Weekend road trip: Tambobong Beach and Cabongaoan Beach in Pangasinan

This year, before official summer began, we went for a weekend road trip to Pangasinan to see Tambobong Beach in Dasol and Cabongaoan Beach in Burgos along with friends we’d met in our recent travel to Siargao.

Pangasinan is my mother’s hometown. As far as I know, it doesn’t have white-sand blue beaches. I remember going to black-sand beaches as a kid on family trips and having fun as waves lull me back and forth in my lifebuoy. Just the same, these beaches do not meet the high bar set we’ve set for other beaches like Calaguas or Boracay. The sand is your usual color and the water isn’t the bluest or clearest we’ve seen.

Still, Tambobong Beach and Cabongaoan Beach are ideal for short barkada getaways or even family trips especially on weekends.

Tambobong Beach, Dasol

Tambobong Beach in Dasol, Pangasinan. (Photo by Hali)

Tambobong Beach is about 5-6 hours away from Metro Manila. We stayed at R Paradise Resort, where we camped in tents while some of the women in our group opted to rent a room.

Tambobong Beach has a small shore and the beach is filled with seaweeds. As I said earlier, it isn’t grand but seems to be ideal for family vacations. There are proper resort accommodations and restaurants in the area, and the calm beach makes it easy to look after kids.

In a way, that’s what I liked most about this weekend beach vacation… it’s laid-back and brought memories of family trips in my childhood. Instead of ordering in the resort or asking for cooking services, we bought seafood and other meat from the market, and Peng, who is a great cook, managed to get all the cooking done. We grilled pork chops and milkfish filled with tomatoes and onions. We made adobo from squids we’d bought in the market that morning.

Colibra Island. (Photo by Hali)

On the same day, we island hopped to Colibra Island and Cabacungan Cave. The beaches in Dasol seem to have a yellow-green color, and that holds true for Colibra Island as well. The sand looks white in photos, but it’s actually more yellow-ish.

Most of the group stayed in the hut to eat and drink, while Hali and I dove into the water. The waves were strong so I was careful to not go far from the shore. Hali went snorkeling into the distance.

Inside Cabacungan Cave. (Photo by Hali)
Inside the cave. (Photo by Hali)

Cabacungan Cave, meanwhile, is a small cave filled with cool water. You can go through the narrow cave entrance or the exit, which goes straight out to sea.

The cliff on top of Cabacungan Cave has good views, so after visiting the cave we stayed there to take silly pictures.

Sunrise in Tambobong Beach. (Photo by Hali)

Later that night, everybody had a great time having social drinks in the beach side. The view was beautiful, with the full moon illuminating the sea, which was then calm and in low tide. I loved how it was a perfect ending to a relaxing day.

Cabongaoan Beach, Burgos

Cabongaoan Beach. (Photo by Hali)

Cabongaoan Beach is a decent beach with minimal crowd. This is perhaps its best selling point. During summer where every beach resort in the country seems to be visited by hundreds of families, you can be guaranteed more quiet in Cabongaoan Beach.

I liked it here better than Tambobong Beach in Dasol, although each has its own merits. We stayed for a day trip in Cabongaoan Beach in Roven’s Place. Roven’s Place enjoys a constant cool breeze, which is something to be grateful for in the pre-summer heat, and a good beach front. It’s not filled with seaweed unlike the rest of the length of Cabongaoan Beach.

The Death Pool. (Photo by Hali)
Up close, the pool is deep. It fills up with water from the ocean waves. (Photo by Hali)

About 30 minutes from the resort is the so-called “death pool.” The Death Pool in Burgos is basically a deep tidal pool beside the sea. I’m not sure if anybody has died here yet. It seems to be more of a marketing gimmick than anything else. When we first saw it from the cliff, we were disappointed by its small size and how people crowded around it. Once the people started going back to the beach area, however, we started to appreciate the pool.

It’s fun and scary taking photos in the pool because every now and then a huge wave will come crashing through and fill up the pool to the brim. The water ebbs and flows. If you’re swimming in the pool, you might get pushed against the rocks on the side by the raging waves. Perhaps that’s how it got its name from.

After having an afternoon swim, we’d left back to Manila.

Short travel guide to Tambobong Beach and Cabongaoan Beach

Sample weekend itinerary

Day 1
Early morning meetup in Metro Manila (1AM-3AM)
Have breakfast and buy food in the market in Dasol
Arrive in resort in Tambobong Beach, cook lunch
Island hop (Colibra Island, Cabacungan Cave)

Day 2
Early morning travel to Cabongaoan Beach
Explore “death pool”
Leave at late afternoon, back to Manila

Travel from Manila to Pangasinan takes about 5-6 hours. Tambobong Beach and Cabongaoan Beach are about 20-30 minutes away from each other. You can go to either resort via commute, but it’s easier to bring a private car especially considering there are rough roads to Cabongaoan Beach.

Mini-pool along Cabongaoan Beach. (Photo by Hali)

As in most provinces, seafood is cheap in Pangasinan. In Dasol, we were able to buy squids for P120 per kilo. Meanwhile, in Burgos, there are streetside vendors on the road to Cabongaoan Beach that sell lobsters for P300 per kilo. You should be able to buy some if you get there early in the morning and if they have catch for that day.

Unlike R Paradise Resort in Dasol, Roven’s Place in Burgos doesn’t provide food services, so you have to bring your own food.

We weren’t able to visit Cacupangan Cave in Mabini because we didn’t know about it then. Apparently it offers 2 hours of spelunking adventure. You can visit Cacupangan Cave as a side trip to Cabongaoan Beach. If you still have ample time, you can also visit the newly opened sunflower maze farm in Tayug, although this will take hours of detour from either beaches.

Commute directions

Take a bus in Cubao to Alaminos, Pangasinan (P400). From there, take another bus to Burgos (P30).  In Burgos, you can charter a tricycle to either Tambobong or Cabongaoan Beach (P300 one way). It’s better if you’d get the contact number of your tricycle driver to fetch you the next day.

Costs and expenses

We spent about P2000-2500 each.

The rate for island hopping in Dasol is P800 for 9 people, plus an additional P100 docking fee per boat in Colibra Island.

Rooms at R Paradise Resort cost P2600 for 6 people, while camping fee is P200 per person. Meanwhile, in Roven’s Place, a huge cottage for a day tour costs P400-500.

Contact Information

Kuya Carlos is a personal friend and highly recommended for van and tour services. He’s based here in Metro Manila and can take you to out-of-town trips. 🙂

Booyah!
With Pangasinan peeps. 🙂 (Photo by Hali)

 

Have you been to either of these? What do you think about Tambobong Beach and Cabongaoan Beach in Pangasinan?

Did you find this interesting or helpful? Make sure to follow and support us in Facebook! We also have Instagram and Twitter for more travel inspiration. 😉

8 Comment

  1. Batgirl says: Reply

    hello, I just want to ask about the Death Pool thing , how much is the expected price for that trip alone ?

    1. I think it’s still around P2000. 🙂

  2. Rick says: Reply

    We went to Cabongaoan beach and Tambobong beach last April 29-May 1. It’s a disaster! The road going there is just enough for a width of 1 vehicle only. We met tourist buses going our opposite way which caused a deadlock for so long. At night, it is so creepy because of the total darkness on the road. Be sure you have a full tank of fuel since there is no available gas station nearby.

    Cabongaoan beach is over crowded. Lots of tents at the shore that its like a walking in a maze just to avoid them. At the Death pool, people are like ants coming in groups never-ending. In Tambobong, we had a good time because only few people were there. The beach is good because of the gradual depth and it was clean. But when we went to Colibra island, I think there are 300 people on the tiny island with only a few cottages. We were like attending a rally or something. Lesson learned. Do not go there during a 3-day weekend peak season.

    1. Sorry to hear about your trip! Everywhere is crowded during long weekends except for very few places.

  3. great blog! may I ask if you rent the van from Manila to Pangasinan and back? thanks!

    1. Hi Jonah, yep. You can get in touch with Kuya Carlos for van service, his page is above. 🙂

  4. Jovs says: Reply

    Hello! Just read your blog about cabo. Is rovens place really that good than other resorts?

    1. It has a better beach front in my opinion, but you can take a look for yourself. 🙂

Leave a Reply