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22 Best Island-Hopping Destinations in the Philippines

22 Best Island-Hopping Destinations in the Philippines

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Island hopping attractions in Palawan Philippines

IMPORTANT: The destinations featured in this article may have COVID-19 travel restrictions and requirements. Check our COVID-19 travel advisory page for details.


The Philippines is dubbed an ultimate summer destination because of its many natural wonders that feature crystal clear water in varying shades of blue to powder white sandy shores surrounded by towering limestones and formations.

With more than 7,000 islands in the Philippine archipelago, you can never run out of places to include in your travel bucket list. Here are 22 of the best destinations if you’re craving for an island hopping escapade. 

22. Tawi-Tawi

Island hopping at Sangay Siapo in Tawi-Tawi, PhilippinesThe peaceful and captivating island of Tawi-Tawi is located in the southernmost tip of the Philippines. Tawi-Tawi is like a hidden treasure that’s yet to be discovered by travelers. 

The island’s main attraction is the popular Panampangan Island where you can see the longest sandbar in the Philippines. 

You can also travel around and savor your holiday break at Sangay Siapo Island, Simunul Island and Bud Bongao Peak. Come for the seafood, the welcoming ambiance and the people. The experience may just surprise you.

21. Port Barton, Palawan

Island hopping at Inaladelan Island in Port Barton, PalawanCompared to the more popular destinations in Palawan like El Nido and Coron, Port Barton is yet to be discovered by more travelers. Slowly making a name for itself due to its untapped beauty and magnificence, more and more visitors are being captivated by this hidden gem. 

Dramatic cliffs at Inaladelan Island, lively and colorful reefs at Exotic Island and jaw-dropping sandbars at Star Fish Island – these are just some of the many reasons you will completely love this paradise.

20. Tres Reyes Islands, Marinduque

Marinduque, a heart-shaped island situated north of Romblon and east of Mindoro is most commonly known for the Moriones Festival. Tourists – both local and international celebrate this vibrant fiesta.

As time goes by, people discover that there’s a lot more to Marinduque. It’s also a perfect place for a spur of the moment beach trip with your family or friends since you can easily reach it via bus and ferry.

Be blown away when you visit Gaspar, Melchor and Baltazar collectively known as the Tres Reyes Islands. Its soft sand, blue water and teeming marine life can surely turn your island dream come true.

19. Palaui Island

Palaui Island in Sta. Ana, Cagayan ValleyGet a chance to witness the abundant and diverse marine in this tropical paradise called Palaui. Located in the province of Sta. Ana, Cagayan, the long trip to this marvelous attraction is truly worth it as the island rewards you with stunning landscape and seascape.

It’s also possibly the reason why it was chosen as a shooting location of the hit tv series Survivor. There’s just something special about discovering such raw beauty when you see places like the Anguib Beach, Crocodile Island, Punta Verde, and Cape Engano Lighthouse. 

Amazing ocean view, pure white sand beaches and a relaxing tropical vibe are just some of the reasons you should totally include this island in your upcoming holiday destination.

18. Romblon

Aerial view of BonBon Beach in Lonos, RomblonRomblon is a small quaint island that is home to breathtaking natural beauty of white sand beaches, crystal clear water and unexplored coves. 

Apart from being a place where you can chill and relax all day, it also is a perfect destination to do island hopping. With the untouched natural resources that surround it, you can simply hop on a boat and witness the magic of Romblon. 

There are plenty of adventures waiting for you in Romblon. Stroll in the famous long sandbar of BonBon Beach, visit the turtle sanctuary in Agpanabat Turtle Sanctuary, soak in the calm water of Tiamban beach and witness the impressive rock formations in Tinagong Dagat.

17. Dinagat Islands

Tucked away in the southern part of Mindanao, Dinagat island is still yet to be discovered. It’s that type of place that transports you to an ambiance of calmness and serenity; away from the hustle and bustle of the city life.

Its primary island attractions are the islands of Biray-biray, Cab-ilan, and Bita-og. The jaw dropping beachscape in these places along with the bountiful coconut trees and its fine white sand hold a promise of a vacation worth remembering.

16. Once Islas, Zamboanga City

Once Islas has been recently introduced as Zamboanga’s newest eco-tourism attraction. It exhibits the marvelous 11 islands along the Moro Gulf, found in barangays of Panubigan and Dita in Zamboanga del Sur.

Your beach escapades consist of exploring the islands of Bisaya-Bisaya, Sirommon, Baung-Baung and Buh-Buh. 

With lots of coconuts trees along the shoreline, its deep blue water and scenic views – Once Islas gives you another island paradise to tick off your must-visit destination list.

15. Bulalacao, Oriental Mindoro

Unlike other popular islands in the Philippines, tourism in Bulalacao is relatively new. As more tourists discover its hidden splendor, Bulalacao is deemed to be a rising star. 

Having said that, this tropical destination is the perfect place to be for those looking for a quality time with nature away from the frolicking crowd. 

Its peaceful ambiance that still celebrates the traditional province life adds more to its charisma. Be amazed as you visit some of Bulalacao’s untapped islands like Aslom, Target, Tambaron and Suguicay islands.

14. Camiguin Island

Fine sand and clear blue waters in Camiguin IslandAmong the other top island destinations in the Philippines, Camiguin is famed for the unique and charming island experience it offers.

Spending a day or two at this island gives you a chance to witness nothing but nature’s magnificence. It’s usually a side trip for travelers visiting nearby Cagayan de Oro. 

This place is a combination of everything that you’re looking for in a vacation – white sand beaches, waterfalls, volcanoes and good food. 

Don’t pass up the opportunity to explore some of its top tourist attractions like the White Beach Sandbar, Mantigue Island, Ardent Hot Springs, Tuasan Falls, Burias Shoals, White Island and Giant Clam Nursery at Kaliba Beach.

13. Mactan, Cebu

Aerial view of Mactan Island in Cebu, PhilippinesMactan Island is not called as the Diving Mecca of the South for nothing. Indeed, the island can make any diver’s dream vacation come true as it houses incredible diving sites that cater to both beginners and experienced ones. 

Boat approaching Hilutungan Island's shoreIf you’re not fond of diving, a day exploring the islands of Pandanon, Hilutungan, and Nalusuan should equally make you travel with excitement. 

With plenty of beaches surrounding it, you can relax on the beach, walk along the shoreline or windsurf if you’re feeling more adventurous. You can never run out of reasons to love Mactan Island – that’s for sure.

12. Samal Island, Davao del Norte

Aerial shot of Isla Reta Beach in Talicud IslandSamal island is one of Davao del Norte’s hidden gems. Taking pride in its own version of paradise, the island boasts of pure white sand, beautiful beaches and dramatic coastlines that leaves anyone who witness it awestruck.

Treat yourself to an island-hopping tour at Talicud Island where you can revel in the beauty of Isla Reta Beach Resort, Wishing Island, Giant Clam Sanctuary and pass by the renowned Pearl Farm for a quick sight-seeing. Indeed, Samal Island is where your well-deserved vacation awaits. 

11. Pundaquit, Zambales

Amazing top view of Potipot IslandIf you’re up for a quick weekend getaway from Manila with family or friends, the islands in Zambales could be your best bet. Just a few hours’ drive from the city, you can delve into an island-hopping trip at Camara, Capones, and Potipot. 

If you’re looking for a serene and relaxing trip to recharge, reflect and ease your mind, you’ve found your next destination. Pundaquit island still has that province-like ambiance to it that gives you that much-needed break from it all. 

Anawangin Cove in ZambalesSome travelers opt to stay overnight and camp-out at either Anawangin or Nagsasa Cove to complete the experience.

10. Moalboal, Cebu

Spectacular top view of Pescador IslandFor those looking for an experience of a lifetime, Moalboal offers a wide array of adventures that will leave a big smile on your face. The island’s fascinating and diverse marine life takes the centerstage as it attracts more and more tourists from all over the world. 

Let your mermaid dream come true in islands such as Pescador Island and Panagsama Beach as you swim through sardine runs and spend time underwater with sea turtles, beautiful corals, and schools of colorful fishes. 

9. Caramoan

Beautiful blend of Caramoan Island's lush greens and blue watersA gem to be discovered and a paradise to be explored – Caramoan is definitely a must see. There’s something special about this island. It gives you a front row seat to witness nature’s exquisite beauty whilst away from the bustling crowd. 

A paradise offering the richness of the ocean blue water, pretty sandbars and untouched islands, Caramoan will let you taste a slice of heaven on earth.

Blessed with nature’s gift, Caramoan will captivate you with some of its charming islands. Each one has its own attraction that will keep you asking for more. Snorkel and swim with the colorful underwater marine life in Cagbalinad Island. 

Beach your way ala “Survivor” in Hunongan Cove and uncover several hidden lagoons and lakes in Matukad Island. You can also include Lahos Island and Tayak Lake to complete your ultimate island-hopping trip in Caramoan.

8. Hundred Islands, Pangasinan

Top view of Hundred Islands in Pangasinan, PhilippinesJust around five hours away from Manila, a quick trip to the island of Pangasinan will treat you with hundreds of islands to explore. True to its name, this scenic part of the province boasts a group of approximately 123 islets where you can go on a tropical escapade. 

Some of the most popular islands include Quezon Island, Governor’s Island, Marcos Island and Children’s Island.

No matter what your adventurous hearts yearn for, Hundred Islands got you covered. Trek to the peak of the cliff in Governor’s island to see a stunning view of the park. 

Visit the Lady of Manaoag Church or spend the night camping – there are all sorts of activities here that will surely make your visit worthwhile.

7. Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Travelers on a boat going into the Underground River in Puerto Princesa, PalawanHome to the world-renowned Underground River which is one of the 7 Wonders of Nature and a UNESCO heritage site, Puerto Princesa is also a must-visit tourist destination in Palawan.

Starfish Island in Honda Bay, PalawanAfter exploring this majestic river, you can also go on island-hopping trips in Honda Bay where your eyes can feast on lovely sandbars at Starfish Island and Luli Island while relaxing under the sun.

6. Boracay

Beautiful aerial view of White Beach in BoracayAs one of the best tourist spots in the Philippines, Boracay still is one of the summer destinations in mind when it comes to fine white-sand beaches and magical sunsets. 

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing kind of holiday where you get to spend unlimited beach time or a holiday to satisfy the adrenaline junkie in you, this is the place to be.

There’s no better way to spend a day in paradise than to swim to your heart’s content in Puka Beach, snorkel at Crocodile Island, unleash your extreme side by cliff jumping at Magic Island as part of Boracay tours, or explore underwater by taking part in a Boracay helmet diving activity. 

End the day with a spectacular sunset cruise as you enjoy the beauty of Boracay shores. For some, it’s the view that makes them keep coming back to Boracay. But for others, it’s the experience on this beautiful island that leaves a mark on them.

5. Bohol

Aerial shot of Balicasag Island in BoholBohol surely lives up to its “Heart of the Islands” title. With its vibrant marine life and several sightseeing attractions, a trip to Bohol is all you need to fulfill your paradise getaway dream. Embark on a day filled with adventures on the pretty shores of Balicasag Island and Virgin Island. 

Snorkel your way down the clear water to witness the wide array of sea creatures and wildlife in the area. You can even feed the fishes as you marvel on the mirror-like water that serves as your window to the teeming underwater life in Bohol.

The most exciting part is that you get to watch and swim with the dolphins of Bohol in Panglao island. That’s totally an experience of a lifetime.

4. Coron, Palawan

Island hopping in Coron, Palawan PhilippinesMagical lagoons, exotic lakes, fiery sunsets – these are just some of the attraction you wouldn’t want to miss when you visit the gorgeous Coron in Palawan.

Exploring the islands by boat will give you a grand perspective of the magnificent limestone formations and the depth of the blue-green water in the lagoons. 

With a fair variety of both inhabited and uninhabited islands, you should not miss out on seeing some of Coron’s pride by venturing out on an ultimate island-hopping tour which includes destinations like Kayangan Lake, Barracuda Lake, Twin Lagoons, Skeleton Wreck and Coral Garden. 

Put on that swimming gear and be ready to fall deeply in love with the mesmerizing beauty of Coron.

3. Siargao Island

Island hopping at Guyam Island in SiargaoDubbed as the most beautiful island in the world for a few years now, Siargao has gained a special place in the heart of every traveler who visits it. 

There’s something about Siargao. Its tropical island vibe brought about by the people’s warmth and the place’s natural charm can easily make your trip truly unforgettable.

Siargao tour packages with hotel stay by Guide to the Philippines

Top view of boats around Naked Island in SiargaoMore than a surfer’s paradise, Siargao promises to be a fun-filled island-hopping destination too. A whole day tour will take you to the picturesque and jaw-dropping islands of Guyam Island, Naked Island and Daku Island. 

The turquoise blue water of the Pacific Ocean is truly a sight to behold as you bask under the sun and have a sumptuous lunch by the beach.

2. Islas de Gigantes, Iloilo

Cabugao Gamay Island in Islas de Gigantes, IloiloIf you’re daydreaming about a holiday where you can bask under the sun and lounge by the seashore all day long – the beautiful group of islands called Islas de Gigantes in Iloilo should definitely be on your must-visit list. 

  • Check out Iloilo tours that include trips to Islas de Gigantes

It is divided into 2 main big islands: Gigantes Norte and Gigantes Sur, and other amazing islets; from the Cabugao Gamay, Pulupandan, Bantigue Sandbar, and the Antonia Beach.

Apart from beach bumming, there are a lot of other activities around the island that make it totally worth a visit. This includes snorkeling, spelunking, climbing up the old lighthouse as you enjoy the amazing panoramic view of the vast sea. 

1. El Nido, Palawan

Island hopping at Big and Small Lagoons in El Nido, PalawanEl Nido, meaning nest in Spanish, is famed for its pristine beaches, stunning lagoons, and towering limestone formations. It’s not hard to fall in love with this magical place since nature’s beauty that surrounds it can transport you to a paradise you never expected to exist.

It serves as a gateway to the beauty that is Bacuit Archipelago. Several island-hopping tours give your adventure-craving soul a run for its money as they offer you a whole day trip around the different islands in El Nido. 

The four main tours are classified as Tour A, Tour B, Tour C, and Tour D. Depending on the sceneries that you want to see and activities you want to do, each tour allows you to savor what this paradise has to offer.

Discover the Islands of the Philippines

Island hopping in Coron, PalawanExperience the best of Philippines with its undeniably beautiful beaches that will surely take your breathe away. Plan your next ultimate island getaway and check out these must visit destinations in the country. Check out other reasons why you should visit the Philippines