While most travelers hit the Manila airport and jump directly on another plane to one of the tourist islands, not many choose the Luzon roads less traveled- but they should. Once you make your way outside of the bustling city of Manila and head to the coast, you’ll find an unexpected world of full of small villages, serene beaches, unexplored jungles, and a handful of islands most travelers have never even heard of. Pepper amongst the natural beauty of Luzon are memorials, museums, and culture throwbacks to the rich history of the Philippines.

1. Batad Rice Terraces

A visit to Batad will be a completely opposite experience to your visit to Manila. Instead of crowded streets and towering skyscrapers, you can expect green rice terraces set in a village with a population that only manages to reach about 1,500 people.

Take a morning hike up the hills and look down into a tapered valley with immaculately designed rice terraces glowing with green vegetation as far as you can see. There are quaint wooden houses scattered around these terraces where the farmers and their families live.

While you’re here, you can stay with a family for a homestay opportunity and hike to a nearby waterfall with a friendly guide. See a side of the Philippines through the eyes of the people who life and thrive here.

2. Ta’al Volcano in Tagaytay City

Just three hours away from Manila is the wondrous city of Tagaytay, home to Ta’al Volcano.

This active volcano has experienced over 30 eruptions in recent history and still puffs out smoke to this day. But that isn’t actually what makes Ta’al so unique.

From the naked eye, you can see that Ta’al Volcano sits in the middle of a lake. Pretty cool. But look a little closer at the mouth of Ta’al Volcano and you’ll see that the mouth holds a lake, as well. Look even closer and you’ll see that the lake inside of the volcano’s mouth has yet another island.

3. Swimming in Pagupud

From Manila, you can reach the northern Luzon town of Pagupud by either flying into Laoag City airport or taking a 12-hour over night bus.

When you reach Pagupud, there will be lots of pristine swimming opportunities waiting to greet you! One of the most beautiful beaches in the area is Maira-ira Beach. This beach is home to the popular Blue Lagoon where turquoise water and shallow depths make for the perfect way to spend the day.

You’ll find plenty of cute little restaurants along the beach that offer a variety of fare and plenty of cold beer.

4. Explore Mt. Mayon in Legazpi

Mayon Volcano National Park is a breathtaking experience full of adventure and exploration.

There are many ways to get up close and personal with Mt. Mayon including a hike around it’s base with bright green plains, rice fields, clean creeks, and rushing rivers. There are tons of trails to hike with varying levels of difficulty and observation decks that give you amazing views of the surrounding valley.

For a more heart-pounding adventure, sign up for an ATV tour or a mountain biking tour with guides who know where to find the best views.

You can also climb up nearby Lignon Hill Nature Park where you can take a 320-meter zip line down with incredible views of the mountain by your side.

According to thecrazytourist.com