Tuesday, November 13, 2012

32 Ecotourism Spots in the Philippines

As a traveler, backpacker, and a lone adventurer, one of my dreams is to tour ALL the 32 ecotourism spots in the Philippines. The list (32 ecotourism spots) came from the National Ecotourism Strategy of the Philippines published in July 2002.

At the onset, I did not know that the places that I had been trekking are ecotourism spots in the Philippines. Until my friend "Genine," told me about the nature of my trips in the Philippines. The thought amazed me. 

According to NEDC Resolution No. 2001-01,  "Ecotourism/Ecological Tourismis a form of sustainable tourism within a natural and cultural heritage area where community participation, protection and management of natural resources, culture and indigenous knowledge and practices, environmental education and ethics as well as economic benefits are fostered and pursued for the enrichment of host communities and satisfaction of visitors."

Among the various ecotourism activities that you can enjoy in the ecotourism spots are bird watching, whale watching, nature photography, hiking, snorkeling, diving, kayaking, mountaineering, and caving/spelunking. On my part, only diving is yet to be explored.

From then on, I wandered around the islands of the Philippines in order to finish this monumental task.

So far only 28 out of 32 spots have been conquered, explored and enjoyed! The journey continues and hopefully in the near future, all the spots will be visited.

from www.globalsecurity.org

Here are the 32 ecotourism spots in the Philippines.  


Home of the friendly Ivatans, Batanes boasts of breathtaking landscapes and seascapes.

It has 3 major islands namely: Batan, Sabtang and Itbayat.

It has one of the richest cultural, historical, and natural attractions.  

This is one of my favorite destinations. 

Related link: http://junvillegas.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-captivating-and-stunning-beauty-of.html

Vigan, Ilocos Sur

It is the place where the past meets the present according to some writers. It is once called " a piece of Spain in the Orient" considering that it has one of the best-preserved 18th century houses with cobbled-streets, antiques, and horse-drawn calesas.

Its best attraction is the century-old houses. These houses boast ancient tile roofs, massive hardwood floorings, and balustrades and azoteas.

I love seeing the area at night.

Related link: http://junvillegas.blogspot.com/2013/01/ilocos-sur-experience.html

Penablanca, Cagayan

Known for its vast forest and numerous caves, trekking and spelunking are the two popular ecotourism activities in the area.

The Callao caves have massive limestone and other rock formations, skylights and a chapel.

Related link: http://junvillegas.blogspot.com/2013/02/callao-caves.html

Cordillera Rice Terraces, Ifugao

It consists of 23,000 sq. kms of mountainous terrain of rice terraces. You will definitely enjoy the cool foggy weather and the amazing rice terraces!

Carved by the Ifugaos as far back as 2,000 years ago, it is one of the UNESCO heritage sites in the Philippines.

Related link: http://junvillegas.blogspot.com/2012/11/my-adventures-in-sagada-plus-itinerary.html

Hundred Islands, Pangasinan

Located in Alaminos, Pangasinan, it is the pride of Pangasinan. It has 200 plus islands and islets which can be reached through island-hopping adventure.

Related link: http://junvillegas.blogspot.com/2013/02/island-hopping-at-hundred-islands.html

Mt. Pinatubo, Zambales

The 4 x 4 ride and the trekking to the crater of the volcano are the two best reasons why you should visit Mt. Pinatubo. 

Wawa Dam, Montalban, Rizal

One of the nearest ecotourism spots in Manila, the site can be reached in nearly 2 hours drive from Manila.

Related link: http://junvillegas.blogspot.com/2012/11/a-day-in-rizal.html

Mt. Makiling, Laguna

Hiking is the primordial activity in the area. Bird watching can also be enjoyed in the area.

Related link: http://junvillegas.blogspot.com/2012/11/two-mountains-in-one-day-mt-maculot-and.html

Taal Volcano

Climb the world's smallest volcano either by trekking or a horse-back ride. 

Once your reach the top of the crater, try to explore the lower crater. The volcano can also be seen at the top of Tagaytay City.

Related link: http://junvillegas.blogspot.com/2013/05/top-10-tourist-spots-in-batangas.html

from Erick's Site
Mt. Isarog, Camsur 

I was not able to climb the mountain but I have wandered around the base of the mountain.

This ecotourism spot is located in Bicol.

Mayon Volcano, Albay

Arguably, the world's perfect cone of volcano. Tourists  flock Albay not only to visit the church ruins in Cagsawa but also to experience the ATV ride to the base of the volcano. 

Related link: http://junvillegas.blogspot.com/2013/01/bicol-adventure.html


Donsol, Sorsogon 
Whale watching used to be the number one attractions in the area. Nowadays, Oslob is the best destination to have whale watching.

Enjoy the lake and the scenic view of the volcano which is usually hidden by the clouds.

Related link: http://junvillegas.blogspot.com/2013/01/bicol-adventure.html

Apo Reef, Occidental Mindoro 
One of the best diving spots in the Philippines. 

It has white sand beaches, saltwater lake and superb blue water diving.

Related Link: http://junvillegas.blogspot.com/2015/05/apo-reef-and-pandan-island-sablayan.html

Mt. Guiting Guiting, Romblon (not yet)
 Target date - Summer 2016

Renowned for being the most difficult climb in the Philippines. 

Puerto Princesa Underground River

One of the 7 wonders of the world, it is said to to be second longest underground river in the world.

Related link: http://junvillegas.blogspot.com/2012/11/caves-in-philippines-spelunkers-dream.html

Tubattaha Reef
(not yet)
  Target date - indefinite

Back in 2010, I was about to explore this spot. Unfortunately, due to budget constraint, the dream failed to materialize. Instead, I went to El Nido, Palawan.

The number one diving spot in the Philippines.

El Nido

Palawan has the best beaches in the Philippines ranging from San Vicente, Balabac, El Nido and Coron. El Nido is the number one marine sanctuary in the Philippines.

Related links:


Sohoton Cave, Western Samar

This used to be one of the best caves for spelunking. Unfortunately, due to human intervention, the caves were not preserved. 

Nonetheless, you can still enjoy the 840 hectares of nature reserve in the area.

Related link: http://junvillegas.blogspot.com/2013/04/top-10-caves-in-philippines-for-tourists.html

Lake Danao, Leyte

Feel the serenity of nature and enjoy the boat ride on the lake. This is the pride of Ormoc.

Related link: http://junvillegas.blogspot.com/2013/03/eastern-visayas-tour.html

Mt. Kanlaon, Negros

Towering at the height of 2,465 meters high, the area contains an abundance of natural attractions.

The stratovolcano straddles the provinces of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental, approximately 30 km (19 mi) southeast of Bacolod, the capital and most populous city of Negros Occidental.

Related link: http://junvillegas.blogspot.com/2012/12/exploring-negros-oriental-and-negros.html

Olango Island, Cebu

One of the premiere spots to enjoy bird watching in the Philippines. 

Related link: http://junvillegas.blogspot.com/2013/03/bird-watching-at-olango-island-cebu.html


Famous for its chocolate hills in Carmen, the Loboc River cruise and century-old churches. 

Related link: http://junvillegas.blogspot.com/2012/11/experience-bohol.html
from Photo Journeys

Tanon Strait, Negros
I crossed the strait when I went to Negros from Cebu.

Apo Island, Negros Oriental

The island is famous for its pawikans or sea turtles.

Related link: http://junvillegas.blogspot.com/2012/12/exploring-negros-oriental-and-negros.html


Siargao, Surigao

The number one surfing spot in the Philippines. The best place to stay is in Cloud Nine.

Related Link: http://junvillegas.blogspot.com/2012/11/siargao-surfing-capital-of-philippines.html

Camiguin Island

Known for its white island, it has a sunken cemetery, numerous waterfalls. volcanoes, hot and cold springs.

Related link: http://junvillegas.blogspot.com/2012/11/mesmerized-in-camiguin.html

Agusan Marsh, Agusan Del Sur
  Target date - Summer 2016

Note: I went last summer 2012, but did not make it due to cost (P5,000 boat rental) of the tour.

Garden of Malasag, Misamis Oriental

Easily reached from Cagayan De Oro, it has a botanical gardens and a wildlife collection of butterflies, birds and deer.

Related link: http://junvillegas.blogspot.com/2013/03/tourist-spots-in-cagayan-de-oro.html

Dipolog (Dakak)
Zamboanga Del Norte

Known for its tasty sardines, one can enjoy the white sand beaches and crystal clear waters of Dapitan Bay.

Related link:  

Mt. Apo, Davao
 Target date - indefinite

This is my ultimate dream to climb!

Lake Sebu
South Cotabato

Seven Falls
3 Lakes
1 Tribe

One my favorite destinations in the Philippines.

Related link: http://junvillegas.blogspot.com/2012/12/lake-sebu-7-falls-3-lakes-1-tribe.html

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Facebook: RAV Electronic Services
Address: 938 Brgy. Darasa, Tanauan City, Batangas 4232

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  1. Good site about "ecotourism" in the Philippines. We would like to check out these places soon! You may want to share our blog posts about Essential Ecotourism & Sustainable Tourism. Thank you and all the best! https://sstdi.org/tag/ecotourism/

  2. Wow ang ganda!! This place is not in my radar but I change my mind next stop... this place tara na! I'm still looking for best place to stay in manila