Sometimes a digital detox is just what the doctor ordered. These lesser-known destinations in the Philippines will get you reconnected with nature (and yourself) in no time.
Baler is one of those places that sneaks up on you. It doesn’t look like much initially, but pretty soon you don’t want to leave. Luzon’s Sierra Madre mountain range makes a majestic backdrop for just about anything you do in Baler. Weekends see visitors arrive from Manila, but on weekdays Baler is just a sleepy little fishing town with jaw-dropping scenery and lots of people who love to surf.
It’s not all about beaches. If you’re a land creature with just a few days’ break, try renting a car and making the two-hour drive from Manila to Tagaytay. With its cozy cuddle-up weather and views of Taal Volcano, Tagaytay has a bit of a reputation as a destination for romance, but there’s also a crop of organic restaurants and cafes to check out.
HotelQuickly Tip: If you’re traveling with a loved one, try to snag a room with a view, like the ones at Joaquin’s Bed & Breakfast.
Bohol has got it all: sparkling beaches, emerald rivers, rolling hills and more picture-perfect rice paddies than you can shake a stick at. We love the peacefulness along the Loboc River in the island’s interior, but if you really want to escape from the rest of the world, head for beautiful Anda on the eastern coast.
HotelQuickly Tip: Get a taste of rural life along the river at Loboc River Resort, featured on the app.
Calaguas’ Mahabang Buhangin beach is one of the most beautiful in the entire archipelago. It’s a bit of a trek getting there, but no one who makes it is ever disappointed. You’ll get the real island experience camping out in simple huts and feasting on fresh seafood every day. Note: Calaguas has sand so white, it’s won the Philippines’ ‘Battle of the Sands’ (really, it’s a thing.)
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If you’re one of those people who switches off best while diving, then you have to dive in Coron. Like underwater museums, almost a dozen WWII shipwrecks rest on the seafloor below the Calamian Islands. Coron has so many enticing lakes, coral gardens and beaches you could stay weeks and not exhaust its treasures. But for some RNR, head straight to the shores of Cheey, Busuanga.
HotelQuickly Tip: Make the most of your Coron holiday by booking a resort on a private island, like Club Paradise Resort, or stay a little outside Coron town surrounded by greenery at family-owned La Natura.
There’s something secretive about this quiet island. Siquijor is known within the Philippines for its mystic healers. Most people rent a motorcycle to visit the waterfalls and old churches that dot the coastline. There are some fantastic, affordable resorts in Siquijor where you’ll spend your days in a sun-kissed blur. Stretch out on a daybed. Go for a snorkel. Repeat.
Mindoro has two sides. One; raw untamed tropical paradise. The other; easy-going diving town. Depending what you want, you can either head into the wild or stay close to the beach bars and coral reefs. Like many places in the Philippines, days spent island-hopping are always a highlight.
HotelQuickly Tip: Check out Utopia Resort on the HotelQuickly app for a little affordable luxury.
Nothing says ‘switch off’ like having only four hours of electricity a day. Welcome to Port Barton, haven for world-weary city dwellers and poster-child for a simpler way of life. Cut off from civilization by unpaved roads and enveloped by jungle-clad hills and placid Pagdanan Bay, Port Barton has a way of soothing and restoring its visitors. The heartbreakingly beautiful sunsets don’t hurt, either.
Guimaras’ rough, volcanic exterior protects a collection of pretty coves and long empty beaches. There’s not much on the island in the way of development, but there are countless small resorts where you can claim a room on a cliff above the water. Guimaras is only 15 minutes by boat from Panay, but some places on the island feel utterly remote, without so much as a phone signal to disturb the silence.
The surf’s always up in this magical island on the edge of the Pacific. Siargao is known for waves but the island is brimming with completely untouched, hidden corners that will leave you breathless. You can look forward to inviting lagoons, mangrove adventures and free firefly shows every evening.