Just a few hours’ drive from Metro Manila, Subic is one of the Philippines’ top destinations. The freeport zone around the bay is the hotspot of all the hustle and bustle, attracting locals and foreigners alike with its beach attractions, fancy recreational spots, and gastronomic gems.
If water sports, beach, and food are your kind of vacation, then start planning a Subic getaway with this guide.
COVID-19 Travel Guidelines
The province of Zambales, which includes Subic, is under Alert Level 2 from January 1 to 15, 2022.
Children below 7 years old aren’t allowed to travel, while those 7-18 years old require the company of parents/guardians. Those above 65, pregnant, or with comorbidities should be fully vaccinated.
Unvaccinated tourists from NCR and Alert Level 3 areas are also not allowed to travel.
Checklist of Requirements
Prepare digital copies of these documents as you’ll need them later when scheduling your visit online.
- Valid ID
- Proof of confirmed booking at DOT-accredited hotel/s
- COVID-19 test
- For vaccinated tourists: Negative rapid antigen test result within 24 hours before travel date
- For unvaccinated or partially vaccinated (from Alert Level 2 areas): Negative results of RT-PCR test within 72 hours before travel date
- Zambales Visita QR-coded Travelers Pass (QTP)
- Sign up at visita.zambales.gov.ph.
- Fill out the form and upload your ID.
- Once registered, you can go to the “Schedule a Visit” page. Prepare to upload your hotel booking and COVID-19 test result.
- Print the QTP or save a digital copy on your device.
How to Get to Subic
The best way to get to Subic is by car, which only takes 2-3 hours from Manila via North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway(SCTEx).
For public transport, Olongapo-bound buses can take you to Subic. Victory Liner is the most reliable bus option, with terminals around Metro Manila and many parts of central and northern Luzon including Pangasinan and Baguio.
They have regular aircon, first-class, and P2P options, with fares starting at PHP 220 (from Manila). It’s important to note that reservation is required, so if you plan to take the bus, plan your trip ahead.
Where to Stay in Subic
The best accommodations in Subic are close to the beach and nature, while some are nestled nicely in commercial centers where you have easy access to great shopping and food!
The Lighthouse Marina Resort
This picturesque resort by the beach is oozing with K-drama feels with its quaint lighthouse and old-world design. Its waterfront location gives you access to exciting water sports activities like kayaking and jet skiing.
Location: Block 4 Lot 1, Waterfront Rd., Moonbay Marina Complex, Central Business District, Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Le Charmé Suites
Situated in a shopping haven, near outlets and duty-free shops, Le Charmé Suites is a European-inspired hotel geared towards active and fun-loving guests. It has a rooftop pool, a spa, a fitness center with spin bikes, and even a climbing wall!
Location: La Terraza Bldg., 1131 Palm St., Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Whiterock Beach Hotel + Waterpark
Whiterock Beach Hotel + Waterpark is a 10-hectare package of leisure, from swimming pools, wave pools, and a floating water park to indoor sports. There are a lot of things to do in this resort alone!
Location: Purok 3, Matain, Subic, Zambales
Subic Park Hotel
Located along the waterfront, close to many restaurants and the beach, Subic Park Hotel is one of the best-value accommodations you can find in Subic. It has an outdoor pool, and its rooms offer a view of the ocean.
Location: Moonbay Marina, Waterfront Road Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Discover the beauty of a green Subic with safari-themed glamping at Zoobic Safari! If you’re a nature lover or traveling with family and kids, this exciting accommodation puts you right at the heart of the tropical jungle of Ilanin Forest West.
Location: Zoobic Safari, Group 1 Ilanin Forest, Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Where to Eat in Subic
Every craving is satisfied in Subic, with a plethora of options along the port area and in the CBD. Here are the best restaurants you should check out!
Meat Plus Cafe
Established in 1997, Meat Plus Cafe is one of the best-loved and long-standing restaurants in Subic. It’s people’s go-to for hearty meat selections like steaks and ribs.
Location: 6 Sampson Rd, Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Facebook: Meat Plus Cafe
Hungry lads best head to Pirates Bistro for some roaring pirate-themed dishes, featuring American comfort food like pizza, pasta, and meat platters.
Location: 532 Waterfront Rd, Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Facebook: Pirates Bistro
Another exciting—or shall we say, fiery!—dining spot is Teppan 101, which wows every diner with impressive teppanyaki exhibitions.
Location: G/F La Terraza Building, 1131 Palm St., Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Facebook: Teppan 101
For more Japanese goodness, head to Chef Samurai. Feast on traditional specialties like sushi, ramen, tempura, and sake without breaking the bank!
Location: Raymundo St., Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Facebook: Chef Samurai
Rali’s Restaurant is a good place for a romantic meal with views of the bay. International dishes are prepared in fine-dining quality, complemented by the restaurant’s classy interior and bay scenery.
Location: Malawaan Park, Argonaut Highway, Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Facebook: Rali’s Restaurant
What to Do in Subic
You can’t leave Subic without checking out these activities!
Get up close with different wild and farm animals at Zoobic Safari, the only tiger safari in the country. This adventure will surely appeal to every member of the family.
Location: Group 1 Ilanin Forest, Forrest Adventure, Subic Bay Freeport Zone
When in Subic, a side trip to Inflatable Island is a must. It’s the most Instagrammable water attraction in the country, filled with activities that are both thrilling and relaxing.
Location: Subic Bay Waters, National Highway, Lower Kalaklan, Olongapo City, Zambales
For more family-friendly activities, Ocean Adventure is another top attraction in Subic. Families with kids get to see various marine creatures up close and learn more about life underwater.
Location: Ocean Adventure Approach Rd., Ilanin Forest West, Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Facebook: Ocean Adventure Subic Bay
The bay waters of Subic Bay are also the perfect venue to enjoy thrilling activities like flyboarding, hoverboarding, surfing, and various inflatable rides. You can find water sports providers along Waterfront, like Networx Jetsports.
Location: Waterfront Rd., Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Hiking at Pamulaklakin Forest Trail
Subic is not just about the beach. It is also home to forests, protected wildlife areas, tribal communities. Visitors can get to know this side of Subic by hiking in the beginner-friendly Pamulaklakin Forest Trail with locals as guides.
Location: Pamulaklakin Forest Trail, Binictican Heights, Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Contact: 0929-572-1105 / +63 47-252-4242
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