With the many tourist attractions in the nearby provinces a few miles away from Manila, the Philippines’ capital, tourists can include itineraries for trips in some of the most popular out-of-town attractions in the country’s Southern Tagalog Region. These trips may also be considered as stop-over spots when going to farther destinations; thus, making the entire trip a complete joyride.
Planning a Trip
When organizing day trips, decide whether you want to privately organize the trip (of course, through the help of friends, family members, or relatives) or you want it arranged by a travel agency for you. You can more likely save if you organize it on your own. However, there are times that you can get great deals from available travel packages. When planning on your own, consider your convenience options and your expenses for vehicle rental, fuel, food, entrance fees (if any), and contingency allowance.
In order to maximize an out-of-town trip, especially for a one-day trip, start heading to the roads as early as possible, even a little before sunrise (sunrise in the Philippines is typically between 5:30 to 6:30 a.m. any time within the year). It is best to avoid the rush hour traffic which starts from 6:00 a.m. and ends by around 10:00 a.m. Weekend trips help you avoid the rush hour traffic during the work days.
It is also important to note, for travelers who are used to renting RVs during out-of-town trips, this type of motor vehicle is not commonly used in the Philippines. The most popular modes of Philippine transportation for private trips are buses, vans, and SUVs.
Tagaytay and Taal Volcano
Province of Cavite, Philippines
Cavite has borders in the neighboring areas Las Pinas, a city in Southern Metro Manila, Batangas, a province in southern Luzon, and the province of Laguna.
Tagaytay is a top tourist destination known for its splendid view of the Taal Volcano and the Taal Lake. It is only 34 miles away from Manila. It is one of the most popular summer destination in the Philippines due to its high altitude (about 2,100 feet above sea level) that offers a cool climate not typically available in other areas of the Philippines. Tagaytay is also a common stopover area for those going to other destinations such as Laguna, Batangas, other parts of Cavite, and other southern provinces located in the main island of Luzon.
Tourism is Tagaytay’s main industry. There are countless hotels, restaurants, parks and gardens, relaxation and sports facilities, seminaries and religious sites, retreat houses, recreational and residential complexes, vacation houses and mansions, and other tourist-related establishments all over Tagaytay. While enjoying the relaxing natural views around, stopovers to chat, dine, and take photos and videos make travelers enjoy every bit of their trip. Those whose final destination is Tagaytay itself can take advantage of the extended time to enjoy the many sights and attractions around the area.
Some of the most popular attractions in Tagaytay include the Picnic Grove, People’s Park in the Sky, Mushroom Burger, and Tagaytay Highlands.
Pagsanjan River and Falls
Province of Laguna, Philippines
The province of Laguna is right beside Paranaque, a city in Southern Metro Manila. Laguna is a home to a number of resorts and natural attractions.
Hot Spring Resorts in Laguna, Philippines
The Pagsanjan River and its famous falls are found in the easternmost lobe of Laguna de Bay, the biggest lake in the Philippines and the third largest freshwater lake in Asia after Tonle Sap in Cambodia and Lake Toba in Sumatra, Indonesia. Pagsanjan got its name from the Tagalog words “pinagsangahan ng dalawang ilog,” meaning “the place where two rivers branch out.” This river system is only 62 miles away from Manila and it is easily accessible for about a one- to one and a half hour-travel time from the southern tip of Metro Manila.
The Pagsanjan River is one of the 21 major tributaries of Laguna de Bay and it flows through the towns of Pagsanjan, Lumban, and Cavinti. With headwaters originating from the naturally rich Mt. Banahaw, 35 percent of the water flowing into the lake comes from the Pagsanjan River. It is a top tourist destination in the Philippines with an apt description made by the local government: “the awe-inspiring gorge, the breathtaking roaring rapids, and the spectacular world-famous waterfalls.” It is best known for its 300-foot falls where travelers can experience a 10-mile boat ride shooting 16 rapids and passing through gorges over a hundred feet high. The boat ride is locally called a “bangka” or “banca” where a group of “bangkeros” is positioned at each end of the boat. During the trip, tourists can see a fascinating tropical landscape and canyon with diverse flora and fauna including wild orchids, vines, ferns, dragonflies, spiders, lizards, monkeys, and various multi-colored birds. It’s also a location used for Francis Ford Coppola’s film Apocalypse Now.
Other information for tourists traveling to the Philippines:
Customs Declaration Information for Travelers Going to the Philippines
Must-try Filipino Dishes for Foreigners
A Guide to Tourists Driving in the Philippines
How to Use U.S. Gadgets and Appliances in Asian Countries
Airlines with Flights from the U.S. and Canada to the Philippines
Types of Health Insurance Available in the Philippines for Filipinos and Non-Filipinos
How to Buy a Condo in the Philippines: For Foreigners Who Reside or Frequently Travel to the Country