Last updated on May 30th, 2019 at 08:48 pm
The Philippines, being an archipelago (a country composed of thousands of big and small islands), can be a tougher place to visit when it comes to itineraries. Also, it’s separate from the other popular Southeast Asian Countries (Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore), so it has some very distinct differences when it comes to culture.
Today, we are sharing to you the top instagrammable places in the Philippines to help you better navigate your travel plans within the country, enjoy the culture and just to get the most out of your visit to the Philippines.
How to get to Philippines?
If you are coming from abroad, numerous airlines like Korean Air, Qatar Airways, Asiana Airlines and Singapore Airlines has direct flights to the Philippines. You will probably land in Manila International Airport or in Clark International Airport.
Upon arriving, you should also know that every main city in the Philippines is accessible from most parts of the world. Check Skyscanner to get the best flight deals in your country!
Click here to know prices and schedule to book your bus/boat tickets online with 12Go Asia.
Instagrammable places in the Philippines
Pagudpud is a town on the north coast of Luzon Island, in North Ilocos. Resorts line the long stretch of Saud Beach, on the wide sweep of Bangui Bay. It is one of the most beautiful and serene beach in the Philippines. We visited Pagudpud in a lean season, quiet, rainy, but it was evident that the beach was beautiful and special.
How to get to Pagudpud? If you’re coming from Manila, you have two options. You can ride a bus directly to Pagudpud via G.V Florida Transport and it costs from 750 PHP to 950 PHP. Travel time is about 10 hours. The other option is to book a flight to Laoag. Travel time is 1 hour. From Laoag, you can then ride a bus or a van going to Pagudpud with the travel time of 2 hours.
Vigan is a city in the Philippines, on the west coast of Luzon island. It’s known for its preserved Spanish colonial and Asian architecture. Calle Crisologo dominates the Mestizo district, with its cobblestone streets, malecón, horse-drawn carriages and rustic mansions. Near the white baroque Vigan Cathedral are Plaza Salcedo, offering fountain light shows, and Plaza Burgos, known for its street-food stalls.
How to get to Vigan? Vigan can be reached by bus from Manila or Cubao. The trip will be about 6 to 7 hours. It can costs up to 665 PHP to 700 PHP one way. Another option is to book a flight to Laoag. Then transfer to a ride to Vigan which is only 2 hours away from Laoag.
3. Banaue Rice Terraces
The Banaue Rice Terraces are terraces that were carved into the mountains of Ifugao in the Philippines by the ancestors of the indigenous people. The terraces are occasionally called the “Eighth Wonder of the World”. It is commonly thought that the terraces were built with minimal equipment, largely by hand. In 1995, various sections of the terraces were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, described as “a living cultural landscape of unparalleled beauty.”
How to get to Banaue? From Manila, you have to ride a bus that will take you straight to Banaue. The only operators that caters to this route are Ohayami Trans and Coda Lines. You can check their websites to book seats.
Read here things to do in Banaue!
4. Sunset in Subic
Who doesn’t love a good sunset? If you’re not a morning person it could be tough to always try to catch the sunrise, however sunsets are almost always easy to see! And one of the most amazing things you can see in Philippines is a sunset view in Subic. Subic is a coastal municipality in the Philippines, northwest of the capital Manila. Its sandy beaches face Subic Bay, a popular dive site due to its shipwrecks and coral species. If we are traveling in the beach (actually, in every new location), we always try to catch the sunset. It has been sort of a personal ritual for us, and a satisfying daily feat. There is this amazing feeling when you watch the sunset may it be from different places.
How to get to Subic? Subic is fairly close to Manila. You just need to travel for about 3 hours by bus like Victory Liner. They have terminals in Cubao and Pasay. Fare costs 200 PHP one way.
Read our full blog post for Subic!
5. Puerto Galera’s point of view
There are a lot of beaches near Puerto Galera but White Beach and Sabang Beach are the favorites of both foreign and local tourists. Interestingly, White Beach is called “little Boracay” because of its white sand while Sabang Beach is popular for its nightlife. It’s a perfect instagrammable place in the Philippines if you’d ask me. Both beaches offer scuba diving, snorkeling and swimming.
How to get to Puerto Galera? You can ride a bus from Manila to Batangas Pier via buses like Ceres, DLTB and JAM Transit. Fare is about 200 PHP. Once in the Batangas Pier, you have to ride a boat. Boats in Batangas Pier can take you directly to Sabang (diving) or to White Beach (water sports, beach party and island hopping) in Puerto Galera for PHP 500 (USD 10/ SGD 13.80) round trip fare.
6. Taal Volcano
Known for its cold weather, Tagaytay City is a crowd favorite for a getaway near Manila. People typically come here to enjoy the cold breeze they don’t usually experience in Manila. Plus, it only takes 1-2 hours to get here! One of the most famous tourist spots here is the Taal Volcano. Feed your eyes with the amazing views from the top! Trekking Taal Volcano will surely be worth it. If you want,you can read our guide on hiking Taal Volcano.
How to get to Taal Volcano? From Manila, ride a bus going to Tagaytay. Once in Tagaytay, you can ride or hire a tricycle to take you to Talisay bay or check for jeepneys going to Talisay bay. You can check out the jeepney terminal near the Tagaytay Rotonda and ask them. From Talisay bay, you have to hire a boat to take you to the volcano itself and it costs 2,000 to 3,000. If you can haggle for about 1,500, then it can be a deal!
7. Clear waters of Anilao
Anilao is a quiet barangay in Mabini, Batangas. Stop drooling with mesmerizing underwater photos online and witness the elegance yourself. Anilao is a haven for scuba diving enthusiasts. Experience the charming underwater utopia just three hours away from Manila. Anilao is one of our favorite getaways near Manila.
How to get to Anilao, Batangas? From Manila, catch a Batangas bound buses. Buses like Jam Liner, JAC, Alps and Tritran have routes to Batangas. Fare ranges from P140 to P160 and travel time is at least 1.5 hours during off-peak hours. Buses bound to Batangas City leave almost every hour, 24 hours a day. Avoid Batangas City via Lipa as travel time takes longer. Get off at Batangas City Bus Terminal and transfer to a Mabini bound jeep to take you to Anilao Port, fare is P40 per pax and travel time is around 45 minutes.
8. White Island in Camiguin
The Naked Temptress of Camiguin. The stunning White Island or Medan Island is 10 minutes away from the northern coast of Camiguin. There are boat rentals available for only PHP 450. Some resorts also offer their own day tours to visit this pristine, powdery paradise. You have to pay 50 PHP extra for the entrance. It’s popular to visit in the sunrise. Our choice was visiting at lunch time and we were alone in the island for a couple of hours. You can rent umbrellas in White Island for 150 PHP.
How to get to Camiguin? Camiguin has its own airport in Mambajao. Cebu Pacific offers regular flights to the province. For travelers coming from Manila, its either you make your way to Cagayan de Oro or Butuan City. There are flights coming from Clark in Angeles City to Cagayan de Oro where you can connect by bus and ferry, or by plane to Cagayan de Oro and Camiguin like we did.
Read here our favorite Camiguin tourist spots!
9. Mantigue Island in Camiguin
The Island of Mantigue is mesmerizing when you get off of the boat. The Island is beyond beauty with its crystal clear waters, where you can also have a close encounter with coralsand fish even while riding a boat. There’s a wide variety of fish species that lives in the crystal clear water surrounding the Island.
How to get to Mantigue Island? Mantigue Island is just a 20-minute boat ride from mainland Camiguin. Boats can be chartered to take you there from Barangay San Roque (near Benoni Port) in the town of Mahinog for P550 round-trip, good for six (6) people
10. Sepoc Island in Anilao, Batangas
We had a day trip to the island and from Anilao, you can get there at around 15-20 minutes by boat from Eagle Point Resort (it´s their private beach). The island was so quiet and really beautiful There was no place for staying but you can have your lunch and relax there. They have everything you need. Once you’re there, you can swim and do snorkeling. You can walk around the white sand and enjoy the paradise.
How to get to Sepoc Island? From Batangas terminal, ride a jeepney to Anilao Port. Travel time is 40 minutes and fare is 40 PHP. Alight at Anilao Port or Crossing. The crossing is closer, but there are more tricycles waiting at the port. From there, ride a tricycle to Eagle Point Resort. You can opt for the tour to Sepoc since it is their private island.
11. Kayangan Lake, Coron
Kayangan Lake is one of only two lakes in Coron island (out of 8 lakes) that are open to the public. There is a steep 10-15 minute uphill climb of approximately 300 steps towards the inland lake. Midway through the climb is a view deck overlooking the lagoon. It has one of the clearest and cleanest water in the Philippines.
How to get to Kayangan Lake? If you want the faster way, book a flight to Busuanga Airport. The flight will only take 1 hour. Once in the airport, ride a van going to Coron town proper (P150). Travel time is 30-45 minutes. From there you can either join a group tour (Coron Island Tour) or charter a private boat going to Kayangan Lake. Other way to go to Coron is via overnight ferries; 2Go travels this route twice a week, Tuesdays and Fridays (P1200-2500, 15hrs).
12. Big Lagoon, El Nido
Lake in Big Lagoon State Park offering fishing, crabbing, boating, swimming, birding & more. It is usually offered as an art of an island hopping experience o the tourists. If you visit as a first part of the tour you will not find so many people. As alternative we proposed to take a private tour between few people and you can visit places like Big Lagoon less crowded than with the island hopping tours. We recommend you to rent a Kayak if the boat that you are hiring isn’t going inside the Big Lagoon to have more time to explore.
How to get to El Nido? From Manila there are daily flights to Puerto Princesa via local airlines such as Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. At Puerto Princesa City, you can take a multi-cab or charter a tricycle to Robinson’s Mall. There are shuttle vans available to take you to El Nido town. Van departs almost every hour from 5 AM to 6 PM. Travel time is approximately 5 hours. At Puerto Princesa airport, exit the gate and hail a tricycle (outside of the airport). Tell the driver to drop you off at Junction 1. Fare is PHP 8. At Junction 1, ride a multi-cab to San Jose Terminal, fare is PHP 13. Or the easiest way would be join a tour where everything will be take cared of.
13. Cadlao Lagoon, El Nido
Among the islands in El Nido, Cadlao Island has the highest peak at 609 meters above sea level. It is also the largest island in El Nido with a land area of 1,006 hectares. Touring Cadlao island is a part of Tour D, which is the least popular tours since Cadlao is just near to the town proper. Some adventurers just use kayaks to reach the island if the weather permits them to. You can swim and snorkel in this part of El Nido. Good thing Cadlao Lagoon isn’t a very crowded place to take pictures.
How to get to Cadlao Lagoon? You can do by kayak, as a private tour or with Tour D in El Nido. Read here for full information about Island hopping in El Nido.
14. Nacpan Beach, El Nido
Nacpan is a really long beach in El Nido with clear blue waters you’ll surely love! We enjoyed swimming and snorkeling here as the water is crystal clear and very clean. It may not be included in the tours but you can reach it by private boats. Travelers also love to play beach volleyball and soccer in this beautiful beach. There is an entrance fee to go to Nacpan Beach, around 30 pesos! There are always people but not so crowded as people prefer the Island hopping in El Nido.
How to get to Nacpan Beach? The easiest way is renting a motorbike or a tricycle is 30 minutes drive from El Nido town. It can be tricky when is rainy the way before getting to Nacpan Beach after leaving the main road.
15. Pinagbuyutan Island, El Nido
Pinagbuyutan’s beach may not be as nice as the other beaches around El Nido, but visitors come here to see what is under the surface. Just along the shore of Pinagbuyutan beach, you can see the coral gardens with hues of yellow, blue, and green, as well as the ones that is shaped like trees, brains and others. You’ll surely enjoy see the colorful corals beneath the surface of the water. It’s one of our favorite instagrammable places in El Nido!
How to get to Pinagbuyatan Island? This is a part of the island hopping tours available in El Nido. You can read this post to know more about the tours.
Instagrammable places in the Philippines
16. Malapascua Island
Malapascua only recently became a hotspot for tourists and used to be a hidden gem in Cebu. As a diving spot, its waters are one of the most extreme and most beautiful. Here you can encounter thresher sharks all year round! Those not into diving can enjoy the fine sand and crystal clear waters of Malapascua.
How to get to Malapascua? You can hire a boat and do island hoping around Malapascua. There are 2-3 spots to do it and you can ask the boatman for prices. They will offer around you around 1000 to 2000 PHP, depending on your negotiating skills. This was definitely one of the best activities to do in Malapascua on our day trip.
Read here best beaches in Cebu!
17. Lambug Beach
This beach is such a cool surprise! One of our followers recommended us this beach with a picture. We just went for it. It was easy to reach from Panagsama Beach. You can rent a motorcycle, or ride a bus. Just get a tricycle or just walk from the bus stop is South direction and it will take you half an hour to go there.
The beach was lovely! Around it were cottages. It was a white sand beach with clear water and was full of starfishes. We enjoyed swimming, flying the drone, and playing with the sand. Our little one, Han, went crazy with the colorful starfishes. He loved it so much!
Read more about things to do in Moalboal!
18. Bantayan Island
If you are visiting Bantayan in Cebu, you are probably coming from a trip to mainland Cebu or Malapascua. During our trip to Bantayan, we came from Malapascua. Upon reaching this island paradise in the northern end of Cebu, we really liked the vibe of Bantayan. The beaches were almost deserted and had white sand that stretched on and on in its shores. The island had crystal clear waters surrounding it. It was like being in a dream or being sent to tropical heaven!
How to get to Bantayan Island? There’s a bus leaving the Mactan Airport every 30 minutes from 7am-11am, and every 20 minutes from 11am-9:30pm. Fare costs 25 PHO. Outside these hours, you may take a cab, Uber or Grab. Fare is between 200-P300 PHP, depending on traffic. At the North Bus Terminal, board a Ceres bus bound for Hagnaya Port. Travel time is around 4 hours and the fare costs 165 PHP. Board the Island Shipping or Super Shuttle ferry bound for Santa Fe Port. First trip is at 3am, last trip 5:30pm. Travel time is 1 hour and fare costs P170. An additional P10 terminal fee will be collected.
Read here things to do in Bantayan Island!
19. Kalanggaman Island
Kalanggaman Island is a small island located in Palompon, province of Leyte and island in the Visayas archipelago in the Philippines. For us it’s considered one of the best palces to visit in the Philippines. The island is called Kalanggaman because of its bird-like shape. “Langgam” is a Visayan word for “bird.” During the storm, sand bars that protruded in the eastern and southern ends of the island were flattened by raging waves. Kalanggaman island is considered one of the most beautiful island in the Philippines. It may be small but it didn’t fail to strike us with its beauty. Its clear waters and the ever so popular sandbar makes the island even more incredibly unique. Kalanggaman Island is one of our top instagrammable places i nthe Philippines!
How to get to Kalanggaman Island? Flying to Ormoc City is the fastest and the most comfortable way to get to Kalanggaman Island. From the airport, go to the Ormoc van and bus terminal found just behind the pier across Ormoc City Park. Travel time from Ormoc to Palompon usually takes an hour and a half. Fare for the van is from PHP 100-150. Bus fares are cheaper of course. They only costs PHP 50-60. Go to the ecotourism office. Access to the island requires an entrance fee; the local government use it to fund the island’s conservation efforts.
20. Pescadores Island
Pescador Island is an island located in the Tañon Strait, a few kilometres from the western coast of the island of Cebu in the Philippines. It is part of the municipality of Moalboal.You can do snorkeling in this beautiful island. The private tours start early morning so you should wake up really early if you want to catch up. We were supposed to see dolphins at that time but unluckily, we didn’t see them. We were feeling so sorry as our little one, Han, was super excited about this. We woke up at 5 AM but we weren’t lucky that time. Hopefully on our next trip!
How to get to Moalboal? From the city proper, Moalboal is three hours drive by public bus. Librando and Ceres buses going to Moalboal are located in the South Bus Terminal of the city capital. Fare for non-aircon bus starts at P90.00 and P110.00 for aircon bus. Pescador Island is a 10-minute 3-km boat ride from Panagsama Beach.
Oslob, officially the Municipality of Oslob, is a 4th class municipality in the province of Cebu, Philippines. The world’s largest fish, the whale shark (Rhincodon typus) have learned to feed from local fishermen, who sprinkle krill in the water for the sharks to suck into their gills. So “domesticated” have the local sharks become, that tourists now congregate to Tan-Awan town in Oslob to snorkel as the sharks slowly circle the waters, sucking in a free meal.
How to get to Oslob? From Cebu City, head to the South Bus Terminal and ride a Ceres bus going to Bato via Liloan. Tell the conductor to drop you off at Brgy. Tan-awan in Oslob for the whale shark which is just along the highway. It’s roughly a 3-hour ride from Cebu. Bus Fare (air-con) is Php 155.
22. Apo Island
Apo Island is a volcanic island covering 74 hectares in land area, 7 kilometers off the southeastern tip of Negros Island and 30 kilometers south of the Negros Oriental capital of Dumaguete in the Philippines. The name “Apo” was derived from a Filipino word for “grandchild”.
This town will give you the best photos- aerial and underwater. Make sure to equip yourselves with the best camera to capture the beautiful Dumaguete.
Click here to see what activities we did in this town.
How to get to Apo Island? Book a flight to Dumaguete Island. Once in Dumaguete, you can ride private cars going to Malatapay, the jump-off point for reaching Apo Island for 45 minutes. If you want to prefer public transportation, take a motorcycle trike to the bus terminal in Dumaguete that costs 30 PHP. Jump on any southbound bus or jeepney (going toward Zamboanguita). Tell the driver that you want to go to Apo Island. You’ll pay the fare on the bus of around 60 pesos. From there, you can either charter a private boat that costs up to 3,000 PHP or wait for the regular boat that the fare is 300 PHP per person.
Siquijor is a 5th provincial income class island province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas region. Its capital is the municipality also named Siquijor. If you are planning to visit Siquijor, one thing you should know is that during the Spanish colonial period, the island was called Isla Del Fuego (Island of Fire). It is truly one of the most beautiful places we have ever been so far. The province itself is quiet and peaceful, plus there are some lovely serene coastal areas you can go to. These beaches are perfect for swimming alone, with loved ones, and friends.
How to get to Siquijor? If you want the fastest way, you can book a flight to Dumaguete, which is the nearest island in Siquijor. Flight duration is approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes. From Dumaguete airport, ride a tricycle or a motorbike (habal-habal) going to Dumaguete Port. Travel time from Dumaguete airport to port is approximately 20 minutes. In Dumaguete port, there are a number of ferries, fast crafts and outriggers going to Siquijor. Travel time is 45 minutes to 2 hours. Fare costs 210 PHP to 360 PHP for business class.
Read here our best things to do in Siquijor!
24. Aguinid Falls, Cebu
Aguinid Falls in the quiet municipality of Samboan, which is 150 kilometers away from Cebu City. It is a system of waterfalls that runs for a couple of kilometers along Tangbo River. Since it was promoted as an eco-tourism destination, locals and foreigners have witnessed this one-of-a-kind, multi-tiered waterfall system. Its calcium-rich water has turned the water and rocks of the falls slightly green.
How to get to Aguinid Falls? From Cebu, take a jeepney, cab or Uber/Grab to South Bus Terminal near E Mall. Ride the bus to Samboan or Bato via Barili and tell the conductor to drop you off at the trail to Aguinid Falls in Brgy. Tangbo in Samboan town proper. There is a signage at the basketball court and there’s another way after the court for private vehicles. The bus to Bato via Barili leaves every hour starting at 2:00 AM and then the last trip going back to Cebu City is around 7:00 PM. Fare is approximately PHP 175 for adults and PHP 135 for students. Travel time is about 3.5 to 4 hours.
Read here our favorite Cebu tourist spots!
25. Kawasan Falls
Kawasan is a very popular, if not the most popular tourist destination in the whole of Cebu. It’s falls is deep blue, which looks so surreal in photos. But even looks unbelievable in person. There are various falls in Kawasan, and you can enjoy canyoneering and rafting activities, you will finish in the second level of Kawasan Falls.
If you don’t feel doing activities you can rent a raft for 300 pesos, and you get to enjoy bathing in the current of the most popular first falls of Kawasan. Just the view is very beautiful and you can enjoy taking pictures!
How to get to Kawasan Falls? From the city proper, you can take a jeep, taxi, Uber or Grab to South Bus Terminal located near E-Mall (Elizabeth Mall). Ride Ceres Bus (yellow bus) to Bato via Barili. Bus fare to Kawasan falls from Cebu City is roughly PHP 150 and travel time is roughly 3 hours. Read here for full information how to get to Kawasan Falls.
26. Loboc River, Bohol
Loboc River offers a great scenery for all boat passengers who go through it. It is beautiful to watch and take pictures of this river. There are boats sailing around the river for those who’re not up for ziplining above it. It is beautiful to watch and take pictures of this river. For 450 PHP, you can try the most popular activity promoted in the area: Having lunch while cruising the river.
How to get to Bohol? The fastest and easiest way is by plane. Cebu Pacific Air, Philippine Airlines (PAL), and AirAsia Zest operate multiple flights from Manila to Tagbilaran City, the capital of Bohol. Travel time is around 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Read here our favorite Bohol tourist spots!
27. Sohoton Cave in Siargao Island
Siargao is a tear-drop shaped island in the Philippine Sea situated 800 kilometers southeast of Manila in the province of Surigao del Norte. It has a land area of approximately 437 square kilometres. The east where such Art Skyes coast is relatively straight with one deep inlet, Port Pilar.
While this beautiful island has always been a mecca for surfers and backpackers, recently mainstream tourists have found their way there as well.
This has happened for two major reasons. First, the movie Siargao has made this place a household name in the Philippines and it is now every Filipino’s dream to go there. This has created a buzz which in turn meant more foreigners starting hearing about Siargao as well, and considered adding it to their vacation plan. The real turning point, however, was when Boracay was closed for its rehabilitation project. With the most popular tourist island closed for at least 6 months, Siargao was quick to fill the void and has since marked itself as the next big tourist spot in the Philippines.
How to get to Siargao? You can reach Siargao faster from Manila with flights via Skyjet and Cebu Pacific. There are vans parked outside the terminal to transport passengers going to General Luna, where most tourist facilities and attractions are located. The current prevailing rate is P150 per person.
Accommodation in Philippines?
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