Subic Bay, Shipwrecks, restaurants, beaches, what else do you want!

Subic Bay has been recognised for many centuries as a deep safe harbour. The Spanish were the first to realise Subic Bay’s potential, using the bay in the17th century as a port to defend and maintain the Philippines as past of their empire. In the following decades the Spanish decided to build a navy base utilising the safe harbour and its natural resources.

Following the loss by the Spanish to the US in 1898, the US established a naval repair and supply base in Subic Bay. Subic Bay was only accessible by sea up until 1932 when the zig zag road was cut through the mountains linking Subic Bay and Olongapo to the rest of the Philippines.

In 1941 Subic Bay was bombed by the Japanese and was held by them for the next four years, until the US took back the Philippines in 1945. The control of the navy base returned to the US. During the two invasions by both the Japanese and the US, a number of naval ships were either bombed or scuttled in Subic Bay Philippines. They have now created an underwater tourist hit, with scuba divers from around the world enjoying the wrecks in there underwater graveyards.

In the following years the Philippines gained independence, however the US maintained control of the Subic naval bases, an agreement was signed between the two countries giving the US 99 years of free use of the facility. Subic Bay becomes a strategic site for the US in maintaining a strong presence in Asia, especially with the outbreak of the Vietnam war.

In 1991 Olongapo and Subic Bay was covered in nearly half a metre of ash from the eruption of Mt Pinatubo. In 1992 the Subic Bay Freeport was created, later that year the last of the US naval ships left Subic Bay, as the renewal of the treaty between the two countries was rejected by the Philippines Senate.

The Subic Bay Freeport Zone is now well on its way in becoming an economic, commercial and tourist destination. The Subic Bay Freeport is booming with international class restaurants and duty free shopping.

Where is Subic Bay

Subic Bay is located in Zambales Province, Central Luzon Region or Region III. It is on the west coast of the main island of Luzon about 120 kilometres north of the Philippine capital, Manila. The coastal area is surrounded by mountains with lush impenetrable jungles, ideal for trekking. The bay opens out into the South China Sea.

How do I get to Subic Bay?

Subic Bay is easily accessible from Manila, you can either travel by road, ferry or fly.

Road Transport to Subic Bay

Depending on the traffic, weather or time you leave Manila, travel time can be anywhere from 2 to 6 hours. Your options are private mini van to take you directly to your hotel, which you can arrange from the airport at the Budget or Avis counter, the rental cars can either come with or without a driver. You can also catch an air-conditioned bus from Manila to Olongapo City, they leave every hour up to 10:30pm, however after 8:30pm you will have to give up the luxury of air-conditioning and travel by a regular bus. Victory Liner buses will take you to Subic Bay, for information on Philippines bus services, have a look here.

Once you are in Olongapo City it is easy to catch a jeepney north to the beach towns of Barrio Barretto and further to Subic. This is the stretch where you will find most of the beachside resorts and hotels. The jeepneys are easily identifiable as they are the blue jeepneys.

Ferry to Subic Bay
From Manila you can also have a relaxing ferry trip that will cut you travel time substantially. Leaving Manila from the Philippine Cultural Centre on Roxas Boulevard in Metro Manila is the Mt Samat Express ferry service. Note: Also leaving from this ferry terminal is the ferry traveling to Cavite, so make sure you catch the right ferry or you will be extremely disappointed. The Mt Samat Express will take you across Manila Bay to the port of Orion in the province of Bataan. The ferry is an ultra modern vessel, far different to some you may encounter on your travels in the Philippine Islands. The trip takes about 50 minutes, but do note in bad weather the service will not operate.

From Orion you can arrange, from the desk in the ferry terminal, a bus to take you directly to your hotel in Subic Bay, the trip will take you anywhere from 50 minutes to an hour. This is a pleasant way to travel.

Have a look here for more information on the ferry from the CCP Complex to Orion in Bataan.

Flying to Subic Bay

Flights from Manila to Subic International Airport or Cubi Airport, take about 35 minutes. Without a doubt, if you want to get there quick with little fuss, flying is the way to go.

Cebu Pacific Air fly to Subic, you will find information on all airlines and flights within the Philippines here. Just scroll down and you will see information on Cebu Pacific Air for flight schedules.

Scuba Diving Subic Bay

Scuba diving in Subic Bay revolves around wrecks, wrecks and more wrecks. There are wreck dives to suit every level of diver from experienced to novice alike. One of te great aspects of diving these wrecks in Subic Bay is how close they are to the dive shops. For information on Subic Bay scuba diving, have a look here.

Subic Beaches and other Attractions
Subic Bay has a whole new dimension. Since the US Navy moved out in 1992, the whole area had to reaccess itself in order to fill the gap left by the US Navy. What has now materialised in Subic Bay is fantastic, the development is someting the people of Subic Bay should be proud of.

For more information on attractions and things to do in Subic Bay, have a look here.

Where do I stay in Subic Bay

Subic Bay has a huge range of acommodation, from resorts to single room hotels.

Check Prices and Book Online

All you need to do is put the dates in the search box below, that your looking to stay in Subic Bay. The search box will search for the best prices of hotels in Subic.

Try it and see.

One of the places I have recently discovered and will return to is the Blue Rock Resort. Click here for my review of the resort.

There is a lot of talk at the moment about a particular resort in Subic Bay, the Lighthouse Marina Resort. Click here for more information.

What Do You Think About Subic Bay?

Did you have a great time or were you disappointed? What did you like, what could you have done without? Would you visit again?

Do you have a story, a picture, or a tip to share? Tell others about your trip. Show off your photos!

It's easy. Just fill in the form below.

[ ? ]

Don't Forget You Can Upload A Picture (optional)
Note: 800x600 pixel or smaller works the best[ ? ]


Click here to upload more images (optional)

Author Information (optional)

To receive credit as the author, enter your information below.

(first or full name)

(e.g., City, State, Country)

Submit Your Contribution

  •  submission guidelines.

(You can preview and edit on the next page)

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Amazing Subic diving holiday! 
I went to Subic bay with my husband on a diving holiday. We stayed in the most amazing resort and the wreck diving was unbelievable. It's quite different …

Cown Peak Apartments - Subic Bay 
Cown Peak Apartments - Subic Bay Freeport Where is it? Could you please give me an email contact for Crown Peak Apartments on base at Subic Freeport. …

robbed in roof toop hotel subic  
Me and my brother stayed at a hotel called the rooftop in subic. We put our money in a safe deposit box behind the hotel check in desk. We were asked …

I live here in subic bay  
Now let me be honest so no one will waste there money coming to Subic Bay. The freeport SBMA (Subic Bay Marine Authority) has a few restaurants, but …

Subic Bay -An Honest Review Not rated yet
Subic Bay could be a good place to visit but unfortunately, it's not! Most of the beaches are heavily polluted, particularly those in the Barrio Barretto …

Great Place Subic Bay Not rated yet
Just visited Subic with my family last April, we stayed at Camayan Resort. The place was great especially for the kids where Ocean Adventures (Dolfin …

Scenic Subic Bay Not rated yet
I was visiting a friend in Subic Bay last week and was surprised by the high level of relaxation and the beaches. Also took a trip to the 100 Islands, …

Ronald R. Helmick (Barber) Tour Of Duty U.S. Marine 1964-1965 Not rated yet
Not much to tell it was many years ago in San Magil. Navel Communication Station. I spent 18 Months there as A very young man 18-19, in detached guard. …

Click here to write your own.

Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Search Hotels in Subic Bay

Expat Training Manual

This is a must read if you are thinking of moving to the Philippines!