Top 23 Wonders of the Philippines

The Philippines is a wonderful place to be. From rivers and lakes, volcanoes and coral reefs, the Pearl of the Orient is filled with natural wonders, scattered over 7,107 islands. Here are the top 23 wonders you will find in the Philippine archipelago.

Puerto Princesa Underground River
The world's longest navigable subterranean river. Winding for over 24 km from Saint Paul Mountain Range, the river flows through an 8.2 km-long cave before directly draining into the sea. It has been named among the Seven Wonders of Nature.
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Mayon Volcano
The world's most perfect cone, owing to its almost symmetrical shape. The mountain has been kept a national park and hosts a great diversity of flora and fauna. It is seldom missing in any list of the world’s most beautiful volcanoes, and is rather frequently picked out to be the best.
photo by Isgg811
Sulu Sea
A sea that holds the highest concentration of marine life, making it the center of the center of the world's marine biodiversity. Nestled in the embrace of the country’s  westernmost islands, Sulu Sea houses in its midst the Tubbataha Reef, an extremely rich coral reef perched atop a long insular shelf that extends from the island of Panay.
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Taal Lake
A deep lake harboring the world's smallest active volcano. Taal Lake is unique in its complexity, enclosing an island that holds its own lake, which itself keeps an island. Taal Lake was hailed one of the world’s most beautiful lakes by Yahoo! Travel.
photo by alex robinson
Chocolate Hills
Unique round hills of more than a thousand, spread over five towns in the island of Bohol. The grass dries off  the hills during summer, giving the kisses-like mounds their chocolate hue. The Chocolate Hills are a geological wonder whose creation has baffled the world to this day.
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Pinatubo Crater
The Philippines’ deepest lake, which is in fact the crater left by the second biggest eruption of the 20th century. This beautiful remnant of Mount Pinatubo features emerald-green water within high stone walls, awing hikers who visit this deep-seated wonder.
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Boracay Island
A small island hemmed with superb fine-white-sand beaches. Boracay skyrocketed to no. 2 from among the world’s best beaches in Travelers’ Choice 2011, and snatched the 4th spot in Travel + Leisure's World's Best Islands: the best debut on record.
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Siargao Island
An island sitting right next to the Philippine Deep, one of the world's deepest trenches. What with its Pacific reef wave called Cloud 9, Siargao attract surfers from all over the world. CNN Go ranked it as 8th best surfing destination internationally.
photo by K. V. Chua
Calbiga Cave
A cave reputed to be the second largest in Asia and third in the world. This extensive natural labyrinth is found beneath the island of Samar, literally riddled with caves and appropriately dubbed the caving capital of the Philippines. The cave system shelters a most exotic community of underground creatures.
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Cordillera Central
The Philippines' biggest mountain range, made even more remarkable by its indigenous peoples, who have carved rice terraces down the slopes, complete with irrigation from the summit. These 2 millennia-old rice terraces are aptly recognized as World Heritage Site.
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Mount Apo
The Philippines' highest peak. Home to the world’s largest eagle, the Philippine eagle, Mount Apo is revered, not only aesthetically, but in the religious sense, by the ethnic people living at its foot, who consider the great mountain the abode of the father of gods, Apo Sandawa.
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Davao Gulf
The Philippines' widest gulf. In its middle sits an island town called Samal, sporting exquisite beaches and its own terrific cascades. A cave in Samal lodges the world’s biggest colony of fruit bats, numbering at over 1.8 million. The country’s highest peak, Mount Apo, can be seen from Samal Island.
photo by likha kalikasan
Isthmus of Manila
One often overlooks that the soil beneath Metro Manila’s sprawling cityscape is a wonder in itself: a thin land-bridge wedged between Manila Bay and Lake Bay. This explains how Manila was so fertile it became home to, not one, not two, but three pre-Hispanic kingdoms at once.
photo by benjieordonez
Maria Cristina Falls
Majestic twin waterfalls, standing out from  among over twenty cascades packed inside Iligan, fittingly called the city of waterfalls. The second highest falls in the Philippines, Maria Cristina Falls is, not only beautiful, but vital, as it provides electricity to the entire island of Mindanao.
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Tawi-tawi Island
A hidden jewel at the Philippines' southernmost. This volcanic island will greet you with its towering mount, hanging over a rockbound coast lined with white sandy beaches. The seafaring nomads called Badjao had originated from this remote island.
photo by coffee_alamid_philippines
Cagayan River
The Philippines' longest and largest river. Flanked by the country’s biggest and longest mountain ranges, this great waterway runs down a valley so deep that flood warnings are triggered every time a typhoon or heavy rains impend. The river passes through the country’s few remaining rainforests.
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Candaba Swamp
A wetland in the Philippines visited by the most number of birds. This freshwater swamp marks the deepest point of the Pampanga basin, which is framed by mountain ranges west, north and east. Over 17,000 birds, from within the country and Asia, stop by this sanctuary.
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Lake Sebu
A high-altitude lake home to a colorful Philippine tribe called T’boli, one of the last vibrant ethnic culture in existence. Located on a mountain range, Lake Sebu is an important watershed, trailing with seven waterfalls as it drains down rivers.
photo from jojie alcantara
Lingayen Gulf
A wide gulf sheltering over a hundred small islands. The excellent beaches lining its coast suffer no significant waves, being protected by Lingayen Gulf’s deep bay from the caprices of the sea outside. Salterns, from which the province got its name, Pangasinan, is an ancient industry that thrives in this gulf.
photo by doktordesmo
Zamboanga Peninsula
An expansive arm of the island of Mindanao, its coasts dotted with numerous bays and islands. Once a Spanish fort, the peninsula’s major city, Zamboanga, speaks predominantly in a Spanish creole called Chavacano, and is the only Latin city in Asia.
photo by filan
Kutawato Cave
The only cave system found at the heart of a Philippine city. All the cave entrances are within the vicinity of Cotabato City, to which the cave lent its name. The cave is a historic site, having sheltered natives who fled Spanish conversion to Christianity, as well as Japanese invasion.
photo by Jing Velos
Ilocos Sand Dunes
A lone desert in a tropical island spanning 135 sq. km, covering 4 towns and one city. Skirting the narrow northwestern coast of Luzon Island, the sand dunes are in fact an expansive beach that has crawled far off the sea from the constant blow of the westerly wind.
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Masbate Island
An island that lies at the heart of the Philippine archipelago. Undulate mountains run the length of this V-shaped island, overlooking a coastline fringed with lush mangrove forests. This island province is home to sprawling cattle ranches.
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