LUZON DESTINATIONS .
Luzon is the largest of the Philippine islands, stretching more than 10,000 kilometers. It is where Manila, the national capital, and Makati, the booming financial center, are located.
Among the most popular tourist destinations in Luzon are:
Ayala Center Shopping Mall
Manila. The national capital is a microcosm of the entire country in terms of the diversity of its attractions. Here you can enjoy a romantic dinner or a moonlit walk along the promenade of Manila Bay, or groove to the rhythm the country’s most popular bands in the charming district of Malate.
Intramuros. The old capital built in 1571, is another place of interest. Visitors can walk along the centuries-old fortifications of the walled city, visit the historic San Agustin Church and Manila Cathedral, explore the many dungeons and colonial houses, or watch the light and sound tableau depicting the execution by Spanish soldiers of Dr. Jose Rizal at Fort Santiago, where the national hero was interred.
Intramuros, the Walled City
Makati. The country’s financial district, you can shop to your heart’s delight in the many shopping establishments; sit back in one of many coffee shops; or watch the latest Hollywood blockbusters or art films in modern, surround-sound movie theaters.If history and culture is your cup of tea, visit the National Museum of the Filipino People in downtown Manila, the Metropolitan Museum of Manila along Roxas Boulevard, the Ayala Museum in Makati, or one of the many other private art galleries around the city. Musicals, the ballet, concerts and experimental film are also a stone’s throw away at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).
Baroque Churches . Inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1993, the baroque-inspired churches in the Philippines stand as testaments of the country’s Spanish colonial heritage. These baroque churches, the oldest of which was built in the late 16th century, are located in Manila and the provinces of Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, and Iloilo.
Banaue Rice Terraces. Located in the Ifugao Province north of Manila, the Rice Terraces are considered the eighth wonder of the world and have been named one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites (1995). These majestic terraces were carved on mountainsides by the Ifugao people more than 2000 years ago using their bare hands and a few primitive tools.
Banaue Rice Terraces
Vigan. The town of Vigan in Ilocos Sur, one of the northernmost provinces of Luzon, serves as a showpiece of Spanish cultural influence. With its well preserved cobblestone streets, Spanish-era architecture, and horse-drawn carriages, Vigan is a UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites (1999) representing the fusion of Asian building design and European colonial architecture unparalleled in East and Southeast Asia.
Taal Volcano. Taal Volcano. Considered the smallest active volcano in the world, this “volcano within a lake within another volcano” is found in the province of Batangas. A spectacular view of the volcano could also be seen from the cool and popular resort city of Tagaytay.Baguio. Known as the “Summer Capital”,
Baguio.Baguio City is the Philippines’ mountain retreat, with its cool all-year-round climate, pine trees, flowers, and strawberry plantations. It is where the Philippine Military Academy is headquartered.
Palawan.St. Paul’s Subterranean National Park in Puerto Princesa, one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites (1999), is a majestic limestone formation with an underground river. This National Park features a unique “full mountain-to-sea ecosystem” – the river emerging directly into the sea – and hosts some of the most important forests in Asia.
The Park also features the exciting Monkey Trail with its series of wooded paths to the forest.
Sorsogon. The Whale Shark capital of the world is at the southernmost tip of the island of Luzon and serves as the gateway to the Visayas. The province offers magnificent diving spots, mysterious caves and hot springs, in addition to ancient houses, historical landmarks and ancient shipyards enough to satisfy any adventurer’s appetite. Picturesque islands within Sorsogon Bay also offer fine white, black or pink sand beaches.