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The Philippines: Here are the islands you must experience

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Here are 9 islands that are definitely worth a visit.
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The Philippines: Here are the islands you must experience is written by Christian Brauner.

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Hop around the 7.000 islands of the Philippines

Did you know that there are more than 7.000 islands in the Philippines?

The Philippines is much more than the well-known islands of Luzon, Boracay and Palawan - with the famous destination El Nido - and the Philippines' second largest island, Mindanao.

The Southeast Asian island kingdom is a paradise for you who love tropical islands. There is a sea of ​​unique islands with few visitors and a sea of ​​well-known islands that hide fantastic attractions.

Here at the editorial office, we have selected nine of the Philippines' many islands that you should visit.

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Bantayan Island

Chalk-white sandy beaches and crystal clear water - doesn't that sound great? This is how Bantayan Island is best described. The small island, located west of the northern tip of Cebu, is known for its many bounty beaches. One in particular stands out: Paradise Beach.

Most of the year, the beach is deserted and free of tourists; there are no resorts or bars here. The island is an obvious destination for couples and for honeymooners or for you who want to be “Palle alone in the world”.

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Sumilon Island

“The Enchanting Island of Sumilon”; this is how many travelers describe the island.

The name Sumilon actually means 'refuge', and the small coral island is also an unusually beautiful refuge where you can walk in tropical forests and relax on wide, postcard-worthy beaches.

However, the biggest attraction on the island is diving and snorkeling. Off the island there are unique diving areas with beautiful coral reefs and a vibrant colorful underwater life, where whale sharks also swim a short distance. Yes, it's almost enchanting.

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Cagbalete Island

Cagbalete is a small island east of the Philippines' largest island, Luzon. The northern island of Luzon is where the capital of the Philippines, Manila, is located. It is possible to sail to Cagbalete from the small coastal town of Mauban on the east coast in less than an hour.

Although Cagbalete is not far from the big city Manila, there is at least as tropical atmosphere as on the other small islands.

The island has many unique plant and animal species, including a rare variety of bird species, so if you are a nature lover, Cagbalete is clearly a must see.

Calamian Islands The obvious islands of the divers in the Philippines

The archipelago is located between Palawan and Mindoro. Like many of the Philippine Islands, Calamian is known for its snorkeling and diving spots. But this archipelago is not just any dive site. It is actually among the best diving destinations in the world. 

World-famous shipwrecks from World War II lie just below the turquoise sea surface along with sumptuous coral reefs. And if you are lucky, you have the chance to meet both the rare dugongs - also known as manatees - and whale sharks.

The town of Coron is located on the island of Busuanga in the Calamian archipelago. Here you are met by beautiful nature and mangrove forests, where you can go kayaking, and a jungle that is perfect for a half-day hike. 

If you are into snorkeling and nice bathing water, do not deceive yourself for the blue lagoon. It is the biggest attraction in this archipelago and is located between high cliffs.

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Malapascua

Malapascua is a beautiful little paradise island; so small that you can walk around the whole island in a few hours. The island especially appeals to travelers who want to get away from the big tourist circus, and instead find a holiday with laid-back atmosphere much more rewarding.

If you are a little superstitious, the island can definitely do something for you. In a small town on the island you will find a beautiful little church, which hides the famous 'Desamparados shrine'. A small doll believed to have saved the islanders from both fires and tsunamis. Well done by the little wooden doll who can not burn himself, and who even according to the locals also grows in size.

A paradise island doesn't get more exciting - or wait... Malapascua is actually also in the top 5 best diving spots in the Philippines.

Malapascua – here I come!

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Bohol Island, Philippines

Bohol Island - chocolate mountains in the middle of the Philippine archipelago

The country's 10th largest island, Bohol, is centrally located in the archipelago and surrounded by the other Philippine islands. There are many hotels here and the island is often visited by tourists. However, it is without being completely overrun, especially if you choose a place other than Panglao Island, which is a small island with a bridge to Bohol.

The excursions to the center of Bohol are very popular. Especially the trips to the famous mountains 'Chocolate Hills' attract many people.

From Bohol you can also get on a variety of trips to the water. From the boats that sail along the island close to the rainforest, you can see both dolphins and whales.

What's not to like?

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Luzon

The largest island in the Philippines is Luzon. Northern Luzon speaks directly to the heart of surfers. Pagudpud is a bit of an overlooked gift for surfers, especially in the summer months, when conditions are perfect.

In addition to having a fantastic surfing destination up north, the island of Luzon also offers thousand-year-old man-made rice terraces - the world's unknown 8th wonder

So with unique experiences like 'the hanging coffins' in the city of Sagada and the active volcano Taal, which is actually a volcano in a lake in a volcano on an island, Luzon clearly has a lot to offer. 

At least there is something for every traveler on the island, and then it does not matter that the Philippine capital Manila is also located on the island of Luzon, so it is easy to get to and get around.

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Philippines's Most Famous Islands: Holiday Palawan

One cannot say the Philippines without mentioning Palawan, and especially the city of El Nido. But have you heard of Port Barton?

Port Barton is a smaller and more casual version of El Nido. The activities are pretty much the same, but there are far fewer visitors.

In addition, the price level is also lower in Port Barton. All of this makes the place perfect for budget travelers - especially backpackers who come for snorkeling and diving. And in general, Palawan and the nearest islands are absolutely amazing places to visit.

                                                                 

Did you know: Here are the top-7 best nature destinations in Asia according to Booking.com's millions of users!

7: Pai in northern Thailand
6: Kota Kinabalu on Borneo in Malaysia
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Boracay

Boracay has for several years been one of the most popular islands in the Philippines, and is at least as popular an island destination in the Philippines as Palawan is. An idyllic tropical island with crystal blue seas, long white sandy beaches and palm trees rising from the sand. 

The small island can do much of the same as the aforementioned islands, but unlike the islands that excel mostly in snorkeling and diving, Boracay also offers adrenaline-filled activities. Windsurfing and kiteboarding are certainly a hit, but have you considered skydiving or trying out a jet ski at high speed? Boracay is the place where you can experience yourself.

Although many of the Philippine islands may seem similar, they always hide something completely unique in each one. You are therefore always offered new experiences and excursions, regardless of whether you choose to sail towards them northern islands in the Philippines, or whether the southern islands appeal more to you.

Have a good trip to the beautiful islands of the Philippines!

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These 9 islands you must visit when you travel to the Philippines

  • Watchtower
  • Sumilon
  • Cagbalete
  • Panglao
  • Malapascua
  • Bohol
  • Luzon
  • Palawan
  • Boracay

Did you know: Here are the top 7 best nature destinations in Asia according to Booking.com's millions of users

7: Pai in northern Thailand
6: Kota Kinabalu on Borneo in Malaysia
Get numbers 1-5 immediately by signing up for the newsletter, and look in the welcome email:

The newsletter is sent out several times a month. See our data policy here.

 
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About the author

Christian Brauner

I love to travel and I travel as often as the opportunity presents itself. I got my passion for travel already as a child, where my parents took my sister and I out into the big world.

My travel experience ranges from the classic city breaks in Europe, over road trips in the US, to backpacking in Asia and Australia.

Experiencing new cultures, unique nature and different societies, where people live very differently from life in Denmark, is what drives my desire to travel.

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