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10 Getaways for a weekend choose your own adventure for everyone

10 Getaways for a weekend choose your own adventure for everyone 2

Day Trip Getaways from Manila:

There is something for everyone no matter the budget, no matter the time constraints. Take your pick. Choose your own adventure.

The hardest thing about getting any group together is thinking about everyone’s time and budget constraints. Chances are that the barkada you want to travel with lives in very different areas, with each one having varying work schedules and offices, so it’s important to really try to accommodate each other if you’re planning a vacation together. Heaven knows that the larger the group becomes, the harder it becomes to make something work for all of you—I once had to plan a weekend out with a group of fourteen people!

If you want to get away as a group and have only a limited amount of time and don’t know where to go, why not try any of these vacation itineraries! This way, everyone gets to stay on budget and spend some time together without worrying about having to go on leave for extended periods! All of these places are easily accessed via public transportation or car from Manila—definitely a plus!

  1. Go see some waterfalls.

    Make a day of it—pack a hamper with some homemade treats or baked goods, get your swimsuit and towel ready, and go to a nearby waterfall to enjoy a short hike and some cool, refreshing water. Some nearby falls would include Buntot Palos, Cavinti, Kilangin Falls or the famed Pagsanjan, all in Laguna; you can also go to the Daranak Falls in Rizal.

   2. Take a trip back in time and go on a historical tour.

Learn more about our history and go sightseeing in some of the most picturesque spots in the Philippines, with monuments and heritage sights aplenty. The beautiful Las Casas de Azucar in Bataan is popular nowadays, or you can go on a Corregidor day trip. Carlos Celdran and Bambike offers tours of Intramuros, while Meggie Ocampo’s KKK San Juan tours are also not to be missed.

  1. Fill your tummy on a food trip!

    Binondo in Manila is a great place to go if your barkada loves to eat—walk around and try various food spots famous for their dumplings, viands and treats such as hopia and buchi, all without breaking the bank! Feeling like making a day of it instead? Take a bus or fill up your car with gas, and head on over to Pampanga, home of specialties such as bringhe, the best sisig you will ever eat, and loads of sweets and native kakanin.

4. Try out some water sports.

If your friends are water babies like mine are, going diving in Anilao is a great weekend option—and if you have photography geeks in your barkada, they’ll definitely want to snap some of the beautiful coral reefs there as well. You can also go to Laguna and try some whitewater rafting before going to a nearby inn or resort to rest, or try wakeboarding in Nuvali or in Batangas.

5. Go Museum Hopping

Soak up some culture and see the latest creations of young artists, or admire masterpieces by some of our most famous icons, and visit a few museums. Pinto Museum in Antipolo and Vargas Museum are very popular amongst the university set, while Ayala Museum, the National Museum and the Metropolitan Museum hold some of our oldest and most beloved paintings and sculptures, with interactive displays or guided tours. For those who want to indulge their scientific inclinations, the Mind Museum in Taguig is an incredible world-class museum.

6. Have A Spa Wellness Weekend

Have a few free days and want to restore your inner balance? Treat yourself to some blissful massages and healthy, delicious food in Sonya’s Garden or Nurture Spa in Tagaytay or go to Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa in Antipolo for affordable mani-pedis , swimming in spa pools and a stay in the Loreland Farm Resort.

You couldn’t have picked a better escape #nurturespa #philippines A photo posted by karlaroundtheworld (@karlaroundtheworld) on

7. Break out your inner adventurer and Go on a Full-on obstacle challenge

Sandbox in Porac, Pampanga offers fun sporting packages that include wall climbing, rappelling, aerial walks and ziplining, as well as mini-golfing and riding their giant swing. You can also opt to try the challenge of Breakout Manila if you’re interested in a group puzzle—break out of a themed room in a limited period of time!

Breeze through this #humpday just like riding our roller coaster zipline! 😁 || © @pamtipon A photo posted by ALVIERA (@alvieraph) on


8. Soak up the sun and frolic in the sand

Pack up your towels and head to the beach for the weekend—there are plenty which are only a few hours away, such as Nasugbu, Laiya or Crystal Beach in Batangas. You can also go to the nearby Fortune Island, or Burot Beach in Calatagan. Affordable, fresh seafood and the wide open sea…what more could you ask for? This option in particular is one of my favorites, and it’s so easy to plan at a moment’s notice.

Follow me to fortune #ladyluck

A photo posted by karlaroundtheworld (@karlaroundtheworld) on

9.  Burn some calories and Go Hiking

For those who want a walk on the wild side, hiking is a fantastic option—head on over to Mt. Makiling and enjoy the sunset from the peak, or go on a guided trek along Taal Volcano. Going to Mt. Pulag is an option for more advanced trekkers, while Pico de Loro in Batangas is great for those who are thinking of having a sporty weekend of swimming and hiking.


10.  Try Spelunking and see some gorgeous caves

Rizal in particular is a great place to go spelunking. See some beautiful natural cave formations and go close to the heart of the earth by taking a trip to Calinawan Cave. If you live a little closer to the north, Maalangan Cave in Bulacan is definitely a place to explore, with some springs nearby for a perfect day trip. Madlum Cave and the Madlum River are also in Bulacan, if you want to spend your whole weekend in the area.

Canyon Cruising 🚤 #FreeSpiritsPH

A photo posted by Benj Ramos (@benjstagram92) on

So the next time you think you have no money or time for vacation, think again.  Go EXPLORE! 

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82 thoughts on “10 Getaways for a weekend choose your own adventure for everyone

  1. I love all of these recommendations! Garden of Eden, the caves, oh man, I’d be thrilled to go all of these! I live in LA, CA, so I try to do something adventurous during the weekend, even if it’s for a short time. It’s always great to do something out there and explore!

  2. I would love to see the waterfalls and caves. Although I have to admit, I might just end up spending all my time at the spa if I could sneak away from the kids 🙂

  3. Wow, you have some pretty neat photographs there! Nice recreation of that girl leading the the guy photo series — where is that place? Thanks for this list. Even if we live in the city, it is hard to think of activities when some visitors come around for a few days visit. – Fred

  4. Sounds like a fab list of day trips and activities to do! Question for you when you mention diving, is it possible to dive with Whale Sharks as a close weekend getaway? I’ve heard the Philippines is a great spot for it though haven’t really done a whole lot of research yet into where I should go specifically.


    1. Hi Megan, well, you’ll have to fly to a province. Take it either from Dumaguete or Cebu so it’s not close to Manila ( the city). But if you do fly to Cebu or Dumaguete, it is a day trip or even half a day activity. If you ever decide to come over, message me, I would gladly help.

  5. I like museum hopping! Soon my child will have her first school fieldtrip and I cant wait to be with my child in touring Museo Pambata. Nature tripping, seeing water falls makes me so relaxed… I havent been in Cavinti though

    1. That’s very true! Actually one doesn’t even need to leave the city most of the time. You’d be surprised how many new and exciting places and things to do there are even in the city that you live in. You just need to look and experience it fully 🙂

  6. I love your getaway for the weekend list but definitely zoning in on the food trip as my #1 fave! Food food food! If I were to choose my own adventure, going resto hopping or even food night bazaars would be the first thing I’d do!

  7. Karla, I love your site but looks like i’m facing some trouble posting comments 🙂 because the “operation times out” all the time. Anyway, this is a great post and will come in handy for me when I visit Philippines in Feb next year.

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