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15 BEST TOURIST SPOTS IN RIZAL (near Manila)

The province of Rizal is one of the most popular destinations for all Manileños. The reason? Well, it’s simple. Rizal is situated very close to Metro Manila. It would only take you an hour to drive to Rizal, sometimes even less!

No wonder many of our kababayans prefer Rizal as their top destination for a quick getaway or rides. Yes, when you’re on your way to Rizal, you’ll notice that there are a lot of bikers and motorcycle riders going up to Antipolo, especially along Sumulong Highway. Well, you can’t blame them. Who wouldn’t wanna feel a little bit of fresh air from the province? The best part about it? You wouldn’t even have to pay a toll fee!

On top of all these things, the reason why Rizal’s tourism is one of the most successful in the country is that it is home to some of the most beautiful hidden gems of nature. The mountainous regions of Rizal offer breathtaking sceneries of nature. In fact, when you’re on the way to Antipolo City Proper, there are parts on the highway where you can have a beautiful perspective of the entire Metro Manila. Cool, huh?

Aside from its convenient location, Rizal also offers almost everything you can imagine for a top tourist destination. There are hundreds of beautiful cafes and restaurants here, most of them offering scenic views to go along with their delicious meals. You can also book countless resorts and Airbnb’s around the entire province. Hiking, ATV adventures, discovering falls and rivers, wandering around museums, sightseeing, and even going on a pilgrimage. Name it, Rizal has it all.

So, if you’re planning to go on an adventure in this beautiful province, then allow me to show you the fifteen (15) top tourist destinations in Rizal!

1. Masungi Georeserve

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If you want to experience nature at its peak, then Masungi Georeserve is the perfect place for you! This is a conservation center located at the mountain ranges of Sierra Madre. Probably the most popular spot here is the Sapot, it’s a metal netting that looks like a cobweb. From here, you can have a breathtaking 360-degree view of the mountain ranges and Laguna de Bay.

Get ready to participate in fun and nature-engaging activities like exploring caves with stalactite and stalagmite formations, traversing through a bridge on top of limestone peaks, and wandering around the stunning rainforest of Masungi.

The most important thing that the Masungi Georeserve wants is for its visitors to realize how beautiful our nature is. It is also a known advocate of reforestation in the Philippines. So, once you’ve been here, do your part. Let’s make our forests again so our children will know how beautiful they are! CHECK MASUNGI GEORESERVE TOUR HERE

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2. Pililla Wind Farm

The Pililla Wind Farm is one of the newest additions to the top tourist destinations of Rizal. It is one of the three (3) locations where the Department of Energy planned to develop innovative wind power projects. The other two locations are in Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro, and Kalayaan Laguna. The wind farm consists of a total of 27 towering wind turbines with a capacity of generating 54 MW of clean and sustainable electricity.

explore, travel, 15 best tourist spots in rizal (near manila)
explore, travel, 15 best tourist spots in rizal (near manila)

Group shot! Photo Credit: Son Martillan of S&B Adventure

Of course, this innovative creation also helps the economy of Rizal by boosting its tourism industry. Every week, the majority of the bikers and riders traverse through mountain roads just to witness the scenic views of Pililla Wind Farm. For just a small entrance fee, you’ll get to have pictures of you taken on such a magnificent background of mountains and seas of clouds!

READ: Pillilla Wind Farm in Rizal Experience 

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3. Tinipak River

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Credit: Thehiddenjem.net

Tinipak River is a hidden gem located in Tanay, Rizal. Get to experience trekking and traversing through a beautiful landscape with beautiful white-marbled rocks and a crystal clear stream of water. You can also do a lot of activities here like camping, trekking, swimming, caving, and many more.

I really recommend this sweet spot to adventurous and nature-loving tourists, it’s also perfect for your barkada! It’s like you’re in the set of The Lord of the Rings, so beware of goblins and orcs! Haha, just kidding. CHECK THE BEST RESORTS IN RIZAL HERE

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4. Pinto Art Museum

Since it was first opened in 2010, a lot has changed and improved in the Pinto Art Museum. This 1.5-hectare art collection museum located inside a 2-hectare botanical garden is one of the most instagrammable museums in the whole world. Yes, you read that right, in the whole world!

explore, travel, 15 best tourist spots in rizal (near manila)

Prepare to be amazed and moved by tons of artistic masterpieces perfectly placed around the vicinity of the area. Every corner of the museum and garden seems perfect for a nice Instagram post. Moreover, the entrance fee is also light for your pockets so I’d say that it’s all worth it!

You can also have a delicious treat at their very own cafe and restaurant while enjoying the cool and relaxing ambiance of nature around you. CHECK PINTO ART MUSEUM + ANTIPOLO TOUR HERE

READ: Pinto Art Museum Experience

5. Mount Purro Nature Reserve

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Credit: ABS-CBN News

One of the most popular resorts in Rizal is the Mount Purro Nature Reserve. It’s an eco-park designed to give its guests a tranquil and serene environment perfect for their quick getaway from the loud and busy city.

The goal of this resort is to let its guests reconnect with nature, so they offer accommodation facilities inspired by the iconic Bahay Kubo. Also, they don’t offer air conditioning units and Wi-Fi connectivities because they want their guests to truly feel that they’re in nature. Don’t worry, the breeze of the air is cool around the area so you’ll be fine! CHECK MOUNT PURRO NATURE RESERVE TOUR HERE

6. Mount Daraitan

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Credit: Tanay.com.ph

Ah, Mount Daraitan. This rocky and full of lush forest mountain is a crowd favorite, especially for nature lovers. Well, it’s for everybody! Whether you’re going solo, with your sweetheart, or with your group of friends, the experience will always be phenomenal. After all, the idea behind it is for you to become one with nature.

Mount Daraitan is the perfect spot to engage in multiple outdoor activities such as trekking, hiking, spelunking, camping, caving, and many more! Trust me, all the sweat and dirt you’ll be accumulating will all be worth it. You will definitely feel recharged once you go back to the hustle and bustle of the city.

Oh, and don’t forget to drop by the Tinipak River once you have the chance. It’s the perfect place to relax after your memorable adventure.

7. Angono-Binangonan Petroglyphs

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Your trip to Rizal wouldn’t be complete without visiting one of the Philippines’ National Cultural Treasures. The Angono-Binangonan Petroglyphs are situated in a cave spanning up to 25 meters and almost 4 meters tall. These are believed to be the oldest known artworks in the country which also plays a huge role in the history and archaeological discoveries of the Philippines.

These stunning artworks are said to consist of 127 human and animal figures believed to be connected with our descendant’s ancient tradition of magic and healing. Now that’s a sight to remember!

8. Mount Pamitinan

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Credit: TripAdvisor

Another favorite spot of the nature-loving tourists is no other than Mount Pamitinan. This protected landscape is the 22nd tallest mountain in the Philippines. The park is primarily visited because of breathtaking views as well as the recreational activities it offers like hiking, trekking, and sightseeing.

The iconic spot to see here at Mount Pamitinan is the Montalban Gorge, it is a body of water separating Mount Binacayan and Mt Pamitinan itself. It was even declared as a National Monument in 1993. I guess there’s nothing left to say because the picturesque view of the Montalban Gorge already speaks for itself!

9. Daranak Falls

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Credit: Daranak Falls

This hidden paradise has long been one of the most popular and iconic tourist destinations in Rizal. This 14-meter high waterfall boasts of its calming and relaxing ambiance with the help of lush vegetation, chirping and whistling of birds, and the relentless flow of water from the mountains of Tanay.

Aside from swimming, there are also other fun activities that you can do here at Daranak Falls, you can also go camping and picnicking after you’re done swimming and diving on its clear waters. Moreover, you can go waterfall-hopping because Batlag Falls is only a 10-minute hike away! It may be smaller compared to Daranak but the setting is equally stunning and phenomenal!

10. Antipolo Cathedral

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Credit: Antipolocathedral.com

Rizal is also a popular haven for pilgrims and devotees. Every Catholic Filipino probably knows about the famous Antipolo Cathedral. After all, hundreds of devotees coming from Manila are visiting the cathedral for a Sunday mass every week. The cathedral sits on top of a hill where visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the skyline below.

Antipolo Cathedral is one of the oldest cathedrals in the country since it was built in the year 1632. In fact, our very own national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, once paid his respects to the wooden image of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. A lot of Catholic tourists have a tradition of dropping by the cathedral whenever they’re planning to go on a vacation or a journey to ask for the patron saint’s blessing.

11. Mt. Binacayan

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Credit: Rowiewanderlist.wordpress.com

Another haven for nature-loving tourists is Mt. Binacayan. It is considered to be one of the most popular hiking destinations in the country alongside Mt. Pamitinan. At 424 meters above sea level, be prepared to witness a captivating view of the sea of clouds and majestic mountain ranges of Sierra Madre.

Aside from its popular limestone formations, an iconic spot lies between the two mountains. Yes, as mentioned earlier it is the Montalban Gorge. Did you know that that spot itself was mentioned in Filipino mythical folk stories? Yes, it is believed that Bernardo Carpio was the one who separated the two mountains. Amazing, huh?

12. Wawa Dam

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Credit: Adventurouslens.com

Ah, yes. The Montalban Gorge that we mentioned a while ago really helped the province of Rizal not only by boosting its tourism but also by providing the Rizalenos a steady supply of water. The Wawa Dam is a slightly arched dam constructed over the Marikina River. And where was it located? Right, at the Montalban Gorge or Wawa Gorge itself. Cool thing, huh?

Wawa Dam has since become a top tourist destination itself thanks to the beautiful mountains and forests surrounding it. Visitors can rent a cottage or a bamboo raft to explore the river. Also, the dike of the dam served as a mini waterfall that the tourists really loved! Moreover, there are also cheap fruits and vegetables offered by the stalls around the dam.

13. Calinawan Cave

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Who would’ve thought that the cave that once helped the Filipino revolutionaries during the Spanish-American War would become a top tourist destination today? The Calinawan Cave is a huge cave system composed of multiple levels of chambers and openings. Up to now, no one really knows how big the cave system is because nobody was really able to map out and explore its entirety.

Aside from its historical significance, what attracted the tourists to this hidden treasure in Tanay is its incomparably natural beauty. Once you’ve been inside the Calinawan Cave, you will surely appreciate the brilliance and creativity of nature.

14. Treasure Mountain

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Credit: Dreamslayer28.com

Ah, who would say no to an early morning breakfast on top of a mountain with the beautiful sea of clouds right there waving at ya’? Yup! That’s exactly what the iconic Treasure Mountain offers to its visitors. In fact, the campsite itself only allows tourists to enter from 4 AM to 7 AM, they don’t want you to miss the chance to see the beautiful sunrise!

15. Cloud 9 Antipolo

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Cloud 9 Antipolo has long been a top tourist destination of Rizal over the years because it offers a lot of exciting activities and sceneries. On top of that, it’s also one of the nearest tourist attractions in Rizal! Yes, it’s only an hour away or less.

The star of the show in Cloud 9 Antipolo is its 360-degree viewing deck which allows the visitors to see the magnificent view of Metro Manila and the green mountains of Antipolo. Expect a lot of people to build up even on the way to the deck itself, because there’s also a hanging bridge that you have to cross to reach it. Don’t worry, everyone is allowed an equal amount of time to take their Instagrammable photos. So make sure to do your best!

I would suggest that you make an effort to catch the sunrise or sunset when you visit Cloud 9 Antipolo. Trust me, it’ll be one of the best views you’ll ever see in your life!