Beaches,  Luzon,  Travel Guides,  Travels


When the travel restrictions were somehow lifted in most provinces of the Philippines, we took this chance to go far and beyond our region – a long drive up to the north. That’s when we decided to visit Burgos, Pangasinan for Cabongaoan Beach and its Death Pool.

As much as we love freediving around Batangas, we couldn’t help but embark on a road trip for hours away from the familiar towns; yearning for new faces and adventure just like how things were for us before this pandemic. Little by little, we are starting to get our life robbed by this crisis back. We left the city, drove past the highways with our pockets full of glee and excitement about the laid-back weekend that awaits us. Fear and doubt sits at the corner of our minds yet these are but our tickets to be mindful of our actions that will keep ourselves safe as we travel during these times. After eight hours all the way from south to north, we buried our feet in the sand, eyes glued to the horizon where the sky meets the sea. Cabongaoan Beach is worth it as it doesn’t disappoint.

Cabongaoan Beach at Midday
The beach at midday!

About Cabongaoan Beach and Death Pool

Cabongaoan Beach

Cabongaoan Beach is a stretch of golden and creamy white sand seated at the lower west coast of the province of Pangasinan, facing the south China sea; hence, a perfect spot to enjoy a stunning and dramatic sunset. The sight of its glistening shore touching the clear green waters that gradually turn into azure blue is indeed relaxing and calming. The beach naupakas and bent coconut trees that add up to the tropical vibe of the place also provide shade shall you want to sit around by the beach on midday. The hues of these elements – the trees, shrubs, sand the ocean, will surely make you fall in love with Cabongaoan in a heartbeat.

The shores of Cabongaoan beach
The clear waters and the beach of Cabongaoan
Aerial photo by There Cee Goes

There are beach safety lines which make the swimming area shallow especially for the adults. According to the locals, there are deep rock pockets and the waves and currents beyond those points are dangerous making it unsafe for swimming. There are local lifeguards and police officers roaming and stationed around the beach to secure everyone’s safety as well.

The Death Pool

Apparently, it isn’t the locals but the tourists who dubbed this area as the ‘Death Pool’. It was named as such since the waves get rough in this seemingly rock beach making a swim into its natural pool pockets dangerous. The death pool is the largest pocket found near the edge of a huge coral cliff at the other side of the cove of Cabongaoan beach where the natural rock formations are located.

It is a twenty-minute walk from the other end of Cabongaoan beach. The best time to visit and swim into it is at around 3:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon. If you opt to walk your way to the death pool, make sure that you’ll wear a good pair of sandals since the rocks in that area are sharp and at some point, piercing.

The Cabongoan death pool
The death pool of of Cabongaoan
Aerial photo by There Cee Goes

Swimming into it prior to these hours is strongly discouraged. There are lifeguards and local who actually roam around and would warn the tourists to stay off the area when the tides and waves are strong.

Where to Stay in Cabongoan Beach

The shore of Cabongaoan beach is lined with several budget-friendly resorts where you can stay during your visit. Their accommodations range from basic camping style, open cottages, fan-roomed kubo to airconditioned rooms. However, it is a must that you coordinate with them and book before your actual trip to be safe. Among the resorts that you may stay at are the following:

  1. Playa de Luz (Formerly known as Luzviminda’s White Sand Beach)
  2. Roven’s Place 63 927 995 7606 or +63 967 990 2011
  3. Amayaj Borja Beach Resort +63 956 412 1688 or +63 956 875 1918 or +63 929 873 3117
  4. Cabo Beach Resort +63 915 386 3681
  5. D’Cousins Beach Resorts – +63 935414 3649


Resort entrance fees – starts at Php 100.00 per person
Tent pitching – ranging from Php 100.00 to Php 150.00
Table and open cottage rental – starts at Php 500.00/ day trip
Rooms – ranging from Php 2,000 to Php 3,500 good for three to five persons

The Cabongaoan beach

Where to Eat in Cabongaoan Beach

There are no restaurants nor local eateries that we know of nor seen during our trip to Cabongaoan Beach. Thus, we highly suggest that you buy from Burgos Market first before going there. In our case, we brought our own food and cook set, too. There are resorts, though, which offer ‘paluto‘ (they will cook for you). Playa de Luz is one of those. However, their menu is quite limited.

How to Get There

By Commute

From Manila

  1. Ride a bus from Manila (Pasay or Cubao) to Alaminos, Pangasinan. You can either take a Dagupan, Five Star or Victory Liner bus to the province for four to five hours. Fare is around Php 300.00 (ordinary) to Php 450.00 (air-conditioned) depending on the bus type and point of departure.
  2. From the drop off point, take a bus bound for Sta. Cruz, Zambales and alight at Burgos Public Market. The trip may take an hour and a half to two. Fare is at Php 70.00.
  3. From Burgos Public Market, hail a tricycle going to Cabongaoan Beach. A ride starts at Php 350.00 good for three to four persons. Travel time is one hour.
The fishing boats at the shores of Cabongaoan beach
The dainty fishing boats at the shores of Cabongaoan

From Dagupan

  1. Take a bus to Alaminos. Fare ranges from Php 90.00 to Php 120.00 and the trip may take an hour to an hour and a half.
  2. From the drop off point, take a bus bound for Sta. Cruz, Zambales and alight at Burgos Public Market. The trip may take an hour and a half to two. Fare is at Php 70.00.
  3. From Burgos Public Market, hail a tricycle going to Cabongaoan Beach. A ride starts at Php 350.00 good for three persons. Travel time is one hour.

Getting Away from Cabongaoan Beach: Reminders

In getting away especially if your are commuting, don’t forget to get the contact number of the tricycle drive that you hired from Burgos Public Market. It is quite seldom that tricycles would come around the area. Hence, it is important to keep a contact for your own convenience, too. You may ask the drive to pick you up from Cabongaoan Beach.

Be mindful as well of the schedule and trips of the buses that you need to take back to Alaminos or Dagupan to Manila.

You may also want to visit: BOLINAO TRAVEL GUIDE 2021

Cabongaoan Beach + Death Pool Sample Itinerary

Day 1
1:00 AM – ETD Manila to Alaminos
6:00 AM – Alaminos/ Breakfast
8:00 AM – Burgos Public Market/ Buy goods
9:30 AM – Cabongaoan Beach
12:00 NN – Lunch
1:00 PM onwards – Beach bumming, swim, take photos
4:00 PM – Death Pool
5:00 PM – Sunset Watching
7:00 PM – Dinner and socials
10:00 PM – lights off

Day 2
6:00 AM – Rise and shine, prepare breakfast
7:00 AM – Breakfast
8:00 AM – beach bumming, swimming
11:00 AM – pack up and check out
1:00 PM – ETA Burgos/ late lunch
3:00 PM – Alaminos
9:00 PM – ETA Manila

On the second day, you may opt to hire a tricycle to Dasol to visit Tambobong beach or Balinmanok cove or go on an island hopping through renting a boat (starts at Php 2,000.00).

The Cabongoan death pool and rock formations
The natural rock formations and death pool of Cabongaoan

Sample Budget and List of Expenses

Trip on a Private car/ Carpool
1. Gas and toll fee – Php 1,000.00 (each person for a group of four)
2. Accommodation – Php 500.00 (Php 2,000/ 4)
3. Food – Php 600.00
4. Environmental fees – Php 20.00/ head
TOTAL: Php 2,120.00

1. Bus fare (Manila to Alaminos) v.v. – Php 900.00
2. Bus fare (Alaminos to Burgos) v.v – Php 70.00
3. Tricycle (Burgos Market to Cabongaoan) v.v. – Php 175.00
4. Accommodation – Php 500.00 (Php 2,000.00/4)
5. Food – Php 600.00
6. Environmental fees – Php 20.00
TOTAL: Php 2,265.00

Tips and Reminders when visiting Cabongaoan Beach

  1. Mobile network signal is kind of sporadic in most areas of the beach. Turn that data off instead. Enjoy the beach!
  2. There are stalls selling snacks by the beach but there are no restaurants nor eateries around. Make sure that you’ll buy your food at Burgos town proper prior to your trip to the beach.
  3. Book your accommodation especially if you are traveling on a weekend or during peak seasons.
  4. Bring a good pair of footwear especially if you are visiting the death pool.
  5. Eating at the beach or anywhere near the waters is strictly prohibited.
  6. The LGU strictly prohibits swimming beyond the safety beach lines.
The shores of Cabongaoan beach
Basking under the sun at the beach
Aerial photo by There Cee Goes

Anne Elizabeth Gumiran, also known as Queenie, is a 20-something, full-time public school teacher, a part-time travel blogger and a freediver. She started putting her stories of adventures and misadventures into words and pictures in 2017 and continues to do so as she shares her advocacy, Sustainable Traveling.

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