Backpacking Philippines,  Luzon,  Travel Guides

The Ultimate Luzon Philippines Bucket List

This ultimate Luzon Philippines bucket list gives you an idea about the activities, places and food that you should not miss when visiting the provinces in this region. Go over the list and check which of these have you ticked off and which should you look forward to on your next travel!

a girl with an arm up, seated at the edge of a road overlooking mountain ranges
A random stop we had at Tinglayan, Kalinga

About Luzon

Luzon is composed of the group of islands situated at northern most part of the Philippines. It is the biggest island of the archipelago itself. It is divided into seven regions namely the Ilocos, CAR, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA and NCR. The languages that are spoken at large are Tagalog, Ilocano and Bicolano: Ilocano at the northern, Tagalog at the central to southern and Bicolano at the southern most part. Other languages are spoken in some provinces specifically. Some of these are Ybanag, Itawis, Pangasinense, Kapampangan and others. There are dialects and languages spoken by the tribes and certain ethnic groups especially those who are residing at the outskirts.

Region I: The Ilocos Region

Ilocos Norte

  1. Visit Paoay Church, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country. It is one of the four Baroque Churches in the Philippines.
  2. Try the famous Ilocos empanada in Batac, one of the oldest town in Ilocos Norte
  3. Take a selfie at Patapat Via Duct
  4. Emulate Mad Max at the Paoay Sand Dunes
  5. Beach bum at the long stretch of white sand beaches in Pagudpud
  6. Try the breathtaking zip line with a stunning view of the coastline of Pagudpud
  7. Explore the Kapurpurawan rock formation

Ilocos Sur

  1. Explore the historic City of Vigan and walk down Calle Crisologo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  2. Taste Vigan’s famous longganisa
  3. Visit the Santa Maria Church. It is also one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Philippines and one of the Baroque Churches in the country.
  4. Buy pasalubong from Abel products
A highway in Ilocos Sur
The scenic path from Ilocos Sur to La Union

La Union

  1. Ride the waves of the Surfing Capital of the North
  2. Jump off and get a refreshing dip at Tangadan falls
  3. Try Ilocano dishes and the famous Halo Halo at Halo Halo de Iloko
  4. Party from dusk til dawn at Flotsam & Jetsam
  5. See the restored ‘baluarte’ in Luna, La Union
  6. Grape-picking at La Union Grape Farm


  1. Hop into an island or two of the hundred islands in Alaminos
  2. Swim into the Cabongaoan death pool in Burgos
  3. Bask in the sun at the pristine beach of Bolinao
  4. Visit one of the oldest churches in the country found in Bolinao
  5. Swim into the underground rivers of the caves in Bolinao
  6. Visit the miraculous The Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag
  7. Try some Bangus in Dagupan also experience the Bangus Festival
Patar Beach, Bolinao, Pangasinan

Region II: The Cagayan Valley Region


  1. Wear the vakul as you walk down the streets Ivatan Village
  2. Wonder at the magnificent landscapes of the rolling hills
  3. Chow down some coconut crabs and “Arayu” that is also known as Dorado
  4. Rent a bike and explore the province
  5. Brave the waves as you ride the boat from Basco to Itbayat


  1. Experience survivor feels in visiting Palaui Islands
  2. Experience the circadian flight of bats at Callao cave
  3. Take 193 steps to the Cathedral chamber of Callao cave
  4. Get hitched at Callao cave
  5. Go spelunking at the Sierra caves
  6. Try Cagayan’s Pancit Batil Patong
  7. Get off the beaten path and go to the Babuyan Group of Islands
  8. Beach bum at Anguib Beach
  9. Visit the Calvary Hills of the Far East
The Cathedral Chamber of Callao cave, Penablanca, Cagayan

Isabela Province

  1. Try Isabela‘s Pancit Cabagan
  2. Visit the ruins of the oldest church in the province, the St. Paul the Apostle Church in Cabagan
  3. Sit on the largest ‘butaka’ or wooden rocking chair in the world found in Ilagan
  4. Charter a plane going to Palanan, Isabela
  5. Go back in time and visit the Japanese War Tunnel in Ilagan
a plate of saucy fried noodles
The famous Pancit Cabagan of Isabela

Nueva Vizcaya

  1. Go spelunking at the Capisaan Cave
  2. Go on a hike at Mt. Ugo
  3. Get a dose of vitamin C in the citrus capital of the Philippines
  4. Jump off from a different trail leading to Mt. Pulag
  5. Visit the Lower Magat Eco-Tourism Park
The Lower Magat Eco-Tourism Park
Photo by April Nunez of the Promdichic Blog


  1. Go White Water Rafting in Governors Rapids
  2. Visit Pensal Falls
  3. Take a glimpse of history at the Quirino Provincial Museum
  4. Take home fossilized roses as pasalubong
  5. Go spelunking at Aglipay caves
  6. Breathe in some fresh air atop the rolling hills of Landingan Viewpoint
A silhouette of a lady in front of a lit building
The Quirino Provincial Capitol

The Cordillera Administrative Region


  1. Swim in Kaparkan Falls’ basins
  2. Visit the Gabriela Silang Gallery of Fine Arts
  3. Be amazed by the Piwek Rock Formations and Apao Rolling Hills
  4. Buy some gourd hats at San Quintin


  1. Go extreme and climb the Father Rock at Dupag Rock Formation
  2. Explore Lussoc Underground River
  3. Cliff dive at Maton River
  4. Find some Philippine eagles at the Calanasan Philippine Eagle Sanctuary


  1. Spend the whole week at the summer capital of the Philippines, Baguio City
  2. Go strawberry picking in La Trinidad
  3. Witness a breathtaking sunrise at the summit of Mt. Pulag
  4. Take a photo at the famous Gungal Rock of Mt. Ulap
  5. Get steamy and hot at the Asin Hot Spring
The breathtaking view at the Gungal Rock of Mt. Ulap
The actual Gungal Rock is the other boulder next to where I was stepping on


  1. Ride a wooden scooter
  2. Have breakfast facing the “Amphitheater” in Batad
  3. Visit the different UNESCO World Heritage Rice Terraces
  4. Witness the Ifugaos engage in a tug of war at the Imbayah Festival
The Buscalan Rice Terraces in Buscalan Village, Tinglayan, Kalinga


  1. Get inked by a traditional tattoo artist in Buscalan Village, Tinglayan, Kalinga
  2. Chase waterfalls
  3. Explore the different rice terraces in the province
  4. Watch the sunrise at Chico River
  5. Try the local Kalinga coffee
Getting inked by Apo Whang Od, a traditional tattoo artist from Buscalan Village

Mountain Province

  1. Learn about the burial traditions and death rituals in Sagada
  2. Witness the day break and the sea of clouds in Kiltepan Peak, Sagada
  3. Walk into the blue soil of Sagada
  4. Check out the boiling mud at Brgy. Bantay in Paracelis
  5. Chase the sunrise at the top of the Maligcong Rice Terraces
  6. Drink their world-famous coffee
The Hanging Coffins of Sagada, Mountain Province

Region III: The Central Luzon


  1. Surf at Sabang beach
  2. Revisit the past as you visit the Museo de Baler
  3. Go on top of the PAGASA Weather Station and get a 360-view overlooking the town of Baler and Discalarin Cove
  4. Get inside the biggest Balete tree in Asia
  5. Swim in the cold waters of Ditumabo Falls
  6. Go north and explore the town of Casiguran
Riding the waves at Sabang Beach, Baler, Aurora


  1. Visit the heritage houses at the Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar
  2. Pay tribute at Mt. Samat
  3. Take a day trip and learn a part of our history at Corregidor Island
  4. Explore the Five Fingers in Mariveles, Bataan


  1. Join the traditional dance at Obando
  2. Go spelunking Biak na bato National Park
  3. Visit the Barasoain Church
  4. Stop over for Bulacan’s Pasalubong Center

Nueva Ecija

  1. Go cliff diving at Minalungao National Park
  2. Learn farming at Philippine Rice Research Institute
  3. Learn more about agriculture at the NFA museum
  4. Visit Pantabangan Dam
  5. Go on a hike at Mt. 367


  1. Go on a food trip and a culinary adventure and try the original sisig at Aling Lucing’s Sisig
  2. Witness the grandest Giant Lantern Festival in the country held at Pampanga
  3. Go bird watching at Candaba Bird Sanctuary
  4. Ride the tallest Ferris Wheel in the Philippines at Sky Ranch Pampanga
  5. Take a 4X4 and go up at Mt. Pinatubo
  6. Get that watermazing experience in one of the largest water parks in the country, the Aqua Planet
The entries (about 20-feet tall) in the Giant Lantern Festival in San Fernando, Pampanga


  1. Visit the Death March Monument
  2. Learn more about democracy at The Aquino Central Museum
  3. Race with Go Karts at KCT Kart City
  4. Visit the Tarlac Provincial Capitol


  1. Camp at Anawangin Cove or Nagsasa Cove, Zambales
  2. Hike at Mt. Tapulao
  3. Harvest mangoes at Rosa Farm
  4. Shop at Subic Bay Freeport
  5. Cool down at Coto Kidz Pol at Masinloc, Zambales
Capones Island: One of the destinations in the island hopping activity shall you opt for one during your stay in Anawangin or Nagsasa Cove

The National Capital Region

  1. Visit the Luneta Park
  2. Cross the Jones Bridge
  3. Go on a gastronomic walking tour at Binondo or the Manila China Town
  4. Visit the National Museum of Anthropology, Natural History and Fine Arts
  5. Go back in time as you explore Intramuros, the historical walled city in Manila, on a bambike
  6. Walk and shop at one of the biggest malls in the world, the Mall of Asia
  7. Watch the gorgeous sunset at Manila bay
  8. Go on a seafood bonanza at Pasay Seafood Market
Exploring Manila’s past ion a bambike



  1. Warm yourself up with a bowl of Bulalo at Tagaytay City
  2. Visit Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite
  3. Visit Bonifacio Trial House in Maragondon, Cavite
  4. Fall in love with Malibic-libic Falls & Pantihan Falls
  5. Hike at Mt. Pico De Loro
  6. Join the fun in the Pahimis Festival of Amadeo, Cavite
  7. Enjoy a cup of Kapeng Barako or Kapeng Amadeo
Taal Volcano and lake as seen from Tagaytay City, Cavite
It actually belongs to the province of Batangas but Tagaytay City offers the best view of it


  1. Relax at the hot springs in Pansol, Laguna
  2. Shoot the rapids going to Pagsanjan, Falls
  3. Buy some wood carvings at Paete, Laguna
  4. Visit the childhood home of our National hero at the Rizal Shrine in Calamba, Laguna
  5. Visit the underground cemetery at Nagcarlan, Laguna
  6. Bring home quality a pair or two footwears from Liliw, Laguna
  7. Dine at a floating restaurant in Calauan, Laguna
  8. Witness the festivities during the Ana Kalang Festival of Nagcarlan
The Patio of the Underground Cemetery in Nagcarlan, Laguna


  1. Admire the majestic taal Volcano from the summit of Mt. Maculot, Cuenca, Batangas
  2. Learn SCUBA diving or freediving in Anilao
  3. Dive into the center of the center of the world’s Coral Triangle, the reef of Batangas.
  4. Tour around the Heritage town of Taal
  5. Visit the Philippines’ very first camera museum, Galleria Taal
  6. Try the famous Lomi Batangas at Liam’s Lomi House in Lipa City
  7. Sit down and sip a hot cup of Batangas barako coffee
  8. Nib some Batangas beef
The healthy and thriving reef of Batangas


  1. Appreciate art in Agono, Rizal the “Art capital of the Philippines”
  2. More art appreciation in Pinto Art Museum
  3. Visit the Agono-Binangonan Petroglyphs
  4. Enjoy the cave pool at Tinipak Cave after a hike in Mt. Daraitan
  5. Try the Rodriguez Trilogy Hike: Mt. Pamitinan, Binacayan and Hapunang Banoi.
  6. Brave a day hike to Mt. Balagbag
The river at the foot of Mt. Daraitan

Quezon Province

  1. Get drunk with their Lambanog
  2. Witness one of the most colorful festival in the region, the Pahiyas Festival of Quezon Province
  3. Take a pilgrimage tour going to Kamay ni Jesus Shrine
  4. Try Quezon Province’s famous Lucban Longganisa
  5. Go off the beaten path and enjoy the golden sands in Jomalig Island
  6. Enjoy the pristine beaches of Borawan, Alibijaban and Cagbalete Island
  7. Try their famous Pancit Habhab
  8. Get an extraordinary experience of the Filipinos’ culture, traditions and hospitality at Villa Escudero


Oriental Mindoro

  1. Dive and enjoy the white sand beaches of Puerto Galera
  2. Go chasing waterfalls at Puerto Galera
  3. Visit the Mangyan Village at the foot of Mt. Malasimbo in Puerto Galera
  4. Hike the second highest mountain the country, the Mt. Halcon of Mindoro Oriental.
  5. Explore the quite but beautiful town of Bulalacao
  6. Be amazed at the Walang langit Falls in Gloria, Oriental Mindoro
Tamaraw Falls, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro

Occidental Mindoro

  1. Dive into the second largest contiguous reef in the world, Apo Reef in Sablayan, Mindoro Oriental.
  2. Trek and find Tamaraws at Mt. Iglit-Baco National park
  3. Get a prisoner as your guide and explore the Sablayan Prison Farm & Rainforest
  4. Take the longest zip line from an island to another at Sablayan
  5. Swim with turtles at Pandan Island
Apo Reef Natural Park, Sablayan, Mindoro Occidental


  1. Experience the Moriones Festival
  2. Rent a bike and explore the Circumferential roads of Marinduque and discover the white sand beaches around the province
  3. Visit the butterfly garden in Gasan which is the butterfly capital of the Philippines
  4. Sample their Uraro or Arrowroot Cookies


  1. Go far and wide in exploring Cresta De Gallo
  2. Hike Mt. Guiting-Guiting and look for some Pitcher Plants
  3. Buy their marble products
  4. Watch the beautiful sunset at Bonbon Beach


  1. Explore the beaches and lagoons of Coron
  2. Dive into the coral gardens and historical ship wrecks of Coron
  3. Be enchanted by El Nido’s lagoon and beaches
  4. Brave a death-defying hike to Taraw Cliff
  5. Go big and travel south to experience the pristine beaches and islands of Balabac
  6. Go underground and explore the Underground River in Puerto Princesa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  7. Complete your ultimate bucket list by diving at the famous Tubbataha Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The iconic, post card-worthy view of Kayangan Lake, Coron, Palawan

Region V: The Bicol Region


  1. Ride an ATV and take the black lava trail near Mayon Volcano
  2. Feel that burning sensation as you try out Bicol Express and their Sili Ice cream
  3. Visit Cagsawa ruins and enjoy the view of Mayon Volcano
  4. Visit the majestic Quitinday Underground River
  5. Watch the sunset at Legazpi boulevard
  6. Admire the perfect shape of Mayon Volcano from any point in Albay
The majestic Mayon volcano of Albay

Camarines Norte

  1. Take off your slippers and experience the finest white sand you’ll ever find in Calaguas island
  2. Try different water sports in Bagasbas Beach
  3. Explore the Siete Pecados, Mercedes Group of Islands
  4. Experience the pink sand beaches of Parola Island
a view of a mountain side and an islet facing each other
The view from the top of Canimog Island, Mercedes, Camarines Norte

Camarines Sur

  1. Go wake boarding at CamSur Watersports Complex (CWC)
  2. Explore the paradise tucked in Caramoan Group of Islands
  3. Join the fun at the Penafrancia Festival
  4. Explore Mt. Isarog National Park
Atop the rock formation of Matukad Island, Caramoan, Camarines Sur


  1. Dive at the manta bowl and explore the underwater world of Ticao Island
  2. Visit the Buntod Sandbar
  3. Partake at the Rodeo Festival
  4. Marvel the Catandayagan Falls
  5. Experience beauty and diversity of the Burias Group of Islands
Walking around Animasola Island
The natural rock formation at Animasola Island, Burias Group of Islands, Masbate


  1. Surf at the “Majestics” Puraran Beach
  2. Get your breath taken away by the view at Binurong Point
  3. Be amazed at the Ilihan Point Fertility Island
  4. Explore the Palumbanes Island


  1. Find and swim with whale sharks in the wild
  2. Ride the waves of Gubat, Sorsogon
  3. Be amazed and swim with giant fishes in Juag Lagoon Sanctuary
  4. Grab a paddle and kayak around Lake Bulusan

The Philippines Bucket List Series

There is seriously a plethora of places to visit and activities to try in the different provinces of Luzon. This Philippines bucket list only serves as a guide at the same time gives you an idea as to what you can expect to those places. The above mentioned ones were just few in the top list of the many travel enthusiasts. You can always go on and embark on an adventure in a different path and try new things.

a gitl tiptoeing on a fallen coconut tree at the beach
Candaraman Island, Balabac, Palawan

Stay tuned for the Visayas and Mindanao, Philippines bucket list! If you intend to visit all the provinces in the Philippines, hence the Project 81, this list is something that can surely help you with.

Special thanks to Jameson Go for contributing to the completion of this ultimate Philippines Bucket List!

Anne Elizabeth Gumiran, also known as Queenie, is a 20-something, full-time public school teacher, a part-time travel blogger and a freediver. She started putting her stories of adventures and misadventures into words and pictures in 2017 and continues to do so as she shares her advocacy, Sustainable Traveling.

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