Visit Southern Luzon, Philippines
The Hidden Valley near Alaminos, south of Manila, is set in the crater of an extinct volcano.
In these tranquil wooded surroundings are five basins of natural spring water which make for good swimming.
Close by, Villa Escuedero is a colonial coconut plantation converted into fine accommodation. Carabao-drawn cart rides, native folk music entertainment and bamboo rafting are on offer, but the highlight is usually lunch by the Lebasin Falls where the tables are set in the river shallows, so your feet are cooled by the running water while you eat.
General McArthur’s headquarters
Corregidor Island in Subic Bay became the last bastion of American resistance during the Japanese invasion of Luzon in 1941 and is reached on a fast ferry from Manila. One of the highlights of a visit here is the sound and light show which takes place in the Malinta Tunnel. Also on the island you can visit General McArthur’s headquarters, the mile-long barracks, the gun battalions and the Spanish lighthouse which offers good views over Manila Bay.
Landscape and scenery
The southern region of the Philippines' main island has a volcanic and mountainous landscape, and Pagsanjan has long been a popular day trip from Manila. About two hours outside the city, the magnificent Magdapio Falls can be combined with a white knuckle ride along the rapids, while nearby Taal volcano has a reputation as one of the world’s smallest yet most active volcanoes with frequent rumbles to be heard emitting from the 47 craters and 35 volcanic cones. A visit to the viewing deck in Tagaytay is only a half-day trip from Manila although it is also possible to trek up to the mouth of the volcano, situated in the middle of Taal Lake.
An option for the even more adventurous is a visit to Mount Pinatubo with its striking landscape of canyons and pinnacles. This is an overnight trip, traveling by four wheel drive vehicle to the Clarke Air Base and hiking up to the craters, one filled with striking blue sulphurite water.
Map of Southern Luzon
Places & hotels on the map
Photos of Southern Luzon
Accommodation choices for Southern Luzon
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Southern Luzon. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.
Taal Vista is built on the edge of a ridge and has a view deck that overlooks the lake and the volcano. Its rooms also have views of the lake.
Ideas for experiencing Southern Luzon
Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Southern Luzon, and which use the best local guides.
This full day tour at the Pagsanjan Falls, includes the option to take a the option to take a bamboo raft ride to experience the falls up close. A buffet lunch is provided during the day.
Taal is known as a heritage area because of its numerous ancestral homes, which date back to the Spanish and American periods in the 19th and early 20th centuries.