26/05/2024

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Top 21 Best PAMPANGA TOURIST SPOTS + Things to Do

16 min read
Top 21 Best PAMPANGA TOURIST SPOTS + Things to Do

Pampanga Itinerary: Discover the Best Things to Do in Pampanga

Pampanga is a province located in Central Luzon, Philippines. It is known for its rich culture, history, and cuisine. Pampanga is a popular tourist destination in the Philippines with various attractions catering to different interests.

For those who love history and culture, Pampanga has several old and historical churches worth visiting, especially during the Lenten Season. Visita Iglesia, or the tradition of visiting seven churches in one day, is popular during Holy Week. The province is also home to the famous San Guillermo Parish Church in Bacolor, which was half-buried in lahar during the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991.

Aside from its cultural attractions, Pampanga offers natural wonders such as Mount Pinatubo and Mount Arayat. Hiking to the summit of these mountains is a popular activity among adventure seekers. Pampanga is also known for its culinary delights, including the famous sisig, which originated in the province. With its diverse attractions, Pampanga is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the Philippines.

Natural Wonders

Pampanga is a province that boasts of natural wonders that will leave visitors in awe. From majestic mountains to stunning waterfalls, there are plenty of natural attractions in Pampanga that are worth exploring.

Mount Pinatubo Crater Lake by shotbymikafrbs via Unsplash
Mount Pinatubo Crater Lake by shotbymikafrbs via Unsplash

Mount Pinatubo

Mount Pinatubo is a popular tourist spot in Pampanga that draws in visitors from all over the world. It is an active volcano that last erupted in 1991, and its eruption was one of the most devastating in history. Mount Pinatubo is a popular hiking destination today, thanks to its breathtaking views and challenging trails. Visitors can hike to the volcano’s crater, which offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Miyamit Falls

Miyamit Falls is another natural wonder in Pampanga that is worth visiting. It is a 25-meter waterfall that cascades down into a natural pool below. The waterfall is surrounded by lush greenery, making it a perfect spot for nature lovers. Visitors can take a dip in the cool waters of the pool or simply enjoy the serene surroundings.

Mount Arayat by Andrew Martin via Wikimedia cc
Mount Arayat By Andrew Martin, CC BY 3.0, cc

Mount Arayat National Park

Explore the majestic Mt. Arayat and be rewarded with breathtaking views and thrilling trails! Home to a national park, the mountain is teeming with a variety of flora and fauna, including some that are endemic and endangered. Take a journey through the park’s trails and discover its geological rock formations, which offer potential for ecotourism. Not only is Mt. Arayat a popular hiking destination, but it also serves as an important source of water for the people of Arayat and Magalang, providing for both domestic and agricultural use.

Candaba Swamp by Judgefloro via Wikimedia cc
Candaba Swamp By Judgefloro – Own work, Public Domain, cc

Candaba Swamp

Candaba Swamp is a wetland area located in the province of Pampanga. It is a popular spot for birdwatching, as it is home to a variety of migratory birds. Visitors can take a boat ride through the swamp and enjoy the sights and sounds of the birds. The swamp is also home to a variety of other wildlife, including fish, reptiles, and amphibians.

Religious and Historical Landmarks

Pampanga has several religious and historical landmarks showcasing the province’s rich cultural heritage. Here are some of the must-visit landmarks in Pampanga:

San Fernando Pampanga train station by Ramon FVelasquez via Wikimedia cc
San Fernando Pampanga train station By Ramon FVelasquez – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, cc

San Fernando Train Station

The San Fernando Train Station is a historical landmark located in the City of San Fernando. Built in 1892, it served as the terminus of the Manila-Dagupan railway line and played a significant role in the province’s economy during the American colonial period. Today, the station has been restored and converted into a museum, showcasing the history of the railway system in the Philippines.

San Guillermo Parish Church, Bacolor, Pampanga by Carl Flores Trinidad via Wikimedia cc
San Guillermo Parish Church, Bacolor, Pampanga By Carl Flores Trinidad, CC BY-SA 3.0, cc

San Guillermo Church in Bacolor

Visitors to Pampanga can experience a unique piece of history at the San Guillermo Church. Built in 1576, this ancient church is located in Bacolor and is named after the town’s patron saint. While the church’s façade and bell tower remain standing, the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 left its mark on the building, giving it the nickname of the “half-buried church.” Step back in time and witness the damage caused by the eruption, and marvel at the strength of this centuries-old structure.

Holy Rosary Parish Church (Angeles City, Pampanga) by Ramon FVelasquez via Wikimedia cc
Holy Rosary Parish Church (Angeles City, Pampanga) by Ramon FVelasquez via Wikimedia cc

Holy Rosary Parish Church in Angeles City

The majestic Holy Rosary Parish Church stands tucked away in the old Culiat town, now known as Angeles City. Also known as Santo Rosario Church or the “Pisambang Maragul,” the National Museum of the Philippines declared the church a National Cultural Treasure. Built in 1877, the church is renowned for its unique architecture that combines Gothic and Baroque styles. A religious landmark, the Holy Rosary Parish Church, or the Angeles Church, is a sight to behold.

Museums

Pampanga is a province rich in history and culture, and one of the best ways to learn about its past is by visiting its museums. Here are three museums that are worth checking out:

Museo Ning Angeles by Judgefloro via Wikimedia cc
Museo Ning Angeles by Judgefloro via Wikimedia cc

Museo Ning Angeles

Museo Ning Angeles in the city of Angeles is an incredible museum that takes visitors on a journey through the city’s rich history and culture. The museum has some interesting collections, from pre-colonial pottery and weapons to artifacts from the Philippine Revolution and the American colonial period. Even the building has a fascinating past; the current site was once the casa tribunal or courthouse during the Spanish colonial era and was burned down in 1860.

Later, in 1922, the building was reconstructed and served as the town hall until 1998, when it was repurposed as a museum. The city jail and police station were also converted into a museum office and souvenir shop. Immerse yourself in the rich history of Angeles and visit Museo Ning Angeles today!

Pamintuan Mansion in Angeles City
Pamintuan Mansion in Angeles City

Pamintuan Mansion

Pamintuan Mansion is a historic mansion located in the city of Angeles. The mansion was built in the 1890s and served as the headquarters of the Philippine Revolutionary Government during the Philippine-American War. Today, the mansion has been converted into a museum that showcases the history of the revolution and the mansion itself. Visitors can take a guided tour of the mansion and learn about its significance in Philippine history.

Inside Clark Museum and 4D Theatre in Pampanga
Inside Clark Museum and 4D Theatre in Pampanga

Clark Museum and 4D Theatre

The Clark Museum and 4D Theatre is a museum located in the Clark Freeport Zone. The museum has a collection of artifacts and exhibits that showcase the history and culture of Pampanga and the Philippines. Visitors can learn about the indigenous Aeta people, the Spanish colonial period, and the role of Clark Air Base during World War II. The museum also has a 4D theatre that shows films about Philippine history and culture.

Amusement Parks

Pampanga is home to several amusement parks that offer a fun-filled experience for visitors of all ages. From thrilling rides to water parks, there’s something for everyone. Here are some of the best amusement parks in Pampanga:

Sky Ranch Pampanga photo via FB page
Sky Ranch Pampanga photo via FB page

Sky Ranch Pampanga

Sky Ranch Pampanga is a popular amusement park offering various rides and attractions. Visitors can enjoy the Sky Eye, which is a giant Ferris wheel that provides a stunning view of the surrounding area. The park also has several other rides, including the Super Viking, Loop Roller Coaster, and more. There are also plenty of food stalls and souvenir shops to explore.

Sandbox at Alviera photo via FB page
Sandbox at Alviera photo via FB page

Sandbox

Sandbox is an adventure park that offers a range of activities, including zip-lining, wall climbing, and more. Visitors can also try their hand at archery, go-karting, and ATV riding. The park also has a giant sandbox where visitors can play and build sandcastles.

One of the Biggest waterpark in Asia Aqua Planet
One of the Biggest waterpark in Asia Aqua Planet

Aqua Planet Water Park

Aqua Planet is the ultimate destination for a wet and wild adventure! Located in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga, Philippines, this 10-hectare water park offers a range of thrilling water slides and attractions, including the Wave Pool, Lazy River, and more. Whether you’re looking for a heart-pounding ride or a leisurely float, Aqua Planet has something for everyone. Plus, there are plenty of food stalls and souvenir shops to explore when you need a break from the excitement. Be sure to check out the Philippines’ newest and most modern water theme park for a day of family fun!

Dinosaurs Island Clark photo via FB page
Dinosaurs Island Clark photo via FB page

Dinosaurs Island

Dinosaurs Island is a theme park that features life-sized animatronic dinosaurs. Visitors can explore the park and learn about the different species of dinosaurs that once roamed the earth. The park also has several other attractions, including a 7D cinema and a dinosaur egg ride.

Clark Safari and Adventure Park
Clark Safari and Adventure Park

Clark Safari and Adventure Park

At Clark Safari and Adventure Park, you can have a wild and unforgettable experience like no other! With the only tiger safari in Pampanga, you can get up close and personal with majestic animals such as zebras and giraffes. But that’s not all – the park also offers thrilling attractions such as a zip line and a giant swing, ensuring your visit is full of fun and excitement!

Culinary Delights

Pampanga is known as the Culinary Capital of the Philippines, and for good reason. The province boasts a rich culinary heritage that has been passed down for generations. From traditional dishes to modern takes on classic recipes, Pampanga has something to offer every food lover.

Aling Lucing's Sisig photo via FB page
Aling Lucing’s Sisig photo via FB page

Aling Lucing’s Sisig

No visit to Pampanga is complete without trying the famous sisig. And when it comes to sisig, Aling Lucing’s is the place to go. Aling Lucing’s Sisig has been serving up this beloved dish for over 40 years, and their version is considered by many to be the best in the province. Made with pork cheeks, liver, onions, and spices, this sizzling dish is a must-try for any foodie.

Kare kare dagat Bale Dutung photo via FB page
Kare kare dagat Bale Dutung photo via FB page

Bale Dutung

For a more upscale dining experience, head to Bale Dutung. This restaurant is run by Chef Claude Tayag, known for his modern take on traditional Kapampangan cuisine. The tasting menu at Bale Dutung is a culinary journey through Pampanga’s rich food culture, featuring dishes like adobong pugo and kare-kareng buntot ng baka. The restaurant also offers cooking classes and food tours for those who want to learn more about Kapampangan cuisine.

Everybody's Cafe photo via FB Page
Everybody’s Cafe photo via FB Page

Everybody’s Cafe

If you’re looking for a casual dining experience, Everybody’s Cafe is the place to go. This restaurant has been serving up classic Kapampangan dishes since 1946. Their menu features favorites like kare-kare, kalderetang kambing, and lechon kawali. The restaurant’s casual atmosphere and affordable prices make it a popular spot for locals and tourists.

Kapampangan cuisine uniquely blends indigenous, Spanish, and Chinese influences. Some of the most popular dishes in Pampanga include sisig, adobo, and kare-kare. The province also uses exotic ingredients like frog legs, crickets, and even worms. Despite the unusual ingredients, Kapampangan cuisine is beloved for its bold flavors and hearty portions.

Festivals and Culture

Pampanga is known for its rich cultural heritage, and one of the best ways to experience it is through its festivals. Here are some of the most popular festivals in Pampanga:

Pampanga Giant Lantern Festival Ligligan Parul by Ramon FVelasquez via Wikimedia cc
Pampanga Giant Lantern Festival Ligligan Parul By Ramon FVelasquez – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, cc

Giant Lantern Festival

The Giant Lantern Festival, also known as the “Ligligan Parul,” is an annual event held in San Fernando, Pampanga. The festival is held every December and is known for its giant lanterns that are made by the locals. The lanterns are made from bamboo and colored paper and illuminated by electric bulbs. The festival is a competition among the different barangays (villages) in San Fernando, and the winner is declared the “Grand Champion.”

Sinukwan Festival

The Sinukwan Festival is held every November in San Fernando, Pampanga. The festival is a celebration of the Kapampangan culture and is named after the Kapampangan word “sinukwan,” which means “ancestor” or “forefather.” The festival features street dancing, cultural shows, and a parade of floats showcasing Pampanga’s different towns and cities.

Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Pampanga by Cody McLain via Unsplash
Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Pampanga by Cody McLain via Unsplash

Hot Air Balloon Festival

The Hot Air Balloon Festival is an annual event in Clark, Pampanga. The festival features hot air balloons of different shapes and sizes from all over the world. Visitors can watch the balloons take off and land, and there are also other activities, such as skydiving, paragliding, and kite flying.

Resorts and Accommodation

When planning a trip to Pampanga, one of the important things to consider is where to stay. Fortunately, many options are available, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly resorts. This section will provide an overview of some of the best resorts and accommodations in the area.

Inside my Deluxe Room at Midori Clark Hotel and Casino
Inside my Deluxe Room at Midori Clark Hotel and Casino

Midori Clark Hotel and Casino

Experience the luxury of Midori Clark Hotel and Casino located in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga. Enjoy the modern and sleek wooden furniture in our air-conditioned rooms that offer views of Clark’s lush greenery and are fitted with a TV. Pamper yourself with the private en suite bathrooms fully equipped with bathrobes, slippers, and complimentary toiletries.

With only a 5-minute drive from Clark International Airport, you can easily catch flights to Cebu City and international destinations such as Hong Kong, Macau, Incheon, and Doha. Plus, the hotel is only a 2-hour drive away from Metro Manila.

Clark Marriott Hotel in Angeles
Agoda
Clark Marriott Hotel in Angeles

Clark Marriott Hotel

Experience the pinnacle of luxury in the heart of Clark Freeport Zone, just minutes away from Clark International Airport. Our five-star Clark Marriott Hotel offers a world-class service that will make your stay memorable. Whether you want to celebrate a milestone or close a deal, our Grand Ballroom and breakout rooms provide the perfect setting.

Enjoy a variety of unique dining experiences, from the all-day buffet at Goji Kitchen + Bar to the top-rated Smoki Moto, our specialty restaurant serving Korean cuisine and premium steak. And to top it all off, book a massage, facial, or body wrap at Quan Spa. Our 260 hotel rooms and suites offer modern designs, styles, and amenities that make you feel at home in Pampanga, Philippines. Let us care for your every need and provide an effortless luxury experience.

Quest Plus Conference Center Clark Pampanga
Quest Plus Conference Center Clark Pampanga

Quest Plus Conference Center Clark.

Enjoy the convenience and luxury of Quest Plus Conference Center, Clark, in the Clark Freeport Zone of Angeles/Clark. Here, you’ll have free access to car parking and Wi-Fi, so you can stay connected and come and go as you please. Rated with 4 stars, this high-quality property provides guests access to massage, restaurant, and fitness center on-site. Enjoy the nearby attractions, including the famous SM City Clark, and exciting dining options. You’ll also find a 36-hole championship golf course, casino, duty-free shopping hub, and nature walks within the landscaped Mimosa Leisure Estate.

Relax in your room with flat-screen cable TVs, safety deposit boxes, minibars, and tea/coffee makers. Select rooms offer bathrooms with bathtubs, while all guests can enjoy the pool and free WiFi. The hotel also features a gym, table tennis, billiard facilities, and a games room offering darts. Quest Plus Conference Center offers grand ballroom and meeting room facilities for business travelers. Enjoy all-day Eastern and Western dining at Mequeni Live, which features an open-concept kitchen. Finally, the hotel is just a 5-minute drive from Clark International Airport and 3.6 km from Mimosa Golf and Country Club.

Prado Farms and Eco Resort
Prado Farms and Eco Resort

Prado Farms and Eco Resort

Explore the beauty of Lubao and experience the comfort and convenience of Prado Farms Eco-Resort. This 3-star pet-friendly property offers everything, from romantic getaways to family holidays. Enjoy the in-house facilities, the large function room, and the special policies for pet owners.

Explore the area and take advantage of the nearby attractions and dining options, all while enjoying the serenity of the area. Take advantage of the 24-hour front desk and free WiFi, making Prado Farms Eco-Resort the perfect choice for an affordable and comfortable stay, whether you’re traveling solo or with friends.

Nauvoo Farm Resort photo via FB page
Nauvoo Farm Resort photo via FB page

Nauvoo Farm Resort

Nestled at the foot of Mt Arayat in Brgy Ayala, Magalang, Pampanga, Nauvoo Farm Resort offers guests a unique and unforgettable experience. From cozy studio bedrooms to spacious 14 pax capacity Villas, they have the perfect accommodation to suit all needs. Enjoy the fresh air and stunning views of Mt Arayat while taking advantage of their onsite amenities, including a function hall, swimming pool, bar, and kitchen.

The resort facilities are also available for venue hosting to help you celebrate special occasions in style. You won’t miss Banal Na Bundok, a life-size Station of the Cross, a popular religious destination during the Lenten season.

Fontana Water Parks photo via FB page
Fontana Water Parks photo via FB page

Fontana Water Park

Experience the lavishness of Fontana Hot Spring Leisure Park’s two or three-bedroom villas, nestled within the sprawling 302-hectare property. Each villa offers comfort and luxury, with amenities such as central air conditioning, a fully equipped kitchen and dining area, stylishly designed bedrooms and living rooms, bathrooms, and a servant’s quarter.

Every villa has been carefully crafted to provide a luxurious home away from home. Fontana Water Park is the perfect destination for families with children, boasting a range of exciting water activities and attractions, such as a wave pool, lazy river, and a selection of water slides. Make sure to check out the park for a truly memorable experience.

Travel Guide

Best Time to Visit Pampanga

Pampanga is a great destination to visit any time of the year, but the best time to visit is during the dry season, which runs from November to April. The weather is cool and dry during this time, making it perfect for outdoor activities and sightseeing. December and January are especially popular, as they coincide with the Christmas and New Year holidays.

If you plan to visit during the rainy season from May to October, be prepared for occasional downpours. However, the rain can also bring out the lush greenery of the province, making it a beautiful time to visit if you don’t mind the occasional shower.

Sample Itinerary

Here’s a sample itinerary for a weekend getaway in Pampanga:

Day 1

Time Activity
8:00 AM Rent a car in Manila and drive to Pampanga
10:00 AM Visit the San Guillermo Parish Church in Bacolor
11:00 AM Explore the Nayong Pilipino Clark
1:00 PM Lunch at Everybody’s Cafe in San Fernando
3:00 PM Visit the Holy Rosary Parish Church in Angeles
4:00 PM Check-in at a hotel in Clark
6:00 PM Dinner at Binulo Restaurant in Clark

Day 2

Time Activity
7:00 AM Breakfast at the hotel
9:00 AM Visit the Puning Hot Springs in Sapang Bato
12:00 PM Lunch at Souq Restaurant in Clark
2:00 PM Explore the Clark Museum and 4D Theater
4:00 PM Visit the Dinosaurs Island in Clark
6:00 PM Dinner at Historic Camalig Restaurant in Angeles

Day 3

Time Activity
7:00 AM Breakfast at the hotel
9:00 AM Visit the Mount Pinatubo Sky Tour
12:00 PM Lunch at Cafe Fleur in Angeles
2:00 PM Visit the Pampanga Provincial Capitol
4:00 PM Drive back to Manila

This itinerary includes some of the best tourist spots in Pampanga and some of the province’s most popular restaurants. This is just a sample itinerary; you may change it depending on your interest. Renting a car in Manila is recommended for convenience and flexibility.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some must-see tourist spots in Pampanga?

Pampanga is known for its rich cultural heritage and vibrant tourist attractions. Some of the must-see tourist spots in Pampanga include Mount Arayat National Park, Nayong Pilipino Clark, San Guillermo Church, and the historic Santa Ana Church. Visitors can also explore the culinary capital of the Philippines by visiting the Pampanga Food and Culinary Tour, where they can sample the delicious local cuisine.

What are the best things to do in Lubao, Pampanga?

Lubao is a town in Pampanga that is known for its annual Hot Air Balloon Festival. Visitors can also explore the Lubao Bamboo Hub and Eco-Park, where they can see various bamboo structures and learn about sustainable living. Another popular attraction in Lubao is the Pradera Wake Park, where visitors can try wakeboarding and other water sports.

What are the top tourist spots in San Fernando, Pampanga?

San Fernando is the capital city of Pampanga and is known for its rich history and cultural heritage. Some of the top tourist spots in San Fernando include the San Fernando Heritage District, the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando, and the San Fernando Train Station. Visitors can also explore the city’s vibrant art scene by visiting the Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Museum and Gallery.

What are the most popular tourist spots in Angeles, Pampanga?

Angeles is a highly urbanized city in Pampanga that is known for its nightlife and entertainment. Some of the most popular tourist spots in Angeles include the Clark Freeport Zone, where visitors can find various restaurants, bars, and casinos. Other popular attractions include the Holy Rosary Parish Church, the Museo ning Angeles, and the Nayong Pilipino Clark.

What are the best places to visit in Clark, Pampanga?

Clark is a former US military base that has been converted into a freeport zone and tourist destination. Some of the best places to visit in Clark include the Clark Museum and 4D Theater, where visitors can learn about the history of the base and the Philippines. Other popular attractions include the Zoocobia Fun Zoo, Paradise Ranch, and the El Kabayo Riding Stables.

What are some recommended activities to do in Pampanga at night?

Pampanga has a vibrant nightlife scene, especially in Angeles City. Visitors can explore the various bars and nightclubs in the city, such as the Skytrax Superclub, High Society, and Aura. Another popular activity is the Pampanga Night Market, where visitors can try various street foods and shop for souvenirs.

Pampanga Travel and Tour Packages

Want more updates about new package tours and tourist attractions in Pampanga that you can add to your itinerary? Follow the Out of Town Travel Blog on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest if you want more travel and food-related updates.

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