Most Romantic Destinations in the Philippines

February brings the promise of romance, sweet nothings, flowers and idyllic escapes. The entire month is laden with everything red and pink; women start to primp themselves and men suddenly become more generous, planning surprises and secret travels.

The Filipinos being some of the friendliest and most accommodating people in the world, it comes as no surprise that a lot of visitors consider the Philippines a romantic destination. With the release of the DOT’s TVC featuring a sunset proposal in Boracay Island, there is no doubt that tourists have come in pairs to the islands in search of the perfect spot to spend with a loved one.

So here’s a list of seven of the most romantic destinations in the Philippines. I cannot boast to have visited all of them; in fact, I’ve only been to three but they are definitely places that can spark romance and make Valentine’s Day and any other day for that matter extra special.

Basco, Batanes

Fundacion Pacita

Fundacion Pacita © jlgavino on flickr

Batanes is perhaps the most coveted destination for most local travelers. The northernmost isles of the Philippines have a certain charm and the high cost of travel only adds to its mystery. Rolling hills, rugged cliffs and the mighty sea crashing into them are some of its best attractions. In the past, only seasoned and rich travelers have had the privilege of seeing this part of the Philippines but with the launch of commercial flights by popular airline PALExpress, Batanes has seen an increase in visitor arrivals.

How to get there

-Flights via SkyJet, Sky Pasada, SEAir and PALExpress

Where to Stay

Batanes Seaside Lodge & Restaurant

Amboys Hometel

DDD Habitat Lodging House

Shanedel’s Inn & Cafe

Martin’s Inn

What to do

-Marvel at the spectacular views.

-Meet the proud Ivatans and their wide-eyed children.

-Take thousands of photos.

-Channel your inner cowboy in Marlboro Country (Racuh a Payaman).

-Eat, eat and eat!

El Nido, Palawan

El Nido Resorts, Lagen Island

Lagen Island © Jack Versloot on flickr

What could be more romantic than a secluded beach complete with spectacular views everywhere you look? That’s El Nido and there’s so much more! This emerging favorite destination in Palawan, Philippines is a perfect setting for engagement proposals and honeymoons and everything else that come before and between those two. While El Nido is still reputed for being an upscale destination, there are now a good number of places that provide affordable dining and lodging for budget travelers.

How to get there

-Flights from Manila to El Nido Airport through Transvoyager

-Flights to Puerto Princesa from Manila, Cebu, Davao, Busuanga and Clark via Cebu Pacific Air, Philippine Airlines, AirPhilExpress, Zest Airways and SEAir. Overland transport from Puerto Princesa to El Nido lasts for about eight hours.

-By sea via several shipping lines that ply the route between the Palawan islands

Where to stay

El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island

Pura Vida Inn & Tours El Nido

Ipil Travelodge El Nido

Cadlao Resort

El Nido Resorts Lagen Island

What to do

-Try each one of the El Nido tours.

-Kayak in one of the lagoons.

-Have a special lunch/dinner setup in one of the islands.

-Climb one of the limestone cliffs for some adventure.

-Snorkel and discover the wonderful underwater kingdom of Bacuit Bay.

Boracay Island

Boracay Island

Boracay Island © Roger Alcantara on flickr

The island paradise of Boracay has garnered several awards recognizing it as one of the most beautiful places in the world. So what can be more fitting for a romantic trip than to head to the shores of this world-famous island? Boracay may have lost some of its original charm; its long stretch of white sand beach is now lined not just by palms and coconuts but by a staggering number of commercial establishments as well. But the island remains a favorite destination among local and foreign travelers due to its magnificent scenery, vibrant nightlife, wonderful food and a plethora of different pursuits.

How to get there

-Flights to Caticlan Airport via AirPhilExpress, Cebu Pacific Air and SEAir. A short boat trip will take you to the Cagban Jetty Port where you can board a tricycle to your hotel.

-Flights to Kalibo International Airport via Zest Airways, Philippine Airlines, China Airlines, AirAsia and Cebu Pacifiic Air. Overland transport to Caticlan Jetty Port via van takes a little less than 2 hours. A short boat trip will take you to the Cagban Jetty Port where you can board a tricycle to your hotel.

-Via the Nautical Highway (RoRo)

Where to stay

Argonauta Boracay

Ernest’s Place Hotel Boracay

Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa

Discovery Shores Boracay

Friday’s Boracay

Click here to compare hotels on Boracay Island

What to do

-Take an afternoon paraw cruise and chase the sunset.

-Cliff dive from Ariel’s Point.

-Parasail in pairs.

-Spend a relaxing day at a spa.

-Spend an idyllic afternoon in Puka Beach.

Mactan Island, Cebu

Mactan Island Sunset Cruise

Mactan Island Sunset Cruise © whologwhy on flickr

Just short of an hour away from the bustling Cebu metro, Mactan Island is easily one of the most accessible romantic destinations in the Visayas. For one, it is home of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, the second-busiest gateway in the Philippines. Mactan is modern as it is historic; its stories date as far back as the first Filipino hero who defeated the explorer Ferdinand Magellan. Still present in the island is the swampy area where the famous battle took place centuries ago. Aside from its deep history, Mactan Island also boasts of fine white sand beaches, excellent diving and world-class resorts that will certainly inspire romance this season.

How to get there

-A direct flight to Mactan-Cebu International Airport via a good number of domestic, regional and international carriers.

-Via several shipping lines. The port is in Cebu City so you would have to take a van or cab across the bridge to Mactan Island.

Where to stay

Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa

Goldberry Suites & Hotel

Crimson Resort and Spa

Plantation Bay Resort & Spa

Dulcinea Hotel & Suites

Click here to compare hotels on Mactan Island

What to do

-Bask in the tropical sun.

-Experience fun diving in one of the coral gardens offshore.

-Savor the excellent Cebuano cuisine.

-Spend a day exploring the historic Cebu City located just across the bridge.

-Go on an island hopping tour just for two.

-Take a sunset cruise.

Camiguin Island

Camiguin Island

Camiguin Island © Allan Donque on flickr

One of the most enchanting islands in the Philippines is located in northern Mindanao. Camiguin may be small but its beauty and mystery are so astounding that people cannot help but come back. It is known as the “island borne of fire” and its volcanoes, springs and wide expanse of pristine beaches make for a very alluring romantic destination. Just offshore is White Island, a sandbar from which you can see the magnificent island and its towering volcanoes.

How to get there

-Flights to Cagayan de Oro City through Cebu Pacific Air, Philippine Airlines and AirPhilExpress. You can then ride a cab to the Agora market bus terminal and board Balingoan-bound bus. Once there, you can ride a ferry to the island.

-Several ferries also travel from Manila and Cebu to the Cagayan de Oro port. From there you can take the same land route above or board another ferry bound for Camiguin.

Where to stay

Agohay Villa Forte

D & A Seaside Cottages

Catarman Coral Dive Resort

Bahay Bakasyunan sa Camiguin

Paras Beach Resort

Compare hotels in Camiguin

What to do

-Explore the mystery of the sunken cemetery.

-Spend an afternoon on White Island.

-Swim in Ardent Hot Springs, Sto. Nino Cold Springs or Soda Water Pool.

-Have lunch by the Katibawasan Falls. Take a cold dip after.

-Indulge in the heavenly creaminess of the Vjandep Pastel.

Britannia Group of Islands, Surigao del Sur

Britannia Islet

Britannia Islet © Patrick Poculan on flickr

Very few manage to travel to Mindanao but the Britannia Group of Islands is very well worth the trip. Considered one of Mindanao’s best kept secrets, Britannia is located in the coastal area of Surigao del Sur. Staying in one of the islands is nothing short of romantic; there are no hotels so pitching a tent is the only way to go. Wouldn’t setting up a bonfire, grilling food and listening to the sea crash into shore qualify as the most romantic beach date? The untouched beauty of the islands will certainly spark love and happy thoughts. In fact, it is my personal favorite among the most romantic destinations in the Philippines.

How to get there

-Over land transportation from Davao City or any point in Mindanao

Where to stay

-Pitch camp in Boslon Island

-Bonsay Riverview Hotel in Bislig

Compare hotels in Mindanao

What to do

-Bask in the sun.

-Go on an island hopping tour and explore the 24 islands and islets.

-See the Enchanted River in the nearby town of Hinatuan.

-Feast on the freshest seafood.

-Picnic by the magnificent Tinuy-an Falls, the Niagara of the Philippines.

Malaybalay City, Bukidnon

Monastery of the Transfiguration

Monastery of the Transfiguration © kashmut on flickr

If a trip to the beach does not hold its usual allure for you, perhaps a highland adventure in Mindanao’s Summer Capital will. Malaybalay City has all the requisites of the ultimate romantic destination: very desirable climate, picturesque surroundings, wonderful food and homey places to stay. Pine trees line the mountainsides and pineapple plantations dominate the plains of this landlocked province. Malaybalay City can be your jump off point to exploring fantastic Bukidnon.

How to get there

-Overland transportation from key points in Mindanao

Where to stay

Pitcher Plant Farm

DDD Habitat Bukidnon Guesthouse

Pinegrove Lodge Mountain Resort

Dahilayan Forest Park

Bukidnon Country Lodge

Click to compare hotels in Bukidnon

What to do

-Explore Camp Phillips in Manolo Fortich and taste the freshest and sweetest pineapples in the world.

-Test your limits at the Dahilayan Adventure Park.

-Picture your dream wedding at the Monastery of Transfiguration.

-Bathe in the Nasuli Hot Springs.

-Meet the Talaandig tribe and be fascinated by the well-preserved culture.

The destinations listed above are not just good for Valentine’s Day; they’re excellent for other special occasions and even just for when the travel bug bites again. There’s so much more to see and discover in the Philippines and we really don’t have to wait for a special day to pack those bags and go. After all, these places are so wonderful that they will make any ordinary day extra special.

Do you have someplace to add to the most romantic destinations in the Philippines? If so, please say something in the comment box below. We’d love to hear from you! Cheers!

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