11 Things You Can Do in Antipolo Besides Hinulugang Taktak

July 11, 2018

Mention Antipolo and the first thing that comes to mind is Hinulugang Taktak. Considered a National Park and National Historic Shrine, this waterfall in Taktak Road has long been Antipolo's most famous destination.

As an emerging food and leisure destination though, there are other adventures awaiting in this city in Rizal. And the best part is, it's only one to two hours away from Manila!

Grab your bag and check out these activities worth doing in the "City in the Sky".

1) Visit Boso-Boso Church.

Tucked in the quiet community of Barrio Boso-Boso, Nuestra Senora de la Annunciata Parish Church - also known as Boso-Boso Church - is a 16th-century mission church built by the Franciscans. Fashioned in old brick and stone, Boso-Boso Church might not have the grandeur of its more famous counterparts like the churches in Lumban and Pakil, but its charm lies in its history.

Devastated by an 1880 earthquake and burned down by the Japanese during World War II,  much of the church remained in ruins until the Camillian order took over in 1986. Only a part of the facade is in its original state.

Although the church has been restored, it has retained the simple architecture it once posssessed in its glory days.

2)  Relax in Luljetta's Hanging Gardens' infinity pool.

Luljetta's Hanging Gardens has made a name for itself as the Philippines' "only hanging gardens and spa". Luljetta's pools are laid out in tiers, making walks fun and refreshing. The main attraction though is a postcard-worthy infinity pool perched on a windy cliff. Take a dip while enjoying an expansive view of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range and Manila's skyline.

Several hydro pools offering a one-of-a-kind "rainshower massage" also lie on site. If it gets too nippy, head to the heated jacuzzi or sauna. A fish spa, surrounded by balete and rustic huts, is also a hit among guests. All these can be accessed through a day tour, although rooms are also available for people staying the night.

Don't leave without trying their organic body scrubs and massages, as well as their SuMaKa. Touted as "Antipolo's best suman", this toothsome delicacy combines suman (sticky rice), mangga (mango), and kasuy (cashew) tidbits  sourced fresh from Luljetta's farm. Best paired with coffee, tsokolate batirol, or lemongrass iced tea, it's the perfect post-swim snack.

3) Savor sumptuous Spanish specialties at Casa Nieves.

Paella fan? Casa Nieves should be on your list. Conveniently situated in Robinsons Place Antipolo, this artsy Spanish restaurant features a dizzying assortment of Hispanic appetizers and entrees, as well as Western dishes, such as pastas and salads. Complete your dining experience with an assortment of red wines from South America, including Chilean Sauvignon and Argentinian Shiraz.

4)   See the Statue of Liberty in Boso-Boso Highlands Resort.

No need to go to New York to see the Statue of Liberty. We have one in Boso-Boso Highlands Resort and Convention Center! The giant replica is open to guests on a day tour, although for a more relaxed visit, rooms can be booked for overnight stays.  Umbrellas can be booked for 12 hours (6 am to 6 pm and 6 pm to 6 am) for as low as P400. Entrance fee is P150 for adults; P130 for kids.

Both staying and non-staying guests have access to four pools, including two children's pools and lap pools. Not in the mood for swimming? Try the zipline or Tarzan swing instead. Or simply relax on a swing with the Sierra Madre Mountain range in view.

5) Gorge on Japanese favorites in Kampai.

Sushi fan? Then you might want to get your hands on some yummy Japanese grub at Kampai Sushi Bar. Next-door neighbors with Casa Nieves, this homegrown Oriental resto bar is popular for its freshly made tempura and sushi platters, including rolls named crazy maki - one of the best I've had so far. Also on the offer is Antipolo maki, a refreshing tribute to Kampai's mother city.

6) Experience water fun in Loreland.

Run by the entrepeneurial family that built Luljetta's, you'll find Loreland Farm Resort within the same vicinity. While Luljetta's is a little more upmarket, Loreland is well-matched to more budget-conscious families. Four phases, each with their own unique pools, rest inside the property's eight-hectare expanse. Among them are kiddie pools with slides and an outdoor pool called "aplaya", whose massive ferry lends the feel of a real-life pier.

7) Rejuvenate with a loved one in Callospa Resort.

Callospa is arguably Antipolo's most renowned and oldest wedding venue. Set against lush foliage and simulated freshwater streams, this spa resort is a favorite among couples who wish to destress. The spa features Balinese-themed jacuzzi and massage areas, complemented by expert therapists who are trained in body and facial treatments and various types of massage.

As well, couples flock here for prenuptial shoots and weddings, which are held in the capacious reception hall. Brides and grooms need not go far for their preps, since the resort also hosts well-furnished rooms (including Santorini-inspired suites!) to accommodate wedding parties of any size.

8)  Taste fresh brews in Costa Coffee. 

Coffee lover? Head to Costa Coffee for your caffeine fix. Part of the Brit-founded global coffeehouse chain, this installment in Robinson's Place delivers fresh brews (hot, cold, or iced) from both local and foreign bean farms. Like many British cafes, it's hip and casual and makes for an excellent rendezvous with friends and family.

Have your photo taken inside a replica of UK's phone booth and order the some homemade cheesecakes and devil cakes. They're to die for.

9) Do the Tarzan jump at Camp Tipolo Adventureland.

Experience how it is to be king (or queen) of the jungle for a day at Camp Tipolo. An easy 30-minute hike from Luljetta's and Loreland, Camp Tipolo sits on hectares of tree-filled lands, surrounded by rice paddies and ponds. Popular as a team building venue, Camp Tipolo's Lagoon Area features fun challenges that will test your strength, determination, and balance, like the Tarzan Jump, balancing log, mud slide, and tight rope. Amid rice fields, you'll also spot traditional hut called the Ulog House.  Barbecue stations are available for those who want to host a picnic or boodle fight.

10) Taste natural blue-colored tea in Garden of Doris.  

It's hard to miss Secret Garden of Doris (SGD) along Sumulong Highway,, a 1.7-hectare farm that's dedicated to tree planting and healthy, organic eats. According to husband and wife founders Doris and Ansan Lee, the garden is a passion project that's dedicated to giving back to God (abbreviated, Garden of Doris makes GOD).

The vast expanse of SGD, lined by vegetable terraces and tropical fruit trees, is a refreshing sight in busy Antipolo. Visitors can purchase various organic teas like turmeric. Picnics can be arranged for a nominal fee (less than P100), too.

Don't leave without tasting the farm's best-selling suman and blue ternate tea. Made fresh from the flower of the same name, this preservative-free tea is said to be a powerful, circulation-boosting antioxidant. Clean-tasting, you'll never get enough of sipping this funky blue liquid.

11) Go on a staycation in Luljetta's Place.

The best way to cap off a hectic day tour is to sink down in a soft bed at Luljetta's Place Garden Suites. Owned by the same family behind Luljetta's Hanging Gardens, you can expect the same hospitality in this three-star resort.

Its Spanish-style accommodations range from the 12-square meter Konsehal to two-floor family suites. All rooms are capacious and fitted with air conditioning, tea and coffee making facilities, cable TV, and hot and cold shower. Complimentary buffet breakfast consisting of Filipino and American favorites is served at the on-site cafe. Adjacent to the cafe are two pools: a lap pool and children's pool. Guests also get direct access to Luljetta's Hanging Gardens and Loreland Farm Resort.

Tip: Sign up for their newsletter to get exclusive deals on stays. They regularly offer discounts up to 40% off the regular price. 

This article is now available as a mobile app. Go to GPSmyCity to download the app for GPS-assisted travel directions to the attractions featured in this article.

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