Talk about a beach-y transformation. Once a small and quiet village, the Liwliwa Beach in SanFelipe, Zambales, has become a popular tourist destination. It’s a go-to place for beach bums (who just want to lounge around and soak up the sun), as well as surfers (who love the pretty strong waves all year round).
What’s nice about Liwliwa Beach is its relative proximity to Manila. Travellers can reach the place in four to five hours drive via private car. If travelling by bus, allot up to six hours of travel time.
Liwliwa Beach has two kilometers of shore line. Sand is off white to gray to almost black-ish on some parts, thanks in large part to the lahar from the Mt. Pinatubo explosion many decades ago. Apparently, the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the early ‘90s dramatically changed the landscape, with ash rain accumulating on land.
Because Liwliwa Beach isn’t as mainstream as other more popular beaches in the country, it also does not attract as much crowd. If that’s your thing—quiet moments in a spot under the shade of trees by the beach—you just might love this destination.
There’s an alley leading to the unspoiled beach that is lined by agoo and pine trees. There are several nipa huts up for rent. Overall, the vibe is peaceful. The center of attraction remains the beautiful beach, clear blue skies, and the heavenly fresh air.
With no huge crowd, it’s pretty easy to find your own spot here and make it your own (temporarily, of course). Read a book, enjoy watching the surfers, get a tan, have an ice cold fruit shake. Your call.
The locals once called this area “Sabangan,” which is a common name that people in many parts of the country refer to types of water that meet at a junction.
Most of the accommodations in Liwliwa are basic, simple, nothing fancy. There are no big hotels here, which is part of the place’s charm. While there are significantly more businesses in the area catering to tourists today, they are still mostly mom and pop. Liwliwa is far from being heavily commercialized.
Today, the main attraction at Liwliwa are watersports such as swimming (of course!) and surfing. Camping is becoming one of the more popular activities there, too. In some of the pricier resorts, they even offer yoga sessions, muay thai classes, ATV rides, and bird watching activities.
It’s also easy to find side trips such as trekking to a nearby waterfalls, mountain climbing, island hopping, or skimboarding.
But if you’re there to be a beach bum, feel free to just find a hammock and let the sound of the waves lull you to a nice nap. We won’t judge.