Ah, are you feeling the summer vibes too? Well, I can’t blame you! After being stuck at home due to the series of lockdowns and community quarantines, we now have a chance to get out and explore the beautiful tropical paradise of the Philippines. (While still following health and safety protocols, of course) So now that the summer season is upon us, where should we go?
Hmm, should we go to Boracay? Puerto Galera? Or Palawan? Well, how about let’s try and explore the breathtaking province of Zambales? That’s right! Zambales is one of the most beautiful beach destinations in the country and known for being blessed with deep blue pristine waters, stunning islands, and sandy beaches. It’s also the go-to beach destination for people living in Metro Manila because it only takes about 4 to 5 hours of travel time to reach it! There are also countless exciting activities to look forward to here in Zambales such as hiking, cliff diving, extreme water sports activities, and the currently trending glamping sites as well.
Zambales also has an exciting food culture because of its abundant supply of seafood which allows tourists to enjoy unique gastronomic adventures during their visit! See? Zambales has a lot to offer to everyone that’s why I’m really excited to visit and explore it with you. So, shall we begin? Here are the 15 Best Tourist Spots in Zambales!
1. Magalawa Island
Number one on the list is a hidden paradise situated in the coastal town of Palauig, Zambales, and is absolutely one of the most underrated island destinations in the whole province. Magalawa Island is only accessible via a 10-minute boat ride from the nearby port. But trust me, once you reach this breathtaking island, you’ll be enchanted by its creamy white sands, crystal clear waters, long lines of towering coconut trees, and a heavenly and peaceful environment. It’s such a beautiful escape from all the hustle and bustle of the city!
The whole of Magalawa Island covers a huge area of 56 hectares and is surrounded by fishing communities. So aside from enjoying the sea and its majestic features, I’m 100% sure that you’ll also have a gastronomic feast during your stay! Oh, and don’t forget to try the fun and exciting activities waiting for you here like snorkeling, cliff diving, and banana boat rides as well!
2. Anawangin Cove
Probably the most famous island destination in Zambales is the one and only Anawangin Cove. This crescent-shaped beach is known for its unique and majestic beauty featuring a stunning combination of the grayish volcanic sands and turquoise waters. The towering cliffs surrounding the beach also make Anawangin Cove even more enchanting as they seem to protect the beautiful beach. Visiting Anawangin Cove would be a memorable all-in-one outdoor experience because you can do lots of exciting outdoor activities here like camping, trekking, hiking, swimming, cliff diving, and many more!
Also, one of the many reasons why tourists from different parts of the world visit Anawangin Cove is the feeling of zen and peace it brings to everyone. The beach is secluded from all the noise and pollution making it the perfect place to become closer than ever to nature.
3. Hermana Menor Island
Hermana Menor Island is yet another rising tropical wonder in Zambales known for its white sands, pristine waters, and abundant marine life! This charming island captured the hearts of everyone who visited it and they are comparing its beauty with the islands of Cebu, Antique, and Aklan. What makes Hermana Menor Island stand out from the rest is its stunning white sandbar that lets you walk even closer to the turquoise waters. Just a few steps closer and you’ll already be able to touch the coral reefs, too!
The calm waters of Hermana Mayor are indeed perfect to enjoy a relaxing getaway with your family and friends. Don’t miss the chance to try exciting activities like kayaking, swimming, and snorkeling to see the colorful corals surrounding the island!
4. Nagsasa Cove
Nagsasa Cove is actually one of the four (4) major beach coves in8. The stunning beauty of Nagsasa Cove is made possible because of the devastating eruption caused by Mt. Pinatubo in 1991. The majestic cliffs and mountains surrounding the volcanic ash beach are really a mesmerizing feature you wouldn’t forget for the rest of your lives. Add that to the sight of the crystal clear waters, beautiful rock formations, and the lush forest lined up across the coastline. Ah, what a breathtaking sight indeed. Imagine capturing all of that using a drone camera!
Spending your weekend getaway here at Nagsasa Cove with your family and friends really is a wonderful idea for a vacation. You can enjoy hiking, swimming, diving, and even camping!
5. Potipot Island
Another must-visit island destination in Zambales is Candelaria’s secluded and breathtaking Potipot Island. With its creamy white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and beautiful rock formations, living life in a tropical paradise seems to be closer to reality than ever! Locals say that the skies here in Potipot Island are so clear that many tourists from different parts of the country choose to stay the night, camp out, and watch the countless stars. What a lovely experience indeed, right? Add that to all the fun and exciting beach activities waiting for you here like kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, and many more!
Potipot Island surely has an endless list of stunning features but probably my favorite one is the mesmerizing sunset waiting for you at the end of the day. Such a visual treat indeed!
6. Capones Island
Capones Island, on the other hand, has been an iconic tourist destination that was discovered way back during the Spanish Colonial Era. It’s also located near Pundaquit and is known for its bone-shaped coastline, white sands, rocky shores, and turquoise waters. It also goes by the name “Isla de Gran Capon” which was established by the Spaniards during their time. Aside from swimming and beach bumming, you can also get the chance to witness the rich marine and aquatic life beneath the island by snorkeling and scuba diving!
But what really makes Capones Island extra special is its remote and secluded ambiance because there are virtually no structures around the island aside from an old iconic Spanish lighthouse, Faro de Punta Capones. This antique brick lighthouse was built in the year 1890 and undoubtedly paints a dramatic picture of the stunning Capones Island around it. I suggest that you take lots of memorable pictures here while you have the chance!
7. Mt. Pinatubo
The whole world knows that the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991 destroyed thousands of lives and nearly shattered the whole province of Zambales. But who would have known that this fearsome volcano could turn into a breathtaking natural wonder? Well, since its eruption more than 30 years ago, Mt. Pinatubo has been relatively quiet and is believed to stay that way for many more years. This gives us a chance to explore and witness the spectacular aftermath of its eruption.
A picturesque combination of green and blue can now be enjoyed by Filipinos thanks to the lush forests, crystalline turquoise waters, and majestic rock formations sprouted around its caldera making the volcano highly sought-after hiking and trekking destination for outdoor lovers!
8. Crystal Beach Resort
Ah, if you want to explore the entirety of Subic, Zambales’ natural and cultural wonders, then booking a vacation in Crystal Beach Resort would be the best decision you can make! This famous resort is located in San Narciso and is popularly known for its exceptional accommodation services. The huge creamy white sand beach, crystal clear waters, and a premium seat to watch the majestic sunset of Luzon are just glimpses of the fun and adventures waiting for you here.
Aside from the impressive set of rooms and cottages to make your stay as comfortable and as close to nature as possible, there are also plenty of exciting beach activities to help you make wonderful memories with your family and friends!
There’s a private beach, a surfing zone, kayaking activities, diving, ATV rides, waterfall hikes, and many more! You can also visit the nearby Pawikan Hatchery in San Narciso to witness how the lovely pawikans hatch from their eggs. Visiting Crystal Beach Resort surely promises an all-in, action-packed vacation for you!
9. Talisayen Cove
Ah, and there it is. If you’re looking for the perfect place to relax, enjoy the peace and serenity of nature, and just cast yourselves away from all the stress and noise of the city, Talisayen Cove is definitely the best choice! The grayish volcanic ash, the crystal clear waters, and the majestic mountains covered with Agoho trees are all waiting for you here in Talisayen and they are all definitely worth enjoying. The huge and quiet beach is all yours to walk on, surf the waves, and enjoy the mesmerizing sunset. See? So go and visit Talisayen Cove now!
10. Camara Island
Another underrated and hidden sanctuary of colorful fishes and corals is the Camara Island of Pundaquit. With its creamy white sand beach, turquoise waters, and enormous rock formations, I’m sure that you’ll get the tropical paradise vibes here on this island. It’s only about 15 minutes away from the nearest port of Pundaquit.
It’s usually part of the island hopping tour in Zambales which is composed of other famous islands and coves like Anawangin, Talisayen, and Nagsasa. Be sure to take some awesome pictures around!
11. Inflatable Island Subic
The famous Inflatable Island of Subic, Zambales is an enormous waterpark covering an area of 4,200 square meters and is filled with exciting and action-packed attractions like water towers, inflatable slides, swings, and human launchers, long bridges, and many more! I’m sure that spending your summer here on the island will be one of the best decisions because everyone, especially children, will absolutely have the time of their lives. Spend the entire day swimming, diving, and jumping around all of the attractions here at the Inflatable Island Subic!
Some of the most popular attractions are Rainbow Island, Tulum Pool, Bali Lounge, and even other exciting treats such as Unli BBQ, Unli Beer Promos, and many more!
12. Rosa Farms
Apart from its pristine beaches, majestic mountains, and abundant supply of seafood, Zambales is also known for its sweet and delicious mangoes. Yup! Everyone who’s been to Zambales knows that it is a must to bring home mangoes as your pasalubong. Well, then let’s visit the famous Rosa Farms which is a 12.5-hectare agritourism destination filled with lots and lots of mangoes! Get a chance to experience picking ripe carabao mangoes on your own, exploring different kinds of orchids, and indulging yourself with the delicious treats of Rosa Café!
13. Pundaquit Beach
Ah, one of the most prominent names in Zambales, when we’re talking about beautiful beaches and pristine islands, is Pundaquit. It is where iconic coves like Anawangin, Nagsasa, and Talisayen are located which are all world-class beach destinations. Well, it is also where the one and only Pundaquit Beach are situated and it’s definitely a must-visit tropical paradise! The volcanic white sand shores, turquoise waters, and beautiful rock formations really capture the hearts of many tourists. Pundaquit Beach is also the most ideal jump-off location for other amazing islands like Capones.
The mesmerizing sunset along with the strong waves here at Pundaquit is a perfect combination for everyone who loves surfing, too!
14. Ramon Magsaysay Museum
Another one of the significant highlights and proud legacies of Zambales in Philippine History was President Ramon Magsaysay, the “Champion of the Masses” and the most popular president of all time. The Ramon Magsaysay Museum is located in Castillejos where almost everything is about the wonderful and heroic life of the Philippines’ 7th president.
The museum is divided into three (3) major galleries, the Life of Magsaysay, Magsaysay’s Family, and his Death and Legacy. All of the important artifacts and personal memorabilia of Ramon Magsaysay are beautifully preserved and displayed here in the museum. So if you want to go deeper into the rich and colorful history of Zambales, I suggest that you grab this chance of visiting the Ramon Magsaysay Museum!
15. Botolan Wildlife Farm
Finally, our last but definitely not the least destination for our Zambales getaway is the one and only Botolan Wildlife Farm. This inspiring wildlife sanctuary was founded by Martin and Juvy Zooler, a family of zoologists from Switzerland. The farms serve as the wonderful habitat of several rare species of animals like tigers, peacocks, ostriches, and many more! The farm takes good care of these animals and also gives people a chance to meet them, beautiful creatures, up close. It’s really an unforgettable experience, especially for children! To let them learn more and admire the beauty of protecting our wildlife is one of the best gifts we can offer as their guardians.