Summer Hot Spots: Liwliwa Beach, San Felipe, Zambales

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Living in a tropical country and an archipelago to boot, I feel fortunate to have plenty of choices whenever the need to chill by the beach arises. Among my recent summer hot spots of preference is a surf spot in the province of Zambales, just three hours away from Manila.

Summer may be over here on my side of the world with the onset of the rainy season in June, but that doesn’t mean beach time is totally over. The Philippines, being a tropical country that feels either hot or hotter, still gets its share of sunny, scorching days when typhoons and monsoons aren’t lurking.

The Philippines is also an archipelago comprised of 7,107 islands, and when you have that many, there’s bound to be lots of places to explore — beautiful beaches included. I consider myself lucky to be either just a bus ride, drive, or a quick plane ride away from many of these scenic seasides. Among my recent favorites is Liwliwa Beach, located 167 kilometers northwest of Manila in the province of Zambales.

My beach buddies and I arrived just in time to see the beautiful sunrise unfolding from behind the beach, painting the sky with lovely pastel hues.

A bus ride or drive from Manila will take you to the municipality of San Felipe. From the town market, you will need to ride a tricycle (auto rickshaw) to Sitio Liwliwa, where you can find some hostels, homestays, and camping sites (you must have made arrangements for your accommodations by the time you get there). The beach, named after the quaint fishing village of Liwliwa, is just a stone’s throw away from these hostels and lodgings.

Surf lessons and surfboard rentals are offered in The Circle Hostel and homestays. The waves in Liwliwa Beach are perfect for beginners, so surf camps (for newbies) are often held there.

People flock to Liwliwa Beach because it’s a popular surf spot, especially among beginners. I’m no surfer, but I find it to be a nice spot to beach bum and occasionally take a dip during the day, and go stargazing next to a bonfire (and some drinks) at night. If beach bumming and surfing gets boring after a day or so, it’s always a good idea to take a sidetrip to Pundaquit in the next municipality of San Antonio. There, you can rent a boat that can seat up to eight people and sail towards Camara Island, Capones Island (where a Spanish Lighthouse awaits), and Anawangin Cove.

We didn’t have a tent, but we found some discarded bamboo poles and brought along some beach blankets and scarves. It was time to get resourceful, so we built ourselves a makeshift shade/teepee by the beach!

Liwliwa Beach doesn’t have powdery white sand like other popular beaches in the Philippines. But, as I said in my blog post, the best thing about it is it’s just a few hours away from Manila so it’s possible for my beach buddies and I to indulge in a relaxing beach weekend whenever we feel like it. They get their surf fix, I get my sunsets and beach bumming, and we all get to cap our days with amazing bonfire nights of chit-chat and stargazing. Everybody happy.

Beach-bumming, sunset viewing, surfers still paddling at sundown, bonfire and stargazing by the beach. What a perfect beach weekend.

Take a look at my Zambales Weekend Getaway album for more snaps!

written by plasticpopsicle on 2013-06-21 in #world #locations #locations #liwliwa-beach #san-felipe #zambales #summer-hot-spots #lomography #philippines #beach #sea

6 Comments

  1. soundfoodaround
    soundfoodaround ·

    Really want to visit Zambales!

  2. plasticpopsicle
    plasticpopsicle ·

    @soundfoodaround We're going back there in July! :) Let us know when you're ready for a visit, maybe we can take you there!

  3. soundfoodaround
    soundfoodaround ·

    @plasticpopsicle would be awesome!! Will definitely let you know :)

  4. cha19
    cha19 ·

    I just saw ur blog & Im interested to go to Li Liwa Zambales What if we can bring our own tent do they a camping ground to pitch tent? how about tent rental how much is it? Can we also pitch a tent near the beach? Can we also pitch a tent at night near the beach? Please I need a help... How about cooking near the beach? thanks

  5. plasticpopsicle
    plasticpopsicle ·

    Hello @cha19! You can pitch a tent by the beach or within the Circle Hostel's grounds, but I suggest the latter since there are no public toilets/showers by the beach. Tent rental I'm not sure if Circle Hostel still offers that, and I don't know how much, so I suggest you head to their website (www.thecirclehostel.com). I guess you can cook near the beach but you have to bring your own stuff, since there are no public amenities for bbq/cooking in the area. Hope that helps!

  6. hermancool
    hermancool ·

    great beach,.. awesome photos too :)

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