The temperature has once again started to rise here in the Philippines. What better way to beat the stressful (and hot) life in the city than to check out the many summer destinations that the country has to offer.
Not sure which of the 7,107 islands in the country you want to go to? Here are are the top 24 summer destinations in the Philippines that you should add to your travel itinerary!
Top summer destinations in the Philippines for wildlife lovers
1. Calauit Island, Palawan
Think you would have to fly out to an African country to go on a safari? You obviously do not have to. Once a residential area, this surreal wildlife haven in Palawan has been a home to giraffes, antelopes and zebras since the 1970s. With the number of animals still continuing to grow, Calauit Safari Park has certainly done well in its efforts to help save them from extinction.
Despite the death of the largest captive Python in the country, Prony, back in 2013, Bohol still continues to lure visitors who want to catch sight of the country’s amazing and extraordinary wildlife. After all, Bohol’s Tarsier Conservatory is home to the rare and quirky tarsier, the world’s smallest primate. The Bohol Python and Wildlife Park also houses Kagwang or the Philippine flying lemur and other wildlife in the country. Indeed, Bohol is one of the can’t-miss summer destinations for people who are fond of watching animals.
As an added bonus, Bohol as tons of other amazing attractions as well, making it one of the best summer destinations in the Philippines. As a matter of fact, it is home to the iconic Chocolate Hills as well as the newest sensation in the region – the Sea of Clouds in Bohol.
If you would like to see the Philippine’s national bird, then the Philippine Eagle Center in Davao is the best place to go. The center houses 36 of this species, 18 of which are captive-bred and they also offer lectures on their programs to interested parties. Another chance to see wildlife in Davao is at the Davao Crocodile Park which does not just have crocodiles but also houses deer, pigeons, ostriches, iguanas and even tigers.
4. Olango Island
This small island is actually part of a cluster of islands that also include Sulpa, Gilotongan, Nalusuan, Caohagan, Pangan-an and Camungi located off the coast of Mactan, Cebu. Olango Island is best for those who would like to stay at uncrowded beaches or for those who would like to check out migratory birds and other animals at the wildlife sanctuary.
Sorsogon is quite diverse when it comes to its environmental conservation efforts. If it’s fish and marine wildlife that you would like to see, Sorsogon’s Juag Lagoon Fish Sanctuary is the best place to feed the fish or swim with the turtles. Want to see wildlife on land? Visit the Mt. Bulusan National Park and Mountain Resort. This place is not just a wildlife sanctuary, but also a protected rainforest, so you can experience nature at its purest form.
6. Apo Island
Speaking of sea creatures, you might to considering making a stop to Apo Island. Home to a bunch of friendly sea turtles, this wildlife haven is truly one of the best and most sought-after summer destinations in the Philippines. Here, you’ll get to see a bunch of sea turtles, vibrant colors, as well as different types of sea creatures, like Nemo (clownfish actually).
The ultimate summer destinations in the Philippines for beach bums
Boracay has, yet again, grabbed the top spot as the go-to summer destination for beach lovers in the Philippines. Home to powdery white sand beaches and the best sunset in the country, the island was just recently awarded the recognition of being the best island in the world by Travel+Leisure.
8. El Nido, Palawan
Found at the northernmost portion of Palawan, El Nido has the largest marine sanctuary in the country, making it a managed resource protected area. While El Nido is a sought-after diving destination, it is also a great getaway for those who would just love to lounge by the beach. Indeed, it is one of the top summer destinations in the country.
The province of Guimaras is among the smallest islands in the country and consists not just of Guimaras Island, but also of other neighboring islets namely Guiwanon, Inampulugan, Nadulao, Natunga and Panobolon, among many others. The best beaches to check out in Guimaras include those in Alubihod, Guisi, Guiwad, Mabalud and those of its surrounding islands.
You have probably seen this beautiful island as the setting in one of the seasons of Survivor. The way I see it, there will never be a dull moment in your visit to Caramoan with a whole bunch of beaches to check out and laze around. Try to see if you can get Cotivas, Gota, Guinahuan, Lahos, Lahuy, Malarad, Matukad or Sabitang Laya into your itinerary.
11. Kalanggaman Island
The ultimate beach break is one where you get to stay at a secluded island with nothing but just bare essentials. Kalanggaman Island in Leyte has among the best stretches of sand in the country but a word of warning to those used to the city life: there is no electricity here although there are a few solar-powered lamps around.
Who says Siquijor doesn’t belong a spot in any list of the best summer destinations in the Philippines? Although the island is known for its witchcraft and sorcery (which is not true, by the way), Siquijor actually has pristine and splendid beaches that will leave you speechless and in awe, such as the Paliton Beach and Salagdoon Beach. Plus, it has a bunch of other wondrous attractions that will surely make your summer escape unforgettable.
13. Fortune Island
Not only does it boast a splendid shoreline, but it also has Greek-like ruins that would remind of your Greece’s mythical gods, like Poseidon and Zeus. Furthermore, it’s a great place to snorkel and go on fascinating water adventures.
From a breathtaking sandbar to a Sunken Cemetery, Camiguin has all the hallmarks of one of the best summer destinations in the Philippines. Even if you’re not a bona fide beach bum, you’ll still find your bliss in the Southeast Asian island paradise.
Coolest summer destinations in the Philippines
The cool mountain climate in this highly-urbanized city is the reason why it has earned its moniker as the “Summer Capital of the Philippines”. One of the coolest summer destinations in the country, this chilly city is flocked by tourists all-year round, although the numbers often double during peak seasons like summertime, the Holy Week, and year-end holidays.
16. Sagada, Mountain Province
Made even more popular due to the local romantic-comedy film, That Thing Called Tadhana, Sagada is a popular destination for hikers and nature lovers who love to experience cooler climates than those in the lowlands. Among the places to check out are the Hanging Coffins, the terraces and Mt. Kiltepan, where the climax of the said film happened.
17. Lake Sebu
Don’t think it’s possible to cool off at the southern end of the Philippines? Think again. A trip to Lake Sebu gives you the chance to beat the heat and visit the Seven Falls namely Hikong Alo, Hikong Bente, Hikong B’Lebel, Hikong K’Fo-I, Hikong Tonok and Hikong Ukol.
18. Don Salvador Benedicto
Known as the Summer Capital of Negros Occidental, the municipality of DSB makes you feel like you’ve been to Baguio – think pine trees, cool climate – without having to go that far. Another favorite spot to check out in Don Salvador Benedicto is the cool and refreshing Malatan-og Falls.
19. Canlaon City
Canlaon, one of the most underrated summer destinations in the country, is home to the highest point in the entire Visayas – Mount Kanlaon. A trek up this imposing mountain allows you to see among the last remaining untouched forests in the country.
Philippine summer destinations for history buffs
20. Vigan, Ilocos Sur
This Heritage City, which has also recently been declared as one of the New 7 Wonder Cities of the world, will appease your eyes with its cobbled streets, horse-drawn carriages and ancestral homes. A stroll up Calle Crisologo will take you to a scene in Jose Rizal’s El Filibusterismo, back to a time when Spaniards ruled the country. If you consider yourself a history junkie, then Vigan is one of the summer destinations you should include to your travel plans.
21. The Ruins in Bacolod, Negros Occidental
Talisay, Bacolod is where the famous ruins of the mansion of Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson is located. Built in the 1900s, this grandiose infrastructure was burned down during the World War II to prevent the Japanese military from using it as headquarters.
Urban breaks in the Philippines
Cebu, for years, has been known as one of the country’s best and most sought-after summer destinations, thanks to its wealth in wondrous attractions. A delightful mixture of nature, modern wonders, historic sites and beaches, the city of Cebu truly has something special in store for everyone.
Want to spend your summer in the Cebu differently but do not want to go far? There’s a really cool place up the mountains of Cebu called the Temple of Leah. This huge Greek-mythology-inspired infrastructure (which is still undergoing construction) was actually built by the owner for his wife. Think of it as the Taj Mahal of Cebu.
Without having to go too far, Manila brings the best of everything with the attractions only a few minutes apart. Want to get a glimpse of Philippine history? Simply visit Fort Santiago, Rizal Park, Museo Pambata or the National Museum of the Philippines. To check out wildlife in person, give the Manila Zoo a try. If you would like to cool down after a long day around the city, visit the Snow Village at the Manila Ocean Park and experience snow right at the heart of the city.
24. Puerto Princesa
This quiet city in Palawan has slowly began to gain popularity as being the entry point in visiting the Puerto Princesa Underground River, about a 2-hour drive from the city proper. If you would simply like to laze around the city before going to El Nido or Coron, Puerto Princesa also offers several attractions and food choices that are sure to make your visit worthwhile. As far as I’m concerned, it is one of the cleanest and most laid-back cities and summer destinations in the Philippines.
There is, technically, no summer season here in the Philippine archipelago. As a tropical country, the Philippines only have a couple of seasons – the wet and the dry destination. Actually, summer in the Philippines refers to the hot dry season, which is from March to May. Nevertheless, summer makes a fitting name for this time of the year, especially since school is out and the weather is pretty warm and sunny.