San Rafael River Adventure is one of the top resorts in Bulacan. This lakeside accommodation features infinity pools, glamping tents, and glass cabins with private pools. It’s also a popular option for day tours from Manila.
Last November 2018, my friend Steff and I went on a day tour at San Rafael River Adventure. We’d already seen social media posts about San Rafael River Adventure before, and it seemed very beautiful and — yes, Instagrammable — so we were pretty excited about it. Here’s our experience!
Our stay at San Rafael River Adventure
We arrived at the resort just before lunch time. Originally, we reserved for a kubo which is good for 4 people, but the receptionist asked us if we wanted to get a glamping tent instead since there were only 2 of us and it’s cheaper. So we checked out the glamping tents (regular and “with a twist”, which refers to a glamping tent in a raft by the river). We chose the regular glamping tent because although staying by the river is a curiosity, we don’t want to keep climbing up/down the stairs to the river and it was humid there.
Our regular glamping tent is easily accessible, very comfy and breezy. The mattresses are at a good height from the floor, there are pillows and towels, as well as a fan inside. There’s also an outlet for charging. There’s an outdoor table and grill. It’s not the glam I had in mind, but it’s way better than my previous camping experiences and for me it’s perfect!
By this time we were already starting so we ordered food — pinaputok na tilapia, pork sisig and sinampalukang manok. Steff also started the grill for the marinated chicken she brought.
I like the food in San Rafael River Adventure because it’s good and reasonably priced. This is a big plus points for me because even though it’s in our culture to eat & eat, there’s a noticeable lack of quality local restaurants.
We liked everything we ordered here, especially the pork sisig and sinampalukang manok (which is also recommended in other blogs). We also had fruit shakes to cool off the afternoon.
After the lunch and a quick siesta, we started exploring the farm resort. It’s huge and it can be a bit tiring to walk around. We saw at least three different couples doing prenups.
There are swings and chairs you can relax on. We went down to the river and noticed there wasn’t much activity there; it was very still. It’s kinda weird because I thought the river activities were the main selling point of San Rafael River Adventure, but I guess on that day guests just wanted to relax — and take pictures, of course.
There were a lot of areas perfect for Instagram, so I can understand why this popular among millennials as well.
Finally, we tried out the infinity pool! The pool is 5 feet deep, I think, because it’s up to my nose. The water is lukewarm and it felt nice to dip in. There’s also a kiddie pool here. I like the blue-green shade of the water pool because it blends perfectly with the natural backdrop of trees and the river.
After the swim, we ordered pancit bihon and beers from merienda. Again, I loved that it was breezy and peaceful. I wanted to take another nap, but alas it was time to go home.
All in all, this is a great farm resort and nature retreat. It is also family friendly since there’s lots of activities for kids to enjoy and its easy to move around the place.
How to get to San Rafael River Adventure
Here are the commute directions to San Rafael River Adventure.
- Ride a Baliwag Transit bus in Cubao en route to Baliuag, Bulacan (P75). Travel time is about 1.5 hour depending on traffic. Get off at Baliuag terminal, which is the final stop.
- Rent a private tricycle to the resort (P200 good for 3-4 people). Travel time is about 30-40 minutes.
It’s also possible to ride a jeepney in Baliuag to get to the resort, but we didn’t get much info about this as we don’t know if it will take too long.
You don’t need to ask the tricycle to fetch you in a later time. There are tricycles waiting outside the resort to take you back to the center in Baliuag. Same rate applies. Just take note that the Baliwag Transit buses going to Cubao is up until 6:30PM only, so if you’re going on a day tour like us, check out at 5:30PM to make sure you won’t miss it.
Things to do in San Rafael River Adventure
There are a number of activities you can do in the resort. Here are the free ones:
- Use of infinity pool and swimming falls
- Paddle boarding
- Floating pool
- Inflatable slides with blob
Other activities such as watersports, KTV or bicycle riding, horseback riding, vegetable picking and others have a corresponding fee.
San Rafael River Adventure rates
Here are the current San Rafael River Adventure resort rates (Updated as of 2019):
There is no entrance fee. Cottage or tent rental is required.
- Kubo/cottage: P3000 (good for 4 people)
- Glamping tent: P2000, options are either regular or “with a twist” (good for 2 people)
Day tours are from 7AM to 6PM.
For overnight stays, you can go for a glass houses or treehouses. It’s a bit expensive in my opinion (P10,000 – 25,000+), but I suppose it’s okay if you’re with a large group.
Here are the rates for glasshouses:
- Day tour (weekdays, 7:30AM to 6PM) or night tour (7:30PM to 6AM): P7500 (good for 4 pax, max of 6 pax with additional P1000 per pax)
- Overnight tour (7:30PM to 6PM the next day): P15,000 (good for 4 pax, max of 6 pax with additional P1500 per pax)
You can check the full list of accommodations and rates here.
Budget and expenses
Overall, our budget (including transportation and food) for 2 people is about P1800-2000 per person. We ordered a lot of food plus merienda.
For a day tour, a safe budget for 2 people would be P1500-2000 per person.
Things to know before you go
- Make sure to make an online reservation. You’ll be required to make 50% downpayment to secure your slot.
- Bringing food is allowed (no corkage fee). We also recommend trying out the food in their restaurant. We liked all of our orders, particularly the sinampalukang manok. Each dish is reasonably priced at P200-350 and good for sharing among 2-3 people.
- Aside from day tours, there are also night tours as well as overnight stays offered.
- If you want to visit here for the pool, we suggest going on weekdays because the pool is medium sized. I can only imagine guests crowding in there on weekends.
P.S. Don’t forget to drop by Bulacan’s pride, Cafe Apolonio, on your way back to Manila!
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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!).