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The Best Things to See and Do in Northern Philippines

Picture of Gelyka Dumaraos
Updated: 1 September 2017
While the southern Philippines is brimming with white sand beaches and world-renowned islands such as Boracay, Coron, and El Nido, the northern part also has a lot to offer. For example, the northern Philippines boasts surfing, island hopping, historical tours, sand surfing, trekking, spelunking, and much more. Here’s what you can see and do in the north.

Sandboard in Ilocos

Natural Feature
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La Paz Sand Dunes in Ilocos
La Paz Sand Dunes in Ilocos | © Ricky Artigas / Flickr

Sandboard in Ilocos

Take a thrilling 4×4 ride and go sandboarding at La Paz Sand Dunes on Ilocos Norte. Learn to balance on your knees and glide across the soft sands, which will get your heart pumping while under the scorching heat of the sun.

La Paz Sand Dunes, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, Philippines

More Info

Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Rentals, Entrance Fee

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Touristy

Tour Vigan

Archeological site
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Calle Crisologo in Vigan, Philippines
Calle Crisologo in Vigan, Philippines | © Ray in Manila / Flickr

Tour Vigan

If you want to revisit the Spanish colonization in the Philippines, then visiting Vigan is a must. Calle Crisologo is the most visited place in the city, as the street still features old Spanish-designed houses and pathways.

Vigan, Ilocos Sur, Philippines

More Info
Mon - Sun:
12:00 am

Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Guided Tours, Rentals, Vintage

Atmosphere:

Touristy, Historical Landmark
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Island hop in Hundred Islands National Park

In Alaminos, Pangasinan, an over five-hour drive from Manila, you will find over 100 islands all scattered off the shore of the town. While day island-hopping tours are available, you can also make room reservations at the resorts on the major islands and spend a night there. You can also partake in activities such as snorkeling and zip-lining.

Hundred Islands National Park, Alaminos, Pangasinan, Philippines, +63 75 551 2505

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Climb Mt. Pulag

The second highest peak in Luzon, Philippines, is Mt. Pulag, dubbed the “Sea of Clouds.” Every weekend, dozens of hikers brave the chilly weather and trek through the mossy forest just to get a glimpse of the scenic summit view.

Mt. Pulag, Kabayan, Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines

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Explore Baguio City

The remnants of American colonization in the Philippines is most visible in the “City of Pines.” Baguio City makes for a perfect weekend getaway where you can take fun, laid-back tours; explore Mines View Park and Burnham Park (and take plenty of pictures); check out the BenCab Museum and the Wood Carving Village; and visit the night market at Harrison and Session Road. You can even make a side trip to La Trinidad, Benguet.

Baguio City, Benguet, Philippines

See the rice terraces

A UNESCO Heritage Site, the Banaue rice terraces should definitely be a must on your list of places to see in the northern Philippines. Ancestors of the Ifugao tribe carved by hand thousands of step-like terraces in the mountains, creating a beautiful sight that people often refer to as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.”

Banaue Rice Terraces, Nueva Vizcaya – Ifugao – Mountain Province Rd, Banaue, Ifugao, Philippines, +63 946 068 6965

Banaue Rice Terraces
Banaue Rice Terraces | © jojo nicdao / Flickr</a>
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Go spelunking in Sagada

Sagada Province is another must-see destination, especially for its stunning sunrise vista from the peak of Mt. Kiltepan. But aside from this, you should also try the thrilling adventure of spelunking and see the hanging coffins of the province’s ancestors.

Sagada, Mountain Province, Philippines