6 Places Near Manila That Every Traveler Should Visit

by - 6/01/2019 06:14:00 PM


The Philippine capital of Manila is a vast and bustling metropolis that is often misunderstood by would-be visitors. But even as the city is slowly coming to her own—a paradigm shift anchored on the blisteringly fast speed by which the city is developing, as well as the blossoming of creativity in many of its previously hidden corners—Manila, to some visitors remains only as a jumping-off point for the numerous places to see and things to do nearby.

We couldn’t blame these people, of course, considering the plethora of activities that one can do and the many locations that one can visit just a few hours away from the big city. In this short article, we’ll introduce you to some of these.

The Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo, Rizal

Situated some 35 km away from Manila by Road, the Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo is a beautiful art museum that houses contemporary and indigenous art pieces, on top being a haven of creativity for Filipino artists. Make sure to visit its sculpture garden, as well as the in-house Cafe Tan-aw by Peppermill, which serves delicious local fusion dishes.

The beaches and diving spots of Anilao, Batangas

It’s hard to imagine such sublime natural beauty just 130 km away from Manila, but it’s all there in Anilao, Batangas Province. Anilao and its surrounding barangays are home to world-class beaches, so don’t be surprised to see a beautiful Batangas beach resort every few hundred meters along the coastline. However, Anilao is most famous for its diving scene, as it is home to over 40 different well-known scuba diving spots. There are few better ways to introduce yourself to the marine denizens of the Philippines than by going underwater in what is considered the birthplace of diving in the country.

The forest and safari adventure parks of Subic, Zambales

If inland adventures are more your style, then the coastal municipality of Subic—168 km away from Manila—is right up your alley. Here, you can find adventure parks like the arboreal-themed Subic Tree Top Adventure, where you can walk on dizzyingly high platforms and bridges built near the top of towering trees, as well as the Zoobic Safari, the only zoo in the country to offer a safari-style experience. Make sure to visit the nearby beaches as well.

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bagac, Bataan

Yes, the cobblestone streets that are built to look like those of old world Manila are Disney-esque reproductions. In fact, this resort complex is actually located 149 km away from actual Manila. However, the grand mansions that line up the streets of Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is not mere simulacra of old Filipino residences—they’re the real deal, transported here from different parts of the Philippines, then rebuilt and restored to their former glory. Here in Las Casas, you can join historical walking tours, ride a balsa for a fluvial stroll of along the river, or even stay in one of the luxuriously appointed mansions.

Corregidor Island

This tadpole-shaped island, located at the entrance of Manila Bay, is one of the most important locations during the Second World War, playing a major role in the defense and liberation of the Philippines from the Empire of Japan. Here, haunting ruins of old barracks and other military infrastructure serve as monuments to the courage of Filipino and American soldiers, who fought valiantly during the war. The island can be reached by ferry from Manila Bay and is a must-visit for all history and World War II enthusiasts.

Masungi Georeserve in Baras, Rizal

Have you ever wondered what it feels like to be Spiderman, hanging from a giant web hundreds of feet above the ground? That’s exactly what you’re going to experience when you visit the Masungi Georeserve, where the giant Sapot or spider web view platform can be found. From here, you get spectacular views of the forests and stone formations below, as well as of Laguna de Bay, the largest lake in the Philippines. Located just 48 km away from Manila, the Masungi Georeserve is also a major nature conservation area.

If you haven’t already made plans during your next trip to Manila, make sure to take the above-mentioned destinations into consideration. Just a stone’s throw away from the big city, these places will allow you to get some much needed rest from the hustle and bustle of the urban jungle.

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