From Palawan, Cebu to Siargao, the Philippines is rich with beautiful destinations. In fact, they are recognized for their beautiful beaches, historical sites and culture worldwide. However, there are destinations that may be heard from a few but still need more recognition. These spots shouldn’t be left unnoticed.
Here are four of the Philippines’ best-kept secrets that are sure to leave you in awe.
Apo Reef National Park in Occidental Mindoro
This national park consists of three islands and is now considered the second-largest contiguous coral reef globally. Located just roughly 480 kilometers from Metro Manila, the coral reef offers you some of the best diving opportunities for thrill-loving adventurers.
Experience world-class diving and snorkeling and discover over 400 different types of coral reefs and up to 500 species of marine creatures like sharks and dolphins. But the highlight of the trip would have to be the mantra ray sightings. You can also visit the lighthouse and get a scenic view of the mangrove forest and do camping at the beach.
For the ride: The boat only accommodates 8 people due to the pandemic. Coordinate your trip with the tourism office so they can arrange a boat ride with you as the number of passengers and tourists allowed on the island is limited. Here are the round trip rates.
Day trip: Php. 10,000
Overnight- Php. 13,000
3D/2N trip: Php. 16,000
Here’s a travel tip: There are no resorts on the reef. But if you want nice accommodation, you can stay at the nearby North Pandan Island. But if camping is your thing, then you can pitch a tent at the Apo Reef Island and stay overnight. The island is safe as guards and marines are protecting the island.
Covid reminder: The park currently doesn’t accept tourists outside the province. Hopefully, once the travel restrictions are lifted, then you may visit this paradise.
Naked Beach in Siargao
Siargao isn’t just about surfing. It is no secret that this paradise features some of the most pristine beaches and islets in the world. And don’t miss a chance for a sweet escapade at the Naked Beach.
If you avail for its tour, you’ll get a glimpse of the one of the three islands from the shores of General Luna. The other two are Daku Island and Guyam Island, just along the Naked Island. We recommend you to have an island hopping tour in Siargao where you’ll get to explore all the three islands. Here are other activities you can do in the island:
- Lounging in the shallows
There is no entrance fee when you enter the island as it is already part of your tour package. The island hopping tour rates ranges from P800 to P2000 per head depending on the travel agency.
Responsible Travel Tip! The management is very strict in keeping the island clean. So when you bring your food and drinks, don’t forget to clean as you go.
Updated Guidelines: Before your travel, you’ll need a negative swab-based or saliva-based RT-PCR test result, confirmed roundtip tickets, the Surigao del Norte e-Health Pass and Traze app. And please note to book your flight within 48 hours from the time you took your test.
Mount Luho in Boracay
When people think about Boracay, it automatically means swimming at the beaches, snorkeling and its busy night club. Little did they know that it also features a mountain that can give you the best panoramic view of the island.
Mount Luho stands around 370 ft. above sea level but don’t get intmidated by its height. This mountain is just a short climb then you can see its viewing deck. Trekkers will be excited to take the challenge of climbing. But for those who aren’t fond of the tiring trek, you can use the stairs made of concrete to climb comfortably and safe.
Here are other activities you can expect once you are in the viewing deck:
- Ride at the cable car
- Relax and unwind at their minibar and snack area
- Head to the last view deck to have a 360 degree view of the island
Travel Tip: Bring water and snacks to enjoy during the walk and on the peak’s platform. Also, you can pay a small maintenance fee to a guard to access the viewing deck.
Travel Restrictions: Foreigners arent allowed to enter the island unless if they are already in the Philippines. If they do, they are required to get a RT-PCR Covid Test and apply for a S-Pass.
Secret Lagoon (Palawan)
The Secret Lagoon – like its name – is Palawan’s best-kept secret. Hidden by massive cliffs, you’ll still see the beauty of this paradise. Simply squeeze through a narrow hole in the limestone wall so you can discover a serene lagoon that features these pristine and crystal-clear waters.
- Swim on the beach beside the secret lagoon
- Photo sessions
- Climb to the summit of Taraw Cliff
Via Puerto Princesa, you can ride a Roro bus to El Nido every two hours from 6 am to 10 pm. Fare is $8 or P380 and travel time is at 6-7 hours.
You can also ride a shuttle service from Fort Wally that carries passengers to El Nido every day at 5 am, 7 am, 9 am, 11 am and 1 pm. Fare is at $14 or P700 and travel time is 5-6 hours.
As for via Coron, there are ferry boats that take you to El Nido with a travel time of around 4 hours. Fare is $35 or P1760.
Responsible travel tip!
Wear your life vest especially if you aren’t a seasoned swimmer. The water near the entrance is already shallow and the further you go, the deeper it gets.
Keep the place clean. Always throw your trash responsibly and leave nothing but footprints.
Choose Philippines for your vacation
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