For the Bucket List: 6 Scenic Road Trips Near Manila

For the Bucket List: 6 Scenic Road Trips Near Manila

manila road trips

The hectic, fast paced everyday life in Manila might get monotonous after some time, and while many may desire and need a vacation, some can ill afford the time to do so. Instead of taking week-long breaks away from the Philippines, why not switch it up and take a road trip to places closer to Manila, and enjoy a holiday in Philippines’ own backyard?

Visiting scenic nature places can be extremely rejuvenating to the body and mind, so here are some places that you can have a road trip to, with scenery that will not fail to blow you away.

Anawangin Cove, Zambales

Anawangin Cove

 (Photo credit: Oh My Janey)

Anawangin Cove would be a great choice for those looking for a perfect place to camp or a trip to a very unique beach. The beach constitutes not only of sand, but also of volcanic ash that had been blown over by the famous Mt Pinatubo eruption in 1991. Furthermore, the trees that cover the cove resemble pine trees. The trees are, in fact, not indigenous to Anawangin cove, but had grown there after the seeds were blown over by the Pinatubo eruption. Those looking for a quiet day on a pristine and untouched beach will find themselves very much welcome at the Anawangin cove.

Tagaytay City, Cavite

tagaytay highlands

(Photo credit: lizadeflor)

As it’s situated at a higher altitude, its lower temperature all year round makes it as a perfect escape from Manila. Located about 55km away from Manila, the city overlooks the majestic Taal lake and the Taal Volcano Island. So not only is it scenic, but it’s also awe-inspiring.

The People’s Park in the Sky is also a great vantage point for visitors to have a great panoramic view, even though the park itself needs a little renovation. For the more adventurous, take a boat across the Taal lake and hike through the Taal Volcano Island to get to the crater!

San Pablo, Laguna

Pandin Lake

(Photo credit: Jane Galvez)

Known as the City of the Seven Lakes, there will be no lack of scenic places to visit in this city. Spend a few days hiking to the different lakes. There is an official hiking route that connects all lakes.

As volcanic crater lakes in the San Pablo Volcanic Field, these natural lakes draw many visitors. The main highlight of this city is actually the twin lakes of Yambo and Pandin. Separated by only a small strip of land, these lakes hold some breath-taking sights that will blow you away! Plus, they also have some truly spectacular food, so enjoy the scenery and the food together. It truly is a great way to unwind!

Mt Pinatubo, Tarlac


(Photo credit: Jelzzified)

This might be one of the longer journeys on this list, and it’s meant for those who love a certain bit of hiking. There are private tours available from Manila, so you will be guided for the entire trip. The view at the end of the trip and throughout the entire hike are infinitely worth it! Though not for the faint of heart (or legs because you will need some very strong legs for hiking), this road trip will allow you the best views of Mt Pinatubo right from the very crater!

Pagsanjan Falls, Laguna

pagsanjan falls

(Photo credit: Jojo Nicdao)

The most famous plunge waterfall in the Philippines, the Pagsanjan Falls are mostly accessible by dugout canoes from Pagsanjan town. The most popular way of accessing the falls is through the “Shooting the Rapids” ride, which is available from most resorts along the Bumbungan and Balanac Rivers. The ride would have two trained boatmen bringing the travelers up the river to see all three waterfalls, one of which is hidden, and possibly into the Devil’s cave situated behind the third waterfall.

For those with a love for exciting rapid rides, wildlife spotting, and a dip under a river, it’s must for those who love adventure!

Sagada, Mountain Province

(Photo credit: Cultours PH)

For nature lovers, there is much to do in Sagada. This municipality is full of nature-related things to do! Go explore the Sumaguing Cave, a famous cave that holds many interesting limestone features. Or perhaps, take a look at the numerous hanging coffins around Sagada. Fun fact: the hanging coffins are still in use today, and some of the deceased are still being placed in these hanging coffins.

There are many other attractions in Sagada, including the Bomod-ok and Bokong waterfalls, the numerous rice terraces, the Underground River, the Echo Valley, and the Kiltepan Tower.

No matter the destination, the most important thing is to have fun and take in the scenery while on a road trip. Hop on your car, pop on a travel mixtape, and have the craziest joyride of your life.

About the Author:

Charmaine is an explorer, who unfortunately has not wandered much. She aims to remedy that by writing for ShopBack Philippines.

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