With 7,641 islands, it’s really fun to explore the Philippines and its famous tourists spots plus hidden gems. There are numerous activities to do and places to explore for all types of travelers.
Check out and make sure to add these hot local destinations right now to your 2019 bucket list!
According to Traveloka, Southeast Asia’s leading online booking platform for hotels, flights as well as activities and attractions, the places on this list have seen a 74% increase in tourist arrivals from 2018 to 2019.
1. Basco, Batanes (+386% arrivals)
More local airlines are offering flights to Batanes – making ticket prices more competitive, and even cheaper than before! If flying from Manila, it’ll take two hours to get to Basco, the provincial capital.
Known as the New Zealand of the Philippines because of all the greenery, Batanes is home to the Vayang Rolling Hills, Mount Iraya, and to Valugan Boulder Beach. Travelers are drawn to the overall relaxing feel the island gives.
Best Time to Go: December to February
Popular Batanes Hotels in Traveloka: Shanedel’s Inn, DDD Habitat Lodging House, Nathaniel’s Lodge
2. Legazpi City (+197% arrivals)
Touted as the “City of Fun and Adventure,” Legazpi City is one of the best places for adrenaline junkies and history buffs. Some of the famous attractions include Albay Park And Wildlife, Cagsawa Ruins Park, and Daraga Church.
Meanwhile, the Legazpi City government announced its latest tourism ventures: a four-kilometer “Walk Meter” at the Legazpi Port District for joggers and visitors, and the Bay and Marine Park Information Center. The latter is for visitors who’d like to know more about the Albay Gulf and Polique Cove.
Best Time to Go: March to June
Popular Legazpi City Hotels in Traveloka: Mayon Backpackers Hostel, F2M Tower, The Oriental Legazpi
3. General Santos (+174% arrivals)
When in General Santos, visitors can now enjoy a more refreshing time at the improved Plaza Heneral Santos. The place has been planted with more trees, making it ideal for joggers and nature-lovers. Don’t forget to try their famous tuna and to explore more of this city down south.
Best Time to Go: March to May
Popular General Santos Hotels in Traveloka: RSG Microhotel, Hotel Giorgio, Dayo Suites
4. Laoag City (+160% arrivals)
The local government of Laoag was recently dubbed top performer in the 2018 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) for Infrastructure in Region 1. This means travelers can expect better roads, bridges, and buildings when they visit the city. It’s time to try their drool-worthy empanadas and visit the famous Malacanang of the North.
Best Time to Go: May to June
Popular Laoag City Hotels in Traveloka: West Gate Hotel, Fort Ilocandia Resort Hotel, UKL Ever Resort Hotel
5. Subic Bay (+95% arrivals)
Since it’s very accessible and has several attractions for travelers of all ages including Zoobic Safari, Ocean Adventure Park, and Inflatable Island, it’s no surprise that Subic Bay remains a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
If you want a thrilling overnight stay, then why not book a night at Zoobic Safari’s GlampZ. Putting their own spin on “glamping”, Zoobic Safari has several container vans that have been converted into comfortable overnight stays with a full day’s meals, a day tour, train ride and a visit from the zoos smaller and friendlier animals.
Best Time to Go: November to May
Popular Subic Hotels in Traveloka: Camayan Beach Resort and Hotel, Best Western Plus Hotel Subic, Subic Bay Peninsular Hotel
6. Siargao Islands (+90% arrivals)
Previously more associated with surfing, Siargao has made a name for itself as a great destination for beach and nature lovers because of its breathtaking scenery, beautiful sand, and crystal clear waters.
Thanks to more airline opening flights to Siargao, it’s now easier and faster to reach the island and its awesome landmarks including the Magpupungko tidal pools and lagoons as well as the Sohoton cave.
Best Time to Go: March to October; August to November
Popular Siargao Hotels in Traveloka: Patrick’s on the Beach Resort, Ocean 101 Beach Resort, Viento del Mar
7. Angeles, Pampanga (+53% arrivals)
With several attractions, such as Deca Wake Park and Zoocobia Fun Zoo, and new businesses opening up shop in San Fernando and its surrounding areas, it isn’t hard to see why Pampanga is quickly transitioning from a fairly sleepy province (albeit the infamous Walking Street) to the bustling metropolis it is becoming.
Moreover, going to Angeles City is now easier than ever! Take the new P2P bus from Robinsons Galleria to SM Clark Pampanga.
Best Time to Go: January to February
Popular Angeles Hotels in Traveloka: DM Residente Hotel, Eurotel Angeles, Red Planet Angeles City
8. Dumaguete City (+39% arrivals)
Named as the Best Place to Retire in the Philippines last August 2018 by the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA), Dumaguete City garnered an average of 87.48% and won over more popular cities such as Cebu, Davao, and Bacolod. Factors that were taken into consideration include “cost of living, the warmth of the community, climate, health care provisions, as well as peace and unity”.
Best Time to Go: June to August
Popular Dumaguete Hotels in Traveloka: The Flying Fish Boutique Hostel, Gabby’s Bed and Breakfast, Go Hotels Dumaguete
9. Alaminos City (+38% arrivals)
Newly constructed, the 56-foot statue of Christ the Savior on top of Pilgrimage Island in Alaminos City is definitely a sight to behold. Tourists have to climb up 263 steps from the beach to get to the top and to enjoy breathtaking views of the sea and the nearby islets.
Alaminos City is the gateway to the famed Hundred Islands National Park and is one of the main reasons why people flock to the area – after all, you can go camping, snorkeling, kayaking, or beach bumming.
Best Time to Go: November to April
Popular Alaminos City Hotels in Traveloka: Villa Antolin Hotel, Asia Novo Boutique Hotel – Alaminos, Islandia Hotel
10. Cagayan de Oro (+29% arrivals)
Are you a night market lover? Visitors of CDO can now enjoy haggling various goods at the Divisoria Night Cafe and Night Market. Whether you’re there to snack on a variety of street food or to buy clothes at a steal, there’s something for everyone to buy!
Best Time to Go: March to June
Popular Batanes Hotels in Traveloka: Red Planet Cagayan De Oro, St Nicolas Inn, GV Hotel Cagayan de Oro
11. Naga (+17% arrivals)
If you love thrill and adventure, make sure to visit Naga’s Adventure Park, Mount Isarog National Park, Caramoan Beach, and Malabsay Falls.
Don’t forget to skip Bicol’s newest culinary destination, Que Pasa. This Spanish restaurant in Naga has an attractive setting, making it IG-worthy as well. Of course, the food is heavenly with a capital H.
Best Time to Go: May to June
Popular Naga Hotels in Traveloka: Eurotel Naga, CBD Plaza Hotel, Villa Caceres Hotel
12. Tacloban City (+13% arrivals)
Tacloban has come a long way since it was devastated by Typhoon Yolanda – with life slowly going back to normal, one of the best ways to bring money back into the city is by supporting local tourism. And why not?
Often used as a jump off point for Samar and Leyte, guests can visit nearby Sohoton Caves and Natural Bridge Park, the MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park, and Tulaan Falls. Other things to try out is the local cuisine, specifically chocolate moron, binagol, and food at Ocho Seafood Grill.
Best Time to Go: February to March, May to July
Popular Tacloban Hotels in Traveloka: Zpad Residences, Go Hotels Tacloban, Hotel Estrella
Ready for your next adventure? Book your hotels with Traveloka to get the best deals!