7 Best Road Trip Destinations Near Manila to Visit in 2024

7 Best Road Trip Destinations Near Manila to Visit in 2024 Blog Banner

The Philippines boasts breathtaking islands—7,641 to be exact. Each promises an unforgettable adventure for everyone, from thrilling water activities to soul-stirring hikes and unique food crawls. 

But with so many options, choosing an itinerary can feel overwhelming. Whether you’re fond of beach visits and cultural tours or just soaking in scenic views, the choices are nearly endless.

This list of hidden gems and idyllic escapes north and south of Metro Manila gives a glimpse of the best road trips in the Philippines. Whether you want to travel by car or commute, this post can help you choose your next vacation destination.

7 Best Destinations For Your Next Road Trip in the Philippines

Buckle up and hit the gas. Here are some road trip destinations near Manila for your next adventure just outside the metro, offering unique experiences worth exploring.

1. Subic Bay, Zambales

Only two to three hours away from Manila, Subic is a prime destination for adventures. It’s home to Ocean Adventure, a marine theme park for sea lion encounters, dolphin shows, and rescued forest animal sightings. 

Nearby, you can have pool parties at Adventure Beach Water Park or enjoy Subic Bay’s pristine waters at Camayan Beach Resort.

If you’re not in the mood to be near or in the water, you can go horseback riding at El Kabayo Stables, learn survival skills at JEST! Camp, or take a hike at Pamulaklakin Forest Trail.

How to get there:

  • By car: Take the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx). After passing the Angeles toll booth, continue on SCTEx toward Subic.
  • Commute: Take a bus to Olongapo, then a jeepney to Subic Bay. At Subic’s Main Gate, you can find buses, coasters, or mini-buses to various destinations in the area.

2. Tanay, Rizal

Escape the city’s hustle and bustle in Tanay, Rizal. This charming town boasts cascading waterfalls like Daranak Falls and scenic hikes through mountains like Mount Daraitan and Treasure Mountain.

Then, enjoy a hearty meal or a cup of coffee at Kaulayaw Coffee or Cafe Katerina. For overnight trips, consider booking Balai Tanay or Ricardo’s Vista Del Cielo.

How to get there

  • By car: Take Marcos Highway or Ortigas Avenue from Manila.
  • Commute: Ride UV Express from Starmall EDSA-Shaw or LRT Santolan station to Tanay, Rizal. Alternatively, you can take a jeep from Araneta Center Cubao to Antipolo and then another to Tanay. Alternatively, you can hop on a bus from Robinson’s Galleria or Starmall EDSA-Shaw, alight in Cainta, and then ride a jeep to Tanay.

3. Mabini, Batangas

Down south, Mabini offers a range of underwater activities. You can dive at Twin Rocks, Kirby’s Rock, or Secret Bay. However, if you prefer dry land, you can hike Mount Gulugod Baboy and enjoy panoramic views of Batangas Bay and Balayan Bay.

How to get there:

  • By car: Take the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) to Batangas. At the roundabout, take the second exit to Batangas-Balete Road. Turn left twice to get to Bauan-Mabini Road. Follow this road until Mabini. 
  • Commute: Ride a bus to Batangas City Grand Terminal or Batangas Pier, then take a jeep bound for Mabini.

4. San Antonio, Zambales

San Antonio offers a unique blend of history and relaxation. For instance, you can visit the centuries-old Capones Island Lighthouse, a majestic structure guarding the coastline. You can also hop from cove to cove, like Nagsasa, Anawangin, and Talisayen.

For a more memorable road trip, go fishing in Pundaquit or learn about the area’s cultural heritage at Casa San Miguel.

How to get there:

  • By car: Take NLEX and exit at Olongapo City. Drive through Olongapo-Bugallon Road and San Marcelino-San Antonio-San Narciso Road until you reach San Antonio.
  • Commute: Take a bus to Iba and alight at San Antonio Market. Then, ride a tricycle to Pundaquit.

5. Baler, Aurora

Baler is known for two things: historical sites and surfing. You can visit the San Luis Obispo Parish Church or Baler Church, a Philippine landmark built in 1611. Museo de Baler is also a great place to stop for a history lesson about former President Manuel L. Quezon and Baler.

If you want a more daring trip, visit Diguisit Falls and Beach to see rock formations, surf at Sabang Beach, or hike up Ermita Hill.

How to get there:

  • By car: Take NLEX to reach SCTEx. Exit at LaPaz, Tarlac, then head to Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija. Follow the Nueva Ecija-Aurora highway, passing through Talavera, Rizal, and Pantabangan until you arrive at the border. Drive through Maria Aurora and San Luis until you reach Baler.
  • Commute: Take a bus to Baler. Upon arrival, you can ride a tricycle to your destination.

6. Bacolor, Pampanga

One of Bacolor’s famous landmarks is the San Guillermo Parish Church because of its rich but tragic history. It was built in 1576 but destroyed in 1880 due to an earthquake. In 1991, Mount Pinatubo’s eruption led to “lahar,” mudflow with a slurry of rocky debris, pyroclastic material, and water, submerging the church.

You can explore the haunting beauty of this historical site and immerse yourself in the heritage and culture of the Kapampangan people.

How to get there:

  • By car: Take NLEX and exit going to San Fernando. Drive straight until you reach Bacolor.
  • Commute: Take a bus to SM Pampanga, then take a jeep to Bacolor.

7. Padre Burgos, Quezon Province

Did you know that Padre Burgos was called Laguimanoc because its coastline resembles a chicken or manok? That’s not all that’s unique about this hidden gem. It boasts pristine beaches like Borawan, Dampalitan Island, and Puting Buhangin.

It’s also home to Burol, a hill where you can enjoy the sunset and views of Tayabas Bay, Pagbilao, and Borawan. Whether you’re looking to unwind on secluded beaches, explore underwater wonders, or bask in the beauty of nature, Padre Burgos promises a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

How to get there:

  • By car: Take SLEX and exit at Santo Tomas. Drive through Alaminos and San Pablo City, then take the Tiaong Bypass Road. Drive straight until you reach Padre Burgos.
  • Commute: Take a bus to Lucena and another to Unsan. Alight at the town proper of Padre Burgos and take a tricycle to your preferred destination.

Prep Your Car for a Long Trip

The Philippines overflows with hidden gems, from sun-kissed beaches to misty mountains and history-rich towns. Whether you crave adventure or relaxation, there’s a perfect spot for you and your loved ones to explore. 

However, before hitting the road, you should prioritize safety! Check if your car, especially the tires, is in optimal condition. After all, they’re the bridge between you and that dream getaway.

Are you looking for quality tires to fuel your Philippine escapade? Triangle Tires has you covered! We offer a vast selection for all types of vehicles, delivered conveniently and affordably. 

Browse our tire catalog, or contact us for your tire needs.

Triangle Tires are designed to provide better handling and maximum fuel efficiency for your truck or passenger car.
Mikha Dela Cruz
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