Luzon is the largest and most populated island in the Philippines and is home to half of the nation’s population along with its capital. Although it’s the centre of population, Luzon is a long way from just being towns and cities and you can find some absolutely stunning natural sights here.
We’d recommend heading up north on this island. The Tappiya Waterfall and the Batad Rice Terraces are two absolute musts to visit, both of which lie around the village of Batad. Walk along the terraces and gawp at the famous ‘amphitheatre’ they create and then have a swim in the refreshing pool created by the Tappiya Waterfall.
If you’re a beach fiend and looking for your fix while in northern Luzon then Pagudpud is home to white sands and blue waters. It’s touristy and doesn’t quite rival those elsewhere in the Philippines but, needless to say, beaches on the Philippines’ islands have a pretty high bar to meet.
Bohol is the island on which you’ll really start getting blown away by the natural beauty of the Philippines. Perhaps one of its most famous sights is the Chocolate Hills. These iconic giant mounds are dotted throughout the island and turn brown in the dry season (hence the name!). They’re a unique sight and a real must for those looking to do a visit to the Philippines justice.
Natural beauty in Bohol by no means ends with the Chocolate Hills. The island is home to some stunning beaches (we keep the best ones a secret for our tour!) along with a coral reef located off the north of the island. You can also head to the Philippine Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary. The tarsier is the world’s smallest primate and looks utterly unique. Seeing it in its natural habitat is another must if you’re island hopping!
If you’re a backpacker who’s all about the beaches, then Palawan should probably be your focus. You could spend an exceedingly long time exploring all its incredible white sandy beaches and tiny islands but if you haven’t got a year then we recommend heading to El Nido. It’s a backpacker’s paradise, home to stunning beaches, lagoons and shoreside bars.
A great way to get a feel for the area is to hop on a local boat and spend a day island hopping. That way you can experience some of the tiny islands the area has to offer without having to venture out for too long.
If a couple of days relaxing on the beach is enough for you then there are plenty of other activities in the area. It’s a good starter spot for those wanting to learn scuba diving or, for something less extreme, try snorkelling! Kayaking makes for another great way to explore the area’s stunning lagoons.