Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. And with the Philippines being an archipelago, that surely holds true. With more than 7,000 islands, it is not that easy to travel around the country. Sometimes because of the lack of infrastructure. But therein lies the beauty of it too. A lot of beautiful spots have remained pristine for decades and untouched by commercialism. And a lot of people prefer it that way, I included. But with the growing influence of social media in our everyday lives, more and more secluded spots have surfaced. But before I show you this compilation of awesome Instagram photos, promise me first that you’ll travel responsibly. Okay? Okay. 🙂
Scroll down and resist the urge to pack your bags immediately.
Take Me to the Beach
Pristine waters, fine white sand, palm trees, and salty air. This is what one usually think of when dreaming of the beach. Our world-renowned beaches fit these descriptions but they can get too crowded for one’s liking. So if you’re looking for beaches where you can get peace and serenity, check out these secluded beach destinations:
1) Palad Sandbar and Maniwaya Island – Marinduque
Can you just imagine how this was created?? Unbelievable!! 😌☝🏼#ManiwayaIsland #PaladSandBar #Palad @rdpmbeachresort 🏊🏼🌊🏝 #ResidenciaDePaloMaria #PinasMuna #GandaniPinas #GandaniMarinduque #MahalkongPinas #PinasTravels #MyMajesticTravels #BeachPlease #beach #sunkissed #sunlove #sandlove #sealove #inlovewiththesea #WonderfulGod #WonderfulCreation
Location: Maniwaya Island, Sta. Cruz, Marinduque
The island province of Marinduque is famous for its Moriones Festival during the Holy Week. Unknown to many, the province also offers a lot of beaches, waterfalls, and caves for the nature enthusiasts. One of these is Palad sandbar which is accessible from Maniwaya Island during low tide. If you’re going to the island, better bring a lot of patience too. Don’t worry your patience will surely pay off.
2) Balabac group of islands – Palawan
A secret paradise at the southern tip of Palawan. Reaching this group of islands is no easy feat and definitely not for the faint-hearted. Composed of 32 islands, the municipality also boasts of rich biodiversity.
READ: Kalakwatsa’s Complete Guide to Balabac
3) Sibaltan – Palawan
Location: El Nido, Palawan
If you get tired of the crowds in El Nido, Sibaltan is worth going to. Located on the eastern coast of El Nido, this peaceful and remote community promotes eco-culture tourism. Disconnect from the world and experience the simple barrio life. Enjoy the sunrise overlooking the Sulu Sea.
READ: Coffeehan’s Tapik Beach Park Guesthouse
4) Port Barton – Palawan
The most beautiful detour I ever made in Palawan was the one I did in Port Barton. While most tourists settle around Puerto Princesa, El Nido & Coron, Port Barton lies quiet & pristine on Palawan's eastern coast. Often missed but gladly never short of spectacle. #portbarton #palawan #philippines #travel #traveltrilogy #escape #beach #sea #ocean #seascape #sunnyday #FUODH_20160312 #fotografiaunited #weekend #fun #happy #sun #itsmorefuninthephilippines
Location: San Vicente, Palawan
El Nido and Coron easily dominate the tourist scene in Palawan but one not-so-secret destination is the still unspoiled Port Barton. It owes its tranquility to its remote location. Do not attempt to go here if you’re only seeking luxury accommodations and services.
READ: Travel Trilogy’s Travel Guide to Port Barton
5) Cresta de Gallo, Sibuyan Island – Romblon
Location: Sibuyan, Romblon
Aside from its powdery white sand, the kidney shaped islet is also home to a variety of marine life. This uninhabited island is not easy to get to but it’ll be all worth it.
6) Seco Island – Antique
Location: Tibiao, Antique
Named after a body part, this uninhabited island is a marine protected area. The island also attracts kite-surfing enthusiasts aside from intrepid travelers. It is usually a day trip destination for those visiting Tibiao.
READ: Out of Town Blog’s Seco Island in Tibiao, Antique: A Paradise Worth Protecting
7) Matukad Island – Camarines Sur
Caramoan peninsula has been the location for filming of French, Israeli, Norwegian and other countries' versions of #SURVIVOR. Approach it by boat, and you may feel as if you're arriving at the Jurassic Park island, with its jagged cliffs, teal sea and pristine strips of sand (minus the dinosaurs and with the addition of bronzed fishermen paddling their bangkas amid the choppy waves). 🌊🏊🏄🎣 @wheninthephilippines #grammerPH
Location: Caramoan, Camarines Sur
Caramoan rose to fame because it was used as a location for Survivor. But Matukad became popular because of its fine white sand resembling Boracay. With its prominent limestone cliffs, Matukad Island is also reminiscent of El Nido, Palawan. The island also has a hidden lake covered by the rock formations.
Let’s Go Chase Waterfalls
Not a fan of the beach? Then chase waterfalls instead. Clear, cool waters surrounded by nature. What more could you ask for?
8) Nalalata Falls – Camarines Sur
Location: Bula, Camarines Sur
A 15-minute easy hike will take you to the waterfalls’ basin. The turquoise water from the approximately 60 ft waterfalls definitely looks inviting for swimming. There is also a cave at the side of Nalalata Falls waiting to be explored. For the adventure seekers, there is also an option to rappel down the waterfalls via a tour operator.
READ: Traveling Up’s Rappelling down a waterfall in CamSur
9) Niludhan Falls – Negros Oriental
Someday someone is going to look at you with a light on their eyes you've never seen. They will look at you like you're everything they have been looking for their entire lives. #the_ph #phfirst #itsmorefuninthephilippines #iheartpinas #shareph #phil_spots #travelph #visitphilippines2015 #tuklas_pilipinas #seepilipinas #tuklas_pinaskalikasan #driftwoodjourneys #nikon_photography_ #nikon #nikonph #nikontop #nikonofficials #d3100 #landscape #shutterspeed #chasingwaterfalls #theisland_philippines #niludhanfalls #ig_pilipinas #bestshots_ph #comeseeph #biyaheroes
Location: Bayawan, Negros Oriental
This beautiful plunging waterfall is easily accessible from the bus drop-off point. During the wet season, the 3 separate streams form into a majestic curtain of water. It is more advisable to visit the waterfalls in the morning if you’re using public transportation.
READ: Thousand Wonder’s travel guide to Niludhan Falls
10) Maapon/Hangga Falls – Quezon
The timing may not be right. The circumstances may not be right. The two of you may not even be right together. But we are allowed to feel love for anybody. That is the beauty of free will and our connectedness with each other. We can love whoever we want. We can receive another person’s love without needing to give it in equal amounts back. #rowiewanderlist #MaaponFalls
Location: Sampaloc, Quezon
The water comes from the Maapon River in Lucban and flows down a pile of giant rocks in these waterfalls. The trek is around an hour from the jump-off point in Barangay Piis where you will also secure your guide.
READ: Couple Meets World’s travel guide to Hangga/Maapon Falls
11) Aliwagwag Falls – Davao Oriental
Location: Cateel, Davao Oriental
This unique, cascading waterfall is regarded as one of the most beautiful waterfalls as well as the highest waterfall in the country. The different tiers vary in height and each rock formation is also distinct from each other. The grandeur of this waterfalls will surely leave you amazed. The construction of roads has certainly made this accessible. Other activities available are zip line and monkey bridge.
READ: The Lost Kids’ travel guide to Aliwagwag Falls
12) Kampael Falls – Cebu
Location: Ginatilan, Cebu
Kawasan may be getting a big share of the limelight these days but there are other waterfalls in Cebu that you can visit. Kampael is one of the three falls you can see in Ginatilan. You will reach Inambakan first and Bugnawan last. You will be amazed at the turquoise waters of the catch basin. Aguinid Falls in nearby Samboan is also another falls you need to see.
READ: Mike Laagan’s Chasing Waterfalls in Ginatilan
It’s the Climb
Lately, some of our mountains have gotten a lot of exposure that leads to an abrupt increase in visitors. This has resulted in a negative effect on the environment. So if you are looking for other mountains to climb where you can experience the sea of clouds and a breathtaking view, check out these choices:
13) Mt. Binacayan – Rizal
Location: Wawa Rodriguez, Rizal
Just an hour from the metro, you will find the Montalban Gorge which is now gaining popularity from adventure seekers. Two of the peaks are getting famous for the sea of clouds that you can experience at the rocky summit. For the more adventurous, you can hike the three peaks (Binacayan, Pamitinan, and Hapunang Banoi) in one day. Mt. Binacayan and Mt. Pamitinan can both be done as half-day hikes.
READ: Pinoy Mountaineer’s guide to Mt. Binacayan and Mt. Pamitinan
14) Mt. Ugo – Nueva Vizcaya
Life is beautiful if you know where to look. #lostinph #choosephilippines #wanderlust #travelgram #travelphotography #iphonephotography #landscape #instadaily #like4like #followme #follow4follow #hiking #philippinemountaineering #photooftheday #adventure #naturephotography #mobilephotography #pinaymountaineer #geotravellers #vsco #vscoph #vscocam
Location: Nueva Vizcaya and Benguet
With an elevation of 2,150 masl, Mt. Ugo is considered to be one of the highest mountains in the Cordillera region. One can traverse from Nueva Vizcaya to Benguet, where the trail is filled with pine trees. Mt. Pulag can also be seen at Mt. Ugo’s summit.
15) Mt. Ulap – Benguet
Mt. Ulap, Itogon, Benguet, PH January 9, 2016 #itsmorefuninthephilippines #choosephilippines #lonelyplanet #adventureinyou #tbie #warrenjc #pinasmuna #phil_spots #officialtravelpage #natgeotravelstories #worlderlust #biyahenidrew #wheninmanila #plusplanet #travelph #funtravelpics #travellushes #travelingishappiness #traveldudes #triplookers #wishiwasthere #lifestylevibe #canoncaptures #timeoutsociety #tripnsense #archipelagolife #viewloves #yourtravellist #MalayaIOG #natgeotravel
Location: Itogon, Benguet
The newly-opened eco trail (October 2015) has been getting a lot of social media attention mainly because of Gungal Rock. It is an easy day hike and a worthy side trip from Baguio. Standing at 1,846 masl, it can give you an amazing view of the Cordillera mountain range.
READ: Pinoy Mountaineer’s guide to Mt. Ulap
16) Mt. Tagapo, Talim Island – Rizal
Taken back in 2013. Woke up 5 am in the morning hoping for a wonderful sunrise from the summit of Mt.Tagapo. But these thick clouds shrouded the eastern sky, patiently waited and it was only until 6:30 am when the sun peeked through the clouds, shining its warm bright light on us. There was also this strong breeze so I intentionally set the shutter speed slow enough to let the grass blur out giving a sense of dynamism. #nature #naturelovers #natureaddict #hike #mountains #sunrise #sunrise_sunsets_aroundworld #visitthephilippinesagain2016 #igpinas #ig_pilipinas #mountaineering
Location: Talim Island, Laguna de Bay
To get to Mt. Tagapo, you will have to first ride a boat from Rizal to Talim Island. It is an easy hike to the summit (438 masl) where you can get a picturesque view of the whole Laguna de Bay and surrounding towns. There may be no sea of clouds but the 360-degree view at the top will definitely make up for it.
READ: Lakbay Kanin’s Mt. Tagapo travel guide
17) Mt. Batolusong – Rizal
Location: Bgy. San Andres, Tanay, Rizal
Part of the southern end of the Sierra Madre mountain range, Mt. Batolusong can give you views of Rizal, Laguna, and Quezon. A guide is required and you can register at the barangay hall of San Andres. You can also go to Kay-ibon falls as a side trip.
READ: Justin Vawter’s travel guide to Mt. Batolusong and Kay-Ibon Falls
Crystal Clear Waters and Mother Nature
18) Magpupungko Rock Pools – Siargao
Location: Pilar, Siargao
Siargao may be popular for surfing but the island also boasts of Magpupungko Tidal Pool. Found on Magpupungko beach, this natural wonder only appears during low tide.
READ: Adrenaline Romance’s travel guide to Magpupungko Tidal Pool
19) Palaui Island – Cagayan
Feels like Batanes all over again. #TheBellainCagayan ➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖ #archipelagolife #wanderlust #travelgram #traveltheworld #traveldiaries #fotografiaunited #globetrotter #globetravel #instapassport #WTNadventurers #travelbookph #yahootravelexplorer #nature #woogoph #theglobewanderer #travelingourplanet #bbctravel #natgeotravelpic #passionpassport #livetravelchannel #grammasters3 #buzzfeedtravel #worldtravelguide #traveltheworld #wonderfuldestination #travelphotography #chasingwanderlust #discovermnl #discoverglobe #seetheplanet
Location: Palaui Island, Cagayan Valley
They say this is the next best thing to Batanes. And from the pictures, they may well be right. In fact, this protected area is literally near to Batanes. It was also used twice as a shooting location for Survivor.
20) Infinity Farm – Oriental Mindoro
Location: Baco, Oriental Mindoro
Its name could be misleading. But as one steps inside and sees the crystal blue waters coming down from the mountain, you will surely be amazed. If you’re already tired of Puerto Galera, then definitely check this out.
READ: Jon to the World’s Infinity Farm travel guide
21) Paguriran Island – Sorsogon
Location: Bacon, Sorsogon
This is not your ordinary island in the middle of the sea. Paguriran island is a group of rock formations sheltering a lagoon filled with sea water. Best to use the right footwear though to prevent injury.
READ: Karla Around The World’s travel guide to Paguriran Island and Lagoon
22) Biri Island Rock Formations – Samar
Location: Biri, Northern Samar
Declared as a protected area by the DENR, the rock formations in Biri Island are millions of years old. The landscape is shaped by nature and truly amazing to behold. This has also been the site of a few local movies. Divers can volunteer through the Biri Initiative, that aims to protect marine life in the island.
READ: TravelBook.ph’s 30 Things You Didn’t know about Biri Rock Formations
So go on, explore and unleash your inner wanderlust. With now 7500 islands, the Philippines truly has much to offer. You need not go far to look for paradise and experience the beauty of nature. But above all, let us all be responsible travelers. Practice the Leave No Trace principle. Respect nature as well as the wildlife you can see and find in the area. It may be common sense, but a lot of our famous tourist spots have now succumbed to the consequences of irresponsible tourism practices. It is not just the LGU and the local community’s responsibility to take care of these destinations. Discipline also starts with us. And hopefully, tourism will bring about a positive change in the community.
What places would you add on the list?