6 Incredibly Affordable Road Trips South of Manila

South of Manila has always had ample destinations for weekend warriors on a budget! From beach, to hiking, to cultural trips– any of your appetite for adventure will surely be catered to.

Here are some of the prime destinations south of Manila arranged according to hours of travel:

1. Taal Volcano Trekking

Staring at Taal Volcano from the town proper is already a feast for the eyes, but don’t wait until you see it up close.

With an elevation about 311+ MASL, one doesn’t need to be a seasoned hiker to be able to get to the crater lake as the terrain of this mountain isn’t too vexing. There’s even an option to ride a horse to the top for P450-500. You’re also encouraged to get a guide, especially if you aren’t familiar with hiking in the Philippines. The tourism office is open around 4am for everyone who wishes to climb Taal Volcano. 

For an additional P50, ask your guide to bring you to Red Lava. This spot will offer you a 360-degree scenery of the magical Taal Lake with a wild view of mountains in the horizon.

Be sure to pack enough water and sunscreen because clouds or no clouds, the sun exposure can still cause some sunburn situation. 

How to get there/ Travel Time/ Expenses:

  • Take a DLTB bus from Buendia Bus Terminal in Manila going to Nasugbu, Batangas. Alight the bus in Rotunda in front of the police station. (1.5 hours ; P82.5)
  • Take a tricycle going to Talisay (30 mins ; P150 per trip / 3pax)
  • Arrange for a boat going to Taal Volcano island  (20 mins ; P2000/7pax)


P 1,200 – 1500 for a group of 4


2. A Cultural Trip to Paete, Laguna

One of the most overlooked activity in Manila is cultural immersion and Paete, Laguna, the Carving Capital of the Philippines, is a good place to start.

Even though, Paete is known for its woodworks and other form of sculptures, there are also other things to do such as waterfall adventure, braving an underground cemetery, taking photos of historical churches/ ancestral houses and sampling Philippine’s very own kesong puti. 

Places to see in Paete:

  • Buruwisan Falls
  • Saint James the Apostle (built in 1646)
  • Saint Peter of Alcantara Parish
  • Three Crosses of Paete
  • Kape Kesada (for food)

How to get there/ Travel Time:

  • Take a bus from Buendia going to Sta. Cruz, Laguna (2.3 hours)
  • From Sta. Cruz, take a jeep going to Sinoloan (30-40 mins)
paete, laguna
Photo from lonelytravelogue.com

3. Lunch at Labasin Waterfalls Restaurant)

Looking to change up your lunch game this weekend? Take a short but sweet road trip with your family or friends to one of the most extraordinary lunch experiences in the Philippines in Villa Escudero. Feast on a great selection of Filipino food, buffet-kamayan style while your feet are soaked in shallow water coming from the spillway of the hydroelectric dam.

How to get there/ Travel Time:

  • Two-hour drive from Manila (can be found on Google Maps/Waze)



  • Welcome drinks
  • carabao ride
  • one-hour visit to the Memorial Museum
  • Village Tour
  • Labasin waterfalls for lunch
  • Cultural show
  • Bamboo rafting

Contact Villa Escudero for your inquiries.


4. Track down magnificent Waterfalls in Laguna

There are a number of waterfalls in Laguna but three major waterfall destinations are Pagsanjan Falls (Cavinti Falls), Hulugan Falls and Buntot Palos Falls.

How to get there/ Travel Time/ Expenses:

Pagsanjan Falls via bus take a bus along Buendia or Taft Avenue that’s Sta. Cruz bound (2 hours, P140). From Sta. Cruz , take a jeep headed to Cavinti (45 mins) and get off at the town proper. Take a tricycle and ask the driver to take you to the nearest jump-off.

Hulugan Falls via bus same instructions as how to go to Pagsanjan only this time, when you get down from Sta. Cruz, get on a jeep bound for Luisiana and get down at San Salvador (P25 / pax one-way). From there, take a tricycle going to the Hulugan Falls registration area.

Aliw Falls from Hulugan Falls, rent a tricycle to take you to Aliw Falls.


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5. Diving in Anilao, Batangas

If you haven’t already tried diving, well it’s high time that you do. There are available beginner courses that are packaged with your transport and accommodation.

If diving isn’t your thing, you may also opt to climb Mt. Gulugod Baboy, an easy climb for professionals (probably the climb of my life if that were me) or take a boat to Sombrero Island and make love with the sun while flaunting your brand new bikini!

How to get there/ Travel Time:

Board a bus Batangas City bound and get off at Bolbok. From there, take a jeep to Anilao (Mabini).


P1000 all inclusive

More infoAnilao Travel Guide

6. Surf Bagasbas, Daet, Camarines Norte

If you have more than just the weekend to spare, getting to Bagasbas, Daet may be a great idea for you. Just be sure to check surf forecast before heading there because of how far it is from Manila.

The surf in Daet is moderately strong but it can still be good for beginners given the right condition. Just keep in mind that you will be surfing alongside local surfers from Daet, so as always, be respectful of their turf.

How to get there/ Travel Time/ Expenses:

Take a bus bound for Daet, Camarines Norte (8 hours, P700) and get down at the town proper. Take a tricycle for P30 and ask to take you to Bagasbas beach which take around 15 minutes.

Surfing lessons – 400 / hour (surfboard and instructor)



Other weekend destinations few hours from Manila, here:


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Hi, I’m Sofia! A restless soul traipsing through life one (mis)adventure at a time or sometimes... well, multiple.