Bataan is a small province located in Central Luzon, known mostly for its mountains, beaches, and historical sites.
Families and leisure tourists often enjoy booking for a beachside staycation in Morong Beach, Bagac Beach, Camaya Coast, and Sisiman Bay. Adventure seekers can hike the summit of its mountains and chase waterfalls as well. Bataan played a significant role during the WWII, so those interested in history can hop on a historical tour to important historical markers and sites in this province.
If you’re planning a trip to Bataan, here are the best Bataan tourist spots that you shouldn’t miss, as well as other
- 1. Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
- 2. Pawikan Conservation Center
- 3. Zero Kilometer Death March Marker
- 4. Mount Samat National Shrine
- 5. Bataan World War II Museum
- 6. Five Fingers Cove and Laki Beach
- 7. Mount Natib
- 8. Pasukulan Falls
- 9. Tarak Ridge
- 10. Balanga Wetland and Nature Park
- 11. Tikip Falls
- 12. Bataan Technology Park
- 13. Plaza Mayor de Ciudad de Balanga
- 14. Dunsulan Park and Dunsulan Falls
- 15. Vista Tala Resort and Recreational Park
- 16. Take a break at Playa la Caleta
- 17. Buy pasalubong
1. Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
Step back in time and immerse yourself in the beauty of Spanish colonial architecture at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar. This heritage resort has been meticulously reconstructed from different parts of the Philippines, giving visitors a glimpse into the country’s past.
Day trippers can take a guided tour to learn about the old houses, play traditional games, ride a boat along the man-made lake, or head to the beach for a quiet time. If you want to make the most of your time in this resort, it’s best to stay overnight in a traditional casa so you have ample time to experience the charm of this cultural gem.
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar: Book discounted rooms here
2. Pawikan Conservation Center
The Pawikan Conservation Center in Morong is a sanctuary for endangered sea turtles – specifically Olive Ridley, one of the five species of marine turtles found in the Philippines. The center also offers educational programs about their protection and rehabilitation.
You can visit the center to learn more about their efforts (and donate if you want to). It’s an enlightening experience since you will learn about the sea turtles and how the volunteers keep track and take care of them.
Make sure to visit during the nesting season (November to March). Specifically, head there in November to see the turtles lay their eggs and January to February to witness the hatchlings being released back to the sea. Obviously, there are no specific dates on when the eggs will watch, but if you are around the area you can call the center and ask them to update you of possible hatchlings.
3. Zero Kilometer Death March Marker
The Zero Kilometer Death March Marker (also known as the “KM 0” marker) is a significant historical site located in Mariveles, Bataan. It marks the starting point of the Bataan Death March, a tragic event during World War II where in thousands of Filipinos and Americans were forced to walk from Mariveles (Bataan) to Capas (Tarlac), covering a distance of about 104 kilometers.
The march took several days and was characterized by extreme brutality, harsh conditions, and a lack of food and water. Thousands of prisoners died along the way due to exhaustion, disease, and maltreatment by their captors.
This site is often the start of historical tours covering the events of WWII in Bataan, Pampanga, and Tarlac.
4. Mount Samat National Shrine
For history buffs and adventure seekers, a visit to Mount Samat National Shrine is a must. It is home to the iconic Dambana ng Kagitingan (Shrine of Valor), a memorial for Filipino and American soldiers who fought during World War II.
Reach the top by climbing over 300 steps where you can see a shrine and tablets detailing the events of Bataan Death Mark. Afterwards, you can visit the small museum attached to the colonnade and then appreciate the views outside.
5. Bataan World War II Museum
Next up on our list of Bataan tourist spots is the Bataan World War II Museum. This museum in Balanga City is dedicated to preserving and commemorating the events and stories surrounding the role of Bataan Province during the WWII, particularly the heroic stand and sacrifices made by Filipino and American soldiers in the defense of Bataan against the Japanese forces in 1942.
It is also the site where Major General Edward King Jr. surrendered to the Japanese to prevent further death and destruction. This museum is small but nonetheless an important historical site in Bataan.
6. Five Fingers Cove and Laki Beach
One of the best tourist spots in Bataan, Five Fingers Cove and the nearby Laki Beach offer a fun beach and island hopping experience.
You might be wondering why the place is called Five Fingers. It’s because it consists of five islands with four coves in between, which resembles five fingers when viewed from above. The set of coves include: Conchino’s Point, Talaga Beach, Naiclec Point, and Longos Kawayan.
Here you can enjoy stunning views of cliffs, caves, and crystal-clear waters that are perfect for swimming and snorkeling. You can also go cliff jumping or trek to the nearby lighthouse for a breathtaking view of the cove.
Meanwhile, Laki Beach is a white-sand beach where you can swim and relax after your island hopping adventure.
Five Fingers Cove and Laki Beach is easily accessible and is one of the popular day trips from Manila.
7. Mount Natib
Bataan is home to several mountains that can be visited as a day hike from Manila. One of the best ones that offer a challenging yet rewarding hike is Mount Natib — a beginner-friendly dormant volcanic mountain lying in Orani, Bataan.
The trek to the summit takes about 3-4 hours depending on your pace. The route is a mix of easy and difficult trails, with steep slopes and rope trails. Experience being one with nature as you navigate through lush forests and the scenic trail leading to its summit, where you can see a panoramic view of Subic Bay and surrounding landscapes.
After the climb, you can also visit the nearby Pasukulan Falls — one of the highest waterfalls in Bataan Province. Although it is more challenging than other day hikes, climbing Mount Natib is a unique, fulfilling experience, making it one of the best Bataan tourist spots that you should explore.
8. Pasukulan Falls
For nature enthusiasts, one of the must-visit Bataan tourist spots is the magnificent Pasukulan Falls — an unspoiled gem nestled within the verdant wilderness of Bataan Natural Park in Abucay.
You can visit the waterfall either via Mount Natib or Pinagbutasan Trail in the town of Orani. The journey to the falls itself is an adventure, where you can experience a refreshing hike through lush green trails and even see rare flora and fauna, including sinimpit (a local berry that grows in the wild).
Once you reach the falls, you’ll be greeted by a mesmerizing sight of the 60-meter waterfall, cascading into a serene pool surrounded by the soothing sounds of nature. Jump in for a cold swim or have a picnic beside the waterfall with your friends. If you’re a fan of offbeat paths and tranquil spots, don’t miss out on this hidden paradise when you’re in Bataan!
9. Tarak Ridge
Tarak Ridge is one of the best hikes in Bataan, ideal for experienced climbers. Its name is derived from the words “tabak” (meaning hunting knife) and “tarik” (meaning steep), referring to the length of the ridge and the steepness of the trail leading to the summit. It is part of the larger crater of Mount Mariveles, a dormant stratovolcano similar to Mount Natib.
It’s best to spend an overnight to fully enjoy the mountain climbing experience in Tarak Ridge. The trek takes a total of 5-6 hours depending on your pace. Make a stop at the refreshing Papaya River (one of the cleanest mountain rivers I’d seen) before setting camp at Tarak Ridge and then preparing for the 2-hour trek to the summit the following day for the sunrise views. The summit will reward you of Manila Bay, Corregidor Island, and distant cities of Manila and Cavite.
10. Balanga Wetland and Nature Park
One of the rising tourist spots in Bataan, Balanga Wetland and Nature Park is an 11-hectare coastal park that serves as temporary home for migratory birds coming from neighboring countries such as China. Due to its role in preserving the ecology, it was declared as an Ecotourism Zone in 2019.
The park features view decks where you can watch the migratory birds: Pro Tip: The best time for bird watching is morning or late afternoon. There are also pathways where you can take a stroll across the mangrove forest and cottages & tables where you can enjoy picnicking with your family.
11. Tikip Falls
Tikip Falls is one of the most underrated tourist spots in Bataan – a hidden gem among those who love chasing pristine waterfalls.
Located at the municipality of Limay, this waterfall stands 30 feet high with a deep plunge pool where you can enjoy swimming in the cool, refreshing water. It also serves as the source of water of the Nagsingkong and Pita Rivers.
The trek to the waterfall takes about an hour. It’s a fantastic place to visit for beginner hikers, as well as leisure visitors including families who want to have a fun family day out.
12. Bataan Technology Park
A journey of the historical tourist attractions in Bataan wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Bataan Technology Park.
Located in the rolling hills of the Morong Special Economic Zone, this 365-hectare hub was the former site of the United Nations Philippine Refugee Processing Zone. It then became a temporary home for refugees from the neighboring countries of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia after the Fall of Saigon.
Today, you can visit the park to see historical monuments and shrines constructed by the refugees and drop by the museum, which houses interesting artifacts including the actual boat used by the refugees.
13. Plaza Mayor de Ciudad de Balanga
When visiting Balanga — the capital city of Bataan Province, don’t forget to drop by Plaza Mayor de Ciudad de Balanga, a beautiful public space reminiscent of Madrid. It follows the concentric zoning implemented during the Spanish Colonial Era, with the government building and church at the center.
Take pictures of the beautiful buildings, visit the 18th-century Balanga Cathedral, and sit down for a cup of coffee in a nearby café. The plaza also holds events such as food events such as the famous banchetto.
The Plaza Hotel Balanga City: Book discounted rooms here
14. Dunsulan Park and Dunsulan Falls
For a weekend of outdoor fun with your family, head to Dunsulan Park in Pilar, Bataan. Located at the foot of Mount Samat (just a short drive from the shrine), this nature park is a great place to commune with nature, engage in treetop adventure and horseback riding, and enjoy picnicking.
Within the park, you will also find Dunsulan Falls – a small waterfall perfect for swimming. This waterfall may be small at 5 meters high and 40 feet deep, but it’s refreshing and looks beautiful surrounded by the rock formations and lush trees.
The best thing about Dunsulan Park is its entrance fees are affordable! For these reason, it’s one of our top Bataan tourist spots especially for families.
15. Vista Tala Resort and Recreational Park
Vista Tala Resort and Recreational Park is one of the best resorts in Bataan, offering not just your usual leisure amenities but also outdoor facilities such as wall climbing, rappelling, and zipline. It also features an infinity pool and outdoor areas where you can enjoy the surrounding mountain views.
This resort also serves as jump-off point of hikers on their way to Mount Natib.
16. Take a break at Playa la Caleta
You’ll find several beach resorts in Bataan, but one that stands out is Playa la Caleta. Located in a secluded cove in the coastal town of Morong, this resort offers comfortable glamping experience with its luxurious tents and cottages, white-sand beach perfect for swimming and snorkeling, and a host of other adventures. It’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy nature to yourselves!
Other than beach bumming and swimming, there are other things you can do in the resort including trekking to the nearby Tres Marias Falls, island hopping to other nearby coves, and cliff jumping.
Playa la Caleta: Book discounted rooms here
17. Buy pasalubong
Did you know that Bataan is the home of the First Economic Zone in the Philippines? Not only that, but it’s also a great place to buy local food and souvenirs. Bataan specialties include tinapa (smoked fish), tuyo (sun-dried herring), and other seafood such as crabs and prawns. You can also buy locally made products such as walis lasa of Abucay, capiz products of Samal, and hand-painted and beaded bags of Mariveles.
One place to buy pasalubong is the Bataan Tourism Center.
Bataan may be a small province, but it offers a wide range of tourist spots that cater to different interests. From beaches to mountains, cultural sites to nature parks, Bataan has something for everyone. So if you’re planning your next trip, consider adding these top destinations in Bataan to your itinerary.
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Katherine Cortes is a long-time backpacker and a freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).