Bolinao Travel Itinerary Guide and Expenses 3D2N

Bolinao Travel Itinerary Guide and Expenses 3D2N

Powdery sand, fresh sea breeze, nature tripping, a towering lighthouse, gorgeous sunset, quiet moments and a very stupid mistake (more on that later) – this is what I would describe our trip to Bolinao, Pangasinan. In case you’re wondering where it is, it is in the tip of the Philippines nose at the western coastal part of the country. It’s a 6-6.5 hours travel from the Metro by bus or private transport making it a great destination for weekend getaways.

We actually had no plans to travel during the 2017 ASEAN Summit but since it’s a very long weekend (5 days total) we might as well because being stuck at home doing nothing is not my type of thing to do. Anyway, here is our Bolinao experience complete with itinerary, expenses and some guide to the spots we went.

Itinerary

Day 1

5AM – Bus to Bolinao from Cubao (Victory Liner)

11:30AM – Arrive Bolinao and Lunch at Adora’s

12PM – Bought groceries and meat at public market

1PM – Check-in SCL Garden Paradise Resort

Grill food, relax, swim at the beach and watch the sunset.

Bolinao Sunset

Bolinao Sunset

Day 2

8AM – Bolinao Tour

Bolinao Falls 1 and 2

Bolinao Falls 1

Bolinao Falls 1

Wonderful cave

Cape Bolinao Lighthouse

Patar White beach

Day 3

7AM – Bus to Manila (Victory Liner)

Transportation

Going to/from Bolinao

You can ride a bus from Cubao either from Victory Liner or Five Star bus. We paid P459 for a regular aircon bus in Victory Liner going straight to Bolinao.

For Victory Liner, you can check the schedule and fare here.

For Five Star, check here.

It’s the same when going back to Manila. Just ask the tricycle driver to take you to the bus terminal.

Going around Bolinao

Tricycle. Maybe even if I brought my car with me, we’d just take the tricycle especially when going to Bolinao Falls as the road is rough, rocky and muddy (if it’s raining). We hired a tricycle to tour us around for P1000. More on that in the Tours section.

From the town proper to your resort, I think the price depends on how far your resort is and how many are you. Some say the fare is P250 for 2-4 persons. For us, we paid P150 going to SCL Garden paradise resort.

Accommodation

We booked a standard aircon room for two nights for P1800 per night at SCL Garden Paradise resort. Actually, we planned to stay for 1 night there and find another resort (probably a fan room) but we got lazy to look for one and there’s no WiFi and data signal in the resort so we didn’t get to research.

The room’s simple and quite small and I think it needs some improvement and renovation. Saw some creepy crawlers too. Good thing it didn’t fly when we slept. The provided blanket is thin and can’t cover the both of us so we asked for another one.

SCL Garden room

Our room

Amenities includes a kiddie pool, restaurant and beachfront cottages. Food in their restaurant is a bit pricey so if you’re on a tight budget, better bring your own. Some dishes ranges from P300-400. For cooking, they provide a couple of grille there and don’t worry, there’s no corkage fee so it’s fine if you’ll bring 10 cases of beer with you.

You can swim in the beachfront of the resort but it isn’t that good especially when it’s low tide. You have to go farther away from the shore but it can be very deep. For a good swim, I suggest you go to the public swimming area of Patar beach. So much better. It’s like Puka Beach in Boracay.

SCL Shore

Shore in front of SCL Garden resort

Patar shore

Walk a little away from SCL’s shore as it is much better

What’s great about SCL Resort are the staff. They are very approachable, kind and helpful! All of our requests were attended to and they go beyond the extra mile.

Overall, for us, it’s a bit expensive for its price of P1800 but I think that’s the normal rate of aircon rooms there in Bolinao ranging from 1500 to 2000 except for the high end resorts of course. We could’ve went for the kubo fan rooms in some resorts but just got lazy looking for one.

For other recommended accommodations in Bolinao, check the following and click the links to go to the booking page.

Villa Soledad Beach Resort
Casa Almarenzo Bed and Breakfast Resort
Punta Riviera Resort
Ilog Malino Beach Resort
Cocos Beach Resort – 0919 691 4206 (Please confirm if number is working)

Or search and compare prices of accommodations here in Hotelscombined.

Tour

Aside from the beautiful Patar white beach, there are other several natural spots in Bolinao that you can visit. You can tour all of these in 1 day by hiring a tricycle for a price range of P1000 to P1200. Ask your resort to get a trusted and reliable one to tour you to these wonderful spots. We got ours for P1000.

Though all of these spots are doable for one day, I suggest that you don’t hurry up on each and take your time to appreciate and enjoy the place. Here are the places you can visit:

Bolinao Falls 1

If you want to get close to the falls and you are not a good swimmer, better rent a floater or life vest. Water’s very deep.

Bolinao Falls 2 – Perfect for chillaxing.

Bolinao Falls 2

Bolinao Falls 2

Bolinao Falls 3 – We skipped this one because the tricycle driver told us the road going there is muddy

Bolinao Church

Enchanted Cave – Lots of tourists here. Entrance fee is P150. We skipped this.

Wonderful Cave – It’s a small cave with a pool inside. Not advisable for big groups as it is really just a small cave. It’s like Jon and Ygritte’s cave. This is also where both of our phone drowned. We put it inside our dry bag but water broke inside because I think I didn’t close it well. Entrance Fee is P100.

Wonderful cave

Ya kno nuthin’ Travel Debugger…

Rock formation

Cape Bolinao Lighthouse

Cape Bolinao Lighthouse

Cape Bolinao Lighthouse

Patar White Beach – Great for swimming.

Patar White Beach

Not actually white, but powdery and very enjoyable for swimming

Where to Eat in Bolinao

We didn’t eat around much in Patar road especially because dishes in most Hotels and restaurants there are pricey. It’s better to bring your own food and cook it in the resort. But if you really want to dine out, eat at the top rated Giant Taklobo restaurant. I checked their menu and it’s reasonably priced given the positive reviews.

If you’re in the town center, eat at Adora’s. It’s a small eatery/carinderia near St. James church with good, cheap, delicious choices. We ordered grilled sungayan (unicorn fish), lomi, pinakbet plus 2 rice all for P190.

Sungayan

Sungayan (Unicorn fish)

Expenses Summary

Here is a summary of our Expenses in Bolinao. Please note that shopping items and souvenirs were not included as this may vary per individual preferences.

ExpensesPHPRemarks
Day 1 (Bus to Bolinao, Patar beach)
Victory Liner Bus to Bolinao4595AM Departure
Groceries (snacks, beer, bread)174348 total divided by 2
Lunch at Adora's95190 Total shared by me and wife
Grilled Sungayan, Lomi, 2 Rice, Pakbet
Fish, meat, veggies, fruits, etc at wet market217.5435 divided by 2
Tricycle to SCL Garden Resort75150 Total divided by 2
SCL Garden Resort 2 nights18003600 Total for 2 nights divided by 2
Day 2 (Bolinao falls 1 & 2, wonderful cave, lighthouse, patar white beach)
Tricycle tour - 1K5001K divided by 2
Bolinao Falls 1 Entrance fee2020 each
Bolinao Falls 2 Entrance fee2020 each
Wonderful cave100100 each
Water4530 x 3 divided by 2
Day 3 (Bus to Manila)
Tricycle to Victory Liner terminal75150 Total divided by 2
Victory Liner Bus to Manila4597AM Departure
GRAND TOTAL4039.5

4K is a pretty decent budget for a 3D2N stay but you can further lower the expenses if you’ll be staying in cheaper fan rooms.

Final thoughts

Bolinao is an amazing destination for that much needed weekend getaway. It’s a little bit far compared to other destinations near manila but if you want to see new sceneries, get lazy and relax – this place is for you. I just hope there’ll be more choices on accommodation especially on air-conditioned rooms ranging from 1k to 1200.

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He is a programmer by profession but has a soul of a traveler. Aside from his ultimate dream of travelling around the world, he loves to eat, drink, listen to music, talk about aliens and the occasional secret guilty pleasure of singing love songs in videoke. His favorite superpower is to teleport from one place to another. I guess you know why.