Patar Beach in Bolinao has been considered by some bloggers and writers to be one of the top beaches in Luzon. However, I think it’s unfair to say that it the most beautiful in Pangasinan since there are much more beautiful unspoiled beaches in the province.
Getting to Bolinao from Manila is very easy because there are direct bus trips. However, travelling from Baguio is a bit challenging since bus and van trips are cut up and long because of the route. There are two ways to get there:
1. Baguio - Dagupan (Victory Liner bus) and Dagupan - Bolinao (any bus). This may take 6 hours of travel in total.
2. Baguio - Dagupan (UV Express), Dagupan - Alaminos (UV Express), Alaminos - Bolinao (UV Express). This may take 4 hours of travel in total. Why? The van no longer picks up other passengers unlike buses.
The second option is what I suggest because of too many obvious reasons. I understand that we would always find a way to save on cost but there’s always an exception. The buses going to Bolinao take too much time waiting for passengers in every town.
When you finally arrive in the town proper of Bolinao, you will meet many tricycle drivers offering their tour services but I suggest that you check out what Adora’s Restaurant offers. It’s just a few steps away from the bus drop off. Also, a few steps away from Adora’s is a grocery where you can buy your drinks, toiletries and other things which may be unavailable in Patar beach.
When you think all is already set, look for a tricycle that will take you to Patar. The standard cost is 150php. You may also bargain with them about their tours. Their rate starts from 300 to 700 depending on where you want to go to. We availed of the 300php-tour because of time limitation. It includes the rock formation, the enchanted cave, the Bolinao lighthouse and Patar beach. You really should include Bolinao falls with your tour, too.
For our tour, the Patar beach was our favorite and if we were only aware that there are homestays in Patar beach, we would’ve stayed there instead.
Pictures below: Rock Formation & Bolinao Lighthouse
Compared to the white sand of Hundred Islands, the sand in Patar beach is unrefined which feels good to walk on and very easy to wipe off. It’s also not white or off-white. The color is golden or creamy. It’s my favorite about the beach.
Pictures below: Patar Beach
What I can only say about the water is: it’s good for swimming. Not as clear as crystal but very clean. Waves were also strong but still safe.
Before going to Bolinao, I made a lot of research by reading itineraries and blogs. However, I guess I didn’t read much about low tides in some beach resorts so I got a little disappointed when I saw how shallow the water is where we stayed. It’s impossible to swim. Good thing that the food made up the disappointment.
Overall, the place is great and the people are friendly. If you plan to visit this place, try to do it on weekdays because there are only a few people. Also, there are many resorts so there’s no need to worry about not having a place to stay.
I will be making another blog post about this place when I revisit it in July or August. I will be including Bolinao Falls 1 on the trip.