A long weekend and a car is really all you need for a respite from work. If you’re feeling in need of a recharge, grab a map and some friends – or throw the kids in your car – and hit the road for a well-deserved road trip. Here are five of the best destinations around the Philippines that are worth the journey.
1. Tagaytay Highlands
Tagaytay takes top spot in this list for being a fuss-free roadtrip destination loved by both tourists and locals. Only 55km away from Manila via the Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay’s cooler climate provides a nice escape from the hustle and bustle of toasty Manila. There’s lots to do in this serene cliffside town, whether it’s embarking on a food hunt around Tagaytay’s farms and restaurants, having some family fun at the new Sky Ranch Theme Park, or making the trek up to see Taal Volcano Island – located in the middle of Taal Lake, which Tagaytay conveniently overlooks.
And since Tagaytay City is located up in the highlands, the drive up makes for gorgeous scenery-viewing too.
2. Tanay, Rizal
The province of Rizal is another prime stop for a good mix of scenery and heritage. Containing portions of the Sierra Madre Mountains, Rizal is bordered by Antipolo City and the lake Laguna de Bay; and is anywhere from 1-3 hours’ drive from Manila.
Take a quick but leisurely history lesson when you explore Calinawan Cave and Rawang Pass – the stronghold of the Filipinos during the Spanish Revolution and the Filipino-American War of 1900, and even refuge to the townspeople during the Second World War.
Photo from static.panoramio.com
Be sure to make the San Ildefonso Parish Church (pictured above) one of your stops while at Tanay. Built from 1773-1783, this historical church was declared as one of the five Jubilee Churches in the Diocese of Antipolo, as well as a National Cultural Heritage site by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
3. Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
For a full-on day of heritage appreciation, head further up north to Ilocos Sur, where the capital city Vigan has claimed title as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As one of the last remaining Hispanic towns in the country, Vigan is home to beautiful cobblestone streets and old-world Spanish colonial houses – left behind by the Spanish Colonial Era. With so much to see, take time to fully explore this charming town before making the 7-hour drive back to Manila.
4. San Antonio, Zambales
If you’re one for beaches, take the high road and travel up 3 hours to San Antonio. The natural sights of Zambales are breathtaking, to say the least, and a good starting point to explore the surrounding beaches. Park your car in town and rent a boat to explore the hidden untouched islands of Anawangin Cove – a completely preserved slice of natural beauty accessible only by boat.
Capones Island, off the coast of Zambales
Alternatively, head out to the beautiful Capones Island, home to stunning rock formations and cliffs surrounded by pristine white sand – a definite postcard-worthy sight.
5. Halsema Highway
But if you’re on the lookout for a truly thrilling road trip, Halsema Highway is the place to be. Having made many Top 10 lists for most dangerous roads, Halsema Highway is the ultimate daredevil’s road trip route in Luzon – complete with roller coaster road turns, and home to the precarious Ambuklao road and Kennon road. Certainly not for the faint-hearted.
Written by Amanda Chai for worldurbanista.com
Amanda Chai is a self-proclaimed road hazard who writes for ShopBack Philippines and is useless with maps. Wish her luck!
ShopBack Philippines: https://www.shopback.ph