The Philippines is a beautiful country located in Southeast Asia. There are several destinations that showcase the rich country’s rich biodiversity that will definitely add more fun to your vacation. You will never run out of amazing sights once you set foot on these wonderful islands! You can visit beaches, historical sites, rain forests, and beautiful islands all in one place. Take off from Manila to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and explore other stunning destinations in the Philippines. Continue reading and make sure to use this list as your guide on the best weekend trips from Manila, the Philippines.
The Philippines is well known for its pristine beaches, most especially in the province of Palawan. Take time to visit Busuanga, a group of islands located north of Palawan. It is definitely a traveler’s paradise - it is where you can experience diving, hiking, swimming, island hopping, and other fun water activities! The quickest way to reach Busuanga from Manila is by plane, which will take about an hour via carriers such as PAL Express and Cebu Pacific. A ferry is possible from Manila to Coron, but it is not advisable for weekend trips because it will take 15 hours to get there. Once you reach the island, there are several jeepneys that can take you to a number of beautiful destinations like Kayangan Lake, Twin Lagoon, Malcapuya Island, Mt Tapyas, and many more.
Seafood and sunsets in the Philippines make a delicious combination. Especially in Busuanga where the island is surrounded by waters that boast a seafood bounty. Local restaurants serve a variety of succulent grilled fish, shrimp and clams, paired with fragrant steamed rice.
Enjoy dining by the waterfront where the sunset skies add a sprinkle and sparkle of romance to every meal.
Tips for choosing a seafood restaurant:
- Check out the menus and reviews online before deciding.
- Choose local where possible. It’s one way to enjoy the freshest quality meal.
Bulacan is only an hour and 13 minutes away from Manila via Radial Road 10, which is approximately 31.5 kilometers (19.57 miles). You will not experience any shortage of beautiful destinations to visit during your weekend trip here. It is full of historical sites, scenic views, and lovely nature spots. The historical sites of Bulacan include Marcelo H. Del Pilar Shrine, Shrine of Andrew Kim, Museo ng Kasaysayang Pampulitika ng Pilipinas (Museum of Political History in the Philippines), and many more. If you want to explore the great outdoors, you have to visit Verdivia Falls, Mt Gola, and Pinagrealan Cave. Bulacan offers lots of unique destinations you should not miss.
3. Corregidor Island
If you have an eye for history, you must visit Corregidor, which is known for its many historic sites. There are several preserved artifacts specifically from World War II. Some historic sites to see on the island include Battery Way, Battery Hearn, Mile-Long Barracks, Pacific War Memorial, and many more. The distance from Manila to Corregidor Island is approximately 50 kilometers (31 miles) and the trip usually takes about an hour and fifteen minutes. The easiest way to get to the island is by ferry from Esplanade Seaside Terminal in Manila.
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Visit Bataan and discover the top attractions that you should not miss. It will take approximately two hours to reach Bataan from Manila via R-8 and Jose Abad Santos Avenue, which is a distance of 128 kilometers (80 miles). You can also choose to ride the ferry - a recent addition. The trip will only take an hour or less. The province is well known for having lots of historical sites, the most famous of which is Mount Samat, a World War II memorial site situated on a peak. You must also visit the beaches, trails, sanctuaries, and springs in Bataan. This place is perfect for adventure-seekers. Take time to visit Zoobic Safari, Ocean Adventure, Inflatable Island, Pawikan Conservation Center, and many more.
Bataan is rich in history, with notable events such as the famous death march that occurred here. The region offers a plethora of activities and attractions, from beautiful beaches for swimming to mountains for hiking. However, my preference is to unwind, which is why I choose to book a room at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar. It's like an open-air museum, showcasing historic homes and museums, while also providing lodging and dining options. Additionally, it features its own private beach.
Manila Tour Guide
Manila Tour Guide
Visit the city that is situated at the foot of the famous Sierra Madre mountain range. What are you waiting for? Take a quick drive from Manila to visit Antipolo. It will only take about 40 minutes, and you can choose from different routes: via Marikina-Infanta Highway or Quezon Avenue, which are all approximately 20 kilometers (12.5 miles). You will see several nature sites, places of pilgrimage, museums, and scenic views. This laidback city is home to the famous Pinto Art Museum that is filled with artwork made by Filipino artists. Other notable attractions include Hinulugang Taktak (waterfalls), Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, Eastland Heights, Mount Purro Nature Reserve, and many others.
Tip from Trip101 local expert
I was utterly captivated by the sheer beauty of Pinto Art Museum, both inside and out. Even though we dedicated more than half a day to explore the museum, it felt like there was still so much to uncover in this expansive gallery. Every corner is a picturesque scene, perfect for capturing those Instagram-worthy moments. Our lunch at the museum's cafe was not only delightful but also added to the overall charm of our visit.
Antipolo is a short drive away from Manila and offers a variety of local restaurants and private resorts. Two of my favorite places to visit here cater to different interests. First, for relaxation, there's Luljetta's Hanging Gardens Spa, which boasts swimming pools, hot tubs, and saunas. Second, for those interested in culture and arts, there's the Pinto Art Museum, where you can admire numerous artworks in a property reminiscent of Greece.
Angeles, the culinary capital of the Philippines, is well known for its fun nightlife and delicious food. Aside from that, there are also several parks, landmarks, and museums in the city. Every member of the family will definitely enjoy what this destination has to offer. Take your kids to Zoocobia Fun Zoo or Dinosaurs Island for an interactive animal park experience. You can also have some fun in the sun at Aqua Planet Waterpark or SandBox Pampanga. Stroll around must-see destinations like Nayong Pilipino Clark, Clark Museum, Holy Rosary Parish Church, Kamikaze East Airfield, and Air Force City Park. If you are lucky, you might be just in time for a colorful festival. Some events that are celebrated here include the famous Hot Air Balloon Festival in February, Giant Lantern Festival and Sinukwan Festival in December, and Makatapak Festival in November.
Sagada is situated in the Cordillera mountain range, far north from Manila. Make sure to pack some snacks and blankets since the trip will take a long eight to ten hours via Baguio to La Trinidad to Bontoc Road, which is 392 kilometers (244 miles). The long trip will definitely be worth it. Sagada has several ancient artifacts and must-see destinations. It is advisable that you plan your trip during Sagada’s drier months: December to May. It might be a hassle to book your trips during June to September because of significant rainfall. Make sure you visit the mystical cave of Sumaguing, where you can go spelunking. After, you must see the hanging coffins, one of the most popular attractions in Sagada. You can also hike at Echo Valley Trek or Marlboro Hills, swim at Bomod-ok Waterfalls, enjoy scenic views at Kiltepan Viewpoint, and watch weavers at Sagada Weaving.
Baler is one of Luzon’s hidden gems, which is located 230 kilometers (144 miles) from Manila. It will take approximately five hours to travel here. Aside from being known as one of the best surf destinations in the Philippines, there are several historical sites and unique places to see in Baler. Famous historical attractions include Baler Hanging Bridge, Balete Tree, Museo De Baler, and Aurora Aragon Ancestral House. Take time to visit Sabang Beach, where you can surf and chill, Diguisit Beach to see stunning rock formations, and Dicasalarin Cove for a tour around the amazing nature site.
Visit Bontoc, the capital of Mountain Province, located in the Cordillera region. It will take nine hours to reach the destination from Manila, a distance of 400 kilometers (249 miles). It is also the home of the famous Malegcong Rice Terraces, which is one of the most popular destinations in Bontoc. There are also other rice terraces like Bayyo and Favery Rice Terraces. Be sure to visit Banaue Viewpoint, where you will get superb views of the rice fields. If you want to learn more about the culture of Bontoc, a must-visit destination is Bontoc Museum.
Subic, Zambales, is a coastal municipality located 166 kilometers (103 miles) northwest of Manila. The trip to Subic will take approximately two hours and 30 minutes via R-8 and North Luzon Expressway. There are lots of family-friendly activities in Subic, making it a common destination for weekend trips. Make sure to visit the natural beauty of Subic in destinations such as Blue Rock Beach, Nagsasa Cove, Anawangin Island, Talisayen Cove, and Silanguin Cove, where you can enjoy camping or sightseeing. Bring the whole family and enjoy interactive activities at Zoobic Safari, Ocean Adventure, and Funtastic Park. Lastly, end your trip by shopping at Duty Free.
We frequently visit Subic because we have relatives who live there. If you're looking for a stress-free holiday away from the city without wanting to spend too much time on the road, this place should be at the top of your list for a weekend getaway. Subic offers beaches, shopping malls, and a variety of restaurants. One of my personal favorites is Vasco's Restaurant, which also doubles as a museum. It's located in a port area, so you can enjoy a picturesque sunset view while dining. The restaurant features a charming nautical theme too.
Take a weekend break from the city
There are so many unique and stunning destinations you must visit. Some may take long drives, but they will definitely be worth it. Experience new things and discover new places during your weekend trip from Manila, the Philippines.
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