If you’re looking for a unique and off-the-beaten-path destination in the Philippines, Tuguegarao and Cagayan should be at the top of your list. These two provinces, located in the northeastern part of Luzon, offer a diverse array of natural and cultural attractions that will make for an unforgettable vacation.
Tuguegarao, the capital city of Cagayan, is known for its rich historical and cultural heritage. The city’s main attraction is the St. Peter’s Cathedral, a beautiful stone church that dates back to the 18th century. The cathedral is known for its intricate carvings and unique architecture, which reflects the blend of Spanish and indigenous influences.
Another must-see destination in Tuguegarao is the Callao Cave, a limestone cave system that features seven chambers filled with stunning rock formations and sparkling crystal-clear waters. Visitors can explore the caves by boat or by foot, and can also take a dip in the cool, refreshing waters.
Cagayan, on the other hand, is a nature lover’s paradise. The province is home to the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport, where you can find the famous white sand beaches of Palaui Island and experience the local culture of the Cagayanons. The island is also known for its clear waters and vibrant coral reefs, making it a popular spot for snorkeling and diving.
Another natural attraction not to be missed is the Sanchez Mira beach, it’s a long stretch of white sand with clear blue waters, known for its quiet and peaceful atmosphere, perfect for relaxation and getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Tuguegarao and Cagayan are also known for their delicious local cuisine, particularly their famous “Ipon” or dried fish, and the “Tuguegarao Longganisa” – a sweet and savory sausage that is a must-try.
All in all, Tuguegarao and Cagayan offer a unique and exciting vacation experience that combines culture, history, nature, and delicious food. If you’re looking for a destination that is off the beaten path, these two provinces should definitely be on your list.
Travel by land from Manila to Tuguegarao or Sta. Ana Cagayan via GV Florida bus. You can book your bus tickets online at iwantseats.com!
Baler, located in the province of Aurora in the Philippines, is a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and nature. With its beautiful beaches, rich heritage, and breathtaking landscapes, Baler is the perfect destination for those looking for a peaceful and adventurous getaway.
One of the main attractions in Baler is Sabang Beach, which is known for its long stretch of white sand and clear waters. It is a popular spot for surfing and swimming, and is also home to the famous “Bahay na Bato” (stone house), which was used as a lookout by the Philippine revolutionary forces during the Spanish-American War.
Another must-see destination in Baler is the Baler Museum, which is housed in a restored Spanish-era building. The museum showcases the history and culture of the town, including artifacts from the Spanish and American colonial periods.
For those who love nature and outdoor activities, Baler has a lot to offer. The town is surrounded by lush rainforests and is home to several waterfalls, including the Ditumabo Mother Falls, which is considered one of the most beautiful in the Philippines. The town is also a popular spot for trekking and rock climbing.
When it comes to accommodations, Baler has a wide range of options to suit different budgets and preferences. From luxury resorts to budget-friendly hostels, there’s something for everyone.
Overall, Baler is a destination that should not be missed. With its beautiful beaches, rich heritage, and breathtaking landscapes, it offers the perfect combination of relaxation and adventure. So pack your bags and head to Baler for an unforgettable vacation!
Travel from Manila to Baler is easy and comfortable with JoyBus Executive Coach of Genesis Transport. Book your bus tickets online at iwantseats.com!
Mindanao, the southernmost island group of the Philippines, is often overlooked by tourists in favor of more popular destinations like Palawan and Boracay. However, this island group is home to some of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes in the country, as well as a rich culture and history. Two cities in particular that are worth visiting are Davao and General Santos City.
Located on the eastern coast of Mindanao, Davao is the largest city in the island and the third largest in the Philippines. Known for its rich culture, delicious food, and friendly locals, Davao is a great destination for those looking to experience a different side of the Philippines.
One of the top things to do in Davao is to visit the Philippine Eagle Center, where you can see the national bird of the Philippines, the Philippine eagle, in its natural habitat. The center also has a breeding program for the endangered species, and you can learn about the conservation efforts being made to protect them.
Another must-see attraction in Davao is the People’s Park, a beautifully landscaped park in the heart of the city. The park features a variety of local and international plants, a playground, and a walking path that takes you around the park. The park also has a small lake where you can rent a paddle boat and enjoy the scenery.
For those interested in culture and history, the Davao Museum is a great place to visit. The museum showcases the history and culture of the Davao region, with exhibits on the indigenous people, the Spanish colonization, and the American occupation.
When it comes to food, Davao is a paradise for seafood lovers. Some of the local specialties include kinilaw (raw fish salad), tuna belly, and grilled squid. You can find these dishes at most seafood restaurants in the city.
GENERAL SANTOS CITY
Located on the western coast of Mindanao, General Santos City is known as the “Tuna Capital of the Philippines.” The city is home to a large fishing industry, and you can find fresh tuna at the local market or at seafood restaurants.
One of the top things to do in General Santos is to visit the Tuna Festival, which is held every September. The festival celebrates the city’s tuna industry with a parade, a street dance competition, and a tuna cooking contest.
Another must-see attraction in General Santos is the Sarangani Bay, which is located just outside the city. The bay is known for its beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters, and it’s a great place to go swimming, snorkeling, or island hopping.
For those interested in culture and history, the General Santos City Museum is a great place to visit. The museum showcases the history and culture of the General Santos region, with exhibits on the indigenous people, the Spanish colonization, and the American occupation.
Davao and General Santos City are two hidden gems in Mindanao that offer a unique cultural experience, delicious seafood, and beautiful natural attractions. If you’re looking for a different side of the Philippines to explore, these cities are definitely worth a visit!
You can travel easily from Davao to GenSan (General Santos City) by bus on Yellow Bus Line. Simply book your bus tickets via iwantseats.com!
Baguio City is perhaps one of the coolest tourist destinations in the Philippines! Literally and figuratively! No wonder it’s the country’s Summer Capital.
Baguio City, also known as the “Summer Capital of the Philippines,” is one of the most visited cities in the country, especially during the summer and holiday seasons. Most local and international tourists who want to spend the summer in the Philippines visit Baguio for one main reason: to escape the scorching summer heat.
The city’s temperature rises to just 26 °C on a typical summer day, making it a perfect place for a family, friends, or romantic vacation.
Located atop the mountains, Baguio City offers a unique combination of scenery, climate, and activities that draws tourists all year round. The long-winding roads and the hours and hours of travel are nothing compared to the multicultural and colorful things the city has to offer.
Baguio City is an escape from the bustling and hustling down by the metro. It is safe to say that when you travel 4 to 6 hours to reach the city, you definitely come to play! But the city of Baguio isn’t just famous for its chilly and romantic atmosphere; it also has a lot of excellent tourist spots to visit.
So here are the top 10 Instagram-worthy and must-visit tourist spots when you are in Baguio City!
1. Burnham Park
First on our list is Burnham Park, which is probably the most visited tourist attraction in Baguio. Located at the heart of Baguio City, Burnham Park is a place that needs no introduction.
As early as dawn, this place is packed with people who jog around for exercise. This is often full-packed from morning till late night, as many tourists and locals enjoy its activities.
You can choose many activities inside the park; you can go jogging, have a picnic, rent a bike or rent a swan boat. But what makes it the top of our list is its stunning, centuries-old artificial lake.
So if it’s your first time in Baguio and you’re looking for an Instagram-worthy place, Burnham Park is a must-see. This place transforms into a wonderland full of lights and decorations that will lift your Christmas spirit during the holiday season!
2. Mines View Park
Second on our list is Mines View Park, which sits on the northeastern outskirts of Baguio, about 5 km from the heart of the city. A little history lesson, Baguio was a mining town during the early 20th century.
Mines View Park sits on a mountainside where you can enjoy the stunning “Instagrammable” view of the Cordillera Mountains and Benguet’s old mines, hence its name.
Mines View Park is free to locals and tourists, but inside, you can take a picture with the Ifugaos, rent an Ifugao costume, and ride a horse that usually comes with a small fee. You can also take photos of the beautiful flowers inside. The park’s highlight is the insta-worthy observation deck and picture taking, with the Cordillera mountains as your backdrop.
Traveling from the town center to the park is never a bore, as you can enjoy beautifully lined pine trees and amazing sights as a treat. Just outside the park are something that every tourist wants, “the pasalubong center”!
3. Baguio Botanical Garden (now Centennial Park)
Are you looking for a free backdrop for the ‘gram or a backdrop for your Tiktok dance? Or maybe you are just looking for a place to relax? Don’t worry, Baguio’s Botanical Garden gotcha.
Another crowd magnet, Centennial Park, is located at 37 Leonard Wood Road near many other tourist spots. Here, you can enjoy a walk by the pond and the variety of bushes, trees, and flowers that make the place magical.
Outside, you will be welcomed by the giant stone sculpture and Igorots in their traditional wear, who are more than willing to take pictures with you for a small fee.
Inside is even more magnificent as it combines nature with tradition and culture. It has fantastic walking paths bring you to its gardens, benches, cottages, pine trees, ponds, pavilions, bridges, art galleries, Igorot huts installations, and even souvenir shops. If you are up for it, you can rent Igorot costumes and take lots and lots of pics.
4. Mirador Hill and Eco Park
This new and upcoming top tourist destination in Baguio City easily attracts many international and local tourists because of its unique Japanese feel and vibes. Inside is a combination of hiking trails and different attractions scattered throughout the property.
This includes magnificent rock formations at the Rock Gardens and relaxing and perfectly lined bamboo at the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. Also included on the list of attractions are the Seismic Chamber, La Storta Garden, Pandemic Healing Memorial, and some Ifugao houses.
The most iconic attraction inside is the red Tori gate on top of the hill and a golden bell created from the war bomb that failed to explode during WWIII.
5. Tam – awan Village
Nicknamed the Garden in the Sky, the Tam-Awan Village is covered in thick forest and sits on top of a hill at Pinsao Proper. This is built so tourists who haven’t been to the heart of the Cordillera may experience being at an Igorot village.
Tam-Awan Village is also an art center, displaying different and unique art styles from different Igorot ethnicities, which makes it a perfect place to visit to satisfy your art craving. All Ifugao and Kalinga huts in Tam -Awan Village are reconstructed not only to resemble the native houses but also to use the original materials.
6. Camp John Hay
Camp John Hay, on its own, is packed with things to do when you are in Baguio City. From extreme adventures to quiet hikes, you can find it all here. You should check out the Tree Top Adventure Nature Park for adrenaline-pumping activities.
If you want a more peaceful and less adventurous activity, you can enjoy the Yellow Trail Hike and immerse yourself in the serene atmosphere of the pine-covered hills. Another exciting destination inside Camp John Hay is the Butterfly Sanctuary which features various butterfly species.
For history buffs, you can visit the Bell House, named after General J Franklin Bell, and a museum showcasing American colonial architecture. You can also take good pics from the amphitheater garden inside. Also, you can check out the Cemetery of Negtivities, a hilarious take on burying negative thoughts and attitudes, complete with gravestones.
And once you are done with all those adventures, you can chill, eat, and relax in the designated picnic areas. You can bring your food, baskets, and picnic mats to complete the vibe. Or better yet, you can check out the different food establishments inside Camp John Hay for a sumptuous meal!
7. Diplomat Hotel
This is for you if you are into ghost hunting or simply looking for a good scare. The Diplomat Hotel, located on top of the Dominican Hill in Baguio City, has been abandoned for many years, but it is now known as one of the scariest places in Baguio City.
Many brave tourists who visited the hotel claimed they had experienced something paranormal. Historically, this hotel became a military base and prison for the Japanese invaders, and it is believed that the souls of the dead victims still lingered in the hotel. Chills!
The city of Baguio has designated the entire hill as a cultural and historical landmark, naming it Dominican Heritage Hill and Nature Park. The property is available for events such as wedding receptions, photo shoots, and filming while undergoing restoration and development for tourism.
Make sure to go with someone when planning to visit the Diplomat Hotel for safety reasons and when you need someone to hold on to as you scream. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
8. Baguio Night Market
Although not unique to Baguio City alone, the night markets along Baguio’s Harisson Road certainly make a name for themselves. This is an excellent excuse to venture to Baguio City at night.
Baguio’s night market along Harrison Road offers a variety of goods and foods for you to choose from. You can enjoy shopping for a pasalubong at an affordable price while enjoying the festive surroundings. Don’t forget to bring extra money because it is impossible not to buy some fantastic “ukay2x” for your next OOTD.
9. Wright Park
Wright Park is named after the previous Governor-General, Luke Edward Wright. It is yet another instragrammable place that Baguio City never seems to run out of. It’s a green, beautiful park with paths for walking, jogging, biking and places to sit and relax.
You will be welcomed with a concrete walkway that surrounds a long pond called Pool of Pines. Just a little more into the insides of the park, you can see pine-covered hills and horse barns, where you can go horseback riding for an affordable price.
If you’re looking for a place to go horseback riding in Baguio, Wright Park is a good option because it has a wide variety of horses and is conveniently located near the city. You can also rent Igorot outfits and take as many pictures as possible. Outside the park are food stalls that could help you quench your thirst and hunger from all the walking, picture taking, and horseback riding.
10. The Mansion
This grand structure, formerly known as the Mansion House, was constructed in 1908 as summer houses for U.S. Governors-general. It was destroyed in 1945 and was renovated and improved. Now, it is where every Philippine president who has visited Baguio City for official engagements has stayed.
Located just across Wright Park, the Mansion may be visited at any time of year, especially on sunny days when the view of the mansion and the green grasses are picture-perfect.
The following tourist destinations are not from Baguio City but from the nearby town of La Trinidad, Benguet, which is a few minutes away from the city center via jeep or taxi.
La Trinidad Strawberry Farm
La Trinidad Strawberry Farm is perhaps the best place to get strawberries in the Philippines. If you are lucky to visit at harvest time, you can go for a strawberry-picking adventure for an affordable price. Outside the rows and rows of strawberries are the different stalls and vendors selling various strawberry products and other pasalubong.
One thing you should definitely try is the strawberry taho. It is not your typical taho since they added strawberry syrup and bits, adding a unique taste to your usual taho. In addition, you can also try their sweet and savory strawberry jam and the luscious pink strawberry ice cream. Lastly, take your best picture of their giant strawberry installation.
StoBoSa Hillside Homes Artwork
These colorful houses erected on the hills of La Trinidad, also known as the “Valley of Colors”, are perhaps one of the top spots to stop by when visiting the strawberry farms. The famous “Valley of Colors” houses once looked dull, but with the effort of the residents and some volunteers, the houses were transformed into “StoBoSa Hillside Homes Artwork”.
The term “StoBoSa” is taken from the combination of Stonehill, Botiwtic, and Sadjap, which are all situated in Balili, La Trinidad. The bests spots to take a picture with the houses are at the drop-off point, the hanging bridge, and right across the street.
There you have it! The Top 10 places to visit in Baguio City plus some spots from the nearby town. More and more tourist spots are spreading across the city, but these 10 are definitely timeless. When you go visit, don’t forget your coat! Enjoy!
Travel to Baguio City is easy! You can simply book bus tickets from Manila (Cubao or Pasay) to Baguio taking the JoyBus / Genesis Transport bus via iwantseats.com!
So you’ve decided to explore Laoag City, part of the beautiful and vibrant Ilocos Norte region in the Philippines. That’s great because there’s much you can do and see here! It is also a great jump-off point (along with Ilocos Sur) to explore the north region of the Philippines.
We give you 5 of our favorite things to do in Laoag:
Go off-road at the Sand Dunes
Have fun in the wide open spaces of the sand dunes! There are two known in the area: La Paz Sand Dunes and Paoay Sand Dunes.
You can ride around 4×4 vehicles and try sandboarding! It’s honestly a rare landscape view in the Philippines so definitely worth the Instagram photos (or reels and TikTok, of course).
2. Learn Ilokano heritage at the museums
A tour is not complete without some historical insight into the region we visit, and Ilocos is undeniably rich with history and its own local culture.
Malacañang of the North is a presidential museum which was the residence of the late president Ferdinand Marcos.
Museo Ilocos Norte showcases cultural artifacts that truly immerses you in ancient heritage of the region.
3. See the Bangui Wind Farm
See the windmills with an expansive view of the ocean at Bangui. Appreciate function that comes with picturesque form as the wind farm 20 units of wind turbines running one the shoreline of Bangui Bay.
4. Enjoy Ilokano Dishes
Oooh the north has so much good stuff to eat! They are known for bagnet and Vigan longganisa. And we never imagined combining pinakbet and pizza, but pinakbet pizza is a must-try! Also don’t miss out on the original Ilocos Empanada. Our favorite of course is Fariñas Ilocos Empanada.
5. Take a drive to nearby beaches and cities
Laoag is a great jump-off point to cities in the north. From here, you can drive or take a bus to Ilocos Sur, or go further north on a scenic drive to Pagudpud!
Now how do we get to Laoag?
If you don’t want to drive, Fariñas Trans has very comfortable buses to take you from their Sampaloc terminal straight to Laoag City. You can book bus your tickets from Manila to Laoag City in advance and get fast confirmation at www.iwantseats.com!
Philippine Airlines also offers direct flight from NAIA to Laoag City Airport.
And of course, there’s the good ol’ roadtrip if you want to drive on your own.