Bolinao, Pangasinan is a town in Northern Luzon, about a 7-hour drive from Metro Manila. Best described as a hidden gem, this charming beach town is full of surprises.
The improvements in roads and highways has made travel to Bolinao easier, making it more accessible for tourists looking for a getaway adventure relatively close to Manila.
Visitors to this tropical paradise get to experience its many natural wonders - white sand beaches, rivers, underground caves, waterfalls and rock formations - all in one town. Look a little closer and you'll learn that Bolinao is rich with history, in fact the town was established in 1575, just 10 years after the founding of Cebu City. This makes visits to the town proper, the old church, the lighthouse, and the museum a must for travellers looking to do more than just lay on the sand.
The tourism industry in Bolinao feels well-established, with warm locals and many small resorts ready to welcome visitors to their town. That being said, Bolinao is still unspoilt and uncommercialized, despite their focus on tourism. It's a great time to experience the many exciting things Bolinao has to offer. Definitely worth the long trip!
Patar White Beach
Often compared to the white shores of Boracay, Patar White Beach showcases beautiful sunsets, golden white sand and a relaxing ocean views. It definitely has a beauty of its own.
Puerto Del Sol Beach Resort and Hotel Club
A beach resort and hotel club that offers clean and well-appointed accommodations, good service, and a spectacular beach view. Highly recommended resort if you plan to stay in Bolinao. For more information on Puerto Del Sol Resort, check out our stays article here.
St. James The Great Parish
Built in 1609 out of black coral stones, this 4-century-old church is one of the oldest in the Philippines. The church tower of Bolinao used to be the tallest in Pangasinan until an earthquake destroyed half of the tower in 1788. Located in front of the town hall and beside Bolinao People’s Market.
Bolinao Town Proper
Whenever visiting a new place, it’s nice to check out the town proper not just because it’s the heart of the town, but also because it’s where you’ll find facilities you might need for your trip like the local market, banks, church, restaurants, hospital and bus terminals. Bolinao town proper offers all of these.
A two time winner of the DILG’s Gawad Pangulo sa Kapligiran Award for the cleanest and greenest body of water in Region 1.
Sungayan Grill is considered one of the best restaurants in Bolinao. Named after their native fish called Sungayan or Unicorn fish, it offers sumptuous seafood platters and grilled favorites (Don’t forget to try the Sungayan Fish). For a fee, you can experience their floating river cruise in the Balingasay River which lasts about an hour. It is important to note that to beat the lunch crowd it’s best to arrive early or to order ahead.
Cape Bolinao Lighthouse
Constructed in 1905, Cape Bolinao Lighthouse is one of the five major lighthouses in the Philippines and the second tallest. The lighthouse provides a panoramic view of the South China Sea.
There are 3 falls that you can go to in Bolinao. It will take you around 30 minutes or less to get to Falls 1 from the Town Proper. Falls 1 is the tallest waterfall amongst the three and easiest to access. The falls are a popular spot among locals where you’ll find them having lunch and enjoying swimming in the cold blue-green water. There is a minimal entrance fee of Php 20 per head and a parking fee.
Bolinao Rock Formation
The picturesque view of the Rock Formations are the main reason why the place is loved by nature lovers and photographers. The view is just incredible and breathtaking especially during sunset.It’s not advisable to swim because the waves are too strong. If you’re staying in Puerto Del Sol they offer free access to their Sea Cave where you can get a closer look at the rock formations. You can also go to Rock View resort to see the rock formations for a fee of Php 75.
Mangunguna Seafood Bar & Grill
Mangunguna means “fisherfolks” in Ilocano. Expect fresh seafood, homey and relaxed ambience and a warm and friendly staff. We highly recommend their Mangunguna Fresh Catch Boodle Feast. Mangunguna is a great dining place that offers great food with reasonable prices.
Ilocano folks are truly warm and friendly and always ready to welcome tourists in their hometown.
Make sure to make your “danggit” stop at the town of Sual. They offer a variety of different dried fish and local delicacies – such as espada, dried pusit, bagoong, puto, tupig and a whole lot more.