11 Hidden Gems to Explore in Luzon

LUZON the largest island region in the Philippines. One of the biggest misconceptions about the area is its limited variety of sights to explore. However, this island region actually has so much more to offer. Move far away from mainstream tourist attractions and venture out into Luzon’s finest!

11 Hidden Gems to Explore in Luzon

Taal Lake

?Taal Lake, Philippines

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Breathe in the fresh air at Batangas’ go-to location and take in the beauty of the dormant Taal volcano, the smallest active volcano in the world. From Manila, take a drive down to Talisay, Batangas, and charter a boat ride to Taal for beautiful close-ups straight out of a catalogue.

Maligcong Rice Terraces

Step into this beauty at Bontoc, Mountain Province to witness and capture the indigenous locals in their element. Side note: Maligcong actually means “surrounded by rice paddies” in their dialect. Thank the adventure gods, Maligcong is only a 30-minute jeepney ride from the city (or you could always do the 1.5 hour trek). Book your stay around May to July and witness the harvest in full bloom!

Tinipak River

#TeamPilipinasWanderlust #ProjectBiyaHero #WeTravelWeCare

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Trek the Daraitan Summit and make your way down to embrace nature’s white marbles at this Tanay scene in Rizal without having to drive very far! Only a two hour drive from Manila, wash away the heat and stress in the small lagoon at the end of the trail.

Jomalig Island

Chill by the beach ??

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Soak in the golden sun and dig your feet in the sand at this remote spot in Quezon Province. There are direct bus routes to Real, Quezon from Manila; then, take a tricycle ride to the ports off to Jomalig. It is quite a journey to this virgin island, but it is definitely worth it, especially for the perfect postcard-esque photos you’ll get out of it!

Nagsasa Cove

#DMTravelSeries This view ? Location: Nagsasa Cove, Zambales ?: @qvebrar

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Be one with the rocks in Zambales and get in formation before others do. The grassy mountains and unique rock formations are a perfect backdrop for an epic nature shoot.

Palani Beach

Now I'm opening my curtains. For better view of the horizon.

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Get yourself a drink and the perfect night out at a quaint bar made of bamboos after a breathtaking ocean dip in Balud, Masbate, just an hour and a half from the city. This ‘healing paradise’ is not only a sight for sore eyes, but one of the best ways to free your mind, relax, and rejuvenate.

Pinacanauan River

Experience Phuket without leaving the country in Penablanca, Cagayan a tributary to the Cagayan River. Did you know that it is the largest and strongest one? Well, that doesn’t stop tourists and photographers from flocking there to capture nature at its best.

Exclusive to When In Manila readers, use the code wheninmanila to receive $15 off your first booking on wandersnap.co, valid until Sept 1. Happy adventuring!

Vanishing Island

Witness magic before your very eyes when the tides recede at Malilipot’s force of nature in Albay, Bicol. Just head on to Tabaco Port at Legazpi City to charter a boat. Make sure you time your visits well, though, to get the perfect shot as the vanishing island only appears during low-tide (around 7AM or 5PM).



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Feel the breeze against your hair while overlooking the Pacific Ocean located in Aurora province. From the beautiful beach to the landscape, there is no such thing as a bad shot in this wonderland. So head down to Cabanatuan from Manila via bus and then get on a bus or van to Dingalan.

Itbayat Island

Take a break from technology and discover the beauty up North in Batanes. With creatures from both land and sea, there is always an opportunity for you to point and shoot… your camera. Take the time to immerse yourself in the culture of the natives, as well.

Fortune Island

Strut like a goddess and serve up some Athena vibes at this island in Batangas. Interestingly, this place was literally built for the gods in order to appease the upper-class society. Drive down to Nasugbu and take a tricycle to Fortune Island Resort for the perfect Greek-inspired event shoot location.

Exclusive to When In Manila readers, use the code wheninmanila to receive $15 off your first booking on wandersnap.co valid until Sept 1. Happy adventuring!


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