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The world is composed of a number of tourist destinations but the Philippines should be the top on every traveler’s list. Not only is it packed with rare natural beauty of forests, mountains, beaches, islands, lagoons, caves and all other gifts of mother nature, various choices of traveling activities and its friendly locals, a vacation spent here will also probably be one-third of the cost compared to places like Hawaii or Bahamas which actually shares the same wow factor that the Philippines has. This is most definitely and most suitably the place for that unforgettable vacation!
Located in the southern part of Luzon, Philippines, the Taal Volcano is known as the world’s smallest active volcano and is home to the freshwater Taal Lake. The lake, ranking as the 3rd largest one in the country and the world’s largest lake on an island, is sure to amaze you. It fills the Taal Caldera, an enormous volcanic caldera, formed by volcanic eruptions of times raging back to about 50,000 to 100,000 years ago.
There is a Crater Lake Resort nearby which offers you choices of various activities that may be enjoyed in this vicinity such as horseback riding towards the Volcano’s crater, camping,and trekking within its surroundings.
Siargao, a municipality of Surigao, is known as the “Surfing Capital of the Philippines”. Tourists visit this place to have a shot at an ultimate surfing experience. Various surfing contests pick Siargao as the venue for their programs.
Because of its cheap accommodations and friendly locals, people all over the world enjoy visiting this place. Most spend their time camping by the shores of its magnificent beaches, go on cave explorations, rock climbing and best of all, island hopping in the magnificent islands of Bucas Grande.
Sagada is home to one of the most majestic caves in the country, the Sumaguing Caves. The town is popularize by its rice terraces but the caves are not one to leave out of. This destination spot has left an impression on recreational cave-exploring enthusiasts. Various activities such as trekking and spelunking are also enjoyed by travelers here.
Hungry for a one-of-a-kind mountaineering experience? Then Mt. Pulag is the place to be!
Edging the provinces of Ifugao, Benguet and Nueva Viscaya, this humongous mountain is the destination spot for nature trekkers and mountaineers. Known as the third highest mountain in the Philippines, not only will a hike up top serve as an exciting activity, the serene view of the environment will also hype your senses.
The mountain is composed of 500 plant species, one of which is the rare dwarf bamboo and houses plenty of endangered mammal species that’s sure to excite the nature lover in you.
Mt. Pinatubo made its mark on the world when it erupted on 1991. The surprising event was one of the most studied volcanic activity by geologists worldwide. Since the incident 20 years years ago, the terror that tainted this place is no longer a worry in here. In lieu of its history is the beauty that resulted from it. The “lahar” sediments from the eruption are currently used as spa materials and produced into handicrafts.
Along with the volcano’s history, this landmark is also acknowledged as a prime tourist destination for adventurers who are brave enough to trek, camp, climb and ride a jeep through it.
Cagayan de Oro River
Cagayan de Oro is known as nicknamed “The City of Golden Friendship”. Based on its label,the city is vacated by friendly and hospitable locals that shall definitely put a smile on your face and make you want to return many times over.
Within this small city lies the Cagayan de Oro River where white water river rafting are rampant all times of the year. Celebrities and other well-known people come here to experience the thrill that the rapids bring as they cruise along the river on rafts. White water river rafting may be enjoyed here with the company of guides and instructors from various agencies that will assist, train and entertain every traveler.
Apo Reef Natural Park
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Apo Reef natural Park is the biggest coral reef system around the globe, second to that of the Great Barrier Reef. It is composed of three islands with landscapes of flourishing mangrove forests, serves as an asylum to avian species and a breeding ground to various marine and coastal species.
The typical nature lover will really get a kick out of this place! The Apo Reef Natural Park is the Mecca of both environment lovers and marine scuba divers.
In the province of Puerto Galera lies a very large, healthy reef area that paves way to La Canyons. With its diverse marine life such as hard and soft tree corals, colorful reefs, basket sponges, giant Gorgonian fans, tropical and pelagic fish, La Canyons is the favorite dive spot in the vicinity. Scuba diving with the flow and swift movement of the currents while enjoying the beautiful fishes swim along will surely make you feel like you were experiencing it in a dream.
Tubbataha Reefs National Park
As a certified UNESCO World heritage Site and ranked by CNN as the eight out of the fifty best dive sites in the entire world, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park has definitely made its mark as one of the most incredible places to visit.
If you’re one who enjoys swimming in waters with numerous assorted marine species, this marine life sanctuary will surely electrify your desire of exploring the waters. Aside from scuba diving, visitors also get to experience live board diving excursions.
You may also swing by the park’s Ranger Station which was established by the government to maintain the safety and security of these endangered species.
Coron is one of the many tourist spots in Palawan, Philippines. It is blessed with numerous islands, tranquil beaches, magical lagoons and, for the adventurous traveler, Coron Bay’s inviting wreck diving sites.
Are you familiar with the ship Titanic? Did you ever wonder how awesome it would be to dive into its wreckages and appreciate its wonderful components? Then, diving the waters of Coron Bay will pull you out of your wondering and make it a possibility!
Considered to be the best wreck dive in the Philippines, Coron Bay is the place for you to visit. Here, there may be no shipwrecks named Titanic but the wreckage of the Japanese supply fleet that sunk during the mid 1940s are situated beneath its waters, waiting for the ultimate diver to explore its premises.
The wreckage of the Japanese refrigeration ship Irako is situated at the mouth of Coron Bay. The ship is still quite intact and is inhabited by numbers of marine species such as the yellow fin tuna, scorpion fish, two seat turtles, Jacks and 2-meter long rays. While diving, you will have a clear view of these animals going about the ship and also swerve into the quarters of the wreckage.
Batanaes Islands is located at the north tip of the Philippines. It is a place with a clean environment, majestic waters and multi-angular terrains. The Ivatans, the country’s first settlers, live in Batanes. Their residence in the area enriches the place with culture and history.
The relaxing views of Batanes may be enjoyed more by diving, snorkeling, rock climbing, swimming, biking and visiting the Ivatan houses which have been around since the Philippines was ever placed in the map.
Donsol, primarily known as the destination spot for whale watching, has been acknowledged as the “Whale Shark Capital of the World”. Located in the province of Sorsogon, its usual inhabitants (whale sharks) visit this place to feed.
Tourists are allowed to interact with these creatures by diving, snorkeling or simply waiting for the whale sharks to surface. This majestic mammal are best sighted during the months of February to April.
Chinese Taoist Temple
Philippines is also home to Chinese communities. If you’re one who’s fascinated by Chinese culture and origins, the Chinese Taoist Temple in Beverly Hills Subdivision, Cebu City is the place to drop by. Dragon tributes such as painting, statues and altars of the Buddha complement the beautiful pagoda roofs of the structure. There is also a pool garnished with lotus flowers just outside the temple. This is surely the place to come to when you wish to enjoy the Chinese traits within Philippine territory.
Manila Ocean Park
Located at the very heart of the Philippine’s capital Manila is the country’s first world-class marine-themed park, The Manila Ocean Park. It has been the destination of various educational tours for its exceptionally consolidated features of marine species living in colorful aquariums for your viewing pleasure. Some of these groups of marine life like the sharks, dolphins and seals are available for close encounters whether it be by diving with them or participating in talent shows.
The establishment has a foot spa wherein travelers can dip their feet in the water and the fishes would nibble at your skin. Not only that! You get to enter a facility that is designed for a snow-like atmosphere with the same temperatures and environment. The best adventure within this magnificent structure is by hovering below an aquarium of fishes where the only thing standing between you and the swimming creatures are transparent aquarium glass as they swim around.
Banaue Rice Terraces
Just when you thought that the Philippines is out of natural resources that is known for around the world, well, you’re definitely wrong! There lies the eighth Wonder of the World in the mountain province of the Filipino Ifugao natives: the Banaue Rice Terraces. This magnificent and jaw dropping place was made by these natives with their bare hands of about 2000-3000 years ago.
People say that if they were to combine all the terraces crafted by the Ifugaos, its dimensions would be able to circulate the whole moon twice. The heritage of the Ifugaos is continued here as a number of them still vacate the premises.
Baguio, as the summer capital of the Philippines, has a number of tourist spots. Since the Philippines is of tropical nature, this area is distinct on its own as the province’s temperature could reach up to 6.3 degrees celcius. This paved the way for its ability to produce fresh strawberries and grow unique types of flora. The Botanical Garden is quite a large park and is about the same size as that of Burnham Park.
This facility features native dwelling characteristics of the Igorots. Because of its cultural heritage, the place provides a quiet and tranquil environment where you can simply relax and stroll along its trail enjoying the landscape of numerous trees and plants. Here, you can take pictures of the natives at a very low fee and explore the beauty of nature.
Off the coast of the province of Cebu in the Camotes Sea are the Camotes islands. It is best known for its pristine white sand, translucent waters and a magical view of the sunset. One of its historical marks in Philippine history is the several days stay of Antonio Pigafetta, one of the survivors of the Battle of Mactan, before he went for Cebu. With its unruffled views of the beach, the islands and the enthralling caves, one is sure to enjoy a vacation with its inimitable atmosphere.
BEACHES, SPRINGS AND WATERFALLS
In Barangay Matutinao, Badian lies a majestic Kawasan Falls. In going there, one is to prepare a 3 hour travel from the heart of Cebu. It may be a long journey but due to the richness of tourist destinations in Badian such as the Moalboal Beach, Lambug Beach, La Playa Resort and other waterfalls that you get to pass by will surely make you want to yearn for more time around it.
Kawasan Falls is composed of not just one but a series of waterfalls and natural pools available for swimming. The trek towards the falls may be of long distances but the concrete trails and gravel sediments make the journey less exhausting. Not to mention, the view towards the falls, especially that of the long river, gives you a soothing feel.
Ardent Hot Springs Resort
The province of Camiguin, the second smallest one in the country, is packed with three hot springs, three mountains, one active volcano and two waterfalls. It also has an underwater cemetery which has been featured in TV programs abroad.
A relaxing plunge into one of its hot springs at Ardent Hot Spring Resort is nothing compared to an experience in your hot tub. The resort is ten minutes away from the tourist beaches in Agoho and Yumbing through a 4km motor bike in the mountainside of the famous Hibok-Hibok Volcano which is responsible for the its warm water. As you take a dip in the humid water, you get to enjoy the view of nature as the pools are surrounded by high trees of a tropical forest.
Hinatuan River, the river’s formal name, is one of the most famous tourist attractions in southern part of the Philippines. Other than being able to swim with the fishes living in this area, this place has other traits that shall definitely challenge the minds of each curious traveler. This river has drawn the curious travelers to its mysterious attributes. Firstly, the depth of its waters is still unknown to scientist of this day. Locals say that no one has reached its bottom and have lived to tell the tale. Also, as a river, it’s assumed to have the characteristics of what fresh water rivers have. However, the salty taste of the water adds up to its mysterious nature as to why this fact is even possible. Lastly, a spring is present at the beginning part of this body of water which has kept people guessing as to why this could be. It’s as if the river just sprouted out of nowhere! Experts say that the only logical explanation as to its existence could only be from an underground spring. Similar to its other doubtful perks, this fact too has yet been proven.
Hundred Islands National Park
Want to experience the best attributes of an archipelago? Then probably, you should go island hopping! The Hundred Islands National Park located in Alaminos City, Pangasinan is composed of 123 islands. Among these islands, are three developed tourist accommodations: Governor, Children’s Island and Quezon. Its waters have a tint of blue-green, much like most waters around the country, and has incredible coral reefs.
The best part in island hopping here is that you get to swim around and explore what every island holds.What an adventure!
The rugged Caramoan Peninsula curtails the magnificent Caramoan Islands situated in the province of Camarines Sur. If you wish to have a peaceful holiday, the islands being isolated from the main province can give you a private and serene experience. The area is packed with activites such as diving, hiking, hopping and even spelunking. Due to its incomparable beauty, the untouched wonders of Caramoan have been featured in numerous franchises of the hit TV show Survivor.
Villa Escudero Waterfall Restaurant
Tired of dining in restaurants with a boring ambiance? Try satisfying your appetite in Villa Escudero Waterfalls Restaurant! Since the Philippines is a country of unique quality in all its aspects, be it the natural wonders and cuisines, this last destination should definitely be on your list of must-visits to fully experience what the country has to offer. Delicacies such as miswa soup, okra and tomatoes with bagoong, white rice, roast chicken, ginataang vegetables, grilled tilapia, beef calderera, pancit canton and grilled liempo are served fresh in this restaurant. Who said that eating could not be done beside a waterfall with water flowing by your feet ? Surely, this is one dining experience that should leave you astonished.
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