Surrounded by mountains and tropical trees, the working coconut plantation and resort of Villa Escudero is a popular day trip from Manila. Since beginning life as a sugarcane plantation back in the 1880s, Villa Escudero is now a resort dedicated to Philippine culture and has been in the hands of the Escudero family for over a century.
Home to the Philippines’ first hydroelectric plant, Villa Escudero offers lunch at its waterfall restaurant, during which visitors can feel the cool spring water flow over their toes. After lunch, there is always traditional dancing at the Philippine Experience Show, as well as many more activities to try. Whether you opt to paddle on the lake in a bamboo raft, swim in the pool, visit the local village in a colorful jeepney, see how the coconuts are cultivated or marvel over the family's impressive collection of religious art, costumes, rare coins and antique furniture at the Escudero Private Museum, let's just say you won't find yourself without entertainment.
Villa Escudero sits a two-hour drive south of Manila and 30 minutes from San Pablo near Tiagon. A day trip here includes all of your meals and a tour of the coconut plantations by water buffalo-pulled jeepney. If you’d like to stay overnight, the resort has cottages overlooking Escudero Lake. The site's Escudero Private Museum is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.