Zambales is often a go-to choice for weekend getaways and long holidays because of its accessibility by land and the many beaches, islands, and attractions one can visit during their trip. San Antonio which is a municipality of the province has a handful of noteworthy destinations such as the stunning Coves of Anawangin and Nagsasa. Both have beautiful views of the beach and rolling hills as seen from a viewpoint. They also have shorelines big enough for camping and leisurely activities or you can also go swimming and sunbathing during your visit.
Potipot Island and Capones Island are also tropical getaway destinations for beach bummers and nature lovers. These attractions are also easy to access by public transportation and there are plenty of enterprising boatmen who will offer their services for island-hopping at a reasonable price. If you want to surf, the place to be is Liwliwa Beach. It has decent swells for both beginners and experienced surfers.
The province is also a possible jump-off point for day hikes to Mt. Pinatubo. This volcano erupted more than a decade ago. You will still see vestiges of its devastation, but locals have persevered and overcame the challenges the eruption created. The trip starts with a 4×4 ride through rough but beautiful terrain. You’ll see lahar and rock formations before reaching the trail for hiking. You will then begin the trek to the stunning crater lake. Once you see the jaw-dropping view of the lake, you will realize the effort and time it took to get there was worth it.
Zambales is a possible biking destination because of its landscape. There are many trails with gradual ascents and descents, as well as flat surfaces for a fun ride. Mt. Samat and Pastolan are two places to hop on your bike and break a sweat.
The province is accessible by land. Here are ways to reach Zambales from different cities.
WHAT'S IN THIS GUIDE?
How to Get to Zambales
Manila has many terminals that travel to different parts of Zambales or at least passes by it. There are bus stations in Cubao, Pasay, and Manila. There are also multiple companies that operate this route such as Arayat Express, Genesis Transport, and Baliwag Bus, just to name a few. The fare and travel time will depend on which part of the province you will visit.
- If you plan to visit ANAWANGIN and/or NAGSASA Cove, buses to San Antonio Public Market in Iba costs around P360 with Victory Liner. Once at the station, hire a tricycle to take you to Pundaquit for P80 for two persons.
- If you are going to CRYSTAL BEACH, you can alight at San Narciso for around P280. After alighting at San Sebastian Church, hire a tricycle to take you to the resort for P30 for two people.
Zambales is also accessible via Clark!
- If you are coming from the airport, get on the shuttle that goes directly to Dau Bus Terminal which costs P100.
- At the terminal, board a bus bound for Olongapo for around P140. The trip may take an hour and a half.
- In Olongapo, get on the bus traveling to San Antonio, Zambales. Fare is approximately P59 and may take 1 to 2 hours depending on traffic. There are also buses that go to other parts of Zambales from Olongapo.
If you have time, there are a couple of attractions worth checking out while in Clark. There are museums, theme parks, and a 4D Theatre. The city is developed and has plenty of restaurants, hotels and entertainment districts to keep you busy during a layover or a days’ long stay.
It is possible to reach Zambales from Baguio. Go to the Victory Liner terminal and hop on the bus traveling to Olongapo. The trip may take up to 4 hours and costs approximately P450. Once in Olongapo, board another bus bound for San Antonio. Fare is about P59 and takes around 1 to 2 hours depending on traffic.
If you have time to spare, Baguio has a number of noteworthy attractions. Places of interest include Burnham Park, Camp John Hay, Mines View Park, the colorful Stobosa Houses, BenCab Museum, the Strawberry Farm and Tam-awan Village just to name some.
From La Union
If you are coming from La Union, you’ll need multiple transfers before you reach Zambales.
- From San Juan, board a jeep traveling to San Fernando, and tell the driver you’ll alight at the Partas Terminal for buses to Baguio. Fare for this is P11.
- At the terminal, buy a ticket for Baguio for P98.
- From Baguio, make your way to the Victory Liner Terminal.
- From there, get on any bus traveling to Olongapo for P450. This may take up to four hours.
- After arriving in Olongapo, board a bus going to San Antonio. Fare is P59 and may take 2 hours.
If you have time, La Union is a good place to try surfing. You can also go to Tangadan Falls, Ma-cho Temple and try the restaurants and cafes in San Juan.
Where to Stay in Zambales
Zambales is a developed tourist destination with plenty of accommodation options. San Narciso and San Felipe are possible places to stay because of the choices you have, and their proximity to the beach and transportation. You can go camping on one of the islands, either in Anawangin or Nagsasa.
Iba is another place to consider because of its nearness to the beach as well as its slew of resorts and guesthouses to choose from. Subic also provides many hotels for budget travelers and those who are willing to spend. The area also has plenty of shopping and dining options.
To help you choose, here are the top hotels as rated by Agoda users (as of January 2019):
- ACEA Subic Bay. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY
- Crystal Beach Resort. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY
- The Lighthouse Marina Resort. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY
- Segara Suites. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY