Traveling has a way of waking up your childlike sense of wonder at the world around you. Away from home, you can’t help but bask in the glow of a sunset, marvel at beautiful buildings and astounding creations, and sigh in contentment upon seeing a jaw-dropping view. Really, nothing beats the thrill of going out of town to explore a new locale...except for the hordes of other travelers ooh-ing and ahh-ing right there alongside you. Noisy, mischievous fellow tourists take all the fun right out of the equation, and they can easily turn what was supposed to be a relaxing vacation into a trip straight from hell.
Luckily, there are lots of beautiful places across the Philippines that have yet to gain mainstream popularity, and yep, you can find a few of them in the country’s main tourist spots!
When you hear “Baguio,” you can’t help but think of Burnham Park, Mines View Park, Camp John Hay, horseback riding, and strawberry picking. But Baguio has a lot of other touristy gems waiting to be explored. For starters, you can head to Tam-Awan Village, where you can appreciate the indigenous arts and culture of the Cordilleras.
After that, get ready for an educational afternoon at the Balatoc Mines, where you can see firsthand how a mine works. It’s definitely an interesting way to spend a weekend up North!
For an adventure-packed Tagaytay trip, head there at the break of dawn and hike Mt. Batulao, located just a few kilometers outside the city. It’s a relatively easy climb, and the views are absolutely worth it. Have lunch at one of Tagaytay’s many bulalohans, and then unwind by checking out Gina Lacuna’s astounding collection of puzzles at the aptly-named Puzzle Mansion.
Summer wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the beach, and Palawan’s got those by the dozen. If you want to escape the crowds, head to the quiet town of San Vicente, located a few hours away from Puerto Princesa. Here, you absolutely can’t miss Long Beach: It’s the longest beach in the entire Philippines, spanning around 14 kilometers. Pick a spot, chug down a beer, and enjoy the sunset surrounded by Mother Nature’s beauty.
All of Bohol’s most popular attractions can be found on the main road, but if you’re willing to veer a little off-course, you should visit the Tarsier Sanctuary in Corella. There, you can see Bohol’s famous tarsiers in their natural habitat. And when you’re all beached out after basking under the sun all day in Panglao, head to Mag-Aso Falls in the town of Antequera. After a short trek, you’ll soon get to see the eight-meter high falls, where you can take a dip if you’re a good swimmer. Mag-Aso Falls isn’t really a part of most itineraries, so if you’re looking for some peace and quiet, this is the place to be.
Did you know that you can actually visit a war-era Japanese-made tunnel in Davao? D’Japanese Tunnel is a resort and a restaurant where you can learn about the Japanese’s activities during World War II in a section of the man-made hideout, which spans several kilometers long. Another must-see spot is D’Bone Collector Museum, which houses one of the largest collections of skeletons and bones in the whole country. Finally, you can visit Epol Falls, a cascading waterfall you can reach after a 30-minute trek. Oh, and make sure to bring your significant other, since the locals there say EPOL stands for Everlasting Power Of Love!
Photos via Wanderfulexperience.info; Gypsygillybean.blogspot.com; Ricaperalejo.ph; Travel-palawan.com; Selfplannedtrip.com; Olanology.com