Parties and get-togethers don’t necessarily have to be limited to a room or closed venue. As long as you’re with friends, it’s always going to be a party. With lots of long weekends and holidays in the coming weeks and months, it’s the best time to take your festivity outside the metro! The thing is, not everyone has the budget or the time to book flights just for a quick weekend getaway. That’s why we often recommend destinations that are just hours’ drive away from Manila.
If you and your friends are planning a getaway soon, check out these eight destinations we recommend. Don’t worry–you won’t have to book a flight just to get to these places. We also added details on how you can get there.
8. Nagsasa Cove
If you and your friends love to camp, Nagsasa Cove is for you. It has a scenic shoreline. It also has a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere, so you and your friends can slow down and get a much-needed break from the bustling city life.
How to get there: Drive to San Antonio, Zambales. When you arrive at the public market, you can ask directions to Pundaquit. At Pundaquit, find a parking spot to leave your car. Rent a boat going to Nagsasa Cove.
7. Mt. Pinatubo
Mt. Pinatubo is an ideal hike for adventure seekers and adrenaline junkies. The rocky and mountainous path isn’t a walk in the park but it all becomes worth it once you reach the crater.
How to get there: Drive to Capas, Tarlac and go to Brgy. Sta Juliana. Rent a 4×4 to bring you to the drop-off point where you can begin your hike to Mt. Pinatubo’s crater.
Baler is a 6-hour drive from Manila, which is relatively far from the other places in this list. However, if you’re after a surfing adventure, then Sabang Beach is the place to be. Beginner surfers also need not worry since there are countless schools in the area to teach you the basics.
To maximize this 6-hour drive, your squad can also chill out at Dicasalarin Cove, trek and take a dip in the cold waters of Mother Falls, or simply enjoy the fresh air and the laidback vibe of the town.
How to get there: Travel north through NLEX and SCTEX. Take Tarlac City Exit. Make your way through Cabanatuan City until you reach Pantabangan-Baler Road.
If you and your friends are craving for Boracay’s white sand and turquoise waters, you can consider going to Calaguas. The beach boasts of clear, blue waters and a kilometer stretch of white sand called Mahabang Buhangin. It’s a 10-hour drive away, but unlike going to Boracay, you don’t need to worry about delayed flights.
How to get there: Drive south going to Bicol up to Paracale, Camarines Norte, which is a couple towns away before Daet. At the port in Paracale, take a boat to get to Calaguas.
4. Fortune Island
Fortune Island in Batangas is known for its similarity to Greece’s Acropolis. This stunning island decorated with structures similar to the Acropolis is just 14 kilometers off the coast of Barangay Bucana, Nasugbu, Batangas. The island is surrounded by powdery soft, white sand, and crystal clear water. Make sure to bring extra clothes in case you decide to take a dip.
How to get there: Drive to Nasugbu, Batangas via Cavitex. At Fortune Island Beach Resort, rent a boat in order to actually go to the island.
Being surrounded by popular tourist spots, Bolinao can sometimes be overlooked. However, this underrated destination offers breath-taking waterfalls, hidden pristine beaches, and amazing secret surf spots which is perfect for a long-weekend escape. You can also pamper yourself by checking in the Santorini-inspired resort, Sundowners Vacation Villas.
How to get there: Bolinao is approximately a 6-hour drive from Metro Manila. Drive north to NLEX, SCTEX, and TPLEX, and take Ramos/Paniqui Exit.
2. Kapurpurawan Rock Formation
Ilocos is your next destination if you’re looking for a place full of history. You can visit the Paoay Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, see the giant windmills in Bangui or swim in the waters of Pagudpud. You and your friends can also visit Burgos to marvel on white rock formations called Kapurpurawan. You won’t run out of things to do and scenic spots to appreciate in Ilocos.
How to get there: Kapurpurawan Rock Formation is located in Ilocos Norte, which is about 8-10 hours from Metro Manila.
1. Minalungao National Park
If you and your squad don’t mind a 3-4 hour drive for a view like this one, then Minalungao National Park is the place to go. Located in Nueva Ecija, Minalungao National Park offers a stunning and picturesque destination for friends who want a quick adventure. It offers scenic lakes, azure waters, a zip line, a hanging bridge that leads to a quick trek to the peak, a series of stunning waterfalls, and gorgeous limestone formation.
How to get there: Drive north to NLEX the SCTEX. Take Tarlac Exit and drive going to Nueva Ecija until you reach Bucana, Gapan.
The most special part of any road trip is experiencing new things with the people who mean the most to you. You not only get to catch up with each other but also make new memories together. So get that itinerary planned, start packing and don’t forget to bring something to munch on along the way. Try Jack ‘n Jill’s Pic-A Sweet Chili – a combination of your favorite snacks in a new sweet chili flavor. Only exclusive in SM supermarkets and SM Savemore stores nationwide!
Tag your friends in this post, and let us know where you’re headed! If you have additional travel suggestions, let us know. We’d love to hear from you.