There’s an awesome destination in Pampanga that offers equal parts adventure, relaxation, and natural healing. It’s called the Puning Hot Spring Resort and Restaurant, which reopened to the public in May of this year after briefly shutting down operations partly because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Located in Angeles City, the journey for visitors begins with an exhilarating hour-long 4×4 adventure through the breathtaking beauty of the surrounding landscape. It’s a rough ride, for sure, with rocky terrain and lahar formations providing an exhilarating trail that would make thrill-seeking travelers content and want so much more, all at the same time.
Once guests arrive at the hot springs station, they can dip into the pools, where the water temperature can reach up to a toasty 50 degrees Celsius. The mineral-rich waters, sourced from the mountain ranges of Pampanga and Zambales, near the majestic Mt. Pinatubo, boast a pH level of 7.5, which is reputed to be beneficial for the skin.
After spending some time in the pool, guests are whisked to the next part of the resort for even more relaxing activities. The sand massage area is a delightful treatment, burying guests in warm volcanic ash. Staffers take it to the next level with a gentle massage, which they administer by stepping on guests while they are buried in the sand. Getting stepped on doesn’t hurt at all, as the sand acts as a natural cushion, relieving tension and leaving guests feeling revitalized.
But wait, there’s more. To further invigorate their senses, guests are then escorted to the mud pack treatment section. Unlike the sand massage, the mud pack offers a refreshingly cooling effect on the skin. The therapeutic mud, applied to their bodies, leaves guests’ skin feeling silky smooth thanks to the mud’s detoxifying properties.
After taking a shower to cleanse and rejuvenate, visitors are treated to a hearty lunch at the resort’s restaurant, with local cuisine at the forefront.
All of these activities are available for only P4,500 per person (minimum of 4 persons). For those seeking a more immersive experience, the resort provides the option for an overnight stay, too.
One of the notable aspects of Puning Hot Spring Resort is its commitment to the local community. A majority of the resort’s employees are Aetas, the indigenous people of the area.
Their warm smiles and genuine hospitality contribute to the overall welcoming atmosphere of the resort. Interacting with these wonderful individuals adds a touch of authenticity to the guest experience, making it even more memorable.
Editor’s Note: We visited this destination as part of an NLEX Lakbay Norte trip. Our mode of transportation was the sleek Chevrolet Tracker, and together, we traversed the route from Manila to Pampanga. During the trip, the organizers thoughtfully provided us with trusty Jansport bags. These came in handy, accommodating our extra shirts, tumblers, and cameras, ensuring we had everything we needed while exploring the place.