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.

While seat sales are everywhere tempting us to hop on a plane, not all people have the luxury of having a limitless number of vacation leaves because most often than not, all that’s left on our calendar are a couple of long weekends to get out of town. Hence, we end up searching for a weekend getaway near Manila.

You don’t actually need to book a plane ticket to satisfy your wanderlust. In fact, you don’t even need to drive too far from the city at all! We know how important a quick recharge is, so we listed all the good places you can escape to if ever you need a quick weekend getaway.

Quarantine Hotels in manila

10 Best Weekend Getaways near Manila

Here are the most relaxing and fun weekend getaways near Manila:

  1. Batangas
  2. Tagaytay
  3. Laguna
  4. Rizal
  5. Zambales
  6. Pangasinan
  7. Quezon
  8. La Union
  9. Bataan
  10. Pampanga

What’s inside this blog?

Itching for a quick getaway near Manila? Let’s explore each of the fun weekend destinations near Manila that are perfect for your much-needed break.

1. Batangas

When looking for a weekend getaway near Manila, Batangas comes first to mind. From beaches and hiking to food trips, Batangas has everything that other destinations have, too. You can already enjoy white sand beaches without traveling by plane!

Travel time from Manila: 2 hours

Recommended spots:

  • Fortune Island
  • Masasa Beach
  • Malabrigo Beach
  • Matabungkay Beach
  • Taal Heritage Town

More Batangas tourist spots for a quick escape: 12 Pristine Beaches in Batangas Every Traveler Shouldn’t Miss for a Fun Getaway

Budget Accommodations in Batangas

  1. ZEN Rooms Yellowbell Batangas
    Price range: P2,500 – P7,600 per night
  2. ZEN Rooms Park B&B Batangas
    Price range: P2,000 – P2,500 per night
  3. ZEN Rooms Hacienda Darasa
    Price range: P2,500 – P9,700 per night
  4. ZEN Rooms Rosario Resort Batangas
    Price range: P3,200 – P8,700

2. Tagaytay

One of the most famous destinations for overnight getaways near Manila, whether it’s summer or not, is Tagaytay. It’s basically among the coldest places in the Philippines that give its visitors fresh clean air and a pleasant atmosphere.

Some of the most famous activities in Tagaytay are trekking to Taal Volcano’s crater, dine at a restaurant with a breathtaking view of Taal Volcano, and search for the best bulalo in town. So if you want your getaway to be fun and not too far from the metro, Tagaytay is the place to be.

Travel time from Manila: 2 hours

Recommended spots:

  • Sky Ranch Tagaytay
  • Balay Dako
  • Sonya’s Garden
  • People’s Park in the Sky
  • Picnic Grove

More Tagaytay tourist spots for your much-deserved getaway: 12 Tagaytay Tourist Spots Perfect for Refreshing Staycation

Budget Accommodations in Tagaytay

  1. ZEN Rooms Cool Breeze Tagaytay
    Price range: P2,500 – P4,000 per night
  2. ZEN Premium Junction Tagaytay
    Price range: P2,700 per night
  3. Casamara Garden Tagaytay
    Price range: P1,200 – P6,900 per night
  4. ZEN Rooms Titus Poison Garden
    Price range: P1,600 – P2,000 per night

3. Laguna

Not all paradise is made of pristine white beaches. Sometimes, it’s dressed as forests, hot springs, and falls. And Laguna is the obvious proof of that. Despite getting partly overlooked because it isn’t the typical summer destination, much of Laguna’s beauty is about the province’s unspoiled rainforests and waterfalls. 

Other than these, its towns radiate its glorious past as it retains its historic facade including that of Rizal Shrine, which is a replica of the original two-story house where Jose Rizal was born. 

Many people, especially those living in the neighboring provinces, often visit Laguna as it is one of the best cheap getaways near Manila. Laguna is also usually listed as a popular “staycation near me” destination if you’re from Manila.

Travel time from Manila: 2 hours

Recommended spots:

  • Majayjay Falls and Cold Springs
  • Pandin Lake
  • Hulugan Falls
  • Nuvali
  • Rizal Shrine

More awesome destinations for a quick getaway near Manila: Top 17 Laguna Tourist Spots to Visit if You Want An Ultimate Relaxation

4. Rizal

For quick weekend out-of-town trips, destinations like Tagaytay or Batangas usually come to mind. Rizal, while also close to Manila, is often overlooked. But this underrated travel destination has gems worth exploring that might even surprise you.

Rizal is rich in natural wonders such as mountains, stunning waterfalls and rivers, and art museums. And the good thing here is, Rizal is easily accessible by public transportation from Manila. There are many buses and vans that go in and out of the province

Travel time from Manila: 1-2 hours

Recommended spots:

  • Daranak Falls
  • Tinipak River
  • Pililla Windmills
  • Masungi Georeserve
  • Pinto Art Museum

More awesome destinations for a fun weekend getaway: 10 Incredible Tanay Rizal Tourist Spots Worth Putting on Your Bucket List

5. Zambales

Another destination most frequented by travelers, especially solo backpackers, is Zambales. With its proximity to Manila, Zambales is one of the perfect destinations for overnight getaways near Manila. 

Although the province is just three to four hours road trip from the metro, it still gives you the feeling that you fell off the grid for the weekend. The best activities to do in Zambales are partying, camping at the beach, and island hopping.

You can enjoy the scenic views of Anawangin Cove or have the beach all to yourself at the uncrowded Capones Island. And don’t worry about the budget because Zambales is one of the most affordable getaways near Manila.

Travel time from Manila: 3-4 hours away

Recommended spots:

  • Anawangin Cove
  • Capones Island
  • Liwliwa Beach
  • Nagsasa Cove
  • Potipot Island

More Zambales tourist spots for your quick escape: 10 Best Beaches in Zambales Perfect for a Quick Beach Fix

6. Pangasinan

Pangasinan is mostly known for bangus (milkfish) and the Hundred Islands. However, there’s much more to see in this coastal province. 

If you’re hesitant to travel all the way to the North because of budget restrictions, don’t worry because, in Pangasinan, it’s possible to have a weekend getaway near Manila with the whole family without breaking the bank.

The province is blessed with hundred islands, beautiful beaches, and nature spots. It’s home to several spots that are perfect for recreational activities—from swimming and trekking to sightseeing.

Travel time from Manila: Around 5-6 hours

Recommended spots:

  • Hundred Islands National Park
  • Abagatanen and Pabrika Beach
  • Enchanted Cave
  • Panacalan Island
  • Patar Beach

For more tourist spots near me in Pangasinan for your quick getaway, read this: 10 Most Beautiful Beaches in Pangasinan Fit for a Beach-Lover’s Taste

7. Quezon

Whether you’re looking for a fun or tranquil vacation near Manila, you won’t miss out when you travel to Quezon province as it has everything you’re looking for—from stunning white beaches and delectable cuisine to lively and colorful festival. And don’t miss their delicious Pancit Habhab!

Travel time from Manila: 4 hours

Recommended spots:

  • Borawan Beach
  • Hagdan-Hagdan Falls
  • Villa Escudero
  • Jomalig Island
  • Kamay ni Hesus

8. La Union

The main reason for any tourist visiting La Union is to surf. If you’re new to this and want to learn how to surf, the beachfront is lined with surfing schools and instructors that will help you. 

But La Union is more than just a surf town. It offers a wide variety of food places, activities, and scenic spots. When in La Union, you’ll definitely experience its vibrant colors, youthful energy, and laid-back vibe to the fullest.

Travel time from Manila: 4 hours

Recommended spots:

  • Tangadan Falls
  • Luna Beach
  • Baluarte Watchtower
  • Kamay na Bato Art Gallery
  • Grape Farm

Can’t find a relaxing place in Metro Manila? Check this out instead: 12 Must-Visit Beaches in La Union for a Fun Weekend Escape

Budget Accommodations in La Union

  1. ZEN Rooms G Hotel La Union
    Price range: P1,000 – P1,700 per night
  2. Monaliza Surf Resort
    Price range: P1,600 – P6,000 per night
  3. ZEN Rooms Basic North Coast Resort
    Price range: P2,600 – P7,500 per night
  4. ZEN Rooms Le Marc Beach Resort La Union
    Price range: P3,500 – P10,600 per night

9. Bataan

When someone says Bataan, the first thing that will come to mind is how it has played a big role during World War II because of the Bataan Death March and The Battle of Bataan.

While the province is rich in history, it’s also the perfect destination for anyone who wants to escape the chaos of Manila. If you feel like traveling back in time and see what Old Manila looks like, you can visit Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar; or if you just want to have a chill vacation, go on an island-hopping or beach trip at Five Fingers Cove.

Bataan is surely a great weekend getaway destination.

Travel time from Manila: 

  • 1 hour by ferry
  • Less than 3 hours by land

Recommended spots:

  • Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
  • Five Fingers Coves
  • Pawikan Conservation Center
  • Mount Samat National Shrine
  • Sisiman Bay and Lighthouse

Done with your vacations in Manila? Extend your getaway in Bataan: 16 Best Bataan Tourist Spots Every Traveler Will Love

Budget Accommodation in Bataan

Eva’s Paradise Beach Resort
Price range: P2,500 – P7,000 per night

10. Pampanga

While Pampanga boasts its cuisines and delicacies that have become national sensations, making them the Culinary Capital of the Philippines, it has much more to offer other than food. 

Pampanga caters to every kind of traveler—from the adventurous to laid-back tourists. When in Pampanga, you can go to Sandbox in Alviera to fix your adventure cravings with its fun rides and activities. You can also go on a laid-back trip by visiting Puning Hot Springs.

Travel time from Manila: 2 hours

Recommended spots:

  • Mt. Pinatubo crater
  • Sandbox
  • Zoocobia Fun Zoo
  • Puning Hot Springs
  • Aqua Planet

For more tourist spots in Pampanga, read this: 10 Best Pampanga Tourist Spots Not to Miss for a Fun-Filled Trip

If you’re planning to have a weekend getaway near Manila, book your budget hotels at ZEN Rooms to enjoy great rooms at an affordable price!

Frequently Asked Questions about weekend getaways near Manila

Q: Where can I go near Manila this weekend?
A: Here are the best places to go near Manila for a weekend getaway

  1. Batangas: 2 hours away
  2. Tagaytay: 2 hours
  3. Laguna: 2 hours
  4. Rizal: 1-2 hours
  5. Zambales: 3-4 hours
  6. Pangasinan: 5-6 hours
  7. Quezon: 4 hours
  8. La Union: 4 hours
  9. Bataan: 1 hour by ferry. Under 3 hours by land. 
  10. 10. Pampanga: 2 hours

Q: Where can I unwind near Manila?
A: These are the best places to unwind near Manila:

  1. Batangas: Fortune Island, Masasa Beach, Malabrigo Beach
  2. Tagaytay: Sky Ranch Tagaytay, Sonya’s Garden, People’s Park in the Sky
  3. Laguna: Majayjay Falls and Cold Springs, Pandin Lake, Hulugan Falls
  4. Rizal: Masungi Georeserve, Tinipak River, Pililla Windmills
  5. Zambales: Capones Island, Anawangin Cove
  6. Pangasinan: Hundred Islands National Park, Abagatanen and Pabrika Beach, Enchanted Cave
  7. Quezon: Hagdan-Hagdan Falls, Villa Escudero, Borawan Beach
  8. La Union: Luna Beach, Baluarte Watchtower, Tangadan Falls
  9. Bataan: Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, Sisiman Bay and Lighthouse, Five Fingers Coves
  10. Pampanga: Mt. Pinatubo crater, Puning Hot Springs, Aqua Planet, Zoocobia Fun Zoo

Q: Where should I go for a 2 day trip near Manila?
A: Here are 5 best options for a 2-day trip or a weekend getaway include:

  1. Pampanga
  2. Bataan
  3. Zambales
  4. Pangasinan
  5. La Union

Q: What are the best beaches near Manila?
A: The best beaches near Manila for a weekend getaway are:

  1. Masasa Beach
  2. Liwliwa Beach
  3. Abagatanen and Pabrika Beach
  4. Pundaquit Beach
  5. Burot Beach
  6. Halfmoon Beach
  7. Masasa Beach
  8. Burot Beach
  9. Nagsasa Cove
  10. Talisayin Cove Beach

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.

When we talk about the best beaches in the Philippines, Boracay and Palawan first come to mind. While these are indeed beautiful, there are also beaches near Manila that are as stunning as the two and worth a visit. One of these is Magalawa Island in Zambales.

Just like the Philippines’ top beaches, Magalawa Island has fine white sand, crystal clear blue waters, and a lot of fun activities—only secluded, which makes it even better. And because of these, locals and tourists think that this could be the next Boracay!

This 56-hectare island is best known for its white fine sand and pristine sandbar. It is also called the Island of the Stars because of the abundance of starfish in its waters.

Here’s a quick Magalawa Island DIY Guide with all the things you should know to help you plan your trip.

Magalawa Island DIY Guide

Magalawa is a rising star on social media because of its stunning beauty that captivates its visitors. This island has become a favorite of quick vacationers and budget travelers because aside from being accessible (Manila to Magalawa Island is just 4 to 6 hours of travel time), it is also a budget-friendly destination.

The island is usually quiet so Magalawa is perfect for just relaxing. If you’re lucky, you can have the beach all to yourself. As this isn’t yet discovered by many, you can still enjoy its unspoiled beauty with less to no crowd. Weekdays are the best time to visit Magalawa Island Zambales.

Magalawa Island Location

Palauig, Zambales

Manila to Magalawa Island 

 

Magalawa Island location is very accessible! From Manila, take a Victory Liner bus bound for Sta. Cruz, Zambales and tell the driver or conductor to drop you off at Brgy. Pamolingan in Palauig. You can ride a bus from Caloocan, Cubao, Manila, or Pasay. Travel time is about 4 to 6 hours from Manila. Once you arrive, head to Luan Port, where boats are available to take you to Magalawa Island. 

If you’re taking a private vehicle, drive to Pangolinga in Palauig, Zambales. The fastest way to reach Paluaig is via the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and on to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX). 

Where to stay in Magalawa Island 2020

 

There are only two resorts on the island—the Ruiz and Armada resorts. Ruiz resort is more affordable while the Armada resort is for those who have an extra budget. 

If you want a cheaper option, you can just pitch a tent in Magalawa Island. You can bring your own or rent one from the resort that costs about P200 – P300 per night only.

Things to do in Magalawa Island

 

Magalawa Island | Photo source: Wikimedia Commons/Ignacio Malapitan III

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons/Ignacio Malapitan III

For a more fun trip, here are 5 best things to do in Magalawa Island Zambales.

1. Snorkeling

Unlike other islands in Zambales, Magalawa has more underwater gems to boast of. Both resorts offer snorkeling as part of their day tour and overnight packages. If you opt not to avail of a package, snorkeling rates start at P100 per person. 

2. Camping

Make your trip more exciting by camping instead of staying in a hotel room. Experience the real island vibe by pitching a tent and enjoying a bonfire.

3. Walk on the island’s sandbar

One of the most famous spots on Magalawa Island is its sandbar. This is a must-see destination when visiting. Just a reminder, there is a rip current on the left side of the sandbar so be careful.

4. Island hopping

Zambales is home to many coves and islands so island hopping is a great activity when in the province. From Magalawa Island 2020, you can go to Potipot Island and Bacala Sandbar for as low as P200.

5. Kayaking

This is a fun activity not to miss in Magalawa Island. What’s great about this is that, kayaking here is cheaper compared to other islands in the Philippines!

Tips and Reminders

 

Bring your own drinking water.

There are only few stores on the island so expect the prices of goods to be expensive.

If you are camping, bring mosquito repellents.

If you find some starfish, don’t disturb or pick them up.

Electricity is only available from 6pm to 7am.

There’s a rip current beside the sandbar so you have to be very careful.

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.

With its proximity to Manila, Zambales has become every quick vacationer’s favorite. It’s also a default place for some surfers and soul-searching travelers because of its secluded island vibe. And one of the places that’s going on travelers’ radar and influencers’ feeds is Liwliwa beach!

Unlike other beaches, Liwliwa offers a combination of tranquility and fun vibe.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B9OfWsipt0h/

To make sure your Instagram meets the summer aesthetic, below are five reasons to love Liwliwa beach!

sunset at liwliwa beach

1. Not far off

Located in San Felipe, Zambales, Liwliwa beach is perfect for a spontaneous barkada or solo trip because it is just three hours away from the metro. Just read the right Liwliwa travel guide so you will not get lost. 

2. Not crowded

Liwliwa beach sure is a great destination and what makes it even better than other beaches is that it’s not too crowded. In fact, if you’re lucky, you can have the beach all to yourself. It’s just a matter of perfect timing! We suggest you go there early in the morning!

3. Affordable

One of the things that make Liwliwa the go-to destination for travelers, especially backpackers, is that it’s very affordable. Many Liwliwa resorts are simple, but fit the area’s island charm. Hostels, inns, and some Liwliwa resorts range from P400 to P2,000 per night. 

You can check out Kwentong Dagat, Surface Liwa Beach Resort, the Circle Hostel, Good Karma Surf Resort, and Kapitan Liwa. If you want a closer vibe with nature, you can try camping. Some locals and hotels allow guests to rent or pitch their own tent on their lots for as low as P100 per night! Beach Haven Campsite, Board Culture Liwliwa, and Liwalize It Surf Camp are some of the well-known camping sites in the area.

Food in this area is also affordable as there are many karinderya (eateries) and even cafes that serve full meals from P70!

4. Relaxing ambiance

What’s a beach vacation without beach bumming, right? So if you’re looking for a chill moment at the beach, Liwliwa gives you the relaxation you need. You can either sleep on a hammock at some hostels and restaurants or just lay your mat on the sand, turn your book to where you left it and get tanned.

5. Instagrammable

While you’re treating yourself to a well-deserved vacation, why not get some obligatory content a.k.a. Instagram posts while you’re at it? We can’t deny the fact that influencers love Liwliwa because of its Instagrammable spots! Every corner of the area is definitely IG-worthy and perfect for your feed. 

How to get to Liwliwa

 

empty liwliwa beach

By Bus

Take a bus from Pasay or Cubao bound to Iba or Sta. Cruz, Zambales. Make sure to tell the bus conductor/ticket seller that you are alighting to San Felipe. Otherwise, you’ll be paying for the whole trip to Iba/Sta.Cruz which is more expensive. Bus fare is P350 – P390. From the bus stop, take a tricycle going to Liwliwa Beach. Fare is P30 each.

By Private Car

If you are coming from Metro Manila, take the SCTEX and follow road signs leading to Subic then, Zambales.

We hope this Liwliwa travel guide will help you. If you want to share something about your beach trip, just let us know in the comments box below! 🙂

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.

More than the Botolan beach, there’s more to see and experience in this coastal town. Botolan, Zambales might have a devastating history after 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption but, that’s what tourists come for. Its historic appeal charms the visitors to continue exploring the town and the scars of the wounded land have become popular destinations for tourists and even local residents.

Botolan makes the most out of Pinatubo’s past that has created an unexpected surreal beauty from its crater lake, chilly mountain rivers and falls, extensive lahar fields, and sand dunes, and even tropical mangroves and beaches.

If you want to experience Zambales in a more exciting way, check out these things to do in Botolan beach and more!

1. Visit Botolan Wildlife Farm

deers at botolan wildlife farm in zambales

Photo credits to BOTOLAN Zambales- Yours To Discover

If you’re done lounging at Botolan beach, go on a safari trip! One of the most favorite places of tourists in Zambales is the Botolan Wildlife Farm. It is a family-run ranch established in 2000. The 55,000 sqm. place serves as a habitat for a wide range of exotic animals and plants around the world. 

The Botolan Wildlife Farm is open daily from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

2. Ride a 4×4 to Mt. Pinatubo

4x4 trucks touring the mt. pinatubo

See the unexpected beauty that was made out of a disaster. You can explore Mt. Pinatubo, its crater and lakes by riding a 4×4 or an ATV. The ride will be a rocky one but once you see the view, all the bumps you’ve gone through are worth it!

3. See the Ina Póon Bato Chapel

 

facade of  Ina Poon Bato Chapel zambales

Photo source: Wikipedia

According to historical and mystical sayings, the Aeta had been worshiping a wooden statue set on a rock in the 17th century when Spain began its colonization of the country. The image was soon associated with the Virgin Mary, prompting the Catholic Church to dub the image as Ina Póon Bato (Mother of the Lord Rock).

While the chapel was destroyed by the 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption, the image of Ina Póon Bato survived and was later transferred to a nearby chapel. Devotees are always flocking the chapel for miracles or as a sign of gratefulness for answered prayers.

There’s also a fiesta (Fiesta Póon Bato) held every January 23-24 in honor of Ina Póon Bato. Thousands of devotees gather to that event. One thing you should look forward to this fiesta is the cultural dance of the Aetas. Another festival that is worth experiencing here is the Domorokdok Festival, which is held in May and includes street dancing and parades, beauty pageant and a vibrant display of Botolan products.

4. Fort Paynauen

This historic fortress was once the most formidable Spanish garrison in Central Luzon during the first century of the Spanish regime in the Philippines. Fort Paynauen served as a prison not only for the rebellious natives of Zambales but also for Spanish officials who angered the Spanish Governor-General or Archbishop of Manila. 

5. Stargazing at Botolan beach

 

stargazing zambales

What better way to cap off the day than lying on the sand while watching the stars? Instead of booking a hotel, you can try camping or renting a cottage at the Botolan beach. This way, you can feel nature more, serenading you with the waves’ rhythm, fresh air hugging you, and a good view of the sky. But if this is not your cup of tea, you can check-in at a resort in Botolan Zambales. A great Botolan Zambales beach resort is the Sundowners Botolan.

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.

Living in a highly-urbanized city like Manila can be stressful at times. With the time-consuming traffic in EDSA that keeps worsening every day and the demanding job you have, stress has become a part of your everyday routine. We can’t blame you if you feel you need to destress.

Don’t worry! We’ve rounded up 6 best budget-friendly getaway destinations near Manila for your much-needed quick escape!

1. Tagaytay

people walking at the peoples park in the sky

If you want to experience cool weather, you don’t need to go to Baguio because Tagaytay will already give you that. It will only take 1 to 2 hours from Manila to go there. You can take a bus from Gil Puyat going to Nasugbu or Calatagan and this will pass through Tagaytay. There’s also a direct bus en route to Tagaytay from Taft Avenue in Pasay. The bus fare going to Tagaytay costs P100 – P150. To get around, you can ride a jeep or tricycle to make your trip more affordable.

Must-visit places: Picnic Grove, Sky Ranch Tagaytay, Museo Orlina, and Peoples Park In The Sky.

2. Laguna

people on the hot air balloon ride in enchanted kingdom

Same with Tagaytay, it can only take 1 to 3 hours of travel time from Manila depending on which area of Laguna that you want to go. You may opt to go to hot springs like in Calauan to get energized from your tiring work week.

Must-visit places: Nuvali, Enchanted Kingdom, Pagsanjan Falls, and Rizal Shrine.

3. Rizal

cerulean blue waters of tinipak river in rizal

With its proximity to Manila, Rizal has become a favorite quick getaway destination near Manila. The travel time will take about 1 to 2 hours via van or jeep. If you opt to ride a bus, expect the travel time to have an additional one hour. You can even spend less than P1,000 for this trip.

Must-visit places: Calinawan Cave, Daranak Falls, Batlag Falls, Masungi Georeserve, Mt. Daraitan, Tinipak River, Hinulugang Taktak and Pililla Wind Farm.

4. Aurora Province

people surfing at baler, aurora

If you’re into surfing, Baler in Aurora is perfect for you. There are buses going to Baler from  Cubao that will take 5 to 6 hours. Price ranges from P480 – 700. There are tricycle tours that you can choose for about P800/day (up to 3 passengers) to see the adventure spots, heritage sites, and other tourist spots. Here’s a tip, the town of Dingalan is dubbed as the Batanes of the East because of its resemblance.

Must-visit places: Sabang Beach, Dicasalarin Cove, Diguisit Beach, Museo de Baler, and Dingalan.

5. Zambales 

pink bean bags at inflatable island in zambales
Photo credits to Inflatable Island PH

Zambales is also a famous beach destination where travelers go for a quick getaway. The travel time takes about 3 to 4 hours from Manila by bus. Bus fare costs around P300 – 500 per person for a one-way ticket. 

Must-visit places: Inflatable Island, Liwliwa Beach, CASA San Miguel, Subic, Anawangin Cove, and Capones Island.

6. Batangas 

colorful castle of fantasy land

For only 2 to 3 hours of travel time from Manila, you can already reach Batangas which is also a popular beach destination for a quick escape. Bus to Batangas takes 4 hours, which costs more or less P200 per person.

Must-visit places: Fortune Island, Laiya Beach, Masasa Beach, and Isla Verde and Verde Island Passage.

There are more places near Manila that you can spend less. All it takes is thorough planning and research. Appreciating the small things that you currently have is another factor that contributes to saving. Same with travel, it doesn’t need to cost much for you to really enjoy and get relaxed.

Want to get relaxed without breaking the bank? ZEN Rooms is the accommodation that you’re looking for. Book now on www.zenrooms.com to experience high-quality rooms at an affordable price. 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.

They say that no man is an island. But, every once in a while, it’s good to be alone. When it comes to traveling, going solo flight means getting to live the YOLO life. You will finally be free to do whatever you want at your own pace. More importantly, traveling alone gives you the chance to discover who you truly are. That’s why there are many people who solo travel the Philippines.

The best and most affordable way to achieve this is to go on a road trip so you can gaze out the window, take in the view, and just sit alone with your thoughts for a few hours. This way, your journey to a new destination will eventually transform into a journey of self-exploration.

If you’re wondering where’s the best place to travel alone in the Philippines, we got you! Here are the top 7 destinations perfect for solo travel Philippines!

1. Batanes

racuh a payaman batanes

Batanes is an ideal place to go solo travel Philippines because it is one of the safest and most peaceful travel destinations in the country. Would you believe that the crime rate for this hilly island is almost zero? Plus, the Ivatans are the friendliest locals ever so if ever you’re lost, they’ll help you without taking advantage of you.

The climate in Batanes is tropical, but also has a cold temperature most of the time due to its latitude. When it comes to touring the island, you can rent a motorbike, bicycle or hire a tricycle. Another option is to join group tours with other tourists. The best time to visit Batanes is June for Batanes Day so you can experience the fiesta and celebrate it with free lunch for everyone! Batanes, definitely, is the best place to travel alone in the Philippines.

2. La Union

 

aerial view of la union beach

This is the place to be if you want to celebrate being young, wild, and free. Only 5 to 7 hours from Manila, this Surfing Capital of Northern Luzon is the best place to travel alone first time Philippines.

LU offers many extreme activities to pump up your adrenaline. Brave your fears and face the challenging waves at San Juan. If you want something even more extreme? You can try rappelling, ATV driving, wall climbing, and zip lining at Pugad in Pugo. At night, you can head back to the beach to enjoy smores and a beer, perhaps with some new people who are down to start a bonfire with you.

3. Palawan

girl on the edge of the boat in el nido

There’s nothing more breathtaking to solo travel Philippines than in Palawan! If you fancy prisitne beaches, jaw-dropping lagoons, coral gardens and turquoise waters, this is the best place to travel alone first time Philippines. You can enjoy the beaches of Coron and El Nido and have yourself lost in wonder at their lagoons. We recommend you to visit the Nacpan beach and Big and Small Lagoons in El Nido, Twin Lagoon and Kayangan Lake in Coron, and the Underground River in Puerto Princesa!

4. Baler

If you’re craving for anonymity and want something a bit more low-key, Baler is your best bet. This small town is the best place to travel alone near Manila because it’s also 5 to 7 hours away from the metro. You can revel in nostalgia by visiting historical landmarks like Museo de Baler, the replica of Doña Aurora Quezon’s Ancestral House, and the Church of Baler where the “Siege of Baler” took place in the late 19th century.

Take your walk to the next level by going to Diguisit Beach to see its breathtaking rock formations and the nearby waterfalls. Baler is a great destination to solo travel for beginners Philippines because it’s easy to get around to.

5. Zambales

 

girl in mt. pinatubo zambales

Zambales should be on top of your list if you’re looking for the best place to travel alone near Manila. Because of its proximity, it has become the favorite go-to weekend destination of travelers and solo backpackers. From Manila, the travel time takes only about 3 to 4 hours. We suggest you go to San Felipe or Liwliwa beach and enjoy your alone time. What’s great about here is that, everything’s cheap so it’s really perfect for budget solo travel for beginners Philippines.

6. Batad, Banaue

majestic view of banaue rice terraces

Another great destination to solo travel for beginners Philippines is Batad, Banaue. It’s perfect for travelers who are soul-searching or for someone who fancies hiking. The accommodations here are reasonably priced, and the best spot here is the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Batad Rice Terraces.

Make your visit more memorable by seeing it up close! Aside from the rice terraces, there are other interesting places to see and explore in Batad such as the Tapiya Waterfalls, Papa Sitio, and Viewpoint.

7. Baguio

burnham park baguio

If you want to experience a suburban adventure, Baguio is ready to welcome you with its cold open arms. Explore contemporary Filipino art by visiting BenCab Museum and dropping by the nearby Wood Carvers’ Village.

Afterwards, take your pick out of Baguio’s numerous parks and breathe in the fresh air and refreshing views. Make your stroll even sweeter with a cup of strawberry taho – something that might just inspire you to also try strawberry picking at La Trinidad, Benguet.

There are many reasons why traveling solo once in a while is a good idea. Whether you want to meet someone new or just want to discover yourself, traveling solo will make you braver and smarter.

Don’t forget to check out ZEN Rooms when booking a budget hotel. We offer quality accommodation with the best amenities at a very affordable price!

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.