Luzon is both the largest and the most populous island of the Philippines, a home to a lot, from the cobblestone streets of the colonial town of Vigan; to the bustling metropolis of Manila where the seat of the government is located as well as the national capital; to the rice terraces and pine forests of the Cordillera Region; this is the island of Luzon.
The administrative area of Luzon is divided into 8 regions, seven of which are on the island of Luzon. The eighth is Mimaropa, a rather arbitrary grouping of several smaller islands.
|Bicol Region (Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate, Sorsogon)|
Ideal region for adventurers – filled with volcanoes, beaches, caverns, coves, lakes and other natural wonders. Home to the exquisite Mayon Volcano, which is popular for its near-prefect cone shape.
|Cagayan Valley (Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Viscaya, Quirino)|
Vast valleys, lush jungles, mist-filled mountains, pristine waterfalls and stunning cave systems.
|Calabarzon (Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon, Rizal)|
Due to its proximity to Manila, this region is a favorite destination for weekend getaways. Its diverse topography and colorful culture is what attracts tourists to this region.
|Central Luzon (Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales)|
The central plains of the country. The thriving city of Angeles is where the origins of the "Sisig" are found and the former home of the largest American military facility outside continental America. Historic Bulacan, on the other hand, is the seat of the first (but short-lived) Philippine government.
|Cordillera Administrative Region (Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province)|
The cool highlands of the country, famous for its majestic rice terraces, pine forests and rich culture. Aside from tourist attractions, what attracts people to come here is its cool weather.
|Ilocos Region (Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan)|
Jam-packed with distinct cultures, tasty cuisine, and a wide range of natural attractions. This is where the well preserved European colonial town of Vigan is situated, a town where you can learn its history in its presence.
|Mimaropa (Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Palawan, Romblon)|
Its national parks, world heritage sites, palm-fringed beaches, azure waters, thriving marine life, caves and warm people will make your trip special to this less densely populated region
|Metro Manila (Caloocan, Las Piñas, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Manila, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Parañaque, Pasay, Pasig, Pateros, Quezon City, San Juan, Taguig, Valenzuela)|
The National Capital Region or NCR, this is where the national capital of the Philippines, Manila, is situated, center of financial and commercial districts and where the seat of the government is situated. It is one of the world's largest cities in terms of GDP.
In the Philippine administrative system, Palawan (the long island extending toward the southwest corner of the map) is treated as part of Mimaropa and therefore of Luzon. Wikivoyage treats it as a separate fourth region of the country, where the other three are Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
- 1 Manila - the national capital, known for its blend of urban development and historical character
- 2 Angeles- one of the fastest growing cities in the Philippines. Home to the Clark Freeport Zone, a 4,500-hectare business and leisure hub
- 3 San Fernando- popularly known for being the Christmas Capital of the Philippines. The city holds the annual Giant Lantern Festival every December which draws a lot of tourists
- 4 Calamba- the regional center of Calabarzon. The birthplace of the country's national hero Jose Rizal and also home to hot spring resorts.
- 5 Antipolo- the Pilgrimage Capital of the Philippines which is known for its old churches and scenic views of the bustling metropolis of Manila.
- 6 Legazpi City- the City of Fun and Adventure, renowned for its beautiful natural scenery dominated by the iconic Mayon Volcano.
- 7 Baguio- known as the summer capital of the country due to its cool climate. Also known as the City of Pines.
- 8 Makati- the financial and cosmopolitan capital of the Philippines. Home to towering skyscrapers, five star hotels, posh shopping malls and upscale restaurants
- 1 Alaminos - location of the "Hundred Islands". Home to a total of 123 small islands with pristine beaches
- 2 Albay - home of the almost perfectly-cone shaped volcano Mayon volcano
- 3 Banaue and Batad - famed rice terraces
- 4 Batangas - beach activities, diving sites, old Spanish churches and the scenic Taal lake and volcano
- 5 Corregidor Island - ruins, historical shrines and World War II military installations
- Magalawa Island - creamy white sand and pristine waters with abundant marine resources
- 6 Pagudpud - white sand beaches with crystal clear waters
- 7 Sagada - beautiful hikes, majestic caves, hanging coffins and serene mountains
- 8 Subic - resorts, beaches and a special economic zone
- 9 Tagaytay - cool climate, lush terrains and scenic views of the Taal Lake with its volcano
- 10 Vigan - cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages and heritage houses. This Spanish colonial town is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Luzon is served by 4 international airports; Manila is the country's main premier gateway, Clark has many is for low-cost airlines and the remaining two are minor international airports.
Ninoy Aquino International Airport
Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL IATA) is the Philippine's premier gateway to the country, it is the busiest airport in the country and is the 44th most busiest in the world. It is often rated as one of the worst airports because of the crowds during the rush hour as well as its over capacity. Philippine Airlines; the country's flag carrier, Cebu Pacific; the country's low-cost airline, Asiana Airlines,from Korea,Emirates, KLM, Delta, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and QANTAS are just some of the major carriers that operate in this airport. There are actually four terminals in Manila that are separate from one another. Terminal one is the international terminal. That is where you will fly into and out of unless you are using Philippines Airlines. Terminal two is reserved for the Philippines Airlines. Terminal three is where you will find Cebu Pacific. Terminal four your find Air Asia These typically provide inexpensive flights between islands, although Cebu Pacific also flies to many international locations.
Clark International Airport
The Clark International Airport (CRK IATA) is the other international airport serving the general vicinity of central and northern Luzon. The airport is located within the Clark Freeport Zone of Angeles City. It is formerly known as the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA). It has adequate travel facilities such as currency exchange, duty free shopping center, souvenir shops, free Wi-Fi, a tourist information center, hotel and travel agency representatives, and car rental services. The airport is where budget airlines like Air Asia fly to Kuala Lumpur, Tiger Air to Singapore and Cebu Pacific to Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau and Cebu City. It also receives direct flights from Hong Kong, South Korea and Middle East from carriers such as Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Emirates. Domestic flights are also offered by Cebu Pacific but only to Cebu.
It is quite a hassle getting around but if you know your way, it is not really a big problem. Taxis are rampant in major cities such as Manila. In most cities and provinces, the public jeepney is a way of going around the main roads and routes while tricycles are better for specific destinations in minor roads. There is a fixed rate in jeepneys. However, this changes daily, so ask around to know the new fare. In Metro Manila, there are the LRT-1, LRT-2 and MRT-3 train lines that you can travel with around. To get to places such as Baguio, Calamba , Bicol, Laoag and a whole lot of other places on Luzon by land, you can take a bus. There are numerous bus companies that depart from different parts of Manila.
As much as Luzon is safe, it is always good to pay keen attention to your surroundings. Common crimes include pickpocketing, and other small thefts. Never be quick to jump to conclusion in a situation, as you may never know the intention of the person committing the crime.