7 Travel Destinations in the Philippines You Can Visit in the New Normal

Published: December 9, 2020 | Updated: January 28, 2021 | Posted by: Moneymax | Lifestyle

Right now, your feet are probably itching to go out and travel again. However, the Covid-19 pandemic is nowhere near over. Does this mean you should say goodbye to your 2021 travel plans?

Well, not really. There’s a bit of good news for travelers. The government is now allowing tourists to travel within the Philippines. This means that people from Metro Manila can now go to other locations in the country that are not on lockdown, 

This means that you can satisfy your wanderlust after all. With that said, what travel destinations in the Philippines can you visit in the new normal?

Wonder no more because we came up with a list of travel destinations in the Philippines. We guarantee that all these beautiful places will heal your soul and help you get rid of those pandemic blues.

New Normal Travel Destinations in the Philippines

1. Siargao

travel destinations in the philippines - siargao

Photo from @thesiargaoisland on Instagram

You can’t talk about Siargao without mentioning the words “surfing,” “beach,” and “beautiful.” However, these words are not enough to perfectly capture the essence of this paradise. It’s hard to explain the allure of the island, though. You need to personally experience what this place has to offer!

New Normal Accessibility: Siargao, which is part of the Surigao del Norte province, is open to domestic tourists.

What to Do in Siargao

If you’re a big fan of surfing, Siargao will definitely be your heaven on earth. Siargao is known for its gigantic waves that will give you the ultimate adrenaline rush. Wiping out will be something you’ll enjoy too. 

After a session with the waves, catch your breath at Cloud 9, a three-story hut that stands over the sea water. While resting, enjoy the sunset paint the skies orange. This alone makes Siargao one of the most scenic spots in the Philippines.

Thinking of where to go to next? Visit the Sugba Lagoon, a spectacular lagoon surrounded by the greens of the towering mountains. Dive, swim, and take life at a leisurely pace in one of the best travel destinations in the Philippines.

If island hopping is your thing, then head over to Siargao’s three popular islands. Guyam, Daku, and Naked Islands all have breathtaking beaches.

Are there requirements for travel pass going to the province of Surigao del Norte? As per the Siargao Tourism Assistance Center[1], you can just email the following requirements to sdntourism@gmail.com a day before your departure: 

  • Negative result on RT-PCR Test taken within 48 hours or 2 days from the date of the release of the result
  • Valid ID 
  • Surigao del Norte eHealth Pass[2]
  • Confirmed booking for at least 5 days at accommodations duly authorized by the Department of Tourism
  • DIY travel itinerary in Surigao del Norte
  • A copy of round trip ticket 

Read more: Different Kinds of Friends You Love and Hate Traveling With

2. Ilocos Sur

travel destinations in the philippines - ilocos sur

Photo from @tinas.traveldiary on Instagram

History buffs and culture vultures will surely have fun in Ilocos Sur. It is home to one of the UNESCO Heritage sites in the Philippines, which is the city of Vigan[3]. From Manila, you can reach the province via an almost 12-hour drive or one-hour flight.

New Normal Accessibility: Ilocos Sur is open to Luzon residents with negative RT-PCR Test results.

What to Do in Ilocos Sur

One of the main attractions in the province is Calle Crisologo. The cobbled streets and well-preserved heritage houses will make you feel like you’re traveling back in time. Everything looks like a postcard, and the place is teeming with history.

You can ride the calesa to tour around the vicinity or visit the shops for some souvenirs. Wait until nighttime to see the place in its full glory. It elegantly transforms under the warm street lamps.

Furthermore, you can also explore the Bantay Bellfry, more commonly known as the Bantay Watch Tower. It’s truly an architecture marvel to behold. 

Saint Augustine Parish Church is another architectural treasure of the province. It was built in 1590 and boasts of the beauty of Neo-Gothic and Romanesque style.

Love food? Ilocos Sur is also known for its tasty and iconic dishes. Don’t ever leave without feasting on empanada, bagnet, and longganisa.

What are the requirements for travel pass going to this province?

Ilocos Sur is now open to visitors from Luzon. But there will still be strict implementation of health and safety protocols[4]. Travelers also need to prepare the following requirements:

  • Negative result for RT-PCR Test taken within 48 hours of travel 
  • Digital or printed out copy of SafePass QR Code[5]
  • Confirmed itinerary from a DOT-accredited tour and travel agency
  • Reservation at accredited Accommodation Establishment
  • Confirmed booking of tourist transport 
  • Valid government-issued ID

3. Baguio

travel destinations in the philippines - baguio

Photo from @chlagregorio on Instagram

Sadly, you can’t fly to Japan or South Korea just yet. But if you want to enjoy cool weather, the City of Pines can tide you over. Baguio City is perfectly built upon the mountains. And with its cool weather, it’s easily a top-of-mind summer escape of the people from the lowlands.

New Normal Accessibility: Baguio is open to Luzon residents with negative RT-PCR test results. If you want a Baguio staycation, register first on VISITA or the Visitor Information and Travel Assistance[6].

What to Do in Baguio

The Botanical Garden, Camp John Hay, Mines View Park, Burnham Park, and the Lion’s Head are popular places for starters. But if you’ve been to Baguio many times now, seek out hidden gems that will make for new and memorable experiences. 

Why not dip your toes into the warm waters of Asin Hot Spring? Furthermore, support Philippine contemporary art by visiting the BenCab museum. Here you can find masterpieces of National Artist Benedicto Cabrera.

Want to try ghost-hunting? The Diplomat Hotel and the Laperal White House are popular places for such pursuits.

Travel destination new normal - cta

4. Pangasinan

travel destinations in the philippines - pangasinan

Photo from @thehundredislandph on Instagram

Pangasinan is not just a pass-through location before you reach Baguio or Vigan. What many don’t realize is that the province has a wealth of beautiful spots, making it a great quick escape from the city.

New Normal Accessibility: Pangasinan, La Union, Ilocos Norte, and Ilocos Sur residents can visit public parks and tourist attractions in Pangasinan[7]. In addition, they should also present the following requirements: 

  • Medical certificate from the rural health unit at point of origin
  • Approved travel registration from the Online Visitor Registration System

What to Do in Pangasinan 

First on the list is the Hundred Islands in Alaminos. Here, you can enjoy sightseeing and island hopping. You can also do water activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, and canoeing.

Another beach to visit is the Patar Beach, also known as the Boracay of Pangasinan. Located in Bolinao, Patar Beach features a long stretch of pristine white sand beach and a magnificent sunset view to boot.

In case you want a pensive trip with lots of room for reflection, the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag is the ideal venue.

Allied Botanical Corporation’s Sunflower Maze in Tayug is also worth a visit. Lastly, don’t ever leave the province without bringing home the famous puto Calasiao.

Read more: Travelers: Watch Out for These 6 Airport Scams

5. Boracay

travel destinations in the philippines - boracay

It’s nice to know that Boracay is open once again to tourism activities despite the pandemic. You’d be thanking the loosening of IATF travel restrictions in the Philippines for that.

New Normal Accessibility: Boracay is open to domestic tourists from GCQ and MGCQ locations only. You should also present the following requirements as per the official website of Aklan[8]:

  • Negative RT-PCR test result (date of extraction should be within 72 hours to date of travel)
  • Confirmed hotel booking in DOT Accommodation Establishment[9] 
  • Roundtrip flight/travel details
  • Valid proof of identification with Philippine Residency

What to Do in Boracay

Boaracay has a lot of beaches to choose from. One beach may look more beautiful than the next. For those who simply want to enjoy the island’s beauty, your best option is the White Beach. It’s been aptly named for its powder-soft white sand. This beach is also divided into three sections.

Station 1 is where the high-end resorts and restaurants are located. Next, Station 2 is where you can shop and dine. Last but not the least, Station 3 is where you can enjoy some peace and quiet.

Meanwhile, you can also explore other beaches like Bulabog Beach, a paradise for kite-surfers. After that, make your way to Puka Shell Beach, which is known for its privacy. And if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, try Ariel’s Point.

6. Coron

travel destinations in the philippines - coron

Still can’t get enough of Philippine beaches? Then head to Coron! Travel + Leisure Magazine even called Palawan, which includes Coron, among the best and most beautiful islands in the world[10]. Needless to say, it’s one of the best travel destinations in the Philippines.

New Normal Accessibility: Coron is open to domestic tourists, provided they are able to present the following documents:

  • Negative RT-PCR test result conducted 48-72 hours before their flight.
  • Confirmed booking with an accredited accommodation,
  • Tour itinerary from an accredited tour operator
  • Round trip tickets
  • Coron QR code[11]
  • Traze App

What to Do in Coron

Coron has a wealth of beaches. Atwayan Beach is a famous spot for picnics and lunches. In addition, Banana Island features a stunning crescent-shaped lagoon and cream-white sand. Sangat Island, on the other hand, is a great spot for diving enthusiasts.

For freshwater adventures, check out Kayangan Lake. It’s touted as the cleanest lake in the Philippines. Kayangan Lake is also popular with photographers and tourists because of the underwater rock formations. Snorkel, dive, and swim. You can also hike the nearby mountain to enjoy the majestic views.

7. Tagaytay

travel destinations in the philippines - tagaytay

Photo from @tarasasouth on Instagram

Need a quick remedy for your pandemic-related fatigue? A whiff of cold air will do you some good. And where else can you have that than in Tagaytay?

New Normal Accessibility: Tagaytay is open to domestic tourists only. 

What to Do in Tagaytay

Tagaytay is just an just an hour away from Metro Manila. Aside from the vibrant nature, Tagaytay’s warm hospitality also makes it a a great travel destination.

Marvel at the sight of the Taal Lake from the Picnic Grove and Twin Lakes. You can also go up to the People’s Park in the Sky for a 360-degree view of the city.

Tagaytay is also known for its culinary delights. Visit top-rated restaurants like Breakfast at Antonio’s and Sonya’s Garden. There are also many coffee shops and dessert places along the highway.

For a grittier food adventure, stop by the eateries at the Mahogany Market. Warm yourself up with generous servings of bulalo. Enjoy the fried crispy goodness of tawilis and chicharong bulaklak.

In short, you can have a little bit of everything at this market. Make sure to come with an appetite because you will want to try everything!

Travel Restrictions in the Philippines

The Philippine Government has implemented certain inbound travel restrictions on Filipino travelers. All incoming Filipino passengers, including their spouse (Filipino or foreign) will be allowed to visit the country. However, they will be subject to quarantine procedures.

Within the country, travel restrictions have eased up a little. As mentioned earlier, you can travel between areas under GCQ and MGCQ. At the same time, the Department of Trade and Industry has already allowed travel agencies, reservation companies, and tour operators to operate at 50% capacity. As a result, there are more tourism activities in the country. 

Other Travel Requirements to Take Note Of

To further ease restrictions on travels, the Joint Task Force COVID Shield has issued the Travel Pass-through Permit (TPP). This will serve as a passage document for travelers. The good thing about is it that it has no requirements.

Some cities still have restrictions and require people to show a Travel Authority. In case you’ll be needing one, the requirements for a Travel Authority Pass are as follows:

  • Medical clearance certificate from the City or Municipal Health Office
  • Traveler’s prior coordination between the place of origin and the destination.

Final Thoughts

Tourism may not be back 100%. But thankfully, some travel destinations in the Philippines have opened their doors to travelers. This is indeed a welcome break from all the days spent at home.

However, don’t take this as a license to be lax with other government restrictions. The easing up of travel restrictions does not mean that the virus is gone.

In short, you still need to observe health and safety protocols whenever you go out. For instance, take the required swab tests and wear your face mask. Also, observe social distancing wherever you go. Enjoy your travels, but not at the expense of safety. Make sure that you and your fellow travelers are safe, too!

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