To say that the Philippine islands are numerous would be an understatement. There are no less than 7,107 islands in the Philippines, and they include the main island of Luzon. In addition to being home to the capital city of Manila, Luzon is also where Quezon City and Vigan City can be found, not to mention a few other popular destinations. Many Philippines travelers choose to explore the island of Luzon, and when they're not enjoying the urban centers, they often head into the mountains of the Cordilleras Region or venture southeast to find country's most active volcano. Luzon is home to a vast array of delights, and the same can be said about most of the other Philippine islands. The following islands are just some of the other islands in the Philippines that travelers tend to frequent, though they certainly aren't the only ones worth considering.
Cebu Island Image: bortescristian (Flickr)
Cebu Island is the most densely populated of the Philippine islands, and it is second only to Luzon Island in terms of economic importance. Cebu City, which is the island's capital, is a thriving city that many consider to be a smaller Manila. The island in general is very developed, and it serves as the gateway to the inviting Visayas Region. This region is home to some of the best beaches in the Philippines, and when visitors aren't relaxing with their feet in the sand, they can explore caves, cruise down rivers, and go hiking in the mountains, among other things. Visiting nearby Bantayan Island on the side is also a popular pursuit. This island is known for its beach resorts and for being one of the best places to enjoy the Holy Week festivities.
Mactan Island Image: dbgg1979 (Flickr)
Like Bantayan Island, Mactan Island can be found off Cebu Island. Many visitors to the Visayas arrive on Mactan Island, as it is home to the second busiest airport in the Philippines. Other than being a major transportation hub, Mactan Island is relatively insignificant on the travel front, in that visitors are more likely to enjoy themselves on the other islands in the area, such as Panay and Boracay.
Panay Island is one of the other islands in the Visayas Region that visitors like to frequent, and they come in droves when the Ati-Atihan Festival is in full swing. This week-long festival in the town of Kalibo is the most renowned Mardi Gras celebration in the country, and it is at its liveliest on the third Sunday of January. People don't come to Panay Island just for the Ati-Atihan Festival, however. It is also the gateway to the renowned island of Boracay, which lies just offshore and is known for its fantastic beach. Iloilo City can be found on Panay Island, and it is where most travelers first arrive.
Panglao Island Image: woodleworm (Flickr)
This island in the central Visayas is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the Philippines, which has a lot to do with the number of resorts and the excellent diving opportunities. When visitors to Panglao Island aren't examining the coral reef found off the coast, they can go island-hopping and relax on the beach. Island hopping in the Philippines is recommended, as it allows travelers to get a better sense of all things Filipino.
Bohol Island Image: mendhak (Flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0
Heading back up towards Cebu Island, Philippines travelers won't want to pass on the chance to visit Bohol Island. This lush island is home to the Chocolate Hills, which figure among the top attractions in the country. When Bohol Island visitors aren't viewing the spectacular Chocolate Hills, they can explore the jungle interior, take advantage of the fantastic scuba diving opportunities, and tour historic towns. Some of the towns on Bohol Island are home to well-preserved Spanish churches that deserve a look.
Mindanao Island Image: jojo nicdao (Flickr)
While the central and northern islands in the Philippines have more than enough to offer travelers, heading south for a while can be a good idea as well. Mindanao Island is the second largest of the Philippine islands, and it can be found in the southeastern reaches. In addition to amazing beaches, Mindanao Island is also home to some beautiful mountains. In fact, the tallest peak in the Philippines, Mt. Apo, can be found here. Davao City is the common entry point for Mindanao, and it can be an excellent place to enjoy some urban fun on the side.
Camiguin Image: orphicpixeldotcom (Flickr)
Camiguin is a small island that can be found off the northern coast of Mindanao. For those who are coming to the Philippines to see volcanoes, this island can make for an ideal stop. Camiguin has more volcanoes per square mile than on any other island in the Philippines, and visitors can climb them. Other popular things to do on this tiny wonderland include hiking through the jungle, relaxing on sandy beaches and visiting waterfalls.
Siargao Island Image: betamyr (Flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0
As is the case with Camiguin, the island of Siargao is a small island that can be found off the coast of Mindanao. This island remains largely undiscovered by tourists, but it is fast gaining a reputation for its laid-back appeal. For travelers who are looking to relax for a while in the Philippines, Siargao is an ideal destination. The surfing in Siargao is excellent, and it's also one of the best places in the country to arrange deep sea fishing excursions, so visitors might not want to spend all of their time kicking back.