The Philippines is a captivating archipelago located in Southeast Asia. With its picturesque landscapes, white sandy beaches, vibrant cities, and warm-hearted locals, it has become a sought-after destination for travelers from all over the world. However, with over 7,000 islands, planning a trip to the Philippines can be overwhelming. To help make your journey more enjoyable, this travel guide will suggest an order of visiting cities based on three categories: first-time visitors, next visits, and experienced travelers.
For first-time visitors, it is advisable to start your Philippines exploration with the bustling capital city of Manila. This densely populated metropolis offers a fascinating blend of Spanish colonial architecture and modern skyscrapers. Dive into the country's history by visiting Intramuros, the oldest district, and discovering its ancient walls, churches, and museums. From there, head south to the pristine beaches of Boracay, known for its turquoise waters and vibrant nightlife. Lastly, make sure to include Cebu City in your itinerary, home to historical landmarks like Magellan's Cross and the Basilica del Santo Niño.
For next visits to the Philippines, when you have an idea of the country's offerings, explore the urban charm of Davao City in Mindanao. Known as the "Durian Capital of the Philippines," this city boasts a vibrant food scene and a diverse cultural heritage. A visit to Davao wouldn't be complete without hiking Mount Apo, the highest peak in the country. Continue your journey to Palawan, where you can explore the stunning underground river in Puerto Princesa and relax on the idyllic beaches of El Nido or Coron. Finally, consider a trip to Baguio, the summer capital of the country, which offers a cooler climate and breathtaking mountain scenery.
For experienced travelers seeking to venture off the beaten path, a visit to Vigan City in Ilocos Sur is highly recommended. This UNESCO World Heritage Site will transport you back in time with its well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture and cobbled streets. Continue on to Legazpi City in Bicol, where you can witness the fiery beauty of Mayon Volcano and indulge in the region's famous spicy cuisine. In Eastern Visayas, explore the untouched beauty of Samar and Leyte, offering pristine beaches, waterfalls, and even a chance to swim with whale sharks in Southern Leyte.
While the Philippines has so much to offer, it is crucial to plan your visits wisely to make the most of your time. First-time visitors should start with Manila, Boracay, and Cebu City, while next visits could include Davao City, Palawan, and Baguio. For experienced travelers, Vigan City, Legazpi City, Samar, and Leyte are highly recommended. Remember, this is merely a suggested order, and you can always tailor your itinerary to suit your preferences and interests. Embrace the warmth and diversity of the Philippines, and let your adventure begin!