Best Islands in the Philippines that are Otherworldly

There are more than 7,000 islands in the Philippines and choosing just a handful of them is no easy task. If you want beaches with pristine white sand, the country has them from north to south. If you want waterfalls and limestone rocks, head towards the country’s Visayas region where you’re likely to encounter both at the same time. If you want to experience Filipino culture, there’s plenty of that too. It’s really “more fun in the Philippines,” just as the tagline says. And here is what many travelers themselves consider the best islands in the Philippines, you’ll find out exactly what that means.

Best Islands in the Philippines

Palawan Island

Palawan Island,Best Islands in the Philippines
Palawan Island

The island of Palawan is a long stretch of beautiful beaches, incredible rock formations and stunning waterfalls. It’s easily becoming one of the most sought after holiday destinations in the country. The capital, Puerto Princesa, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its diverse ecosystem. The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park covers approximately 22,000 hectares of flora and limestone rocks. It features an extensive underground river that travelers can explore by boat on guided tours.

Up north, you have the islands of Coron and El Nido. Though both are starting to attract worldly fame, the islands remain some of the most pristine in the country. Take a whole day simply exploring the narrow aquatic passageways on a banana boat or a kayak while you encounter dolphins, turtles and sometimes whales.

Down south, you have Brooke’s Point, home to Bakbakan Falls and Mainit Hot Springs. If you’re in search of a therapeutic spot with some spectacular sunsets to boot, make sure to stop by for a day or two. With so much to offer, it’s not surprising to see that the island of Palawan tops this list of best islands in the Philippines.

Batan Island, Batanes

Best Islands in the Philippines,batan island
Batan Island

The diverse landscape of the Philippines is apparent while visiting Batan Island, the gateway to the province of Batanes. When you first step out to this island, it won’t be coconut trees or white sandy beaches that will welcome you. Instead you’ll see lush vegetation with breathtaking rock cliffs. The landscape is akin more to what you’ll see in the Emerald Isles than in a tropical island. This virtually untouched scenery is what makes Batan Island one of the best islands in the Philippines.

Panglao Island, Bohol

Best Islands in the Philippines,panglao island
Panglao Island

If you’re looking for some of the best dive spots in the country, look no further than Panglao Island, in nearby Bohol. Panglao, like Boracay, also features fine white sand and crystal clear blue waters; but without the hoards of tourists and the commercialization. Swim with hundred of colorful crustaceans, fish and whale sharks while exploring the stunning collection of live corals and mollusks. Its incredible assortment of marine life is what makes Panglao Island one of the best islands in the Philippines. It’s also easy to get to from the main island of Bohol. Spend a few days here and take a tour of the province, which will inevitably include a stop at its famed Chocolate Hills.

Where will you go in your next stay in the Philippines?

About Iris A


Born in the Philippines, but grew up in Texas, Iris has been traveling and writing about her experiences for well over a decade. Her work has been published on well-known travel sites like Hipmunk (#hipmunkcitylove) and D Magazine Online Travel Club. She has been all over Europe, the US, and has recently started exploring Latin America. She loves trying local cuisine and visiting UNESCO deemed World Heritage sites. Her favourite city is New York, with London, following a close 2nd. You can follow her on Twitter @sundeeiris or through her travel blog, Traveling With Iris.

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