21 Most Beautiful Philippines Islands To Check (2023)

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The Philippine archipelago consists of more than 7,600 islands washed by the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean’s tropical seas. Of these, less than a third are inhabited, and geographers have yet to come up with names for about five thousand uninhabited pieces of land. Philippine islands as if created for recreation. Each year at local resorts attracts about six million tourists from around the world, but to find a secluded beach in the Philippines – no problem, because the total length of the coastline is 36,289 kilometers.

Philippine Islands

The archipelago is conventionally divided into three large island groups – Luzon (which includes the largest island of the Philippines with the same name), Visaya and Mindanao.

The Most Popular Philippines Islands

Boracay: a luxurious and popular resort

Every fourth tourist arriving in the Philippines, choosing which islands to vacation on, gives preference to the tiny island of Boracay, where the world-famous resort was created. There are luxurious hotels and affordable budget hotels, on the beaches you can do any kind of water sports. In the evenings, holidaymakers entertain themselves in nightclubs and restaurants. Guests are offered a varied excursion program, including boat trips to neighboring islands, and other attractions Boracay.

Boracay Island in the Philippines

Bohol: Chocolate Hills and Eco-Tourism

The vast island of Bohol, crowned with the laurels of a world-class resort, lies at the center of the Philippine archipelago. The mountainous Bohol is famous for its magnificent scenery, rich tropical flora and fauna, spectacular waterfalls falling over rocks in hidden gorges. It is rightly included in the list of the most beautiful islands of the Philippines.

On the coasts of the island nature has created an amazing coral sand – white, shiny, impeccably soft, as if specially sifted. They say it is even exported abroad as a luxury beach cover.

Bohol Island in the Philippines

Among the natural attractions of Bohol are the Mag-Aso waterfall and the amazing Bohol Chocolate Hills, ranging in height from 50 to 100 meters. These cones, reminiscent of man-made steppe mounds of Central Asia, are created by ancient deposits of coral, which on a whim of nature have taken such a perfect geometric shape. During the dry season, the grass on the hills dries out, turning a light brown color. A popular souvenir from this place is a box of chocolates, repeating the outlines of the famous hills.

Mag Aso Falls on Bohol Island, Philippines
Mag Aso Falls

The capital city of Bohol is Tagbilaran, located on the southwest coast. From here there is a road bridge across the narrow strait to the neighboring island of Pangalao.

Panglao: Diving and exploring the underwater world

The resort island of Pangalao is known for its luxurious hotels, gorgeous beaches and diving locations, which are considered the best in Southeast Asia. Going for marine adventures in the Philippines, divers are sure to include Pangalao in their list of islands to visit. Picturesque underwater landscapes of coral reefs attract divers from all over the world.

Diving in Panglao Island, Philippines

Cebu: ancient architecture and huge beaches

To the northwest of Pangalao lies the large resort island of Cebu. In 1521, the ships of Fernand Magellan, who discovered the archipelago for Europeans and created the first map of the Philippines with its many islands, reached its shores. Mariners struck by the beauty of the island called it La Reina del Sur, the Queen of the South. Old seaside fortresses, palaces, and grand Catholic cathedrals remind us of the presence of the colonizers. The island is home to luxury resorts, amusement parks, nature reserves.

The capital of the island is Cebu City, the oldest in the country. In its central part there are historical architectural sites and museums, in the suburbs are built resort hotels.

Resorts in Cebu Island, Philippines

Sumilon: a secluded resort

At the southern tip of Cebu, just off the coast, lies Sumilon Island, proclaimed in 1974 as the first biosphere reserve in the Philippines. Its area is only 24 hectares. Despite its diminutive size, Sumilon is one of the most popular islands in the Philippines. There are a couple of bungalow hotels where divers stay. The pristine beaches of wondrous beauty can be reached by boat, rented in Cebu.

A one-day tour will cost at least $125. On the island there is a lagoon with mangrove trees growing straight out of the sea, in the thicket hides several caves. Coastal coral reefs are home to octopuses and crabs, thousands of varieties of fish and shellfish. This is one of the most popular diving locations in the archipelago. Local travel agencies offer divers an extreme pastime – feeding the huge but good-natured whale sharks. The cost of the dive – from $ 75.

Sumilon Island, Philippines

As of October 2019, the Coast Guard has banned boating here after 5 p.m.

Negros: Volcanoes, Rocks, and Pure Water

West of Cebu is Negros Island, one of the largest islands in the Philippines. Here is the volcano Kanlon, which rises to 2,460 meters. The capital is the port city of Bacolod, known for its annual grand festivals. In 2019, it was voted the most comfortable city in the country, and tourists nicknamed the friendly and welcoming Bacolod City of Smiles.

Volcano on Negros Island, Philippines
The top of the Kanlon volcano

Sikichor: the most mystical island

Siquihor Island is located 19 kilometers south of Negros. Sikichor has long had a reputation as a mysterious, mystical place. Here and to this day live hereditary sorcerers and magicians, famous folk healers, who know how to prepare healing potions. The island has wonderful beaches and many natural attractions – caves, waterfalls, eco-park Bandila, butterfly reserve. The coral reefs surrounding the island are popular with divers.

Waterfall on Siquijor Island, Philippines

Crown: scuba diving, caves and lakes

The triangular island of Koron, like a compass needle, points exactly to the south. The island is famous for its stunning diving locations, ranking among the top ten most famous in the world. A dozen and a half Japanese warships sunk by U.S. aircraft in the battles of World War II lie off the coast at a depth accessible to divers. Among them was the 115-meter aircraft carrier Akitsushima, on which seaplanes were based. Divers recently discovered a huge karst cave here, which can only be accessed through an underwater passage. It was called the Cathedral. At noon, sunlight enters the bowels through a hole in the vault, filling the cave with a ghostly glow.

A local natural attraction is the picturesque lakes that lie among the green hills. Three of them are connected to the sea by underground tunnels. Kayangan Lake is recognized as the cleanest body of water in Asia.

Cayangan Lake on Coron Island, Philippines
Kayangan Lake

Palawan: El Nido Resort and Underground River

The elongated island of Palawan, which stretches 425 kilometers, serves as the border of the Philippine archipelago with the South China Sea. The island is mountainous, with peaks as high as 2,000 meters. The slopes are covered with jungle, on the shores there are mangrove forests, there are areas with sandy beaches. It’s a great place for outdoor activities.

The capital of the island is the city of Puerto Princesa. The national park of the same name is a World Heritage Site. Its main attraction is the underground Puerto Princesa River flowing in the caves. Exploration of the dungeons is still ongoing and brings new discoveries. In 2010, speleologists discovered a 300-meter-high cave and underground waterfalls here.

The region of El Nido, located 240 kilometers from the capital on the northeastern tip of Palawan, is the fourth in the list of “20 Most Beautiful Beaches in the World” according to the authoritative magazine Conde Nast Traveler, and international magazine National Geographic Traveler’s declared El Nido best beach resort in the Philippine Islands. There are more than a hundred beaches located on the coast and in the lagoons of the coastal islets.

El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
El Nido region

One Hundred Islands National Park in Pangasinan Province

Pangasinan is located in the west of Luzon and is worth visiting because of its picturesque islands, clean beaches, high waterfalls and green hills.

One of the main attractions of the place is the National Park of the Hundred Islands. This protected area was the first national park in the Philippines. Take a trip around the park and see some of the 124 islands around Pangasinan.

Guides advise you to start exploring the park from Martha and Ramos Islands, Hernandez Islands, Turtle Island and Marcos Island, where you can dive into a cave almost ten meters deep. Take food with you for a snack, as there are no snack bars or restaurants on these islands. Most importantly, take all the trash and leftovers with you.

While walking around the islands you can not only swim and sunbathe. Here you can observe marine life by snorkeling and diving, experience the thrill of cliff diving and rock climbing, as well as kayaking and try your hand at ziplining – rappelling down a steel rope from the top of a mountain – and parasailing. Of the more conventional types of recreation here are available banana boat rides and water skis.

Also in Pangasinan province you can go on a pilgrimage tour of ancient churches and visit local restaurants to enjoy the national food.

Siargao Island

Siargao is located on the northeastern tip of Mindanao. The island is considered the capital of Philippine surfing.

Many travel publications regularly list Siargao as one of the best paradise islands in the world. In this location you will find small picturesque islands, white sand beaches, natural lagoon pools and a magnificent mangrove reserve. But the world fame of Siargao won when local surfers discovered the barrel-shaped waves here – the best for skiing, according to the professionals.

They called this surf location Cloud 9. And since then, it has become a place where surfers can test their character, improve their skills, or battle with the sport’s true pros.

Surfing is not the only activity on Siargao. Be sure to take a tour of the nearby islands: Daku, Guyam, and Naked Island.

Bare Island gets its name from the fact that there are no structures or vegetation on it. It’s just a patch of fine white sand in the middle of the sea. You can come to this shoal for a good swim and sunbathing.

Daku is the largest of the three islands. Unlike Bare Island, there is infrastructure and huts that can be rented for the night. There’s a long white-sand beach with fine sand and sprawling palm trees, creating the perfect backdrop for your tropical Instagram photos.

Gaim is considerably less. But it is surrounded by a shoal, which will be good for children to swim.

Take a ride through Siargao itself as well. You can do this by renting any kind of transport. See the palm-fringed roads of Siargao, the rock pools of Magpupungco, Sugba Lagoon, Sohoton Bay, or take a dip in the Maasin River.

Malapasqua Island

It is one of the least common islands in the Philippines. There is no vibrant nightlife and huge hotel complexes. But there are diving locations that are ideal for beginners.

The main feature of diving on Malapascua is an encounter with a hammerhead shark. These sharks don’t attack people, but they still look scary. This adds a touch of extreme to diving.

The island itself is practically untouched tropical nature. There are really few places like this left on the planet.


On Moalboal Island is Badian Canyon, a winding canyon with waterfalls, rock formations, and water of incredible blue color. Take a guided day trip to Moalboal Island. Jumping off cliffs, kayaking in narrow crevasses, visiting waterfalls and swimming in the clearest lagoons.

At the end of the tour you will be taken to the most beautiful waterfall of the island, Kavanu. And from it you can dive!

Kambari Island

It’s an island for watching the most beautiful sunsets of your life. And there are several caves that can be explored even without special training.

Some caves have natural pools of water in which you can snorkel and swim. And also go snorkeling! The water here is so clear that the inhabitants of the depths can be seen even from the surface. These caves are home to lobsters, stingrays, and many species of fish.


This is the most important island of the Philippine archipelago, as it is the capital city of Manila. Few tourists stay in Manila because they don’t expect anything amazing from it. And for nothing! There are trails for exciting hikes just a short drive from downtown.

Take a minibus to Pico de Loro to climb Mt. Pale. Its height is 64 meters above sea level. There are several campsites at the summit where you can pitch a tent and meet other hikers.

It is also possible to reach Mount Batulao from Manila. Its height is 811 meters, and the mountain is only an hour’s drive from the capital. The Batulao climbing trail is ideal for beginners. Along the way you’ll encounter mesmerizing panoramic views, and at the top you can see a stunning sunset.

Guimaras Island

This island hides three paradisiacal beaches: Nagarao, Inampulugan, and Nahway. They are almost never reached by tourists. And this is surprising, because the island itself is quite lively. There are mango plantations, marine reserves, lighthouses, Catholic churches, caves, a sea turtle conservation center, restaurants, waterfalls and unspoiled locations.

Travelers do not get here, as the island is not yet practically on any tourist map. Hurry up to be one of the first to visit it!

The Province of Camaris Norte

Not far from this province there are some truly paradisiacal islands of unspoiled nature. The main beach of the province is Long Beach. It is a long spit of white sand with volcanic rocks at both ends. Have a picnic or go snorkeling here.

There are no big hotels here, but there are places for camping! For a small fee you can rent and put up a tent. Just imagine what it would be like to fall asleep under the stars and wake up to the sound of the ocean.

Bucas Grande

Swimming with jellyfish, exploring underground caves and tunnels, exciting boat rides on mountain rivers and fishing with the locals – all this awaits you on the island.

If swimming with jellyfish scared you, don’t worry! They don’t sting. But it is really interesting to watch them: there are jellyfish of all different sizes and colors.


This island is worth a trip for those who want to explore the Filipino culture. Hire a guide to go on a fascinating field trip with him. You will be guided through the incredibly beautiful mountains, will talk about the local plants and animals, will dedicate to the national customs and tell a couple of interesting legends.

A hiking trail leads to a small cave on the other side of the island, where you can swing on bamboo swings and buy snacks at the local store.

There is also a small nature reserve, where you can go snorkeling. After the hike, relax on the shallow beach, where tourists are picked up by boats.


Want to delve into the past of the Philippines? Go to Correchidor! What was once a battlefield between American, Japanese and Filipino forces during World War II is now part of history. There is also a very small fortress on the island, which was used to shelter wars. See relics of the war firsthand on a guided tour, visiting the light clock, barracks, and some small monuments.

You can also birdwatch and go boating on Correchidor.

Tavi Tavi

This island is closer to Malaysia than to the Philippines, so tourists almost never visit it.

Because of its location, this island is full of completely unique culture and traditions. The food is a mix of Malay and Filipino and the people speak with a unique accent.

On the island you can climb the mountain under Bongao, which, according to the locals, can heal, and also walk through the small beautiful mosques. You can also visit the village of Sama Dilaut, where the old houses on stilts, standing directly over the water, are still preserved. Well, and, of course, swim in the clearest water and sunbathing on snow-white beaches.


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