Review of the Crystal Beach Resort, Go Surf & Chill in Zambales

Review of the Crystal Beach Resort, Go Surf & Chill in Zambales

My high school buddies and I opted to visit Crystal Beach Resort for our yearly getaway for three reasons:

  1. It is inexpensive.
  2. Metro Manila is only 4-5 hours away.
  3. Based on the Facebook images we’ve seen from other folks, it appears to be lovely.

When we arrived, the location did not disappoint! There are many things to do, and it’s gorgeous. On your stylish beach towel, you can first unwind and tan. You could even read a book on those stylish beach chairs with umbrellas lining the shore. Additionally, you can hire ping pong (table tennis) and pool tables. Or you might wander and take Instagram-worthy pictures while admiring the sky and the beach. The last is no cost.

However, you can go surfing if you’d rather do something more thrilling. For Php200 (about $4), you may rent surfboards and instructors for an hour. There won’t be any shared instructors because the lessons will be one-on-one. You shouldn’t be afraid if you still are! To let the lifeguards and other instructors know whether you are one of their pupils, all surfing students will be given a yellow rash guard. So overcome your fear and give surfing a try. Could you not refuse unless you gave it a try?

Here I am in the required post-surfing photo. Proof that I surfed. The instructor told us, “Marami na nag-alay ng GoPro sa dagat,” so we decided to leave my friend’s GoPro in the tent even though we would have liked to have a film or at least a picture of us surfing. [Translation: Many beachgoers offered their GoPros. Filipinos often make jokes about losing their GoPros. If you can understand Filipino, it’s more funny.]

If surfing isn’t your thing, you can still have fun at the beach by swimming and allowing the waves to splash your face. Or you might just take in the sunset.

Although I can’t remember how much the resort’s day tour costs, you can rent cottages if you wish to stay for a while. Or you might try “glamping,” the glam version of camping, as we did. Three people fit comfortably in the tent. It includes a bed, towels, a lamp, an electric fan, and a connection for charging electronics. It also includes a locker, but you must supply your locks. It’s costs Php2400 per night (about USD 48) and includes a complimentary breakfast buffet for three people.

However, you could also bring your tent and pay only Php500 per night if you like traditional camping. Or you might pay Php750 per person per night to rent a tent from the resort. Two campgrounds are available as an option, and “Kampsite 2” is my top pick because it’s right next to the beach. However, it has the drawback of having too many campers.

You might also bring food and beverages. Since there was no corkage fee, the resort is not particularly severe about those. However, you may get food at the resort if you’re as lazy as we are. The lunch is suitable for two persons but costs at least Php150. Ice cream and smoothies were also available. Despite the pricy drinks, a 1.5L Coke costs Php80 when it usually costs Php45 outside the resort.

You could eat on the beach at night. It was the only restaurant you could eat at night, but I can’t remember the name of it. They offer expensive alcoholic beverages, pizza, and pasta. But every order comes with a complimentary lemonade. Additionally, the Crystal Beach Resort strictly prohibits swimming at night. The receptionist told us about it as one of the first things.


Go to Iba, Zambales, by bus. The first excursion on Victory Liner’s bus route there departs around five in the morning. If you miss the journey, you must wait until 9 a.m. to retake it. Just let the conductor know you’re headed to Crystal Beach Resort; since it’s a hip spot, they’ll let you know when you arrive. The bus, however, won’t stop in front of the resort.

There is a tricycle line in San Narciso next to the bus stop; just let them know you’re going to Crystal Beach. Just so you know, the fare is Php15 per person, not Php20. It takes about 4-5 hours to get from Victory Liner Station in Pasay to San Narciso, Zambales. The traffic, though, is a factor. To escape the jam, I advise taking the first trip to Pasay (which has fewer passengers than the Cubao station). For this kind of journey, I also strongly suggest bringing a hiking backpack because you’ll be changing modes of transportation, and a bag is practical.

Note: Crystal Beach Resort’s check-in time is 2 p.m., although making reservations in advance is recommended, particularly on weekends when there are typically too many visitors due to its proximity to Metro Manila. Because we remained there on Sunday and Monday, fewer people were there. Because it was Sunday and many people were checking out and making day trip reservations, check-in was a little chaotic.

Do I recommend this place?

I highly recommend Crystal Beach Resort in San Narciso, Zambales, for those looking for “budget travel” and good quality beach time. The place is beautiful, the shared restrooms are clean, there is free WiFi near the reception, and many activities, so you won’t get bored if you’re not into surfing. There is also a lot of food. The only thing I hate about this place is that some people disrespect nature. I’ve seen people leaving bottles everywhere, and the most annoying thing is that they treat the beach like one giant ashtray. People just throw their cigarettes wherever they want. So if you go there, please respect nature!

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