Bolinao is a first-class municipality in the province of Pangasinan and is fast rising as a new summer destination in the region. Despite the fame of its neighboring town, Alaminos, the humble municipality of Bolinao can still capture the hearts of tourists with its multitude of cascading waterfalls, century-old lighthouse, mystical caves, and other wow-ing attractions.
Summertime is not exactly my preferred period to go out and travel especially when everyone is on their vacation breaks. I believe a congested paradise, no matter how beautiful, could turn into a tragedy. But again, it is inevitable during the peak season so my friends and I decided to brave a 6-hour trip to Pangasinan in hopes of a crowd-free getaway. Bolinao was the right decision. Below are the 7 must-see destinations in Bolinao that you can tour in a day!
1. Bolinao Falls 1
The waterfalls (Bolinao Falls 1, 2, and 3) were named based on a numbering system, probably because of their close proximity from one another. The Bolinao Falls 1 had a small yet deep catch basin that invites guests to go for a cliff dive.
2. Bolinao Falls 2
The Bolinao Falls 2 is a series of shallow turquoise rockpools with waters flowing down from the smooth limestone formations. Even if its elevation isn’t towering like the first waterfalls, the Bolinao Falls 2 serves as a water park for families and kids given its wide open space. It’s also a place for a medium-high cliff jump.
3. Bolinao Falls 3
The third waterfalls had a combination of qualities from both Bolinao Falls 1 and 2. Bolinao Falls 3 was a great venue for adventure-seekers to go cliff jumping (although not as high as Bolinao Falls 1) and at the same time, it also had an open space for rafting and swimming like Bolinao Falls 2.
4. Enchanted Cave
The underground spring pool in Bolinao sure draws many tourists. Our trip to the Enchanted Cave would’ve been magical if the crowd was minimal. Nonetheless, if on a non-peak season, Enchanted Cave is a fun place for anyone who would like to go on a mini adventure and dip on a cave pool. Entrance to the theme park (as it seems) is ₱200/head. This includes the access to swim in the cave pool.
5. Patar Beach
For someone who has been to Boracay Island, the Patar Beach will give the tourists that same vibe. There are rows of cottages, series of dining establishments and an energetic crowd on the fine sandy coast of Patar. (It’s not white sand!) On a weekend afternoon, the beach was obviously filled with beachgoers. My group and I didn’t stay for long in the area since we were already beaten from the day’s tour. If given the chance though, we would’ve come here on a weekday and just bathe under the sun.
6. Patar Rock Formation
The star of the Patar rock formation is the stretch of huge coral cliffs where waves from the ocean break. Indeed, the view was spectacular but for an entrance fee of ₱75 per head, it’s pricey for the activities you’ll do here. It’s not the best place to take a swim and definitely not the best place for cliff jumping.
7. Cape Bolinao Lighthouse
The Bolinao lighthouse is the second tallest lighthouse in the country, next to Cape Bojeador in Ilocos Norte. It boastfully stands at 351 feet atop Punta Piedra Point, granting anyone standing at the top a panoramic view of the West Philippine Sea. Even though the tower wasn’t open for tourists, I still enjoyed being at the lighthouse. The ruins beside the lighthouse were a charm to the place.
Other than these destinations, I would also suggest that tourists try the Binungay. It is simply sweetened sticky rice cooked on a bamboo segment. It’s suman dressed up beautifully. Get it for ₱50!
How to get to Bolinao, Pangasinan
- Ride an aircon bus from Cubao to Bolinao via Victory Liner for ₱459. If you’re coming from Pasay, you may also opt to ride an aircon bus via Five Star Bus for ₱469. (Or take the bus to Alaminos (₱400). After arriving at Alaminos, take the Fivestar non-aircon bus to Bolinao.)
- At the bus terminal, hire a tricycle to take you to your hotel or tour you around the area. One tricycle is good for 3-4 pax, the average price of ₱1,000 that covers the major attractions.
Tour Operator (Tricycle)
Contact Person: Kuya Rovic Ongkit
Mobile Number: (0946) 055-6784