With interesting coastal towns named after saints and enticing islands near the West Philippine Sea, there’s no doubt that city dwellers love to go to Zambales. Unlike other tourist spots near Manila, the province doesn’t have many noisy bars, high-end resort amenities, and fine dining restaurants. But its stillness and quiet charm are enough to attract tourists who have come for a chill trip at the best beach in Zambales. 

And although the province offers stillness, Zambales beach also gives an adrenaline rush in the form of its towering waves perfect for surfing. Zambales is where #wanderlust posts on Instagram are made of.

Zambales Tourism Guidelines 2022

As of March 20, 2022, QR Coded Travelers Pass (QTP) from the Zambales Visitor Information and Travel Assistance (VisITA) System is no longer required when traveling to Zambales.

  • A vaccination card is a must for fully vaccinated travelers.
  • For unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travelers: RT-PCR taken within 72 hours or a rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours or upon arrival
  • Booking confirmation from DOT Accredited Accommodations
  • Valid ID

10 Must-Visit Beaches in Zambales

  • Camara Island – It features rocky hills, huge chunks of rock formations, boulders of rock and a sand beach. 
  • Subic Beach – A gray-sand beach perfect for a quick getaway.
  • Potipot Island – A popular Zambales beach where you can kayak and snorkel.
  • Magalawa Island – Magalawa is a favorite of backpackers and those who are more into DIY adventures.
  • Talisayen Cove – An uncrowded cove with a white-sand beach perfect for relaxing.
  • Liwliwa Beach – A surfer’s haven.
  • Nagsasa Cove – It has a natural viewpoint on a hill and a postcard-worthy inlet.
  • Capones Island – This bone-shaped island is a traveler’s favorite because of its stunning white sand and water with different hues of blue as it gets deeper.
  • Anawangin Cove – The most famous in Zambales, a result of MT. Pinatubo eruption.
  • Bacala Sandbar – The main attraction of this Zambales beach is the old stilt house.

So, if you’re itching to have a quick beach fix, check out this list and find out which is the best beach in Zambales!

9. Camara Island

camara island zambales beach

If you want to go on a snorkeling trip, swimming, or just have a photoshoot, Camara Island is the perfect place for that! It features rocky hills, huge chunks of rock formations, boulders of rock and a sand beach. It also boasts a sandbar that only shows up every low tide or after the rainy season. Camara Island is just 10-15 minutes away from Capones Island.

8. Subic Beach

subic beach zambales

From Manila, it will only take about three hours to reach The Subic Bay, that’s why it is one of the most visited beaches in Zambales. Subic beach caters to all kinds of travelers as there’s a wide range of choices, from budget-friendly to high-end resorts. Some are even theme parks and an inflatable island.

7. Potipot Island

potipot island zambales beach

One of the most popular beaches in Zambales is Potipot Island. It may be a small island but you’d definitely have enough (and more) of what you asked for a quick beach getaway. Some activities are also allowed like beach volleyball and snorkeling. You can also rent kayak in Potipot. It’s a good swimming spot but not for snorkeling as there are not much corals to see on this island. 

6. Magalawa Island

magalawa island zambales beach

Magalawa is a 56-hectare island in Zambales. It is now a rising star on social media because of its fine white sand and pristine sandbar. Magalawa is a favorite of backpackers and those who are more into DIY adventures. One interesting fact you should know about Magalawa is that it is called the Island of the Stars because of the abundance of starfish in its waters, according to locals.

5. Talisayen Cove

talisayen cove zambales beach

If you’re looking for a crowd less spot to enjoy the beach on your own, consider visiting Talisayen Cove. It’s one of the coves in Zambales that Mt. Pinatubo eruption made like the Anawangin and Nagsasa Coves. When you get there, you’ll see no other structures aside from a viewing deck, nipa huts, and a private rest house. Nature lovers will enjoy its crystal-clear waters, rock formations, and a lush mountain. You can go trekking or hiking to the mountain. Every corner is perfect for your #feedgoals! 

4. Liwliwa Beach

liwliwa zambales beach

Liwliwa is a soul-searcher and a surfer’s favorite. Unlike other beaches, Liwliwa offers a combination of tranquility and fun vibe. It is also a surfer’s haven because of its great waves, only with lesser people. And if you’re a first-timer, this San Felipe Zambales beach is a great place to start learning to surf!

3. Nagsasa Cove

nagsasa cove zambales beach

Nagsasa Cove, like Anawangin, is the result of Mt. Pinatubo eruption in 1991. It has Agoho trees and volcanic ashes that line the beach. 

It has all the good things Anawangin is famous, like the natural viewpoint on a hill and a postcard-worthy inlet. What sets it apart from Anawangin is that Nagsasa offers a more laid back atmosphere. 

2. Capones Island

capones island zambales beach
Photo credits to Erick Dantoc / Behold Philippines

This bone-shaped island is a traveler’s favorite because of its stunning white sand and water with different hues of blue as it gets deeper. What’s great about this Zambales beach is that every corner is very Instagrammable, especially the different shapes of stones like from an old era. You can also find the famous old Spanish Lighthouse built in 1980.

One fun thing to do in Capones Island is that you can picnic and have the island all to yourselves if you’re lucky. And the best part? If you want to go island hopping, other beaches are just a boat ride away! So don’t miss this San Antonio Zambales beach!

1. Anawangin Cove

anawangin cove zambales beach

Many tourists consider Anawangin Cove as the best beach in Zambales. And we can obviously see why. Its crescent shape, fine white sand beach, and secluded island vibe capture its visitors’ hearts. But it’s not actually the original look of Anawangin Cove. Mt. Pinatubo is responsible for how the cove looks as it is today. When it erupted in 1991, Mt. Pinatubo dumped tons of ash to the shore of San Antonio. What used to be a rocky coast became a piece of paradise and became every beach-lover’s haven. 

There are no hotels here. You can only sleep in the cove in a tent or by renting a cottage. There’s also no electricity and a low signal, giving you the right camping vibe. This San Antonio Zambales beach is worth visiting!

Related article: Anawangin Cove: A Complete Travel Guide | 2022 Guidelines

BONUS!

Bacala Sandbar

Photo credits to Lawrence Craft / Flickr

Bacala Sandbar is located at San Salvador Island. The main attraction of this Zambales beach is the old stilt house. It stands on the water so you will have to walk through the water with some fish (yes, cool huh?) to reach the house.

Have you decided which is the best beach in Zambales to visit?

Make your beach trip in Zambales more fun and comfortable by booking the best budget hotels at www.zenrooms.com! With ZEN Rooms, you can enjoy quality accommodation at an affordable price.

Frequently Asked Questions About Beach in Zambales

Q: Is Zambales open for tourists 2022?

A: Yes, Zambales is open to all tourists 2022.

Q: What is the best beach in Zambales?

A: There are many beaches in Zambales you can visit. These are:

  1. Camara Island – It features rocky hills, huge chunks of rock formations, boulders of rock and a sand beach.
  2. Subic Beach – A gray-sand beach perfect for a quick getaway.
  3. Potipot Island – A popular Zambales beach where you can kayak and snorkel.
  4. Magalawa Island – Magalawa is a favorite of backpackers and those who are more into DIY adventures.
  5. Talisayen Cove – An uncrowded cove with a white-sand beach perfect for relaxing.
  6. Liwliwa Beach – A surfer’s haven.
  7. Nagsasa Cove – It has a natural viewpoint on a hill and a postcard-worthy inlet.
  8. Capones Island – This bone-shaped island is a traveler’s favorite because of its stunning white sand and water with different hues of blue as it gets deeper.
  9. Anawangin Cove – The most famous in Zambales, a result of MT. Pinatubo eruption.
  10. Bacala Sandbar – The main attraction of this Zambales beach is the old stilt house.

Q: How to get to Zambales from Manila?

A: From Cubao, Pasay, or Manila, ride a bus bound for Iba, Zambales via Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx). If you’re going to San Narciso, get off at San Sebastian Church.

Q: How long is Zambales from Manila?

A: The travel time to Zambales form Manila usually takes around 3 to 4 hours depending on the traffic.

Q: What are the best things to do in Zambales?

A: Zambales is every traveler’s favorite when it comes to beach getaways and weekend trips. Here are some of the most fun things to do in Zambales:

  1. Surfing
  2. Camping
  3. Island-hopping
  4. Glamping
  5. Hiking
  6. Stargazing
  7. ATV Riding

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Don’t you just miss the excitement that comes with planning a trip, researching a destination, exploring the unexplored, delving into sumptuous cuisines, and meeting new people that traveling can only give?

While the idea of traveling is on pause right now, it wouldn’t hurt to think about our post-quarantine trips. Perhaps, daydreaming about traveling again can help us get through these hard times. 

This could have been a perfect time to go island-hopping and discover the great underwater world that the Philippines has to offer. And where else can we better experience these than in Palawan? 

But more than these, what exactly about Palawan makes it so special than other destinations? In this blog, we’ve rounded up eight reasons why you should visit Palawan after the quarantine. At the end of it, you’ll understand why everyone keeps talking about Palawan.

8. Fresh seafood, exotic cuisine and lots of it

tamilok

Palawan is known for its crazy lineup of exotic food. If you’re on for an exciting gastronomic adventure, make sure to try the crocodile sisig and tamilok also known as woodworm. It’s actually a mollusk harvested from mangrove trees.

7. The underground river is jaw-dropping

tourists entering puerto princesa underground river

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is one of the world’s most impressive cave systems. What makes it to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Philippines is its uniquely and impressive features of spectacular limestone karst landscapes, pristine natural beauty, and intact old-growth forests and distinctive wildlife. Measuring to up to 8.2 kilometers, it is said to be among the longest in the world.

6. The lakes are refreshing

stunning view of kayangan lake

And Instagrammable! Some of the must-visits in Palawan are the Kayangan and Barracuda Lakes that are situated in Coron. 

Kayangan Lake is dubbed as the “cleanest lake in the Philippines” and some consider it as the cleanest lake in Asia. It is bordered by tall limestone formations and if you want a view of the entire place, you can just climb up a 300-step hill for a picture-perfect view. It might be a bit of a trek but the views are worth the effort. While the Barracuda Lake is perfect for freediving and scuba diving. The water of the lake is a combination of freshwater and saltwater, which is why divers will experience temperature shifts from cold to warm.

5. It’s more affordable than you think

tourists ziplining in el nido

Palawan is not as expensive as you think it is. The tours are cheap, the accommodations are affordable, and you can have a meal for as low as PHP 50! 

4. There are so many stunning beaches

aerial view of nacpan beach palawan

While Boracay is the most popular and go-to island destination in the Philippines, Palawan also has something to brag when it comes to beaches. In Puerto Princesa, you can check out Honda Bay; in El Nido, Nacpan Beach and 7 Commandos Beach never disappoint; and in Coron, you’ll never run out of beaches as they have the Malcapuya Island, Banana Island, and Bulog Dos Island.

3. Coral gardens are unbelievably glorious

coral garden in palawan

If amazing corals and colorful fishes interest you, you can never go wrong with Coral Garden. This is the best place to experience snorkeling because it is home to rich biodiversity. You can snorkel here to see colorful anemones, clownfish, and brightly colored reef fish by the hundreds. If you are an experienced diver and want to go deeper, this site offers depths of 131 feet that are totally surrounded by protected reef life offering the most crystal clear dive experience you may have ever had. But before you dive, you need to present your Advanced Open Water certification to come here. 

Another site where you can see the best of Palawan’s marine life is Siete Pecados Marine Park. You’ll be amazed at how glorious this place is because beyond its cool and clear waters, lies a diverse of corals and tropical fishes you can only discover through snorkeling. 

2. Postcard-like lagoons

girl swimming in palawan lagoon

When talking about lagoons in the Philippines, Palawan tops the list. There’s nowhere else you can find lagoons as beautiful as Palawan’s because of its towering karsts and clear turquoise waters. It’s like you’ve stepped straight into a postcard when you see its lagoons. 

In Coron, you can visit the Twin Lagoons, Green Lagoon, and Hidden Lagoon. While in El Nido, you’ve got to see the Big and Small Lagoons and Secret Lagoon.

1. Palawan has been recognized as one of the world’s best islands

couple enjoying kayak palawan

Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler, two of the most famous international travel magazines, named Palawan as one of the best islands in the world. If this isn’t enough to convince you that Palawan is a must-visit, we don’t know what else will.

Palawan is an amazing destination that not just boasts its beautiful spots but also gives its visitors an unforgettable and unique travel experience. When visiting this province, one thing is for sure, you will definitely fall head over heels for Palawan. Because, why not? 

For more affordable and safe accommodations in Palawan, check out www.zenrooms.com. Travel More! Pay Less!

 

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

For those people who have all the weekdays dedicated to working, weekend trips serve as a breath of fresh air and provide the mental reset they need that allows them to perform better afterward. Hence, when the perfect time comes, they make the most out of it even if it’s just a quick getaway.

To truly help you make the right choice, have a look at these offbeat Instagrammable places near Manila that are just a couple of hours away and are equally beautiful (and sometimes, more) as the ones in the metro! You’ll be surprised to know that there are such stunning places that are yet to be discovered by many people. This makes it perfect for those travelers who are looking for a quick getaway in a less touristy place.

5 Best Instgrammable Places Near Manila

Explore these best offbeat places near Manila before they crowded. Don’t forget to take your camera for perfect Instagram shots!

  1. Sepoc Island, Batangas
  2. Patungan Beach, Cavite
  3. Talisayen Cove, Zambales
  4. Cagbalete Island, Quezon
  5. Atelier Cafe and Nemiranda Art Gallery, Rizal

Let’s explore what makes these offbeat destinations near Manila so exciting.

1. Sepoc Island in Batangas

Travel time from Manila: 3-4 hours

In the Philippines, it’s always summer somewhere! For those looking for a tropical getaway, Batangas has one of the best Instragrammable beaches near Manila. But because of this, Batangas has become touristy already. Good thing, Sepoc Beach isn’t yet. It is more secluded than your typical well-known beach in Batangas— less crowded but still a beautiful beach.

2. Patungan Beach in Cavite

Travel time from Manila: 3 hours

Photo credits to cavite.gov.ph

This beach is located in Maragondon, Cavite. Although the sand is not white, it is still beautiful because it’s powdery. This is perfect for those who are looking for a quick beach getaway. Plus, you can already go straight to Tagaytay for some bulalo fix after your trip.

3. Talisayen Cove in Zambales

Travel time from Manila: 4 hours

Photo credits to Doods Dumaguing / Flickr

Talisayen Cove got its name from the abundant talisay trees in the cove. When you get there, you’ll notice that there are no other structures around aside from a viewing deck, nipa huts and a private rest house. Nature lovers will enjoy its crystal-clear waters, rock formations, and a lush mountain. You can go trekking or hiking to the mountain. Every corner is perfect for your making it one of the best Instagrammable places near Manila. #feedgoals!

4. Cagbalete Island in Quezon

Travel time from Manila: 3-4 hours

Famous for its white sand patterns, Cagbalete Island is an offbeat but amazingly beautiful destination near Manila. You can go snorkeling, laze all day, or go on an island hopping tour.

5. Atelier Cafe & Nemiranda Art Gallery in Angono, Rizal

Travel time from Manila: 1-2 hours

artistic interior of the kitchen of nemiranda gallery
Photo credits to angono.gov.ph

If you’re into culture and arts, where else is better to explore than in the Art Capital of the Philippines? Angono, Rizal is a good place to expose yourself to learn more about arts, music, and culture. Check Tiamson-Art Gallery, The Second Gallery and don’t miss the Angono Petroglyphs with 127 human and animal figures engraved on the rock wall probably carved during the late Neolithic, or before 2000 BC.

Frequently Asked Questions about Instagrammable and offbeat places near Manila

Q: What are some of the unique places to visit near Manila?

A: Some of the best unqiue places near Manila include:

  1. Sepoc Island, Batangas
  2. Patungan Beach, Cavite
  3. Talisayen Cove, Zambales
  4. Cagbalete Island, Quezon
  5. Atelier Cafe and Nemiranda Art Gallery, Rizal

Q: What are best offbeat destinations in the Philippines

A: Philippines are has many offbeat destinations, the best ones include:

  1. Osmena Peak, Cebu
  2. Caramoan Islands, Camarines Sur
  3. Apo Island, Negros Oriental
  4. Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park, Samar
  5. Kinatarcan Island, Cebu
  6. Mt. Pinatubo, Zambales
  7. Baler, Aurora
  8. Bantayan Island, Cebu
  9. Sibaltan, El Nido
  10. Nagtabon Beach – Puerto Princes

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Please Note: Some destinations might be closed or there might be travel restrictions placed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Please keep the government mandate in mind.