Subic Bay Travel Guide

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Subic Bay is a paradise for wreck divers with its 19 sunken vessels including the famous USS New York and some Japanese vessels.

However, wreck diving is not the only activity that Subic Bay (and the SBMA) offers.

The wide range of entertainment options in Subic Bay is designed to cater to the needs of all types of tourists and locals, be they high-end tourists, backpackers, adventure-seekers or honeymooners. There are excellent restaurants that can turn you into a food connoisseur, clubs, malls, and strip clubs that go by the name go-go bars. There are also lighter night entertainment options such as karaoke spots and concert halls for music lovers.

Plan your next dive trip to Subic Bay with the following travel tips and advices.

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Pictures of Subic Bay


Subic Bay Travel Guide

Subic Bay is about 120 km north of Manila, the capital of Philippines. It is located in the Philippine province named Zambales and part of Region III or Central Luzon Region.

Mountains dotted with deep jungles envelope much of the coastal area.

Things to do in Subic Bay

Since the U.S. Navy left in 1992, the development of the area become much more appealing to tourists.

You can windsurf, parasail, jet-ski, kayak, sailboat, swim, and fish here, besides engaging in activities like trekking, bird-watching, bat-gazing, and butterfly watching. Other choices are playing golf and tennis, karting, horseback riding, playing at the casinos, enjoying the vibrant nightlife, etc.

Other activities include:

  • Zip line through the rainforest
  • Learn jungle survival skills
  • Zoobic Safari Adventure Park
  • Ocean Adventure Park

Subic’s Tourist Belt

They call it Barretto, they call it the Barrio, they call it Subic Bay. What exactly are we talking about? The tourist belt of the Olongapo/Subic area. Heading north on the euphemistically titled “National Hiway”, from Olongapo City towards Subic City is a stretch of beach starting from Ocean View Resort running through to Baloy Beach, about 4 miles of sand, sea and fun in the sun.

The tourist belt is made up of hotels, resorts, restaurants, clubs and every kind of tourist attractions and activities for travellers. With the beach bordering the highway like it does the Subic Bay Resort Association (A group of over 50 tourist related businesses), decided to change the name to Beach Boulevard.
In November 1993 a resolution was passed and it describes the area in two words “Beach Boulevard”. Every kind of beach related activity is there, swimming, fishing, boating and all types of water sports. For diver s it’s the leading area in the Philippines for wreck diving with two dive operations in the tourist belt. Capt’n Gregg’s not only does diving but has an excellent nautical bar and restaurant. Mein Host Brian Homan is the wreck diving specialist of the Philippines. They are located on the lower (south) end of Beach Boulevard. Toward the top (north) end is Angel Scuba. Both are PADI operations.

If you’re looking for excitement then a tour to Mt. Pinatubo may be to your liking. By the Sea Travel and Tours offers two types of Mt. Pinatubo Tours. These adventure trips are done via a jeepney and take five hours. The highlight of the tour is the town of Pinatubo with over 600 houses under water. The cost is P 450.00 per person, including tour guide and lunch, departing daily depending on weather. A second option is a fly-over tour. You’ll take off from the water in a sea plane and get a bird’s eye view of the volcano of the century. This tour costs $ 50.00 per person for a minimum of three. By the Sea Travel and Tours is located in the center of the tourist belt.

Dining is great along Beach Boulevard with every kind of food available. On Baloy Beach alone there are seven nationalities serving food, Swedish, German, American, Australian, English, Danish and of course Filipino. Fine dining or fast food can be found on the strip. One of the popular nights for something special is the all you can eat “MONGOLIAN BBQ” on the beach at By The Sea Resort, for only P 120.00.

Accommodations in the past have been a problem but no more. The influx of tourist to this area has been so great, accommodating them has been a problem. This has changed with existing hotels expanding and new hotels opening. This year alone over 100 new rooms are opening. Prices range from P200.00 up depending on your budget. Suggested resorts/hotels, By The Sea, Marmont, Bart’s House, Subic Bay Garden Inn, Marriott, Ocean View. Beach Boulevard is not only a daytime activity center but when the sun goes down the music starts and the lights shine. There are over 40 honkytonks and bars featuring entertainment and excitement to keep you entertained till the wee hours.

For those who like to partake in a little gaming, the Casino Filipino is located in Olongapo a short distance from the tourist belt.

Subic’s Tourist Belt, for decades an R&R Mecca of the US Navy, is becoming the nation’s fastest growing entertainment and vacation spot. Why not drop by and get a piece of the action for yourself soon?

Best Months to visit Subic Bay

It rains from June to October in Subic Bay and the rest of the months are convenient for diving though the best time for divers is from November to May. Summer months are from March to May.

Best season to dive Subic Bay

Although Diving can be experienced year around, the best time to dive in Subic Bay is during the dry season (November to May) with less currents and better visibility.

Where to stay in Subic Bay?

From luxury resorts to budget hotels, Subic Bay has a range of accommodations to suit everyone’s pocket.

There are a few dive resorts including:

  • Camayan Beach Dive Resort (4 stars hotel)
  • Johan’s Beach and Dive Resort (medium range hotel)
  • Blue Rock Dive Resort (medium range hotel)

Divers can also stay in a luxury resort and dive with a nearby dive center.

  • White Rock Waterpark and Beach Hotel (5 Stars)
  • Wild Orchid Beach Resort (4 Stars)
  • Mangrove Resort Hotel (4 Stars)

How to get to Subic Bay?

Subic Bay is well-connected to Manila by road, water, and air. As such you can reach the place through any one of these routes.

Manila to Subic Bay by road

If the weather and traffic conditions are good, driving time from Manila to Subic Bay can be as little as 1.5 hours via SCTEx (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway). However, bad weather and heavy traffic may slow down the journey so much that it can even take 5 to 6 hours for covering the 110 km distance.

Manila to Subic Bay ferry

Ferry journey can be quite relaxing and takes less time than road journey.

Manila to Subic Bay by flight

The flight time from Manila to Subic Bay International Airport, earlier known as Cubi Point International Airport, is approximatly 35 minutes.

Map of Subic Bay

Map of Subic Bay

Subic Bay Map

View Subic Bay Dive Sites on a larger map.

How to get around Subic Bay?

There are 24 hours taxi services. However, jeepneys and tricycles are not permitted within the Subic Freeport Zone.

Scuba Diving in Subic Bay?

Check out our Subic Bay scuba diving guide and start planning your next dive trip!

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