5 Extreme Bridges in the Philippines that Offer Stunning Views
Let’s cross that bridge when we get there!
by Kara Santos | October 31, 2017
For an archipelago like the Philippines, bridges are vital structures. Many economic activities rely heavily on bridges to transport goods from one area to another and allow people to reach other destinations by land more easily. Here’s a look at just five extreme bridges we have around the country that offer stunning views.
If you’re on a road trip passing these areas, make sure to stop by and admire these massive feats of human engineering and the natural surrounding landscape.
San Juanico Bridge, Leyte-Samar
Though some consider the Candaba Viaduct, a five-kilometer long bridge passing over the Candaba Swamps in the North Luzon Expressway as the longest bridge in the country, you can’t exactly stop along the highway.
The San Juanico Bridge stretching from Samar to Leyte across the San Juanico Strait is considered the longest bridge in the Philippines that offers amazing views from either province. With a total length of 2.16 kilometers (1.34 mi) and width of 10.620 meters supported by 43 spans, this extreme bridge spans the San Juanico Strait, the narrowest strait in the country. The bridge connects Tacloban City on the Leyte side and the town of Santa Rita on the Samar side.
The bridge forms a vital part of the Pan-Philippine Highway (commonly known as the Maharlika Highway or Asian Highway 26), a network of roads, bridges, and sea routes that connect the islands of Luzon, Samar, Leyte, and Mindanao in the country. Interestingly, if you look at the bridge from an aerial or bird’s eye view, you can make out a shape of the letter “L” on the part near Leyte and “S” on the part going to Samar Province. Vehicles aren’t allowed to stop or park on the bridge, but you can sneak in a few photos by asking your driver to slow down. Some tourists make it a point to walk the entire stretch of the bridge to be in two places at once and to get better photos.
Buntun Bridge, Tuguegarao City
Up North, we have the Buntun Bridge, a steel truss bridge river that is the second longest bridge in the country, after San Juanico Bridge. With a length of 1.098 km, this bridge links Tuguegarao City to the 2nd and 3rd District Municipalities of the Cagayan Province and the Apayao Province.
Often overlooked by tourists, the Buntun Bridge serves as the gateway to the provincial capital of Tuguegarao City and is part of the Santiago-Tuguegarao Road, a major junction of the Pan-Philippine Highway. The utilitarian and lengthy steel bridge offers an unobstructed view of the mighty Cagayan River, the longest and largest river in the Philippines. It looks particularly picturesque during sunset.
Patapat Viaduct, Ilocos Norte
The Patapat Viaduct is a viaduct in the town of Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, a coastal resort town on the northernmost tip of Luzon Island in the Philippines. The bridge is elevated 31 meters over sea level. This concrete coastal bridge is 1.3 km long and connects the Maharlika Highway from Ilocos Region to Cagayan Valley.
The Patapat Viaduct rises along the town’s coastal mountains, which is the starting point of the Cordillera Mountain Range that snakes through Northern Luzon. This is the 4th longest bridge in the Philippines. This is a favorite stopover for road-trippers and motorcyclists because of its rewarding vantage point of the coastal highway before reaching Pagudpud.
Agas-Agas Bridge, Southern Leyte
With a length of 350 meters (1,150 feet) and a height of 292 feet (89 meters above ground, Agas-Agas Bridge in the town of Sogod, Southern Leyte is the tallest bridge in the Philippines. It’s located in the mountainous Agas-Agas section of the Pan-Philippine Highway which is prone to landslides during heavy rains and typhoons. The bridge was constructed in 2006 to cut down driving time for motorists.
For a time, this was a top tourist destination in the region, when a twin zip line, one of the longest in the country at 880 meters (2,890 feet), was constructed in the area and visitors could glide diagonally above the bridge and the river below it. Unfortunately, as of 2017, the zip line and other extreme activities in the area are no longer operational, but the view deck still offers a great overlooking view of the massive structure. There are a few food kiosks and souvenir stalls at the tourist center near the bridge.
Atugan Bridge, Bukidnon
Before Agas-Agas Bridge was constructed, Atugan Bridge in Impasug-ong, Bukidnon had the distinction of the longest bridge in the country. Measuring 215 feet high and with a length of 0.23 kilometres, this bridge offers a very scenic view of the Atugan Canyon and river below. You can stopover here along the Sayre Highway, a portion of the Philippine national highway that traverses the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon and North Cotabato.
These are just a few of the amazing bridges around the country. Got any others to add to the list? Let us know in the comments section!