Best Road Trip Destinations from Manila

(Manila, Philippines) – Nothing can beat a spontaneous road trip while cruising down the highway with the sun kissing your car windows. Imagine yourself with your family or friends, listening to your favorite travel soundtrack while sharing interesting life stories and visiting your favorite stopover locations.

Paoay Sand Dunes
Paoay Sand Dunes in Ilocos Norte (photo by Ilocos Norte)

The idea of hitting as many places as possible and the fun ride excites me each time I’m planning a road trip. From North to South, there are so many things to do and see in Luzon. What I like about road trips is you can stop anywhere for food or coffee and stretch anytime you want.


Looking for a Place to Stay? Visit Agoda for a wide range of accommodation options with great hotel deals and best price guarantee.
Batad Rice Terraces by Lon&Queta
Batad Rice Terraces by Lon&Queta

You can definitely try out local food, discover interesting cultural and historical spots and meet new people. With the availability of affordable and reliable mobile internet, we can now access community-based traffic and navigation apps like Waze which can help us find the fastest route with ease.

To help you plan your next road trip, Heres the Top Road Trip Destinations in Luzon:

Tagaytay City

Sunset in Tagaytay photo by Eugene
Sunset in Tagaytay photo by Eugene

Things to do and see:

Looking for Roadtrip Destinations Near Manila? Tagaytay City is one of the nearest road trip destinations from Manila. Aside from the cool climate, Tagaytay has the finest restaurants, hotels, hostels and amusement parks to visit. Tagaytay is the best place to buy fresh fruits, vegetables and other food products available along the scenic road. Heres our Top 10 Things to do and see in Tagaytay City. Also, check out our Ultimate Tagaytay Travel Guide.

Access Points:
Tagaytay is roughly about two hours drive from Manila via the South Luzon Expressway depending on the traffic, exiting at Santa Rosa then via Santa Rosa-Tagaytay Road. It can also be reached via the Coastal Road Expressway and then taking Aguinaldo Highway heading south towards Tagaytay.

Where to Eat:
Breakfast at Antonio’s, Bag of Beans, Manos Greek Taverna, Josephine’s, Cafe Breton, Original Mile Hi Diner, Leslie’s, Mahogany Market, Starbucks, Pancake House, Mushroom Burger, Cafe Veranda – Taal Vista Hotel,

Where to Stay:
Taal Vista Hotel, Summit Ridge Hotel Tagaytay, Anya Resort Tagaytay. Visit Agoda for various hotel options in Tagaytay City.

Baler Aurora

Ditumabo Falls in Baler photo by Chad M
Ditumabo Falls in Baler photo by Chad M

Things to do and see:
Baler is the provincial capital of Aurora Province and it is a famous spot for Surfing enthusiasts. September to February is Baler’s surfing season and during these months, the waves in Baler can go as high as 9 feet. Aside from surfing spots, Baler is also famous for its Historical and Heritage sites. Visit our Baler Travel Guide, Baler Heritage Walk Guide, and Baler Adventure Guide posts.

Access Points:
Baler is located some 230 kilometers (143 miles) northeast of Manila via a mountain pass accessible by bus and private vehicle. From Manila, enter the North Expressway at Balintawak and exit at Sta. Rita Bulacan. From there, follow the highway leading to Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija. It is advisable to stop for a snack here in preparation for a rough journey. From Cabanatuan City Proper, follow signs leading to Bongabon until you come to a fork, where you see a sign “to Baler” headed right. Turn right and you will reach the foot of the Baler-Bongabon highway which eventually runs right into Aurora National Memorial Park. Beware of wild zigzagging roads, fast trucks, and landslides during the rainy season. Use this opportunity to view the lush virgin forests of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range. After approximately 150 kilometers, you will see the Aurora Welcome Arch. Proceed until you reach the town of San Luis. Stay on the highway until you see the sign going to Baler, and you will be in its town proper within minutes. (source: Aurora.ph)

Where to Eat:
Gerry’s Chinese and Seafood Restaurant, Ram’s Tapsilog, Yellowfin Bar and Grill, Baler Surfer Grill, Kusina Luntian, Bayler View Restaurant.

Where to Stay:
Aurora Polytechnic College Hostel. Visit Agoda for other accommodation options in Baler.

Baguio City

Baguio City by Duane Mendoza
Baguio City by Duane Mendoza

Things to do and see:
Baguio City is the Philippines Summer Capital. The average temperature in Baguio City is from 15-26 degrees Celsius and it can drop down to 8 degrees Celsius from December to the middle of February. Baguio has a lot of interesting spots to visit like Burnham Park, Botanical Garden, Laperal Ancestral Home, Camp John Hay, Japanese Tunnel, Tamawan Village, Session Road, Baguio Public Market and many more. Visit our Baguio City Itinerary post for other interesting places to visit in Baguio. Aside from visiting the famous tourist spots, a lot of travelers are visiting Baguio to witness the Panagbenga Festival. Panagbenga is held during the month of February. The festival was created as a tribute to the city’s flowers and as a way to rise up from the devastation of the 1990 Luzon earthquake. Check out our Baguio City Travel Guide for more travel tips.

Access Points:
It takes about six hours to travel the approximately 250 km (155 mi) distance between Manila and Baguio City by way of Kennon Road. It is about fifteen to thirty minutes longer through the Aspiras-Palispis Highway and could take three more hours if going up from Manila via Naguilian Road—which is the usual route for travelers from the Northern areas of Luzon such as Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, and northern La Union province.

Where to Eat:
Chef’s Home, Bliss Cafe, Cafe by the Ruins, Pizza Volante, Choco-late de Batirol, Cafe Sabel, Oh My Gulay and other food trip spots in Baguio City.

Where to stay:
Eurotel Baguio City, El Cielito Inn Hotel, The Manor Hotel, Hotel Supreme, Azalea Hotels and Residences Baguio City and other affordable places to stay in Baguio City.

Pagudpud

Blue Lagoon Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte
Blue Lagoon Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte / Pagudpud by John Ryan Cordova

Things to do and see:
Pagudpud is famous for its white-sand beaches and crystal-blue waters. Saud Beach is more popular for tourists but if you want a more secluded area the head to Maira-Ira Point where the famous Blue Lagoon is located. You can also visit Burayoc Point for sunset viewing and for those who love adventure, checkout Kabigan Falls also located in Pagudpud.

Access Points:
Pagudpud lies 45 miles (72 km) north of Laoag City, the provincial capital, and about 350 miles (560 km) north of Manila. The Patapat Viaduct elevated 31 meters (102 ft) above sea level, is 1.3 kilometers (0.81 mi) concrete coastal viaduct that connects the Maharlika Highway from Laoag to the Cagayan Valley Region.

Where to Eat:
BergBlick Restaurant, Kapuluan Vista Resort Restaurant, La Cocina de Consuelo at Casa Consuelo and many roadside hole in the wall restaurants.

Where to stay:
Casa Consuelo Resort – Island reef, Pannzian Beach Resort, Terra Rika Beach & Dive Resort, Villa del Nico Beach Resort. Find more resorts in Pagudpud at Agoda.com.

Vigan Ilocos Sur

Crisologo St in Vigan City by Jonathan S. Igharas
Crisologo St in Vigan City by Jonathan S. Igharas

Things to do and see:
Vigan City is one of the famous road trip destinations in Northern Luzon. The capital of the Province of Ilocos Sur, Vigan City is a World Heritage Site and one of the few Hispanic towns left in the Philippines where its structures remained intact, and is well known for its cobblestone streets, and a unique architecture that fuses Philippine and Oriental building designs and construction, with colonial European architecture. Visit our Vigan Travel Guide post for more info about this historic city.

Access Points:
Vigan is only 408 kilometers away from Manila, 88 kilometers away from Laoag City, and 139 kilometers away from San Fernando, La Union, the regional capital. Vigan City is well-served by a network of roads and a major highway that connects to Maharlika Highway and Manila North Road, two highways leading to Manila and the rest of the country.

Where to Eat:
Grandpa’s Inn, Lilong and Lilang Restaurant, Hidden Garden, Coffee Break Vigan, Cafe Uno, Cafe Leona, and St Martha’s Cafe.

Where to stay:
Villa Angela Ancestral House, Cordillera Inn, Casa Rica Hotel and Hotel Luna. Visit Agoda.com for more hotels and accommodation options in Vigan.

Laoag Ilocos Norte

Paoay Sand Dunes in Laoag Ilocos Norte (photo by Ilocos Norte)
Paoay Sand Dunes in Laoag Ilocos Norte (photo by Ilocos Norte)

Things to do and see:
Laoag City is the capital city of Ilocos Norte and the province’s political, commercial, and industrial hub. Your visit in Laoag will not be complete without exploring the heritage sites featuring Spanish colonial buildings, Philippine-baroque churches, white-sand beach resorts of Pagudpud, Sand Dunes and Marcos-era mansions. Check out our Ilocos Road Trip to see some of the interesting spots we explored in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte.

Access Points:
Laoag is a 10-14 hour drive from Manila. Laoag City is linked to Metro Manila by a first-class national road parallel to the coastal line of the Ilocos Region and with the national highway traversing the city, access to and from the other provinces if made easier and faster.

Where to Eat:
Cailian Grill, Cristine’s Miki, Dap-Ayan, Dawang’s, San Nicolas, La Preciosa, Macy’s Diner, Saramsam.

Where to stay:
Gertes Resort, Hotel Tiffany, Ilocos Rosewell Hotel, Playa Tropical Hotel Ilocos and Plaza Del Norte Hotel & Convention Center. Visit this link for a list of best hotels and resorts in Laoag City.

Daet in Camarines Norte

Calaguas Island by Mark Pelobello
Calaguas Island by Mark Pelobello

Things to do and see:
This is where you can find the first Rizal Monument in the Philippines. You can also visit other historical landmarks like the Provincial Capitol, Old Daet Municipal Building, Daet Elevated Town Plaza, Daet Municipal Building and the Pineapple Fountain. Daet is also a famous surfing and kiteboarding spot, as it has a long stretch of beach in Bagasbas. Aside from being a spot for surfing and kiteboarding, the Calaguas group of islands, in the jurisdiction of Vinzons, to its north has garnered attention from local and foreign tourists alike.

Access Points:
To reach Daet, just follow the Maharlika Highway route and always make sure to bring a Map or use Waze App. It is bounded on the east by the municipality of Mercedes, on the south by the municipality of Basud, on the southwest by the municipality of San Lorenzo Ruiz, on the north by the Pacific Ocean, on the west by the municipality of San Vicente and on the northwest by the municipality of Talisay.

Where to Eat:
Hungry A’s diner, KFisher Seafood and Japanese Restaurant, Siennalos, Stroll Cafe, Surfers Dine INN etc.

Where to stay:
Pineapple Island Resort, D House Hotel.

Legaspi City Albay 

Mayon Volcano photo by IRRI
Mayon Volcano photo by IRRI

Things to do and see:
Located on the southern foothills of the scenic Mount Mayon, Legazpi City in Albay is one of the most famous road trip destinations in Luzon. You can also visit other places of interest like the Ligñon Hill, The Albay Park, and Wildlife, Cagsawa Ruins, The Japanese Tunnel, Kapuntukan Hill, The Embarcadero, The Legazpi City Museum, Liberty Bell and Rizal Park. Check out our Legaspi City Travel Guide.

Access Points:
To reach Legazpi City, just follow the ‘South Road’ route via South Super Highway, it is one of the most scenic and easy long drives to take. Travel time ranges from 9 -12 hours.

Where to Eat:
Sibid-Sibid Restaurant, Small Talk Cafe, Waway’s Restaurant, Colonial Grill.

Where to stay:
The Oriental Legazpi, Casablanca Suites, Hotel St. Ellis, Hotel Venezia, Legazpi Tourist Inn.

Naga City

Malabsay Falls by Red Envolope Photos
Malabsay Falls by Red Envolope Photos

Things to do and see:
The city is famous for Adventure and Natural attractions like Mount Isarog, Malabsay Falls, Nabontolan Falls, Naga City Ecology Park, and Panicuason Hot Springs Resort. Naga City also has a lot of Cultural, Heritage, and Religious sites to visit and they are Naga Metropolitan Cathedral, Peñafrancia Basilica Minore, San Francisco Church, St. Jude Churches in del Rosario, Carmelite Church and Monastery, Holy Rosary Minor Seminary and Museum, Holy Rosary Major Seminary and Church, Immaculate Conception Church, Caritas Mariae Church in Pacol, Christ the King Church, Ateneo de Naga University, Holy Cross Parish Church in Barangay Tabuco.

Access Points:
Just like Legazpi City, the City of Naga can also be reached via South Luzon Express Way. Naga City is located 377 kilometers (234 mi) southeast of Manila, the nation’s capital, 45 km north of Iriga City and about 380 kilometers (240 mi) northeast of Cebu City, the largest city in the Visayas.

Where to Eat:
Bob Marlin Restaurant and Grill, Red Platter, Biggs Diner, Grissini Ristorante, Taska DA Chie.

Where to stay:
Avenue Plaza Hotel Naga, Villa Caceres Hotel, NagaLand Hotel, Naga Regent Hotel.

Sagada in Mountain Province 

Kiltepan Sunrise by Tralphe XY
Kiltepan Sunrise by Tralphe XY

Things to do and see:
Sagada hanging coffins in Echo Valley is probably the most famous tourist spot in Sagada. Popular activities include trekking, exploring both caves and waterfalls, spelunking, bonfires, picnics, rappelling, visiting historical sites, nature hikes, and participating in tribal celebrations. Other famous tourist spots include Sagada Pottery, Kiltepan Viewpoint, Sumaguing, and Lumiang Caves, Bomod-ok and Bokong Falls, Rice terraces, Echo Valley, Lake Danum, Pongas Falls, Mount Ampacao and Marlboro Mountain. Check out our Sagada Travel Guide Blog.

Access Points:
Sagada can be reached either via Baguio City or via Banaue Ifugao. If you want to explore more tourist spots in one go, take the Manila-Baguio-Sagada-Banaue-Manila route or do the reverse, going up via Banaue and down via the City of Pines.

Where to Eat:
Sagada Brew, Yoghurt House, The Log Cabin, The Sagada Lemon Pie House, The Strawberry Cafe.

Where to stay:
Saint Joseph Resthouse, Treasure Rock Inn, Sagada Homestay. Visit Agoda.com for more hotels in Sagada.

Banaue in Ifugao

Rice Terraces in Batad photo by eesti
Rice Terraces in Batad photo by eesti

Things to do and see:
Banaue in Ifugao Province is one of the Philippines’ most popular and visited tourists attraction. Two of the terrace clusters in Banaue, namely Bangaan and Batad, are part of the UNESCO World Heritage inscription. Other tourist attractions in Banaue include Banaue Viewpoint Rice Terraces, Batad Rice Terraces, Bangaan Rice Terraces, Tappiyah Waterfalls, Guihob Natural Pool, Chapah Waterfalls, Ducligan Hot Spring, Banaue Museum, Museum of Cordillera Sculpture, Tam-an Village, Matanglag Bronze Smith and Nuntamangan Village, Bocos Village, Poitan Village, Cambulo Village and Pula Village. Check out our Banaue Travel Guide Blog.

Access Points:
Banaue is located 348 kilometers north of Manila and 333 kilometers north of Baguio City. Banaue can be reached by an 8 – 9 hours land transport from Manila via Cabanatuan road in Nueva Vizcaya or by six-hour drive from Baguio City via Halsema Highway and on to the Banaue-Bontoc Road or via Ambuklao – Kayapa – Aritao Nueva Vizcaya road taking up the Public Utility Van Transport.

Where to Eat:
Uyami’s green View Lodge & Restaurant, Sanafe, Batad Pension & Restaurant, Las Vegas Lodge & Restaurant, Imbayah Restaurant.

Where to stay:
Banaue Hotel and Youth Hostel, Banaue Ethnic Village and Pine Forest Resort, Banaue Homestay, Randy’s Brookside Inn. Visit Agoda.com for other hotels in Banaue Ifugao.

San Juan La Union

Surfing in San Juan La Union
Surfing in San Juan La Union

Things to do and see:
San Juan in La Union is the surfing capital of the North and It is only a few hours away from Manila. With the fifth longest coastline on the planet, San Juan has dozens of surfing areas waiting to be explored. For starters, surfing lessons are available in most resorts in Barangay Urbiztondo.

Access Points:
By way of the Manila North Road, San Juan is some 8 kilometers (5.0 mi) north of San Fernando City, the capital of La Union and regional center. It is also some 277 kilometers (172 mi) north of Manila which can be traveled by road in about 7 hours.

Where to Eat:
Cube-O-Grill Resto Bar, Se-Bay Resort & Restaurant, Anna Tricia’s Grill House.

Where to stay:
San Juan Surf Resort Visit Agoda.com to check other available resorts in San Juan La Union.

Subic Bay in Olongapo

Dolphins in Subic Bay photo by Edward Musiak
Dolphins in Subic Bay photo by Edward Musiak

Things to do and see:
The Subic Bay Freeport Zone is on the former site of the US Subic Naval Base and is host to many tourist attractions which include casinos, beaches, diving/snorkeling, parks, beachside huts and cottages, and historical artifacts. The Freeport is right next to Olongapo City (which was administered by the US Naval Base commander back in the 1950s), separated only by a moat constructed by the US Navy. Beside the Freeport, Olongapo City, formerly a part of Subic municipality, is directly accessible to and from the Freeport – unlike Subic town which is 25 minutes away by motor vehicle. Still, visitors usually confuse “Subic” town with “Subic” Freeport.

Access Points:
Subic Bay is a bay on the west coast of the island of Luzon in Zambales, Philippines, about 100 kilometers (62 mi) northwest of Manila Bay.

Travelling by car via Lubao and rural road (Approx. time of travel: 3 hours) From Manila take the North Luzon Expressway all the way to San Fernando exit and pass thru towns of Pampanga (Bacolor, Guagua, Lubao) and Bataan (Dinalupihan) to the Subic Bay Freeport Expressway (Tipo Road, Bataan).

Traveling by car via SCTEx (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway) (Approx. time of travel: 1.5 hours) From Manila and any point in Luzon. Take the North Luzon Expressway all the way pass San Fernando through Dau and exits to the Subic Bay Freeport Expressway (Tipo Road, Bataan).

Where to Eat:
Texas Joe’s House of Ribs, Cocolime, Xtremely Xpresso Cafe, Rali’s Grill and Bar, Rama Mahal Bar & Restaurant.

Where to stay:
Mangrove Resort Hotel, Subic Bay Yacht Club, White Rock Waterpark and Beach Hotel. Visit Agoda.com for more accommodation options in Subic Bay.

Also see:

How about you? What is your favorite Road Trip Destination in Luzon?

Comments

comments


1 COMMENT

  1. I found your blog really amazing. I am also a travel blogger and I am collecting sources which would fit my category. I was so glad reading your few contents and watching your photos. I will save this travel destination and put it on my blog page someday. Thanks!

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