Last updated on January 27th, 2023 at 11:48 am
Although it is not a usual place where tourists go, there are many cool Tarlac tourist spots that you should consider visiting when going to the Philippines. Tarlac is one of the 81 provinces of the Philippines and is located in Central Luzon, just 130 kilometers away from Manila.
Tarlac is bounded by Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Zambales and Pampanga. It’s close to the beach and mountains and a very quiet place if you want to relax. In this Tarlac travel guide we would share with you some of their churches, historical spots, natural attractions, restaurants and many more.
Read here best hotels in Tarlac
SIM CARD AT MANILA AIRPORT
I wouldn’t recommend you to buy a sim card at Manila airport. If you wish comfort you can buy eSim online and if you aren’t in a hurry just go around phone shops in the city and compare prices to buy the cheapest sim card in Manila. Read here Philippines sim card for tourist and best Philippines eSim
You can find the cheapest Filipino eSim with Airalo Philippines eSim prepaid for $4 USD with 1 GB data valid for 7 days (USING DISCOUNT CODE GAMINTRAVELER 10%). For $9 USD with 3 GB data, for $13 USD with 5 GB data, for $21 USD with 10 GB data and for $32 USD with 20 GB data valid for 30 days.
Nomad eSim Philippines for $5 USD with 1 GB data valid for 7 days. For $10 USD with 2 GB data, For $13 USD with 3 GB data and for $15 USD with 5 GB data valid for 30 days. MTX Connect eSim Philippines for €24 with 4 GB data valid for 14 days. Holafly Philippines eSim for $44 USD if you use our code GAMINTRAVELER coming with 8 GB data valid for 30 days and you can activate with QR Code.
WHERE TO STAY IN THE PHILIPPINES
You can get accommodation starting from 800-1000 PHP (less than $20 USD) for a room in a guesthouse. Can you imagen if you are two of you traveling in the Philippines, it will be $10 USD each.
BOOK YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE
You can read Heymondo Vs Safetwing cheapest travel Insurance. You can get for $135 USD your Heymondo Travel Insurance with Heymondo discount code valid for 90 days. Read our full Heymondo Travel Insurance Review
You can get Safetywing Travel Insurance for Digital Nomads valid for 28 days Safetywing for $50 USD per month with kids until 10 years old included
TARLAC TRAVEL GUIDE
BEST TIME TO VISIT TARLAC
Since the Philippines is made up of many different islands, weather conditions may vary from one city to another. If you’re traveling to Tarlac, you can expect considerably small variations to the city’s weather.
Humidity is high in the Philippines and the warmest months here are April and May. You can hit the beaches near Tarlac city during these months to cool off. Basically, January to March is the best time to visit Tarlac as this is the sunniest period of the year and is relatively cooler than other months.
HOW TO GET FROM MANILA TO TARLAC
GETTING TARLAC BY BUS FROM MANILA
If you are getting by bus from Manila to Tarlac. There are buses leaving from Manila to Tarlac in Pasay and Cubao. The trip will take 3-5 hours depending on the traffic.
Prices are starting at $5 USD and you can book online. The bus departure is every 30-45 minutes and there are buses with air conditioning and without. If you are coming from Manila by bus to Tarlac. The bus will stop by Angeles City: Dau or Marquee Mall.
The main buses companies going from Manila to Tarlac are Victory Liner and Five Stars getting to La Siesta Bus Terminal in Tarlac.
Once you arrive at La Siesta Bus Terminal you can go walking distance to city center just 10 minutes and less than 5 minutes walking distance to SM Tarlac.
GETTING TARLAC BY PRIVATE TRANSPORTATION
If you are getting from Manila to Tarlac by private transportation van or car. It will take you around 3 hours getting to Tarlac depending on the traffic leaving Manila.
GETTING TARLAC FROM CLARK/ANGELES
There are flight companies going to Clark like Cebu Pacific and Air Asia. You can get cheap flights from Singapore and Hong Kong. Also inside the Philippines there are cheap flights going to Coron and Cebu from Clark International Airport.
If you are coming from Clark International Airport. You will have to get Grab or a taxi going to DAU Bus Terminal. Once in DAU you will get the bus coming from Manila going to Tarlac.
It will 70 PHP and it will take an hour to get to Tarlac passing by San Miguel and ending in La Siesta Bus Terminal close to SM Tarlac. You can also get a bus from Marquee Mall going to Tarlac. It will cost 80 PHP.
DAILY BUDGET TO VISIT TARLAC
Those visiting Tarlac are in for a treat. Many of the food and hotels in the city are inexpensive but more than satisfying. A full meal in the city can go for as low as 80 PHP per person while a bottle of beer can be bought for around 50-65 PHP.
Restaurant food can be bought for around 500-800 PHP for two people. Pretty cheap, right? And if you only have 20 PHP in your pocket and you’re feeling pretty hungry, you can even buy plenty of street food with your cash.
Transportation is also pretty cheap with jeepneys going all over town at a flat rate of 9 PHP. If you want towrite a tricycle for two kilometers distance expect to pay around 50 PHP.
Those who are looking for budget hotels in Tarlac and can find one on a promo for around 900-1200 PHP. For those who want a more luxurious stay, you can check in at very nice hotels at around $50-120 USD. You can also try AirBnB in Tarlac.
TARLAC TOURIST SPOTS
CHURCHES IN TARLAC
Since the Philippines is a Catholic country, churches can be found everywhere. Some are old and some are new, but each one is special and different from each other. Here are some of the churches in Tarlac that are known to be Tarlac Tourist Spots too.
1. SACRED RELIC OF THE TRUE CROSS (MONASTERIO DE TARLAC)
This sacred relic can be found in Monasterio de Tarlac, a monastery located on top of Mt. Resurrection in San Jose, Tarlac. This is one of the top Tarlac tourist spots for those who want some peaceful time to pray.
2. SAN SEBASTIAN CATHEDRAL
San Sebastian Cathedral is located in the city center, specifically in Brgy. Mabini, Tarlac. It’s also known as the Tarlac Cathedral and was opened after World War 2.
3. SANTA FAUSTINA OF THE DIVINE MERCY PARISH
Another church in Tarlac that you must visit is the Santa Faustina of the Divine Mercy Parish. It’s located at Paniqui-Anao Rd, Paniqui, Tarlac. Many people visit this church during Holy Week.
4. ST. JOSEMARIA ESCRIVA PARISH
This is also known as the Parokya ni San Josemaria Escriva or the Diocesan Shrine of St. Josemaria Escriva. It’s the first church in the Philippines dedicated to St. Josemaria Escriva. It’s located in Gerona, Tarlac.
5. LA SAGRADA FAMILIA PARISH
It is also located in Gerona, specifically in Federosa Memorial Park. During the Papal Visit in 2015, Pope Francis used the altar table of this church, making it popular to Catholics.
PARKS IN TARLAC
6. ISDAAN VILLAGE WATER PARK
This floating water park and restaurant in Gerona is definitely one of the most popular Tarlac tourist spots you shouldn’t miss. It’s a popular place to go to when you get hungry on the road.
There are also many spots here where you can take photos and post on your social media such as the floating nipa huts, large statues of animals, birds, insects, superheroes, and famous personalities.
7. TARLAC PLAZUELA
Tarlac Plazuela is located in the city center, close to San Sebastian Cathedral. You will find people enjoying the day especially at sunset. There are street food stalls outside the park if you want to try a snack.
8. MARIA CRISTINA PARK
Maria Cristina Park is located in front of Museo de Tarlac and The Capitol. When the sun goes down, it is a great place to walk around or just relax, playing with the kids.
9. TARLAC RECREATION PARK
Located in San Jose, Tarlac, Tarlac Recreation Park or also known as Jose V. Yap Sports and Recreational Complex, offers a wide range of activities for their customers. You can set up tents here for an overnight stay and go camping and fishing. Make sure to bring your own fishing gear.
HISTORICAL SITES AND MUSEUMS IN TARLAC
10. CAPAS NATIONAL SHRINE
This is a memorial shrine built in 1991 to commemorate the Allied soldiers who died at Camp O’Donnell at the end of the Bataan Death March during the Second World War. It’s located in Brgy. Aranguren, Capas, Tarlac.
11. THE AQUINO CENTER MUSEUM
This is one of Tarlac tourist spots you should visit to know more about the history of the Philippines, especially during the 1970s and the late president Cory Aquino and her late senator husband Ninoy Aquino’s contribution to the country. It’s open from 8AM to 5PM daily and located at Hacienda Luisita, Tarlac.
12. BAMBAN MUSEUM OF HISTORY
This historical museum located in Bamban, Tarlac exhibits different photographs, personal belongings, documents, and other memorabilia of the fallen soldiers who fought the war from 1941 to 1945.
13. NINOY AQUINO MONUMENT
This is a monument honoring the late Senator Ninoy Aquino located in Tarlac City.
14. CORY MONUMENT
Just like her husband’s, this is a monument that honors the late President Cory Aquino located in Tarlac City.
15. TARLAC PROVINCIAL CAPITOL
The Tarlac Provincial Capitol that was built in 1909 is also one of Tarlac tourist spots that’s considered historical because it has seen a lot of wars and history throughout the years. It’s located on a hill Brgy. San Vicente, Tarlac.
16. MUSEO DE TARLAC
Also known as Museo ng Tarlac, this museum exhibits the arts, talent, and crafts of local artists. Currently, it also serves as the office of Tarlac Provincial Tourism. It’s located along Romulo Blvd, Tarlac City.
17. CAPAS DEATH MARCH MONUMENT
It’s also one of the historical Tarlac tourist spots that honors and commemorates the fallen soldiers of the Death March.
MORE TARLAC TOURIST SPOTS
FUN ACTIVITIES IN TARLAC
18. KCT KART CITY
KCT Tarlac City is a perfect place to have fun with your friends, especially if you love Karts and/or you’re bringing kids with you. It’s located in front of SM City Tarlac. You can enjoy the karts 5 minutes for 250 PHP and it will be so much fun.
If you are visiting with kids there is a small playground. And there are also options for food in the restaurant. Prices are affordable as well.
19. VES FOOD RESORTS & VILLAS
Located in MacArthur Highway, Capas, Tarlac, VES Food Resorts boasts a wide variety of Filipino dishes, as well as exotic ones like Nilasing na Hipon, Kalderetang Ostrich (stewed ostrich), and Kangaroo Steak. It’s located at 588 Jimenez St., Sto. Domingo II, Capas, Tarlac.
WATERFALLS IN TARLAC
20. UBOD FALLS
Ubod Falls can be found in Mt. Damas in Camiling, Tarlac. Before you can get to Ubod Falls, you must hike Mt. Damas, which is kind of not for beginners because of its hike difficulty of 6 over 9.
21. CANDING FALLS
This beautiful paradise is definitely one of the must-visit Tarlac tourist spots. It’s located in Brgy. Maasin, San Clemente, Tarlac. It’s easy to get here. According to those who have already visited this place, you have to pay the entrance fee of 10 PHP first in Brgy. Maasin, and trek for 20 minutes to reach the beautiful waterfalls.
MOUNTAINS IN TARLAC
22. MT. PINATUBO
Mt. Pinatubo is mainly located in Pampanga, but can be viewed in Tarlac, too. It’s the most popular hiking place in the area. Trekking this mountain can be done in a day, which involves riding a 4×4 on a lahar field, and 3-hour trekking back and forth. Below are some of the price packages if you are coming from Manila:
Package 1 (from Manila to Pinatubo Crater Lake via Capas, Tarlac) – PHP 2000 to PHP 3000
Package 2 (from Manila to Pinatubo Crater Lake via Botolan) – PHP 2500
Take note that this does not include food and may change without further notice. If you have an idea about the recent packages to hike Mt. Pinatubo, please comment below and we’ll update the blog post.
23. MT. DAMAS
Like we said earlier, this is located in Camiling Tarlac, and not really an easy hike for beginners. You can reach its summit in 4-5 hours of hike, so make sure to allocate 1 to 2 days if you would like to hike this mountain. You can find the beautiful Ubod Falls here, so it’s worth it!
24. MT. TELAKAWA
Another mountain in Tarlac you can hike is the Mt. Telakawa. It stands at 630 meters above the sea level and one of the best choices for hikers who are looking for an extreme hiking experience in Tarlac.
RIVERS IN TARLAC
25. NAMBALAN RIVER
One of the famous Tarlac tourist spots especially during the hot summer days is the Nambalan River. You can find it in Mayantoc, Tarlac, also known as the Summer Capital of Tarlac. Just pay PHP 10 for the entrance fee, and you can already enjoy swimming and even rafting in the river. Don’t forget to bring your own food and drinks, too!
26. BULSA RIVER
Image from Flickr | Veronica Lalata
Situated in San Jose, Tarlac, Bulsa River is one of Tarlac tourist spots for those who want to experience adventure, too. This river has wild waters, with smooth and moderately quick rapids. You can do kayaking here. It’s really fun!
27. SAIPAN BEACH
Although it is called a beach, Saipan Beach is actually a river. It’s a good place where you can have snacks like Halo-Halo and rent a cottage just beside the river and enjoy the cool breeze. You can stop by at Saipan Beach after visiting the Monasterio de Tarlac, which is also located in San Jose, Tarlac.
OTHER TARLAC TOURIST SPOTS
28. YLANG-YLANG CENTER
Ylang-Ylang Center is actually a museum in Anao, Tarlac. It’s open everyday and it features a lot of Ylang-Ylang products which include perfumes, insect repellants, soaps, and other products derived from the aromatic oil of this flower.
29. JSJ GOAT FARM
This goat farm in Brgy. Caturay, Gerona, Tarlac, is a 10-hectare farm with goats and sheep. They breed goats and produce meat, milk, and cheese from their animals. It’s open to the public for touring the farm and tasting their food products.
SHOPPING AREAS IN TARLAC
30. F. TANEDO STREET
After visiting San Sebastian Cathedral and Tarlac Plazuela, you can keep walking down F. Tanedo Street. It’s full of shops and places to eat on the way to the local market. It’s one of Tarlac tourist spots you should visit to enjoy the local vibes.
31. TARLAC LOCAL MARKET
If you love visiting local markets, you will love Tarlac local market since it’s big and easy to walk around. We have to say that we loved it more than the one in Angeles City, ha!
WHERE TO EAT IN TARLAC (RESTAURANTS IN TARLAC)
CINDY’S BAKERY & RESTAURANT
Although they already have several branches in the Philippines, Cindy’s Bakery & Restaurant located in Tarlac is probably the most special one because it’s the first bakery they built in 1971. They serve delicious different kinds of breads, local dishes, pastries, and many more. One of the best places where to eat in Tarlac.
Another well-loved restaurant in Tarlac is Urdu Restaurant. They serve authentic Filipino dishes, cakes, empanadas and many more. Prices here are affordable too.
Located in F. Tanedo Street, this is one of the favorite burger joints of the locals in Tarlac. It’s famously known as KB. They serve delicious burgers for affordable prices.
Located in 7051 E Fairlane Road, Brgy. San Vicente, Tarlac City, Tatun’s Kambingan is one of the favorites of locals and tourists for yummy goat dishes. They serve other dishes too such as kampukan, kare-kare, bulanglang liempo, and angus beef steak.
MACAPINLAC CAKEHOUSE & SHOE STORE
This store is well-known for its party needs such as cakes, pastries, sweet delicacies, balloons, pasalubongs, and many more. However, they also started selling non-food items such as flower bouquets, leather shoes, and wallets.
After visiting Tarlac tourist spots, you must stop by at Macapinlac Cakehouse and Shoe Store located in F. Tañedo Street!
Kape Agape is situated in Heroes Lane, Anao, Tarlac. This is a simple cafe that serves different food such as coffee, toast, nachos, Pancit Anao, pasta dishes, and many more.
BETTY’S RESTO BAR
If you want to try local food, Betty’s Resto Bar will be a great choice. It’s perfect for having coffee and their sweets. There is Ube, chicharrones and more delicacies to try.
BONNETTE’S BBQ GRILL
This restaurant is located in San Sebastian – San Vicente Diversion Road in Tarlac. It’s a must-visit for friends who would like to chill and eat barbecue over a few drinks.
WHERE TO STAY IN TARLAC
MY NORTH STAR HOTEL
My North Star Hotel is one of the best sellers in Tarlac. It is a three star hotel that has a 24 hr front desk, room service, and free Wi-Fi. The rooms actually have a seating area, a Flat screen TV, air-conditioning , clothes rack and private bathroom. The location is near at the MetroTown Mall and Fortune Restaurant. A Standard Twin Room offering Asian breakfast costs about 29 USD per night.
My North Star Hotel is located at Blossomville subdivision, Brgy Sto Cristo, Tarlac City, 2001 Tarlac, Philippines.
MICROTEL BY WYNDHAM TARLAC
Microtel by Wyndham Tarlac is recommended by guests because of its comfortable bed and room cleanliness. The service crew is really accommodating with its guests that’s why they excellent service ratings. Microtel’s 1 queen bed has a shower, air-conditioning unit, desk, seating area, and free WiFi in all rooms. A queen bed room costs about 37 USD per night. Microtel has an exceptional reputation among guests.
Microtel by Wyndham Tarlac is located at Luisita Industrial Road, San Miguel, Tarlac City, Philippines, San Miguel, Tarlac, Philippines, 2301
THE FARMHOUSE BY EDL
The Farmhouse by EDL offers a peaceful ambient surrounding you can surely relax from. The place is a 3-star hotel with rooms having seating area, a flat-screen TV, private bathroom with free toiletries and a bidet, air conditioning unit, a desk. A Standard Twin Room costs about 50 USD per night offering a superb à la carte or Asian breakfast.
The Farmhouse By EDL is located at EDL Drive Sitio Nueve Barangay Dolores Capas Tarlac, 2315 Tarlac, Philippines
That’s it, guys! Which one of those Tarlac Tourist Spots we mentioned are your favorites in our Tarlac travel guide? Would you love to visit their rivers, their churches, or their parks? Tell us in the comments below. We would love to read your insights!
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About the Author: Ruben, co-founder of Gamintraveler.com since 2014, is a seasoned traveler from Spain who has explored over 100 countries since 2009. Known for his extensive travel adventures across South America, Europe, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and Africa, Ruben combines his passion for adventurous yet sustainable living with his love for cycling, highlighted by his remarkable 5-month bicycle journey from Spain to Norway. He currently resides in Spain, where he continues to share his travel experiences alongside his partner, Rachel, and their son, Han.