How to Travel to Bolinao, Pangasinan – Backpacker Style

  • Bolinao Pangasinan
  • Bolinao Pangasinan
  • Bolinao Pangasinan
  • Bolinao Pangasinan
  • Bolinao Pangasinan
  • Bolinao Pangasinan
  • Bolinao Pangasinan
  • Bolinao Pangasinan
  • Bolinao

Patar Beach, Bolinao, Photography by Iza SanchezBolinao Pangasinan

In recent years glamorized beach destinations in the south have taken the limelight from once much talked about destinations like Bolinao in Central Luzon. Nevertheless, sites like these with their rich history and unique natural landscapes silently and continuously draw travel aficionados to their shores.

Bolinao is a remote town in the province of Pangasinan and is just an hour away from another tourist hub, the 100 Islands National Park in Alaminos City.


Bolinao Pangasinan

A busy day at Patar Beach

 A typical backpacker itinerary will include a day or two exploring Bolinao’s Patar Beach, its caves and waterfalls followed by a day exploring the iconic 100 islands in Alaminos. Unlike the 100 Islands which are within the Lingayen Gulf, the long stretch of Patar Beach opens up to the South China Sea so the tide in deeper areas can be unpredictable and sometimes dangerous.


  • BUS LINERS – From Manila take a bus bound for Bolinao, Pangasinan. Several bus liners ply this route, one of them is Victory Liner (Cubao terminal only). However, the Victory Liner terminal in Cubao can be very congested on weekends and on holidays so you can opt to go to their terminal in Caloocan City which is a few kilometers farther but has more schedule options.
  • For those who live south, the Five Star Bus liner in Pasay has hourly trips to Bolinao starting at 06:45 AM. The last trip at night leaves around 11:30 PM. If you are traveling between midnight and 05:00 AM, there are non-aircon buses that leave every hour for the town of Bani, roughly 20 kilometers away from Bolinao. If you leave Manila during these graveyard hours you will reach the town of Bani by daytime and from there you can take a jeepney or another bus to Bolinao.

Cape Bolinao Lighthouse, Photography by Iza Sanchez

Bolinao Pangasinan


  • TRAVEL TIME – The travel time is about 7 hours in moderate traffic and 7.5 to 8 hours in heavy traffic. To evade the traffic you can take a a trip between 9:00 PM and 12:00 midnight and sleep through the trip. You will certainly arrive in Bolinao sooner.

Bolinao Pangasinan

  • BUS FARE – The bus fare was 470.00 PHP one way and 940.00 PHP round trip.
  • If you will take a side trip to Bolinao from Alaminos and vice versa, the bus fare is 70.00 PHP to 80.00 PHP.
Bolinao Pangasinan

Photography by Iza Sanchez

  • BUS STOPS – There are two main bus stops where you will be given a few minutes to buy snacks or use the restrooms. The first one is Mabalacat Terminal in Dau which is roughly 84 kilometers from Manila. The second one is Tarlac terminal which is about 119 kilometers from Manila.
  • The travel time from Manila to Mabalacat Terminal was around two hours. Whereas, the travel time from Mabalacat Terminal to Tarlac Terminal was around one hour.
Bolinao Pangasinan

Photography by Iza Sanchez

  • WHEN YOU ARRIVE IN BOLINAO – Once you get off the bus, several tricycle drivers at the terminal will meet you and offer to take you to your hotel. They can be very assertive so try to be patient since tourists arrive in trickles and competition for passengers is steep. Take your time in making arrangements and consult with your hotel reception about regular tricycle fares from the terminal to Patar Beach.
  • During peak season the tricycle fare from the town to the remote beach resorts is 150.00 PHP per way. It’s probably cheaper during non-peak season.

Kayaking at Ilog Malino

  • GOING TO THE BEACH – The tricycle ride from Bolinao town proper to the resorts along the very narrow Patar Road takes anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes depending on where your hotel is located. For the first 3 kilometers you can expect a smooth road and beyond that the cemented road ends where government funding ends. You might be surprised at the intermittent gaps between cemented and non-cemented sections. A result of the road project being awarded to multiple contractors on a per kilometer basis.
Bolinao Pangasinan

Photography by Iza Sanchez

  • GETTING AROUND – Save your tricycle driver’s number in case you want to leave your resort and go see the nicer part of Patar Beach down south. Tricycle drivers also offer a whole day tour for 700 PHP to 800 PHP. This typically includes a visit to the nicer section of Patar Beach (facing the Treasures of Bolinao Resort), the caves, the waterfalls and other parts of the town which might interest you.

Infinity Pool at Treasures of Bolinao Beach Resort

Bolinao Pangasinan

Distance and Travel Time From Other Cities:

Dagupan City – 86 kms 1.5 hour

San Fernando, La Union – 157 kms 3 hours

Baguio City – 156 kms 3.5 hours

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Traveling to Pangasinan soon? Check out these travel guides:


Sunset along Patar Beach, Photography by Iza Sanchez

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Iza Sanchez

Iza Sanchez is a freelance ESL Teacher, adventurer and moderator of Take The Travel. She writes about solo-backpacking, travel saving tips and other awesome travel resources.

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35 Responses

  1. mviet1 says:

    Hi. Thank u for the very comprehensive blog. i want to ask, how much is the estimate per person to spend there. I see it a very helpful for backpakers who wish to be there

  2. lloydsubaldo says:

    Wish to travel in that place….

  3. Edwin Galvez says:

    Nice post. Thanks!

  4. AU Soriano says:

    Hi Iza, i hope you will not mind if we publish this article in the FB Page of PinoyTravel (online booking for buses). Pls let me know if OK.

  5. john says:

    Do you the list of the budget hotel/Inn in Bolinao?

  6. renz says:

    nice post planning to go there this sept. help me lot and very excited to see later beach☺

  7. van says:

    as of january 2017
    tricycle fare: 1 way from town proper going to patar beach P 200.00
    tour for 2 pax: P 1,000.00
    inclusion: bolinao falls 1.2 and 3
    enchanted cave
    patar beach

    eto yung contact namin na tricycle driver
    Bryan Garate 09126053563

  8. Carla Jaro Baldonado says:

    Hi Iza, just wanna ask if its worth to travel. i mean maganda ba talagaang Patar Beach? thanks! 🙂

    • Iza Sanchez says:

      Hi Carla, yes it’s a beautiful beach. To make the most of your trip I suggest spend a day or two at 100 Islands, Alaminos and then do a side trip to Patar Beach in Bolinao or vice versa, since traveling from one town to the other only takes an hour. Have a great trip.

  9. Lhot B. Manio says:

    Hi Ms.Iza, Thanks so much for this blog. dont have much idea about going on a beach kasi di ako mahilig before. Recently na lang. We are planning to go somewhere in Bolinao together with my inlaws to celebrate my kids’ graduation day at birthday. May mga sasakyan naman na dadalhin, so ano pa kaya ang need na iprepare sa gastusin? Like do we need to rent a room or kahit hindi na?…swimming kasi at pasyal na din…Anu ano kaya ang need to consider na pagkakagustusan bukod sa food na babaunin naman namin. God bless and more blogs to post…

  10. Amor says:

    Hi po. After island tour san po maganda at affordable to stay po. At gus2 po nmin mg side trip to bolinao. Tnx po

  11. Master says:

    Been here and it was great.

    Patar white beach is as crowded as Boracay but there are areas in which is quiet, you just need to select the right area that suits your need.

    You may get in touch with

    He knows the area very well.
    Bolinao Falls 1, 2, 3
    Enchanted Cave
    Rock Formation
    Bolinao Light House
    Patar White Beach

    And even where to eat like:
    Adora’s Restaurant
    Mangungunahan Grill and so much more.

  12. cha says:

    hi! accessible din po ba yung place using private car?

  13. Master says:

    Yes very accessible, just a bumpy ride going to Bolinao Falls 1, 2, 3.

  14. Master says:

    A friendly advise, make sure to bring your aqua shoes to enjoy walking in the beach during low or high tide, some rock formation are pointy.

  15. Neil Axl says:


    May I require if anyone here who knows a transient or inn near Patar beach? The cheapest, the better. We consist of 6 pax. And planning to stay for 3d 2n. Thanks in advance! 🙂

  16. Louie Brian Alfredo says:

    Hi Iza, nice webspace you have here with pretty insightful contents. I am planning to look for a place (maybe 5 to 6 hrs drive) to get away from the light pollution of manila and do some astro-photography. I am considering Bolinao Panasinan, the sunset and the picturesque lighthouse makes the trip worth it. But as you mentioned on your Pro’s and Con’s article, and also repeated here — hostels in Bolinao doesn’t have website I can book with. They aren’t even registered in AirBnb or Agoda.

    Do you have suggestions on how to get some cheap accomodation? I am planning to do this trip alone for maybe 3 to 4 days, even 5 if schedule willing, getting a solo hotel room isn’t practical. I am good with less than average room/dormitory as long as I can charge my camera gears. And I don’t have problem with transpo, so distance of the hostel isn’t a concern.

  17. Riel de jesus says:

    hi. yung sasakyan po pauwi ng Manila paano? and may mga nasasakyan na po ba dun papuntang 100 islands? magkano po accomodation sa bolinao and madami po ba makikita don or mas okay na magpareserve in advance? sorry dami kong tanong. thanks

  18. Carla Dizon says:

    Hi, ask ko lang how much yung entrance fee sa Patar beach? Thank you!

  19. Ghia DC says:

    Hi. Ask ko lang po sana kung magkano lahat ng expenses? Good for 2pax po. Thank you and God bless. 🙂

  20. Maria says:

    To everyone whose wanting to visit Bolinao, Pangasinan or solely Patar White Beach and has no enough budget don’t focus on the resorts sa internet. Mostly ng affordable accomodation can be found near Patar White beach and dun talaga maganda ang beach, kasi ung kabilang beach near sa mga resorts is very shallow lang then malayo pa talaga syako sa Patar if dun niyo gusto pumunta like us. Mas ma enjoy niyo talaga ang waves, sand, and makapag swim kayo sa Patar White beach. Galing kami dun last weekend and napamahal kami wala na standard room na 2k/night so ung next dun ang nakuha namin which is superior room na 3k/night, kasi we focus on the blogs and suggestions na resorts sa internet, though helpful din sya kasi from Cubao-Bolinao 459php each nga ang fare sa bus then from there trike na 150php arap ihatid ka sa resort then if gusto niyo mag tour pwede din arkilahin ng trike, kami 1000php good for 2pax. But FYI iba pa ang entrance fee sa bawat sites, sa Bolinao falls 1-50php, Bolinao falls2-50php, enchanted cave-150, rock formation-75php. Also I found a contact number there na mapag stayan niyo sa Patar beach 1500/night lang good for 2pax with ac na din yata yun, confirm niyo nalang din. I’m sharing our experience para sa mga gusto pmunta dun and d kayo mapamahal.
    “Lory’s Walk-Inn”
    Contact no: 09483042009/09064910147

  21. Erich Zao says:

    Hi Ms Iza. Thank you for this info.
    Excited na akong pumunta jan. Kaya lang worry ko:
    (1) Walang online reservation ung Treasures of Bolinao Resort
    (2) Magkano po ung range ng food sa hotel for lunch and dinner
    (3) May available busses po ba going back to Manila kpg nagcheck out po kami ng 12noon – 2pm?

    Thank you!

  22. thalin says:

    hi we would like to visit patar white beach resort and we are from baguio. May I ask what is the fastest way going to Patar.?

  23. Ghie Gorospe says:

    Been there Last Aug. 19 side trip namin after Hundred Islands… Ngsearch kmi thru internet for a place to stay but when we got there ang daming resorts inns hotels and transient house na hindi mo mkikita browsing the i ternet, blogs and reviews… But the one we chose is ok na for a homey and tropical feel di nmn kmi nagsisisi kc npka accomodating ng may ari at very affordable yung kubo nila check Polly’s Place…if gusto nyo talagang maenjoy ang beach kasama naman ang Patar white beach s tour kc yung iba nga medyo may seaweeds yung ilalim and di pantay pantay level ng sand magugulat k n lng me malalim pl na part… yung Tour namin P1200 inclusive na yung pick up at hatid sa Terminal …tour inclusions bahala kau if gusto nyo icover lahat n pwedeng puntahan we opted For Bolinao falls 1 P50, Enchanted cave P150, Bolinao lighthouse free, Rock formation P75… one day tour lang but if you want magstay ng matagal bawat spot 2 days pede na kc yung byahe from one place to another lalo na sa falls malayo…

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