4 Off-the-Beat Philippine Vacation Spots Close to Manila

Taal Lake in Tagaytay

If you're looking for a vacation that is anything but cookie cutter, try visiting the Philippines. The Metro Manila area, the capital city of the Philippines, is beautiful, but is also heavily populated with nearly 16 million people. It is the most densely populated city in the world. It offers all the amenities of a large metropolitan city in the form of entertainment, night life, shopping, restaurants and more.

But if peace and quiet is what you're looking for, there are several off-the-beat spots close to Manila that will give you that and all the beauty and serenity that comes with the Philippines.

#1 - Laguna

Located about an hour and a half from Manila, Laguna is lush and green with lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and rain forests. Some of the best displays of local craft can be found in Laguna. Paete is the place to visit for products made of wood and paper mache. There are beautiful embroidered clothing and other items in Laguna at Lumban. And at Pakil, local artisans create items for the home using wood shavings. This is a great place to pick up unique gifts and personal items to remind you of your vacation to the Philippines. There is also Pagsanjan Falls, one of the most famous waterfalls in the Philippines and one of the major tourist attractions in that region. (see pic below)

#2 - Tagaytay

About an hour from Manila is the quiet city of Tagaytay. Its ridge extends 2,250 feet above sea level. At this point, one can see Taal Lake, which has an island right in the middle where Taal Volcano is also located. This area is by far one of the most captivating and beautiful features in the Philippines. For those who like adventure, a ferry will take visitors across the lake directly to the volcano. If you are really adventurous, you can walk up to the rim of the volcano. The area is peaceful and quiet, with tons of breathtaking natural beauty. (see pic below)

#3 - Cavite

If you like history, Cavite is full of monuments and relics from the 1898 revolution which resulted in independence for the Philippines. The city is surrounded by Canacao Bay, Bacoor Bay and Manila Bay and is located 8 miles southwest of Manila. The town is also the home of the first president of the Philippines.

#4 - Corregidor Island

Corregidor Island, located at the entrance of Manila Bay, is the highlight of the trip for many visitors to the Philippines. Called "The Rock," it is the sight of the last hold out by Filipino and American troops against Japan in 1942 during WWII. The Shrine of Peace commemorates the soldiers and civilians who died on the island. It is ranked #1 among over 70 attractions in Manila.

Pagsanjan Falls in Laguna
Pagsanjan Falls in Laguna Province

Tagaytay and Taal Volcano
The View From Tagaytay Ridge of Taal Volcano
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