Atravelux Tips & Advisory
Best Tourist Destination in Luzon
Manila, the capital of the Philippines, is a densely populated bayside city on the island of Luzon, which mixes Spanish colonial architecture with modern skyscrapers. Intramuros, a walled city in colonial times, is the heart of Old Manila. It’s home to the baroque 16th-century San Agustin Church as well as Fort Santiago, a storied citadel and former military prison.
Just north of Intramuros is Binondo, Manila’s Chinatown, established in the 1500s and bustling with shops and restaurants. Rizal Park is Manila’s main public space, a vast mall with fountains, gardens and monuments honoring national heroes. The Museum of the Filipino People focuses on ethnographic and archaeological exhibits, while the Metropolitan Museum of Manila displays contemporary art. The blocky, modernist buildings of the Cultural Center of the Philippines house various performing arts organizations. Roxas Boulevard is a palm-lined waterfront promenade with hotels, restaurants and views of Manila’s famed sunsets.
Vigan is a city in the Philippines, on the west coast of Luzon island. It's known for its preserved Spanish colonial and Asian architecture. Calle Crisologo dominates the Mestizo district, with its cobblestone streets, malecón, horse-drawn carriages and rustic mansions. Near the white baroque Vigan Cathedral are Plaza Salcedo, offering fountain light shows, and Plaza Burgos, known for its street-food stalls.
Next to the cathedral, the 18th-century Archbishop’s Palace is distinguished by its sliding capiz windows. Inside the palace, the Museo Nueva Segovia contains religious relics from various churches in the region. Formerly the home of the Crisologos, a powerful political family, the Crisologo Museum displays personal memorabilia and period furnishings. A branch of the National Museum, Padre Burgos House features regional artifacts and artworks, including a series of paintings of the 1807 Basi Revolt against the Spanish.
Tagaytay is a popular holiday town south of Manila on the Philippine island Luzon. Known for its mild climate, it sits on a ridge above Taal Volcano Island, an active volcano surrounded by Taal Lake. Overlooking the area, People’s Park in the Sky occupies the grounds of a never-finished presidential mansion. Picnic Grove is a recreation area with trails and a zip line.
Boat tours run from the waterfront village Talisay across Taal Lake to Taal Volcano Island. Trails for hiking and horseback riding lead to the peak’s main crater and interior crater lake. Taal Lake also offers catamaran sailing and kayaking. Back in Tagaytay, the compact Japanese Friendship Garden has landscaped grounds. Tagaytay Highlands is a resort with 2 18-hole golf courses. In Taal, a town to the south, the Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours is a 19th-century landmark that’s among the largest churches in Asia.
Baguio, on the Philippines’ Luzon island, is a mountain town of universities and resorts. Called the “City of Pines,” it’s particularly popular in summer due to unusually cooler weather. At its center is Burnham Park, with gardens and a lake. Nearby, Baguio Cathedral, completed in 1936, has a rose-hued exterior. The main thoroughfare is Session Road, lined with shops, restaurants and entertainment options.
Former U.S. military facility Camp John Hay is a hillside holiday complex with a golf course and forest trails. The expansive Botanical Garden neighbors Wright Park, home of the picturesque Pool of Pines, and The Mansion, the presidential summer residence. Elsewhere, the BenCab Museum exhibits the work of Benedicto Cabrera and other Filipino artists amid landscaped grounds. Tam-Awan Village is an artist’s colony with traditional huts and views out to the South China Sea. Overlooking Baguio, 2,000m-high Mount Cabuyao has hiking and biking trails.
Sagada is a town in the Cordillera Mountains, within the Philippines’ Mountain Province. Echo Valley’s hanging coffins are displayed high on cliffs, while centuries-old coffins are stacked in burial sites like Lumiang Cave. The nearby Sumaguing Cave has unusual limestone formations. To the north, Bomod-ok Falls has a natural swimming pool. Rice terraces are carved into the area's surrounding mountainsides.
Subic is a coastal municipality in the Philippines, northwest of the capital Manila. Its sandy beaches face Subic Bay, a popular dive site due to its shipwrecks and coral species. The town’s 19th-century Spanish Gate is a legacy of its past as a Spanish naval base. To the east, Subic Bay Freeport Zone features casinos and a golf course. Farther around the bay, theme parks include Zoobic Safari and Ocean Adventure.
Pagudpud is a town on the north coast of Luzon Island, in the Philippines. Resorts line the long stretch of Saud Beach, on the wide sweep of Bangui Bay. The towering Bangui Windmills wind turbines are arrayed in a row along the coast. East of town, Pasaleng Bay is home to Bantay Abot Cave, a natural tunnel eroded through the headland, and secluded Maira-ira Beach. Area waterfalls include Kabigan and Anuplig.
Pampanga is a province in the Philippines, northwest of Manila. Nayong Pilipino, a cultural theme park in Clark Freeport, has replicas of major national sites. Animatronic dinosaurs roam at Dinosaurs Island nearby. A mountain trail leads to the streams of Miyamit Falls, southwest. Farther west, a turquoise lake fills Mt. Pinatubo’s volcanic crater. In Angeles, the Museo ning Angeles documents the area's history.
Bolinao is a town on the west coast of Luzon Island, in the northern Philippines. The Spanish colonial St. James the Great Parish Church dates from the 1600s, and has an exterior made of black coral stones. The University of the Philippines' Bolinao Marine Laboratory supports the conservation of giant clams and other sea life. Atop Punta Piedra Point, the 1903 Cape Bolinao Lighthouse overlooks white-sand Patar Beach.
Pagsanjan, officially the Municipality of Pagsanjan, is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Laguna, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 42,164 people. Situated about 92 kilometres southeast of Manila, Pagsanjan is the tourist capital of Laguna and the home of the Bangkero Festival. The bangkeros are tour guides, who steer the tourists' boats. They are the boatmen who shoot the 14 rapids between rocks and boulders all the way to the Pagsanjan Falls, for which the town is well known but are actually located in the neighboring municipality of Cavinti. The Bangkero Festival is celebrated in the month of March
Nasugbu, officially the Municipality of Nasugbu, is a 1st class municipality in the province of Batangas, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 134,113 people. Several bus services provide transportation to and from Nasugbu. Jeepneys from Tagaytay City also enter and leave the town at a scheduled time. Within the town, tricycles are the main mode of transport.
Bataan is a province on the Philippine island of Luzon. Shipwrecks and coral reefs dot the waters of Subic Bay, off its northwest coast. Farther south, marine turtles are hatched at the Pawikan Conservation Center. A towering memorial cross and a shrine commemorating WWII’s Battle of Bataan crown Mount Samat in central Bataan. On the east coast, birdlife thrives in the Balanga City Wetland and Nature Park.