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10 Must Visits in the Philippines

Plan your travels around this tropical island nation through this list of 10 best places to visit in the Philippines.

    1. Bohol

    The island of Bohol in the Philippines' central Visayas region runs at a slower pace, and it's a destination that showcases the country's natural beauty. One of the most unique natural wonders on the island is the Chocolate Hills in Carmen. This UNESCO-protected site is a collection of 1,200 geological formations that turn brown in the dry season, resembling a landscape of chocolate candy kisses.

    Bohol is home to a family-owned sanctuary for the tiny Tarsier primate, known for its large engaging eyes. For a small fee, you can take an intimate walk through the grounds and stand inches away from the small nocturnal mammal. The showcase of Bohol is the beach.

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    2. Tubbataha Reef

    The Tubbataha Reef in the Sulu Sea is a marine sanctuary protected as the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park. The reef is made up of two atolls, North Atoll and South Atoll, separated by a deep channel of approximately 5 miles (8 km) wide. It has become one of the most popular dive sites in the Philippines because of its coral walls where the shallow coral reef abruptly ends giving way to great depths. The marine park is open to live-aboard diving excursions between the months of April to June when the waves are most calm.

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    3. Boracay

    There is a reason that Boracay Island is considered the beach capital of the Philippines because there are more than 12 beaches. This tiny island in the west Visayas region is ideal for beach-goers who are after simple relaxation in the sun or water activities. White Beach, on the west side of the island, is one of the best beaches in the Philippines.

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    4. Cebu

    The island of Cebu, in the central Visayas region, is considered the port to some of the best diving and snorkeling in the Philippines. If you are an underwater enthusiast, Cebu is one of your best options for excursions that get you up-close to whale sharks, coral reefs, and sea turtles.

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    5. Banaue

    The rice terraces of Banaue are one of the most striking things to see in the Philippines. The emerald-green terraces are an agricultural wonder in this area. Your most impressive view of the terraces is at sunrise, when clouds and fog lift off the mountain to reveal the intricate landscape of the terraces.

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    6. Vigan

    The historical city of Vigan in the northern Philippines is one of the most charming towns to visit in the Luzon region. Its culture is a fusion of Chinese and Spanish influences originating from settlers to the area. Take a ride in a horse-drawn kalesa through the streets and admire the colonial architecture, courtesy of the Spanish who colonized the area in the 18th century.

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    7. Manila

    The Philippines capital of Manila, on the island of Luzon, is a bustling city with non-stop activity. Hop on board one of the colorful jeepneys, the main form of public transportation, to get a taste of local life while you visit the city's top attractions. Usually over-packed with locals, the bumpy ride through the streets on the iconic and kitschy jeep/bus hybrid vehicles will be one of the highlights of your visit.

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    8. Sagada

    One of the most unique experiences you can have in the Philippines is in the northern tribal region in Sagada. Nestled in the rugged and remote Cordillera Mountains are tribes that embrace the occasional visitor. This area is a paradise for the advanced outdoor enthusiast. The steep mountains and high elevation enhance the thrill and skill level required for outdoor adventure.

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    9. Coron Island

    One of the top diving destinations in the world, Coron Island is a tropical paradise, with electric blue and green water that almost seems unreal. The mountainous island sits on the tip of the Palawan island region, the western-most section of islands in the Philippines. The island is popular for diving because of the numerous wrecks here.

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    10. Puerto Princesa

    The rock islands, caves, and natural parks of Palawan Island are the hidden paradise of the Philippines. The coastal city of Puerto Princesa is where you should base yourself in order to explore some of these natural gems of the country. The Subterranean River National Park is a great first stop to see a five-mile underground river and impressive limestone caves.

    The UNESCO World Heritage site has boat tours that take you through the national park. Other must-see spots in Puerto Princesa are Honda Bay, which is popular for snorkeling, and Ugong Rock, where you can try ziplining and caving.

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