BATAAN TOURIST SPOTS

The province of Bataan has become synonymous to the courageous trait of the Filipinos—being the site of a spirited stand by Filipino and American soldiers during World War II—it tees with longstanding pride and history. Other than that, Bataan is also fast becoming known as a popular tourist spot for adventurers, heritage admirers and food aficionados alike. Amidst the bounteous nature dotting the countryside, one can find hidden charms in the many municipalities of the province. Be it through the tasty local cuisines, heritage towns, historic centers, scenic trails and more—Bataan has a lot to offer to travelers. To give you an idea, here is a list of top Bataan tourist spots.

 


Places to Go in Bataan


 

Mount Samat National Shrine

 

 

Also known as “Dambana ng Kagitingan”, one of the top tourist attractions in Bataan, this mountaintop (1,821 feet) shrine pays tribute to the many courageous men and women who fought it out and delayed Japan’s World War II timetable by saving Australia from invasion—because for months, the battle of Bataan attracted Japanese’ full war arsenal. Build in 1970 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the end of World War II, Mount Samat National Shrine is highlighted by a 302 feet cross (Shrine of Valor), a museum, a park and a colonnade designed by National Artist Napoleon Abueva which houses the memorial cross designed by Lorenzo del Castillo. If you want to learn more World War II History, you can also drop by the WWII Museum near Balanga Elementary School in Balanga, Bataan.

Location: Pilar, Bataan

 


 

Killer Loop Bicycle Trail

Located around Mount Samat, “Killer Loop Trail” is a thrilling bicycle trail that snakes to a 34 kilometer long path. It features a number of highly-technical rough road natural obstacles such as steep climbs and twisting bends that will challenge every experienced cyclist. Words of advice: Take it easy, be careful and enjoy the stunning views.

Location: Pilar, Bataan

 


 

Mount Tarak Ridge

A favorite tourist spot in Bataan among mountaineers, Tarak Ridge is blessed with a trail consisting of mountain elements a nature geek looks for: mossy forest, a river stream, a beautiful campsite and a knife edge leading to the peak covered with a variety of flora. Bataan is home to other mountains such as Mount Natib, but Tarak Ridge is something every lovers of nature should hike for a good day or two of nature tripping.

Location: Mariveles, Bataan

 


Five Fingers Cove

Called as such because when viewed from the air (and also on Google Maps) the Five Fingers Cove is located in the jagged shoreline of Mariveles, resembles that of a human’s five fingers.  It is now one of the top Bataan tourist spots. On ground—travelers will delight in hopping to all the coves: Cochino’s Point, Talaga Point (where Natsu Lagoon and Apatot Cove are located), Puntang Mahaba (Pebble cave and Nagmandala Rock formation), Naiklec Point and the Longos Kawayan Point. You can go on cliff diving or beach bumming at all these fantastic destinations—all in one stop.


Ambon-Ambon Falls

 

Bataan Tourist Spots - Ambon Abon Falls

Ambon Ambon Falls is single cascade towering 60 meters with a small basin, reaching this waterfalls situated in the middle of a forest in Bagac summons all sorts of adventures along the way. You need to grip on a rope to avoid falling into a deep ravine, slide on your butt and evade thorny vegetation during the two-hour trek, but once you arrive at this secluded spot, everything becomes all worth it. Other waterfalls are Dunsulan, Limutan and Kairukan Falls, some of the top tourist attractions in Bataan.

Location: Bagac, Bataan. (Register at the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) in Brgy Binukawan, Bagac before you hike to Ambon-Ambon waterfalls)

 


Old Spanish-era Churches

Even if it’s not the Holy Week, you can still do your own ‘Visita Iglesia’, this time to appreciate a part of Bataan’s rich heritage. Old Spanish-era churches dots the towns of Samal, Abucay, Pilar, Balanga, Orani and Orion.  Each church has its own unique appeal like the center belfry of Pilar Church and the rustic look of Samal Church. Best if you visit these churches with someone knowledgeable about the history of these old places of worship so you can fuse a bit of educational tour in your own visita iglesia.

Travel tip: Most churches are located near the highway so you can easily hop into a jeepney and stop at every town to visit these old churches.

 


Sisiman Lighthouse


 

There’s always something magical about lighthouses facing the vastness of the ocean and one of the top tourist spots in Bataan is the Sisiman Lighthouse. Combine it with a beautiful setting consisting of jaw-dropping rock formation and jagged boulder hills, and you get the scenic Sisiman Lighthouse in Mariveles, Bataan. This is a good spot to witness the sky turn to gold against the impressive foreground of the lighthouse. While you’re in Mariveles already, please do pass by the Zero Kilometer Marker of Bataan Death March here. Just follow the markers indicating the number of kilometers.

Location: Mariveles, Bataan

 

 


Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar

LA CASAS DE AZUCAR
photo provided by Agoda

 

Travel figuratively back to a time when Filipino architecture teems with visual delight in Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar. By uprooting old houses left in abandon and in ruins from original sites all over the country and transferring it wood by wood and brick by brick to Las Casas, finished with intricate renovation, the gathering of these heritage structures resulted into a magnificent olden mock Filipino town from bygone centuries. Walking over cobblestone paths passing by old houses typifying the rich heritage and history of the Philippines shall give you a beautiful glimpse about our storied past.

Location: Bagac, Bataan

 


Bataan National Park

For the lovers of the great outdoors, Bataan is home to many mountains suitable for hiking. The Bataan National Park meanwhile, offers a vast land covering 23.6 hectares of lush forest occupying the towns of Hermosa, Samal, Abucay, Morong, Balanga, Bagac and Orani. Activities you can do here includes: hiking, cycling and 4×4 driving.


Pawikan Conservation Center

 

Bataan Tourist Spots - Pawikan Conservation

 

Come month of November, the sea-turtle egg hatching season starts. Because of this, the province has organized a yearly Pawikan Festival where visitors can witness the newly-hatched sea turtles crawl slowly to the sea. This is an amazing sight to witness. For non-festival dates, you can still visit the Conservation Center to learn more about the hatching method and the process of conservation of sea turtles.

Location: Morong, Bataan

 


Bataan Nuclear Power Plant

After the hit series ‘Chernobyl’, the interest for Nuclear Power Plant now are sky-high. Fortunately, the risk for another meltdown is zero because the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant has been decommissioned before it even started operation in 1984. Today, guests can enter the whole complex to learn more about the ins-and-out of operating a Nuclear Power Plant. You can even enter the main control room.

Location: Morong, Bataan (Open during weekdays from 9am-8pm: Entrance fee is 200 pesos for adults and 100 pesos for students)

 


Plaza Mayor de Ciudad de Balanga

The main town square of Balanga is also another place to visit in the province. Come nighttime—especially during the ‘Ber’ months, a colorful fountain display becomes the attraction. It is surrounded by commercial spaces consisting of restaurants and quaint cafes.

 


Where to eat in Bataan


Bataan Tourist Spots - where to eat

 

The Food Project

Serving many of our all-time favorite comfort foods in stylized plating and a hip al fresco setting, The Food Project is one hip place to enjoy a meal with your friends.

Location: Balagtas, Orion, Bataan.

Ima’s Pamangan

Enjoy a taste of Kapampangan cuisine with a fusion of Bataan-style culinary, Ima’s Pamangan is a buffet-style carinderia famous as a lunch stop for travelers en route to Mount Samat.

Location: Pilar, Bataan.


Choco-late de Batirol

Definitely one of the best merienda option in Bataan. Choco-late de Batirol serves local hot chocolate drink brewed with a batirol-a wooden stick used to pulp cacao beans into a rich tasting and thick chocolate drink. Accompany it with an order of other local delicacies like bibingka, suman and pancit palabok.

Location: Pilar, Bataan.


The Beanery

Starbucks, what? You can forget about the famous Seattle-based coffee chain because in Bataan, they have their own local coffee chain serving good coffee. It’s called the Beanery, and it currently has a few branches in Balanga. Here, you can enjoy not only great coffee and tea but also tasty deserts inside a stylish interior setting.

Location: Two branches of Beanery are located at Capitol Drive, San Jose in Balanga City while the other one is near Crown Royale Hotel in Balanga.


Loleng’s Hutieu-an

During the Vietnam War, the Philippines received numerous refugees from Vietnam. A good number of them settled in Bataan. Even after most of them left to Canada and the United States, they managed to influence the local cuisine with Vietnamese flavor. One of those who learned how to cook Vietnamese food was Aling Loleng–a Filipina who worked in the Philippine Refugee Center in Morong. Imparting what she learned, she opened the modest Loleng’s Hutieu-an, which serves Banh Mi, Vietnamese Pho and Hu Tieu noodle soup.

Location: Mayor Street, Morong, Bataan.


How to Go to Bataan


  • Many bus lines services the Manila-Bataan route. These are: Victory Liner, Bataan Transit, Genesis and Sinulog.
  • Travel time is around 3 hours.
  • Riding a private car, you need to take the NLEX (North Luzon Expressway) and get off at San Fernando Exit to enter the Jose Abad Santos Ave from Lubao, Pampanga to Dinalupihan, Bataan.
  • Or you can exit at SCTEX (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway) and take the Dinalupihan exit towards Roman Super Highway.

WHERE TO STAY IN BATAAN


Bataan hotels
photo provided by Agoda

 

  • La Casas de Azucar Hotel

Location: Bagac, Bataan

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE OR RESERVE HERE

 

  • Crown Royale Hotel

Location: Bataan, Bataan

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE OR RESERVE HERE

 

  • The Plaza Hotel Balanga

Location: Bataan, Bataan

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE OR RESERVE HERE

  • Pan Resort and Hotel

Location: Abucay, Bataan

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE OR RESERVE HERE


OTHER PHILIPPINE TOURIST SPOTS:

BALER TOURIST SPOTS

CATANDUANES TOURIST SPOTS

CAPIZ TOURIST SPOTS

DAPITAN TOURIST SPOTS

 


 

 

blogger

About the Blogger: Marky Ramone Go is a regular contributor at Inside Southeast Asia. 

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