Philippines: The Best Places to Go for Your First Time Visit

Are you a first time traveler to the Philippines? Have you ever wondered what is in store for you when you visit the country? Are you enthused to discover the best places that it can offer? Well, this article is perfect for you to read and learn about. For today, I will be sharing to you the top 4 best places that the Philippines can offer for your first time visit in this country. The Philippines is divided into three major geographical divisions which are: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. I am proudly presenting to you below, the top 4 best places to go to in the Philippines for the first-time tourists:

The Banaue Rice Terraces- Province of Ifugao

Are you the type of tourist that enjoys climbing and trekking upon mountains and highlands? Well then, this Philippine tourist spot is perfect for you- the Banaue Rice Terraces.  The Banaue Rice Terraces is one of the many scenic spots and places that the Philippines can offer to its first-time tourists. It is occasionally tagged with the honor, as one of the “Eight Wonders of the World”.  Upon arriving in the Philippines, the Banaue Rice Terraces is located in the Luzon area, specifically in the mountains of Banaue, Ifugao in the Philippines. The terraces were carved by the first ancestors and indigenous people, who lived and spent their lifetime in the place, a very long time ago in the past. An interesting fact to ponder is that the terraces were carved solely by their own hands, which makes it more worth-reminiscing and knowing by anyone who visits the place. The means of transportation in going to Banaue Rice Terraces can be in two ways: First, you can travel by plane by making Manila, which is the capital of the Philippines, as your arrival destination from your country of origin. Second, upon arriving Manila, you will be taking a bus ride from Manila to Banaue, which approximately takes up to 9 hours as travel time, yet there may be little delays due to unavoided traffic. Upon reaching the tourist spot, tourists will be amazed of the beauty of the terraces, both in sight and with the camera’s lens, for the terraces itself, will feature the hard work of the Filipino. Aside from Sightseeing, another activity that can be done in Banaue Rice Terraces is a visit to what the native Ifugaos call as the “Mumbaki” or the Traditional Witch Doctor. The Mumbaki performs spiritual healing rituals to its visitors if they are interested, or if they believe in it.

The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park-Province of Palawan

Do you enjoy doing activities in an underground setting? Would you like to see the beauty of nature in the realms of the underground world? Then, this second tourist spot and place in the Philippines is perfect for you- the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. This scenic Philippine spot is located in the province of Palawan, specifically, in the region of Mimaropa, Luzon, Philippines. Tourists who have visited Palawan consider the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park as a “must-see” and a “must-visit” place to go to.  The place provides its tourists, an escapade wherein, they are able to appreciate nature, and at the same time, witness the unique formations that this Philippine tourist spot brings. To reach the place, tourists must ride a plane from Manila as its origin place, going to Puerto Princesa, Palawan as the place of destination and descent. Either a commercial flight or direct flight will do, to reach the place. Upon arriving at the airport of Palawan, tourists can take a ride through a van ride, wherein they will be taken to Sabang, one of the sitios and small villages in Palawan. The place serves as the entry point to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. Upon arriving at the main dock of the tourist place, tourists will be made to ride a boat wherein they will be taken to the underground river of the National Park. What tourists can expect in this tourist spot, are the rock formations that will welcome them in the opening of the underground cave and inside the underground cave itself. Another sight to behold in the Philippine tourist spot, are the bats that hang inside the cave, and the aesthetic and inner scenery that the place brings, which are evident in the formations inside the cave.  Encapsulated with the Flora and Fauna of the National Park, nature lovers and tourists alike, will surely have a handful of photos to take, and memories to cherish forever. Truly, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park in the Province of Palawan is a Philippine place and tourist spot, worth visiting for when in the Philippines, for the first-time tourists.

The Chocolate Hills- Province of Bohol

After visiting two majestic Philippine places and scenic tourist spots in Luzon, Philippines, allow me to bring you to the second geographical division of the Philippines-the Visayas. One of the best places to travel for first-time tourists in Visayas, in the Philippines, is the Chocolate Hills. The Chocolate Hills is located in the province of Bohol, and is beautifully scattered in the towns of Carmen, Batuan and Sagbayan, respectively. A fun and interesting fact to know about this tourist spot in the Philippines is that, it is called Chocolate Hills since its color can be compared to of a chocolate. Hence, the color of the mountains remains green throughout the rainy season, and beautifully changes into its brown color over the duration of the dry season. It is called chocolate, since the shape of the hills can be compared to with the “Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses.” In order to reach the Chocolate Hills, the first time tourists must book a flight from Manila, as the place of origin going to Cebu City, through the Mactan-Cebu International Airport found in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu. Upon reaching the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, tourists must book a boat ticket that will bring them to Bohol, which depends on their shipping line of choice. Once the tourists will arrive at the port of Tagbilaran, Bohol, they can comfortably and easily reach the town were the Chocolate Hills is located, by renting a van, which can directly bring them there and also, they can have an option of availing of a Day Tour which will allow them to visit, not only the Chocolate Hills of Bohol, but also, the other scenic spots, that the Province of Bohol can offer. What tourists can expect in the Chocolate Hills are not only the majestic view of the hills itself, but also, a captivating overview of the town of Carmen, Batuan and Sagbayan, wherein the Chocolate Hills, has spread beautifully and naturally. This is made possible for the provincial government of Bohol has continuously developed the tourist spot, as it prides to present to the tourists, the genuine hospitality of the Boholano.

Malapascua Island- Province of Cebu

Are you up for an Island Hopping adventure? Do you enjoy underwater activities? Do you long to see the pristine beauty of the Philippine waters? Do you consider yourself as a Sea Person or a Beach Buddy? Then, the Malapascua Island is the perfect place for you. Located in the northern part of the Province of Cebu, in the municipality of Daanbantayan, the Malapascua Island is greatly renowned by tourists who have visited this Philippine tourist spot, as a haven of beauty and relaxation. Beauty, since it is enriched with crystal clear waters, and fine white sand, which makes the place perfect for divers who long to witness, its vast and wide array of Marine Sanctuary. Relaxation, since the place provides tourists an ambience wherein they can connect themselves to the wonders of nature, and an atmosphere of calmness and serenity because of the natural wind that the sea breeze brings to the tourists. In order to go to Malapascua Island, tourists must know that there is no direct route in going there. Yet they have two options, either to take a Bus Ride that will take and run for 4 to 5 hours, or a Taxi Ride, which will take up to 2.5 hours, from Cebu City going to Maya, the northern tip of Cebu, which is the entry point to Daanbantayan, wherein, the Malapascua Island can be found. The Malapascua Island has continuously been maintained and developed by the provincial government of Cebu, in order to attract more tourists to visit the place, and to make it a part of their bucket list.

The Philippines, as an archipelago, is gifted with a variety of tourist destinations that will surely appeal and encourage first-time tourists, to visit the country and explore what it can offer. From highlands to islands, from churches to historic places, and from rivers to waterfalls, it is surely a country that anyone would fall in love with.

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