Luzon is the largest of the 7000 islands that make up the Philippines. Mountains, volcanoes, white beaches, tropical forests and an urban jungle - Luzon Island's diversity is mind-boggling.
Unless you decide to live there for a while, don't expect to squeeze everything in to one holiday. Plus getting around can take longer than you expect.
Luzon was a bit frustrating - too many beautiful things to see but not enough time to see them. A good excuse to go back! As the entrance point to the island (and often the Philippines), it can, at first, be off-putting: the on Manila metro and in the capital, extreme proverty and unbridled wealth unnervingly coincide. If you're only there for a day or two, then it's worth paying a visit Manila's old town to explore its paved streets and Spanish churches. I had the chance of living in Makati, the biggest district in Manila, which allowed me to learn more about my environment and the myriad of cultures which surrounded me. Sadly, the area's problems with prostitution and a criminal underworld soured my holiday.
To the north of the island, you'll find the Banaue terraced rice fields, the stunning Kalinga mountains and the incredible municipality of Sagada . To the south, picturesque white-sand beaches await! The island is also dotted with volcanoes, some of which are active. The Taal Volcano, at 60km south of Manila, is particularly impressive. The volcano's huge caldera houses a lake with an island in the centre of it; an island which itself contains another lake! Be warned that admiring this impressive landscape can be quite risky, as Taal Volcano is one of the most active on the archipelago...
Let me tell you that from all the options available you'll be spoiled for choice on Luzon Island - everything is amazing.