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Top 10 Offbeat Destinations in the Philippines

by Melanie Peterson
The Philippines, with over 7000 islands, is truly a traveler’s paradise. The Philippines caters to the needs of every traveler, be it a solo trip, or a romantic couple trip, or even a family trip. There are so many places to visit and the variety it offers is mindblowing. As the tourism industry grows every year, there are more people who want to take up international travel, and the same is the case with the Philippines.

If you are someone who is keen on venturing into the offbeat destinations, where you want to explore the untouched beauty of the country, exploring the thick jungles, pristine beaches, and whatnot, then this article is just for you. It covers all the not so famous destinations which are as beautiful as the frequently visited places in the Philippines.

Here are the top 10 offbeat locations that you can visit in the Philippines.

1. Batad Rice Terraces

Batad Rice Terraces, known as the Ifugao rice terraces, is a UNESCO world heritage site which is located in the province of Banaue. Reaching those rice terraces is slightly difficult and tiresome as compared to the most visited places, and that is why not many people come and visit this part of the country. But that makes it an amazing offbeat experience if you are keen on visiting this place.

You will have to take an overnight bus trip and then take a tricycle ride into these terraces. It would almost take 10 hours for you to reach these terraces from Banaue, but once you reach here and admire the beautiful landscape, you will realize all the effort is worth it!

2. Bontoc

Bontoc is a mountain province that has always been overshadowed by other mountain regions in the Philippines due to its location. Bontoc is placed beside Sagada and Banaue. If you are looking for outdoor adventure and lush green grass filled mountains without the hustle and bustle of a typical tourist spot, then Bontoc is where you should be. The splendid surroundings,  Maligcong Rice Terraces, and view of mountains like Kupapey and Fato adds an icing on the cake.

3. Sagada

Despite Sagada fast becoming a well-renowned tourist attraction, there are not many people visiting this place as much as they visit the other famous destinations. Sagada is a paradise for adrenaline junkies as it offers a plethora of heart-pumping adventurous activities. You can hike, go trekking in the mountains, explore and immerse yourself in the hot springs, and also visit the famous bat caves. Also, consider taking a swim at the Bomod-ok falls, also called as the Big falls. It is slightly cumbersome to reach Sagada as the transportation to and fro Sagada is very sparse and you need to plan your trip accordingly.

4. Quirino

Every place in the Philippines is well known for anyone particular offering, be it the pristine white-sand beaches, or adventure activities, or leisure retreat. But Quirino is completely unique in this aspect as it offers several varieties and experiences in a nutshell, and what makes it more interesting is that such a place is very offbeat and less known to tourists. Quirino isn’t your ideal place if you are looking for city luxury as the amenities in terms of modern standards are rugged and rag, but this will also be a completely unique experience as you can take up eco-adventures and several outdoor sports like rafting, caving, and nature tripping.

5. Siquijor

The mystical island of Siquijor is an amazing destination that is offbeat for most of the tourists visiting the Philippines, although now it is gathering pace to become one of the most favored spots in the country. Siquijor is a spectacular island which houses amazing beaches with pristine water, and stunning landscapes around it. This will serve as a perfect getaway for a couple of days to escape the hustle and bustle of cities. What makes Siquijor an offbeat place is that there is barely any public transportation within, and also there are very few streetlights. Siquijor is packed and embedded with natural beauty that you can’t afford to miss this place if you are a sucker for offbeat destinations.

6. Caramoan Islands

The Philippines is a well-known island destination, and the Caramoan Islands, considered as the Philippines’ last frontier, is a completely offbeat and unspoiled destination. This island is largely unexplored and is located in the Bicol region. It is very cumbersome to reach the Caramoan Islands and that is one of the main reasons why this place is still largely unexplored and not frequently visited by tourists.

Caramoan Islands is a perfect location for people who are looking to experience beaches and flora and fauna without too much crowd, for the island offers amazing beaches, amazing rock formations, and also a variety of marine life.

7. Kaparkan Falls

Kaparkan Falls, located in Abra, is a terraced waterfall, similar to the world-famous terraced waterfall found in countries like Laos or Vietnam. This is a pristine untouched waterfall, which remains that way because of the difficulty in reaching this place as it takes a long time to reach here and also there isn’t much of connectivity to this place from prominent cities/towns. But be rest assured that it is completely worth the effort to reach this place it is a refreshing cold waterfall, which will help you soothe and relax your muscles. Also, this spot is very photogenic and can add flair and class to your Instagram feed!

8. Osmena Peak

Although Cebu island is one of the most visited spots by tourists in the Philippines, the Osmena peak, which is located in Cebu, is not so famous among tourists. Reaching the Osmena peak can be difficult and slightly risky as the roads are like dirt tracks and you need to take a bike or car ride to reach the peak. Bike or car accidents are prone on this road, so please be careful while you take the ride to the peak.

Once you reach the peak, the effort is completely worth it as you can see as far as the coast if the weather is clear on that day. You will have to keep in mind that you will have to start early for this trip, somewhere around 4 am, and also be mindful of the weather conditions on that day before you start this trip.

9. Vigan

Vigan, located in Ilocos Sur, is a quaint old 16th-century town. Although this isn’t exactly an offbeat destination, this isn’t very famous amongst the tourists. This town is very well preserved and large parts of it are unexplored, thus maintaining its flair. When you tread through this town, you will feel as if you have traveled back in time, and you are exploring an ancient European trading town, and that justifies why this is considered a UNESCO world heritage site!

Reaching Vigan isn’t very cumbersome as you have good connectivity from Manila, and ensure you don’t miss the authentic Ilocano food!

10. Apo Island

Apo Island, located in the Negros Oriental province, is a completely offbeat and unexplored island. This is located roughly 7-10 kilometers from the Negros Island. Reaching the Apo Island is a very difficult task as you will have to take a combination of transportation to reach this place, and also while you take the Bangka boat ride, there is a very good chance that you may get soaked in water as the tides are bound to be erratic.

This is a very small island and can be completely covered by foot. One of the main reasons why people visit the island is because of the amazing diving and snorkeling you can experience on this coast. You get to see diverse marine life, with turtles and sharks being the easiest to find. Once you are done with that, you can visit the 230 steps high lighthouse and observe the beautiful sunset.

Visiting the famous destinations of a country and visiting offbeat destinations of a country are two different experiences. For those who are very keen on visiting the untouched paradises throughout the Philippines tour, ensure you plan a trip to the above-mentioned places to make it complete. Since these are offbeat locations, planning these tours become very important and tedious. That is where travel companies like Pickyourtrail, Yatra come in to play, where they ensure your trip goes break free through their Philippines tour packages. What are you waiting for? Pack your bags and explore the unexplored! 

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