Manila - Further Afield
If you have time for a spectacular day-trip away from the city and footwear suitable for rough terrain, Lake Pinatubo is ample reward for an early start. From the base of Mount Pinatubo (87 km north-west of Manila), a bumpy jeep ride through green mountains, Aeta villages and ash-covered volcanic flatlands will take you within a twenty-minute hike of the stunning crater lake which formed after the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo. Once there, you can relax, swim, go boating and gawp unashamedly at the contrast between the serene lake and the rugged walls of the crater.
Built on the profits of 19th-century coffee and sugar plantations, Taal is awash with Spanish period homes and cultural treasures. Several of these historic landmarks are now heritage museums offering a flavour of colonial life.