Crystal Beach in Zambales

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Located on the West Coast of Luzon, Zambales is known for its beaches. Tourists often flock this province to visit popular spots such as Anawangin Cove, Nagsasa Cove, and Magalawa Island. I've never been to these places but I will put them in my bucket list. Apart from these spots, Zambales is also known for its surfing beaches, one of which I frequent is Liwliwa in San Felipe. But this time, let's explore the other popular surfing spot in this province: Crystal Beach.

Crystal Beach is located in the town of San Narciso, Zambales, which is roughly three kilometers away from San Felipe. There are several resorts along this stretch of beach but the most popular of them is Crystal Beach Resort. I went there this past weekend with a friend for a day trip to have my regular dose of surfing. It was the beginning of the South Swell and the waves were looking beautiful, ranging from three to five feet. Here are some photos that I took during the trip.
camping grounds
sunburned and stoked

Crystal Beach Resort offers overnight accommodations ranging from small huts good for two persons to huge rooms for families. The resort also offers "glamping" (glam camping) inclusive of tent rental and a meal. It also has its own restaurant that offers a huge variety of meals from all-day breakfast to pasta dishes to classic Filipino favorites. I got to try a couple of dishes there and they were delicious. The servings were huge too.

I found the resort very reminiscent of those summer camps that we often see on Western movies. Very much like the one on the movie Parent Trap, sans the beach. The beach was okay. I've been to beaches more beautiful than this one, but for surfers, it was perfect.

Travel Notes:

How to get there:
  • By public transportation: From Manila, board a bus going to Iba, Zambales and tell the conductor to drop you off at San Narciso, Zambales. Earliest trip at Victory Liner is 5am. If you want to leave really early, the alternative would be to board the bus going to Olongapo which leaves at 3am. From there, you can take the bus going to Iba or Sta. Cruz, Zambales and alight at San Narciso. From the drop-off area, ride a tricycle which will bring you directly to Crystal Beach Resort.
  • By private car: Take the Balintawak exit to NLEX, exit on SCTEX on the last tollgate of NLEX. From SCTEX, take the route going to Subic/SBMA, at SBMA tollgate turn right on Rizal Highway, and then go straight till you reach the dead end, then turn left on the right tollgate to Olongapo City. Turn right on the first intersection. Exit to Kalaklan gate, turn left going to Zambales, Subic town, Castillejos, San Marcelino, take shortcut see shortcut signage in the middle of the road. In the town of San Narciso, turn left after Municipal Hall, follow road signs going to Crystal Beach.
Expenses:
  • bus from Manila to Olongapo - Php212
  • bus from Olongapo to San Narciso, Zambales - Php50
  • tricycle - Php15 per person 
  • day trip entrance fee at Crystal Beach Resort - Php500 (6am to 6pm, with Php150 consumable of food and drinks)
  • surf lessons - Php400 per hour (inclusive of board rental and instructor)
  • bus from San Narciso to Victory Liner in Pasay - Php330
Crystal Beach Resort is perfect for day trips when you just want to temporarily escape the city, go to the beach and unwind. One way travel time ranges from four to five hours, which is still pretty short. You can leave Manila in the wee hours of the morning, arrive at around 7am, then leave at 3pm, and be back in Manila before 9pm. For overnight trips, accommodations cost from Php2000 to Php6000. For more information, you can visit their website here.

I would definitely recommend going to Crystal Beach. Even if you're not into surfing, you'd still enjoy the quiet and relaxing scenery. 

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