Subic is one of the most popular weekend destinations in the Philippines, especially for locals. It’s approximately just 4 hours away from Metro Manila by road, and there are plenty of commuting options for those who don’t want to drive. But what truly makes Subic so appealing is that, while it takes you away from the hustle and bustle of the metro, the comforts of the city are still nearby.
There are plenty of hotels in Subic, from budget stays to luxurious accommodations. You also won’t run out of dining options either, whether you’re looking for authentic local fare or simply a decent meal to fill up your stomach. Best of all, there are a lot of things to do and places to visit in Subic that will satisfy all kinds of travelers. Here are some that you may want to consider during your next weekend getaway.
Zoobic Safari is a 25-hectare forest adventure park where you can meet various animals in their simulated natural habitats. There’s a petting zoo, a train that takes you on a path to see exotic savannah animals, and a museum that showcases well-preserved animal bones. You can even feed crocodiles (with help from the competent staff, of course), take photos with pythons, and experience a close encounter with tigers! There are also shows scheduled throughout the day that showcases various animals in a parade. If you love animals or if you’re touring with kids, a visit to the Zoobic Safari is definitely a good idea. You can purchase a family package, if you prefer, which already includes a guided tour and a set lunch.
Known as Southeast Asia’s first open-water marine theme park, Ocean Adventure is another attraction to visit if you’re bringing younger children for a vacation. It features more than 20 main attractions like the Ocean Aquarium where you can see a wide variety of sea creatures. These include not just colorful and exotic reef fish but also those that live in the deeper, darker parts of the ocean. There are also the famous sea lion and dolphin shows. If you want to get up close and personal with these marine mammals, you can pay a separate fee to swim with them!
Magaul Bird Park
If you want to try something new, bird watching is a great option. Subic is one of the best locations for this activity, with more than 180 bird species flying around in the general area. There are plenty of bird-watching spots in Subic, but arguably the best is Magaul Bird Park. Make sure to check out their Wings of the World Show, which features a spectacle of more than 500 birds.
Another bird-watching spot in Subicis the Ilanin Forest, but you will need a birding permit to enter the place. The effort is quite worth it, though, since you’ll be able to bike around to see rarer bird species. In addition, you’ll get a list of other birding trails you can visit in Subic.
If you love swimming, water adventures, and water parks, you’ll love the Inflatable Island. It’s a sprawling 3,400-square-meter inflatable course where you can test your inner “Ninja Warrior” in tackling the towers, swings, slides, and bridges. There are also huge trampolines and even a human launcher if you want to feel like Superman! If you need a break or simply want a more laid-back experience, the tickets also include a whole-day access to the Bali Lounge, Floating Zoo, and Samba Beach.
Kabayo Waterfalls + Pamulaklakin Forest Trail
Nature lovers will find plenty to love in Subic, including the Kabayo Waterfalls and the Pamulaklakin Forest Trail. Kabayo Waterfalls is actually composed of two falls; one is 4 feet and the other is about 15 feet. It’s ideal for beginners, since the trail to get to the falls is quite short.However, do take note that it can get pretty slippery when it rains. Nevertheless, you can swim in the refreshingly cool water, and you can also bring and cook some food for a picnic. Daredevils can also try cliff diving!
Meanwhile, the Pamulaklakin Forest Trail takes you to a settlement area of the Aetas. A native can guide you along, giving you not just a tour of the environs but also lessons on some basic survival tips. They’ll teach you which plants are edible or can be used for medicinal purposes,as well as show you how to cook rice using bamboo, among others. Remember to make arrangements beforehand so you know what to prepare. This will also allow the locals to more properly anticipate your needs.
The best thing about Boardwalk Park is that there’s no entrance fee. You can swim and sunbathe, have a picnic, go on a stroll, and watch the sunset without paying anything! If you’re in luck, you can catch live entertainment and other happenings since Boardwalk Park is one of the biggest event venues in Subic.
There are also plenty of beaches in and around Subic, like Capones Island in Zambales. You can reach it via a two-hour car and boat ride from the coast of Subic Bay. Activities in the island include snorkeling and diving to see the breathtaking coral reefs and species of fish.
After you’re done touring, it’s time to go shopping at Royal Duty Free located on Canal Road. There are a lot of bargains here, from clothing to kitchen items. Of course, you can also get international-brand chocolates that are perfect for pasalubong.
Are you ready for an enjoyable weekend in Subic?