Story and photos by Lovel Aniag
Travel Date: December 29-30, 2016
As of 2017, the Philippine Archipelago – known to have 7,107 beautiful island – came up with the latest headcount of 7,641. This gives travelers 534 new islands to discover and explore!
When you have that much island, you are sure to have the best beaches… and the best beaches sometimes give you the best swells for surfing!
The country has several surf spots, some of which are considered the best in the world: La Union, Siargao, Baler and Zambales.
I wanted to end my 2016 with a bang! But I wanted it quick, easy to go to, watery and will let me sleep under the stars. Crystal Beach Resort was the perfect destination.
Crystal Beach Resort is a family-oriented resort and probably one of the first to offer “glamping” or glamour camping. They have a huge camp site where travelers can pitch their own or rented tents. They also have rooms and even a tree house for those who’d rather enjoy the comforts of a bed and air conditioning.
Lugging my own tent, I boarded a bus bound for Iba, Zambales and rode a tricycle that brought me directly to the resort. After setting up camp, this view greeted me:
The resort has its own outdoor restaurant and even a front-beach bar! The place is charmingly decorated with fairy lights and hand-made board-up signs and even a walkway perfect for photo opps. There is a clean public bathroom near the restaurant, while outdoor showers are located near the camping grounds.
Mt. Balingkilat and a portion of the Cawag mountain range also add a dramatic background.
Surfboard rental is around PHP 400; surfing instructor, about PHP 500. There were huge waves when I got there because of a typhoon that landed a few days earlier.
I opted out of surfing and bummed and read a book instead. The entire two days were spent lying down on the sand, attempting to even out my tan and random talks with both visitors and locals.
Overall, the resort is clean, charming and relaxing. It was the perfect ending to my adventure-filled, crazy 2016!
How to get there:
From Pasay, take Victory Bus bound for Iba, Zambales (around PHP 200)
Get off at San Narciso (near 7-11) and take a tricycle to Crystal Beach (PHP 30)
Camping fee is PHP 500 (your own tent), with PHP 250 for consumables
Meals are around PHP 150-200. I brought my own canned goods and snacks.
Crystal Beach Resort Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/crystalbeachresort/
Cellphone Number: +63915 602 3636
Ingat and see you on the road!
Know a place I should discover? Or want to travel together? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org