Ah yes, don’t we all look forward to that unwinding escape from our everyday routine of what seems to be a never ending stress of urgency, multiple spreadsheets, unnecessary meetings or unrealistic deadlines? Yep, we all want that, more like – Need It. Now. Travel goals may be an overused term nowadays but to keep it simple these aren’t typical weekend getaways, or a day hike, or simply going to a favorite spot. Travel goals are special, destinations you’ve dreamed about spending several nights to, a pure retreat and disconnect, a distinct place of diverse beauty of nature and cultural wonders, an experience that you will remember for the rest of your life.

This list focuses on Philippine pit stops and while there are tons of travel gems in the country, I’ve narrowed my picks to just five simply because you can’t have too many travel goals in a year – unless of course you are a travel junkie(bless you!) or your work involves a lot of traveling. Just like any other goal whether in your work or personal life, it is better to limit them as the goal becomes more realistic, like you can plan it better and achieve it within your target timeline.

Here are my top five choices, put it on your travel list if you haven’t been to that place or if you’ve already been there, why make sure to travel back, for sure your experience had been amazing. Photo credits to its owners.


With so much buzz about the marvels of the island being the setting of a 2017 homegrown movie of the same name – kudos to the cinematographers, cameramen and technical staff for bringing the beauty of the island on film, Siargao is popularly known as the “Surfing Capital of the Philippines”. Siargao Island is located southeast of Manila at Surigao Del Norte province and boasts excellent attractions like Cloud 9, Guyam Island, Naked Island and Sugba Lagoon, not to mention tide pools, coves and diving spots. Surfing is a must try while you are here and be sure to allot several days of adventure at this place. For awesome travel guides, check out GotMarked and BackPackingWithABook.

Siargao_Cloud 9
Cloud 9
Guyam Island
Movie shot from the 2017 movie Siargao
Siargao_Sugba Lagoon
Sugba Lagoon

Enigmatic and pristine, the island dubbed as “the Galapagos of Asia” offers an immense playground of flora and fauna biodiversity featuring jagged ridge Mt. Guiting-Guiting slopes, Cresta De Gallo islet, Dagubdob Falls and Cantingas River, with the latter tested to be one of the best water quality for human consumption worldwide. With something this pure and unspoiled, it is no wonder why it is a bit challenging to get to Sibuyan Island with limited to no cellular signal and no ATM present too. The simple life may come as a shock to some but the overall experience is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. For more insights, check out the travel guides at OurAwesomePlanet and MyStormLessSky.

Mt. Guiting-Guiting
Sibuyan_Cantingas River
Cantingas River
Sibuyan_Cresta de Gallo Island
Cresta de Gallo Island
Dagubdob Falls

While known for its Lanzones Festival celebrated every third week of October, Camiguin Island is better known as the “Island Born of Fire” taking pride with its natural and cultural treasures from old church ruins and natural monuments, to active volcanoes and scenic waterfalls. The island has four volcanoes with one of them Mt. Hibok-Hibok, an ASEAN Heritage Park, overlooks White Island sandbar creating a majestic panoramic view. Though the Mt. Hibok-Hibok hike requires a permit from the local Mambajao DENR office, the best part is being able to view the volcanic crater after a 3-5 hour hike – do not miss taking a dip at the Ardent Hot Spring while you’re at it. While you still have time, stop over at the 250ft Katibawasan Falls or better yet drop by the powdery sands of Mantigue Island. Browse thru Lakwatsero and TheHappyTrip for more attractions and information.

Mt. Hibok Hibok White Beach
Ardent Hot Spring
Mt. Hibok Hibok crater
Katibawasan Falls

Whether it is already your 2nd or 3rd time on this picturesque and enchanting paradise, you would still come back for more and get to discover a lot of hidden beaches, islands and attractions down under that you haven’t been to the last time you were here, ever watched the Glittering Fireflies at night? Or, will it be your first time? Then prepare to get excited! Kayangan Lake, Twin Lagoon, Barracuda Lake, Lusong Coral Garden and Malcapuya Island are the topmost attractions but for starters, I suggest you do some research of the best spots and review some travel itineraries – either you’ll start with the suggested tours or you create your own, either which you should make the most out of your travel in this wonderful island. For more details, make sure to check out ThePoorTraveler and TheFeistsGreatEscape.

Kayangan Lake
Lusong Coral Garden
Malcapuya Island
Twin Lagoon

There is a reason why you’ll find Batanes as the heavy-weight contender or the ultimate travel destination in the Philippines on almost all travel blogs, guides and articles from the last six, five years until now. The surreal travel experience is nothing like any other travel spot in the country, the rich history and vast heritage paved the way for the archipelago to undergo review and listing in the UNESCO World Heritage List and UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. The travel expense is worth every cent and there are dozens of places to see from landscapes, to beaches, lighthouses, historical sites and the warm community. To choose which among the tours to go to first can be a big dilemma, nonetheless you should check them all out and it is highly recommended to see Chadpidan Boulder Beach, Naidi Hills, Racuh a Payaman (Marlboro Country), Homoron Blue Lagoon and White Beach, Savidug Village and Sabtang Lighthouse. Check out other sight-seeing spots from this extensive list by ThePoorTraveler – North Batan, Sabtang Island and South Batan.

Savidug Village
Batanes_White Beach
Homoron White Beach
Chadpidan Boulder Beach
Homoron Blue Lagoon
Naidi Hills
Racuh a Payaman (Marlboro Country)
Sabtang Lighthouse

So there you have it! One breath-taking experience to another. Those are your travel destinations this 2018! Make sure to plan ahead, research the place, be responsible, make a lot of unforgettable memories and the most important of all – have fun!

Do you agree with this ultimate list? What’s your travel goal for 2018?



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