How to Travel to Bolinao, Pangasinan – Backpacker Style

Photography by Iza SanchezBolinao Pangasinan

Patar Beach, Bolinao

Bolinao is a quiet, coastal town in Central Luzon well known for its mocha-sand beaches, historical landmarks, and ecological attractions. Patar is Bolinao’s premier beach destination. The locals proudly call it the “Boracay of the north.” Patar Beach is a picturesque 10-kilometer stretch of sand and sea located on the northwestern tip of Pangasinan.


 Getting There

Bolinao Pangasinan

  • BUS LINES – Several bus lines ply the Manila-Bolinao route including Victory Liner (Cubao terminal only). However, the terminal in Cubao gets congested on weekends and holidays, so on such days it’s best to proceed to Victory Liner’s terminal in Caloocan City instead. It’s a few kilometers farther but there are more schedule options.
  • In Pasay, Five Star Bus Lines offers hourly trips to Bolinao starting at 6:45 a.m. through 11:30 p.m. Between midnight and 5:00 a.m. travelers can take non-airconditioned buses bound for the town of Bani which is about 20 kilometers away from Bolinao. From Bani there are jeepneys and buses that go to Bolinao.

Cape Bolinao Lighthouse

Bolinao Pangasinan

Photography by Iza Sanchez


  • TRAVEL TIME – The travel time is around 7 hours in moderate traffic and 7.5 to 8 hours in heavy traffic. The best time to travel is between 9 p.m. and 12 midnight to avoid traffic and frequent stopovers.

Bolinao Pangasinan

  • BUS FARE – Bus fares from Manila cost around ₱470 one-way and ₱940 round-trip.
  • Bus fares from Bolinao to neighboring Alaminos City ranges from ₱70  to ₱80. Alaminos, famous for the 100 Islands National Park, is around one hour by bus or jeepney from Bolinao.
Bolinao Pangasinan

Photography by Iza Sanchez

  • STOPOVERS – There are two main stopovers where passengers  can buy snacks and take restroom breaks. The first is Mabalacat Terminal in Dau which is roughly 84 kilometers or 2 hours from Manila. The second is Tarlac terminal which is about 119 kilometers from Manila. Travel time between Mabalacat and Tarlac terminal is one hour.
Bolinao Pangasinan

Photography by Iza Sanchez

  • WHEN YOU ARRIVE IN BOLINAO – In Bolinao the best way to get around is by tricycle and there are plenty. Although some tricycle drivers can be overly assertive. Newcomers would need a doze of patience and understanding because tourists arrive in trickles, (particularly in the off-peak season), and competition among the drivers is steep.
  • During peak season the tricycle fare from the town to the beach resorts is ₱150 one-way.

Kayaking at Ilog Malino

  • GOING TO THE BEACH – The tricycle ride from Bolinao town proper to the resorts along the narrow stretch of Patar Road takes 20 to 30 minutes depending on the location of the hotel. For the first three kilometers the road is asphalted, but beyond that, there are many unpaved sections. A result of the road project being awarded to multiple contractors on a per kilometer basis.
Bolinao Pangasinan

Photography by Iza Sanchez

  • EXPLORING THE REGION – Tricycle drivers offer whole day tours for ₱700 to ₱800 depending on the itinerary. A whole day tour typically includes a visit to secluded caves, waterfalls, and historical sights in town. And a trip to the best section of Patar Beach which is by Treasures of Bolinao Resort.

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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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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41 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…

  24. james gunby says:

    Hi iza. My friend who lives in Bolinao just made this list too. It’s fairly comprehensive for this year.

  25. Alyzza says:

    Hi yung 150 na tricycle, good for how many?

  26. Chin says:

    Hi want sana namen magtent dun possible ba sya ??

  27. VIVI says:

    Hi, my classmates and I were planning to go there in Patar. Is it okay to bring tents? Less gastos kasi yon, hindi po ba? Para kahit mag stay kami overnight, di kami mag babayad ng fees for hotel or resorts inns.

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