Aching to go surfing and camping on the beach? Try going to Crystal Beach Resort, Zambales where pine trees meet the waves. Read this travel guide to find how you can enjoy Crystal Beach’s sand, sea, and sun!
If you’re a self-confessed mermaid, you’d agree that the soul can ache for salty waters.
I’m not beach lover, but after weeks of all work and no vacation, I knew I just had to escape to the open seas. Surfing refreshes my spirit, even though I end up with a sweet sore the next days. Camping reminds me that I can survive with the bare minimum and almost no amenities — a reminder to keep things simple and make each day count.
In summary, it was time to sea’s the day! So on Saturday, we decided to skip language school, pack our bags, and head over to a Crystal Beach Resort, Zambales, where the pine trees meet the waves.
About Crystal Beach Resort
I first heard of Crystal Beach Resort when some of my teammates participated in an Ultimate Frisbee tourney on its sandy shores. Even then, I noticed the pristine and well-maintained beauty of the places by just looking at their photos. There’s this long bamboo trellis, a sight of small tents housed by pine trees, and the strong waves facing the West Philippine Sea. It’s pretty Instagrammable, and I knew I had to see it!
Before, I’ve been to La Union, Baler, Liw-liwa (also in Zambales), and Catanduanes. Though still considered a beginner, by now I can at least compare the quality of each surfing experience. A huge factor would be the beach. La Union was great for socializing and getting first dips at surfing. Baler was perfect for beginners because of the fine, soft sand. Liw-liwa was much more suited for skimboarding. Catanduanes for more experienced surfer who’d like to ride on the Pacific Ocean’s waves.
The thing about Crystal Beach is no matter how famous it has become, it was never too crowded and it feels like home. Because they have a lot of staff, you also get a sense of security and situational control that many beach hostels do not offer. What’s surprising is that at any given season, they will only accommodate 400 people in a day, including infants and kids. Though there’s a laid-back vibe, you’ll see none of those rowdy beach parties and drunken skinny dippers in the middle of the night. This makes it a great destination for more intimate groups including couples, companies, and families.
Where to stay in Crystal Beach Zambales
Though it only has a 400 pax limit, Crystal Beach Resort offers a variety of cabins, rooms, tents, and cottages. For those coming only for a daytrip, you can also opt to just pay entrance fees. Be it for big groups, small groups, or even solo, you can find a place to stay here:
|Beach Cabin (Isaiah)||2 pax||2700||Extra 1 pax PHP 895|
|Camping with own tent||Rate is per person||895||Not available for online booking. Includes breakfast.|
|Conference Hall (Moses)||100 pax||5000|
|Day trip||6AM – 6PM||500||PHP 100 security deposit|
|Deluxe (Abigail)||1 – 3 pax||6000||Extra 1 pax PHP 1250|
|Deluxe Room (Andrew)||1 – 3 pax||6000||Extra 1 – 4 pax PHP 1250|
|Deluxe Room (Josiah)||1 – 3 pax||6000||Extra 1 – 4 pax PHP 1250|
|Deluxe Room (Matthew)||1 – 3 pax||6000||Extra 1 – 3 pax PHP 1250|
|Econo Bamboo Cabin (Micah)||1 – 2 pax||2200||Extra 1 pax PHP 895. Not available for online booking|
|Econo Bamboo Cabin (Noah)||2 – 4 pax||4400||Extra pax not allowed|
|Econo Bamboo Cabin (Shem)||1 – 2 pax||2200||Extra 1 pax PHP 895|
|Econo Fan (John)||1 – 2 pax||2500||Extra 1 pax PHP 895|
|Econo Fan (Mark)||2 – 3 pax||3750||Extra 1 pax PHP 895|
|Econo Fan Dorm (Judah)||6 – 8 pax||8800||Extra 1 – 2 pax PHP 895|
|Econo Fan Dorm (Reuben)||10 – 12 pax||13200||Extra 1 – 2 pax PHP 895|
|Econo-AC (Ezra)||2 – 4 pax||5000||Extra 1 pax PHP 895|
|Econo-Bamboo Cabin (Aaron)||2- 4 pax||4400||Extra pax not allowed|
|Econo-Bamboo Cabin (Esther)||2 – 4 pax||4400||Extra pax not allowed|
|Glamping||2 pax||2500||Extra pax not allowed|
|Jungle Hostel||1 – 2 pax||2500||Extra 1 pax PHP 895|
|Kubo ni Israel||1 – 10 pax||1000||Not available for online booking. Day trip fee not included. 6AM – 6PM|
|Standard AC (Abednego)||2- 4 pax||6200||Extra 1 pax PHP 1250|
|Standard AC (Abraham Attic)||1 – 2 pax||3100||Extra 1 pax PHP 1250|
|Standard AC (Luke Upper)||2 – 4 pax||6200||Extra pax 1 PHP 1250|
|Standard AC (Malachi)||1 – 2 pax||3100||Extra pax not allowed|
|Standard AC (Matthew Attic)||2 – 4 pax||6200||Extra 1 – 2 pax PHP 1250|
|Standard AC (Naomi Attic)||2 – 3 pax||4650||Extra 1 pax PHP 1250|
|Standard AC (Naomi)||1 -2 pax||3100||Extra 1 pax PHP 1250. Not available for online booking|
|Standard AC Dorm (Jacob)||8 – 10 pax||13500||Extra pax not allowed|
|Standard AC Dorm (Luke Tower)||6 – 8 pax||10800||Extra 1 – 2 pax PHP 1250|
|Standard Fan Dorm (Abraham Lower)||6 – 8 pax||10000||Extra 1 – 2 pax PHP 895|
|Tent for 1 pax||1 pax||999||Not available for online booking|
|Tent for 2 pax||2 pax||1998||Not available for online booking|
|Tent for 4 pax||4 pax||3996||Not available for online booking|
Here are just some tips on finding where to stay at Crystal Beach Resort:
- Most of these accommodations have complimentary breakfast, beddings, bottled water, and basic toiletries. But best to inquire for each type of accommodation to clarify
- Big groups should book online in advance to avoid complications
- Their mobile, telephone, and social media lines sometimes are not quick to respond especially when they are entertaining many guests, so best to inquire in advance
- Walk-in campers with no tents should arrive early to secure their spots
- For big groups with tents, it’s much cheaper if you just rent! The rate of camping with own tent is per person anyway
- Day trippers should arrive early to make the most out of the 6AM – 6PM time limit
Domingo’s Grill and Restaurant
As a backpacker and a budget traveler, I considered eating outside of Crystal Beach Resort to save on cash. After all, there are a lot of barbecue places and eateries just outside of the resort. Just take note that they have corkage fees for bringing of non-alcoholic beverage within the premises.
We gave Domingo’s Grill and Restaurant a try for dinner just to enjoy the acoustic night and ended up loving their food that’s reasonably priced and good for sharing. Most of their short order meals range from PHP 190 – PHP 295 good for sharing of 2-3 persons (with little appetite).
Domingo’s Grill and Restaurant serves flavorful Filipino food — home cooking with more than an extra oomph. But they also have your commonplace bar dishes such as wings and sizzling plates. What’s best is that they have Wi-Fi connection, accept credit card payments, and do not allow smoking or vaping. And though campers can bring their pets at the resort, they’re not allowed inside the restaurant. Take note of the following corkage fees:
- PHP 50/bottle for water, soda, juice
- Food for corporate and event bookings
- PHP 1,000/food pan or 5kg and above (raw or cooked)
- PHP 500/food below 5kg (raw or cooked)
We tried their Garlic Butter Chicken that night and seafood plate for lunch the next day. It comes with a cup of rice, soup, and iced tea for all the sharers. The taste was so delicious and saucy that we forgot about going outside the resort to try other eateries. They also serve a wide array of cocktails and drinks ranging from PHP 85 – PHP 150.
Overnight trips come with free buffet breakfast served between 6AM to 10AM at Domingo’s, with no room service. That won’t be a problem since I’m sure you’ll enjoy the Filipino ambiance and a balcony facing the sea. The complimentary buffet breakfast is surprisingly diverse, composed of a salad and fruit bar, rice with viands, soup, bread, dessert, and beverage section.
Amenities and services: Surfing, Promos, and Special Events
That morning, as we were about to check out, I told Josh, “I’d definitely come back here.” Crystal Beach Resort was the place you’d like to take your family and friends to see.
What’s great is that they offer more than just overnight stays. They offer Team-Building activities with facilitators for your next company outing; island tours to Camara and Capones Islands; water sports events and Summer Siren concerts; and special occasions and events packages.
They also have sports massages, bonfire, souvenir shops featuring Roxy surfing wear for the ladies, and surf lessons by Quiksilver Surf School. Other nearby attractions in Zambales are Mt. Tapulao and Nangoloan Falls.
I tried surfing for an hour, in which they lent us yellow Roxy rash guards and pink boards for the ladies and Quiksilver rash guards and blue boards for the guys. Talk about surfing in style! The rate is at PHP 400 per hour. We had a brief introduction on the beach before our instructors whisked each of us off to the waves.
For beginners, the surfboards are softer with rougher texture for traction. Believe me, an hour with a surfboard is hella long and you’re guaranteed to feel the sweet sore the next days. Rest assured that your surfing instructors are highly experienced, even if the boy Enteng who was assigned to me is in senior high school. Yet he is a competitive swimmer, surfer, and a professional lifeguard. slow clap
What’s best is that they offer special discounts for early birds and even offer up to 20% discounts for their Surf Season promo. For those who want to make Crystal Beach their second home, they also offer Tropical Winter packages for 3-days, 5-days, weekly, and monthly stays. I’m this close to trying this out when the day comes when I want to just wipe out the stresses of city living. They even have a Daytrip Pre-Nup Package for the bride-to-be’s. Just check out their website for more info.
Tips for your Crystal Beach trip
- Best time to visit. Here is the surf swell forecast in San Narciso to get the most of your Zambales surfing experience — you’re welcome. In general, try not to go during typhoon season since the waves may be too high. Going during peak tourism days are okay, considering they have a 400 pax entry limit, the beach doesn’t get too crowded. Just make sure to book your accommodations beforehand to avoid any problems and excessive spending. For extra savings, try booking from Monday to Thursday — rates are a bit lower.
- What to bring. Towels and the prettiest bikinis are your bet. Cash, too, is important since the beach is far from the city center with ATMs, though it’s good to know that Crystal Beach Resort accepts debit and credit cards. Power banks are also advisable, though you can charge at the lobby for only PHP 20. Overall, Crystal Beach Resort has great amenities that you’re sure to have everything you’ll ever need.
- What to wear. If you’re surfing, try bringing your own rash guards and dry-fit shirts — though Quiksilver surf school lends rash guards to learners of the day. Because of the uncrowded beaches, this is the perfect place to show off your bikinis and swimwear. Prepare OOTDs also with the pine trees, they’re pretty! For footwear, I recommend flip-flops or sandals.
- Wash up. There are multiple shared toilets and shower along the beach and near the campsite. Though fully booked, there’s less likely to have long lines for washing up.
- Travel safety. Overall, Crystal Beach Resort is a low-risk and safe destination — you can definitely feel that they uphold strict house rules here. There are lifeguards for swimmers and experienced surfing instructors. Uniformed staff and stations also help you identify who to ask for help. Still, here are some tips to on how to have a safe travel in the Philippines.
- Want to see more beaches near Manila? Click here!
I honestly vowed to go back to Crystal Beach Resort. It’s one of those destinations that feels like home and is incredibly beautiful — with its pine trees, pale sands, and surfing waves. I wonder what’s waiting for me next time.
If you have any questions, send a PM on Facebook. I answer everything!
How to commute to Crystal Beach Resort: From Cubao, go to Victory Liner terminal and buy bus tickets going to Iba, Zambales (PHP 375 via SCTEX). Alternatively, you can first buy bus tickets to Olongapo City (PHP 207) and then just add to your fare en route to Iba, Zambales (+PHP 70). You will also add more if the bus is going via SCTEX (+PHP 23), but it’s worth it to cut the travel time. Note that it’s always better to buy bus tickets beforehand especially for big groups to get seats next to each other. Get down at San Narciso and ride a tricycle (PHP 15/pax) going to Crystal Beach Resort.
Crystal Beach Resort contact number
La Paz, San Narciso, Zambales-Pangasinan Road 2205 | crystalbeachresort.com.ph
Contact: (+63) 915-602-3636, (+63) 933-850-9144, (02) 941-9004, (047) 222-2227 | firstname.lastname@example.org