Must-Visit Destinations for Your Road Trip in South Luzon and Other Spots Near Manila

Image taken by chan lee, from Unsplash
Image taken by chan lee, from Unsplash

Visiting some of South Luzon’s best road trip destinations and other cities near Manila is a fantastic way to explore these regions’ diverse offerings. The diverse mix of historical sites, natural wonders, and beaches along the route promises an unforgettable adventure.

Going on road trips offers an escape from the bustling city life, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. Whether you’re traveling solo, with friends, or with family, the South Luzon road trip has something for everyone.

Must-visit Summer Destinations

A South Luzon road trip presents an array of nearby destinations perfect for a relaxing getaway. A short drive from Metro Manila leads to the vibrant city of Tagaytay, known for its breathtaking views of Taal Volcano and the scenic Taal Lake.

Visitors can explore the city’s thriving food scene, indulge in local delicacies, and take in the stunning panoramic vistas that make Tagaytay a popular destination for day trips and weekend getaways.

1. Sky Ranch

For a fun-filled day, head to Sky Ranch, an amusement park with thrilling rides and an outstanding view of Taal Lake. The park is open from 10 AM to 10 PM, with an entrance fee starting at PHP 100 during weekdays and PHP 150 on weekends.

2 . Picnic Grove

Picnic Grove is another must-visit destination in Tagaytay. It offers a magnificent vista, eco-trails, and picnic spots, horseback riding, making it the perfect place for a family outing. The entrance fee is around PHP 75.

3. La Union

Another nearby destination that beckons travelers is the province of La Union, a renowned surf town that offers a laid-back coastal atmosphere and world-class waves for surf enthusiasts. La Union’s relaxed vibe and vibrant beach culture make it an ideal stop for adventure and relaxation.

4. Pinto Art Museum

Just a short drive from Metro Manila lies the picturesque Pinto Art Museum, nestled in the heart of Antipolo. This museum is a hidden gem for art enthusiasts, boasting a stunning collection of contemporary art and indigenous art set amidst lush gardens and scenic views.

Visitors can spend hours wandering through the museum’s galleries, taking in the diverse and thought-provoking artworks that adorn its walls.

Exploring the Diverse Marine Life and Beaches

1. Nasugbu

Just a short drive from the expressways, travelers can set their sights on the coastal town of Nasugbu, known for its pristine shores and world-class diving spots.

Nasugbu’s coral reefs teem with vibrant marine life, offering a kaleidoscopic underwater world for snorkelers and divers to explore.

Generally sunny, the town’s idyllic beach resorts provide a serene setting for sunbathing, beachcombing, and enjoying the simple pleasures of a seaside escape.

2. Laiya

Laiya’s powdery white sand and clear waters create a paradise for relaxation and rejuvenation, inviting travelers to unwind amidst the natural beauty of the seaside.

Visitors can partake in water sports, beachside picnics, and sunset strolls along the shore, immersing themselves in the laid-back coastal charm that defines Laiya as a must-visit summer destination.

3. Lobo

For travelers seeking a beach getaway off the beaten path, the town of Lobo in Batangas is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Lobo is home to secluded beach resorts and coves that offer a peaceful and unspoiled retreat for those looking to escape the crowds.

The town’s pristine coastline and crystal-clear waters make it an ideal destination for snorkeling, diving, and simply unwinding amidst the natural beauty of the seaside.

4. Calatagan

The South Luzon road trip culminates in the enchanting town of Calatagan, where travelers can discover the pristine beauty of Burot Beach and its secluded coves.

Calatagan’s unspoiled coastline and azure waters offer a serene retreat for those seeking a respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.

5. Verde Island

Verde Island, called the “Center of the Center of Marine Biodiversity,” is a hidden gem for diving enthusiasts and nature lovers.

The island’s pristine waters teem with diverse marine life, making it a prime destination for underwater adventures and eco-tourism experiences.

Travelers can dive into the crystal-clear depths of Verde Island and encounter vibrant coral reefs, colorful fish, and other captivating sea creatures that call this marine paradise home.

Whether for surfing enthusiasts, a nature lover or someone looking at a food trip to a culinary capital, South Luzon has something in store for you. It has everything, from popular beach destinations perfect for beach hopping or glorious white sand beaches to lesser known beach resorts or secluded island. Natural attractions, enchanting lakes, crater lakes, limestone cliffs, cliff diving spots and other ocean adventure.

Road Trip Destinations for Nature Lovers

Nature lovers will find themselves in paradise as they journey through South Luzon. The region has many natural wonders, including the Seven Lakes of San Pablo, Laguna.

1. Seven Lakes and the Madre Mountain Range:

The South Luzon road trip explores the mesmerizing beauty of the Seven Lakes, nestled amidst the verdant landscapes of San Pablo City in Laguna.

These interconnected lakes, namely Sampaloc Lake, Pandin Lake, Yambo Lake, Calibato Lake, Palakpakin Lake, Muhikap Lake, and Bunot Lake, offer a tranquil escape for travelers seeking to immerse themselves in nature’s splendor.

2. Sierra Madre Mountain Range

Further along the route, travelers can set their sights on the rugged beauty of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range, which spans the Rizal, Laguna, and Quezon provinces.

This majestic mountain range offers a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, with opportunities for trekking, camping, and immersing in the region’s natural splendor.

3. Pagsanjan

As the road trip continues, travelers can venture to the enchanting town of Pagsanjan, known for its world-famous Pagsanjan Falls and the thrilling experience of navigating the river rapids aboard traditional wooden boats.

The falls, nestled within a lush gorge, provide a captivating backdrop for an exhilarating boat ride, offering a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with nature’s raw power and beauty. You can also visit historical landmarks and old churches while in Pagsanjan.

Historical Landmarks and Restored Spanish-Filipino Houses

1. Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery

Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery is a unique historical landmark dating back to the Spanish colonial era. The underground cemetery served as a covert burial site during the Spanish occupation, offering a fascinating glimpse into the region’s rich heritage and the ingenuity of its inhabitants.

Visitors can explore the underground chambers adorned with intricate carvings and historical artifacts and gain insight into the town’s storied past while marveling at this remarkable architectural feat.

2. Pila, Laguna

Besides its natural beauty, South Luzon is rich in history, offering a treasure trove of historical landmarks and restored Spanish-Filipino houses.

A visit to Pila, Laguna, will take you back in time, where you can admire the well-preserved ancestral houses that reflect the colonial architecture of the Spanish era. These houses offer a glimpse into the region’s colonial past and provide a unique cultural experience for visitors.


Embarking on a road trip can be an enriching experience when one combines natural beauty, historical significance, and vibrant culture. Whether you’re drawn to the diverse marine life, historical landmarks, or serene natural wonders, the cities nearby Manila offer many destinations to explore.

South Luzon and some nearby regions have something for every traveler’s taste and preference, from the hidden gems along the route to the well-known tourist spots.

So, pack your bags, hit the road, and embark on an unforgettable journey through the best places to stop by on your next road trip!

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