12 Family Friendly and Budget Savvy Summer Destinations in the South

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Two more weeks and school days will be over, the cool February climate has already ended and we are officially welcoming the summer! So, what could be more exciting on this season? I bet it's the most awaited time of the year to take a plunge into the beach, go island hopping or perhaps take a short weekend drive with your family to visit the nearest water park, a zoo, or a picnic garden. Oh! my family loved this!

There are a lot of choices out there, but for those who'd prefer a more accessible place to spend the summer weekend, without having the need to fly, heading down South could be the quickest, most affordable and most convenient option. I've gathered here some of the favorite summer destinations in the South that is perfect for the family which is ofcourse, budget friendly.


Located at Southwoods Ecocentrum in Binan, Laguna, Splash Island is roughly less than an hour drive from Manila. This water park is one of my family's favorite destination not because of the pool itself but the variety of water rides that the kids can enjoy for the whole day. Their slides, rides and attractions were designed to provide you with a day filled with aqua thrills and adventure. Entrance fee starts at P500 per person but here's a tip; Splash Island has a year-round promo available at Metrodeal for only P250/head for a day trip. For cabana rates and other accommodations you may check their website at www.splashisland.net.


If you're looking for a different summer activity for your family, especially the kids, then this destination is probably what you're looking for. Sta. Elena Fun Farm is a natural playground. It is the only one of its kind in the country, where both kids and grown ups have access to animals and the natural world. They offer a space to escape the fast-paced world of gadgets and the city. It is an escape, where kids are free to run wild in open spaces and connect with animals.
The Fun Farm offers party and picnic areas, pockets of natural playgrounds, zip lines, a gigantic sand box, animal feeding stations, a lagoon where you can fish, horse stables, and an amphitheater. Activities include horseback riding, carabao pulled-cart riding, fishing, row boating, and zip-line. Entrance fee is P300 per person (2 years old and above) and you can bring your own food and drinks. Sta. Elena Fun Farm is located at Barrio Malitlit, Sta. Rosa Laguna. For more information you may visit their website at www.staelena.com/fun-farm.php.


Having both the zoo, the water and the pool slides in one destination sounds cool right? If you are in the look out for a family destination where you can experience a variety of activities in a day, you may want to check out Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park located at Binakayan, Kawit, Cavite.

Island Cove features Mediterranean-inspired surroundings and amenities bringing together the wonders of nature and the luxury of comfort. You can enjoy swimming at the Oceania Swim & Splash Park. It has a 3,000 square meter two-layered lagoon shaped swimming pool with four giant slides. The giant inflatables also allow guests to slip and slide into the pool. They have a wildlife sanctuary where kids can come close to animals too. The resort is equipped with a floating restaurant too where families can enjoy fishing while dining at the floating native huts. For rates and updates about their schedule of operations you may check out their website at www.islandcovephil.com.


For bigger groups and families looking for adventure this summer, Caliraya Resort Club can be the destination you are looking for. A few hours drive away from Manila, Caliraya Resort Club is a 7.6-hectare of lush greenery, and a haven of adventure and heart-pumping activities nestled atop the mountains of Caliraya in Brgy. Lewin, Lumban, Laguna, This place can be underrated, albeit its new and thrilling attractions makes Caliraya Resort Club the perfect resort for all adrenaline junkies and anyone of any age.

They houses extreme team-building amenities with the Slide & Fly - a long slide that ends on a ramp boosting riders for a big splash at the pool, Super Slide - a 550-feet long gigantic slide, Sky Bicycle - bike on a cable suspended 80 feet above ground, and Wavepool - a swimming pool with huge waves like the ocean’s, being the newest addition along with other outdoor activities such as the wall climbing, rappelling, zipline, Slide Pinoy, Mud Slide, Zorb ball, water sports such as kayak, canoe, and a lot more! Enjoy the adrenaline as you anticipate an exhilarating quest at the resort with other waterfront, indoor and outdoor activities. To know more about their offers and summer promos visit www.caliraya.net.


For a more relaxing and therapeutic vibe, one can opt for a typical yet soothing experience in a hot spring rather than the cool and chilly ocean water or pool. There are a lot of these in the South but one that seems to be a promising place to visit is Sol Y Viento Hot Spring in Pansol, Calamba, Laguna. Located on a highland, the scenic center gives a good view of Laguna de Bay, it acquaints its guests not only with the refreshing combination of the sun and wind but also the revitalizing prowess of mountain spring water. Uniquely designed swimming pools, nestled amidst the mountain ranges and the view of the bay compels guests for hours of swimming night.

They also host different kinds of features such as a swimming pool, an outdoor jacuzzi, and activities such as zip-line and paintball. Along with that, is also a good dining experience brought by Café Sabroso and a Chill bar inside the place. Admission fee for a day tour is P300 per person and room accommodations starts from P3000+ depending on your choice.Visit www.syvhotelsandresorts.com.


Tired of swimming and all the summer activities being featured on different resorts? Then why not try a more laid-back atmosphere like a nature escape with green water rafting at San Pablo, Laguna. Lake Pandin which is one of the seven (7) lakes of San Pablo offers a relaxing experience for travelers, complete with a taste of their local food and delicacies while enjoying the fresh air on a bamboo raft which will take you to the other side of the pristine lake. You can also try swimming by the lake or catch fresh water species. Lake Pandin is located at Brgy. Sto. Angel, San Pablo, Laguna. To more more about this place visit Mommy Queenelizabeth's blog at www.mommyqueenelizabeth.com.


Going further down South is a peaceful, quite and cool place at the blooming city of Lipa, Batangas. Shercon Resort is a tropical farm inspired resort which thrives with its own Ecology Park- a full spectrum of recreation while enjoying several amenities. Perfected by time and history, Shercon Resort started as an exclusive family resort and grew to what it is today, a Tropical haven, Ecology Park, Hotel and Resort for everyone.
Take pleasure in the magnificence of nature with  the panoramic view of nearby Tagaytay. They have seven wonderfully themed swimming pools, each with different features to consider. Shercon Resort and Ecology Park offers day tour packages which starts at P 250 per adult. They also offer a variety of accommodations from day tour cottages to hotel rooms. Visit www.sherconresort.net for bookings and reservations.


With its lush greenery, hilly landscape, and magnificent mountain views, Amansinaya Mountain Resort is the perfect place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. Just an hour drive from Alabang, you will find a hideaway where you can commune with nature while you revitalize your body and soul.
Amansinaya Mountain Resort is located at Laurel, Batangas. Guests could enjoy either a day trip or an overnight stay in the resort, which includes the use of the Amansinaya Aqua Park and the Casatels for long-staying guests. What makes Amansinaya Mountain Resort different from others is its proximity to Ambon Ambon Falls, which is just one hour away by foot. You may join the scenic trek to the waterfalls where you will pass through hills and streams. The long walk will be worth it as you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the majestic waterfalls. Day tour starts at P450/ person which includes the free use of swimming pool and fun activities like mudslide, tire challenge, army crawl, chicken walk, Tarzan swing, monkey swing, electric fence, devil walk, and tour to Simbahang Bato. Know more about Amansinaya Mountain Resort at www.amansinayaresort.com or take advantage of their on-going Metrodeal promo.


Batangas is known for its beaches and expansive resorts and I am proud to be a dweller since birth. One of the best kept pristine beaches of Batangas can be found in the magical place of Nasugbu, Batangas. With its lovely beachfront and breathtaking sights, Canyon Cove Resort is one stunning beach resort that can fulfill wishes and whims, as well as put to rest the usual worries of every traveler.

It has 208 plush and well-appointed rooms, expansive resort facilities, and a location along white-sand beaches, Canyon Cove's island-hopping activities and other water sports become mere add-ons to fully explore the beautiful locale. Along with family, you can also opt to indulge in sumptuous delicacies at the Island Cafe and then have a cocktail or two at their Bar. Canyon Cove offers a year-round promo for their hotel room accommodations. Overnight stay rates start at P2,899 for a family of four (4). Visit www.canyoncove.com.ph or avail their promos at www.metrodeal.com.


For a day of an exciting tropical getaway and fantastic water fun, there’s no better place to be than Aquaria Water Park. This piece of haven with white sand beach located at Playa Calatagan, Batangas is one of my family's favorite quick weekend destination. You can have a splashin' good time and have awesome fun either at the pool or at the beach!

Aquaria Water Park, managed by Fuego Hotels and Properties and developed by Landco Pacific Corporation, is a water park especially designed for families, friends, beach-lovin’ travelers and for just about anyone who wants a quick and satisfying leisurely break mixed with an enjoyable water adventure.

It boasts a 525-meter of fine beach and a water park that can be readily enjoyed by both the kids and the kids-at-heart! Aquaria’s highlights include a thrilling giant 3-storey high pool slide and cove pools as well as a long stretch of beach where you can lounge or swim and savor a seaside retreat. Day trip packages starts at P300 per person. Check out their on-going promo with 50% off on entrance fees at Metrodeal or visit their website at www.aquaria.com.ph.


Punta Verde DIVE is the flagship property of Punta Verde Resorts. Originally meant as a family hideaway, the resort offers privacy, adventure, and simplicity amid luxury. Located in the little-discovered but nature-blessed municipality of Lobo, Batangas, you will marvel at the luxury, the privacy, and the sense of being away from it all.

It is a getaway that offers both the restful quiet of a mountain resort, amidst lush greens, and the inviting excitement of azure blue seas. Punta Verde Dive is the place to go for those who seek a respite from the pollution and blare of urban life. It is equipped with a 250-square meter infinity pool, and a beach that is rich with corals and other marine life, perfect for snorkeling and swimming. You may want to visit the museum too and take a step back in time and see Philippine history from a whole new perspective, through authentic vintage postcards, photos, newspapers, and other memorabilia.

For the more adventurous type, you may also schedule a trek to the falls. Punta Verde Dive also offers a 45-minute guided trek to a hidden freshwater pool flowing from a waterfall. The surrounding boulders offer a comfortable shade for even noon-time swimming. Another attraction that you may not want to miss is the side trip to Malabrigo Lighthouse which is just a tumbling away from the resort. For inquiries about their day tour rates and accommodation, please visit www.puntaverde.ph.


While Laiya beaches in San Juan, Batangas is one of the most popular go-to places for summer escapades during this season, there are other places in San Juan, Batangas that is worthy of your time and visit especially if one would prefer a more secluded yet comfortable environment to stay and spend the weekend, minus the famous white sand. Calubcub Bay Resort, located at Sitio Puntor, Calubcub 1, San Juan, Batangas is about 2 hours drive from Manila.

The resort sets in a 4-hectare land area populated with tall trees and a 100-meter beach front facing the spectacular ocean view of Tayabas Bay and the islands of Marinduque and Mindoro. The resort has two huge swimming pools, one is a chlorinated pool and the other is a seawater pool. Day tour rates starts at P150 per person and accommodations depending on a whole day or overnight stay starts at P1,500 to P3,000 and up. To know more about this resort visit their website at www.calubcubay.com. You may also want to check out www.wishingbelle.com blog to check more photos and her review about this destination.


Summer is a great season to marvel at the natural wonders of nature while creating happy and memorable moments with our family. It is also an excuse to pause for awhile and unwind to keep us recharged from all the hustles of our busy life. So, where do you plan to spend your summer weeks this year? 

Enjoy the heat!

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