Discover these 12 stunning destinations in the Visayas

When someone mentions Visayas, the top of mind vacation destination is either Boracay or Cebu. However the region has many other beautiful attractions, which may be more difficult to get to, but are worth the adventure.

When you travel around the Philippines, you have many choices of powdery beaches, old churches and many other natural wonders and historical structures that are worth visiting. Visayas is a region that has several of these places, making it a popular destination for foreign and local tourists alike.

Siquijor

CHILL. Salagdoong Beach is a great place to unwind and relax in Siquijor.

Photo by Josh Berida

When someone mentions Siquijor, one can’t help but think of mystery and magic. The only magic that will enchant you when you visit this small island is its natural wonders. The province may be small, in fact, it’s the third smallest in the country, but what it lacks in size it makes up for with tourist destinations

Salagdoong Beach

DIVE. For those brave enough, Salagdoong Beach has a dive board for visitors who want to plunge into the azure waters.

Photo by Sheng Hermano (Instagram: @shenghermano)

A handful of rock formations surround Salagdoong, giving it a raw appeal. The beach maintained its natural charm even with the man-made structures on it.

San Juan Beach

WHITE. One of the beaches in San Juan, Siquijor is picture perfect with its bone-white sand.

Photo by Josh Berida

San Juan Beach has fine, bone-white sand and cerulean waters that glisten under the sun. Many resorts line the shore, one of which is Coral Cay, where you can enjoy swimming or just lounging around.

Cambugahay Falls

WING. Cambugahay Falls will douse the heat whenever you jump of one of its cliffs or swing into the water.

Photo by Josh Berida

The blue waters of Cambugahay Falls will invite you to plunge in the moment when you see it. Visitors and locals alike take turns jumping off the cliff or using the swing to dive into the waters to douse the heat.

Cantabon Cave

SUBTERRANEAN. Siquijor's Cantabon Cave displays the province's beauty hidden underground. Photo by Aleah Taboclaon (www.SolitaryWanderer.

com)

Siquijor isn’t just about beaches and waterfalls. For the adventurous, head to Cantabon Cave to discover the subterranean beauty of the province. The many stalactites, stalagmites and rock formations will stir your imagination.

Lazi Church

Like many provinces in the Philippines, Siquijor has a Catholic Church established by friars that is several decades or even centuries old. The San Isidro Labrador Parish Church or the Lazi Church is a National Cultural Treasure founded in 1857.

How to Get to Siquijor

From Manila, there are several flights to Dumaguete. Once in Dumaguete, hire a tricycle or motorcycle to take you to the port. At the port, there are many ferries that travel to Siquijor – fare is approximately P130+ one way. Rent a tricycle for around P1000-P1500 for the whole day to visit the attractions.

Kalanggaman Island

BY THE BEACH. Kalanggaman Island's fine, white sand and cerulean waters will mesmerize visitors.

Photo by Josh Berida

Palompon may not yet elicit "oohs" and "ahhs" from local and foreign tourists, but once they hear about Kalanggaman Island, they will think of a tropical paradise with bone white sand and cerulean waters.

The island is an ideal place to lounge around or take a dip in the waters to cool down. Visitors can rent kayaks and paddleboards during their stay. There are very few structures on the island, making it a perfect destination for those who want to enjoy a pristine beach sans the commercialization of many other popular places in the region.

WHITE. For those looking for a pristine beach away from the crowds, Kalanggaman Island is perfect for them.

Photo by Josh Berida

How to Get to Kalanggaman Island

The nearest airport is Tacloban. From the city, ride a van bound for Palompon. The trip takes approximately 2 to 3 hours. After arriving, head to the tourism office to pay the fees and book a boat to take you to the island. The price of the boat will depend on its size and the number of people in your group.

Contact:

Cleofe Paloma-Rivera
Municipal Tourism Officer
Mobile: 09173037267
Email: cleo_rivera@yahoo.com
Or email lgupalomponofficial@gmail.com

Sohoton Caves and Natural Bridge National Park

ROCKING IT. Sohoton National Park has imposing yet beautiful rock formations.

Photo by Josh Berida

The park has several geological works of art like caves, limestone formations, an underground river and others. The most prominent attraction is the cathedral-like caves known as Panhuluhan I and II, Bugosan and Sohoton.

The Natural Bridge is a large arching rock that connects two mountain ridges that spans the Sohoton River. This mesmerizing work of nature has a 23-foot vertical clearance and is 40m in length. The bridge has a forested side, while several sword and rocket-like formations point down from its underside.

IMAGINATION. What is it? It looks like an angel, use your imagination when exploring the caves in Sohoton National Park.

Photo by Josh Berida

How to Get to Sohoton National Park

Basey, Samar is the jump-off point for the Sohoton Caves and Natural Bridge National Park. From Tacloban City New Bus Terminal in Brgy. Abucay, ride a jeep or van bound for Basey. Once in town, head to the Municipal Tourism Operations Center which offers guides and transportation services to the park.

Contact:

Evangelina O. Ritaga
Sr. Tourism Operations Officer
Tel. # (055) 276-1471
Email: dotreg8@yahoo.com 

Antique

Lots of people end up not visiting Antique because Panay is famous for Boracay. However, this idyllic province near one of the most popular islands in the world has attractions and things to do for those willing to explore it.

Mararison Island

MESMERIZING. Mararison gives you plenty of reasons to just enjoy nature and forget everything else. Photo by Aleah Taboclaon (www.SolitaryWanderer.

com)

This island is in Culasi, Antique, approximately 3 hours from its well-known neighbor, Boracay. However, Mararison is the exact opposite of its counterpart; this idyllic tropical paradise has white sand beaches and fetching landscapes.

THE VIEW. Mararison Island provides visitors with an overlooking and spectacular view. Photo by Aleah Taboclaon (www.SolitaryWanderer.

com)

How to Get to Mararison Island

Airlines have several flights from Manila to Kalibo. From Kalibo, board a bus or van bound for Culasi. Once in town, head to the port and rent a boat to the island; the rate is approximately P1000 and travel time is around 20 minutes.

Getting Cooked

COOKED. Bathing in a hot kawa is a unique experience you can do while in Antique.

Photo by Josh Berida

One of the unique things you can do in the province is dip into a hot kawa bath. The experience is like getting cooked, while locals add flowers and herbs on the hot, giant vat. Visitors who want to try this must pay approximately P200.

How to Get to Tibiao

From Culasi, board a bus traveling to San Jose and tell the conductor you want to go to Tibiao Fish Spa or Barangay Importante. Once at the stop, hire a motorcycle for P70 one-way to get to the bath area.

Biri

ROCKS AND MORE ROCKS. What draws tourists to Biri are the many unique rock formations.

Photo by Josh Berida

Biri is a small, unassuming and idyllic island in Northern Samar that has some of the best rock formations I’ve seen. The natural formations and grooves were formed by powerful waves, winds, and tectonic movements. The rocks rise from the waters to form small pools and distinct shapes that will stimulate your imagination.

OTHERWORLDLY. Visitors can enjoy swimming in the bluish rock pools, but just viewing them from a distance will inspire a sense of wonder.

Photo by Josh Berida

How to Get to Biri

The closest airport is in Catarman, and from there, hire a tricycle to take you to the jeepney terminal for approximately P100. Board a jeep bound for Lavezares port for around P50 one-way. Once at the port, ride a boat to Biri for approximately P50-P100 depending on the number of passengers.

RAW AND BEAUTIFUL. Biri's rock formations have a rugged and raw yet charming appeal. Photo by Doi Domasian (www.TheTravellingFeet.

com)

Biliran

Biliran is a province that does not get as much attention as other popular destinations in Visayas, but this island has attractions that make the long trip worth it.

Sambawan Island

BEACH, PLEASE. Sambawan Island is idyllic and picturesque, making it a perfect getaway. Photo by Joni Bonifacio (www.AdrenalineRomance.

com)

The island has fine sand that glistens and verdant landscapes that slope down to the shore. This idyllic destination lacks the commercialization of many tourists spots in the region, making it a perfect place to relax and unwind.

How to Get to Sambawan Island

From Naval, Biliran ride a bus, jeep or habal-habal to Kawayan. Once in Kawayan Port, rent a boat to the island for approximately P1000 to P2000, for a day or overnight trip.

Ulan-Ulan Falls

ADRENALINE RUSH. Adventure awaits in Ulan-Ulan Falls, Biliran for those who want to experience canyoning. Photo by Joni Bonifacio (www.AdrenalineRomance.

com)

The waterfall is around 90 feet high and cascades down vegetation and rocks. Adventurous visitors can enjoy canyoning while in the area.

How to Get to Biliran

The easiest way to get to the province is a flight to Tacloban, then board a jeep bound for Tacloban downtown. Tell the driver you will ride the transport to Naval, Biliran. The trip to Naval may take approximately two and a half to 3 hours one-way.

The Visayas region has many other noteworthy destinations that are waiting to be discovered – from bone white sand beaches untouched by massive tourism to waterfalls to structures that have been around for decades. Book that ticket, board that bus or ride that boat to any province in the region to satisfy your wanderlust. – Rappler.com

Joshua Berida is a full time writer, part-time wanderer with insatiable wanderlust. He plans his next trip during a current one. He plans on exploring the Philippines and beyond. Read about his adventures on thewanderingjuan.net