Tarlac Photo: France Cheska S.

Tarlac

Tarlac is best known for its seemingly endless grasslands and plantations. Often called the “melting pot of Central Luzon,” the province is a of mixture four distinct groups: the Kapampangan, Ilocanos, Pangasinenses, and Tagalogs.

While Tarlac is usually bypassed by travelers on their way to other provinces, its rich historical sites, tasty delicacies, and adrenaline-pumping attractions make it well worth a visit as well.

If you want to see one of the most sacred Christian relics in the world, head over to the white Baroque chapel of Monasterio de Tarlac. Housed within an ornate golden box under the altar, you’ll find the Relic of the Holy Cross, a piece of the cross used during the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Pilgrims flock to Tarlac to see this papal-authenticated relic, which is the only one of its kind in Asia. Step outside of the monastery and you’ll encounter another famous attraction, a 30-foot statue of the Risen Christ towering above the province’s rolling landscape. Visitors can enjoy the fresh breezes and stunning view of Tarlac in this popular picnic spot right by the monastery.

If you’re more of a history buff, try immersing yourself in the country’s past by touring Tarlac’s rich heritage sites. Visit the Capas National Shrine and Capas Death March Monument, which mark the ultimate destination of the infamous Death March. At the site of the shrine, you’ll find three memorial walls of black marble that honor the soldiers who perished in the march from Bataan.

You can also learn more about democracy icons Ninoy and Cory Aquino by visiting the Aquino Center and Museum and the Aquino Ancestral House. Other interesting historical sites include the Tarlac Museum, Carlos P. Romulo Memorial Library, and the Maria Clara Museum, which houses the belongings of Dr. Jose Rizal’s beloved, Leonor Rivera.

One of Tarlac’s most prominent natural attractions is the historic Mt. Pinatubo. The infamous volcano made headlines in 1991 when its eruption covered plenty of communities in lahar and ash. Nowadays, travelers journey through its ash-laden landscape for a glimpse of its stunning crater lake.

Don’t be surprised if you suddenly encounter spas at Mt. Pinatubo’s base camp. This area, also known as the Pinatubo Spa Town, houses several spas that offer soothing natural treatments. Here, you can try cleansing your skin in mud or lying in the volcano’s therapeutic hot ash.

Those craving extreme adventures can also take the challenging hike up to Mt. Damas, brave the rigorous trek to ANZAP Falls, or try river rafting and kayaking along the thrilling rapids of Camiling River and Nambalan River.

One good place to check out if you’re travelling with a group is the Tarlac Recreational Park, which offers a wide variety of outdoor activities including ziplining, kayaking, camping, airsoft, fishing, and even dune buggy and ATV rides. You can also satisfy your need for speed by going racing in European-made go-karts at Kart City Tarlac.

Once you’ve had your fill of rugged adventures, you can unwind along the picturesque shores of Saipan Beach or take a dip in the warm waters of Dolores Hot Spring and Bueno Hot Springs. And if you’re looking for something a little more unique, head to the JSJ Goat Farm, where you can learn how to milk goats and munch on some of the farm’s freshly made cheeses.

Tarlac is also known for its fine culinary offerings, so don’t skip on the chance to go food tripping while you’re in the area. Sample the organic offerings of Good Earth Farms, try some Western and Asian fusion cuisine at Primadeli Ristorante, or enjoy the authentic filipino flavors of Dampa sa Tarlac and Ves Food Resort and Villas.

You might also want to grab some sweet souvenirs, like Tarlac’s famous iniruban (special sticky rice cake from Camiling) and tupig (grilled sticky rice cake wrapped in banana leaf), to munch on once you head back to the city.

Top Rated Restaurants in Tarlac Browse All

  1. The Greenwalls Cupcakes
    5.0 Stars
    Cupcakes
    12 Reviews View
  2. The Greentable
    5.0 Stars
    Filipino
    6 Reviews View
  3. Isdaan Floating Restaurant
    3.9 Stars
    Seafood
    41 Reviews View
  4. Urdu
    5.0 Stars
    Bakery
    5 Reviews View
  5. Matutina's Seafood Restaurant
    4.1 Stars
    Seafood
    15 Reviews View
  6. Gertie's Bakeshop & Fastfood
    5.0 Stars
    Bakery
    4 Reviews View
  7. Betty's Special Native Cakes
    4.3 Stars
    Snack
    6 Reviews View
  8. Victor's Barbeque & Lechon
    3.9 Stars
    Filipino
    9 Reviews View
  9. Urdu
    4.5 Stars
    Bakery
    3 Reviews View
  10. VES Food Resort and Villas
    5.0 Stars
    Filipino
    2 Reviews View

Top Rated Hotels in Tarlac Browse All

  1. Microtel Inn & Suites Tarlac
    5.0 Stars
    Hotel
    1 Review View
  2. Nick Hotel
    4.0 Stars
    Hotel
    1 Review View
  3. L Square Hotel
    3.5 Stars
    Hotel
    2 Reviews View
  4. Azaya Garden Resort
    3.0 Stars
    Hotel
    1 Review View
  5. La Maja Rica
    3.0 Stars
    Hotel
    1 Review View

Top Rated Places in Tarlac Browse All

  1. The Greenwalls Cupcakes
    5.0 Stars
    Cupcakes
    12 Reviews View
  2. The Greentable
    5.0 Stars
    Filipino
    6 Reviews View
  3. Isdaan Floating Restaurant
    3.9 Stars
    Seafood
    41 Reviews View
  4. Starbucks Coffee
    4.0 Stars
    Coffee
    23 Reviews View
  5. Urdu
    5.0 Stars
    Bakery
    5 Reviews View
  6. Matutina's Seafood Restaurant
    4.1 Stars
    Seafood
    15 Reviews View
  7. Gertie's Bakeshop & Fastfood
    5.0 Stars
    Bakery
    4 Reviews View
  8. Starbucks Coffee
    4.5 Stars
    Coffee
    5 Reviews View
  9. KCT Kart City
    4.8 Stars
    Amusement Park
    4 Reviews View
  10. Betty's Special Native Cakes
    4.3 Stars
    Snack
    6 Reviews View

Popular Areas in Tarlac

  1. Tarlac City

    Tarlac City

    67 Places
    View
  2. Capas

    Capas

    9 Places
    View