The capital city of the Philippines, Manila offers various day trip options for travelers. Whether you are looking for a place to chill for the weekend or engage in fun outdoor activities like chasing waterfalls, hiking, or snorkeling and scuba diving, you’ll find plenty of destinations to visit. In this article, we’ll guide you to the best day trips from Manila!
- 1. Intramuros
- 2. Tagaytay
- 3. Pagsanjan Falls
- 4. Have a beach day in Batangas
- 5. Masungi Georeserve
- 6. Mount Pinatubo
- 7. Taal Heritage Town
- 8. Villa Escudero
- 9. Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
- 10. Corregidor Island
- 11. Town tour in Angono, Rizal
- 12. Pinto Art Museum
- 13. Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa
- 14. Liwliwa
- 15. Daranak Falls
- 16. Balon-Balon Falls
- 17. Hidden Valley Springs
- 18. Mount Daraitan and Tinipak River
- 19. Mount Gulugod Baboy
- 20. Twin Lakes of Laguna
- 21. MBY Pet Rescue and Sanctuary
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We’ll start this list of Manila day trips with Intramuros — a historic walled city located at the heart of Manila. Intramuros used to be the seat of economic and political power in the country during the Spanish Colonial Period. Most of its structures were destroyed during the World War II, and the area was later reconstructed by the local government.
You can do a self or guided walking tour of Intramuros, where you can explore its well-preserved walls; visit landmarks like the Fort Santiago, San Agustin Church and Manila Cathedral; and discover popular eateries within the walled complex. If you’re up for something different, try booking a night tour in Intramuros where you’ll learn about not just its history but also the folk legends and ghost stories haunting the area up to this day.
Located about 2-2.5 hours from Manila, Tagaytay is known for its cool climate, stunning views of Taal Lake and Volcano, and restaurants with an overlooking view of the crater lake.
There are plenty of things you can do here. Discover restaurants offering local cuisine, including their famous bulalo (beef bone marrow soup) and tawilis (a local freshwater fish). Enjoy a boat ride in Taal Lake. Or visit some of its best tourist attractions including the Sky Ranch Tagaytay (a small theme park with ferris wheel), Picnic Grove, People’s Park in the Sky, and Yoki’s Farm.
If you have time to stay longer, you’ll find plenty of nice accommodations in Tagaytay, including bed-and-breakfasts with a view of Taal Lake, cozy rooms for couples, and Tagaytay private resorts ideal for families and groups.
It’s worth noting that Tagaytay is a highly popular day tour near Manila, so expect traffic on weekends.
Book a Tagaytay day tour.
3. Pagsanjan Falls
Pagsanjan Falls is one of the most popular day trips from Manila. But don’t worry, even if you visit here on weekends it isn’t as crowded as other city attractions.
Pagsanjan Falls (officially known as Cavinti Falls) is a three-tier waterfall located within the Pagsanjan Gorge National Park in Laguna. The popular way to get here by riding a local canoe known as Shooting the Rapids from the town of Pagsanjan. The journey takes 1 hour per way and will take you along the breathtaking gorge, surrounded by several mini-falls and lush forests. Another way to get here is by trekking and rappelling from the town of Cavinti. The latter is more challenging and can feel more rewarding than the first one.
Regardless of your option on how to get here, you will surely enjoy the fantastic view of the waterfall and the raft ride to the mouth of the cave hiding at the bottom of the waterfalls.
4. Have a beach day in Batangas
For a day in the beach, check out the beachfront resorts in Laiya or the family-friendly resorts and hotels in Nasugbu. Head out to Anilao for freediving, snorkeling, and scuba diving activities. You can also go on an island hopping day tour to Papaya Island or more secluded spots like the camping site of Bituin Cove.
5. Masungi Georeserve
About 2-3 hours away from Manila, you will find one of the best nature attractions suitable for outdoor enthusiasts. Masungi Georeserve is a nature conservation area covering about 1500 hectares, known for its karst topography, limestone formations, and dense forests. It is also home to various endemic flora and fauna.
Day trippers at Masungi Georeserve can book the Discovery Trail, which will take you around the best spots in the georeserve and includes IG-worthy areas including the Sapot and Duyan. The trail takes about 3-4 hours depending your pace. Alternatively, you can also book the Legacy Trail, which offers a more immersive experience that includes tree planting.
With its breathtaking nature scenery and commitment to environmental preservation, it is definitely one of the best day trips from Manila.
6. Mount Pinatubo
Hiking to the crater lake of Mount Pinatubo is a popular day tour near Manila. Mount Pinatubo is an active stratovolcano bordering the provinces of Zambales, Tarlac, and Pampanga. It gained international attention with its major eruption in June 1991, which is considered one of the most powerful volcanic eruptions in the 20th century. In fact, this eruption managed to lower the global temperature. It also dramatically altered the landscape, creating a caldera that eventually formed the Pinatubo Crater Lake.
This activity includes trekking and you can go about it in two ways. The popular way is by riding a 4×4 jeepney ride from the town of Capas up along the mountain, followed by a 2-hour trek to the crater lake itself. The trek is relatively easy and suitable even for kids. The other way is to hike from the jump-off to the lake — this route is only recommended for experienced hikers with strong endurance.
Along the way, you will pass by scenic landscapes including towering canyons and terrains characterized by volcanic ash, boulders, and sandy paths. The reward for reaching the summit of Mount Pinatubo is the breathtaking crater lake. Swimming isn’t allowed in the lake, but you can take a moment to appreciate its beauty and history and take photographs as souvenirs to take home.
7. Taal Heritage Town
Located near the volcano, you will find the Taal Heritage Town. Founded in 1572, Taal is one of the oldest towns in the Philippines. It was originally located in present-day San Nicolas but had to relocated because of the eruption of Taal Volcano in 1754.
Here, you can do a walking tour to see well-preserved Spanish colonial houses and buildings. You can also visit Taal Basilica (or Basilica of St. Martin of Tours), one of the largest Catholic churches in Asia and a significant religious and architectural landmark. Another attraction is Taal Market, where you can find a variety of local products, handicrafts, and souvenirs to take home. It’s a great place for buying suman (sticky rice), tapang Taal (sweet cured beef), and adobo sa dilaw (chicken or pork cooked in turmeric).
For those looking for an overnight accommodation, you can find nearby bed-and-breakfasts like MGM Farm Resort, which is a farm resort featuring its own heritage houses and a farm where you can do animal feeding and more.
8. Villa Escudero
Looking for a relaxing getaway for the family? Villa Escudero is one of the best day trips from Manila that you should consider.
Villa Escudero is located in Tiaong, Quezon Province, just a few hours from Manila. It was originally a coconut plantation owned by the Escudero Family until it was opened to the public in the 1980s. The villa is mostly famous for its unique waterfall dining, where you can enjoy local delicacies with flowing water beneath your feet.
Besides the waterfall restaurant, this resort offers different activities including a plantation tour, swimming in the pool or lake, fishing, boating, cycling, and more. You can also visit its museum where you can learn more about the unique heritage of Filipinos.
9. Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
For those who love history and culture, Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is one of the Manila day trips that you shouldn’t miss.
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is a heritage resort located in Bagac, Bataan. Its main highlight are Spanish-era houses. A free guided tour will let you explore the heritage town where you can learn more about the country’s past.
This resort also features a beachfront, a man-made lake that you can explore by a boat tour, and swimming pools which are ideal for adults and kids. You can also do various activities including woodcraft and cooking classes, traditional games, horseback riding, and more.
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar offers day tour options, as well as overnight accommodations in its hotels and casas.
10. Corregidor Island
Corregidor Island is another day trip option for history lovers. Situated at the entrance of Manila Bay, this historic island has a significant role during the WWII. Specifically, it served as a strategic miliatry outpost and one of the key defense positions for the Allied Forces, which guard the entrance to Manila Bay.
You can visit Corregidor Island on a day tour to learn about stories of heroism and sacrifice, visit the Malinta Tunnel — a bomb-proof bunker turned into a hospital and command center during the war, and see the island’s war memorials, ruins, and batteries. Aside from the historical tour, you can also take a short break and enjoy the island’s picturesque coastline, which offers panoramic views of Manila Bay.
11. Town tour in Angono, Rizal
The town of Angono in Rizal is an artist’s haven and perfect for those who want to learn more about the arts and culture in the country. It is considered the “Art Capital of the Philippines” due to its rich artistic heritage and the presence of numerous art galleries and museums. Notably, it is also home of the National Artists Carlos “Botong” Francisco and Lucio San Pedro.
You can explore the town and visit the Angono Petrogylphs, which consists of 127 engraving of animal and human figures along a rock wall, estimated to date back in the Neolithic Period or before 2000 BC. You can also visit the best museums in town including Botong Francisco Museum, Blanco Family Museum, Nemiranda Arthouse and Gallery, Atelier Museum, and the nearby Pinto Art Museum. Another place that you shouldn’t miss is the Municipal Hall, where you can see various local craftsmanship.
After your town tour, head to the Angolo Lakeside to relax and watch the sunset.
12. Pinto Art Museum
Pinto Art Museum is another attraction in Antipolo that you should visit for a fun Manila day tour. It’s ideal not just for art and history lovers, but anyone who wants to experience a vibrant and immersive art experience.
This museum is known for its IG-worthy Mediterranean-inspired architecture, open-air galleries showcasing modern and contemporary Filipino art, sculpture gardens where you can rest and appreciate the blend of nature and local craftmanship, and cafes where you can enjoy local snacks and refreshments. The exhibitions at Pinto Art Museum are regularly rotated, so you can see new displays the next time you visit.
The museum is just a short distance away from Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa, and we recommend visiting the two destinations in a day. Head for the museum in the morning and then spend the rest of the day relaxing at Luljetta’s.
13. Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa
There are many spa and wellness centers in Manila, but if you’re looking for something a little farther away from the city, then check out Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa. It’s located in Antipolo, about 1 hour away from the city, and can easily be visited whether you’re commuting or driving your own car.
Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens Spa is the first of its kind in the Philippines. It offers panoramic views of the city and features infinity pools, jacuzzi, and various recreational rooms. It’s also famous for its traditional massages and body wraps. Of course, a visit here wouldn’t be complete without visiting their on-site restaurant for a traditional snack of Antipolo suman and fresh juice.
Liwliwa Beach in San Felipe, Zambales, is a great place to unwind, soak up the sun, and surf. It’s a bit far from Manila with about 4 hours of driving distance but it is certainly doable as a day trip especially if you’re bringing your own car.
The best thing to do here is enjoy the slow and steady beach life. Head to one of the Liwliwa beachfront resorts or glamping sites which offer day tours, have a picnic at your cottage, and chill at the beach. The waves at Liwliwa is ideal for beginners, so if you’re up for some adventure, get a 1-hour surfing lesson and join the locals in enjoying the refreshing waters of the ocean.
15. Daranak Falls
Daranak Falls is one of the top attractions in Tanay Rizal, and it can be visited on a day trip. It is a family-friendly destination so you can bring kids along with you. Appreciate the beauty and feel the refreshing cold water of Daranak Falls, rent a table within the complex for a wholesome picnic, and visit the nearby Batlag Falls just a short walk away.
Aside from Daranak Falls, there are other places in Tanay that you can visit in a day, including Tanay Church, Calinawan Cave, Pililla Windmills, and more. If you’re up for an adventure, you can also include a hike to Nagpatong Rock in your day tour itinerary.
Book a Daranak Falls day tour.
16. Balon-Balon Falls
There are numerous waterfalls near Manila, and one of the best ones you can visit for a day trip near Manila is Balon-Balon Falls in Cavinti, Laguna. What makes this waterfall unique is that it is pristine and secluded, a hidden gem ideal for those who love exploring the outdoors. It is also easy to reach and it is ideal even for beginner trekkers.
To get here, park on the highway along Cavinti Road and then trek for several minutes to the waterfall. Once you get there, enjoy its untouched beauty, stand underneath the stream for a water massage, or dive into one of the mini pools. You can also visit two other falls near Balon-Balon Falls.
17. Hidden Valley Springs
There are plenty of Laguna hot spring resorts, but Hidden Valley Springs remains one of the most sought after due to its natural beauty. This resort is located in a 110-acre tropical forest in Alaminos, Laguna, and it is home to numerous towering trees and a variety of flora and fauna.
Come here to relax in its gorgeous hot springs and pool. Just a short walk away, you can also find a hidden waterfall to enjoy. The resort also features hotel rooms, picnic areas and gazebos, and an open-air restaurant that serves buffet dining with traditional local cuisine and snacks. Finally, complete your day of pampering by getting a relaxing massage by their expert staff.
18. Mount Daraitan and Tinipak River
Mount Daraitan is a favorite hiking destination among outdoor enthusiasts. Located in Rizal, it’s often visited as a day trip along with Tinipak River.
The mountain takes about 3 hours to hike. It’s classified as beginner-friendly, but don’t take the route lightly — it is mostly steep ascents and assaults. At the summit, you will be rewarded with panoramic views of the Sierra Madre mountain range, the winding Tinipak River, and the nearby provinces of Rizal and Quezon.
After the tiring activity, head to Tinipak River for a cool and refreshing swim. You can also appreciate the limestone formations surrounding the river and hop on a raft for a relaxing cruise.
Book a Mount Daraitan day hike.
19. Mount Gulugod Baboyhttps://www.instagram.com/p/ChwxB5ABNnA/
Located in Batangas, Mount Gulugod Baboy is a popular hiking spot near Manila. The name “gulugod baboy” means “pig’s spine,” which refers to the mountain’s ridgeline resembling the back of a pig.
The route to the summit is relatively easy, making it suitable for beginner hikers. There is also a parking spot near the summit, so you can drive all the way there and then walk up the remaining 15 minutes to the top. At the summit, you will be rewarded with a breathtaking 360-degree view of the ocean and surrounding landscapes.
For those who wish to stay overnight, there are designated camping areas where you can pitch a tent and spend the night under the stars, enjoying the peace and quiet in the mountain.
Mount Gulugod Baboy is also close to popular snorkeling and dive sites in Batangas,
20. Twin Lakes of Laguna
The town of San Pablo in Laguna is home to seven lakes, including the twin lakes of Pandin and Yambo. You can go on a day trip to one of them or visit both to make the most of your time. Each location offers a chance to swim in the lake and enjoy a picnic in a floating cottage, where you can taste freshly grilled tilapia cooked by the locals.
The Twin Lakes of Laguna is one of the most relaxing Manila day trips you can do. It’s ideal for families or those who simply want to enjoy a short city break.
21. MBY Pet Rescue and Sanctuary
This animal shelter in Teresa, Rizal, is a perfect destination for animal lovers! MBY Pet Rescue and Sanctuary is home to about 600 stray cats and dogs. You can go for a visit to volunteer and share your love with the furry animals. It’s good for their well-being and yours too. Of course, you can also bring food and other donations.
That concludes our list of best day trips from Manila! Do you have other recommendations on where to go that is near Manila? Let us know in the comments section below!
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Staying in Manila? Don’t forget to read these guides!
- Insider Guide: Best Things to Do in Manila
- Best Hotels in Manila
- Best Staycations in Manila with Pool
- Binondo Food Trip
- Poblacion Food Crawl
Venture outside of the city for fun and adventure:
- Best Beaches Near Manila
- Affordable Beaches Near Manila
- Best Waterfalls Near Manila
- Best Farm Staycations Near Manila
- Best Day Trips from Manila
Katherine Cortes is a long-time backpacker and a freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).