underrated places to visit in the philippines

7 Underrated Places To Visit In The Philippines This Summer

With the heat peaking at its vindictive strongest, our best recourse this summer is to travel. After all, there’s nothing like a quick adventure to distract us from the searing heat. While the first instinct is to head to the nearest beach, if you want to avoid the crowds, you’ll have to be more selective of your destination. We’ve rounded up some of the most underrated places to visit in the Philippines so you can have a summer unlike any other.

Pangasinan

Underrated Places to Visit in the Philippines
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As one of the biggest provinces in the Philippines, Pangasinan has more to offer than most people think, making it one of the most underrated places to visit in the Philippines this summer. It has unspoilt beaches, deserted islands, rivers, mangroves, waterfalls and caves to last you all summer — or even a lifetime. Ditch the tourist trap that is the Hundred Islands and check out Dasol’s virgin beaches, Bolinao’s wateralls, and Mabini’s caves. All of that only about 5 hours by car or bus away from Manila, and you’ve got the perfect summer destination.

Iligan

Underrated Places to visit in the Philippines
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For a province that is home to the famous Maria Cristina Falls that we all knew from our grade school textbooks, Iligan is not getting the attention it deserves. And maybe this is all for the better. The Northern Mindanao town maintains an untouched charm that makes exploring it all the more inviting. Known as a waterfall town, you’ll have your fill of falls here. Apart from Maria Cristina, there’s Tinago Falls, Pampam Falls, Kalubihin Falls, and Dodiongan Falls. All of these are accessible by jeep or habal-habal and a trek from the main town.

Tarlac

Underrated Places to Visit in the Philippines
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With its endless rice fields and lush green mountains, Tarlac is a picture of bucolic beauty. About 3 hours away from Manila, it’s among the most accessible yet underrated places to visit in the Philippines. The landlocked province may not have the white sand beaches you may be craving at this time of year, but there are falls, caves, and rivers aplenty.

Best explored on foot or by bike, Tarlac’s places of interest are extra special only because they remain relatively untouched. For some sterilized fun, you can spend the day at the Tarlac Recreational Park. For something more rugged, you could do a trek to Sikwako Falls in Bamban or go river rafting on the Nambalan River.

Masbate

Underrated Places to Visit in the Philippines
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On the map, Masbate is smack dab in the center of the archipelago. Made up of three islands, the province has unique and changing landscapes. You go from pristine white sandbars, to patches of mangrove, to majestic rolling hills made even more picturesque by the hordes of cattle being herded across it. Get your fair share of sun, sand, and sea at the Buntod Reef. Also, check out the Catandayagan Falls, which leads into the sea. Or, cowboy it up at the Sese Ranch, where horses and cattle roam.

Marinduque

Underrated Places to Visit in the Philippines
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Marinduque is one of those underrated places to visit in the Philippines that are easy enough to reach but still enough away for it to feel like an escape. If it’s this balance between distance and accessibility that you need, this is your go-to destination. With historical sites, island tours, and camping sites all over, you can easily make the most out of your journey. Save yourself the trouble and check out our Marinduque Itinerary for a hassle-free trip.

Cavite

Underrated Places to visit in the Philippines
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Its proximity to Manila isn’t exactly the most appealing, especially to those who really want to get away from the hustle and bustle. But this historic province has a lot of hidden gems, if one only bothered to look. Cavite has more to offer than tourist traps like Tagaytay and overexposed historical sites like the Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit. For instance, you could trek to Malibiclibic Falls in Bailen or Palsahingin Falls in Indang.

For something more physically demanding, you could set out to conquer the famous Mt. Pico de Loro in Maragondon. Or, you could feed your tita tendencies by trying your hand at organic farming at Nurture Farmacy in Amadeo. Whatever you’re in the mood for, you can find it in one of the most underrated places to visit in the Philippines.

Bulacan

Underrated Places to visit in the Philippines
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As the hometown of several national heroes, Bulacan is overflowing with historical sites. If that’s what you’re craving for this summer, this is the place to be. Apart from the famous Barasoain Church in Malolos, dive into the time warp at the heritage houses in Bustos.

Of course, if you need a watering hole, there’s also the Bakas river in Norzagaray and the Amana Waterpark in Pandi. You can also go climbing at Mt. Manalmon in San Miguel, known for its caves and unique rock formations. (Of course, there’s always Jed’s Island Resort, which was recently proven to be more than just a myth).

While the Boracays and Palawans are always there for us to enjoy, these underrated places to visit in the Philippines guarantee a unique adventure anytime. Plan a trip to these places now, and you’re definitely in for a summer to remember.

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Amanda Lago writes a lot of things but not her own bio.
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