patar beach

Bolinao isn’t the kind of place we’d normally go to. My friends and I are beach bums and happy campers who sleep in tents and go to places that have no network signals and no toilets.

It was probably my idea to visit Bolinao and I didn’t really know how many tourists visited the place until we got there. Patar beach is the long stretch of sand frequented by both tourists and locals. Some parts of the beach are privately owned, some are exclusively used by certain resorts, and the rest is open to the public.

The sand is fine, the waves are feisty, and the sunset is gorgeous. You can avoid the crowd by hunting for a quiet camping spot or staying overnight in a resort since most people are just day trippers.

bolinao treasures


Patar beach is not the only star of Bolinao though. Here was where I finally got to meet the famed Cape Bolinao lighthouse, a structure that has been preserved since it’s creation in 1905. Unfortunately, tourists weren’t allowed to go up the lighthouse at that time but I was happy even without the panoramic view from atop. Looking up the lighthouse was enough for me.


There are number of caves in the vicinity of Patar beach, most of which have fueled local tourism and contributed to the income of Bolinao’s locals. We were actually pretty hesitant about going to the caves because we weren’t sure if it was going to be worth it. Fortunately enough, it was. We went to one dubbed ‘Wonderful Cave’ it was actually pretty wonderful. The water was cold and clear. The cave was really small but the swim was refreshing and invigorating.


Our last stop was Tara Falls which is around 30 minutes away from town. It’s a pretty sight but it’s crowded and the water isn’t as great as it was in the cave. Plus water for showering was difficult to get so I don’t advise even going.


Overall though, I really enjoyed Bolinao. The combination of land and water wonders, natural and man-made spots, was very much worth the trip.


– Take a bus to Bolinao (Victory Liner, Five Star Bus Company, Dagupan Bus Line) for around 500 pesos. If you leave around 6-8 am from Manila, you’ll get there by around early afternoon.
– Take tricycle to Patar Beach, 150 per trike for three to four people.


*in pesos
1000 – roundtrip bus from Metro Manila to Bolinao
900 – tricycle rental to take you to Patar Beach, lighthouse, cave, and falls (around 225 each person)
300 – table rental at Patar Beach
70 – entrance fee, Wonderful Cave
20 – parking fee, Wonderful Cave
5 – entrance fee, Tara Falls
100 – cottage rental, Patar Beach
300 – food
budget per person = 2000 maximum


*All information are applicable as of May 2013. Photos by Elmer Pedrezuela.

6 thoughts on “Bolinao

  1. Cool Bolinao. Been there in ’11. Stayed at the Treasures of Bolinao. The nesxt day the Tsunami hit Japan and we thought it’s going to hit our beaches. 🙂

  2. Dear Chris, i feel fortunate to see this post because we are planning to go to Bolinao this coming weekend. For me it feel safer that the people ill be contacting have been referred by those who already went there. But unfortunately when I contacted the tricycle driver posted here via text, he texted me bad words which is really annoying. Maybe it’s better to remove the number of that tricycle driver. I can give you a snapshot of his text so people can avoid them in the future.

    1. hi karly! no need, i believe you! so unfortunate that we are trying to help their livelihood but this sort of thing happens. so sorry for the inconvenience. hope the rest of the blog helps you out though… 🙂

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