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Best Day Trips from Manila
Best Day Trips from Manila
Best Day Trips from Manila
The heart and soul of Philippines, Manila is a megacity with piercing skyscrapers, malls of huge proportions, chaos and traffic filled streets like any other true Asian developed city. This high paced and frantic metropolitan is a true blend of Filipino natives, Spanish, Chinese, and Americans. With its mainstream attractions being places like Intramuros (one that includes a grand cathedral with detailed stone carvings), Fort Santiago, St. Augustine Church etc, the city’s pulsating nightlife, edgy bars, art scenes, and scrumptious food also keep visitors hooked.
However, after spending a considerable time in Manila, anyone would be tempted to explore further from the smog filled, chaotic life of the capital and would want a change of scenery. Thankfully, you won’t need to go too far, as Manila is in close proximity with some beautiful places filled with adventure, history, culture, and nature. So below are some handpicked destinations which would make for a great day trip from Manila:
1. Mount Pinatubo
Famous for its earth-shattering and catastrophic volcanic eruption of 1991 that destroyed property worth billions, killed thousands, and affected millions; Mt. Pinatubo is now a popular trekking destination for both locals and travellers alike. Ironically, today it draws in thousands of visitors to see the stunning Crater Lake which was formed by monsoon rains after a few years of the fatal eruption. The trek is exciting and relatively easy involving a 4×4 truck ride and a 90 minute hike to the emerald lake. The glistening lake is downright breathtaking and offers boating opportunities to the aqua enthusiasts. However, swimming here is a no-no. After the trek is over, make sure you try some local delicacies of Pampanga; this province is known to be a heaven for foodies with its delicious cuisine. Mount Pinatubo is located 54 miles from Manila and can be explored both by hiring services of a tour operator as well as individual explorers. Tour operators provide private van for commute that generally takes 2-3 hours. Or, you can take a direct bus to Tarlac, Capas which will take 3 hours. And finally from there, you can catch a jeepney or trike to Sta. Juliana from where you can book a 4×4.
A respite from the busy capital, Tagaytay is one of the most pleasant cities in Philippines. Overlooking the active volcano sitting in the middle of the Taal Lake and its multiple craters, Tagaytay is perfect for when you don’t want to actually hike up the volcano, but still desire to enjoy the view. The mystical Taal Volcano is encircled by a lake, shockingly; the volcanic crater is brimming with another lake and an island sitting nonchalantly in between it. Confused? Visit Tagaytay and observe this beautiful natural anomaly all by yourself! The city is immensely beautiful with lush green surroundings and clean air, the reason why locals from Manila spend their weekends in here. Its cosy B&B’s and quaint coffee houses are quite welcoming. If you are travelling with kids, then make sure to visit Sky Ranch, an amusement park with plenty of rides to appropriate for little ones too and others to get your adrenaline pumping! You can reach Tagaytay by car or taxi with the whole driving approx. an hour and a half to reach. Alternatively, you can also ride a bus that takes close to 3 hours.
3. Corregidor Islands
A tadpole shaped isle, Corregidor Islands is situated just at the mouth of Manila Bay. The tiny, rocky archipelago has been a popular day trip since ages from the capital city. Today the quiet and verdant island has a history of violence during the WW2, when American forces were fighting the Japanese ones. Its ruins as a proof of scars will take you back in time, as you tour the streets and see the war ravages buildings and houses which are not restored to serve as commemoration for those who fought bravely and sacrificed their lives. Meander through the town and explore its attractions such as the Corregidor Lighthouse, Pacific War Memorial, Japanese Garden of Peace and the Malinta Tunnel. The islet is a designated National Monument and for history buffs, it’s a must-visit travel in time! There are regular, scheduled ferries that leave for Corregidor islands from Manila and get you there in about 1h 15m.
4. Anilaos, Batangas
Favourite among the veterans and the avid, amateur divers, Anilaos is situated just 3 hours away from Manila. A resort destination and a popular place for a weekend getaway, Anilao offers a rich marine life that lets you indulge in excellent underwater sport activities. If you aren’t too keen to explore the sea, then you can choose to trek to Mt. Gulugod Baboy or even ride a boat to Sombrero Island for a picnic and sun bathing. The weekends are always crowded, so if solitude is what you seek, then try a visit during the weekdays. Generally, it takes 3 hours to drive to Anilaos from Mexico. Or you can take a bus to Batangas and with a halt in Mabini, you can reach Anilaos by Jeepney in 20 minutes.
Cradled in the lap of mountainous range of Sierra Madre, the Province of Rizal is a perfect getaway from the overcrowded and polluted city of Manila. A perfect blend of urban, rural, and natural attractions, Rizal has plenty of wonders waiting to be explored. Ideal for adventure junkies, it offers a no. of activities to get your adrenaline up and running, like climbing Mt. Daraiton, mountain biking, or discovering hidden waterfalls on jagged trails. Art lovers can escape the dirt by visiting Pinto Art Museum which houses some of the most famous and oldest contemporary art works of Philippines. Or visit the picturesque Pililla Wina Farm and get blown by the sight of towering windmills surrounded by Tanay and Laguna. To enjoy such a wide array of activities, all you need to do either take a metro that takes a little more than an hour, or ride a bus that gets you there in about 3-4 hours. Alternatively, you can also drive or rent a taxi which will cover the journey in less than 1.5 hours.