(SPOT.ph) The hilly terrain of Rizal accords the province with breathtaking views of the adjacent Sierra Madre Mountain Range and Laguna de Bay. Further on, you can also spot the varied skyscrapers that define the Metro's cityscape. Its proximity to the city lets urbanites easily drive or bike to the magnificent corners of different Rizal locales.
Drive up to these places to catch the famous overlooking view in Rizal:
UCM Adventure Park
Old Army Road, Barangay Silangan, San Mateo, Rizal
This mountaintop camping site has a balance of outdoor activities for adventure-seeking travelers and creature comforts to keep city dwellers happy. Whether or not you're a nature lover, you're likely to leave as one. You can sit and enjoy the first rays of sunlight at dawn, bask in the glow of the sunset, or lie back and stare at the sky at night.
Maura's Place by Mela and Mai
0011 Granada Street, Pagrai Hills Subdivision, Antipolo City, Rizal
This country-style restaurant in Antipolo has an unobstructed 180-degree view of the hills, valleys, and the city beyond it. Plus, there is more than ample seating for couples and groups facing the remarkable views all day long. But it is the most magical when the sun sets, rendering the skyscrapers mere silhouettes. You can also enjoy performances or acoustic nights under a blanket of stars.
Cloud 9 Sports and Leisure Club
23 Sumulong Highway, Sta. Cruz, Antipolo City, Rizal
The pièce de résistance of this active leisure destination is the view deck, which is connected to the main building of the resort through a hanging bridge. Just cross that one and then you’re treated to an exceptional 360-degree view of the city. After that, you can hang out at the restaurant to cap off the night.
Yeyi's Pizzeria & Café
Malapapaya Street, Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal
Make your way up to Yeyi's Pizzeria & Café and nurse a hot mug of coffee in your hands as the first rays of sunlight illuminate the landscape. You can choose from their all-day breakfast menu that comes with free brewed coffee until noon. At sundown, you can enjoy fresh-from-the-pugon pizzas including the highly recommended Noelito's Grilled Chicken Pizza Verde.
Ricardo's Vista del Cielo
Marcos Highway, Mayagay 1, Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal
"View of the sky or heaven" encapsulates the experience at this location so high up you will be treated to the sight of a sea of clouds all around the balcony. The 360-degree views reach as far as the terrain of the surrounding municipalities of Rizal and Laguna—aside from Metro Manila. You can also choose to feast on their steaming-hot coffee and all-day breakfast from inside the kitschy dining area.
Coffee Rush Binangonan
Block 77 Lot 28, Eastridge Executive Village, Binangonan, Rizal
This sprawling hilltop café offers so many vantage points from which to appreciate views of Metro Manila and the bay that anywhere you choose to sit— really—is a prime spot. If you're up for getting caffeinated, their Cafe Americano and Cafe Mocha will give you that rush. Their don't-skip-the-rice Bicol express and laing will keep your belly happy and warm.
Oscar's at Eugenio Lopez Center
Sumulong Highway, Antipolo City, Rizal
Attached to the Eugenio Lopez Center which serves as a corporate retreat venue, this fine dining restaurant has as a wall-to-wall backdrop the bright blue skies and green hills and valleys below. You get a breezy place from which to watch the world go by. Take your time making your way from salad to dessert, as the sight transitions from a burst of orange to a twinkling night.
Sumulong Highway, Sta. Cruz, Antipolo City, Rizal
The low-key hippie vibe of this roadside stall is so charming. What seems to be just a parking lot dotted with chairs and tables changes once you get your first peek at the panoramic view: with the horizon stretching out, framed by trees and foliage. Sunsets were made for spending time here: Sipping a latte, munching on pastries, and whiling the time away as the colors of the landscape change.
Block 16 Lot 18 Sierra Madre Street, Grand Heights Subdivision, Antipolo City, Rizal
A good pit stop after exploring Pinto Art Museum, this café is housed in an ultra-modern building whose rooftop offers different options—from bean bags to high tables—where you can enjoy a meal or a steaming cup of coffee as you stare out at the vast expanse. Make sure you're perched strategically to capture your photos and videos with the sun setting behind you.
Sitio Maysawa, Cuyambay, Tanay, Rizal
Treasure Mountain in Tanay, Rizal has become a popular spot for campers. Its sunset views are matched with a sea of clouds amid the Sierra Madre mountain range as the backdrop. You don't have to go through a tiring hike to reach the campsite as vans can easily drive all the way to the entrance. Day tours are at P150/head, tent rental is at P500 for two, and cottage booking is at P3,500 for a maximum of six people.