Zambales is where the olden times and modern world converge and flourish. With less than a 2-hour drive from Manila, this place is teeming with natural wonders, rich history and charming culture.
If you’re planning a trip to this province, check out out list of top ten things to do in Zambales.
1. Hike Mt Pinatubo – Nature in its mystical ways turned one devastating catastrophe to engineer this surreal landscape. With its emerald waters in the crater and the rugged rocks surrounding it, this place has become to be one of the most picturesque spots in the Philippines.
2. Visit Anawangin Cove – This cove put Zambales into the beach map of the Philippines. In a country of more than 7,000 islands, it has to take something special for a beach to get noticed, moreover, stand out. And this beach just did that with its pine-like trees, Agoho tree, scattered richly on the pristine sandy shores of the cove.
Photo Credits (Wikimedia Commons): Anawangin by RamonFVelasquez
3. Dive In Subic – A retreat to those deeply fascinated with underwater. It has great wreck diving sites. It is said that there were 25 japanese ships that sank off the coast of Zamabales during the world war 2. Though some of it was salvaged immediately, rumor has it that at least 10 ships or more remains in its waters.
Photo Credits (Wikimedia Commons): Beach by RamonFVelasquez
4. Explore Potipot Island – This charming little island off the coast of Candelaria has rich natural wonders both in land and water. This cream-colored sandy island is uninhabited and is only a 15-minute boat ride away from mainland Candelaria. The placid waters of South China Sea make this beach ideal for swimming and snorkeling.
Photo Credits (Flickr CC): Potipot Island by ple101
5. Trek Mt Tapulao – This is not for the faint-hearted. A trek to this highest peak in all of Zambales is both rigorous and rewarding. It is situated in the town of Palauig and has a height of 6,683 ft. above sea level. It has a milder climate that ranges from 12-16 degrees Celcius.
6. Indulge in Water Sports in Subic – It only takes a little over than a 100-kilometer drive to reach this haven for water sports. It offers a wide array of water activities from fun banana boat rides to the extreme flyboard or hydrojet surfing.
Photo Credits (Wikimedia Commons): Jet Ski in Subic by RamonFVelasquez
7. Hike Mt Pundaquit – The trail is as pretty as the destination. Though the popular and more convenient way to reach Annawangin cove is by pumpboat, trekking is more scenic. The 4-5-hour-hike to the famed cove passes through the equally idyllic Mt. Pundaquit. Mostly grasslands, it is ideal to hit the ground running as early as sunrise.
Photo Credits (Wikimedia Commons): Pundakit by RamonFVelasquez
8. Relax in Liwliwa Beach – Located in San Felipe, some 160 kilometers away from Manila. This small coastal village is the nearest destination to the growing surfing aficionados of the Philppine’s capital. The surfing season starts from April to September. Though surfing in Liwliwa is possible all-year round, it’s on these months San Felipe gets the biggest waves- South Swell. Skim boarding is a good option for non-wakeboard surfers.
9. Check Out the Mango Festival in Iba – Almost every province in the country has its share of festival and Zambales just might have the sweetest one. Mango Festival happens every summer in Iba- the capital of Zambales. Among the festivities are street dancing, Binibining Zambales, a trade fair and, of course, mango eating contest.
Photo Credits (Wikimedia Commons): Mango festival in Iba by RamonFVelasquez
10. Visit San Andres Church – This 400-year-old house of worship is listed as one of the Cultural Heritage Churches in the country. This baroque designed church was built from coral stones and has colorful glass stained windows. But what made San Andres stood out from other churches is the intricately designed polychrome wall at the choir loft.
Have you been to Zambales? Feel free to share your tips and recommendations.