Zambales is famous for its beautiful beaches positioned against a backdrop of scenic mountains. Just three hours away from Manila, it is one of the go-to weekend beach escapes of many living in the city. The most visited towns are San Antonio, San Narciso, and San Felipe – home to the famous Anawangin, Nagasasa, Silanguin and Talisayin Coves, as well as surf spots like Crystal Beach, Liwliwa, and Pundaquit. Filtered by these towns, only a few people head to Cabangan, the sleepy, steady, and relaxed town just a few minutes north of San Felipe.
HOW TO GET THERE
- Driving is best option especially if you’re a big group. Splitting gas and toll fees will make your transportation cost a lot cheaper. Just head on to NLEX and all the way to SCTEX until you reach Subic. Exit at Kalaklan Gate and turn left and follow the National Highway up to Cabangan. Travel time is around 3 – 3.5 hours.
- If driving is not an option, take the bus. Just ride a bus to Iba and ask the driver to drop you off at Cabangan. Then ride a trike to your resort. Travel time is 4 – 5 hours.
If you’ve been to San Antonio, San Narciso, and San Felipe, you’d know what to expect in Cabangan. The sand is similar to Liwliwa and Pundaquit. Cabangan’s beachfront is swimmable, probably better than Crystal Beach, where at some season it can get pebble-y.
The difference is Cabangan is less frequented and more laid back compared to the first three towns. There are a few beachfront resorts compared to the crowded Liwliwa and Pundaquit. We stayed at Club Monet beachfront resort for 2,500/night with free breakfast (don’t expect much though). There are more affordable options nearby and other resorts allow cooking.
Club Monet Resort has beachfront cottages guests could use free of charge. They also have some sea view rooms with balconies and hammocks. The resort also has deck chairs and huts along the beach. At night, for a fee, they could set-up a bonfire as well.
Don’t forget to watch the sunset as the beach perfectly faces west. At night, grab a deck chair along the beach, probably with a few cold beers, and watch the night sky turn to a cosmic spectacle. If you’re lucky enough, you might see a shooting star or two.
- ATMs are located at the town center so bring extra cash with you.
- Most resorts do not have ready-to-order meals or menus so it’s best to buy or take out food at the town center before heading to your resort. There are convenience stores & local restaurants where you could order food to-go.
- There are limited rooms and resorts in Cabangan so book in advance to be sure.
- The coast in Cabangan is quiet at night. If you’re a big group, be sensitive and keep the noise down as there are resting locals and tourists in the area.