Tarlac is a province in the Philippines located in Central Luzon Region, an ecotourism destination in the country for its bountiful natural tourist spots. The vast plains and mountainous sides of the province are naturally decorated with rivers for white water rafting, mountain peaks for trekking and camping, and majestic waterfalls for swimming. Recreational parks and historical sites are also good for day tripping and sightseeing. Surely, Tarlac province can offer adventures and outdoor activities for its visitors.
The capital city of Tarlac is Tarlac City. The province is bordered by Pangasinan & Nueva Ecija (east), Zambales (west) and Pampanga (south). It is a landlocked province meaning there are no beaches in Tarlac. It has around 1.3 million residents and people speak in Kapampangan, Pangasinan, Ilocano, Tagalog and English languages.
The province has plenty of interesting places to visit not just a stop-over for people bound to the Northern Luzon to relieve themselves from the long travel. Below are the popular tourist spots in Tarlac you might want to include (if not yet) in your travel itinerary.
Top 10 Tourist Spots in Tarlac
1. Tarlac Recreational Park
Tarlac Recreational Park is one of the most popular tourist spots in Tarlac, a 78-hectare property managed by the local government that hosts outdoor and sports activities. The site successfully hosted two biggest sports events, the Central Luzon Regional Athletic Association Meet (CLRAA) on 2009 and the biggest sports event among national athletes, the Palarong Pambansa 2010. The huge facility also comes with plenty of outdoor activities like mountain biking, ATV and drone buggy riding, zip line, airsoft, rappeling, fishing, kayaking, swimming, camping and more. Surely a great destination for family bonding or barkada outing. Team buildings, special events and huge gatherings are also pinned here.
Tarlac Recreational Park is located in San Jose, Tarlac.
2. Monasterio de Tarlac
Monasterio de Tarlac is one of the best places to visit in Tarlac, a peaceful and quiet monastery situated on top of a mountain surrounded with landscapes and greenery. It is where the iconic 30-foot statue of Jesus Christ stands and stretches both arms overlooking the woodlands and mountainous parts of the province. The Sacred Relic of the True Cross of Jesus Christ is enshrined in the chapel which refers to physical remains or fragments which are believed to be originated from true cross where Jesus was crucified. In the chapel, it is being protected by a golden reliquary where pilgrims would line up, touch it and cast their prayers. There were many testimonials and miracles from people who have done a pilgrimage to the True Cross.
Monasterio de Tarlac is located Mount Resurrection Eco Park, Barangay Lubigan, San Jose, Tarlac.
3. Bulsa River
Bulsa River is one of the best tourist spots in Tarlac, a perfect destination for whitewater kayaking in the province. It is a 12.5 kilometers stretch of awesome adventure filled with thrill and excitement which is very suitable for adventure enthusiasts. While paddling down the river and maneuvering the inflatable kayak through the smooth and moderately quick rapids, adventurers will be immersed in nature passing through mountains and encounters with wildlife (mostly carabaos). There are also stop-overs for swimming, cliff jumping and stone diving.
Whitewater kayaking in Tarlac is not open everyday, it’s seasonal. It operates mostly in rainy season when the water level in the river is higher and rapids are moderately strong. To experience this adventure, one have to get an appointment because walk-ins are not allowed. Contact the sole operator of whitewater kayaking in the area, the Rapid Stream Ecotours.
Bulsa River is located in San Jose, Tarlac.
4. Capas National Shrine
Capas National Shrine is one of the notable landmarks in Tarlac, a tribute to the Filipino and American soldiers that briefly survived the Bataan Death March but died at Camp O’Donnell. The area where the shrine was unveiled is the former internment camp of the Prisoners of War in WWII known as the Camp O’Donnell. Thousands of prisoners died there out of starvation, disease or brutality. A huge 70-meter obelisk is at the center of the shrine surrounded with 3 segmented circular walls where the names of the Filipinos who died and participated in the Death March were etched on black marble tiles. The entire area was surrounded with trees, each tree was assigned to a specific fallen soldier.
Capas National Shrine is located in Capas, Tarlac.
5. KCT Kart City
KCT Kart City is one of the famous tourist spots in Tarlac, an amusement park known for go-kart racing. The go-karts are always of good conditions and the racetracks are excellent, a very well-maintained facility. This is the destination for those who just want to try go-kart racing for the first time and those adrenaline junkies. The rental rate of go-karts is P250 for 5 minutes (2017 update). Though some would complain regarding the price, the fun and excitement you get would make you want for more. They also have billiards room and KTV room. Aside from go-kart racing, this is also a nice place to dine especially at night since they serve delicious food.
KCT Kart City is located in Tarlac City, Tarlac.
6. Aquino Center and Museum
Aquino Center and Museum is one of the known tourist spots in Tarlac, a very informative and educational museum in the province. It was established as a tribute to the late Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. and his wife, the late President Corazon Aquino who fought hard for the restoration of democracy of the Philippines against the rule of the late President Ferdinand Marcos. The assassination of Benigno Aquino Jr. led to the People Power Revolution which ended the Marcos Era and Corazon Aquino became the next president.
The Aquino Center and Museum houses the photographs and memorabilia of the Aquino family. The most chilling display is the white cloth stained with blood which the late Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. wore when he was assassinated. Some displays might give you shivers down your spine but this is an interesting place to learn some history in not so distant past.
Aquino Center and Museum is located in Tarlac City, Tarlac. The museum was funded and being managed by Ninoy and Cory Aquino Foundation and not by the government.
7. ANZAP Twin Falls
ANZAP (ASEAN-New Zealand Afforestation Program) Twin Falls is one of the most visited tourist spots in Tarlac tucked in the mountainous part of the province. It is 200 feet waterfalls which the volume of the water varies depending on the season. The area is surrounded with lush greenery and bounders. Most of the trips going to the falls may require overnight camping for beginners. The journey is not that difficult and you’ll pass through a river and few challenging trails. Some sites gives a beautiful view of the river and mountains which are good resting spots.
Anzap Twin Falls is located in Mayantoc, Tarlac.
8. Ubod Falls
Ubod Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Tarlac, a majestic 160 feet waterfalls situated in a deep wilderness of the province. It is situated on a steep cliff that some would say it is good for rappelling possibility and lots of small rocks and boulders along its bank. It has cool and refreshing waters which the basin is good for swimming. The tourism office of San Clemente can help you arrange your trip where you can also get local guide/s. This is an ideal destination for barkadas or adventure seekers and you might want to push through chasing all the waterfalls in the province.
Ubod Falls is located in San Clemente, Tarlac.
9. Mount Damas
Mount Damas is one of the popular tourist spots in Tarlac, a hiking destination in the province and considered as the most scenic mountain. Its peak is at 685+ meters above sea level which offers a panoramic view to the mountain ranges, plains of Tarlac and Pangasinan. The major jump-off point to the mountain is at Dueg Resettlement in San Clemente, Tarlac. Conquering the mountain top is challenging where one have to pass through a river, tall grasses, boulders and steep trails. Though the trails is not so established, guides are of great help. It can be done in a day hike but overnight trek is highly recommended to witness the jaw-dropping view of morning clouds and a side-trip to Ubod Falls.
Mount Damas falls under the borders of Mayantoc, Camiling and San Clemente, Tarlac.
10. Mount Telakawa
Mount Telakawa is another favorite mountain climbing destination among the locals and foreign tourists. The summit is at 645+ meters above sea level and gives a breath-taking view of the lahar field, mountain ranges and woodlands. Along the journey, one have to pass through a river and lahar fields in Crow Valley and friendly meet with Aeta community in Sitio Daig. The trail is a gradual challenging ascends with tall grasses. Most of the group of mountaineers do the trip for 2 days that requires overnight camping which is a good thing for socializing and stargazing. In the morning, be amazed by the stunning views at the peak including the beautiful view of Mount Arayat. Contact the Capas Satellite Tourism Office for more details.
Mount Telakawa is located in Capas, Tarlac.