14 Tarlac Tourist Spots to Visit for a Quick Weekend Getaway

The Philippines boasts a diverse landscape that is beaming with a plethora of natural wonders, culture, and history. But while a lot of locals and tourists alike flock to the bustling streets of its capital, or fly to the mesmerising beaches of Palawan, the hidden gem of Tarlac often goes unnoticed. Nestled in the Central Luzon region, the city of Tarlac offers a unique blend of adventure, relaxation, and cultural immersion waiting to be discovered.

So, whether you’re seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure, a cultural and historical immersion, or a serene weekend getaway, Tarlac promises an unforgettable experience for every traveller. Let’s delve deeper into these Tarlac tourist spots, shall we?

Also read: Central Luzon Destinations: 10 Tourist Spots You Can’t Miss

Tarlac tourist spots for nature lovers

1. Mount Pinatubo

Image credit: Sharmaine Monticalbo | Unsplash

Mount Pinatubo is located on the shared border of Tarlac, Zambales, and Pampanga. What once was feared for the massive destruction it brought is now one of the most visited tourist attractions in the country.

If you’re in Tarlac, exploring the volcano via trekking, hiking, and 4×4 rides is something you wouldn’t want to miss. Upon reaching the summit, you’ll be in for a visual treat: a picturesque view of Pinatubo’s crater lake. Immerse yourself even more in the beauty of this hiking experience as you pass by and converse with the Aeta communities in the area.

2. Bulsa River

Image credit: Kayak Philippines | Official Facebook Page

If there’s anything adventure-seekers shouldn’t miss in Tarlac, it’s definitely this one. The Bulsa River offers an exhilarating journey through challenging waters and the Zambales mountains, featuring Class II rapids, which offers a mix of excitement and calm, manageable waters. Led by expert guides of Rapid Stream Ecotours, the sole operator of the river trips, you’ll surely have a fun time navigating through splashes and serene stretches, with optional cliff jumps and kayak surfing — truly an experience that’s one for the books!

3. JSJ Goat Farm

Image credit: JSJ Goat Farm | Official Facebook Page

Go on a unique experience and interact with farm animals at the JSJ Goat Farm! The 10-hectare property in Barangay Caruray is a family-owned farm that is home to a variety of pure-bred goats and sheeps. While one of the more niche Tarlac tourist spots, this farm is trendy among goat breeders since the farm’s herd here is always flourishing.

Aside from seeing cut goats and sheeps, visitors can immerse themselves in the laidback farm life, go on a tour, and learn more about their farming process and see how milking is done. Before leaving the premises, you can also buy their dairy products such as milk, feta cheese, and kesong puti.

Also read: Best Farm Stays in the Philippines for a Nature Escape

4. ANZAP Twin Falls

Image credit: Government of Tarlac | Official Website

At over 200 feet, the ANZAP Twin Falls in Mayontoc are at the heart of the ASEAN-New Zealand Afforestation Project. While undeniably beautiful, it also demands much willpower and determination from hikers who want to witness its wonders. The trek takes up to a day and a half; after crossing the Nambalan River, visitors must hike for four more hours to reach Kawayan campsite. Most of the time, you will also l need to spend the night at the campsite before continuing your journey to the waterfalls.


Image credit: Province of Tarlac | Official Website

For beginners seeking a refreshing nature dip, definitely head on to in San Clemente. This gem is known for its relatively easy one-kilometre hike that culminates in a cascading waterfall with an inviting pool. Tourists can relax or set up a picnic by the river, but if you’re in it for the challenge, go ahead and indulge yourself with a 20-foot jump into the deep water! Take note that there is a fee of ₱20 per head upon entry.

Also read: 10 Waterfalls Near Manila for Day Trips & Long Weekends 

Historical Tarlac tourist spots

6. Capas National Shrine

Image credit: Government of Tarlac | Official Website

Albeit straightforward and nothing much to see here except lush greenery, Capas National Shrine is one of the popular tourist spots in Tarlac that pays tribute to the Filipino-American soldiers who died towards the end of the Bataan Death March in Camp O’Donnell (now Capas National Shrine). It was a harrowing event in Philippine history, with the Imperial Japanese Army forcing 60,000–80,000 Filipino and American soldiers to march about 65 miles from Capas, Tarlac to Bagac, Bataan.

Now, a 70-metre-tall obelisk stands tall to signify peace and unity amongst Filipinos, Americans, and Japanese. Up close, you will see the names of all fallen soldiers engraved on the marble stone. The place is a significant memorial so if you’re a history buff, it’s definitely worth visiting.


Image credit: Sindre Helvik | Wikimedia Commons

Most people would stare and stand in awe at Rio de Janeiro’s Cristo Redentor. While the Statue of the Risen Christ in isn’t quite on the same scale as its world-renowned contemporary from Brazil, visitors can’t help but be awestruck. Perched on top of Mount Resurrection, the invites serene tranquillity and breathtaking vistas. 

This Catholic monastery offers a spiritual haven for travellers seeking reflection, solitude, and prayer. It exudes a sacred atmosphere like no other, as it is believed that it is home to a fragment of the True Cross of Christ. This relic is said to be an actual piece of wood taken from the cross where Jesus was crucified.

Beyond all the religious significance, the offers captivating panoramic views of surrounding landscapes, promising visitors a truly awe-inspiring experience of peace and picturesque beauty.

Also read: 10 Stunning Churches in the Philippines Every Pinoy Must Visit


Image credit: Province of Tarlac | Official Website

Step back in time and look through a treasure trove of local history at the . This cultural and historical gem showcases art and exhibits about the province — from indigenous artefacts and revolutionary memorabilia to traditional crafts and contemporary artwork. Some of Tarlac City’s talks, workshops, and other activities are also held here so make sure to keep your schedules aligned with that if you’re interested in attending.

9. Aquino Center and Museum

Image credit: Aquino Center and Museum | Official Facebook Page

For better or worse, the Aquinos play a significant part in the political and economic history of the Philippines. Sharing the storied lives of Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. and Corazon “Cory” Aquino, the Aquino Center and Museum in Hacienda Luisita houses a huge collection of photographs and artefacts. The museum also recently expanded its collection to include the late former president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s legacy.

Recreational Tarlac tourist spots

10. Isdaan Floating Restaurant

Image credit: Isdaan Floating Restaurant | Official Facebook Page

Isdaan Floating Restaurant offers its guests a lot of novelty besides good food. Their dining areas float on a giant fish farm decorated with statues ranging from Golden Buddhas to superheroes. Their use of Buddhist imagery, in particular, earned the entire restaurant the moniker Thailand of the Philippines.  It has since expanded to multiple branches in Nueva Ecija and Laguna, but the Gerona branch is still recognised as one of the most popular Tarlac tourist spots.


Image credit: | Official Facebook Page

is a charming cafe that serves “soul-nourishing” food inspired by the town’s abundant ylang-ylang trees. The property was once a preschool centre and now stands as a community cafe filled with art displays and pushes environmental advocacies and mental health awareness. So whether you’re seeking delicious coffee and food, heartwarming meals, or a safe space for your mind, body, and soul, this cafe will surely welcome you with arms wide open.

12. Tarlac Recreational Center

Image credit: Jose V. Yap Sports & Recreational Complex | Official Facebook Page

A visit to Tarlac Recreational Center always promises guests a grand time. Also known as Jose V. Yap Sports & Recreational Complex, the activities to do here are endless! 

The 78-hectare outdoor haven in San Jose offers a bunch of things to do for almost every traveller: Go on a run around its vast oval track, cool off or practise your strokes in the Olympic-sized pool, or paddle your way on a kayak around the serene lagoon. Outdoor activities never seem to end here as it also offers ATV adventure, fishing, camping, and stargazing. It’s adventure and serenity all wrapped up in one place. So, if you’re looking to add a few things to your list of adventures, or you just want a relaxing afternoon surrounded by nature, then this is the perfect spot for you.


Image credit: | Official Facebook Page

For thrill seekers and adventure buffs, your trip to Tarlac might just kickstart at Kart City! This vibrant complex offers a 700-metre race track where you can unleash your inner Fast and the Furious character. The tracks may look simple, but they have spots where strategic turns and throttles are golden opportunities to take the race. Truly, Kart City must be one of the most exhilarating Tarlac tourist spots.

After a tiring ride, indulge yourself in some of their other activities such as billiards and KTV. And of course, who can ever forget about food? Kart City also has an in-house restaurant where you can order delicious food and drinks whenever you need an extra pump of energy.


Image credit: | Official Facebook Page

Tradition meets modern design at in Victoria, Tarlac. This tourist hotspot is known both locally and internationally for its intricate native ceramic products that make beautiful homeware and garden accents. The factory also offers free demonstrations for visitors so if pottery is something you’d like to give a shot, then visiting Red Slab is a must.

Also read: The Art of the Road Trip: 7 Reasons Why Long Drives Are Worth It

Exploring Tarlac is a rewarding task. The history is rich, the views are gorgeous, and most activities can be exciting. Take the time to visit these Tarlac tourist spots when passing by. A beautiful discovery may just be lying in wait!

Featured image credit: amanalang via Canva Pro

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