The Places in the Philippines We Miss Traveling To
This pandemic has so far halted all travel trips, leaving us within the confines of our own homes. But with vaccines now rolling out, normalcy may be on the horizon yet! Road trips and plane rides are suddenly no longer things of distant dreams, but are finally again within reach. The question now isn’t "if" but "when"—and where will you go first?
Staying in one place for over a year may have made the world feel smaller than it is; remind yourself of how big and bright and beautiful it truly is. From white beaches to cityscapes to mountains and forests, pick your horizon and take it all in with this list, courtesy of the R2R team! These local hotspots dotted around the country can give you somewhere to look forward to visiting without having to go too far.
Strap on your hiking boots, pack your tent and your swimsuit, or take along your bike on your trip to one of these stunning destinations!
After all, “it’s more fun in the Philippines!”
Anawangin Cove, Zambales
A quiet fishing village turned popular tourist attraction, Anawangin Cove is a crescent-shaped beach nestled comfortably in San Antonio, Zambales.
With breathtaking views and natural surroundings, the cove is perfect for a complete unplug! There are no distractions whatsoever as it is quite distant from the signal, it allows you to just breathe and relax; just you and nature.
Camp out in the nearby forest, catch the waves, trek to a volcano and island hop—it’s a paradisiacal getaway! It almost feels like a secluded island, with its white sandy beaches surrounded by trees and mountainous views. When you’re not swimming in the blue waters, take an easy hike through the hills and catch sight of the breathtaking views of the entire cove and the stretching seas.
Nacpan and Calitang Twin Beaches, Palawan
Photo from ZenRooms
Palawan is very well known for its stunning white islands and beaches, but a gem that’s been tucked away from the public eye is found in the Nacpan and Calitang Twin Beaches.
Nacpan and Calitang are two beautiful coasts separated only by a sloping strip of pearly white sand dotted with trees and greenery. With clear waters, it’s perfect for swimming and for photo-taking! Plus, climbing the nearby hill will stun you with breathtaking views of both beaches and, if you stay long enough, an incredible sunset.
However, the beaches are quite away from the El Nido town proper, an hour’s drive. Though we hear it’s worth the trip.
For this adventure, bring along: the Molave Knotted Tote in Burnt Orange
Fortune Island, Batangas
Photo from A Wanderful Sole
What was once a luxury resort with development halting in 2006 has now become a popular hotspot. A secluded island with no electricity, but numerous other activities to do! Including swimming, cliff diving, trekking, camping, or even just relaxing along one of its scenic spots and enjoying the view. Found in Nasugbu, Batangas, Fortune Island is a great attraction for photography and architecture enthusiasts, experienced campers that enjoy roughing it, and more!
Now an abandoned island surrounded by clear waters and unobstructed views of the sea, Fortune Island’s most defining feature is its Grecian-style ruins along one of its narrower coastlines. Plus, the island is an explorer’s and a diver’s haven, as off its shores are a few shipwreck diving sites and along its lands are several empty buildings; remnants of what it was once going to be.
For this adventure, bring along: the Relaxed Wrap Dress in Sage
Bacalla Woods Campsite, Cebu
Photo from The Queen’s Escape
A nature retreat that seems so surreal, yet finds itself very certainly hidden away in the luscious green woods of Cebu. Bacalla Woods Campsite was once its owner’s private hideaway, until they decided to share the stunning views with the public.
The campsite is open to anyone looking for a getaway to relax and enjoy the simpler things in life. With no wifi and no signal, it’s a complete disconnect and gives you the opportunity to simply become one with nature. With activities such as an infinity swing, river and mountain trekking, biking, and a trip up Basak Falls, it’s a wonderful natural escape from the city; even to those beginner campers.
Mount Pulag, Benguet
Considered to be sacred due to its closeness to heaven, Mount Pulag is the highest peak in Luzon; rising around 9,840 feet above sea level.
With its rolling hills and scenic sunrise, it’s easy to fall in love with this mountain and its breath-taking views. Boasting scenery such as its sea of clouds and a clear view of the galaxy at dawn, it’s very popular among hikers and trekkers. Despite its size, the trek up to the beak is even suitable for beginners thanks to its well-maintained trails!
Just remember to layer up! It gets really cold above the clouds.
Ortigas Center, Pasig City
For people looking for somewhere to bike without leaving the city, Ortigas Center might just be the place for you!
Emerald Avenue gets blocked off on the weekends, leaving the street completely carless. Drop by with a bike or on foot to enjoy it to its fullest! With wide sidewalks and big spaces, there are many places to rest and relax when you aren’t enjoying the open street! Plus, around the area is a very friendly community who are oftentimes more than willing to let you in on their day’s activities.
Interestingly enough, the buildings around the street are designed in a way that turns the area into something somewhat similar to a vent. So expect cool winds all day!
For this adventure, bring along: the Noah Fanny Pack Navy with Black Leather
La Mesa Ecopark, Quezon City
A public park by La Mesa Dam, the La Mesa Ecopark was established in order to protect and rehabilitate La Mesa Watershed.
A great escape from the city, the scenic park features many tree-lined and green paths, perfect for a jog or a walk! Along with numerous nature-esque spots to simply stop and smell the flowers (literally). For those feeling more adventurous, there’s also a 1.2 kilometer mountain biking trail!
Perfect for bonding with family and friends alike, there are many beautiful picnic spots and activities to do. Including swimming, bungee jumping, zip-lining, horseback riding, fishing, and more!
Intramuros is definitely a classic! A popular walking and touring destination, escape from the city with a walk through history. The oldest district of Manila, take a stroll along the cobblestone streets and take in the Spanish-era buildings and churches.
You could also switch it up a bit and rent one of their bamboo bikes to take a tour around the Walled City! A great experience for people looking for famous and historic sights, as well as architecture enthusiasts. With so much to see, including Fort Santiago, San Agustin Cathedral, and the Manila Cathedral, rediscover history within the ruins and old walls of Intramuros.
Particularly recommended if you have any friends or family visiting from overseas! What better way to explore Filipino history than a trip through history itself?
For this adventure, bring along: the Tumbler Sling Black with Black Leather
We sincerely hope you enjoy these stunning Philippine Hotspots! But remember: travel responsibly and respectfully! Leave every place as you found it. Respect and love for the places you’ve been, the people you meet, and the environment around you will last lifetimes.
Written by Sam Lantin