Zambales is known for many things — its beautiful beach coves, mountain ranges, and thrilling adventures. It’s also poised to be the next surf and glamp destination in the country, where you can stay in a comfortable glamping tent while enjoying the outdoors.
This month, I was invited by the DOT Region 3 and Zambales Tourism to explore San Felipe and its neighboring towns to experience its potential first-hand.
Here’s our guide to surfing and glamping in Zambales!
- Where to Book a Glamping Site
- Surfing in Liwliwa
- Other Things to Do In/Around Liwliwa
- What to read next:
Where to Book a Glamping Site
You won’t find fancy hotels in Sitio Liwliwa in San Felipe, Zambales. But there are glamping sites which offer modern comforts while allowing you to stay outdoors!
The Glamp Zambales is the premier glamping site in the province. With spacious outdoors, comfortable tents fitted with airconditioning and soft mattresses, and IG-worthy corners, it is the perfect place to enjoy a chill and laid-back vacation.
This site is just a few minutes walk to the beach in Liwliwa, where you can smell the refreshing salty ocean air or enjoy activities such as surfing, skimboarding, beach volleyball and football, and more.
At night, enjoy making s’mores at the bonfire pit and watch a movie outdoors.
I personally loved our stay at The Glamp. It’s a great choice for everyone. Couples can request a romantic setup and those with furbabies can bring them in their stay here.
If you’re looking for a beachfront accommodation, head to Haven Campsite. They offer different rooms depending on your needs, from teepee huts to boho rooms and villas.
The best thing about Haven Campsite is that surfing is right there on the beachfront. Just bring your surfboard or hire a local instructor to give you lessons if you’re a beginner.
Haven Campsite also holds a BBQ night with live music performances every weekend. We love the food (especially the grilled pork barbecue and japchae) and the alcoholic drinks we savored while dancing around the bonfire.
Surfing in Liwliwa
There are 2 places in Zambales ideal for surfing: San Narciso and San Felipe. Surfing in San Felipe is done in Liwliwa Beach, which features a long grayish-sand shore and big waves perfect for beginners and professionals.
The best time to visit Liwliwa for surfing is during the rainy season, from July to November and sometimes up to February.
Other Things to Do In/Around Liwliwa
Here are other activities/side tours you can do in and around Liwliwa in San Felipe, Zambales.
1. Stroll along the beach
While the beach in Liwliwa is not the best place for a swim due to the rough waves, it’s a great place to take a stroll and enjoy the refreshing air. Furparents also bring their pets here for a walk and game of fetch.
There are local food joints such as Taco Joint near the beach, so you can spend an afternoon relaxing and enjoying good food.
There are other activities you can do in the beach including skimboarding, beach volleyball or football, and even ATV rides.
2. Enjoy a night out in Bali of Liwa
Bali of Liwa is one of the unique resorts in Liwliwa, featuring native-style cottages and a snap-worthy bridge held by giant hands sculptures. The ambiance and live music performances make it a great place to enjoy a night out for drinks, dances, or just plain jamming to songs.
3. Swim at Lubong Nangoloan Falls
Lubong Nangoloan Falls (or Anghalo Falls) is one of the hidden gems of Zambales. It’s perfect for a day visit so you can cool off with your family or friends!
To get to the waterfalls, from the main road, you need to walk or get on a fun carabao ride for 15 minutes. Once there, there are cottages where you can rest and/or enjoy a boodle fight.
This waterfall has multiple levels. The first one is easily accessible and features a wide basin for swimming, while the topmost level entails a steep climb before you are rewarded with the view of another stream.
4. See turtle hatchlings at Pawicare
Pawicare is a non-government organization that aims to protect sea turtles and help them hatch safely to the sea. It is run by local fisherfolk volunteers.
Witness baby turtles being released back to see if you visit in November to January. You can also visit any other time of the year to get to know more about the group, see the hatcheries, and give donation to keep it running.
A visit to Pawicare is a fun, educational experience that will educate you about the care and preservation of sea turtles.
5. Try hands-on pottery at Clay Avenue
Clay Avenue Pottery Studio is the home of Mia Casal, a local artist who creates different kinds of clay product such as plates, mugs, and jars. She also helps in training the locals to help their livelihood.
Here you can purchase their handmade clay products for yourself or pasalubong to your family at home.
Aside from shopping, what I enjoyed about Clay Avenue is their hands-on pottery making. Ms. Mia Casal handed me a beautiful bowl to finish and of course I misshaped it. Haha. Nonetheless, it was a really fun experience. Hands-on pottery making can be availed via workshops which usually span 2-3 days.
6. Kayak at Bancal River Adventure Park
Bancal River Adventure Park is the perfect stop for adventure and outdoor enthusiasts! Here you can do kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, or pedal boating along the river.
This is one of the best activities on our trip to Zambales, so I recommend visiting here as well! From the registration area, we took our respective kayaks and boards and paddled for about 1 kilometer to reach the Botolan Mangrove Eco-Park. From there, we took a relaxed tour around the protected mangrove area and also helped plant mangrove seedlings.
Once we got back to the registration area, a delicious lunch awaited us for our efforts.
7. Buy locally made pasalubong
There are vendors along Liwliwa Beach selling different local products such as wallets, necklaces and bracelets, and souvenir keychains.
Another place you can stop by is Balin Pamana Heritage Center, located in Botolan, Zambales.
This place showcases the history and culture of Botolan and is home to a pasalubong center where you can find local delicacies and arts & crafts for pasalubong.
That ends our surf and glamp guide for Zambales!
Zambales is mostly known because of Anawangin and other nearby coves, but there is still so much about this province to discover. Whether you’re a surfer or simply someone who likes a relaxed beach vacation, Zambales is the perfect destination for you!
What other places and/or activities in Zambales do you recommend? Let us know in the comments section below!
What to read next:
Traveling to Zambales? Check out our guides:
Here are the best resorts in Zambales:
- Best Beach Resorts in Zambales and 13 Private Resorts in Zambales
- Best Beach Resorts in Liwliwa
- Best Beach Resorts in Subic
- Kwentong Dagat in Liwliwa
- The Glamp Zambales in Liwliwa
- Destinare Beach Resort in Anawangin
Katherine Cortes is a 30-something freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).