The pilgrimage city of the Philippines has plenty to offer all kinds of travelers. Whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Antipolo.
Living in Manila means that you’ll have to deal with gritty city life, pollution, and traffic on a regular basis. To stay sane, many locals have the requisite weekender out of Manila to get a breath of fresh air and to recharge their batteries. Antipolo is one of the most underrated destinations just outside the metro, but this gem of a location has many surprises in store. If you ever find yourself itching to get away from the city, keep this list handy for the next weekend getaway:
ATV Adventures Rizal provides tours through the Sierra Madre mountain range in Rizal. Guests hop aboard an ATV and can choose from one of the many adventures ATV Adventures Rizal has to offer: you can rough it out through the forest, drive along the Marikina river and interact with some of the locals from nearby communities, or you can opt for the half or full day adventure which entails riding both the ATV and walking for several kilometers. All the while you get to take pictures of the scenic environment, cool off in the river and more.
Declared a National Park in 1990 and a protected landscape in 2000, Hinulugang Taktak is famous for its lush greenery and cooling waterfall. The park was recently developed and has several gazebos, tables and a pool making the spot a great destination for families looking to cool off outside of Metro Manila. There is a small entrance fee, and other miscellaneous fees depending on what you’d like to do.
Overlooking Laguna de Bay, Camp Tipolo Adventureland and Loreland Farm Resort is a 12-hectare resort that offers several outdoor activities perfect for families, friends and team building sessions. Test your skills on the Tarzan jump, balancing log, spider web and more. Get dirty as you go through the mud crawl or go down the mud slide.
Comparable to Camp Tipolo, Phillip’s Sanctuary is a venue for team building activities too. What sets it apart though is the fact that you can go biking on the bike trail, you can go kayaking, rafting, set up a tent at the campsite and see different kinds of butterflies and flowers at the butterfly garden. Also, you can check out their organic fruit farm and their pond that’s home to hoards of tilapia and pangasius.
While there are several streetside vendors where you can buy delectable treats from, you may opt to head over to Victory Pasalubong Center – right beside the Antipolo Cathedral. There, you will find “suman”, wrapped glutinous rice with coconut milk, best dipped in coco jam or sugar. There are also mangoes, cashew nuts and “kalamay”. Kalamay is basically ground glutinous rice mixed with coconut milk, brown sugar and more – it is wrapped in banana leaves.
Monte Cafe was recently awarded the #1 cafe in Antipolo by ZomatoPH, and for good reason. Not only is it THE place to be – with its stylish interiors and “hipster” vibe, but the food and drinks aren’t too shabby either. A crowd favorite is their Java Chipp Frappe. If you want a drink on the lighter side though, you can try their Black tea with strawberry, Jasmine tea with pomegranate or mint green tea with calamansi. For food, their nachos are a must-try! Along with their luscious cakes and their latest treat, their lemon bar.
Most of the popular watering holes loved by locals are located along Marcos Highway (and they also come with spectacular views!). Some of the well-known bars include Padi’s Point and X Factor Bar.
Located at the Loreland Farm Resort, Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa is the perfect place to soothe weary souls burned out from city life. There is an infinity pool overlooking the greenery of the farm resort, there is a hydromassage pool, pool rainshowers, a fish spa, jacuzzi, sauna and several bamboo huts where you can get a massage. Snacks and full-course meals are also available, though the dishes often depend on what’s available from the organic farm. Adding to the natural and healthy feel of the spa.
The Mount Purro Nature Reserve is a favorite destination in Antipolo for families, groups of friends, and couples alike. There are so many things you can do in the lush environment found in Mount Purro Nature Reserve that a one-day visit just might not be enough. The family-run establishment offers relaxing massages, exciting rope courses, exhilarating treks, fun tree-planting activities and more, plus a restaurant that serves an extensive menu of delicious home-cooked Filipino food served with the warm brand of hospitality that the Philippines is known for.
The Pinto Art Museum is the perfect way to spend an afternoon in Antipolo. It’s one of the most Instagrammed museums in the country and for good reason: you’ll be hard-pressed to find a spot in Pinto Art Museum that won’t make you go “Wow!”. Each corner of the museum was thoughtfully designed by museum director and designer Antonio Leaño. Pinto Art Museum showcases a unique collection of Filipino contemporary art, while the manicured garden outside is just as impressive.
The PACEM Eco Park (which stands for Peace and Care for Earth Ministry) was founded by the Assumption College in Antipolo as a means to educate its students, teachers, staff and more about the importance of protecting the environment. The PACEM eco park entails a wildlife sanctuary, a butterfly garden, an aviary, a mini-forest, herbal garden and eco-shoppe. While the park was meant to be educational, there’s no denying that it is relaxing and beautiful to behold, too.
Spend the night at Cafe Lupe Bed and Breakfast. The hotel and restaurant are known for having some of the best views around in Antipolo. At night, the bed and breakfast as well as the restaurant will light up with the sparkling views of city lights in the distance. The hotel is equipped with several activities including a ping pong table, outdoor entertainment area, and a balcony.
Visit the Antipolo Cathedral for a few minutes of silence and prayer. Offer your intentions and say your thanks at one of the most beautiful and historical churches in Antipolo. The Antipolo Cathedral is another religious site frequented by pilgrims. Here, you’ll find the Marian image of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage where visitors say prayers for safe travels.
Visit Inday Nelly’s Mystical Cave, which is named after the lady who purchased the land back in the 70’s. The cave’s interior has several mysterious rock formations that resemble religious figures, and is also said to have healing powers. Inday Nelly’s Mystical Cave is frequented by religious pilgrims and visitors looking for healing from the divine.
Crescent Moon Cafe is one of the most popular cafes in Antipolo – and for good reason! Visitors flock to Crescent Moon Cafe and make the trek even from Manila just to try the one-of-a-kind dishes offered here. The property is expansive as it’s also home to the owner’s pottery studio and workshop, where guests are invited to participate and learn something new. From pottery making to calligraphy, Crescent Moon Cafe is the ideal weekend getaway for creative and artistic types!
Check out nearby restaurants, hotels, and tourist spots in the city. Explore Antipolo now!
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