The Philippines is a beautiful tropical country in Southeast Asia. Popular for its sunny beaches and beautiful bays in the Indian Ocean, the country has a compelling ethno-Catholic culture and an interesting cuisine. However, off the mainland, there are nearly 7100 Philippines islands that make up the Philippines archipelago. Therefore, island hopping is something that you must do on your Philippines holiday!
Best Time To Visit Philippines Islands
The ideal time to visit the islands in this country is during the dry season between November and April. The weather is pleasant and it’s a great time for sightseeing and indulging in various activities here like scuba diving, boating, snorkeling, trekking, fishing, surfing, and more.
23 Best Philippines Islands
While you’re out and about in the scenic land of Philippines, make sure you know about number of islands in the Philippines before visiting! Here is a list of the most spectacular islands in Philippines that you should check out!
- Palaui Island
- Cebu Island
- Guimaras Island
- Calaguas Islands
- Batan Island
- El Nido
- Siquijor Island
- Bucas Grande
- Panay Island
- Great Santa Cruz Island
1. Palaui Island
The Palaui Island is the perfect version of the Philippines islands paradise. When you come here, you will feel you are the first person to set foot here. The golden deserted beaches, the crystal blue waters, ancient caves and waterfalls, and the lush green fields on top of steep cliffs at Palaui are the perfect way to get away from the stress of the manmade world. Adventure enthusiasts are recommended to hike through the huge swathes of paddy fields and tropical island jungles, while peace-seekers can hop across the beaches here!
Location: Near Luzon Island
This island is known for a lot of things, but the shallow waters and the perfect sand white beaches are what compel surfers from all over the world to make a beeline for the place. There are a few places to stay here on the island, but General Luna Beach is perhaps the best one because of its excellent pubs and restaurants and proximity to the surfers’ beaches. So, make sure you check out this place while planning for one of the bestvacations at an island in Philippines!
Location: 800 kilometres south of Manila
3. Cebu Island
Cebu island, Philippines has so much it is almost unfair. The island has an international airport, so it is easier to get to than some of the other Philippines islands. The place gets a flood of tourists every day, so the main town has all the great places to stay along with restaurants and nightlife hotspots, making Cebu the capital of Philippines party islands. However, the best part here are the wild Whale Sharks that you can spot off the Oslob Beach.
Location: Central Visayas
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Malapascua is not really known for its nightlife or resorts, but being so remote, it has its own perks. For one, the ocean waters and the island itself offer a spectacular getaway for people looking to relax away from the world. Malapascua, though, is amongst the best islands in Philippines for divers who wish to experience the amazing marine life. Thresher sharks are found in large groups near some of the spots in Malapascua, and swimming with these scary yet graceful creatures is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Location: Visayan Sea near the Cebu Island
Palawan Island, Philippines has been offering a definitive Philippine Islands’ experience to tourists for a long time. It is best known for El Nido which was named the best beach and island spot in the entire Filipino archipelago by Conde Nast Traveler. Also, the capital of Palawan Island Philippines, Puerto Princesa, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The lagoon water, cliffs, and the waterfalls that emerge from within make the place magical!
Location: Palawan province, Western Philippines
There are way too many hidden gems on Bohol, one of the best Philippines islands to visit. You can hike through light forests, find rivers that are only used by local fishermen, chance upon little known waterfalls and suddenly find yourself in secret piers where local people sell handicrafts and the most unique seafood. However, the best thing to do here is the motorcycle tours, and you will be surprised to find how quickly you are friends with the locals operating them.
Location: Central Visayas
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Dumaguete has the best resorts and hotels in Philippines. What you really want to do is to take a quick trip to Manguete, which is basically a large sand island with a few huts in it, standing alone in the middle of the vast blue green ocean. The most popular activity for Dumaguete tourists is, however, the trip to Ape Island which is one of the few Philippines Islands that still has sea turtles.
Location: Negros Island, southern Philippines
This tropical island is amongst the best islands in the Philippines. Why? The Badian Canyon here is an unforgettably beautiful place where you will find impossibly deep canyons, secret waterfalls, and rock formations that boggle the mind. Hiking here is a dream-come-true for anyone who likes nature and it brings you to the gorgeous Kawasan Falls! This one surely tops the list of islands in the Philippines.
Location: Cebu province
Bantayan is filled with resorts, nightclubs, and fun-loving people. However, for the nature lover, this is probably the last untouched Philippines islands. The volcanic island is most popular with tourists for cliff jumping and thrill-seekers must definitely visit. There are also some gorgeous mountain trails here that go right through the tropical forests. Are you ready for some thrilling vibes in Philippines yet?
Location: Northern Cebu province
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Coron Island is a palette on which nature seems to have carelessly sprayed all the gorgeous colors, giving it an almost unreal vibe. Coron is one of the hardest islands to visit in Philippines – you can either take the ferry from the town of El Nido which will take five hours, or you can take the more expensive puddle jumper flight from the capital Manila. The paddy fields, rolling hills, golden dry and lush green vegetation, white sand beaches, and blue green waters make Coron one of the best Philippines Islands for honeymoon.
Location: Calamian group, north Palawan
The island is a geographical miracle. If you are a cave diver, you may want to live here forever. The cave formations here are best for diving, and you can find all kinds of marine life and coral formations inside. Manta rays and lobsters are the most common things to see here. When you are done, Cambari beaches treat you to the most romantic sunset of all Philippine islands. So, did this entice you enough for a trip to this paradise already?
Location: Near Araceli, Palawan
Luzon is where the capital Manila is situated. An unfortunate side-effect of that is that tourists skip the island completely, thinking of Manila as another crowded Asian capital. However, some of the country’s most beautiful hiking trails are here. If you take the bus to Pico de Loro, you can camp out and climb the Mt Palay, which is 664 metres above the sea level. Manila visitors also have the Mt Batulao (811 metres) accessible from the capital itself.
Location: North Philippines
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13. Guimaras Island
On the Philippines islands map, the island of Guimaras often gets skipped by international tourists. The pristine beaches of Namarao, Inampulugan, and Nauway are deserted but for the occasional locals. If you want to avoid the throngs of tourists who come to the country, Guimaras may is the go-to destination. Also, you will find Catholic churches, mango plantations, and lighthouses here that will make you think the place was animated out of a Disney movie.
Location: Panay Gulf
14. Calaguas Islands
If it is beaches you are looking for, these group of virgin islands have the most extensive white beaches in all of the Philippines. There are many resorts on the islands, but to get a true taste of the Calaguas, you should consider camping out on the beaches. The small fee you have to pay the park goes a long way with the cool sea breeze, the sounds of the sea, and the thousands of stars that come out at night.
Location: Camarines Norte
15. Batan Island
Batan will offer a different perspective to your Filipino experience. Away from the beaches, the volcanic island is filled with farms, rice fields, and tropical forests that are separated with cute fences. The Honesty Coffee Shop is the novelty here, and a must visit. The place has no attendants at all, and you can pick up coffee and snacks and leave whatever remuneration you see fit. Is this the kind of soothing island you’ve been looking for?
Location: Batanes group
16. El Nido
It’s among the most popular island on the list of islands of the Philippines. Even then, this magnificent stretch of island has managed to keep its pure beauty untouched and intact. El Nido is considered to have its own biosphere as well as some of the most beautiful natural landscapes and scenery in the Philippines, and maybe even in the world! You can tour this island on a classic catamaran to see its sheer beauty.
Location: Palawan island, Philippines
17. Siquijor Island
You will need to rent a motorbike to tour the entire perimeter of this gorgeous island and that too would take you about a couple of days. This island is replete with waterfalls, swimming holes, and white sand beaches. You can indulge in cliff jumping, go trekking in the jungles, and eat loads of seafood when you’re here. You can also visit various Spanish-influenced landmarks such as St Francis de Assisi Church and the St. Isidore de Labrador Church.
Location: Negros Island
18. Bucas Grande
Here, you will get the unique chance to swim with jellyfish, explore underground caves and tunnels, enjoy speed boat tours via mountainous passageways, and go fishing with the locals of the island. This island is surrounded by some of the clearest water you may ever have seen! Owing to this, you will clearly be able to see jellyfish swimming in the depths below. Don’t forget to pack your underwater camera before you plan a trip to this amazing island in the Philippines.
Location: Surigao del Norte, Philippines
This place is the perfect one for those who wish to indulge in adventure activities like trekking, snorkeling, as well as discovering the local culture and traditions. You must hire a guide to see the whole island or you’ll end up missing a lot of things. Trekking in the mountainous jungles here will bring you up and close with the wildlife, flora, and fauna of the Philippines. You can also explore various caves while you’re trekking here. Don’t forget to take along your snorkeling gear since there is a small marine sanctuary where you can snorkel with the fish.
Location: Antique Province
20. Panay Island
Want to experience something offbeat in Philippines? Get to the Panay Island! You can choose to stay in the Kalibo area where there are plenty of beachfront guest houses that are not thronged by crowds of tourists and are also less expensive. All you need to do here is wander and explore the local village life. You can hire a motor taxi to take you around and to look at the amazing sea views!
Location: Catanduanes Province
Corregidor is considered the best Philippines islands for all history buffs. A historical island that is located at the entrance of Manila Bay in the Philippines, Corregidor attracts a lot of fo tourists all round the year. During World War II, this island was the battleground of Americans, Filipino troops and Japanese. You can explore the island fortress and you can also go on a boat tour on this island.
Location: Manila Bay
22. Great Santa Cruz Island
Located in the Zamboanga City, Great Santa Cruz Island is popular for its pink coralline sand. This island is home to the Pink Sand Beach which is considered one of the 21 best beaches in the World by National Geographic. A lot of tourists visit this island because of its beauty and pink sand. If you are a marine life fan then you will be glad to know you can witness diverse underwater creatures on this island.
Location: Santa Cruz Bank, Basilan Strait
Situated between the Sulu Sea and the Celebes Sea, Tawi Tawi is one of the most popular island in Philippines. If serenity is on your mind then you must head to this island. Tawi Tawi is located near to Malaysia and Philippines and the local food here is a mix of Malaysian cuisine and Filipino cuisine. You can relax at the beaches, savor the view of beautiful sunsets and later relish a scrumptious meal.
Location: Sulu Archipelago
There are so many Philippines islands that it’s impossible to explore them all in one lifetime. The ones we have singled out here will surely offer the most interesting experiences, and you should not miss a chance to visit them! So, plan your trip to Philippines for a hassle-free holiday experience through TravelTriangle!
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Frequently Asked Questions About Philippines Islands
Which is the best island to visit in the Philippines?
All the islands in the Philippines have something special to offer. It’s not easy to single one out.
How many islands do the Philippines have in 2021?
According to the latest data by the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority, the Philippines has a total of 7641 islands.
Which month is the cheapest to fly to the Philippines?
June is the cheapest month to fly to the Philippines.
Which are the 4 biggest islands in the Philippines?
The biggest islands in the Philippines are:
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