6 Budget-Friendly Day Trips Near Manila For A Quick Getaway
Summer is all about going on vacations. Most of these involve lounging around beaches and swimming pools. But for the working class, it’s not something they can do as frequently as they hope, with the mountains of workload waiting for them every day. Good thing Manila is strategically located next to some of the best destinations in the country. There are day trips near Manila that are near enough for a simple holiday. The best part? They won’t break the bank!
Interested? Read on for some of the destinations that make for the best day trips near Manila.
1Go on a cultural excursion trip to Bataan.
Take full pride of your heritage by going on a road trip to some of Bataan’s main attractions. Most of the things you need to include on your itinerary are easily reachable by bus, too.
Start your day by paying respects to our fallen World War II heroes at Shrine of Valor at the peak of Mt. Samat. The national shrine was built to honor and remember the soldiers in the Battle of Bataan, one of the most vicious battles during World War II. After that, cool off at the nearby Dunsulan Falls. If you’re up for it, try the tree hop adventure, too! It has six stages and includes hanging stairways, bridges, zipline, and swings—all on top of trees!
To end the day, be blown away by Filipino craftsmanship and architectural pursuits by joining the afternoon heritage tour at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bagac, Bataan. The heritage resort has 22 ancestral mansions that are replicas or originals transported from different parts of the country. You’ll definitely feel like you’re transported to the 18th century Philippines once you step inside the site! Yay, history!
2Explore the ruins in Corregidor Island.
The small rocky island has been a long-time favorite day trips near Manila.
Due to its strategic location, the historic Corregidor Island was fortified with coastal artillery (23 batteries in total!). This was to serve as defense and protection from enemy attack in the time of war. The war-ravaged houses and buildings in the island are left unrestored to serve as remembrance of war, and as reverence to the soldiers who fought and died bravely.
Some of the must see spots in Corregidor are the Pacific War Memorial, Malinta Tunnel, Filipino Heroes Memorial, Japanese Garden of Peace, and Corregidor Lighthouse. If there’s still time before the ferry leaves for Manila, go on a little meandering of your own!
From the Esplanade Seaside Terminal, there are day tours leaving daily for the historic island. Don’t forget to book in advance!
3Soak up culture or water in Laguna.
There are way too many things to do in Laguna to finish in a day. But to give you an idea, the province has everything to offer from heritage houses to lakes and falls to gastronomic spots.
If culture is your thing, head to the little town of Pila, Laguna for day trips near Manila that involve random meandering around town. You will see well-kept ancestral houses, the Spanish-era church, and the American-era municipal hall. How about dining at ancestral homes? Try Aurora Filipino Cuisine in Sta. Cruz, a restaurant serving Filipino dishes with a twist. San Pablo also has Sulyap Gallery Cafe and Restaurant, which also has a museum featuring the owner’s antique collection.
Water lovers will also have a grand time in Laguna. Aside from being home to dozens of hot spring resorts, the province also has at least nine waterfalls! Try to visit at least five in a day. Hulugan Falls, Pagsanjan Falls, Talay Falls, Hidden Falls, and Aliw Falls are all in Luisiana and Cavinti, making it the ideal itinerary for a day trip near Manila.
4Eat your heart out in Pampanga.
From the most authentic Filipino cuisine to the most daredevil dishes of the culinary world, Pampanga will always be a haven for foodie travelers.
Known as the birthplace of the nation’s favorite pulutan, Aling Lucing’s sizzling sisig remains to be the best version of the dish since the ‘70s. For the more health-conscious folks, tokwa’t baboy is a not-so-healthier alternative at Aling Lucing’s sister restaurant, Mila’s Tokwa’t Baboy. You’ll be asking for more after the first bite.
For more modern twists to old favorites, Cafe Fleur puts a French touch to Filipino dishes. From the mains to the desserts, everything on the list is a must-try, but don’t forget to try their Crispy Pork Macadamia Kare-Kare and Salted Egg Bibingka Cheesecake.
If you’re a fan of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations or good food in general, then Chef Claude Tayag’s Bale Dutung should be on top of your list.
Hungry yet? Here’s our list of authentic Kapampangan restaurants you should try. This is one of the day trips near Manila you’ll want to do again and again!
5Be a beach bum for a day in Batangas.
Here’s an idea. How about visiting a different beach every weekend for the entire summer? It may sound like an absurd idea, but the beaches in Batangas actually makes it possible.
In Nasugbu, Batangas alone, there are a ton of resorts perfect for a day tour (or a weekend stay!) such as Punta Fuego, Kawayan Cove, and Hamilo Coast. Note though, that some of these hotels are in private resideces and may require membership. The famed Fortune Island with Greek ruins is also found here.
For diving and snorkeling, Anilao, Batangas has some of the best diving spots near Manila. Though the beachside may be rocky, it’s the diving spots that earned Anilao its fame for a must-visit destination here and abroad.
Though most of the beaches in Batangas are usually crowded, there are some that seems to be untouched by civilization such as Masasa Beach in Tingloy and Malabrigo Beach in Lobo.
6Climb mountains, and indulge in beauty and art in Rizal.
Adventurers will be happy to know that just a van-ride away from Manila is Mt. Daraitan, which is ideal for a day hike. As part of the Sierra Madre range, Mt. Daraitan has a difficulty level that even newbie mountaineers and first-time climbers can accomplish. It only takes 2.5 hours to reach the summit, and another 3 hours to reach the Tinipak River. So yes, after all the dirt and grime of trekking, you can wash it all off at the river.
Don’t care about being dirty and tiring yourself out? Fret not because you can instead spend a day at Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa. Take a dip at their small pools overlooking the Sierra Madre range, and indulge in a good full-body massage and body scrub. They offer different packages for a day trip.
Artsy-fartsy folks will also feel at home in Rizal, starting from the picture-perfect Pinto Art Museum that has 1.2 hectares of contemporary art space. Then you can explore the little town of Angono, that has art museums right next to each other. Don’t miss the Angono Petroglyphs, too, which is known as the oldest work of art in the country.
Excited to take these day trips near Manila? Which one will be first? Share your travel plans with us by commenting below.