking forward to planning a small group tour to the Philippines in the next year or so. Stay tuned!