7 Underrated Philippine Travel Destinations You Need to Add to Your Bucket List
There's more to discover in the Philippines.
by Ina Louise Manto | September 07, 2023
While the Philippines has popular world-class tourist destinations that both locals and foreigners can’t get enough of like Boracay, Cebu, and Palawan, there’s still plenty to explore around the vast archipelago. If you’re on a journey to discover more hidden gems around the country or making your way through all its 82 provinces, here are some underrated Philippine travel destinations worth seeing:
Tourists looking for picturesque rolling hills and mountains usually go to Batanes, but have you heard of its neighboring islands? Nestled just below Batanes is Calayan Island, one of the major islands in the Babuyan Islands in Cagayan Province. This remote destination won’t break the bank if you’re willing to take the hours-long travel up north from the metro. There are two gateways to this breathtaking island: Claveria, Cagayan, or Appari from Tuguegarao. Then you’ll have to go on a boat ride to Calayan Island.
Some of its popular destinations include Nagudungan Hills where you’ll feel like you’re on the edge of the earth.
Walk barefoot on the fine sands of Sibang Cove, which features a remote beach destination.
Another must-visit destination in Cagayan Province is Callao Cave in Peñablanca, Cagayan. It is home to seven chambers, which include a solemn church and a burial site for primitive remains.
Also known as “The Heart of the Philippines”, Iloilo is a province in Western Visayas that boasts a rich culture, heritage, cuisine, and picture-perfect destinations. For beach bums, Iloilo City serves as a gateway to Isla de Gigantes, where you’ll witness a towering limestone cliff and a white sand beach.
Get to know Iloilo City more by experiencing the Dinagyang Festival, which is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of January, just after Sinulog in Cebu. The festival is also a celebration of Sto. Niño.
Cagayan de Oro
If you’re one to enjoy traveling during the rainy season, head to Cagayan de Oro to experience white water rafting in the Cagayan River.
CDO is the place to be for adventure seekers as it offers plenty of thrilling activities: rafting, kayaking, and ziplining.
Here’s a perfect destination for travelers who want to get away from it all: discover the beauty of the island of Camiguin. Also known as “The Land of Fire”, this island houses volcanoes, heritage houses, springs, and mountains perfect for hiking. Sunken Cemetery is one of its famous landmarks, which is also a spot for scuba diving or snorkeling.
Camiguin also has three waterfalls such as Katibawasan Falls, measuring 250 feet high, making it the island’s highest.
Other than the historic MacArthur Leyte Landing Memorial National Park and San Juanico Bridge, Leyte has more to offer. Get to know the city by experiencing its festivals, one of which is the Pintados Kasadyaan Festival in Tacloban. The festival is known for street performances of individuals with body paint that is based on the body painting tradition of ancient tattooed warriors. It is celebrated every 29th of June for the feast day of Señor Santo Niño de Leyte.
The province of Leyte also celebrates Sinulog, which happens every third Sunday of January.
Nestled in the Eastern Visayas region, Samar is another destination for adventure seekers, offering various land and water activities. Experience a thrilling torpedo boat ride in Ulot River, go kayaking as you explore Sohoton Caves and Natural Bridge Park, and witness local weavers in action at Saob Cave.
Dubbed the “City of Flowers”, Mindanao’s center of economic activities is a destination brimming with culture. From historic landmarks like Fort Pilar to the white sand beach of Santa Cruz, Zamboanga has a lot to offer for every type of traveler.
Going on a food tour and eating your way through the city is a must-try too!
What underrated Philippine destination is on your bucket list? Share with us below!
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