7 Hidden Gems in the Philippines for Your Summer 2023 Escape

Feb 26, 2023

The Philippines is home to some of the world's most stunning beaches, scenic landscapes, and vibrant culture. While popular destinations such as Boracay and Palawan draw in large crowds of tourists every year, there are still many underrated Philippine destinations waiting to be discovered. Here are the top 7 underrated destinations in the Philippines for your summer 2023 escape:

Siargao Island

In addition to its world-class surf breaks, Siargao Island also offers plenty of other activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy.

Take a boat trip to the nearby islands of Daku, Guyam, and Naked for a day of island hopping and beach hopping. Visit the Magpupungko Rock Pools during low tide to swim in crystal-clear pools surrounded by gorgeous white sand beaches made of limestone rocks. Hike up to the top of the coconut tree viewpoint for stunning panoramic views of the island.

For a taste of the island's culture, head to the small town of General Luna and explore the local market, try some authentic Filipino cuisine, and mingle with the friendly locals. And of course, no trip to Siargao would be complete without experiencing the vibrant nightlife. Visit one of the island's beach bars for live music, drinks, and good vibes.

Siargao Island truly has something for everyone. Whether you're a surfer, a beach bum, or a culture enthusiast, this hidden paradise in the Philippines is sure to capture your heart and leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.

Camiguin Island

Camiguin Island is a hidden gem that is often overshadowed by its more famous neighbors. However, this small island off the coast of Northern Mindanao has plenty to offer visitors looking for local destinations and a unique and unforgettable vacation experience.

One of the main attractions of Camiguin Island is its stunning waterfalls, such as Katibawasan Falls and Tuasan Falls. These cascading waterfalls are surrounded by lush vegetation and offer a refreshing break from the island's tropical heat.

Another must-visit destination on Camiguin Island is the hot springs, such as Ardent Hot Springs and Tangub Hot Springs. These natural pools of warm water are perfect for relaxation and unwinding after a long day of exploring the island.

Aside from its natural attractions, Camiguin Island also boasts a rich cultural heritage. Visitors can explore the ruins of the Old Church and Sunken Cemetery, which were submerged by a volcanic eruption in the 1800s. The island also has several historical landmarks and natural wonders, such as the Guiob Church and the Santo Nino Cold Spring.

Camiguin Island may not be as popular as other destinations in the Philippines, but it's an island province is definitely worth a visit for its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and laid-back vibe. If you're looking for a unique and off-the-beaten-path destination, Camiguin Island is the perfect choice for your next vacation.

Siquijor Island

Dubbed the "Island of Fire," Siquijor is a small island that offers a mix of adventure and relaxation. From swimming in the pristine beaches to exploring its mystical caves, and has several stunning waterfalls, including Cambugahay Falls, Lugnason Falls, and Kawasan Falls. You can swim in the refreshing pools at the base of the falls, take a dip in the natural springs, and enjoy the lush jungle scenery. Siquijor is a perfect destination for those looking for something off the beaten path.

The waters around Siquijor Island are home to a variety of marine life, including colorful fish, sea turtles, and even dolphins. You can explore the underwater world by snorkeling or diving.

Siquijor has several beautiful beaches, including Salagdoong Beach, Capilay Spring Park, and Paliton Beach. You can spend your days lounging on the sand, swimming in crystal-clear waters, and enjoying the sunshine. You can hire a motorbike or tricycle and explore the island at your own pace. Visit local villages, see the Spanish-era churches, and stop at scenic viewpoints along the way.

Siquijor is also known for its traditional healers or "mambabarang," adding to its mystical island charm. Visitors can also experience the island's vibrant culture through its festivals and local delicacies. Siquijor may be small, but it offers a unique and unforgettable experience for travelers who are willing to explore its hidden gems.

Bantayan Island

Located in the northern part of Cebu, Bantayan Island is a haven for beach and nature lovers. With its white sand beaches, turquoise, deep blue waters below, and vibrant marine life, Bantayan Island is an ideal destination for those looking for a tropical paradise.

Bantayan Island has several stunning beaches, including Paradise Beach, Kota Beach, and Sugar Beach. You can spend your days sunbathing on the sand, swimming in the turquoise waters, and enjoying the island breeze.

You can take a boat tour around Bantayan Island and visit nearby islands, such as Virgin Island and Hilantagaan Island. These islands are less crowded and offer a more secluded and serene experience.

The St. Peter and Paul Church is a historic church that was built in the 1800s. It is one of the oldest churches in the country and has a unique architecture that blends Spanish and native influences.

Try Local Delicacies: Bantayan Island is known for its seafood, and you can try local delicacies such as "kinilaw," a ceviche-like dish, and "danggit," a type of dried fish that is a popular pasalubong or souvenir item.

You can rent a bike and explore the island at your own pace. You can visit local villages, stop at scenic viewpoints, and see the lush greenery of the island.

Bantayan Island has several festivals throughout the year, such as the Bantayan Summer Festival and the Kapyahan Festival. These festivals showcase the local culture and traditions with parades, street dances, and food fairs.


The northernmost province of the Philippines, Batanes is a breathtakingly beautiful destination with rolling hills, stunning beaches, natural parks, and traditional Ivatan houses. With its unspoiled landscapes and unique culture, Batanes is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking an authentic Filipino experience.

Batanes is also known for its scenic lighthouses, such as the Basco Lighthouse and the lesser-known destination, the Tayid Lighthouse, which offer panoramic views of the rugged coastline. Visitors can also hike up Mount Iraya for stunning views of the surrounding islands or visit the traditional Ivatan villages to learn more about the local culture and way of life. Batanes is a destination that is sure to captivate any traveler with its natural beauty and rich cultural heritage.

Iloilo City

Iloilo City, located in the western part of the Visayas region, is a bustling city with a rich history and culture. It is often overlooked by tourists, but it has a lot to offer, including Spanish colonial architecture, lively festivals, and delicious local cuisine.

One of the main attractions in Iloilo City is the Molo Church, a Gothic-inspired church that is considered one of the most beautiful churches in the Philippines. Another must-see attraction is the old heritage houses in Jaro, which offer a glimpse into Iloilo's rich history.

A short boat ride from Iloilo City is the Isla de Gigantes, a group of islands known for its stunning rock formations, white sand beaches, and crystal-clear waters. The islands are perfect for island hopping, swimming, snorkeling, and enjoying fresh seafood. Despite its natural beauty and amazing destinations, the Isla de Gigantes remains largely undiscovered by tourists, making it a hidden gem in the Philippines.

Whether you're exploring the historical sites of Iloilo City or soaking up the sun on the Isla de Gigantes, there is no shortage of underrated tourist destinations to discover in the Philippines.

Dumaguete City

Dumaguete, also known as the "City of Gentle People," is the capital city often overlooked by tourists in favor of more popular destinations in the Philippines. However, this university town located in the central part of the country offers a unique mix of culture, history, and natural beauty that should not be missed.

One of the highlights of Dumaguete is the stunning Casaroro Waterfall, located in the nearby town of Valencia. This 100-foot waterfall cascades down a narrow gorge, surrounded by lush greenery, and offers a refreshing dip in its cool waters.

For beach lovers, Dumaguete has several nearby options, including the picturesque Dauin Beach, known for its clear waters, white sand beach, and vibrant marine life. Visitors can also take a boat to Apo Island, a marine reserve famous for its coral gardens, sea turtles, and colorful fish.

Culture and history enthusiasts will also find plenty to explore in Dumaguete, from the iconic Silliman University, one of the oldest American-founded universities in Asia, to the historic Dumaguete Belfry and St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral.

Dumaguete is a hidden gem in the Philippines, offering a unique blend of adventure, relaxation, culture, and history.

Indeed, the Philippines has so much more to offer than its popular destinations. From the laid-back vibe of Siargao Island to the natural beauty of Camiguin and Siquijor, to the tropical paradise of Bantayan Island, the breathtaking landscapes of Batanes, and the cultural charm of Dumaguete, there is something for every type of traveler. With its hidden paradises waiting to be discovered, the Philippines is truly a gem in Southeast Asia that should not be missed.

For more information on Vista Residences, email [email protected], follow @VistaResidencesOfficial on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, or call the Marketing Office at 0999 886 4262 / 0917 582 5167.  

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