Holiday vacay? 8 destinations in the Philippines to consider (Bookmark this!)

Watatrip Holiday destinations in PH 01

Regardless if it’s the holidays, summer break, or you just have some vacation leaves to spend, traveling is always a good idea. 

In the Philippines, you won’t run out of options. From pristine beaches adorned with powdery sands and turquoise waters perfect for leisurely escapes to emerald rice terraces nestled against lush mountains, our country seems to have it all. 

The archipelago’s diverse ecosystems, from coral reefs teeming with marine life to dense rainforests echoing with exotic birdcalls, underscore the unparalleled natural splendor of this Southeast Asian gem.

With the many places that the Philippines has to offer, it can be quite confusing and a tad bit overwhelming, especially if you’re a first-timer. So, we’ve jotted down some of the most captivating destinations in the country that are perfect for your much-awaited getaway!

📍 VIGAN

Vigan, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Ilocos Sur, Philippines, is a living example of Spanish colonial charm. Cobbled streets snake past intact Spanish-style dwellings, sending tourists to another time. The architecture and cuisine reflect the blend of Filipino and European influences. Don’t miss the historic Calle Crisologo, where horse-drawn carriages provide a nostalgic touch. Vigan is Asia’s sole surviving Spanish colonial town, making it a fascinating time capsule.

When’s the best time to explore Vigan? Well, head over there between November and March. While there, don’t forget to say hello to the friendly critters at Baluarte Zoo and get your dose of local history with museum tours.

Where to stay in: My Vigan Home Hotel (Plaridel St, corner Bonifacio, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur)

📍 TAGAYTAY

Tagaytay, a gorgeous highland getaway located south of Manila, provides a panoramic break from the city’s hustle and bustle. The city, perched on the rim of Taal Volcano, offers pleasant breezes and unparalleled views of the world’s smallest active volcano amid Taal Lake. Enjoy wonderful local cuisine while taking in the scenery. Tagaytay’s temperate atmosphere is due to its height, making it ideal for tranquil retreats and gorgeous moments overlooking the famed crater lake.

The ideal season to visit is during the ‘ber’ months, when the breeze is cooler than usual. While you’re there, catch some cultural shows, schedule a picnic with a view, or visit the Sky Ranch amusement park.

Where to stay in: Taal Vista (0 Emilio Aguinaldo Hwy, Kaybagal South, Tagaytay, 4120 Cavite)

📍 DON SALVADOR BENEDICTO

Spend a serene holiday in Don Salvador Benedicto, nestled in the lush mountains of Negros Occidental. Also called “The Little Baguio of Negros,” this idyllic haven boasts panoramic views of verdant landscapes and sprawling sugar plantations. It’s a mellow spot you can explore as part of a Bacolod tour. 

Take in the scenery, find calm in Rapha Valley, and see the panoramic mountain views from Jomax Peak. Although there are no dazzling lights, the foliage and misty moods add to the Christmas charm.

Where to stay in:  Kwartitos (H623+WGH, Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental)

📍 OSLOB

Oslob, located on Cebu’s sun-kissed coastline, is a seaside paradise known for its fascinating aquatic encounters. Waterfalls, stunning nature, and swimming with whale sharks are on the menu. Plus, there’s some heart-pounding stuff to do like scuba diving and paragliding, if you’re up for it.

Beyond aquatic wonders, Oslob boasts historic charm with the centuries-old Cuartel and the captivating Tumalog Falls. Don’t forget to say hi to the old-timers – the buildings from the 1690s and the Church from 1848. 

Fun fact: According to legend, the town’s name was derived from the word “toslob” when the first group of Spaniards arrived and inquired about its name. The locals thought they asked what they were doing, thus, they replied “toslob,” as they dipped bananas into a basin of salt. 

Where to stay in: Stay N Save B&B (F99J+7M7, Natalio Bacalso Avenue Barangay Tan-awan Oslob, 6025)

📍 FUENTE OSMEÑA CIRCLE

Fuente Osmeña Circle is a bustling urban oasis and famous landmark in the heart of Cebu City. This circular park, surrounded by busy streets, provides a tranquil getaway with its dancing fountains and rich flora. The bronze sculpture of late President Sergio Osmea in the center adds a sense of history. 

Fun fact: Every Sinulog Festival, Cebu’s grand yearly cultural celebration, begins with a solemn fluvial procession beginning at Fuente Osmeña Circle, underlining its cultural significance. Best time to visit, aside from the Sinulog celebration, is during New Years due to the dazzling fireworks display in the area.  

Where to stay in: Hostel 7 Cebu (101 Ramon, Eduardo Aboitiz St, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu)

📍 MANILA

Manila, the Philippines’ dynamic metropolis, presents a tapestry of experiences that blend historic grandeur with modern vitality. Explore the walled city of Intramuros, watch the sunset across Manila Bay, and sample a variety of culinary pleasures. 

Rizal Park and San Agustin Church are examples of the city’s rich cultural legacy. If you’re in for some shopping spree, visit SM Mall of Asia or Greenbelt. (For food guides, read some of our previous blogs for tips on where to dine in Metro Manila.)

Fun fact: Manila was previously known as the “Pearl of the Orient,” a reference to its former glory as a bustling commerce center during the Spanish colonial era. Dive into the varied allure of Manila, where history and modernity meet.

Where to stay in: City Garden Suites Hotel Manila (1158 A. Mabini St, Ermita, Manila, 1004 Metro Manila)

📍 CEBU CITY

Known as the “Queen City of the South,” Cebu is another favorite destination for leisure travel. This is the home to the country’s oldest street, Colon Street, which dates back to 1565.

In Cebu, you’ll find attractions like Basilica del Santo Nino, Magellan’s Cross, and Bantayan Island, among others. For adventure junkies, there’s hiking at Osmena Peak, swimming at Kawasan Falls, and chilling at Spa Esc.

Where to stay in: Costabella Resort (Mactan Island, Buyong Rd, Maribago, Lapu-Lapu City, 6015 Cebu)

📍 CORON Island

The perfect place to be from October until the summer months is Coron Island. This enchanting paradise of crystal-clear waters and dramatic limestone cliffs is a must visit for both local and international travelers. 

There’s so much to explore here. From Fort King George to Kayangan Lake and Twin Lagoon, you’d surely fall in love with this place. This is also a favorite of many divers because of the surreal beauty of the underwater world where you can see vibrant coral gardens and even WWII shipwrecks. Also, did you know that Barracuda Lake, a surreal spot on the island, has distinct layers of warm and cold water, creating a unique diving experience? 

But if you’re not into diving, no worries, just soak in the stunning landscapes, limestone cliffs, and emerald lagoons. It’s your dream beach vacation, whatever your style is. 

Where to stay in: Sunlight Hotel Coron (National Road, Barangay, Coron, 5316 Palawan)

Go pack your bags, plan your visit, and get ready to make wonderful memories!

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