There are so many Instagrammable spots in the Philippines! Imagine the most amazing tropical paradise you can, and it is likely you are imagining the Philippines. Lush dense rainforests full of waterfalls with colours you wouldn’t think possible. Palm tree-lined beaches with such soft sand and aqua water you would think you had found heaven! Honestly, there are magical places wherever you look in the Philippines and we would go as far as saying it is one of the most instagrammable spots on earth!
We promise that this list is the best on the internet, covering all of the main areas on a tourists itinerary. With many spots not covered in other blogs, you will be sure that you are not missing out on any hidden gems!
Table of Contents
The Most Instagrammable Spots in the Philippines
Giant Hand @ Sirao Flower Garden (Cebu City)
Located in the mountains high above Cebu City is Sirao Flower Garden. For a small fee, you can access the large area covered in vibrant flowers and various photo props. Small tree houses, water features, windmills and other crazy creations make for plenty of cool photo opportunities. We particularly liked these golden hands that give the illusion of being held up high in the sky!
Temple of Leah (Cebu City)
No we haven’t made a mistake, the Temple of Leah is definitely located in Cebu and not Rome! Also located up in the mountains above the city is this expansive ‘temple’. This private piece of land is actually one man’s memorial to his late wife Leah and the entire building is an enormous memorial to her! There is even a large 10ft statue of Leah erected in the lobby. Now that is a good husband!! The building was started in 2012 and is only expected to be fully complete by late 2020 due to its enormous 24 inner chambers, most of which are still not accessible.
Cebu Taoist Temple (Cebu City)
The Taoist Temple is a vibrant temple open to both worshippers and non-worshippers. The temple itself is multi-tiered and has a fantastic view out over Cebu. The entrance of the temple was designed to imitate the Great Wall of China and you will also find a large dragon. A cool thing to do here with a bit of help from the Taoist’s is lighting some joss stick and having your fortune read.
Fort San Pedro (Cebu City)
Established by the Spanish in 1565 this iconic fort has had a lot of history. It’s been used as an army garrison, a rebel stronghold, prison camp and even. the city zoo. The large iconic gateway and various sections from the 18th century remain standing and it is worth checking out to learn about some of the history of Cebu.
Sardine Run (Moalboal)
Ever dreamt of swimming in a school of fish? Well, your dreams have been answered. The sardine run is an amazing 365 day a year phenomenon located just 30m from the shore, so it is easy for anybody to paddle out to with a snorkel! For an even better experience though definitely try scuba diving there and unleashing your inner Ariel from the little mermaid. To top it off this unique sight is 100% natural with no feeding or luring keeping the fish there, and no commercial fishing is allowed.
Kawasan Falls (Alegria)
If you’ve ever searched Instagram for some Instagrammable spots to visit in the Philippines, chances are you’ve spotted Kawasan Falls. Honestly, we still don’t know how the colour of the water was real, but it was! Just a short 15 minute walk through the jungle and you will reach the iconic falls. There are a few stalls and a man hiring out lifejackets. Yes, you have to wear a lifejacket if you want to swim like several other spots in the Philippines. A bit of a strange concept to us strong Aussie swimmers.
Make sure to visit as early as possible to beat the crowds as it can get crazy busy! You can actually continue further upstream to two more falls. Honestly, there are so many different spots and angles to get beautiful photos here. Although we didn’t have time we have heard AMAZING things about the canyoneering trip that takes you along the river through various jumps and natural water slides, ending at the famed falls.
Tumalog Falls (Oslob)
Although Tumalog Falls isn’t quite as vibrant as Kawasan Falls it is definitely stunning fall. This 80m high fall is enormous and quite the spectacle, especially after some rain. The lagoon below is fairly shallow and a great spot to cool off from the tropical heat.
Dao Waterfalls (Samboan)
Dao Waterfalls definitely deserves a place on our list of the most instagrammable spots in the Philippines. Even the walk there is a unique adventure. You walk through a gorge w along a thin strip of rock with the vibrant water flowing passed you. Make sure not to come when it’s been raining as it can be incredibly slippery. Once you arrive at the falls you will realise why we say you need to visit. The water cascades down an almost vertical limestone wall into a cylindrical turquoise lagoon below.
Cadapdapan Rice Terraces (Bohol)
Rice terraces are a staple among any travel photographers collection and Cadapdapan Rice Terraces should definitely be added to yours. These tiered terraces carved into the mountains are a sight to be seen. Definitely try be there during sunrise or sunset as the golden glow basking on the terraces is uniquely beautiful. This place gives off serious tropical vibes.
Chocolate Hills (Bohol)
The Chocolate Hills of Bohol are a bizarre geological formation comprising 1,268 cone-shaped hills that vary from 30 to 120m in height. From the viewpoints, you can see the hills as far as the eye can see. With such uniform looking symmetry, they almost appear man-made. Unfortunately, they are not made of chocolate though. The name comes from the dry season when the grass drys up, the hills turn a chocolate brown colour.
Taraw Cliff Viewpoint
This viewpoint is not for the faint of heart. Perched precariously at the top of a jagged mountain with sweeping views over El Nido and out to sea. The 45-minute hike up will surely get your blood pumping, especially in the tropical heat. So try to get up there as early as possible, sunrise is best anyway! There are many parts with almost vertical sections and there is lots of scrambling involved. So definitely only attempt this is you think you are up to it. The photos you can get up here are incredible and we will need to return when we can finally climb it with Ollie. For sure Taraw Cliff has to be one of the most Instagrammable spots in the Philippines!
Visiting El Nido is all about island hopping and exploring the Jurrasic like scenery out to sea. Towering limestone cliffs covered in vegetation seem to pop out of the water everywhere. There are several lagoons that are worth visiting however we think Small Lagoon is the best! Your boat will anchor close to one of the mountains and give you the option to kayak. From there you squeeze through a narrow opening in the cliff and pop out in a large lagoon. The water is crystal clear and the most vibrant colour you have ever seen. Although it’s called small lagoon it is surprisingly large inside and truly a cool feeling to be totally surrounded by the cliffs! We think Small Lagoon is even more unique that Large Lagoon as it really feels like a private oasis.
Secret Lagoon is another one of the famous lagoons. This one you jump off the boat and swim through a narrow gap in the cliffs to a tiny lagoon. There is also an idyllic beach inside! You really will feel as if you are in paradise.
Las Cabanas Beach
El Nido itself also has quite a few beaches of its own. Although we don’t recommend swimming near the township of El Nido due to poor water quality, plenty of other beaches are just a short tuk-tuk ride away. Las Cabanas is about 15 mins away from the town and looks out to Bacuit Bay and all of the unique islands. Upon being dropped off you must walk down an alley full of stores and even a McDonalds. The beach itself has a couple of beach clubs and bars and gets super crowded. There is also a zip line on the main beach that goes from the mainland all the way to a nearby island!
The real secret though is to walk left all of the way around the corner passed the zip line (10 min walk). You will have an enormous length of beach all to yourself with much better views and plenty of shady palms! Sometimes it definitely pays to explore your surroundings and not just settle for what’s easy. That’s how you find the real gems.
Said by many to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the entire world, Nacpan Beach is a must-visit. A 3km strip of golden sand with a strip of swaying palm trees bordering it. There are several guesthouses, cafes and vendors to buy fresh coconuts from. Although development is occurring quickly there is still very much so that isolated tropical beach feel.
Kayangan Lake is definitely another one of those most Instagrammable spots in the Philippines type places! Coron like El Nido is renowned for its amazing landscapes out to sea from the mainland. Kayangan Lake is found after climbing up and over a mountain pass to a unique freshwater lake. At the top, there is also a fantastic viewpoint over the boat ‘parking lot’ below and the surrounding bay.
This crystal clear lake has a boardwalk around a portion of it and is full of underwater rock formations, caves and islets. Although you technically are required to wear a lifejacket here, it actually is kind of handy as being freshwater you do not float as easily as in the ocean! Because of the lifejacket rule the most photogenic shots you will get here are on the edge of the lake.
Mount Tapyas Viewpoint and Coron sign
Towering above the town of Coron is Mount Tapyas and it’s iconic Hollywood style CORON sign. This walk is 721 steps up. 721 steps of hard going up. In the heat, it can be a mission especially carrying a camera bag and a toddler! Many people come up here to watch the sunset over the bay from the viewpoint. However once at the top, the best views are found walking behind the viewing platform into the hills. There is a well-worn walking track along the ridgeline and plenty of insanely beautiful photos spots!
Twin Lagoon is a duo of spectacularly coloured lagoons amongst the limestone cliffs and is ideal for swimming, snorkelling & photos. Your boat will cruise past a shack built into the cliffs and let you jump off into the water. From there if the tide is low enough you can swim your way under a small cavern, otherwise, you can climb a rickety set of stairs up and over. There’s plenty of cool rock features to explore in this unique lagoon.
Franz C. Trinidad / CC BY-SA
Ditaytayan Sand Bar
This incredible sandbar will have you thinking you are in the Maldives. About two hours by boat from Coron this incredible region is full of pristine tropical islands. If you are wanting to cause your friends serious travel envy, Ditaytayan Sand Bar is for sure one of the most Instagrammable spots in the Philippines!!
Smith Point Beach
If doing a private boat tour around Coron we seriously recommend making Smith Point Beach your lunch stop. Our captain took us to the market before leaving Coron early in the morning and we chose a bunch of stuff for a BBQ. Once we pulled up at Smith Point Beach he fired up his BBQ on the boat and cooked us up a feast which we then ate under a small wooden shelter on the beach. This was one of the best memories of our entire trip. To make it even better this would have to be the nicest beach in the area by far! With shallow water extending way into the distance the colour of the water is indescribable!! We could easily have just spent the whole day here soaking up the sun.
Found near the sand bar mentioned above is stunning Malcapuya Island. Snow-white sand, bright blue water and swinging palms. Yep if you make it here you have definitely found paradise!
White Beach is an exceptionally stunning beach just 10 minutes boat ride away from Port Barton. Surrounded by palm trees, soft sand and calm waves, it is a fantastic place to laze away the day!
Whilst you can easily get a boat here, there is also a great walk from the Port Barton town. This beach was definitely named right because there are so many palm trees and coconuts here! If you’re chasing that typical palm tree forest photo at sunset, this is for sure the place for it. Apparently there are also some local pigs that like to frolic in the water here occasionally too!
When visiting Port Barton you should definitely do one of the island-hopping boat tours. They are equally as good if not better in their own way than those in Coron and El Nido. In Port Barton, they are all about idyllic beaches! And where encapsulates the tropics more than Starfish Island. A teeny tiny all sand bar island that is surrounded by clusters of large starfish! They are everywhere!
Named after a German who used to own the land this stunning island features a white sand beach and vivid turquoise waters with loads of coral to be found below! The beach itself is dotted with native style huts and beach chairs to chill out on. At the southeastern end is a channel separating German Island from Marindeg Island. This channel is famous for often having large turtles swimming in it. So make sure you bring a snorkel with you. This island is usually combined in a tour with Starfish Island.
Hammocks on Port Barton Beach
We instantly fell in love with the sleepy town of Port Barton. A small isolated beach town with the most dreamy beach fronting it. Along its length, you will find swings and hammocks just begging to be used! There’s just something about a hammock on a beach that just conjures up images of paradise. It’s no surprise this beach is on our list of the most Instagrammable spots in the Philippines.
It’s a big call but we think Kawasan Falls should be dethroned by Cambugahay Falls as the best waterfall in the country! The falls itself is a series of vivid turquoise cascades flowing through the lush jungle. There are several rope swings here and small rafts that make for awesome memories and photo opportunities. Don’t be afraid and jump in to have a refreshing swim! Also, make sure to continue walking further upstream when you are there and not only see the main lagoon and falls.
The Lazi Convent is a neo-classical style Roman Catholic Church built in the late 1800s. It is a unique example of architecture featuring coral stones and wood. The building itself is in fantastic condition and commands your attention when you drive passed it. It is a National Cultural Treasure of the Philippines and has been nominated for UNESCO World Heritage status.
This is the most spectacular beach in Siquijor would have to be Paliton Beach, and it is no secret. Both locals and tourists alike flock to this pristine beach that doesn’t have lots of rocks like many others on the island. It’s a public beach so free entry, and there are several vendors selling snacks and drinks. The bent palms make for some great shade and awesome photo opportunities. There are several epic rope swings here too. So why not channel your inner Tarzan and swing around into the sunset!
Salagdoong Cliff Jump
Salagdoong Beach is a private government-run resort however you can pay a small charge to access the beach. Whilst the resort seems pretty dingy the beach is a good place to spend an afternoon. The beach itself has a thick belt of coral and shells as you wade in so can be quite painful to walk on. We spread a lot of the debris aside, laying our towels down and were reasonably comfortable.
There are a few floating pontoons with hammocks inside available at a charge that look super cool from a drone. However, the main attraction is definitely the cliff jumping platforms. There are two different platforms (7 & 10m) to jump off into the clear calm water below. Be aware it can get super shallow there and only to jump during high tide.
Natural Fish Spa at the Old Enchanted Balete Tree
Balete trees are prominent in the Philippines and rumour has it they house mysterious and mythical creatures like elves and fairies. This one, in particular, is over 400 years old and surrounded by mysticism. Especially on such a magical island like Siquijor.
Making the tree even more special is the natural spring flowing right under the tree. Locals do not know where or why the water flows, however it is clean and safe. If you sit on the edge, tiny fish will give you a fish spa, nibbling at the dead skin on your feet. Not something for those who are ticklish!
Palm Tree Road
Deep in the heart of Siargao is a very special road. Surrounded by dense jungle and thousands of palm trees. This is the epitome of tropical life. The contrast of the grey road and the dense green foliage really is stunning and you feel as if you are in the middle of nowhere! Drone shots here come up looking absolutely awesome as they really capture the scale of the forest.
Magpungko Rock Pools
Siargao isn’t all about surfing and palm trees, you’ll also find the natural wonder of the Magpungko Rock Pools. These massive rock pools are full of crystal clear water that seems to glow fluorescent aqua. There are coves, caves, cliffs and jumping points as well as loads of obscure rocks. Nearby you will also find an absolute stunner of a beach. If you are the Philippines and searching for some Instagrammable spots to visit, there are plenty of great shots here!
Sugba Lagoon is one of the most popular attractions in Siargao and for good reason. It is roughly 30 minutes by boat through the mangroves from the mainland. This 4000-hectare sanctuary is enormous and famous for its glistening turquoise waters. It’s also much less crowded than Kayangan Lake in Coron. At the lagoon, there is a large pontoon house where you can claim a table to leave your possessions and then explore the lagoon. The pontoon house also serves food and rents out the equipment such as bamboo rafts and stand up paddleboards.
However, you can still have an awesome time just swimming around and the pontoon house has an epic diving board. Try and get some shots of the diving board from the 2nd floor of the pontoon.
About 500m away is a secret cliff diving platform, just ask the locals and they will point you in the right direction to swim or paddle.
Palm Tree Rope Swing
This bent palm tree in Siargao is possibly one of the most instagrammable spots in Siargao! Overhanging a river deep in the mangrove forest, this area is absolutely spectacular! The entrepreneurial locals have set up a few attractions making for an even better experience. For a small charge, you can swing as many times you like on the large rope swing, or perhaps rent a bamboo raft or paddle boat! The local children will even help you climb up the trees and perfect your swinging technique.
The Palm Tree Lookout has arguably the best views in Siargao. With sweeping views of palm trees stretching out as far as the eye can see. If you are looking for a splash of green in your photos, you are sure to get it here!!
Naked Island is named not because it is a nude beach, but because it is naked of any trees or shrubbery. It is simply a small island of sand in the middle of the sea! It’s not often you get to have an entire island to yourself, but here you could easily be King for a while!
Hopefully, this article has helped you plan your route to visit all of the most Instagrammable spots in the Philippines. If you are visiting the Philippines, make sure to check out our Two Weeks in Palawan guide as well as Travelling the Philippines with a baby or toddler.