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Ultimate Philippines Bucket List – 70+ Things To Do In The Philippines

Visiting the Philippines soon and don’t want to miss out on anything?

Don’t worry, I’ve put together this ultimate Philippines bucket list which covers over 70 awesome things to do.

You can spend your time in the Philippines exploring rather than researching what to do next. 

How many can you tick off?

Philippines Bucket List – 70 Things To Do In The Philippines:

  1. Relax on the white sandy beaches of Boracay Island
Boracay Island
  1. Take a boat ride through the magnificent caves at the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. This river, which flows directly through the caves, has been declared as one of the seven wonders of nature!
  1. Discover the beauty of the Banaue Rice Terraces. These terraces are often considered as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’ as they were carved into the Lfugao mountains over 2,000 years ago with few tools. 
Banaue Rice Terraces
  1. Go snorkelling at one of the shipwrecks in Coron Bay. There has been growth of natural reefs on the shipwrecks making it a great place for diving or snorkelling! The Skeleton Reef is an excellent choice. Why not book onto a tour like this one.
  1. Marvel at the active Mayon Volcano, also known as Mount Mayon, located on the island of Luzon. It’s known to have a perfect symmetrical cone shape!
Mayon Volcano
  1. Hop between beaches in Boracay. You can even spend time snorkelling and discover the colorful marine life. Why not join an island hopping tour like this one.
  1. Visit Fort Santiago in Manila. This citadel was a defence fortress built by the Spanish in 1593 and it contains a lot of history. 
Fort Santiago
  1. Climb the tallest mountain in the Philippines. Mount Apo has an elevation of 2,954 meters above sea level. 
  1. Be fascinated by the unusual Chocolate Hills in the Bohol Province. There are at least 1,260 hills spread over an area of 50 sq km. These fascinating hills are covered in green grass that turns brown during the dry season, resembling chocolate.
Chocolate Hills
  1. Relax in paradise on Malapascua Island. Why not rent a small beach bungalow or try out some water sports? 
  1. Take a trip to Volcano Island. The main active volcano, Taal Volcano, has erupted at least 33 times causing loss of life in the past. The best way to see this volcano is on a tour like this one.
Taal Volcano
  1. Dive with thresher sharks on Malapascua Island. This is the only place in the world where thresher sharks can be seen everyday! Click here to book a diving tour. You’ll also see lots of other creatures including frogfish, rays and whitetip reef sharks.
  1. Go diving at Tubbataha Reef. This is one of the world’s best diving spots because of its coral walls where the coral reef suddenly ends, giving way to great depths. You’ll find manta rays, lionfish, sea turtles, clownfish and even sharks here. 
Tubbataha Reef
  1. Delve into history on the island of Corregidor. This island played a hugely important role in World War II and the island was heavily bombarded. The ruins serve as a memorial to all the soldiers who lost their lives during the war. 
  1. Visit Coron Bay on Coron Island. The blue water is only disturbed by the tall limestone cliffs that are dotted throughout the lake. 
Coron Bay
  1. Visit the Cebu Taoist Temple which was built by the Chinese community of Cebu. 
  1. Relax in Rizal Park. This huge park in Manila is filled with serene ponds, gardens and an impressive monument dedicated to Jose Rizal. The best time to visit is Sunday evening as they usually have an open air concert!
  1. Take in the spectacular view at Mines View Park in Baguio. You’ll get a breathtaking view of the gold and copper mines below and the surrounding mountains.  
View from Mines View Park
  1. Trek up the side of an active volcano, Mount Pinatubo. This volcano actually caused the second-largest eruption of the 20th century in 1991 and its effects were seen all over the world.
  1. Go canoeing and see the famous Pagsanjan Falls, a three tiered waterfall. You can also swim in a hidden cave! Click here to view a tour and take on this epic adventure.
  1. Go island hopping at the Hundred Islands National Park. With 124 islands to explore, there’s plenty to do here. The range of activities is endless – kayaking, diving, zip lines, jet skiing, exploring caves, climbing hills and so much more.
Hundred Islands National Park
  1. Go snorkelling at Honda Bay as the waters are often filled with starfish. 
  1. Explore the wonderfully preserved 16th century town of Vigan. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you wander the streets and admire their Spanish and Asian architecture. 
  1. Explore Makati, a metropolitan city in the Manila region that is the financial hub of the Philippines. It’s known for towering skyscrapers and shopping malls. 
Makati
  1. Delve into culture by visiting the Ayala Museum in Manila where you’ll find indigenous art and fascinating artefacts. 
  1. Ride in a hot air balloon at the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta at Clark, Pampanga.
  1. See a tarsier at the Philippine Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary. This sanctuary is situated in a large forest and is dedicated to the protection of tarsiers which are small primates with big, round eyes. 
Tarsier
  1. Go surfing on Siargao Island. This surfer’s paradise has countless beaches with big waves perfect for surfing. 
  1. Visit San Agustin Church while in Manila, the oldest and longest standing church in the country.
  1. Relax at the scenic Sugba Lagoon in Del Carmen. This turquoise lagoon, surrounded by a mangrove forest is a great place to try out stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking or snorkelling. 
Sugba Lagoon
  1. Visit the most northern part of the Philippines, the Batanes Islands. These islands are very scenic, enjoy the views of mountains, the ocean and rolling hills. 
  1. See the hidden Tappiya Falls, this beautiful waterfall is hidden amongst the rice paddies of Batad. 
  1. Relax on a white sandy beach in El Nido.
  1. Swim or take a bamboo raft across the crystal clear waters of Coron Bay.
  1. Treat your taste buds and make sure you try Vigan empanadas. These small crispy pies are filled with various savoury fillings.
  1. Walk along a sandbar! One of the best is Isola di Francesco as it has white sands and crystal clear waters.
Sandbar
  1. Climb Mount Tapyas, a 700ft mountain on Coron Island. It’s worth it as you’ll get panoramic views of Coron, the ocean and the neighbouring islands too! It’s magical. 
  1. Go swimming in Barracuda Lake in Coron. With its crystal clear waters you should be able to see the bottom of the lake!
  1. Try some local food! One of the Philippines’ most famous dishes is adobo. It is made by stewing meat in soy sauce and vinegar and adding pepper and bay leaves. You can even take a Filipino cooking class with a local. Click here to book a class.
Adobo
  1. Set foot on Cresta De Gallo Island. This tranquil and secluded island offers a strip of pristine beachfront. You won’t believe it until you see it.
  1. Climb Mount Pico De Loro. The Spanish used to call this mountain the “Parrot’s Beak” since that’s what it looks like from a distance. 
  1. Head over to Sirao Flower Garden in Cebu for those perfect Instagram shots.
Sirao Flower Garden
  1. Attend a local fiesta! These are local festivals where you can expect parades, bright costumes and huge street parties. One of the best is the Sinulog Festival in Cebu. 
  1. Spend a day at the Manila Ocean Park. This marine theme park is a top attraction. One of the best parts is the aquarium tunnel! 
  1. Relax on Nacpan Beach in Palawan. This picture perfect beach is the definition of island paradise.
Nacpan Beach
  1. Explore history underwater and go wreck diving in Malapascua. From a Japanese landing craft to a ferry, there’s a lot to explore here. 
  1. If you dare, try balut. This is a boiled duck embryo that is a popular street food snack in the Philippines.
  1. Dive with dugongs in Palawan at the Dugong Dive Center. You can get up close and personal with these interesting marine animals.
Dugong
  1. Climb the highest peak on Luzon island, Mount Pulag. It stands at 2,928 metres above sea level.
  1. Try some lambanog! This is a traditional coconut wine. 
  1. Visit Inambakan Falls in Cebu. This beautiful 100-ft waterfall plunges into a turquoise pool of water below and is surrounded by lush jungle.
Inambakan Falls
  1. Do some birdwatching at the Olango Wildlife Sanctuary. This sanctuary has 48 different species and is actually home to the largest concentration of migratory birds in the Philippines.
  1. Explore history and art at the National Museum of the Philippines in Manila.
  1. Find peace and quiet on the secluded Pass Island in Palawan. This beautiful laid-back island has palm trees and white sandy beaches. Relax on the beach, go swimming or head out in a boat. 
Pass Island
  1. Relax on the white sandy beaches of Siargao Island. You can also explore caves, lagoons and waterfalls here too. 
  1. Go swimming in Cabagnow Cave Pool on the island of Bohol. This natural pool hidden inside a cave is the perfect place for a swim, you can even cliff jump into the pool if you dare. 
  1. Chill out in Port Barton, Palawan. It has a super laid-back atmosphere and stunning beaches. You can even swim with turtles!
Port Barton
  1. See the incredible Kaparkan Falls in Abra. This terraced waterfall plunges over various layers, leaving you mesmerised. 
  1. Set foot on White Island. This uninhabited sandbar sits just off the coast of Camiguin, a small volcanic island.
White Island
  1. Watch the sun go down at Manila Baywalk. Lined with skyscrapers and palm trees, it’s the perfect spot for sunset.
  1. Explore Intramuros which is the oldest part of Manila. This historic area, built by the Spanish in the 16th century, is bound by city walls and moats. The best way to see it is on a guided tour like this one.
Intramuros Photo by Aela Mataverde on Unsplash
  1. Eat dinner at the base of a waterfall! Waterfalls Restaurant in San Pablo City sits at the foot of an artificial waterfall meaning you are just a few feet away whilst you dine.
  1. Swim in the Hinatuan Enchanted River. This deep spring river sits on the island of Mindanao. The river which glows bright blue has inspired various legends, one story says that fairies added sapphire and jade to the river to make its unique shade.
Hinatuan Enchanted River
  1. Dive into history by visiting Fort San Pedro in Cebu. This military defence structure was built by the Spanish. Over the years it has served as an army unit, a rebel stronghold, a prison camp and even a zoo.
  1. Visit the stunning Asik-Asik Falls in Alamada. This incredible waterfall runs down the side of a green-covered mountain. Interestingly, it was only discovered in 2010!
Asik-Asik Falls
  1. Hike the Binabaje Hills at sunrise. Overlooking a stunning mountain range in Alicia, Bohol, this is a view you’ll never forget. 
  1. Visit the Cagsawa Ruins. The remains of a stone church is all that remains of the town of Cagsawa following a violent volcanic eruption of the Mayon Volcano in 1814. 
Cagsawa Ruins
  1. See the Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City, Panay Island. This bright festival occurs every year in January when the streets come alive with celebrations. The festival marks the arrival of Christianity to the island.
  1. Take a trip to the peaceful mountain town of Sagada. It’s known for its hanging coffins on the sides of cliffs and caves. The people of Sagada follow a unique burying ritual which is 2,000 years old.
Hanging coffins in Sagada
  1. Visit the oldest Catholic church in the Philippines,  Basílica Minore del Santo Niño in Cebu. 
  1. Visit the Ginawahan Ridge for breathtaking panoramic views of endless greenery.

Thanks for reading this ultimate Philippines bucket list which lists 70 awesome things to do in the Philippines. It covers glorious white sandy beaches, volcanoes and even waterfalls!

How many can you tick off?

Happy Travels!