Being the capital of the Philippines, there is sure to be an abundance of things to do in Manila. But there are also so many other things to do within an hour or two from the border. Striking out on a day trip from the big city will be like a vacation within a vacation, all while adding to your incredible experiences. Find captivation in incredible landscapes, volcanic power, history, or art in these recommended day trips from Manila.
Manila Day Trips | Corregidor Island
Many Pacific Theater islands of World War II saw mighty battles that today serve as memorials and celebrations to the unfathomable courage, commitment, and costs of the Allied forces. Corregidor Island, at the mouth of Manila Bay, is one such place. The once booming guns now recount their tales in silence to travelers that come to pay their respects, learn about the men and women who served valiantly, or relax in the freedoms fought for here. A diverse range of Corregidor Island tour packages can be booked depending on your desired adventure. Head to Corregidor’s Memorial War Zone on a tram, enjoy a nature or history hike through forested trails, learn to paint, or take on the Malinta Tunnel at night. This list of things to do is considerably short compared to what you’ll find. So do yourself a favor and be sure to check out Corregidor Island for your next day away.
Check In to Condo eLgimikero @ Solano Hills, Step Out to Corregidor Island
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Manila Day Trips | Tagaytay and Taal
Any trip to Manila might as well include Tagaytay on the itinerary. Not only is it a fresh and clean city a near 2-hour drive from the capital, but it has an island on a lake in a volcano that is also in a lake. Spectacular. Of course, this makes the city a favorite, especially on the weekends when it draws domestic travelers taking advantage of the cool weather and views. So maybe try it on a weekday and hit up a café, hike the crater’s ridge, or take in the sight of Taal Volcano and Taal Lake on horseback. If you’re looking for leisure and history, visit The Heritage Town of Taal. Taal Basilica, Asia’s largest church, is just one of the magnificent structures you’ll find frozen in time. Fill your empty stomach at Don Juan BBQ and fill your suitcase’s empty space with shopping at Taal Market. Even visiting 7-11 will be something of an attraction as it is located in one of the town’s old buildings.
Check In to Anya Resort, Step Out to Tagaytay
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Manila Day Trips | Pagsanjan Falls
A visit to Manila during the rainy season means you can treat yourself to gushing waterfalls such as Pagsanjan Falls – a highlight of Pagsanjan Gorge National Park. Head to the southeast side of Laguna Lake to check out this three-drop waterfall in all its natural splendor. There are a couple ways you can reach this destination. Pagsanjan Falls is also referred to as Cavinti Falls because you can take a short hike to the site from the municipality of Cavinti. But the more rewarding option might be to instead start in the municipality of Pagsanjan and take a dugout canoe down the river. This is how it’s been done since the Spanish Colonial Era, with the oldest written account of such a trip dating back to 1894. Plus, it’s not everyday you get to take a dugout canoe.
Check In to Casa Marina Bed and Breakfast, Step Out to Pagsanjan Falls
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Manila Day Trips | Mount Pinatubo
In 1991, the Earth redecorated a bit with the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. In a matter of months, the collapsed summit of this unleashed volcano filled with water. Increased precipitation made quick work turning what started as a hot, acidic lake into a large jewel of blue and green. The name of this volcano 90 kilometers northwest of Manila might not be one you recall, but the aftermath of the 20th-century’s second largest eruption was felt the world over with ashfall, a drop in global average temperatures, and significant negative affects to the ozone. But now, this beautiful scene created from intense destruction serves adventurers looking for off-road experiences and day hikes. Take in this young wonder with a 90-minute hike to Pinatubo Crater and some boating on the lake. In between excursions, take advantage of being in Pampanga with a taste of this province’s famous dishes.
Check In to Rama Beach Resort, Step Out to Mount Pinatubo
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Manila Day Trips | Pinto Art Museum
Lovers of art wondering where their day trip is will find it just outside of Manila in the city of Antipolo. The Pinto Art Museum has plenty to see both inside and out. The Spanish-styled buildings may be worth the trip alone. Then there are the enchanting sculptures of the Silangan Gardens, plus the modern artwork on display in the airy rooms inside. Collections of modernist movements can be viewed in the exhibits while an adjacent gallery promotes contemporary Filipino artists. If you’re drawn to surrealism, expressionism, minimalism, social realism, and conceptual art – or if you just want to know what these things are – be sure to make a day well spent at Pinto Art Museum.