While it is famous for its mountains and secluded islands, Quezon has so much more to offer. This is particularly good for those looking for a well-deserved break, as it is filled with little pockets of peace. And, since it is close to Metro Manila, being only two to three hours away, you won’t be stressed trying to get there.

Scenic view of the valley in Dolores, Quezon as seen in Bangkong Kahoy Valley. Photo by SinoPinas courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

Many find peace when surrounded by nature. And one underrated municipality that has this in spades is Dolores. The town managed to stay open to visitors during the pandemic and is home to Mt. Banahaw and Mt. Cristobal.

Bangkong Kahoy Valley Welcome Sign. Photo by SinoPinas courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

One place to check out the flora and fauna in this municipality is at Bangkong Kahoy Valley Nature Retreat and Field Study Center. Here, around a thousand species of plants and animals happily reside, including the elusive Whiskered Pitta.

Lukong Valley Farm Campsite. Photo by SinoPinas courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

If you want a taste of farming life, you might want to visit Lukong Valley Farm, which has accommodations above a field full of Dragon Fruit trees. You can choose to reside at one of their charming villas or go camping by the trees. (Don’t worry, there are comfort rooms around!)

If you want pristine beaches and gorgeous white sand, you might want to head on over to Mauban, particularly in Cagbalete Island.

Kayaking at Dona Choleng Beach Resort, Cagbalete Island. Photo by SinoPinas courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

The island used to be one of the go-to summer destinations pre-pandemic, with water activities such as kayaking offered to guests.

Yang-In shoreline during low tide. Photo by SinoPinas courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

Aside from Cagbalete, you might want to visit Yang-In sandbar. Stretching for at least 5 kilometers, the spot is great for snorkeling, with starfishes and sea urchins surrounding the area. Aside from snorkeling, you can also take a walk along the hundreds of mangrove trees present in the area.

If you aren’t fond of mountains or beaches, General Nakar might be better for you.

The town is better explored either on foot or by riding a habal-habal. Life here is generally simple, with no fast food chains around, but quite a few carinderia serving Quezon’s signature Sinantolan.

General Nakar still does offer more exciting pursuits. You can try their off-road motorcycle trails or trek through undisturbed forests on the way to Depalyon Falls, which is situated in a ravine.

Going in this falls is not an easy feat as the trek there takes more than two hours, and involves crossing through neck-deep streams.

Tulaog Cave, General Nakar. Photo by SinoPinas courtesy of the Department of Tourism.

The more religiously-inclined might want to take the hour-long ride to the “growling” cave of Tulaog.

Here, Catholics would do a pilgrimage in honor of Virgin Mary during Holy Week. Tulaog is also known as a sacred place for the Dumagat, who pray and worship their god Mukadeppat in a secluded part of the cave.

How to get to Quezon:

If you are coming from Metro Manila, you can take the Marikina-Rizal-Laguna-Quezon (Marilaque) Hi-Way for a scenic road trip going to Quezon. You can also take the Laguna-Quezon route passing through Pagsanjan-Lucban road. If you are coming from the Muntinlupa-Sta. Rosa area, your easiest route is through Batangas-Quezon road.

Travel safely!

All these destinations have health and safety protocols in place to protect locals and visitors alike. Everyone is expected to comply by wearing face masks, regularly washing their hands, and practicing physical distancing.

To check out up-to-date information regarding local destinations that are open and the safety protocols and requirements needed for each location, you may visit www.philippines.travel/safetrip or download the Travel Philippines app at app.philippines.travel or the Google Playstore.