Thursday, March 8, 2012

Top 10 Summer Hot Spots Near Manila

It's official, summer is here! The metro's heating up so bad and many of us are already mapping out some possible great escapes. If you are one of those who missed to book a flight from the latest seat sale or who can't leave work easily, you really never have to travel too far. We have a lot of great places near the metro!

I've listed here some of the top summer destinations near Manila. By saying "near"  it has to be about two to four hours drive from Manila and has to fit for a day trip or a weekend getaway. 

1. Anawangin Cove. With a white sand beach, a scenic river and a beautiful mountain backdrop, a canopy of agoho "pine" trees and a great sunset view,  it's no surprise that Anawangin soared to become one of the favorite summer destinations in recent years. This beach cove, which used to be mountaineers'  hideaway after climbing Mt Pundaquit, is approximately four hours away from Manila. If you're looking for a cheaper option for your family and barkada getaway, Anawangin is the perfect place! Be prepared for a tent accommodation, to leave your cellphone off (no signal there) or to cook or bring your own baon (no hotel/restaurants around). Before going there, it is also recommended to head first to  its neighboring islands, Camara and Capones.  Click here for more info about Anawangin. 

Location: Pundaquit, San Antonio, Zambales
Approximate cost per person (group of 5): P1,500

2. Nagsasa Cove. When people started crowding up in Anawangin, an equally scenic cove began to steal the limelight to offer refuge to those who prefer a more quiet and less crowded space.  Nagsasa Cove, about 30 minutes boat ride from Anawangin, is another awesome place fit for you micro-vacation. For me, this place is a better alternative for those going for a good swim. The water there is much clearer and the sand more powdery.  Click here for more info about Nagsasa. 

Location: Pundaquit, San Antonio, Zambales
Approximate cost per person (group of 5): P1,000-2,000

3. Mt. Pinatubo Crater.  Hiking for four hours on a rocky and boulder-filled terrain is definitely not for the weak-kneed people. But all efforts during the climb would be rewarded by the magnificent view of the Mt Pinatubo crater. Swimming or boating on its turquoise-colored crater lake are some of the activities you can do while in there. Click here for more info about Mt. Pinatubo. 

Location: Capaz, Tarlac
Approximate cost per person (group of 5): P2,000

4. Taal Volcano Crater. Hiking Taal Volcano, the smallest and one of the most dangerous active volcanoes in the world,  is like a walk in the park compared to hiking Mt. Pinatubo. The view of the eerily placid water of Taal Lake is a must-see. It is advisable go there for an early hike to avoid too much exposure to the sun. The best way to cool down after the hike is to spend a good sunset while enjoying the scenic view from Tagaytay City. Click here for more info about Taal Volcano. 

Location: Talisay/San Nicolas, Batangas
Approximate cost per person (group of 5): P1,000

5. Cagbalete Island. About four to five hours away from Manila lies another island that's getting a lot of attention lately. It's a great escape for urban dwellers who are up for a quiet weekend beside the beach. As to where to stay, this place has resorts offering humble accommodations either by tent or cottage/cabanas.

Location: Mauban, Quezon
Approximate cost per person (group of 5):P1,500 - P2,000

6. Corregidor. For those up for a more historical trip, head to Corregidor. This place is about one hour and 15 minutes boat ride from Manila Bay. You can choose to explore it for just a day or opt to stay overnight. There are also other activities you can enjoy there like  hiking, biking, camping and hmm, even ghost hunting! :) The whole experience of seeing the ruins of the barracks used during WW2 sent chills when I went there three years ago. Click here for more info about Corregidor. 

Location: Manila Bay
Approximate cost per person: P1,500-2,000 

7. Mt. Manabu. Waking up half-frozen and waiting for the sunrise atop Mt. Manabu are two of my favorite 2010 Mt. Manabu memories. The scenic view from the summit is spectacular.  Starting the hike from Sto. Tomas Batangas, it only takes about an hour and a half to reach the summit. While others prefer to go there for a day hike, I would suggest to go for an overnight stay to fully enjoy the place.

Location: Sto Tomas, Batangas
Approximate cost per person (group of 5):: P1,000-1,500

8. Anilao. This place is perfect for those who are into diving and snorkeling. With a magnificent view of sunset, Anilao is also good for company and family outing because of its proximity to Manila. Depending on your budget, numerous resorts offer accommodations there.

Location: Anilao, Batangas
Approximate cost per person (group of 5): P1000-1500

9. Tanay. Tanay, just two hours drive from Manila, is home to two vibrant cascades --Daranak and Batlag Falls. Taking a refreshing dip to these waterfalls is a good way to beat the summer heat. It is also recommended to catch the sunset near the Parola and visit the 405-year old San Ildefonso church. Click here for more info about Tanay. 

Location: Tanay, Rizal
Approximate cost per person (group of 5): P500-P750

10. Lucban. This quaint town located below Mt. Banahaw is a great place to  experience a provincial quiet life. Be sure to be there just in time for Pahiyas Festival and catch the colorful kipings on display. This place is a great example where food, environment, religion and the people can co-exist. Must try for foodtrip: pansit habhab, longanisang lucban, meringue, putoseko, etc. Click here for more info about Lucban.  

Location: Lucban, Quezon
Approximate cost per person (group of 5):P1,000

Enjoy Summer and Happy Backpacking Pilipinas! :)


  1. Nagsasa and Anilao would be on top of my list! Great compilation! Thanks for sharing! :)

    1. heads up lang sir, hindi impressive yung beach sa Anilao. Off-white yung sand. pero definitely, good siya for divers.

      Nagsasa is almost a cc of Anawangin. pero mas better ang beach dun para sakin. :)

    2. Add mo Burot beach sa Calatagan sir..pinakamagandang beach in Batangas.:)

  2. uy, na-miss ko ang Pahiyas! :)

    1. me too! parang ang sarap mag longanisa ngayon from Lucban.

  3. I've always wanted to go to Nagsasa and Anawangin. But I'm still saving for that trip. If not this year, hopefully next year. :)

    1. Hi Synz, trip to Anawangin and Nagsasa would not cost much. you just need to save for transpo (boat and bus fare)and food. enjoy summer! :)

  4. Wow! Talaga namang maraming magagandang lugar ang pilipinas. While Im reading your post and seeing your photos, para na rin ako namasyal sa mga lugar na yan hehe. Kahit ang totoo ay never pa pero we are planning. Lalo pat nakita ko tong blog mo. Very soothing and relaxing place yang Anilao at tanay o':) at syempre yung pahiyas rin gusto ko ma experience soon at perfect for weekend getaway. I had an incredible time with your post. Thank you so much for bringing this with us.

    1. You are welcome, Zumi! Thank you for reading my post! Happy backpacking Pilipinas to you! :))

  5. ISis the a lodge close to this site if ever we would want to stay for a couple of days?

  6. ISis the a lodge close to this site if ever we would want to stay for a couple of days?

    1. Hi Randy! Which among the 10 places are you referring? Thanks.

  7. Thanks for this list! I'll be in Nagsasa few days from now. :)

  8. Hello,

    im planning on having a trip to tanay with my friend.. any updates or information about the transpo fee,entrance fee and other fee? and whats your opinion about the budget for 2 persons only?

    1. Hi! Please check my blog about Tanay for more details. For budget, it actually depends on where you will be coming from and what you plan doing in Tanay.

      Sample Budget for 2 - Day trip in Tanay (:
      Starmall FX Mla-Tanay- Mla -P140
      Special trip to Daranak- P150 RT
      Daranak Entrance - P20
      Batlag Falls Entrance -P50
      Food - P200
      Total per pax - P560-600

  9. ask ko lang sna mgkano kya budget for 2 kung sa anawangin or nagsasa mg bus lang din kmi?

  10. maganda sa nagsasa at anawangin the best!

  11. Hi,
    We're planning to go to Anilao. Is there any changes about the rates? and how much po kaya if diving is included?

  12. Tagaytay? Near Manila? Might as well take a tour to Bohol... Zzzz -_-


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