Bolinao is one of the best places to go in the Philippines. With its white sandy beach, great seafood, refreshing cave waters, and stunning waterfalls, Bolinao will make you wish you could stay forever.
A mere two days, one night won’t be enough to experience everything that this place has to offer.
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Top Things To Do In Bolinao
From our recent trip to Bolinao, I’ve come to love this beautiful destination. Here are some of the things to do in Bolinao that you wouldn’t want to miss!
Travel Tip: Check schedules and availability of buses to Pangasinan for booking online with 12Go Asia.
Listen To The Birds
Birdland Beach Club is an awesome place to check in and one of the best Bolinao tourist spots. It’s the only eco-resort in the Philippines that boasts of Bolifugao towers. These are three to four stories high huts. Inside, you will find hundreds of birdhouses created by the owner Michael Parayno. All day long, you will hear the birds singing and it’s wonderful!
We had the chance to stay here and it was an unforgettable experience! You will easily come to love the resort with everything it has to offer. There are tons of activities you can do that are free. And if you love jazz music, don’t miss the Annual Jazz Festival.
Sleep Under The Stars
Who wouldn’t want to try camping? From our last trip, we rented a hut from Mia Almar. We also brought a tent so some of camped outside. Despite not seeing a lot of stars that night, it was indeed a must try for everyone especially for those who love to listen to the sea waves. It’ll lull you to sleep.
Eat Seafood Boodle
Bolinao has some of the greatest seafood restaurants in the region. There’s Sungayan Grill Restaurant and Giant Taclobo. So how do you choose which one to eat from? You don’t. You should try both.
Sungayan Grill Restaurant is famous for its river cruise. You rent a floating hut and a boatman will drag you up to the river and back while you eat that delicious seafood. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that you should definitely try! The view is just stunning! In fact, the Balingasay River is considered as one of the cleanest rivers in the country. If you’re lucky, you will see birds fly overhead.
On the other hand, Giant Taklobo Resto Grill, as we were told has great seafood, too. We went there and ordered crabs but they were out of stock. So we opted for the seafood boodle. Needless to say, we ate to our heart’s content. Their food is delicious!
Snorkel Near The Beach
During our stay in Mia Almar, we had a beachfront accommodation. My fiancé and I brought our snorkeling equipment and tried looking for fishes. I was amazed that there were fishes swimming by just a meter from the beach. It was remarkable.
Bolinao boasts of three well-known waterfalls which are kinda ironic since it already has beaches to offer and waterfalls, too? Don’t they just have it all? This is the best Bolinao tourist spots. Unfortunately, I only experienced one of the waterfalls – Bolinao Waterfalls 1, but it was a great memory all the same. There are life vests and rafts for rent in the place so you have nothing to worry about. They do, however lack bathrooms where you can change in and out of your swimming suits.
From the parking area, you can either walk 10 to 15 minutes to reach Bolinao Waterfalls 1 or rent a tricycle. There’s also an entrance fee that you have to pay – 20 pesos per person.
Swim In An Enchanted Cave
I’m not sure if it’s enchanted or not but you will feel like it is once you try swimming inside. The Enchanted Cave is a resort that offers swimming pools, gardens, and a cave where you can swim. Before going inside the cave, you have to use a hard hat and a life vest. Then, descend a few steps and you’re there! There are lights set up all around and the water’s really cold but refreshing.
Check Out The Bolinao View From The Lighthouse
Just a few minutes from Patar beach, the Bolinao lighthouse is a great view point. It can, however, be too hot during the day since there are no shades whatsoever. Also, you can’t go up the lighthouse which is a real bummer but the view from the viewpoint is amazing. You can see the town as well as the sea and beyond.
Enjoy The White and Creamy Sand
I’m not sure if the sand is really white or there’s something wrong with my eyes but I’d say it’s like a cream color. Since most people say that it’s white sand, I was expecting white but all I got was cream. However, Patar beach is truly one of the best Bolinao tourist spots. The wide sand and the waves are just the right combinations for that perfect beach trip!
Go To The Rock Formations
For one of the best sunrise and sunset views, you have to check out the rock formations in Bolinao. These huge rocky cliffs are pretty unique. Just by looking at them, one would think that they are simply rocks. But that’s not the case. The fact is, these are massive collections of corals that are more than a thousand years old. To get here, you have to pay P75 to the Rock View Beach Resort as an entrance fee.
Go On A Day Trip To Santiago Island
Just off the coast of Bolinao, you will find the Santiago Island. Boasting of mangroves, coral reefs, and migratory birds, you will wonder why you never went there before. You can fish here, just talk to one of the boatmen and they will provide you with some fishing poles and bait. Most of the fishes found here are milkfish or ‘bangus’. You can also snorkel and enjoy the underwater beauty of Bolinao.
What’s ‘binungey’? This is one of the most popular delicacies in Pangasinan. It is made of sticky rice cake with coconut milk. You can’t resist buying one of these because the bamboo cover will tickle your curiosities and make you want to taste what’s inside. To eat this, you will be given a spoon creatively made from bamboo with some sugary syrup.
Watch The Sunset
What’s the best thing you can do in Bolinao? Watch the beautiful sunset! Whether you are at the beach, the rocky cliffs or at Birdland Beach Club Resort, you’ll be mesmerized by this stunning view.
If you’re looking for some souvenirs to bring home to your friends and family, don’t miss the souvenir shops in Patar White Beach. But if you can, try to buy from the local craftsmen who actually make them. This will be of great help to them.
Visit St. James Church
Built in 1609, the St. James Church is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. It has been through earthquakes, fires, and typhoons for over 3 centuries but it still looks great.
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Visited one of the #oldest churches in the Philippines. The Saint James the Great Parish #Church, a #Spanish #Colonial Church, was originally built in 1609 by the #Augustinians. The church is made of black #coral stone, like many other colonial churches around the Philippines of the period. Its bell tower was once the tallest in the entire island of Luzon and, interestingly enough, the church also served as a #fortress against pirates who constantly raided Pangasinan's shores throughout the ages. #catholic #christian #daytripper #filipinostyle #heritage #journeysforthesoul #myphilippines #old #oldchurch #philippinehistory #romancatholic #romancatholicchurch #spanishcolonial #spanishcolonialarchitecture #spanishfilipinoarchitecture #travel #view #wanderlust #SaintJamesChurchBolinao #StJamesChurchBolinao #Bolinao #Pangasinan
Experience the Wonderful Cave
Looking for some adventure? The Wonderful Cave is one of the must-visit Bolinao tourist spots. Its spikey formations created from corals and limestone will leave you speechless! There are steps and sturdy handrails to help you explore this space so don’t worry too much. You can swim inside the pool of the cave, too. Isn’t it wonderful?
Go to Cindy’s Cave
Here’s another cave that’s worth exploring! Just like Wonderful Cave and Enchanted Cave, Cindy’s Cave offers a crystal clear swimming pool inside. You’ll also love the trees and plants outside surrounding the cave. If you love a less crowded place, this is the cave to go!
And that’s it for our list of things to do in Bolinao. Do you think we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below.
As an area that’s close to the beach, you’ll find a lot of resorts in Bolinao. Book affordable and instagrammable Bolinao resorts today.
Aside from hotels and resorts, you can also opt to stay at an Airbnb.
Responsible Travel Tips
When traveling to one place, make sure you practice responsible tourism. Here are some tips to do so.
1. Respect the environment
Don’t litter. Please hold onto your trash until you find a garbage can. Don’t bring home the sand or any seashell. Leave them where they belong. Missing seashells can have potential detrimental environmental impacts.
2. Avoid single-use plastic
Bring your eco bag and refuse single-use plastic.
3. Shop local
Keep the traditional crafts alive and support local artisans. Buy from them. And try not to haggle, P20 may seem small to you but it can mean a lot to them.
4. Always ask permission
Be sure to ask for permission first when taking photos or videos especially when it comes to children
What to Pack for Bolinao
- Eco-friendly Reusable Water Bottle
- Light Rain Jacket (especially from June to November)
- T-shirts, a Nice top, and a Long-sleeved Shirt
- Aqua Shoes
- Day Bag
- Dry Bag
- Power Adapter
- Universal Waterproof Phone Case
- Packing Cubes
- Microfiber Towel
- Travel Insurance
- Money Belt
- Sneakers, Hiking Shoes (if you’re planning to hike) and Some Flats
- Reusable Straw and Reusable Bag (no to single-use plastic!)
Related Article: The Only Travel Packing List You’ll Ever Need (Trust Me)
Our Camera Gear
- Mirrorless Camera: Fujifilm XT3
- Lenses: Fujifilm Fujinon kit lens (18-55mm) | Fujinon 35mm f2 | Fujinon 50mm f2
- Drone: DJI Mavic Pro 2
- GoPro: GoPro Hero Black 7
- Power Bank: Romoss Powerbank
- Camera Backpack: Case Logic Camera and Laptop Backpack
- Monopod: Ifootage Cobra 2 a180
- Mic: Rode VideoMicro
- Gimbal: Zhiyun Weebill-S
You might also like…
- Birdland Beach Club: A Bolinao Eco Resort (Travel Guide)
- Weekend Getaways Near Manila : 28 Affordable Places To Visit
- Where to Camp: 8 of the Best Pangasinan Beach Campsites
- Camping in the Hundred Islands : Everything You Need To Know
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Johanes is a digital nomad and a web content writer who loves to go on spontaneous travels. She also likes to go camp under the stars and play with her dog and cats.