15 low-cost but amazing Destinations Near MANILA

15 low-cost but amazing Destinations Near MANILA

The rise of affordable carriers had made this world a lot smaller and interesting destinations closer. The distant islands north and south have become easily easily accessible to Manila-dwellers, who are eager to escape the heat of the city to a paradise that can give them a kicking back and exciting affair with nature. (Or, in some cases, just an affair.) flying is relatively low-cost now. but with all the surcharges, taxes, terminal fees, and the cost of land or boat transfers, the trip that is opened at an airport can still be quite heavy on the pocket.

Foreign travelers aiming for an island vacation in the Philippines a lot of likely find themselves spending a day or two in Manila, whether they like it or not. lots of of them are faced with the question: what is there to do in Manila? Well, there’s always Binondo, Intramuros, churches, and museums, of course. but if you’re not interested in doing a mall tour, sampling street food, or getting yourself squished inside the sauna that is the MRT, then heading for the countryside is a good alternative. We love Manila, yes, but when it pertains to adventures for the nature-lovers and beach bums — let’s face it — she will break your heart.

If you’re trying to find terrific holiday spots that are just within proximity of the capital, here are some of my recommendations.

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Be blown away! Figuratively, of course! Take a bus to Tarlac, ride a 4×4 jeep, and trek to the crater of Mt. Pinatubo! It’s a long way but the view is absolutely worth the time and effort. See the rim of the crater slope up from a lakeful of rainwater, accumulated over the years! You can even boat across the crater lake and camp overnight.

Mt. Pinatubo. photo by Rolen Facundo
On your way back, pass by Angeles City to sample Pampanga’s rich and irresistible cuisine!

Day trip suggested budget: P1500-P2000/person (Group of 5)

More info: Mt. Pinatubo travel Guide



One of the provinces at the base of Mt. Pinatubo, Zambales was extremely buried when the sleeping volcano awakened two decades ago. but the disaster discarded a good amount of ash onto its the rocky shores, breathing a new life to its otherwise common beaches. Today, Anawangin and Nagsasa Coves have risen as popular vacationer destinations for its ashen sand and agoho trees (resembling want trees) that foster a special Baguio-meets-Boracay vibe. Capones and Camara Islands are also waiting!

Anawangin Cove, Zambales
The other side of Anawangin
How to get there: Take a victory liner bus to Iba or Sta. Cruz, Zambales and tell the conductor to drop you off at San Antonio public market. Take a tricycle to Pundaquit. From here, you may rent a boat to get to Anawangin or Nagsasa.

Day trip suggested budget: P1200-P1500/person (Group of 4)

More info: Anawangin and Nagsasa travel Guide.



UPDATE: The Taal Volcano has been closed to the public.

If you love admiring it from afar, you’re gonna love it even a lot more when you’re actually on the volcano. It only takes two to three hours to get to the jump off point in Talisay, Batangas. From there, you can rent a small boat to take you to the volcano island. Prep for a rigorous trek because its slopes, while not as steep, can still drain all your energy especially when the sun is harsh. (And unless you’re trekking at night, I’m telling you: clouds or no clouds, the sun is harsh!) If long treks aren’t on your favorites list, there’s always the horse option, for a fee of course.

Taal Volcano Crater
How to get there: From Manila, take the bus to Batangas and get off at Tanauan City Proper. If you’re renting a boat from Taal Lake Yacht Club, ride a jeepney to Sampaloc and get off in front of TLYC. It’s on your ideal side. You can also take a jeepney at Tanauan City to Talisay town Proper.

Day trip suggested budget: P1000-P1500/person (Group of 5)

More info: Taal Volcano Trek



Tagaytay uses the best views of the Taal Volcano, with a lovely, amazing atmosphere to boot. check out the newly opened sky Ranch and get into one of the coaches of their gigantic Ferris wheel, overlooking the lake. Not into rotating wheels? spend a morning in one of the city’s parks and gardens. The People’s Park in the sky has not been maintained well but you might still want to stay a 360-degree view of the city. Or just enter a coffee shop, buy a latte, and just ponder on whatever!

¡Doble arcoiris!
How to get there: From Manila, take a bus bound for Tagaytay or Nasugbu or you can also take a shuttle/van to Lemery at Starmall Alabang or Shaw. (Don’t take the bus to Lemery; it doesn’t pass through Tagaytay.) Either way, get off at Tagaytay Rotonda and take a trike or jeepney to your target destination from here.

Day trip suggested budget: P850-P1500/person



Anilao in Mabini, Batangas is just three hours away, making it a favorite among Manila-based divers and future divers. One-day beginner courses are available to those who wish to learn how to, well, dive. Batangas waters host a large variety of marine wildlife that will blow you away.

If diving isn’t your thing, you may also opt to climb Mt. Gulugod Baboy, an easy climb for professionals (probably the climb of my life if that were me) or take a boat to Sombrero Island and make love with the sun while flaunting your brand new bikini!

Anilao Diving
How to get there: Board a bus going to Batangas City and alight at Bolbok, just before Batangas pier under the flyover. then take a jeepney to Anilao (Mabini).

Day trip suggested budget: P1000-P1500/person (Group of 5)

More info: Anilao travel Guide



From the petal shower site at Carmel Church to the sacred well of Sta. Lucia, from the spectacular Lipa Cathedral to the enormous Taal Basilica, the greatest in Asia — the road from the city of Lipa to the heritage town of Taal is milestoned by grand churches and incredible sites. Whether you’re a believer or not, make a stop at these places and see what the fuss is about. If you have a lot more time, roll out a bit a lot more of your map and continue your journey to Calaca and Balayan, which also boast old, majestic churches.

Don’t forget to dig in to some of the most delectable Batangueno dishes along the way! missing bulalo, tapang Taal, lomi, and kapeng barako is a mortal sin!

Facade of the Basilica of St. Martin de excursions in Taal, Batangas
How to get there: Take a bus going to Batangas City or Lemery and get off at Lipa bus stop. a lot of points of interest in Lipa are easily accessible by trike. To get to Taal Town, take the bus again or a jeepney going to Lemery and ask the motorist to drop you off in Taal. 

Day trip suggested budget: P800-P1200/person

More info: Batangas Heritage Tour.



And there are a lot to choose from. The towns of San Juan, Lobo, Mabini, Tingloy, Nasugbu, and Calatagan are all laced with ivory shores.

San Juan harbors the province’s a lot of popular beaches today but if it’s too crowded for you, drive to the other side of Batangas. Nasugbu is starting to be a terrific alternative, too, and the sight of Mt. Batulao is a constant invitation to awaken the dormant mountaineer in you. fortune Island is a good choice, too! Lobo has Malabrigo Beach. Tingloy has Masasa beach and Oscar Island. Matabungkay used to be the “it” destination decades ago but it might still be a good place for a respite. The barely touched shores of Calatagan offer front row seats to enjoy a spectacular Batangas sunrise. The Punta de Santiago Lighthouse is another point of interest. read my Batangas articles here.

Malabrigo Beach
Oscar Island in Tingloy. photo by Astrid Alvarez.
How to get there: To get to Nasugbu, take a bus to Nasugbu. From here you can take a jeepney going to Lian or Calatagan.

Day trip suggested budget: P900-P1500/person



They say that Borawan is a portmanteau, Boracay and Palawan. The a lot more believable origin of the name however is bulawan, which indicates gold. but screw etymology, just get yourself to this paradise on your next holiday break!

The towering karst cliffs hug the white shores of Borawan, reminiscent of lots of islands in El Nido and Coron (but don’t expect them to match them). Borawan is only four to five hours away. It is one of the lots of islands off the coast of Padre Burgos and Pagbilao, Quezon, that nestle stunning white sand beaches! other places to visit: Dampalitan Island and Puting Buhangin. There are no resorts here so camping is the way to go!

Borawan Island
Warning though: It can get really crowded during height season, which leaves the water murky.

How to get there: ride a bus to Lucena City and alight at Lucena Grand Terminal. Take another bus to Unisan, get off at QCRB bank (Padre Burgos), then take a tricycle to Aplaya, where you can hire boats to take you on an island hopping tour.

Overnight suggested budget: P1600-P2500/person (Group of 5)

More info: Borawan Island travel Guide.



Mark your calendars! here are some of the most energetic and a lot of interesting festivals near Manila:

Pahiyas festival – may 15 in Lucban, Quezon

Parada ng Lechon – June 24 in Balayan, Batangas

Higantes festival – November 23 iN Angono, Rizal

Festival Giant Lantern – Sábado antes de Navidad, San Fernando, Pampanga

Fiesta de globo de aire caliente – 3 de febrero de febrero, Clark, Pampanga

Todos los colores del festival de Pahiyas
El festival de Pahiyas es mi favorito absoluto. Es una celebración de la buena cosecha, en honor a San Isidro de Labrador. ¡Un desfile deambula por la ciudad que pasa por casas que están decoradas creativamente con verduras y kiping, un colorido adorno hecho de arroz (y sí, son comestibles)! Si tienes hambre, ¡siempre hay Longganisang Lucban y Pansit Habhab! El tráfico puede ser tan denso como su antiguo jefe, por lo que también puede considerar pasar la noche en Lucban o en la ciudad vecina.

Presupuesto sugerido de excursión de un día: P800-P1200/persona

Más información: ¡Festival de Pahiyas por menos de P1000!

Angono, Rizal y Paete, Laguna

¡Aprecia el arte y te cultivan en Angono, Rizal y Paete, Laguna!

Conocida como la capital de arte de Filipinas, Angono es tan interesante como es accesible. Ver los petroglifos de Angono-Binangonan, una obra de arte prehistórica que se considera la más antigua del país. Pague una salida a la casa de Carlos “Botong” Francisco y conozca mejor al artista nacional. ¡Para el Emprendedor, pruebe Soup No. 5 y Fried ITIK en algunos de los restaurantes mucho más populares de la zona!

Productos de arte de Paete
Uno de los destinos más subestimados del país, Laguna tiene una serie de sorpresas para aquellos que darán un paso en su territorio pasado por alto. ¡Aprenda el arte de la escultura y la experiencia de cómo este oficio se ha convertido en el centro de la vida de la gente de Paete! ¡Vaya a una juerga de compras Bakya en Liliw! Deshágase de sus miedos y descienda al cementerio subterráneo en Nagcarlan. ¡La provincia también está salpicada de varias iglesias históricas, casas ancestrales y restaurantes especiales!

✅ Dónde alojarse: Hoteles Rizal

✅ Dónde alojarse: Hoteles Laguna

Cascadas de laguna

¡Persigue las cascadas! Cavinti Falls (Pagsanjan Falls) puede ser solo otra cascada para mucho, pero es la llegada la que hace una experiencia inolvidable. ¡Borda un pequeño bote y se sorprenda con la forma en que los barqueros conquistan magistralmente los rápidos y la corriente rocosa en el camino a la cascada! ¡Buntot Palos Falls es otro secreto mejor guardado de Laguna que puede ser atractivo para el aventurero de búsqueda de emociones!

Y luego están las espectaculares caídas de Hulugan en Luisiana que cae en cascada cerca de otras dos cascadas.

¿Cansado de perseguir cascadas? ¡Elige uno de los siete lagos de San Pablo!

✅ Dónde alojarse: Hoteles Laguna

Islas Freedom

Este no está cerca de Metro Manila, ¡está en él! Freedom Island y Long Island, colectivamente llamadas Islas Freedom, se encuentran frente a la costa de Paranaque y Las Pinas. Mucho más formalmente conocido como el área vital de hábitat vital y del ecoturismo de Las Pinasque, las Islas Freedom tienen un papel ecológico sustancial en el área. Es el último bosque de mangle restante y la frontera de marismas en Metro Manila. Estas dos islas también sirven como santuario para muchas formas de vida marina y un refugio para muchas más de 80 especies de aves, tanto locales como migratorias.

Imagen satelital de Freedom Island, cortesía de Google Maps
Islas Freedom. Foto cortesía del Instituto de la Isla de la Tierra Filipinas.
Sin embargo, las Islas Freedom están bajo amenaza. La basura que produce la ciudad, ¡una gran cantidad de ellos! – ha encontrado su camino a las islas. Los grupos ambientalistas generalmente organizan unidades de limpieza a las que puede unirse.

No puedes nadar aquí, pero si la observación de aves te acompaña, no necesitas viajar a Pampanga o Batangas por ello. El sitio más cercano está dentro de Metro Manila.

✅ Dónde alojarse: Hoteles de Manila

Isla Corregidor

¡Repase la historia! Corregidor está a solo un viaje en ferry de Manila. Te sorprenderá que, si bien muchos habitantes de la ciudad han revisado muchas islas en los rincones lejanos del país, muchos de ellos nunca han puesto un pie en Corregidor. Esta isla en forma de renacuajo se encuentra en la boca de la Bahía de Manila y fue una base militar calculada durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial.

Los restos del pasado permanecen de pie y están esperando que las mentes curiosas y abiertas vengan a echar un vistazo. Si GH

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