Not Your Typical Summer Vacation Spots

Summer is here. Most people have already made reservations and booked flights to Boracay, Baguio, and Palawan. Tired of fighting your way through the selfie-stick-wielding crowds? Perhaps it is time to change things up a bit.

Boracay is going to be overcrowded, so is Baguio. You want something a little bit “off-the-beaten track.” If you’re bored of the same-old same-old places, why not alternatives to the usual destinations? Here are some Philippine destinations that you might want to consider?

Zambales

Surfing enthusiasts frequent this province’s coast for the waves, with Liwliwa, in San Felipe becoming a popular destination because of its pristine beauty and chill vibe. If you don’t do well on a board, stay on the beach and go through your book list while working on your tan. There may be more people to share the sand with, but it is still relatively quiet compared to most resort towns during peak holiday season.

Cagayan de Oro

Oars up! Book a flight to this often overlooked city and get an adrenaline rush while whitewater rafting with your friends. After navigating the rapids with the team, treat yourselves to a sumptuous dinner and a box of the city’s original pastelYou earned it!

Mt. Amuyao, Mountain Province

This one is for all the climbers out there. Mt. Amuyao is quite a difficult climb and getting there isn’t easy either. After you make your way to Bontoc, you have to get on one of only two jeepneys that travel to Barlig, a town, an hour and a half away. From there, it’s a one-day hike to the summit. Climbers often set up camp for the night. But the difficult climb is all worth it when you wake up to a beautiful sunrise the following day. The view is amazing, an unobstructed view from the highest point in Northern Luzon.

Iloilo

Another overlooked gem, Iloilo is one of the best places to hit if you want a little bit of everything. Here, one can find both the old and the new. They have dedicated bike lanes which means you can sightsee safely around on two wheels. You and your friends can ride around the old district and past the beautiful and well-preserved stately homes and churches (look out for the infamous ”Pink House”). Hungry? Hit up Roberto’s for the best siopao known to man, or stuff yourself silly with fresh seafood, kansi, and other local delights.

Surigao

What people don’t know about this town in the northeastern most point of Mindanao is that it has amazing caves and mangroves. With over a dozen caves to explore, enthusiasts, from beginners to experts, can get their fill of Surigao’s wonderful caverns. Don’t want to go underground? Paddleboard through lush mangroves and, at the end the day, gorge yourself with delicious lobsters, freshly caught in the same area.