Must-Visit Destinations for Your Road Trip Near Manila
Want to get out of the city for some fantastic vacation time? Summers in Metro Manila can be excruciatingly hot. Why not venture out of the city and enjoy the beach a bit? Or up into the mountains for a bit of cooler air?
Here’s our list of top 15 recommendations for summer plans that won’t require a long trip from Metro Manila.
Puerto Galera is perfect for a relaxed and fun time at the beach. In more or less 4 hours, you can reach this summer getaway by Bus to Batangas Port and then by boat to Puerto Galera. You can go camping or stay at a resort in White Beach and there’s always one more beach cove to visit if you find the popular ones too busy. Check out this list of hotels in Puerto Galera.
Trek Mount Pinatubo
Under 90 km from Manila, this famous volcano is the perfect place for a dramatic, beautiful, and adventurous hike. Mount Pinatubo trek is being offered by various travel agents as a day tour package, or you can have a DIY trip with your friends if you want a more adventurous trip.
Anawangin and Nagsasa Cove in Zambales
You don’t have to go too far to see these two perfect, pristine coves. Anawangin and Nagsasa beaches have a mixture of white sand and soft volcanic ash from the last Mt. Pinatubo eruption. Both places are surrounded by mountain rocks, and if you really want a treat, grab a tour, a camping adventure, or even a resort, stay nearby.
Enjoy the Cool Weather in Tagaytay City
Considered one of the “most pleasant cities in Asia” and we genuinely agree. Tagaytay City is one of the coolest places to visit in the Philippines near Metro Manila; with fresh, clean air, it can be the perfect break during a hot Manila summer. There are also several ways to reach this summer getaway, either via Cavite or the south super highway.
Experience Pahiyas Festival in Lucban and other San Isidro Festivals in Quezon Province
A truly exciting and fun treat, the Pahiyas festival offers bright colors, true artistry, and a festive atmosphere. Celebrate with the residents of Lucban, who really go all out for the parade that showcases local produce and artistry. Tayabas Quezon has Mayohan sa Tayabas, an almost month-long festival that showcases local talents, world-class products, and various cultural parades.
Food Trip in Pampanga
Pampanga is one of the most fun places to enjoy the culinary specialties of the Philippines. Think you know about food? You’ll love the options; whether you want exotic sweets or anything delicious, you will find them in Pampanga.
Visita Iglesia in Laguna
The Baroque churches of Laguna are a unique opportunity in the Philippines. Well-preserved and accessible, you can learn a bit about history while you escape the heat of summer in their cool halls. There are also travel agents who provide Visita Iglesia tour packages if you want to have a comfortable ride.
Visit Corregidor Island
Easy to access as it’s near Manila Bay, Corregidor Island has historical landmarks and exciting history to explore. Corregidor and the other fortified islands of Manila Bay fall under the jurisdiction of the City of Cavite, Cavite province. Corregidor, also known as “The Rock” for its rocky landscape and the heavy fortifications, along with Caballo Island, about 1.7 km (1.1 mi) south, divide the entrance of Manila Bay into the North and South Channel.
Visit Cagbalete Island
Gorgeous white sand beaches and crystal green waters await the traveler who wants the resort experience, right in Manila’s backyard. Located in Mauban Quezon, Cagbalete island is fast becoming a favorite destination for backpackers for its beautiful beach and well-preserved flora and fauna.
Shooting the rapids in Pagsanjan Laguna
Book a tour to see the Pagsanjan falls by boat. You don’t have to go over the falls in the boat, don’t worry, but the rapids are exciting enough. The falls can also be reached from the top by a short hike from Cavinti Laguna. The boat ride has been an attraction since the Spanish Colonial Era, with the oldest written account in 1894. The town of Pagsanjan lies at the confluence of two rivers, the Balanac River and the Bumbungan River (also known as the Pagsanjan River).
Villa Escudero Plantation
Right on the Maharlika Hwy, the Villa Escudero Plantation is an experience not to be missed. Located between Tiaong Quezon and San Pablo City, this farm offers a cultural and gastronomic experience for those who love discovering local cuisine. Friendly hospitality, gorgeously maintained buildings, and lots of fun activities are all there for you to enjoy.
Rediscover Matabungkay Beach
Maybe you’ve fought off Matabungkay Beach as a tourist destination, but it’s time to remember how much fun it is to be a tourist in a well-maintained, beautifully decorated, and made-to-be-fun resort on the beach. Matabungkay Beach is in located in Lian Batangas. It has a light gray sand beach reasonably accessible to Manila 120 kilometers (75 mi) that were originally ‘discovered’ to be a great weekend or day trip destination in the early 1950s, allegedly by sun-starved German residents of Manila.
In fact, the German Club had a cottage there then. It was soon a popular target for holiday lovers, and rich Manila folk built permanent cottages (even deluxe beach houses) along the beach line (and some into the beach) in the early 1960s.
Visit Cold Springs and Hot Springs in Laguna
Probably the most popular place near Manila with so many cold springs and hot springs available for tourists. Laguna offers natural features as well as built pools with hot and cold water. Resorts in Laguna Province is one of the nearest summer getaways in Manila that offers a great way to experience the summer.
Relax at Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa
Nothing compares to Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa. This is worth a couple of days and is a perfect distance from Manila for a weekend getaway. Located in Antipolo City, Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa is a hidden paradise where anyone can easily visit and relax. Everything has been carefully designed from rooms to beautiful water spas to be as enjoyable as possible.
Food Trip in Baguio City
I’m a foodie, so I think every trip can be a food trip if you’re adventurous enough. Baguio City, however, has some of my favorite food highlights all in one place. Try out the local Filipino cuisine, from fine dining to street food, as well as international and fusion foods that are delightful and carefully crafted. Definitely go to Ketchup and Volante for an outdoor meal. And the cinnamon twists at Dane’s Bakery are outrageously good.
You don’t have to go that far to enjoy your summer vacation. Just visit any of the destinations above for a memorable and enjoyable Summer Spree.
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