Quick Escape: Destinations Near Manila

I have been receiving a lot of inquiries over SMS, email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, through my blog and even personally on places to go near Metro Manila that are ideal for a quick getaways. So I thought of publishing the compilation of my usual answers.

For those planning a quickie weekend getaway but do not have the luxury of time and enough budget to go some place far away from the Metropolis, here’s a list of places to consider.

Tagaytay (Cavite)

Talisay
Taal Lake and Volcano.

Points of interest: Taal Lake and Volcano, Caleruega (Nasugbu area), Ambon-ambon Falls, Tagaytay Highlands, Palace in the Sky, Picnic Grove, Flower Farm, Sky Fun Amusement Park
Activities: Trek to Taal Old Crater, visit the Flower Farm and Caleruega, trek to Ambon-ambon Falls of Talisay other waterfalls of Laurel, ride the biggest ferris wheel in the country known as “Sky Eye”, food trip, fruit shopping, biking
What will make me go there?: Temperate weather, good view, wide array of restaurants
Minimum day required: 1

Corregidor Island (Cavite)

Corregidor
The Mile-Long Barracks of Corregidor

Points of interest: Mile-Long Barrack, Century Old Lighthouse, Ruins, Malinta Tunnel
Activities: History tours, ghost hunting, trail biking, adventure race
What will make me go there?: To awaken the history buff in me
Minimum day required: 1
Related Link: Corregidor in a Walk to Remember

Mt. Pinatubo (Tarlac – Zambales – Pampanga)

Pinatubo
The iconic crater lake of Mount Pinatubo.

Point of interest: Pinatubo Crater Lake, Capas National Shrine
Activities: Trek Mt. Pinatubo Crater Lake, 4×4 ride, side trip in Capas National Shrine and Central Azucarera de Tarlac, food trip in Pampanga or Tarlac, experience Volcanic Ash Spa
What will make me go there?: It’s all about adventure and great scenery
Minimum day required: 1
Related Link: Pinatubo Travel Guide

Laguna

Pagsanjan Falls
Pagsanjan Falls or Cavinti Falls of Laguna

Points of interest: Lake Caliraya, View of Mt. Makiling; Pagsanjan Falls; Majayjay Falls; Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery; hotsprings; old churches of Liliw, Nagcarlan, Pakil, Pangil, Pagsanjan, Turumba
Activities: Spend a day in Lake Caliraya Resort or Laresio Lakeside Resort, dip in the hot spring resorts of Calamba and Los Baños, trek Mt. Makiling, biking, visit old churches and waterfalls, shooting the rapids of Pagsanjan, see Majayjay Falls, visit Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery, go on a food trip in Laguna
What will make me go there?: Variety of activities to choose from
Minimum day required: 1
Related Link: Laguna

San Antonio or Pundaquit (Zambales)

Capones
Capones Lighthouse

Points of interest: Anawangin Cove, Nagsasa Cove, Silanguin Cove, Talisayin Cove, Capones Lighthouse, Camara Island, Casa San Miguel
Activities: Island hopping, camping, beach bumming, lighthouse trek, surfing, trek Mt. Pundaquit and Mt. Nagsasa, watersports and activities
What will make me go there?: Because I love adventure, great scenery, beach, lighthouse and landscape photography
Minimum days required: 2
Related Link: Zambales

Rizal Province

Nagpatong Rock
Nagpatong Rock of Tanay

Points of interest: Thunderbird Resorts, Pranjetto Hills, Club Manila East, Angono Petroglyphs, Pinto Museum, Daranak Falls, Batlag Falls, Puray Falls, Hinulugang Taktak, Antipolo Church, Nagpatong Rock, Mount Maynuba
Activities: Indoor surfing in Club Manila East; mountain biking in various trails (Shotgun, Timberland, Angono, etc); visit to Daranak Falls, Batlag Falls, Puray Falls and other waterfalls in the province; trek to Nagpatong Rock, Mount Masungki, Mount Cayabu, Mount Maynoba; relax in Luljetta Place Garden; visit museums; archaeological sites and old visit churches
What will make me go there?: Great scenery and climate, variety of activities, sea of clouds, beautiful summits, awesome bike trails
Related Link: Tanay Travel Guide

Mauban, (Quezon Province)

Dahoyhoy Falls
Dahoyhoy Falls of Mauban.

Points of interest: Puting Buhangin Beach, Dampalitan Beach, Borawan Beach, Kuwebang Lampas, Cagbalete Island, Dahoyhoy Falls, Hagdan-Hagdan Falls, Iringan Falls, Malicboy Falls, Bahay-Pagi Falls and more
Activities: Beach bumming, island hopping, waterfalls trekking
What will make me go there?: For the love of beach and waterfalls
Minimum day required: 1
Related Link: Mauban

Anilao and Masasa (Batangas)

Masasa Beach
Masasa Beach

Points of interest: Dive sites, snorkeling sites, Mt. Gulugod Baboy, Sombrero Island, Masasa Beach
Activities: Scuba diving, snorkeling, trek to Mt. Gulugod Baboy, beach bumming in Masasa
What will make me go there?: Amazing scuba diving sites and beautiful beaches
Minimum day required: 1
Related Link: Masasa Beach Travel Guide and Anilao Travel Guide

Puerto Galera (Mindoro Oriental)

Puerto Galera
Scuba diving in Puerto Galera

Points of interest: Dive sites, snorkeling sites, Tamaraw Falls, White Beach
Activities: Scuba diving, snorkeling, trek Tamaraw Falls, beach and island hopping
What will make me go there?: Amazing scuba diving sites and great night life
Minimum day required: 2
Related Link: Rediscovering Puerto Galera

Nasugbu and Ternate (Cavite)

Fortune Island
Parthenon? Nah! It’s Fortune Island of Nasugbu

Points of interest: Fortune Island, Caylabne, Puerto Azul, Hamilo Coast, Kawayan Cove, Pico de Loro Cove, Mt. Palay-Palay National Park, Pico de Loro, Nasugbu-Ternate Tunnel, Marine Base (Boracay of Cavite)
Activities: Beach bumming, explore Fortune Island, biking nasugbu-Ternate, trekking to Pico de Loro
What will make me go there?: For the beach, great biking or trekking destination, good scenery, mountains
Minimum day required: 1
Related Link: Fortune Island Travel Guide

Taal (Batangas)

Taal
The beautiful and massive St. Martin de Tours Basilica of Taal, Batangas.

Points of interest: Heritage District, Taal Basilica
Activities: Tour the heritage area, visit the old church of Taal, food trip
What will make me go there?: For the heritage and beautiful church
Minimum day required: 1
Related Link: The Heritage Town of Taal

Bataan

Dunsulan Falls
Dunsulan Falls of Bagac

Points of interest: Beaches of Morong, Bagac, Mariveles; Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar; Dambana ng Kagitingan (Mt. Samat); Mt. Mariveles; Bataan Natural Park; Bataan Nuclear Power Plant; Dunsulan Falls, Limutan Falls and other waterfalls of the province
Activities: Beach bumming, history tour of Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar and Dambana ng Kagitingan in Mt. Samat, climb Mt. Mariveles, visit Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, trek to Sunsulan Falls or Limutan Falls
What will make me go there?: For the historical sites, beaches and waterfalls
Minimum day required: 1
Related Link: Escape to Bataan: Dunsulan Falls, Ambon-Ambon Falls and Limutan Falls

Comments

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  2. Jayson Ocean Man

    Nice, this is what I’ve been looking for! Planning to go in manila this august, I know the place is a bustling city and I just need a place to relax after all the events. Wanna go in some parks though, good thing there’s some natural park included in this list. Kinda wondering, isn’t the “Sky Eye” located in Sky Ranch theme park?

  3. Hey Dude! Love your article. Awesome insights on the places to go in Manila. It would be nice to get away from the busy streets here and just enjoy some nature and adventure! I’ve been to Hidden Valley Laguna once for their hot spring. Would love to try other hot springs near Manila! Any Suggestion?

  4. jana lyn nueva

    Your blogsite is very helpful for a newbie traveller like me. Very interesting places!

  5. jana lyn nueva

    Your blogsite is very helpful for a newbie traveller like me.

  6. Jennifer

    I am going to Manila next week for business and I am at a loss of where to go for the two days I have off. I really wanted to go to Bacuit Bay, but there are not hotels in our policy. Soon.. looking for something like that, that maybe I could drive to instead of fly? I’m traveling solo, so beautiful landscape, trail walking, mountain trekking, etc. is what I am after, then a quick snorkel in the water. 🙂 Thanks!

  7. jona

    thank you for the insights!

  8. Realist

    Have you taken a look at places like Real, Infanta, General Nakar or Polillo Islands in northern Quezon province yet? If not, you should give it a try. You would probably be pleasantly surprised that you don’t have to go too far to get a taste of smalltown Philippines that’s only 3 hours away from the hustle and bustle that’s Metro Manila… Thanks.

    1. Lakwatsero

      Thanks for the head’s up. I’ve been to Jomalig but not in Polilio, planning to explore that island as well as Patnanungan really soon. Infanta, I have been there too, I biked from Manila and all the way to Infanta early this year but I haven’t really explored the town’s attractions. Will do, will do 🙂

  9. Sunni

    You did not include Rizal! Antipolo please!! 😀

    1. Lakwatsero

      It’s there 🙂

  10. Madi

    Very helpful article

Comments are closed.