9 Hidden Gems in the Philippines That You Cannot Miss

Text and cover photo by R. Ingle

The Philippines is a magnificent travel destination because it is home to a lot of raw natural beauties, which you need to experience at least once in your lifetime. Right from vast green mountains to serene beaches, you will find a lot of nature’s wonders in the Philippines.

In this article, we will not be talking about the hotspots of the Philippines like Manila, Boracay, and Cebu, rather, this article is about finding those hidden gems of the Philippines that are totally worth exploring.

Check out the list and make a bucket list of all the places you are visiting on your next trip to the Philippines.

    Chocolate Hills

    Imagine a place with hundreds of conical-shaped hats placed in a systematic series and you get to view this setting from some distance. Now, replace the hats with peaks blanketed with an emerald forest area. That is the Chocolate Hills in the province of Bohol for you! It is a breathtaking sight that can only be truly experienced by physically being there.

    You can watch these 1200-lined peaks at the main viewing point in the town of Carmen, about 34 miles from the airport in the provincial capital Tagbilaran. In the dry season, these peaks turn into a dark brown color; a natural wonder that looks beautiful in both seasons!

    Sleeping Dinosaur

    Do not get tempted by the name of the island; the island is named after the sleeping dinosaur because from afar, the shape of the island looks like that of a sleeping dinosaur.

    If you are someone who loves to get lost in the wilderness for a while then visiting this island nestled in Mati, Davao Oriental is a must for you. You can hike to the top of the mountain peak on this island and also enjoy riding across the island on a pump boat.

    Mahabang Buhangin Beach

    This is a hidden gem in the municipality of Vinzons, Camarines Norte, which has managed to remain unspoiled (though it is still a sociable place). There is a very different way of enjoying the beauty of this island: in your own tents. You can literally pitch your tent on the beach side and camp for the night.

    If you are hungry, you can hop to the surrounding café and devour deliciously cooked seafood (the local produce tastes delicious). While you are here, stroll along Mahabang Buhangin's vibrant coastline.


    There is no better way to explore the Philippines’ countryside than by strolling in a beautiful countryside named Maligcong, in the highlands of Mountain Province. You can check out the neighborhood of Maligcong (which in itself is a peaceful venture) and check out the winding paddy field trails.

    Maligcong Rice Terraces
    Maligcong Rice Terraces

    You can find several homestays in this place and you can spend some peaceful time in these modest lodgings (away from the fast-paced life of metros). This place will help you unclutter your head and relieve you from all the stress in your life. You can plan a two-day itinerary of Maligcong.

    READ ALSO: Maligcong Travel Guide and Itinerary


    Caramoan in the province of Camarines Sur is like staying in Boracay minus the huge crowd. This beautiful island is isolated from the provincial center (probably the reason this island is serene and unspoiled) and is a perfect spot for all the people who want to enjoy the raw beaches in seclusion.

    While you are here, you can choose to hop on various islands around Caramoan or just lay on the sandy beach along the coastline and soak in the sun. You can plan your trip at discounted prices, if you take a travel package online from some known platforms.

    Puerto Princesa

    Puerto Princesa City is not really a hidden gem (its subterranean park has been recognized as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature and has bagged the title of UNESCO World Heritage), but still, not many travelers know about this place. Puerto Princesa is known for its underground rivers and a series of limestone caves.

    The best way to explore this gem is to not limit yourself to the surface; try to go underground because this experience is thrilling and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

    Bantayan Island

    If you are physically and mentally exhausted and really want to "relax," then head to Bantayan Island. This island is in Cebu and is at the northernmost point of the region. You can choose to sunbathe or go swimming in this island. You will find an array of cafes that serve delectable food (you can also find vegan and vegetarian food options on the island).

    If you are done relaxing and wish to transform into a daredevil, you can choose to go skydiving and see the whole island from a height of 3000 feet!

    Malapascua Island

    Malapascua Island is one of those rarest spots where you can frequently spot thresher sharks. The local rule says that you should not disturb the marine life of this place (which is very right), but still, the uniqueness of this place attracts informed travelers (who wish to see a thresher shark).

    The island is quite an animal-friendly island and a great emphasis is laid on conserving sharks. You can go diving on its waters, but make sure that you do not disturb the marine life in this place.


    Have you ever heard of an island that is home to cultural mystics who are known for being natural and traditional healers? The island province of Siquijor is one of the places that fit the description.

    Siquijor's "Enchanted Balete Tree"
    Siquijor's "Enchanted Balete Tree"
    Salagdoong Beach in Maria, Siquijor
    Salagdoong Beach in Maria, Siquijor

    Apart from immaculate beaches, you will find that this place has mysticism in its roots and there are many who still follows their age-old profession. Apart from that, there are many healing wells and enchanted balete trees in this place. It is fun to see how mysticism and raw natural beauty co-exist in Siquijor.

    READ ALSO: 11 Enchanting Spots in Siquijor


    DJ Rivera is an I.T. professional, entrepreneur, travel blogger, writer and the online publisher of PinoyTravelogue.com based in Rizal province, Philippines. Click here to know more.

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