The 5 Underrated Tourist Destinations in the Philippines You Need to Visit

September 08, 2021

The Philippines has many beautiful and inviting tourist spots but there are also underrated destinations that are worth visiting.

The Philippines is a country of many islands and attractions. Places like Boracay, Palawan, and Bohol are staples in any tourist’s bucket list, but there are several hidden gems in the archipelago waiting to be explored. As transportation and booking a hotel in the Philippines become easier, reaching these previously secluded locations and experiencing the local scenes and culture are more than possible.

Underrated Philippine destinations worth visiting

The 5 Underrated Tourist Destinations in the Philippines You Need to Visit

    Choose the less touristy destinations

    To avoid the crowds and explore what else the Philippines has to offer, it’s always best to opt for the less touristy destinations. At times, if you are lucky enough, you can have an entire spot almost all to yourself.

    Here are some of the underrated tourist destinations that will surely satisfy any person’s hunger for beauty and adventure.

    1. Batanes

    The province of Batanes is in the northernmost part of the archipelago. Separated from the three biggest islands of the Philippines, the province is fairly isolated and features one of the lowest populations across the country. 

    Despite its size, Batanes boasts breathtaking cliffs, lush rolling hills, unique architecture, and rich local customs. Any person seeking refuge from the busy and noisy cities will surely find it in Batanes.

    Tourist highlights in this province include nature hotspots, historical sites, and beautiful sceneries, such as the Basco Lighthouse, Vayang Rolling Hills, Homoron Blue Lagoon, and the Valugan Boulder Beach. 

    There’s even a special cave called the Dipnaysupuan Japanese Tunnel, where Japanese soldiers hid during World War II. Indeed, there is much to discover and explore in this small archipelagic province.

    2. Biliran

    The rice terraces of Banaue, Ifugao is one of the most famous locations in the world. However, this man-made terrain is not unique to the north alone. In Eastern Visayas, the province of Biliran features rice terraces of their own, cascading along its green hills and mountains.

    Sambawan Island in Biliran
    Photo by Taylor Pratt from Biliran's Facebook page

    Aside from rice terraces, Biliran also has several tourist getaways, including waterfalls, beaches, islands, and even hot springs. 

    Some of the must-see locations include the Tinago Falls, which flows into a beautiful turquoise pool in the middle of a thick forest; Sambawan Island, which features white sands, clear seas, and multiple dive spots; and the Mainit Hot Springs in Caibiran, which will surely relax any traveler’s weary bodies after a busy day of exploring.

    3. Romblon

    Boracay is a world-famous tourist destination for its beautiful beaches, but let's face it, the busy crowds and pricey restaurants and amenities can get in the way of a relaxing vacation. Avoid these by heading over to its quieter yet equally exciting neighbor, Romblon.

    A beach in Romblon
    Photo by @bemytravelmuse from Romblon's Facebook page

    The province of Romblon has several islands to explore, which offer the same white sands and gorgeous beaches to enjoy. Bonbon Beach, San Pedro Beach, and Tiamban Beach are some of the must-see locations any beach hopper will enjoy.

    Aside from beaches, Romblon also offers trekking trails, river canyons, hidden waterfalls, and even old castle forts. Fort San Andres is a historical landmark that features Spanish architecture and has been standing since the 15th century. 

    The old fort also gives travelers a beautiful view of Romblon’s main town and bay, helping them appreciate the province’s lush sceneries and landscapes even more.

    4. Samboan, Cebu

    Samboan, Cebu, did not earn the nickname “People’s Paradise” for nothing. Located in the southernmost tip of Cebu, the municipality offers several water destinations like rivers, beaches, waterfalls, and lakes. 

    Dao Falls, in particular, is a must-see location. Standing at 120 meters tall, the waterfall is surrounded by gorgeous limestone cliffs on all sides, giving a sense of grandeur worthy of a fantasy novel.

    Aside from Dao Falls, travelers should also check Ponong Lake, a salt-water lake featuring mangroves and bamboo raft cruises; Aguinid Falls, an 8-tier calcium-rich waterfall with a lovely pastel green color; and Campanario de Antigua, a historical tower that used to serve as a watchtower in old times when raids were more common.

    While Samboan is not as developed as other locations in this list, the municipality is a hidden gem that will surely shine as it is developed. Make sure to catch it before the crowds become busy.

    5. Siquijor

    When one speaks of Siquijor, the first things that come to mind are witches and supernatural creatures—deserving of the so-called “Mystic Island of Central Visayas.” While the rumors of magical beings are sure to attract curious explorers, they can hold back casual travelers from checking the area.

    A beach in Siquijor
    Image by rayjo from Pixabay

    It is a pity, for there are numerous beautiful locations and places on the island that tourists will surely enjoy. Some of them include cave systems, breathtaking waterfalls, white sandy beaches, marine sanctuaries, and historical architecture. 

    Visitors also have the opportunity to learn more about the island’s local customs—such as making local potions—and maybe even discover why “magic” seems to pool on the island.

    What to pack when visiting these Philippine destinations

    The Philippines is a tropical country so you may want to pack clothes that are light and even sweat-proof. 

    You can opt for light pants but shorts are much better so that you can move freely and keep your lower extremities cool. Swimwear is also important because the Philippines is home to some of the best beaches in the world. Even the underrated destinations above are filled with hidden beaches.

    Bring a hat or a cap and sunglasses when you are visiting during the dry season (locally called summer) and pack a raincoat or a small umbrella during the wet or rainy season. You may also want to bring sunscreen and insect repellent lotion when you are out on your adventure.

    Selfie sticks are also popular in the Philippines and you can buy them almost anywhere. And to power up your gadgets, a reliable power bank brand will come in handy.

    Of course, it goes without saying that you should bring your mobile phone and camera with you to document your trips.


    Indeed, the Philippines is a country blessed with several potential tourist destinations, each with its own charm and attractions. While visiting these locations can seem difficult at first, do not worry, for there are several resources online that aspiring travelers can use. 

    Take advantage of online bookings, travel guides, and tourist reviews. In this manner, people can get a fuller experience and enjoy the destination to its fullest.

    The 5 Underrated Philippine destinations that you should visit

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    1. So many great spots in The Philipines to visit!

    2. I really love the idea of going to the spots that aren't prime tourist destinations. All of the crowds really take away from the experience.

    3. The lesser known, less visited destinations are often the best of all! And I love the pics of all that blue water- reminds me of the Caribbean.

    4. From what I've heard, once you visit Siquijor you will not wish to go to other places.Its so peaceful and relaxing island,the people are friendly and the sights were amazing.

      This place goes into my list! they have nice beaches too.

    5. I would like to visit the Philippines so will keep this in my back pocket for when we finally make it back out to Asia - the beaches look incredible!

    6. I love these destinations. They are so beautiful and peaceful. I wish to visit one of these places someday!

    7. Such a beautiful places, and this is only the proof that Philippines has a lot of beautiful destinations to visit.

    8. The pictures look amazing. And thank you for going over these amazing spots from the Philippines. The landscape is just gorgeous and I can not wait until our family can get back to traveling again. I bookmarked this page.

    9. These are the places on my top list!! (especially Batanes). I wish to visit soon with my family after this pandemic subsides.

    10. Amazing places to visit, will add them to the list for visitng this year hopefully. Thank you for sharing!

      Fransic -

    11. I really want to go to Batanes. It’s one of the places in my list. It’s so beautiful. Maybe after the pandemic?

    12. These all look like beautiful destinations! I like checking out some of the less popular tourist spots.

    13. Wow I never realized how beautiful the beaches are in the Philippines. I will have to add these destinations to my bucket list!

    14. I always enjoy visiting unspoiled places, those that are not yet overly commercialized.. Although i have never been to any of these places, i know these are truly paradise.. Especially batanes which is in my bucket list for a very long time. I hope i can visit them all someday