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The Philippines is popular for many things, especially for its tourism. Manila serves as the capital of the country and the center of trading. While this city is big and has lots of establishments to keep tourists entertained, the options of a day trip from Manila are still better. Unlike in this capital city where traffic is normal, there is no congestion in the provinces. Transportation is fast and easy, making it more ideal for those who are looking for a seamless tourist experience. In case you are planning to go to the Philippines to do some bargaining in the markets, here are the top spots you should visit outside Manila.
Day Trips from Manila You Can’t-Miss
Corregidor Island is a historical place you wouldn’t want to miss out on when you are in the Philippines. It served as the base of Filipinos and Americans during their war with the Japanese. Since then, this small island maintains the infrastructures that were built during World War II. There you can find secret passageways, barrack ruins, historic relics, and so on. One popular spot in Corregidor Island is the Malinta Tunnel, which was turned into a hospital from a bunker.
Tagaytay and Taal
If you are craving some fresh air but don’t want to travel too far, Tagaytay is just a few hours away from Manila. Making it perfect for a day trip. It is a famous tourist spot for good reasons–it has a colder climate, it serves as a good venue for weddings, birthday, and other events. You can view the Taal Volcano from this island. The place is also ideal for family gatherings. If you are looking for a quick getaway with your loved ones, People’s Park is a great spot for family bonding. Just bring your picnic tools and blankets so you can enjoy the park for free.
Hidden Valley Springs, Laguna
A great day trip from Manila is the Hidden Valley Springs located in Laguna. It will give you an exceptional experience without the hustle and bustle from Manila. Situated 75 kilometers away from the capital city, this secluded and enchanting valley is perfect to get a refreshing dip and to experience a natural hot spring for relaxation. On top of that, fresh scenery is there to enjoy. While soaking yourself in the water coming from the two valley mountains, look around and be mesmerized by nature. If you want a restoring day trip, these valley springs will never fail you.
Located in Botolan, Zambales, Mount Pinatubo is one of the active mountains in the Philippines. If you are coming from Manila, you just have to drive a 2 1/2 km distance to reach this spot. The most memorable event involving Mount Pinatubo happened on June 15, 1991, when it ultimately erupted. Lake Pinatubo was then formed, a 2,000 feet deep lake considered as the deepest in the country. Before the eruption, this mountain was not as popular as now. It was surrounded by a forest that was eventually eliminated when it vomited approximately 10 billion tons of magma. A combination of rain and ash was experienced during that time.
Taal Volcano Lake
Another great day trip from Manilla is one of the deepest lakes in Zambales, the smallest in the whole world is located in Talisay. Taal Volcano Lake is one of the tourist spots you might want to consider visiting when you are in the south. Attached to this lake is Taal Volcano that is known for its historical eruptions. One of its major activities happened in 1965, an event that took the life of about 6,000 people. The volcano had shown disruptions in 1991 and just recently, around January 2020, it erupted again, causing thousands of families to evacuate. Taal Volcano Lake is surely a picturesque spot and worth the visit if you plan on exploring the south of Manila.
Among the falls in the Philippines, Pagsanjan is the most treasured and visited. Its other names are Magdapio Falls or Cavinti Falls. This waterfall is at the heart of the 152.4-hectare Pagsanjan Gorge National Park. From the main town, you have to experience a river trip that takes about 2.5 hours to get to the falls. While the summer season is a good time to enjoy the refreshing water, it is recommended that you visit the falls on a rainy season for a more thrilling experience. This spot is usually crowded with tourists but if you go here in the morning or on a weekday, there is more space for you and your companions.
If you are visiting Mount Pinatubo, you will also get a glimpse of the Pinatubo Crater as it is found on the mountain itself. You will also enjoy the scenery once you see the Pinatubo Lake. Today, this place is a good spot for trekkers. It only takes about 90 minutes of hiking to get to the crater. There’s also an option to take a 4×4 off-road experience for a more thrilling adventure.
Subic Bay is another famous tourist destination. This place gives unique experiences to visitors and tourists. Situated 100 km from Manila, this bay is surrounded by Barrio Baretto town, Hanjin shipyard, the Municipality of Subic, and the former US defense housing area and US naval base. A lot of people also enjoy swimming and boating in the bay because aside from being deep, the waters here are being cleaned and maintained properly. Now that most of the US facilities are closed, Subic Bay acts as an economic zone housing small and big business establishments.
Don’t forget about Manila
Manila is not only the city you can enjoy if you go to the Philippines. The country’s beauty is more discoverable if you go out of its capital. While there are tourists who choose to go to the farther provinces, you are given plenty of great options for short escapades. In fact, the destinations mentioned above are reachable through land transportation. Whether you want your day trips to be as seamless as possible by bringing your private car or you want it to be more exciting by utilizing public transportation, the choice is yours. You can always go back to Manila as these places are just a few kilometers away.