The Best Activities Near Manila to Fully Utilise Your Time in the Philippines

The Best Activities Near Manila to Fully Utilise Your Time in the Philippines

Most people who come to Manila choose to either explore the city itself or go out for a quick excursion in one the nearby, beautiful beach resorts near Manila.

While both options are certainly great, there’s also another option which should not be overlooked as well – exploring the many wonderful locations of Luzon island. 

Those of you who have more time to spare will do well to venture out of the city to discover the many surrounding sites.

The island of Luzon offers a perfect combination of nature, culture and heritage which is hard to find anywhere else in the Philippines. 


best activities near manila

The Best Activities Near Manila to Fully Utilise Your Time in the Philippines.



The Best Activities Near Manila to Fully Utilise Your Time in the Philippines

Some of the locations below can be seen as a day tour going out of Manila, while others require staying overnight.

Either way, once you finish reading this article, I assure you there’s no chance you’ll even consider skipping this part of the country when you visit.


1. Manila

The city is the perfect place to get yourself familiar with the local culture and way of life. For this, head to the National Museum, Quiapo Church, San Agustin Church and Museum, Fort Santiago and Manila Cathedral. All of these can be found inside or just near Intramuros – the old Spanish district.

You can admire the beauty of sunset beyond the horizons at the cruise-filled harbour or Manila Bay. Treat yourself to local delicacies at Chinatown and street food stalls at every nook. If you are someone who loves shopping, you could visit Divisoria’s Market and the Mall of Asia which is also nearby. 

All of these attractions can be easily done within a single day, as they are all very close to one another. This is a classic DIY tour, but it booking a guided tour of Manila will enhance the experience even further. 



Day trips in Manila

Get active in Manila. 



2. Tagaytay

One and a half hours away from Manila, Tagaytay is a hub of fun activities! Sky Ranch, overlooking the entire city, is unquestionably the first stop for you and your family here. If you are in for an adventure, you may take a trek along the Taal Volcano that encompasses a lake or ride a Zip-line that is 300 metres long! 

For art-lovers, the next step could be the Museo Orlina or the Glass Museum. For rejuvenation, head on to Nature Wellness Village or Qiwellness Living. Don’t forget to explore the Picnic Grove for the good old love of picnicking.


3. Batangas

It would be a sin for any adventure junkie to miss out on exploring scenic beauty in this destination that is one and a half hours away from Manila. You can go scuba-diving or island hopping in the serene waters.

Other water sports include jet-ski, banana boat riding and speed-boating. This is also the best choice for those looking for a beach near the city for a quick weekend getaway.



Paradise lives in Batangas.



4. Laguna

Rejuvenate and relax in the therapeutic hot-springs in Laguna that is at a distance of two and a half hours from Manila. You can travel to the city of seven lakes, San Pablo.

There are plenty of waterfalls, with Pagsanjan falls being the most famous ones. The botanical gardens and the underground cemetery are also a must. 


5. Subic and Anawangin cove

Subic Bay is 2 hours away from Manila and is considered a good place for families. It offers fantastic beach resorts overlooking a serene bay, as well as numerous child-friendly activities. Out of these, the most recommended are the Ocean Adventure, the Safari, and the inflatable island – the largest of its kind in Asia.

 For couples in search of romance and privacy, it is better to travel a bit further north and spend the night at Anawangin cove. It is one of the most beautiful and private beaches anywhere in the Philippines, and getting there is a wonderful experience in its own – hiking and climbing through the cliffs and jungles.


best activities near Manila

Have an adventure on the water in Subic.



6. Clark

Staying the night at Clark allows you to explore Mt. Pinatubo and Puning hot springs on the same day. Clark is just 2 hours from Manila and has an extremely wide selection of accommodation – anything from dorms to 5-star luxury hotels.

Mt.Pinatubo is a large and impressive active volcano. You need to get to the staying point of the tour around 6 AM, then ride a 4X4 vehicle, followed by a hike of nearly 2 hours.

It is well worth it though when you reach the crater itself and enjoy the stunning volcanic landscape and the breathtaking view. The nearby Puning hot springs and spa offer a much-needed relaxation after a long day of hiking. 


7. Banaue rice terraces

The famous rice terraces are not near manila per-se as they require a gruelling 8 hours drive to reach. Still, this is well worth it if you have the time, as the place is considered one of the most special and exciting locations in the whole country. This is the best destinations for those who want to learn about the local tribes of the Philippines.

It is possible to explore the rice terraces in a single day, but booking an overnight trek is much better. You will spend the night as a guest of a local family in a traditional village setting and there’s just no better way to truly experience the warmth and hospitality of the Filipino people.

All this while exploring a stunning UNESCO world heritage site – this is why stopping by Banaue is worth the long drive!



Banaue rice terraces.

Contact us
about Fair Dinkum Traveller
Travel features


Siquijor Itinerary – A Getaway on the Mystic Island of Fire in the Philippines

Siquijor Itinerary – A Getaway on the Mystic Island of Fire in the Philippines

When creating your Siquijor Itinerary things need to be planned for a mystical destination filled with paradise, potions and waterfalls!


The Island of Fire is one of the Philippines’ best-kept secrets! The exotic destination which is located in the Visayas region and is a quick boat ride away from Dumaguete.

Siquijor has much awe-inspiring nature: from tropical white-sand beaches, a coconut-tree lined coastline, fiery red sunsets, and incredible waterfalls, this Island is a must-visit for anyone who loves adventure or relaxation, peppered with some mysticism.

Why mysticism? Well, Siquijor has the reputation of being a land of enchantment, superstition, and witchcraft. Whether you believe it or not, is entirely up to you, but it’s been part of the local culture since ancient times, and it’s rather interesting to see bottles of potions sold in specific places around the Island.

Don’t let that bother you, why would it, many travellers from all over the globe have come to Siquijor Island to enjoy its beautiful beaches and a relaxing ambience.  


Are you seeking the ideal Siquijor Beach Resorts? Find your Ideal Accommodation at!



Siquijor Itinerary

Siquijor Itinerary – A Getaway on the Mystic Island of Fire in the Philippines.


Siquijor Itinerary – Holidaying on the Boutique Island of Fire in the Philippines


How Long should you prepare for your Siquijor Trip?

How long should you stay when preparing your Siquijor Itinerary? The ideal minimum of time to spend on the Island is around two nights.

Firstly, you’ll be spending around three hours of travel time on a boat getting here from Dumaguete to Siquijor, plus the thirty-or-so minutes involved travelling from the port to the centre – so you’re going to want to make the most out of your time on the Island away from the actual Siquijor travel time.

Three days and two nights are enough for lounging around and seeing the waterfalls. If you want to be extra adventurous, you could spend a day exploring the entire Island on a motorbike and seeing the Siquijor tourist spots.

Siquijor is a rather large island, so if you want to see more of its remote beaches, then you’re better off staying five days with some time to relax in-between.

That gives you a broad range of choices when preparing your Siquijor Itinerary.  


Check out awesome day tours in Siquijor with Klook and have an amazing day out!



The best Siquijor Transportation

Depending on the sights you intend to see, there are a few transport options available to you.

Hiring a tricycle is recommended if you don’t want to drive your motorbike. Tricycles can comfortably fit up to 3 people, and the drivers themselves can take you on tours, meaning there is no need to hire the services of a professional tour company.

Alternatively, you can also rent your motorbike, which is what many travellers prefer. It gives you the flexibility of going where you want when you want on your Siquijor tour.

Petrol stops are commonly found on the side of the road for whenever you need to fill up the gas without wasting too much of your travel schedule.  



Get around to wonderful natural attractions in Siquijor.


Where to Stay in Siquijor

Siquijor’s accommodation options run the gamut. There’s something for everyone: whether you’re a backpacker, luxury traveller seeking a fabulous Siquijor Resort, or somewhere in between.

One thing to make note of while planning, Siquijor hotels get booked out pretty fast; it’s always recommended to make reservations for your stay well before your targeted arrival dates.

Here are some great Siquijor hotels and Resorts to check out for every budget.


Budget price Accommodation:

Tori’s Backpackers Paradise: A Comfortable budget hotel with the basics, it also has WIFI and a restaurant on site.

Lazy Lizard: For cheap hotels in Siquijor, you’ll love LAzy Lizard. The hotel has a bar, garden, lounge and WIFI.

Aloha Seaside: There are great facilities at Aloha’s with a restaurant, tour desk, room service, outdoor pool and WIFI.

Island Casitas Siquijor: A glamping experience with the basics, it has WIFI, bar and gardens.  


Mid-Range Accommodation:

Charisma Beach Resort: A beautiful Siquijor Resort with all the essentials you need with a resort including a well-maintained bar.

Fun-Ta-Sea Resort: Splendid beachfront accommodation, what more could you ask for from a two-star resort.

Oceanview Beach Resort: More affordable resorts in Siquijor with this one having all the essentials needed for time in Paradise.

Islandia Beach resort: A stunning resort with private beach, come for awesome water sport activities.

Bermuda Triangle Bungalows: Luxury Bungalows that has a lovely terrace, gardens and satellite TV.  


High-End Accommodation:

White Villas: A superb three-star resort with a swimming pool, tour office and WIFI.

Salamangka Beach and Dive Resort: A stunning coastal resort that has all the features needed for a holiday in the tropics.

Infinity Heights Resort: An affordable beach resort in Siquijor that has wonderful features including bar, swimming pool and breakfast.

Adayo Cove Resort: Anther two-star resort that will feel like much more with wonderful features for your time in Siquijor.  


Beachside Resorts in Siquijor

You’ll find many Beach-side Resorts in Siquijor.


What to See in Siquijor?

For first-time visitors in Siquijor, you’ll want to see the Island’s main attractions:

Century-Old Balete Tree: In Lazi, Siquijor is a majestic 400-year-old Balete tree, shrouded in mystery and superstition. Many locals believe that spirits reside in the tree, and it certainly has an enchanting feel to it. Next to the tree is a small man-made pond where you can relax for a few minutes as fish nibble on your feet.

Cambugahay Falls: Not too far from the Balete tree is the famous Cambugahay Falls, easily the most popular Siquijor Island tourist attractions. The falls aren’t as high as others you may have seen in the past, but its emerald-green waters and cascades guarantee a refreshing afternoon away from the heat of the sun.

Getting to Cambugahay Falls requires a short downward trek, but worth it. Both kids and adults can also come to swing from a rope tied onto a tree here, for a small fee.  


Siquijor waterfalls

Cambugahay Falls.


San Juan Beach: Most tourist activity in Siquijor is centred on San Juan’s beaches, a white-sand coastline of turquoise seas where hotels are found right next to each other.

It’s the most popular choice for basing oneself since it puts you at an excellent location for quickly accessing accommodations, restaurants, and bars within walking distance.

Paliton Beach: There are many beaches to choose from in Siquijor, though Paliton Beach located in San Juan is among the most idyllic. Framed by coconut trees while powdery white sand caresses your feet, Paliton Beach is nothing short of a paradise for many.

Lugnason Falls: Lugnason Falls may be smaller than its counterpart Cambugahay, but it’s equally stunning and worth a visit. It’s an excellent stop for cooling down after a morning or afternoon spent at a Siquijor beach, and it’s also free to visit.

Insider’s tip: If you enjoy browsing public markets in exotic lands, a visit to the Siquijor Public Market is a must! It’s just a few kilometres away from the port, so be sure to stop by or ask your tricycle driver to take you.

The Siquijor Public Market sells fresh uni which you can enjoy straight out of the bottle with some soy sauce and wasabi (bring your own). Another favourite item to buy here is seaweed, locally known as lato.

This local seaweed is also fondly called “the grapes of the sea” because it features little grape-like nodules that pop seawater into your mouth with each bite.

It’s certainly a taste of the sea; best enjoyed with some freshly sliced red onions and tomatoes.



Siquijor tour Itinerary

A Siquijor tour Itinerary is not complete without a trip to the beach.


Where to Eat in Siquijor

With many foreign travellers and immigrants in Siquijor, you’re guaranteed an array of delicious international cuisines as well as local food.

It must be said that the Italian food on the Island is authentic, so if you want to enjoy a good pizza and pasta, head over to either Dolce Amore or Marco Polo.

For some healthy bites and vegan delights, great coffee, and brunch, Luca Loko is sure to please. They offer nutritious meals, including smoothie bowls, vegetarian meatballs, incredible squash gnocchi, and much more.

Baha Bar is far from a bar, though they do have an impressive wine and drink selection too. They specialize in traditional Filipino dishes created with a unique twist, and they also have a wide array of European and vegetarian dishes.

A visit to Siquijor wouldn’t be complete without sampling the local seafood. You might find that the best seafood you’ll have on the Island is from small, inconspicuous shacks by the sea.  


Siquijor travel

Fresh seafood anyone? Philippines style.


Enjoy the Siquijor Nightlife

When the sun goes down, the party starts in Siquijor. However, the nightlife here is much more laid back compared to other islands in the Philippines.

Monkey Business always has something fun going on, and it’s also a beautiful chilled-out place to hang out. Island Casitas is excellent for beachfront sunset lounging, and here the drinking often extends far into the night.

Other great places to go for nightlife on the Island include Sylvia’s on Saturday nights and Czar’s on Friday nights. If you prefer to concoct your own drinks and have a few at your hotel or beachfront area, a shop called Quicksilver offers a wide range of boozy supplies.  


Check out awesome day tours in Siquijor with Klook and have an amazing day out!



Siquijor Sunset

When the sun comes down, the Siquijor Nightlife begins.


Things to Keep in Mind on your Siquijor Tour

The best time to visit Siquijor is during the dry, summer months from November through May. You’ll have fewer chances of running into rainfall, and you’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful beaches during this period with ideal Siquijor weather to assist you in this time.

Major establishments accept credit cards, but you will need cash for paying for things such as tricycle and motorbike rentals, food in small restaurants, and the pharmacy.

There is an ATM located in Larena, but it’s far from reliable. Before you get to Siquijor, it’s best to bring cash along with you. There you have it, your Siquijor Itinerary! Everything you need to know for a fun-filled tropical getaway to the Island of fire.


You have checked out the thorough Siquijor Itinerary, how about checking out our Dumaguete Itinerary with this link, it’s only a ferry ride away!


Siquijor tour Itinerary

Prepare yourself with an amazing Siquijor Island Itinerary.

Travel Giveaway by TravelXena

Being healthy while travelling includes resting well. Enter to win this travel pillow, sleep mask & earplug set giveaway by doing the following
1) Go to @TravelXena1 on Instagram
2) Like the page
3) Like a post 
4) Tag a friend OR Share the photo on your Instagram feed. 

Rules of the Giveaway

Giveaway will run through July 1-31 2019 12:00 am – 11:59 pm ET. Must be 13+ to enter the giveaway. A winner will be chosen at random in August 2019. Winner will be chosen and announced on Social Media and on in August 2019.

This giveaway is not sponsored by DYD. This giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed, administered or affiliated with Instagram in any way and is released from any complications that could arise from this giveaway.

Full rules and details here:

Contact us
about Fair Dinkum Traveller
Travel features

Helpful Options for catching the Dumaguete to Siquijor Ferry – Philippines

Helpful Options for catching the Dumaguete to Siquijor Ferry – Philippines

Authored by Diane Wuthrich (Contributor)

When you are looking to catch a Dumaguete to Siquijor Ferry and spend some time on a beautiful Philippines island, below is a short guide to getting there!

Dumaguete is touted as the City of Gentle People, a terrific jump-off destination for travellers who wish to explore the stunning islands in and around the Visayas region of the Philippines.

For the Philippines is an archipelago, getting around by boat is one of the most efficient ways to go sightseeing in the country. Not only that, boat travel is cheap and efficient, meaning, there are no excuses while travelling to not take on a few island-hopping tours.

Speaking of islands, Siquijor is perhaps the most popular tourist destinations to visit by boat which needs inclusion to your Dumaguete itinerary.

There is plenty of reasons why too? This mystical island, also known as the Island of Fire (after its signature fiery red sunsets), is only a quick 40-minute boat ride away from the Dumaguete port.

Naturally, if you are not in a hurry, because you never should be when travelling to this beautiful country, there are slower options available too when you feel like taking things a little more relaxed and affordable.

Alas, here’s everything you need to know about the Dumaguete to Siquijor ferry options for when you’re thinking of taking a quick boat ride to a beautiful island.  


Are you visiting Siquijor in the Philippines anytime soon? Look for accommodation at!



Dumaguete to Siquijor Ferry

Catching the Dumaguete to Siquijor Ferry in the Philippines.



Helpful Options for catching the Dumaguete to Siquijor Ferry – the Philippines


Oceanjet Fast Craft

Oceanjet Fast Craft is the quickest and most comfortable boat to get your Siquijor Itinerary started.

With a travel time of only 40 minutes, the cosy, air-conditioned vessel will undoubtedly assist in making the Dumaguete to Siquijor travel schedule appear even faster.

Below is an OceanJet schedule departing Dumaguete daily:  

7:20 am
9:40 am
2:40 pm
5 pm  

One-way tickets from Dumaguete to Siquijor cost PHP$250!

Travellers can opt for the more affordable tourist class or the slightly pricier option of business class. If you want to get some fresh air, you can also spend a few minutes outside as the boat zooms across the seas at high speed.  


Enjoy a Dolphin Watching and Manjuyod Sandbar Tour with Klook!



Siquijor Sunset

Enjoy Siquijor and the stunning sunset to go with it.



Aleson Shipping Lines

Aleson Shipping Lines has eight daily trips on their Dumaguete to Siquijor ferry. Though the cruise boat isn’t airconditioned, it’s generally enjoyable as the sea breeze caresses your face.

You can bring a snack, some music to listen to, or read a book to help make the 1.5-hour journey pass by even quicker when you depart for your Siquijor tour. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to spot some dolphins during your brief trip!  

Aleson Shipping Lines’ schedule is as follows:

5:30 am
8:30 am
10 am
10:30 am
12:30 pm
3:30 pm
4:20 pm
6 pm

One-way tickets from Dumaguete to Siquijor cost PHP$120.    


Montenegro Shipping Lines

Montenegro Shipping Lines is a large ferry that also services the Dumaguete-Siquijor route. Though there isn’t any air-conditioning on this boat either, it is reasonably quick with around 1.5 hours of total travel time.

Montenegro Shipping Lines provides travellers with another set of departure times that may better suit your travel schedule needs when departing Dumaguete Port.  

Montenegro Shipping Lines departing times: 

7 am
10:30 am
2 pm

One-way tickets from Dumaguete to Siquijor cost PHP$130!

If you want to take your motorbike rental with you from Dumaguete to Siquijor on the ferry, the Montenegro Shipping Lines option is ideal because the ship is outfitted to have space for motorcycles and vehicles.  


Enjoy a Siquijor Cambugahay Falls and Heritage Day Trip with Klook!


Dumaguete Port

All boats depart from the Dumaguete City Sea Port, conveniently located at the end of the boulevard near Silliman University.

The port is equipped with seats where passengers can wait for boarding time, as well as a handful of shops selling food and refreshments.

ATMs are located outside, in case you need cash; this will come in handy since Siquijor’s ATMs rarely work, so you are better to be safe than sorry before boarding the ferry.

It’s also good to note that travelling on the Dumaguete to Siquijor ferry is best done with a backpack or duffel bag in hand. Travelling with large, heavy luggage proves to be inconvenient, therefore, be sure to plan ahead of time before setting off on your Siquijor tour itinerary.  


Are you visiting Siquijor in the Philippines anytime soon? Look for accommodation at!



Visit Dumaguete and have a holiday in paradise.

Travel Giveaway by TravelXena

Being healthy while travelling includes resting well. Enter to win this travel pillow, sleep mask & earplug set giveaway by doing the following
1) Go to @TravelXena1 on Instagram
2) Like the page
3) Like a post 
4) Tag a friend OR Share the photo on your Instagram feed. 

Rules of the Giveaway

Giveaway will run through July 1-31 2019 12:00 am – 11:59 pm ET. Must be 13+ to enter the giveaway. A winner will be chosen at random in August 2019. Winner will be chosen and announced on Social Media and on in August 2019.

This giveaway is not sponsored by DYD. This giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed, administered or affiliated with Instagram in any way and is released from any complications that could arise from this giveaway.

Full rules and details here:

Contact us
about Fair Dinkum Traveller
Travel features


An Extensive Guide To Prepare for your Dumaguete Itinerary – Philippines

An Extensive Guide To Prepare for your Dumaguete Itinerary – Philippines

Dumaguete City, a 3,362-hectare seaside town and capital of Negros Oriental in the Philippines, is one of the most surprising tourist destinations in the country. Also known as the “Land of Gentle People”, this beautiful destination has only recently caught the attention of international travellers who are now busy preparing a Dumaguete Itinerary.

However, Dumaguete Philippines has long been known as the number one destination for retirement in the Philippines, thanks to its low cost of living, excellent quality of life, friendly people, an absence of big-city traffic, and great food to name a few.

Dumaguete and its nearby towns have also attracted divers from all over the globe who come to enjoy world-class dive sites not far from the city. Dumaguete is recognised for being a top university town where students from other parts of the country and the world come for affordable yet good-quality education.



Witness the breathtaking scenery in Dumaguete.


Over the last few years, intrepid travellers and outdoor enthusiasts began trickling into the city, lured by unique travel experiences that no other place in the Philippines can offer. It’s hard to describe what makes Dumaguete tourism stand out; it means something different to everyone who has fallen in love with this city.

It’s no surprise that a Dumaguete trip is slowly becoming a top off-the-beaten-track destination for local and foreign tourists – many of whom have become so enamoured by the city’s charm and laid-back vibe that they have decided to stay for good.

Despite gaining popularity as a tourist destination, Dumaguete is void of mass-tourism. Also, while it’s a progressive city, there are no skyscrapers nor are there too many hotels, yet the best places to visit in Dumaguete are only a few minutes away.

With so much to do and see, where do you start during your trip? Well, let this Dumaguete travel guide take you the rest of the way in inside the incredible Philippines destination. 


Check out this fantastic Heritage tour in Dumaguete with Klook and save heaps!


Dumaguete attractions

Your Dumaguete Itinerary will include the gorgeous beaches a little out of town.



Dumaguete Itinerary – A Guide to the Popular Philippines Destination


Where to Stay in Dumaguete

Dumaguete hotels run the gamut. Generally speaking, everything on this island is affordable compared to other destinations in the Philippines.

The most famous luxury hotel here is Atmosphere Resorts, which is a dive resort in Dauin. It’s renowned for a reason: it’s beachfront, has a world-class spa, critically-acclaimed facilities, and a beautiful pool.

The best mid-range hotels in Dumaguete City include Hassaram Courtyard, La Residencia, and the Bricks Hotel. For those on a budget, check out Flying Fish Hostel, Gabby’s Bed and Breakfast, and Hotel Essencia.


Looking for short time Hotels in Dumaguete? Find incredible rates at!


cheap accommodation in Dumaguete city.

Find cheap accommodation in Dumaguete city.


Historical and Cultural Tourist Attractions in Dumaguete City

Dumaguete has a rich, colourful history spanning centuries and gets its name from “dagit” a Cebuano word that translates to “snatch”. Dumaguete, or swoop, became apt as a name long ago since Moro pirates would frequently raid the coastal town.

Here are some of the prominent historical and cultural places to go in Dumaguete:

Rizal Boulevard: Named after the Philippines’ national hero, Dr Jose Rizal, the Rizal Boulevard is the most distinct and iconic attraction in the city. It’s a vast stretch of road by the sea, framed by swaying coconut and majestic acacia trees. The locals sure love the boulevard; by dusk, it’s buzzing with activity as people come to watch the sunset or enjoy a bite to eat while taking in the breeze.

Silliman University: Silliman University is what placed Dumaguete city on the map. It was established in 1901 by American protestant missionaries, and today is a top school in the Philippines. The campus grounds are beautiful and have lots to offer a traveller: the school’s elegant yet old architecture is gorgeous, while the museums feature exciting exhibits.

Bell Tower: Another iconic landmark, the Dumaguete Bell Tower was built in 1811 as a means of warning the locals when pirates were approaching. It is also the oldest belfry in the Visayas region of the Philippines.

Aside from these exciting historical and cultural attractions that appear in every Dumaguete tourist spot, many of the city’s streets feature homes, buildings, and other establishments that remain relatively unchanged. That’s why it feels like you’re taking a step back in time when visiting certain areas, and that’s one of the many fantastic things about this place.


places to see in Dumaguete

The Bell Tower in Dumaguete.


Dumaguete Sightseeing

If you want to make the most of your Dumaguete itinerary, it’s best that you have at least three days and two nights. The city itself, as well as numerous nearby destinations, have a lot to offer without requiring you to travel more than an hour.

Twin Lakes of Balinsasayao: A significant tourist attraction in Dumaguete, the Twin Lakes of Balinsasayao and Danao are two natural bodies of water perched on top of lush forest-covered mountains. Considering how popular it is as a tourist attraction, it has remained pristine and untouched all these years.

Manjuyod Sandbar: Touted as the “Maldives of the Philippines”, the Manjuyod Sandbar off Bais boasts of a white sandbar through the middle of the ocean. Although Philippine beaches have many sandbars, the qualities of this are unique primarily because of its proximity to land and the colours of the sand as well as water. You can find great day tours with Klook to Manjuyod Sandbar.

Pulang Bato Falls: Located in Valencia Dumaguete, Pulang Bato Falls, appropriately named after its rustic, orange-red stones from which a majestic set of falls flow through. There are small cafes and picnic sites nearby, and it makes for a pleasant afternoon trip, especially if you want a respite from the tropical heat.

Casaroro Falls: A real Negros Oriental gem, Casaroro Falls is a breathtaking natural attraction. You’ll need to go through a challenging hike over boulders and rocks, but it will be worth it. The cascades are jaw-dropping.

Forest Camp: Forest Camp in Valencia is one of the beautiful places to visit in Dumaguete for family travel in the Philippines. It features swimming pools, forests, valleys, a camping area, wall climbing, and a zip line.

Siquijor: The Island of Fire is a tropical paradise just a 40-minute boat ride away from Dumaguete. Though it’s possible to take the first boat in and the last ship out to spend the day in Siquijor, the best way to experience its stunning white sand beaches, fiery sunsets, and the mystical superstition that surround it is by staying at least one night. Find great tours in Siquijor with Klook with this link.

Dauin: A haven for underwater photographers and divers, Dauin and its nearby reefs are abundant with rare marine life, many of which are not found anywhere else in the world. From the Dauin resorts’ house reef to the turtle sanctuary located in Apo Island, there’s more than enough underwater excitement to fill up several days of your itinerary here.

The entire coastline of Dauin is one dive resort after another, so whether you want ultra-luxurious or an affordable stay, you can have your dream dive holiday your way.


Dumaguete tourist spot

The Manjuyod Sandbar in Dumaguete.


Dumaguete transportation available to the tourist

The main form of transportation in Dumaguete City is the tricycle, which is a lot like Bangkok’s famous tuk-tuk. The fare starts at just AUD 0.27 for nearby destinations within the city, though it can get more expensive the further you go.

Adventurous and skilled travellers prefer to hire a motorbike for the day. If you have a license and know how to drive a motorcycle well, then it’s advisable to do so. Dumaguete is mostly a motor-run city, sharing the roads with tricycles. However, driving a motorbike allows you to get to the outskirts and many other destinations out of town with ease. Just make sure always to wear your helmet.

If you’re travelling with a group and intend on seeing many sites outside the Dumaguete travel guide, then you should consider renting a vehicle. These are generally affordable and provide you and your group with a much more comfortable way of getting around. Dumaguete’s roads are well-paved and maintained, and traffic isn’t a problem.

Alternatively, you can also book a tour, hassle-free with the many travel agencies found throughout town. It’s the preferred way of sightseeing for many travellers, especially those who want to sit back and relax while a friendly tour guide takes the lead.


Dumaguete transportation

Motorcycles are the best way around Dumaguete, but hire one if you know what you’re doing.


Where to Eat in Dumaguete

The diverse array of cheap and delicious restaurants in Dumaguete City also make it a top foodie destination. A large expat population means that you’ve got access to authentic European food in delis and restaurants, but the local cuisine is compulsory eating.

Here are some culinary experiences you shouldn’t miss while you are preparing your Dumaguete Itinerary

Painitan: The painitan of Dumaguete, which translates to “a place to go to warm up”, is as authentic and traditional as you’ll get to local eats. It’s the furthest thing from a restaurant, though; in fact, it’s just an outside portion of the public market.

However, the superstar here is the suman budbud, or budbud kabog; both are varieties of rice snacks, sometimes with a bit of cacao mixed into it and wrapped in greasy banana leaves. Ask for a cup of hot cocoa and some sweet mangoes on the side, and you’ve got yourself the ultimate Dumaguete snack.

Sans Rival Bistro: If I could say that Dumaguete travel could do just ONE thing well (though that would be a lie because they do many things brilliantly!), then it would be their sweets. Trust me; this city knows their desserts. Can you blame them? Negros Oriental and its neighbour Negros Occidental were pioneers of the sugar industry eons ago.

Remnants of this fact are still very much evident in the abundance of dessert shops throughout town. However, among them, only one is king, and that is the Sans Rival Bistro.

They are responsible for inventing the famous buttery, sugary delight that is the Silvanas cookie, and its cake counterpart, the Sans Rival. Sans Rival Bistro is an old ancestral home-turned-restaurant, once home to the lady who invented these sugary treats long ago. It’s also conveniently located right at the heart of Rizal Boulevard, so come in the afternoon for a coffee and cake.

They also offer a wide array of savoury dishes including salads, soups, and portions of pasta; every single item on their menu is delicious.   (Tip: after eating at Sans Rival Bistro, pass by their dessert shop attached to the restaurant. It’s where you can get the Silvanas for takeaway and don’t be surprised if the lines are long. Yes, it’s a cult-worthy dessert that you’ll understand, after you’ve sunk your teeth into it.

Hayahay Treehouse Bar: If you love seafood, don’t miss out on Hayahay Treehouse Bar. At night it comes alive with pumping dance or reggae music, but from lunchtime onwards it’s an excellent seafood dining joint.

A coastal town like Dumaguete would naturally have lots of seafood to offer, and this is one of the best places to get it fresh. The restaurant even has several aquariums where you can choose your fish and ask them to cook it for you the way you want. Otherwise, you can select from what’s already in the menu.

There’s just so much to talk about concerning the food scene in Dumaguete. Maybe we’ll leave that for another article entirely. Only trust me when I say that you should come with an appetite.


best food in Dumaguete City

Indulge in the best food in Dumaguete City.


Where to go in Dumaguete for Shopping

Dumaguete surprisingly has lots of great buys considering it’s a province with lots of little-known discount shops at really affordable prices.

For the best shopping in the Philippines, many will tell you to visit big cities such as Manila or Cebu. Now if you like a grand bargain, you’re in for a real treat in Dumaguete. Thrift shopping is enormous here, with large markets found in certain areas in the city. An authentic Roxy backpack for AUD $1? Yes, those are some of the great finds you can expect here when having a Dumaguete food trip.

For other kinds of bargains, head over to Lee Plaza. A famous department store in the central part of town, you will be shocked at just how cheap clothes, furniture, and other handmade goods are here. That doesn’t mean they aren’t of quality artistry. You’ll be surprised at the many cheap finds here.

For all other needs, you can visit Robinson’s Place Dumaguete. This chain of shopping malls is well-known in the Philippines, so you’ll find what you need here.

For souvenir shopping in Dumaguete, look no further than Subida Souvenirs and Handumanan, you are bound to find a great bargain or ten.


There you have it, a rundown on the Dumaguete tourist spot that has many incredible things to see and do when seeking that brilliant Philippines holiday.


Dumaguete travel guide

Purchase a souvenir of your time in Dumaguete.

Contact us
about Fair Dinkum Traveller
Travel features

Best Beach Resorts Near Manila You Must Visit in the Philippines

Best Beach Resorts Near Manila You Must Visit in the Philippines

When you visit the Philippines Capital, you may want to spread your wings to paradise by visiting these best Beach Resorts near Manila.


Manila has plenty to offer any traveller who appreciates beautiful cities, a rich history, excellent dining choices and a world-class nightlife. It’s one of the perks of a visit to the Philippines Islands.

However, if you need a dose of vitamin sea, you may not find it in the city and a Beach Resort near Manila may suffice.

The good news is that some stunning beaches near Manila are just around three to four hours away from the big city and these fab Manila Beach Hotels by the sea are perfect for visitors who may not have the luxury of time and need only a short stay in style.

With that being said, whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway near Manila, an active holiday, or need some R&R, here is a list of the best beach resort near Manila that you can’t go wrong with on your holiday in the Philippines.


Find your resorts close to Manila with and save big!


best beach resorts near Manila

The Best Beach Resorts near Manila. Picture provided by Acuatico.


Best Beach Resorts Near Manila You Must Visit in the Philippines



1. Cala Laiya Beach Resort

Tucked into a pristine cove just 2.5 hours south of Manila, Cala Laiya is a brand-new beach resort that’s been open since early 2018. Despite its infancy, Cala Laiya is already regarded by many as the best resort in Batangas, and it’s no surprise at why.

Cala Laiya has got not one, but TWO gorgeous swimming pools by the beach, premium amenities, thoughtful touches and a unique accommodation design that you can’t find anywhere else along the pristine Batangas Beach.

Whether you’re at the resort to master the art of doing nothing or want to keep it active, Cala Laiya has something for everyone. You can explore the nearby white sandy beaches and coves by taking a boat tour or renting the kayaks and stand-up paddleboards.

You can also make your friends back home green with envy by posting images from your super Instagrammable beachfront cabanas. The food is one of the best in the area and doesn’t forget to ask for the catch of the day.

Book your holiday with Cala Laiya Beach Resort with!


Manila resort

Cala Laiya Resort – Philippines Resort.



2. Mangrove Resort Hotel

Located in Zambales, Mangrove Resort Hotel has spectacular views of the sea and mountains, making it one of the most picturesque swimming pool resorts near Manila, which invites you to come and laze the day away as you take in the scenery while enjoying a dip in the pool with a cocktail in hand.

Situated along Baloy Long Beach, Mangrove Resort Hotel has facilities ideal for families and couples around the beach area and some of those activities include jet skis, kayaking, paddle boarding, and banana boats.

The contemporary room designs are ultra-cosy, but the best way to make the most out of your time at the resort is to be outdoors by feasting on delicious meals at the al fresco restaurant or get a relaxing massage in the shade.

Best of all, while you might be paying for an affordable beach resort near Manila, the amenities are elegant and luxurious.

Additionally, Mangrove Beach Resort is easily accessible via public transportation; take the Victory Liner bus from Manila, it’ll come in handy for visitors who don’t have private transportation.


Book your holiday with Mangrove Resort Hotel with Agoda!


best resorts near manila

Mangrove Resort Hotel.



3. Crystal Beach Resort

If you enjoy surfing, you can’t go wrong with Crystal Beach Resort.  This affordable Manila Reosrt is renowned for having some of the best surf breaks in the Philippines right by the rustic hotel.

Newbie surfers can also take lessons at this quality resort under the instruction of expert surfers from the Quiksilver School Academy.

Crystal Beach Resort also offers several exciting activities to enjoy within the premises, including island tours, waterfall trekking, beach volleyball, Frisbee, bonfires, billiards, darts, ping-pong, and basketball to name a few activities of interest. When all those activities have you feeling worn out, book a massage in your room for an hour or two of pampering.

One of the distinct elements of this resort is the pretty pine trees, which dot the 8-hectare property. It’s a sight to behold, particularly during sunsets which will be favourite pastime at this stunning Manila Beach resort.

This resort is one of the most budget-friendly choices of a beach resort in Manila area, but accommodations are enormous on comfort; also, there are plenty of options for recreation, sports, and activities if you wish to keep active.

If you’d like more rugged accommodation choices to enjoy the breathtaking nature of Crystal Beach Resort, camping is highly recommended.

You don’t have time for an overnight stay? No problem: Crystal Beach Resort makes for a fun-filled day trip beach near Manila, and for an inexpensive package you can spend the day in the beachfront huts.


Book your stay in Paradise at Crystal beach resort with Agoda!


Crystal Beach Resort

Crystal Beach Resort.



4. Aiyanar Beach and Dive Resort

Visitors looking for a white beach in Batangas that also has world-class diving should check out Aiyanar Beach and Dive Resort.

It’s conveniently located in Anilao, which is recognised as a top diving destination in the Philippines, where you’ll be assured of seeing the Philippines’ most vibrant marine life.

Whether you are a diver or not, the hotel itself has many things to appreciate. From its stylish design, mountain and ocean views, thoughtfully furnished rooms and quality amenities, Aiyanar Beach and Dive Resort is highly recommended romantic getaway near Manila.

You’ll also love the sports facilities including volleyball, football, table tennis, badminton, and a range of water sports. If you feel like having a lazy day, the pool area is top-notch! At the end of a long, active day, you’ll be guaranteed peaceful slumber with their high thread count sheets.


Book a diving holiday at Aiyanar Beach and Dive Resort with Agoda!


Manila beach Resort

Aiyanar Beach and Dive Resort.



5. Acuatico Beach Resort

For the ultimate in luxury beach resorts near Manila, check out Acuatico Beach Resort. This award-winning resort near Manila combines luxurious Balinese-style villa accommodations with pristine beaches and nature.

The highlight of Acuatico Beach Resort is no doubt its magnificent infinity pool, which is too tempting to resist with its sparkling blue waters and breathtaking views.

That’s not all to this exquisite luxury resort; there is a complete range of amenities to ensure a cozy, leisurely stay and fun activities which include water sports, a sauna, spa, outdoor Jacuzzi, kids’ pool, and a gift shop to name a few of the favourite things to do.

Their on-site restaurant specialises in delicious Italian fare, perfect, after a long day under the sun.

Acuatico Beach Resort is an excellent choice if you want some pampering for a short and sweet day trip.

The packages include use of the outdoor cabana, resort facilities, and meals. If you wish to indulge for a night or more, or just come to chill out for a few hours with the ultimate day trip near Manila, this beachfront hotel is an excellent choice.


Book your holiday at Acuatico Beach Resort with Agoda!


These magnificent hotels prove that you don’t have to book a flight out of Manila to recharge the batteries, for any of these best beach resorts near Manila Philippines will have you relaxing in the perfect paradise in no time.

What are you waiting for? Get packing for your trip right now and stay in the best Philipinnes Reosrts!


resorts near Manila

Acuatico Beach Resort is one of the most beautiful resorts near Manila. Picture provided by Acuatico.

Contact us
about Fair Dinkum Traveller
Travel features


Child Friendly Travel Destinations in Philippines for Family Travel

Child Friendly Travel Destinations in Philippines for Family Travel

Any parents planning a Philippines tour with children will be thrilled at all the great kid-friendly destinations.

Since the Philippines is an archipelago with over 7,000 islands to explore, you’ll find many beautiful beaches where kids and adults can spend days frolicking under the sun and having a good old time.

You’re also never too far from a quaint provincial town or historical Philippines attractions, where the people are known worldwide to be some of the friendliest you’ll ever encounter.

Philippine beach holidays ensure memorable vacations with your kids and the best time to visit is from February to May when the sun is out. Although hot climates are a regular occurrence, a holiday in the Philippines is ideal all year round.

Whether you’re into historical or beach destinations, check out the best child-friendly travel destinations in the Philippines for family travel.


Find the Ultimate Philippines resort for the whole family with!


Magnificent Philippines destination

Child Friendly Travel Destinations in Philippines for Family Travel.



Child-Friendly Travel Destinations in the Philippines for family travel


Below are a few suggestions of fabulous child-friendly destinations in the Southeast Asian Country you may want to add to your Philippines Itinerary; you’re sure to find family-friendly locations in paradise.



Famous for the breathtaking sight of the Taal Volcano, Tagaytay is a great place for the best family holidays. Come to enjoy cool weather while taking respite from the city life.

There are tons of kid-friendly attractions in Tagaytay, such as the Sky Ranch and Puzzle Mansion, where the entire family can gather for hours of fun during your Philippines vacation. Several family-friendly resorts can be found here, too, with cosy rooms and relaxing amenities for everyone to enjoy.

Find the Ultimate Philippines family holiday packages at Tagaytay with!



Fun on the ferris wheel for great views of Tagaytay.




Bohol has long been a top destination for Philippines beach holidays. It boasts stunning white sand beaches, incredible wildlife, and an array of natural attractions.

You won’t run out of things to do in Bohol with kids from the world-famous Chocolate Hills, tarsier sanctuary, Loboc river cruise, and the bamboo forest.

You might even get lucky and see a dolphin when you head out for an island-hopping Philippines tour! If you’re looking for a combination of beach and nature, Bohol has something to offer everyone, from the little ones to the big ones.


child friendly travel destinations in Philippines

Relax on the sands of the beach in Bohol


Puerto Princesa

Puerto Princesa in Palawan is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Subterranean River National Park (also known as the Underground River), making it the ideal spot for holidays in the Philippines.

Let the kids marvel at this natural attraction which features jaw-dropping limestone karsts and a unique mountain-to-sea ecosystem home to important forests and marine biodiversity.

A day tour to the Underground River promises hours of inspiring moments. A Honda Bay day trip is also great fun; this is where you can visit many of the nearby islands and beaches, and the kids can go snorkelling for a peek at their sea friends in the water.



Although it has gained a reputation for being the Ibiza of the Philippines for its nightlife, that doesn’t mean that Boracay is strictly fun for adults. It is the number-1 one beach destination for Philippines family holiday packages.

Kids can spend their days doing a plethora of water sports right at your doorstep: paddleboarding, helmet diving, banana boat rides, island hopping, parasailing, and skimboarding, to name a few.

Athletic older kids might want to take their first diving or kiteboarding lessons during their time in Boracay, giving kids of all ages fun during their Philippines islands holiday.

Meanwhile, parents can sit back and relax at one of the many chic tropical resorts found all over this gorgeous island of Boracay.

Find Awesome hotel prices in Boracay at!


Boracay itinerary

Enjoy the picturesque beauty of Boracay.


Subic Bay

Subic Bay Freeport Zone, also known as the Philippines’ first free port and once a naval base for the US military, is a well-loved beach getaway. Subic is just a scenic three to four-hour drive away if you’ve already booked a holiday in Manila.

There are picturesque commercial areas next door to gorgeous beaches, adventure parks, duty-free shopping, and lush forests for all to enjoy.

Subic Bay is also where you’ll find Ocean Adventure, the only open-sea marine park in the Philippines. Ocean Adventure invites kids to come close to dolphins for an unforgettable time.

Other kid-friendly activities in Subic include the Pamulaklakin Forest Eco-Trail, Zoobic Safari, and the ever-exciting Subic Treetop Adventure.



The Queen City of the South boasts an incredibly diverse range of activities and attractions for the perfect trip to the Philippines. There are several ways you can enjoy a trip to Cebu – you can base yourself in the city, visit one of the nearby white-sand islands, or do both!

Cebu is renowned for spectacular diving, so if your kids love spending time in the water, this destination is perfect. Mactan is just a few minutes away from the city centre, perfect for a day beach and diving trip.

Further out, you’ve got Malapascua, Pescador, and Kansantik for ideal diving spots. Otherwise, if tranquil beach holidays are preferred, you can take a bus or ferry from the city to excellent tropical islands around Cebu, such as Bantayan, Moalboal, Malapascua, Badian, Alcoy, and the Camotes Islands and enjoy your holidays in the Philippines Islands.

Cebu City also has dozens of kid-friendly sites to visit and is rich in culture and history! Drop by the Taoist Temple, University of San Carlos Museum, and Magellan’s Cross to enhance your Philippines family holiday.

Find the best resorts in the Philippines at Cebu with!



Enjoy the white sands of Cebu and escape city life.



Zambales is a few hours away from Manila, ideal for fun and cheap family holidays by the sea.

Zambales is known for excellent camping spots, particularly Nagsasa Cove, Anawangin Beach and Capones Island.

If you’d like to teach your kids the basics and enjoyment of camping, Zambales is the perfect Philippine destination vacation to do so. Camping by the beach, bonfire, rustic fun and gorgeous surroundings will make this a memorable trip for the entire family.



Zambales is a must to visit and quite close to Manila.



The City of Pines is situated over 1,500 meters above sea level in northern Luzon. Baguio promises cool weather all year round, and most of its terrain is blanketed in pine trees.

When locals need to get away from the heat during the summer months in the Philippines, everyone heads up to Baguio for cosy temperatures and jacket weather.

Temperatures can drop as low as below 10 degrees Celsius from December to February. With those ideal conditions, you can be assured that the kids will enjoy the outdoors even more during their Philippines travel.

Families can explore the fascinating mountain culture, Indigenous tribe heritage sites, and a thriving art scene. For the young ones, there’s strawberry picking, horseback riding, and several beautiful museums to make your trip to the Philippines one of education and adventure.

These Child-Friendly Travel Destinations in the Philippines are the cream of the crop for travelling with kids. They’re also affordable, but you can also find Luxury Hotels in all these places.

So go on, get out there and make your vacation to the Philippines the best family trip you’ll ever have.


Search for great rats in Baguio Hotel rooms with



Take in the street art of Baguio.

Contact us
about Fair Dinkum Traveller
Travel features

James Bond Island

Subscribe To Our Monthly Newsletter

Subscribe to Fair Dinkum Traveller to receive our free monthly newsletter and to be in the running for future giveaways.

You have Successfully Subscribed!