Popular Summer Destinations in the Philippines to Add to Your Travel Bucket List
Summer. It’s once again that time of the year when the weather is the hottest in the Philippines. As students who just finished their final exams and workers who badly needed a break from their tedious jobs, there’s nothing else you would want to do than escape the sweltering summer heat and move to some cool place where you can relax and recharge. Here are some of the popular summer destinations in the Philippines you should visit this season.
Top 10 Popular Summer Destinations in the Philippines
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1. Baguio City, Benguet
There’s a good reason Baguio City is called the Summer Capital of the Philippines. During summer, while the rest of the country is experiencing hot weather, Baguio City is an exemption, enjoying cool weather throughout the year. The city also has several tourist attractions and is just a few hours away from Manila. It is for these reasons that local and foreign tourists flock to the city during hot summer days.
How to get there: there’s no airport in Baguio City, but you can ride a bus from Metro Manila. Go to the bus terminal in Cubao, Pasay, or Sampaloc, then catch a bus bound for Baguio City (Victory Liner/Genesis). Bus fare is ₱450 with 6 hours travel time.
2. Balamban, Cebu
Balamban town in Cebu is another one of the fastest-rising and most popular summer destinations in the Philippines with its cool mountain climate. The town has a lot more to offer than being the shipbuilding capital of the country. Among the must-visit tourist sites in Balamban is Mt. Manungal, the crash site of the plane carrying the former president Ramon Magsaysay, mountainside springs, and Adventure Cafe where a zip-line adventure is available. So if you want a quick getaway from the busy city life, this highland part of Cebu is the perfect spot.
How to get there: from Ayala Center Terminal, you can ride a van bound for Balamban. Travel time is only 45 minutes to one hour, depending on how heavy the traffic is while fare is at ₱110 to ₱120.
3. Banaue, Ifugao
Banaue is the home of the famous thousand-year-old amazing agricultural masterpiece, the Rice Terraces. This makes Banaue not only home to one of the most popular summer destinations in the Philippines but also home to one of the country’s cultural icons. In addition to this natural wonder that exists only in this part of the world, there are also marvelous waterfalls and unique tribal villages in the cool mountainsides in the province.
How to get to there: you have two entry options, depending on where your starting point is. One is through Baguio City and the other way is through Manila, where you can book direct trips from the bus terminals located in Sampaloc and Lacson Avenue. Most buses leave at night an the bus fare is around ₱450 to ₱500.
4. Itbayat, Batanes
Batanes is the northernmost island in the Philippines, just a few distance away from the equator. It is for this reason that Batanes has a unique climate compared to the rest of the country, having four seasons—one of the main reasons the place has always secured a spot on lists of popular summer destinations in the Philippines.
During its winter season, which is from November to February, is the best time to go there. Though the place is expensive to visit, it’s totally one of the best spots for adventurers and deserves to be among the popular summer destinations in the Philippines. Go hiking; visit unspoiled beaches; see breathtaking views from the Rolling Hills, Marlboro Country, the Y’ami; visit interesting stone houses; and meet tourist-friendly locals.
How to get there: there are two ways to get there: by boat from Basco Port or by plane from Basco Airport. Travel time by boat is three to four hours at ₱450 per person, while plane travel from Manila to Basco takes an hour and a half at more or less ₱5,000 per person.
5. Kidapawan City, North Cotabato
Many beautiful and popular summer destinations in the Philippines are found in Mindanao. Kidapawan City, for instance, a province of North Cotabato is the home of the country’s tallest mountain, the splendid Mt. Apo. Moreover, Kidapawan is not called the Spring in Highland for nothing. It boasts several beautiful lakes, falls, hot, and cold springs perfect for summer season’s cool climate.
How to get there: You can reach Kidapawan City by several ways. By air from Manila, Cebu or Zamboanga to Cotabato City. By sea, again from Manila to Cotabato, or by land through PUVs, Jeeps and Buses from Davao City, and General Santos to Cotabato City.
If you’re coming from Davao City, go to Ecoland Terminal and ride a bus bound for Kidapawan City. For a more convenient travel, you might want to take a passenger van at NCCC Mall or SM City Davao. Travel time is about two hours while fare is around ₱150.
For those coming from General Santos City, they can take a bus from Davao City and get off at Digos City Terminal, then ride a bus again going to Cotabato City, which will drop by Kidapawan City.
6. Lake Sebu, South Cotabato
Another underrated summer destination in Mindanao is found in South Cotabato. One is Lake Sebu, which is labeled as the Summer Capital of Southern Mindanao. It is situated 1,000 meters above sea level, and its temperature ranges between 20ºC and 25ºC. There are also seven magnificent waterfalls that can be found in the area, which you can see by riding a zip-line that can be found in Lake Sebu. People flock to the site during summer especially to see and experience this particular beauty of nature. The place is also an ancestral territory of the indigenous T’boli tribe.
How to get there: the easiest way to by plane from Manila to General Santos City. From Gen San, you can take a bus going to Koronadal, then transfer to a bus going to Surallah. From there, you can ride a van to Lake Sebu. Total travel time from Gen San to Lake Sebu is around two to three hours.
7. Marawi City, Lanao del Sur
Marawi City is called the Summer Capital of the South. Its location at 2,300 feet above sea level makes the city a lot “cooler” than the other cities in the country in more than one way. The lovely rolling hills and unspoiled mountains are perfect venues for family bonding and see magnificent views of the city. Among the activities you can do here are swimming, boating, and picnics. Other attractions you will see in the city is the fastest river in the country, theAgus River, and Lake Danao, the second largest and deepest lake in the country.
How to get there: Marawi is accessible via airplane and boat from Manila, Cebu to Ozamiz City or Cagayan de Oro.
From Ozamiz Port, you can ride a ferry boat going to Mukas Port for about 20 minutes. Then ride a bus for 1.5 hours going to Cagayan de Oro, let the driver drop you off at the Southbound terminal in Iligan and transfer to MSU bound jeepney for another 1 hour travel.
If you opt to fly from Cagayan de Oro to Iligan, get off at the Southbound Terminal, then ride a jeepney or van for an hour ride to MSU–Marawi City.
8. Malaybalay City, Bukidnon
Unlike most popular summer destinations in the Philippines, beaches are nonexistent in Bukidnon. However, it’s a perfect getaway for outdoor adventure buffs. Bukidnon, which means mountain dweller, comes from the word bukid or mountain and is one of the few coolest cities in the country. Malaybalay has several establishments built as adventure and eco-parks. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you will certainly enjoy activities such as mountain climbing, rappelling, and trail hiking among others.
How to get to there: you can reach Bukidnon via either Davao City or Cagayan de Oro. From Davao, go to Ecoland Integrated Bus Terminal and ride a bus to Cagayan de Oro. Expect a four–five hours travel time, while fare is ₱350 pesos. If you’re departing from Cagayan de Oro, ride a bus going to Valencia or Davao City at Agoa Bus Terminal. Buses going to these destinations pass by Malaybalay City. Expect a two to three hours of travel with fare ₱135.
9. Sagada, Mountain Province
Sagada in the Mountain Province is famous for its alluring caves and interesting hanging coffins. Apart from those, being near to Baguio City and Manila is also one of the reasons it’s among the popular summer destinations in the Philippines. With an elevation of 5,300 feet above sea level, cool weather and fogs easily build up around Cordillera to Ilocos Mountains, giving that mysterious yet relaxing atmosphere of the place. Sagada is also called the Shangri-la of the Philippines. Among the activities you can enjoy there are trekking, waterfalls hiking, food tripping, spelunking, and more.
How to get there: there are only two ways to get to Sagada from Manila.
Via Banaue, travel time is about nine hours with ₱450 fare. From Banaue, hop into a jeepney to Sagada, that’s another three-and-a-half hours ride with ₱250 fare.
If via Baguio, bus travel time from Manila is about six hours with ₱400 fare. Get off at Dangwa Bus Terminal and ride Lizardo bus to Sagada, which usually takes five hours, and fare is around ₱220.
10. Tagaytay City, Cavite
A list of popular summer destinations in the Philippines is not complete without Tagaytay City. The place is actually a favorite quick weekend getaway among locals as it’s just a two-hour drive from the busy Manila. Apart from its cool and gusty climate, you will also love the lovely scenic views of Taal Lake. You can do picnics, sightseeing, horseback riding, and trekking here. Visitors flock to Tagaytay not only to see the place’s famous tourist spots and attractions but also to sample scrumptious and delectable dishes offered by many restaurants and cafes in the area.