Nestled in the heart of Southeast Asia, the Philippines is a tropical archipelago that boasts a rich tapestry of diverse landscapes, vibrant cultures, and warm hospitality. From pristine beaches and lush jungles to bustling cities and historic sites, the Philippines offers a myriad of travel experiences that cater to every kind of adventurer. Let’s explore some of the best travel experiences that this enchanting country has to offer, along with sustainable hotel options that align with responsible tourism practices.
El Nido – Island Hopping in Paradise:
El Nido is a stunning destination located in the Palawan province of the Philippines, known for its breathtaking landscapes, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant marine life. Here are some of the best places to visit in El Nido!
- Big Lagoon: Known for its stunning emerald waters and towering limestone cliffs, Big Lagoon is a mesmerizing natural wonder. Exploring the lagoon by kayak or boat is a popular activity.
- Small Lagoon: Similar to Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon is a picturesque spot with crystal-clear waters surrounded by limestone formations. Kayaking through the narrow entrance is a unique and enjoyable experience.
- Nacpan Beach: Considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Nacpan Beach boasts a long stretch of golden sand and clear blue waters. It’s an ideal place for relaxation and taking in the scenic beauty.
- Matinloc Shrine: Offering both historical and scenic appeal, Matinloc Shrine provides breathtaking views of the sea and nearby islands. The shrine itself adds a cultural and historical dimension to your visit.
- Seven Commandos Beach: This pristine white sand beach is perfect for swimming and relaxation. The beach gets its name from the seven Japanese commandos who lived on the island after World War II, adding an interesting historical element to the natural beauty.
These destinations offer a mix of stunning landscapes, clear waters, and cultural significance, making them some of the top attractions in El Nido.
Where to Stay: Indulge in glamping luxury at Karuna El Nido – The Pyramid. Discover sustainable paradise in El Nido, Palawan, blending eco-friendly stays with breathtaking island-hopping adventures.
El Nido Resorts, Miniloc Island Resort, are committed to sustainable practices, providing guests with comfort while minimising their ecological footprint.
Boracay – White Beach Bliss:
Known for its powdery white sand and vibrant nightlife, Boracay is a small island with a big reputation. Some of the best places to visit include:
- White Beach: Boracay’s most famous beach, known for its soft white sand and clear blue waters. Divided into three stations, each section offers a different atmosphere, from vibrant nightlife in Station 2 to a more serene environment in Station 1.
- Puka Shell Beach: Located on the northern part of the island, Puka Beach is known for its coarser white sand and fewer crowds. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the island.
- Diniwid Beach: A quieter alternative to White Beach, Diniwid Beach is a lovely spot for those seeking a more peaceful atmosphere. It’s just a short walk from Station 1.
- Ariel’s Point: If you’re an adventure seeker, Ariel’s Point is a popular destination for cliff diving. It also offers snorkeling and kayaking activities.
- Mount Luho: The highest point on the island, Mount Luho provides stunning panoramic views of Boracay. You can hike or take a tricycle to reach the summit.
- Crystal Cove Island: Accessible by boat, Crystal Cove Island features caves, crystal-clear waters for snorkeling, and picturesque viewpoints. It’s a great spot for island hopping.
- Balinghai Beach: A secluded cove with a private and intimate atmosphere. Balinghai Beach is known for its beautiful coral formations and is a great place for snorkeling.
- Dead Forest: Located in the Bulabog Beach area, the Dead Forest is a unique and somewhat eerie sight. It consists of dead mangrove trees, creating a hauntingly beautiful landscape.
- D’Mall: Situated in Station 2, D’Mall is a shopping and dining complex where you can find a variety of shops, restaurants, and bars. It’s a popular place to stroll, shop for souvenirs, and enjoy local cuisine.
- Boracay Butterfly Garden: A peaceful garden showcasing various species of butterflies. It’s an educational and relaxing place to visit, especially if you’re interested in nature.
Where to Stay: Mandala Spa and Resort Villas in Boracay is a sustainable haven that features eco-friendly architecture, energy-efficient practices, and a commitment to responsible tourism.
The Lind Boracay: The Lind is known for its commitment to sustainability. The hotel incorporates eco-friendly features in its design and operations, such as energy-efficient lighting and water conservation practices.
Movenpick Resort & Spa Boracay: Movenpick is part of the Green Globe Certification program, which recognizes sustainable tourism practices. The resort focuses on environmental and social responsibility.
Batanes – A Journey to the Northern Frontier:
For those seeking a more off-the-beaten-path adventure, the remote province of Batanes offers a unique and picturesque landscape. Rolling hills, stone houses, and dramatic cliffs make this destination a haven for nature lovers and photographers.
Where to Stay: Discover the beauty of Batanes at Batanes Seaside Lodge & Restaurant. Experience cultural richness and sustainable stays in this remote paradise, blending comfort with environmental responsibility.
Chocolate Hills in Bohol – Nature’s Quirky Creation:
Bohol’s Chocolate Hills are a geological wonder that leaves visitors in awe. Over 1,200 uniformly shaped hills turn chocolate brown during the dry season, creating a surreal landscape.
Where to Stay: Amorita Resort in Panglao, Bohol, is a sustainable accommodation that prioritizes eco-friendly practices and responsible tourism.
Cultural Immersion in Vigan:
Travel back in time by visiting Vigan, a UNESCO World Heritage City known for its well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture. Cobblestone streets, ancestral houses, and horse-drawn carriages evoke a sense of nostalgia.
Where to Stay: Experience the charm of Vigan at UrbanView @ Stay Inn Style Hotel. Immerse in history with a stay that blends comfort and sustainability in this UNESCO World Heritage City.
Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park – Underwater Wonderland:
For diving enthusiasts, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is a UNESCO-listed marine sanctuary that offers some of the best dive sites in the world. Immerse yourself in the vibrant coral reefs, encounter diverse marine species.
Where to Stay: Sangat Island Dive Resort is committed to eco-friendly practices and coral reef conservation.
Coron in the Philippines is a stunning destination with a lot to offer. Here are some recommendations for things to see and do, as well as places to stay:
- Kayangan Lake: Known as the cleanest lake in the Philippines, Kayangan Lake offers crystal-clear waters surrounded by breathtaking limestone cliffs. It’s a must-visit for swimming and snorkeling.
- Twin Lagoon: Experience the unique sensation of swimming in both warm and cold waters as you move between the two lagoons. The scenery is spectacular, with towering limestone formations.
- Maquinit Hot Springs: Relax in natural hot springs amidst lush surroundings. This is a great way to unwind after a day of exploring the islands and lakes.
- Coron Bay: Explore the vibrant underwater world by going snorkeling or diving in Coron Bay. The area is famous for its World War II Japanese shipwrecks, offering a captivating underwater experience.
- Mt. Tapyas: Hike to the top of Mt. Tapyas for a panoramic view of Coron Town and the surrounding islands. It’s a bit of a climb, but the sunset views are well worth it.
- Island Hopping Tours: Join island-hopping tours to discover the stunning landscapes and hidden gems around Coron. Tours typically include stops at various islands, beaches, and snorkeling spots.
Where to Stay: Coron Westown Resort: Situated near the town center, this resort provides comfortable accommodations and convenient access to popular attractions. The amenities include a pool and a restaurant.
Corto del Mar Hotel: Located in the heart of Coron Town, this boutique hotel offers a charming atmosphere and is close to various shops and restaurants. It’s a great option for those seeking a blend of comfort and local charm.
The Funny Lion: This boutique hotel provides a relaxing environment with a pool and spa facilities. While secluded, it offers a peaceful escape while still being accessible to Coron’s attractions.
The Philippines, with its diverse array of destinations and experiences, offers a travel adventure like no other. Whether you’re seeking the tranquility of pristine beaches, the thrill of underwater exploration, or the charm of historical sites, this archipelago has something for everyone. Uncover the magic of the Philippines, where each island, city, and cultural encounter is a unique chapter in a travel story that lasts a lifetime. Choosing these sustainable hotels not only enhances your travel experience but also contributes to the preservation of the Philippines’ natural and cultural treasures, ensuring responsible tourism for future generations.