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22 Captivating Philippine Hideaways that will Steal Your Heart

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 of Philippine hideaways, 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 thinks 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 below. You can also check this post for a more comprehensive list of the best beaches in the Philippines.

1) Palad Sandbar and Maniwaya Island – Marinduque

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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: Mt Ulap Eco-Trail Reverse Hike

16) Mt. Tagapo, Talim Island – Rizal

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.

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

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:’s 30 Things You Didn’t know about Biri Rock Formations

On Philippine hideaways and responsible traveling

So go on, explore and unleash your inner wanderlust. With now 7500 islands, the Philippines truly has much to offer. You need not to 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.

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 to the list?


Darlene is currently on the road again and traveling full-time after being an expat/overseas Filipino worker in Qatar. She's rediscovering what it means to travel solo and in her 30s while working on her blogs.


  • I just entered a competition with Tourism Philippines to get on their travel agent trip later this year, fingers crossed because the photos look amazing!!

  • Ahhhhh! SO BEAUTIFUL! No matter where I am in the world, the Philippines will always be home. Posts like this make me proud. Even though I think I’m fairly well traveled around the country, I still think there are heaps of places I need to visit. Thanks for this!

  • Paolo Ruel

    indeed a great post, i ve been in some of this spot, but will look forward and to try to visit all this list of yours,

  • Thanks for including me here Dada. Grabe. We’ve been traveling our very own country but we are still in awe of the other places that we are still to explore.

    I am excited for all the adventures and travels that I am about to experience. It’s really more fun in the Philippines!

  • When I think of The Philippines, I think of beautiful beaches but not the hills and hiking you can do. Its really cool that it has that side too. I love to go trekking and would love to see the sunrise from Mt. Tagapo. Stunning photos, thanks for sharing these great places

    • Thanks Kate! Hope you can try climbing in PH too. The view is definitely worth it 🙂

  • The Philippines is definitely on the top of my bucket list, especially after seeing these brilliant photos! Now I just have to choose where to discover out of 22 hideaway!

    • There’s a lot more where that came from. Hehe. But seriously, hopefully you can visit the PH soon, Sally! Happy travels! 🙂

  • Alice Teacake

    Wow. These pictures are simply stunning. The Philippines really is paradise when it comes to its islands. I particularly love Palawan and visited there for a month myself 🙂 Matukad Island looks so lovely too.

    • Thanks Alice! Lucky you. I have yet to stay in Palawan for a month 🙂 Indeed there are still lots of islands to explore.

  • I could live on an Island all my life, especially if the waterfalls look like the Niludhan Falls! Its almost like falling mist, I have to get there!

  • Rachel Arandilla

    There’s so much to see in our 7,000+ islands! I’ve always been a beach person, and have never embarked a mountain before! I should soon!

  • I was recently in the Philippines 2 mos ago and I’ve never heard of some of the places you listed here. I really wish I did! Everything looks so dreamy!

  • sabine

    I’m starting to fall more and more in love with the Philippines. Great quote to start your blogpost with. It’s true, difficult roads usually lead to beautiful destinations. I see that in life too. But here it’s just amazing views. Which plug in did you use to insert these fabulous instagram posts? That looks really amazing with the lay out like that. Nice to help others getting some followers too.

    • Thanks Sabine! Hope you’ll get to visit Philippines too. 🙂 I just copied and paste the URL of the instagram post. 🙂 Hope that helps!

  • Kathrin

    I’ve just read another article about the Philippines and, then, yours came up next! I think someone wants to tell me something… Definitely have to go to the Philippines now. Hopefully soon!

    • Thanks Kathrin! And yes, I definitely encourage you to explore Philippines. You have so many islands to choose from 😉

  • For the Matukad Islands photo has some effect been used or is it this beautiful? Philippines surely needs to be explored and your blog seems a perfect travel guide for the same

    • If it is edited, I’m sure it’s only minimal. The other photos of Matukad Island and the other Caramoan Islands are really lovely. Thanks Charu! Hope you get to visit Philippines soon. 🙂

  • Corinne

    The Philippines are stunning. I think the beaches are beautiful, but all those fresh water waterfalls to swim in, that’s what calls to me. I have to plan a trip back. We did not have enough time to do the country justice the first time. Love these pics.

    • Wow, that’s nice to hear Corinne! Hopefully you can go back soon and explore more 🙂

  • Fantastic post, Dada! To be honest, I never heard about majority of the places in this list. I really have to work on traveling the Philippines soon!

    • Thanks Trisha! Yeah, it seems we have an endless supply of fantastic places to go to. It’s definitely more fun in PH as they say. 😉

  • Sonnie

    My goodness, I never thought we still have beautiful beaches other than Boracay! I would love to be at Palad, Balabac, Sibuyan, and the different falls. The difficulty of getting there is sure worth it. The photos you used were lively, as if we’re there too.

    • Thanks Sonnie! 🙂 Yeah, I’m sure it will all be worth it when you get to these destinations. 🙂 Happy travels!

  • Rosemary

    I’m so excited about this post because I’ll be going to the Philippines later this year. I’m bookmarking this for places to visit. I’m really intrigued by the natural beauty of Palawan. Can’t wait to see this beautiful archipelago.

    • That’s nice to hear Rosemary! Hope you get to visit Palawan. It’s a real paradise! 🙂

  • Voyager

    Wow! what an amazing list of absolutely beautiful places. What attracts me more is that most of the places look so fresh and untouched. Looks like paradises on earth. Would love to explore these places some day. Have not had the opportunity of visiting Philippines yet.

    • Thanks Voyager! 🙂 Yeah, some of these places are remote so their beauty is still untouched and hopefully they will retain that beauty in many more years to come. Happy travels! 🙂

  • wow…these are really breathtaking places … i never get the chance to travel so far but this made me so excited to explore other places and paradise that our country has to offer
    your photos even made it more wonderful!

    • Thank you! I hope you get to visit this part of the world soon. Happy travels! 🙂

  • Pete Zafra

    I lived in the Philippines for 13 years but I’ve never been to any of these places. lol I can’t believe it. Next time I visit the Philippines, I definitely need to make this happen. I’ve always wanted to visit Palawan especially. Everything here looks way too beautiful to pass on. I just love how the Philippines has an unlimited supply of hidden beauties. Thanks for sharing this. 🙂

    • Thanks Pete! Yeah, it seems that we have unlimited number of places that we Filipinos need to explore. Hope you get to visit soon 🙂

  • Wonderful! My heart is definitely stolen haha. #7 and #11 are my favorite ones. I can’t wait to visit Philippines!

    • Thanks Dunja! I would definitely like to see those two also 🙂 Hope you’ll get to visit soon! 🙂

  • We’d been to Balabac in Palawan recently, next time we’ll check out Sibaltan. 🙂 Who knew there are other points of attraction in Palawan aside from Coron and El Nido? There’s so much more to explore in the Philippines!

    • Wow, that’s nice Kat. I hope to also see Balabac and explore more of Palawan soon. Yeah, it’s definitely more fun in the Philippines! 🙂

  • Georgia

    I’ve never been to the Philippines and until I began ready a lot of posts from people who reside in that part of the world it was never on my radar holiday wise! I’m planning a big exotic holiday for my 30th birthday and I now know I have to spend a few weeks exploring this vestigial country!! All these photos are just pure wanderlust!

    • Thanks Georgia! That would be great if you choose to spend your 30th birthday in one of the islands of the Philippines. Happy travels always! 🙂


    BREATHTAKING! In fact, I so love this that I am also stumbling so I can have it on my bookmark there. Yeah, it’s truly amazing, isn’t it? And to think that this list does not include thousands of other getaways!

    • Thanks Robert! And yes, those are just some of the numerous other places that we need to explore in our country. 🙂

  • Marge Gavan

    This is a pretty neat list and I am happy that I’ve been to two of them, Matukad and Sibaltan.

    Sibaltan is so beautiful I want to tell the whole world about it, but at the same time, I want it to be a secret, does it make sense? Hahaha…

    • Lucky you! And yes, I get what you mean. That’s why we bloggers need to also be responsible in sharing these new places to everyone. 🙂

  • What a gorgeous collection of photos! I’ve also found it to be true that the harder the journey, the more amazing the destination… and the sense of accomplishment when you arrive makes the beauty seem well deserved! I’m ready to make my way to that waterfall in Bula, Camarines Sur… incredible!

    • That is true Andrea! As they say, nothing worth having comes easy 😉 Thanks!

  • All your photos are amazing and very Instagram worthy. It is really more fun in the Philippines. There are a lot of beautiful places and attractions xx

  • I agree with all of these ha ha ha! The Philippines was one of our favourite countries in SE Asia and Palawan – what a dream. Our favourite was Flower Island near Taytay – in the heart of a pearl farm as well. Paradise!

    • That’s nice to hear Stefan! I haven’t been to Flower Island yet but will be definitely checking that out too. Thanks! 🙂

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