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Cavite Travel Guide

Itinerary, Things to do, How to get there and more

Located conveniently near Metro Manila, Cavite provides a perfect getaway destination when you’d rather avoid the urban smog and city tumult. One of its major allures is a strong connection to Philippine history. Despite the march of time, Cavite’s historical landmarks are well-preserved, from Corregidor Island to the Aguinaldo Shrine, and its legacy of being the birthplace of Philippine Independence is kept alive through museums, relics, and festivals. It’s also the home of Tagaytay City, where the cold weather provides a perfect backdrop for spas, resorts, and restaurants with a rustic, nature-friendly appeal.

Where to go in Cavite

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How to Get Here

By Bus
Cavite is quite close to Manila--around 16 km or 10 miles away--and traveling there by land from Manila to Cavite often takes 30 minutes, or 2.5 hours at worst because of traffic. Bus terminals with trips bound to Cavite can be found at Cubao, Ayala, Baclaran, Lawton, and Paranaque. The following bus companies provide regular trips, among others: Erjohn & Almark, Genesis, Victory Liner, DLTB Co., and Saulog Transit.
By Van
Some FX taxis locate near Harrison Plaza in Malete go directly to Cavite through the Roxas Boulevard Coastal Road. They’re more expensive than buses, but you’re likely to reach your destination faster. For those specifically heading towards Tagaytay, there are plenty of specialized van services available. You can find van terminals at Metropoint Mall at Pasay, behind McDo at the EDSA-Taft MRT Station, and at EGI Mall near the LRT Gil Puyat Station
By Private Car
Driving to Cavite from Manila is convenient, since it’s not too far. The most efficient way to reach Cavite, if you’re coming from Manila, is through the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), which can go straight to Tagaytay. Alternatively, you can also use the Roxas Boulevard Coastal Road for Bacoor, Kawit, Imus, Rosario, Tanza, Naic, and Noveleta, or the Carmona Exit for Silang, Gen. Mariano Alvarez, Maragondon, Dasmarinas, Trece Martires, and Tarnete.
By Plane
There’s no direct, standard way to get to Cavite by plane, but you can instead land at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (in Metro Manila) then head to Cavite via bus or shuttle. If you’re coming from Visayas or Mindanao, it’s easy to book a flight going to Metro Manila at the closest airport--there’s guaranteed to be at least one every day.

Popular Food

Tamales is made from a base of ground peanuts and rice flour layered with eggs, garbanzos (chickpeas), pork, and chicken in a meticulous process, then wrapped in banana leaves. It used to be extremely easy to find, but now it’s mostly available through orders.

(c) Eric Banes / banebanerbanest.wordpress.com

Bibingkoy is a sweet delicacy that’s a cross between tikoy (nian gao) and bibingka (Filipino rice cake). It’s made of boiled mung beans stuffed inside glutinous rice dough, which is baked and then drizzled with coconut milk and jackfruit.

(c) Life is a Celebration / marilil.files.wordpress.com

Pancit pusit is exactly what it sounds like: it’s pancit revamped to have soft squid rather than the usual pork or chicken, and the noodles are even colored dark by the squid ink. It has a brinier flavor balanced out with onions and chinese celery.

(c) Positively Filipino / positivelyfilipino.com

Calandracas is a noodle dish with toppings such as shrimp, cabbage, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, eggplant, and gizzard. It can either be drenched in sauce or generously swimming in soup, and it’s named after a traditional practice of offering food to the dead.

(c) Orange Magazine / orangemagazine.ph

Lawlaw is a small kind of fish that’s native to Cavite. It’s small and often deep-fried--even filleted--until extremely crispy, then paired with tomatoes, spicy vinegar, or a special saice.

(c) Oh Oh Leo / ohohleo.ph

Best Time to Go

BEST TIME TO GO
The temperature at Cavite is mostly the same all throughout, and like the rest of the Philippines, it can be extremely hot and humid. A notable exception, though, is Tagaytay, which is similar to Baguio in its cold, brisk climate. Summer--April to June--might be a good season to go to Tagaytay specifically to fend off the heat, while the winter months--November and December--can have the temperature going down to extremes, which pairs well with hearty bulalo in Tagaytay. For the rest of Cavite, June is an especially favorable month because it coincides with the Declaration of Independence--and you’ll feel at home going on a historical tour and learning more about Philippine culture. As always, for minimal hassle, avoid the rainy months (end of June to August).

What to Do

Enjoy a staycation at Balay Indang
This charming, rustic bed and breakfast place is perfect for retreats when you simply want some quiet time for yourself--or for parties and weddings that’d go well with the romantic ambience. The property includes a swimming pool and a playground, but much of it is occupied by cottage houses and gardens that coax passers-by to pause and take a seat, if only to relish the slow beauty of nature in a world that’s becoming increasingly fast-paced. It also crosses the age divide, delighting both kids and grandparents with its multi-faceted attractions. The main house seems like a grand country mansion, exuding an offbeat, cozy vibe with a combination of modern and old-world furniture.
Go spelunking in Cabag Cave
The Philippines seems to have nature haunts present in every province, and Cavite is no exception. Adventurers can try out spelunking or cave-exploring--which can be trickier than it sounds, because it combines so many skills! In the case of Cabag Cave, you’d have to be a proficient swimmer capable of squeezing yourself through narrow tunnels. The added thrills of confined space and limited light bring a dose of unpredictability, and it can be fascinating to look at the rock formations and stalactites. Cabag Cave features an underground river inside and plenty of flora around its entrance. The mouth of the cave is also surrounded by a swimming pool that one can freely take a dip in before plunging inside.
Find quiet time at Tierra de Maria
Tierra de Maria, for all its quiet and serenity, is flocked to by devotees of the Virgin Mary every year. Also described as a “Haven of Meditation and Enrichment,” it was built by Mama Mary’s Movement Foundation. Regular masses are held inside its chapel, which almost always contains a lengthy line of pilgrims. Out of all the statues and images in the sanctuary, the most iconic is a 50-foot statue of Mary, with hands outstretched in welcome; visitors will also find an image of the Lady of Manaoag, the patron saint of Pangasinan, and a lovely set of garden murals depicting Jesus’s life and crucifixion. Aside from being a place of meditation and religious worship, people also seek it out for healing. A lovely bonus is the view of Taal Lake from the third floor.
Shop for organic products
What started out as a pet project has boomed into one of the best bee farms in the Philippines. The husband and wife duo behind the solar-powered farm--Joey and Violaine Magsaysay--work mainly with Italian honeybees, which are well-provided for with lush trees, greenery, and flowering plants. Visitors usually make a beeline (got the pun?) for the Ilog Maria Shop, where shelves and shelves of organic products are sold, most of them incorporating bee pollen, beeswax, and honey straight from the farm. Their main product is Virgin Honey, which is collected by the bees from an amazing assortment of flowers in various farms--and the taste of the honey varies based on the flower combination. They also sell soaps, lotions, candles, eyedrops, and more, most of which can also be found throughout the country and are even exported worldwide.
Admire the world’s largest puzzle collection
No, it’s not a mansion that’s built out of puzzles, but it’s still pretty darn amazing: the puzzle mansion is home to more than 1,500 collections of jigsaw puzzles, all painstakingly bought and assembled by Gina Gil Lacuna. She won the Guinness World Records for having the largest collections of jigsaw puzzles in the world, and as a testament to her skill, she’s said to be able to complete a 1000-piece puzzle overnight. The puzzles inside the mansion are rendered in all shapes and sizes, including 3D and 4D constructions, and their designs span themes as diverse as classical art and famous destinations. Stepping inside can be overwhelming at first, since nearly every nook and cranny is filled with puzzles. The mansion also includes a small bed and bread and an infinity pool.

Estimated Costs

Bus to Cavite (One-Way)
P170-P250 from Manila
Hotel
P1500-P3000 (three-star hotel) to P4000+ (five-star hotel) per night
Regular Inexpensive Meal
P100-P200
Three-Course Meal, Mid-Range
P250-P600
Jeepneys
P8 onwards
Average Price Per Day
P800-P1000

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