The only downside to summer? It can get way too hot and humid for you to enjoy your VLs. But TBH, you don’t have to go abroad to beat the heat—the Philippines has breezy highlands and provinces to refresh and cool you down. Below, locales to chill and escape the summer heat in.
1. Tagaytay, Cavite
The highlands rise at 2,096 feet above sea level, keeping the popular tourist destination chilly all year round (FYI, Manila is only around 16 feet above sea level). The city overlooks the picturesque Taal Crater Lake and is dotted with boutique hotels and inns where you can stay for a quick getaway. Trek up the Palace in the Sky, spend a fun day at Sky Ranch, or relax at one of the many spas and wellness resorts.
2. Baguio, Benguet
Commuting to the summer capital of the Philippines has become a lot easier now that several bus routes cut the trip to just three to four hours. Walk through the charming streets of Session Road, go biking at Burnham Park, or visit the BenCab Museum. Cap off the day at Mt. Cloud Bookshop, where you can find hundreds of books by local authors—you might even catch a poetry reading.
3. Antipolo, Rizal
Although it's not as cold as Baguio, the province is known for its breezy and relatively cool climate. It’s also lush with outdoor attractions, such as the Mount Purro Nature Reserve and the Pacem Eco Park. For art lovers, don't miss the Pinto Art Museum—it’s super IG-worthy, too.
4. Davao, Davao Oriental
While its city center stays warm, Davao is still rich with scenic mountains and farms where you’ll have a hard time breaking a sweat. The trek up Mt. Apo, for example, ends with a view of clouds, grasslands, and a breathtaking sunrise. If you want some R&R, the districts of Toril, Marilog, and Calinan are lined with waterfalls, pine-canopied trails, and mountain resorts.
5. Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro
Another hidden gem in Mindanao is this mysterious mountain province. Even in the summer, its temperatures can go down to 14 degrees Celsius. Explore the vast Blue Water and Sumalsag caves, or go horseback riding at Mount Kitanglad Range National Park. To get there, fly to Cagayan de Oro then board a bus to Bukidnon—it’s a two-and-a-half-hour trip, but it’s worth the adventure.
Whether you go sightseeing in tourist-friendly Tagaytay or explore the outdoor attractions of Antipolo's highlands to beat the heat, you can make your trip even cooler by dropping by Jollibee (there’s practically one everywhere!) and picking up one of their refreshing soda floats. Choose between the Royal Float and the Coke Float—the refreshing fizz and slow-melting vanilla ice cream make the drink a sweet treat.