Places to Visit from Manila by land travel only – North, South, East and West Luzon 🏃🏻‍♀️

Aside from Mt. Pico de Loro (Batangas), Cebu and Antipolo which I have all blogged in my previous posts, my current blog will now show all the places (and adventures!) that I have been to in the Philippines aside from the places I mentioned in my earlier blogs.

Particularly located in Luzon, here are a number of places I have gone with my friends before I set out to live abroad (watch out for the next areas I go on my future posts):

NORTH LUZON

I have been to Baguio and Bataan when I was a kid, however, obviously, I cannot remember exactly how the place look like now, so the place I am going to plug now for this region which is crystal clear in my memory is Ilocos Norte.

The cobblestone street of Calle Crisologo.

We went to Ilocos via private van as there are too many of us – there are around 9 of us – myself, including my boyfriend and his family, brother’s in-laws and the driver. The pick up point was in SM Mall of Asia (MOA) where the van left at around 9PM. We arrived Vigan the next day, at around 6:30am.

Bangui Windmills – I have no idea they were gigantic!

We ate breakfast upon arriving wherein we tasted their authentic Vigan longganisa. I forgot the name of the restaurant, but it is located just within the vicinity of Calle Crisologo , hence, it was not hard not to miss.

After having our fill, we tried out taking photo ops in the cobblestone streets of the Calle Crisologo and even rode the calesas (a two wheeled horse drawn carriage) which were randomly roaming around for PHP 20 per one round trip. Also, we visited a pottery stall and observed how claypots personally were made.

Timeless Paoay Church

We also visited the Marcosesancestral home, as well as able to glimpse the famous corpse (eeek!) of the late and former President Ferdinand Marcos.

overlooking scenery at the balcoy of the Marcoses’.

The Bangui Windmills were also worth a visit. We took tons of photos there that are perfect for our feeds. The windmills are fantastic backdrops — they are huge and wonderful to look at.

There were also crowd gathered in Cape Bojeador Lighthouse. Tall and towering, the lighthouse makes it look like you are outside the country once you have taken a photo of it.

Rapunzel? Where art thou?

We also visited Baluarte Taxidermy museum and zoo (which I honestly did not enjoyed) particulary because the museum displayed a lot of animal fossils that are preserved. There are even portraits and photos of hunters showing of their hunts of dead animals like trophies, which is sickening.

Fortunately, the 4×4 dune bashing activity in Paoay did not disappoint me at all. It was an exhilirating 30-minute ride, though it should have been longer. I dont know how much would be the rates now, but I do remember it was around PHP 2000 – 2500 for 3-4 persons per truck. The driver of the truck, will also act as the photographer and will stop the truck in the most scenic spot to take a photo. Sounds good, right?

Dune Bashing

As far as I remember, there was a sandboarding already included in this package.

WEST LUZON

For this region, we went to Zambales on a scorching hot summer day. Myself, and my officemates in my former company decided to have an overnight in this beach by renting out again our favorite resident private van .(For information on private van tours, please comment below).

The famous Capones Lighthouse

We arrived Zambales around 6am, so we decided to stop by the market to buy foods first. In order to get to the island, we need to get to a banca. The ride going to the island has been an adventure itself, as the waves has been rigged and bumpy the same time, spashing waters all over our faces and covering our gadgets with all our might.

We ❤️ Anawangin!

After that one hell of a bumpy ride, we managed to get to the shore safely, thank heavens. We toured Capones Lighthouse and several took pictures around the vicinity before heading out towards the beachside.

There are no cabanas in the island, but pitching of tents are available. For only PHP 1100, you can rent a tent for overnight which can fit at least 3-4 persons. As there are 10 of us, we rented 3 tents. However, as during that time it was summer season, even evenings can be very hot, with bonfires surrounding also the tent and people roasting marshmallows for s’mores. At the end, my friends and I opted to sleep at the beach front with our back lay flat on the sand and the cool breeze sweeping our faces. It was a humid summer night, but was made perfect by the sparkling stars in the sky which made us not regret not using the tent anymore.

We just used the tent around late at night when some people tend to walk by the beach front talking in loud voices and i cant sleep anymore, so I walked inside my tent and zipped it shut.

Mountain trekking activity in the morning

Before having breakfast, we were advised to have this exercise / activity to do an hour trek at the Anawangin Cove. It was an easy trail, considering I have already tried out Mt. Pico De Loro and another mountain in Cebu.

Anawangin Cove at its finest

Since we availed the overnight package, our breakfast (as well as lunch from yesterday’s arrival is included already, so it was served to us when we came back from our trek.

The remaining time we have is for swimming and recreation, so we after swimming we also checked out some goodies and souveneirs from the nearby stalls.

Beachfront
Souveneir stalls – cant go home without those ref magnets!

EAST LUZON

Have you ever been to Tanay, Rizal?

If not, then you better be, because you’re definitely missing out. Here are the reasons why:

  1. TEN CENTS TO HEAVEN

Located just about 2 hours from Manila, Ten Cents to Heaven is a team building leisure and adventure camp which also offers fun activities for young at heart travelers as myself.

I opted for the tandem zipline with my friend in a sitting position (as it is also a lot cheaper). Since we went there last 2016, the 2 – way trip for zipline is PHP 1000. The most expensive position is the Superman, which is also not for the faint hearted. For the updated rates, please check their website here.

 

We also happen to pass on our way back a hanging bridge which was very instagrammable. It is very eye-catching, but very challenging to cross since as you can see in the photo, a very narrow plank is only you can step on. You have to balance yourself properly, not unless you want to go home with a sprained ankle.

2. DARANAK FALLS

Looking for a quick and refreshing dip near Manila but tired of the congested and mainstream beaches? Then you can head to this waterfalls located in Tanay, Rizal. From the Antipolo City proper, you can take a tricycle directly going to this waterfalls, however, if you are travelling in a large group, it is always better to hire a private van so you can check out other nearby places.

The entrance fee is around PHP 20 only, excluding the rental of tubes, picnic sheds, tables and etc. The water is crystal clear, and deep. It is perfecy to go there in order to escape the dirty air of Manila for a change.

SOUTH LUZON

They say you have never been a Filipino if you’ve never been to this part of this South Luzon — Batangas.

Ala eh! Alangan naman eh!

I am a proud Batangueña. My both father and mother was born in Batangas. I was born in Batangas, though I grew up in Manila.

Moreover, here are some other places worth to visit aside from Mt. Pico de Loro in Nasugbu:

  1. Fortune Island, Nasugbu
    Dubbed as ‘Parthenon of the South Luzon’, this Greek – inspired replica in the island is perfect for photo ops.
    Fine white sand and crystal blue waters – what more could you ask for? 
    Note: Just one important advice from us — in case you are very particular with comfort rooms, then do not bother doing overnight in Fortune Island. The comfort rooms during our stay are still not maintained very well and to the point that you cannot take a bath or properly take out your waste. So, I think a daytour is enough for this as there are only few activities you can do such as swimming, picture taking and cliff diving. Yes, you can cliff dive for free!  
  2. Tali Beach, Nasugbu Batangas
    A cottage overlooking the beachfront
    Peace out!


My office mates rented an apartment – villa style for overnight worth around approximately PHP 10,000 excluding our food budget and private van transportation. A little bit pricey, but i think it is worth it because it includes the unlimited use of the Tali beach and another beach (i forgot the name) plus the cliff diving (yes to our adventure jams).

That speedboat made a nice addition in the already perfect scenery though.

And the villa is a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom type with a very spacious area which is very big for 10 persons. I think it can even squeeze 20 persons. One Bedroom, in fact, can even fit the 10 of us all together because of the 2 large beds inside. It is very cozy resthouse indeed.

Keep posted for my next travel posts! ✈️

SOURCES:

Google maps:

http://googlemaps.com

Wikipedia:

http://wikipedia.com

Instagram: https://instagram.com/nica.ocampo_?r=nametag

Ten Cents to Heaven Website: http://www.tencentstoheaven.com/