When it comes to water parks and resorts, people in Manila usually think about going to Laguna or Batangas. These provinces are full of one resort after another. Central Luzon, however, doesn’t have as many, and one of the best places to go is definitely Nueva Ecija where Crystal Waves Resort is located.
Located along the highway in Talavera, around 30 minutes from Cabanatuan City, Crystal Waves was the first in the province to offer a wave pool (i.e., a swimming pool with artificially generated big waves). Given that Nueva Ecija is landlocked, having a wave pool is the closest you can get to swimming in the ocean.
If you’re planning to check out this Nueva Ecija resort, here are some of the things you can do there.
Enjoy Swimming in Crystal Waves Resort
Swimming is definitely the first thing you will do in Crystal Waves. What’s great about this resort is that it doesn’t just have one swimming pool, it has three!
- Wave pool with jacuzzi
- An Olympic-sized pool
- Children’s pool
My favorite is the Olympic-sized pool. As seen from the featured pic, it is shaped like Mickey Mouse. It’s huge, deep at one end, and always looked clean.
People would come here for the wave pool, however, and it doesn’t disappoint! The waves are big and strong enough to carry people down to the other end of the pool. Make sure you can swim, because it can be as deep as 7 feet in the area with the waves.
Note that it is only turned on once every hour for 10-15 minutes. Listen to the announcement when it’s about to start. Once you see people going en masse to the wave pool, you know it’s going to be turned on already.
Scream Your Way Down the Giant Water Slide
If swimming is too tame for you, head to the Adventure Tower and go down the giant water slide. This 200-meter long slide is not for the faint of heart! I’m deathly afraid of heights, but as I want to do everything at least once, I did it. And nope, I did not do it again.
Just to be clear: it’s safe to go down the slide. You will just go straight down to the shallow pool of water at the end of it. You will also be given a piece of rubber to put under your bum to make the ride smoother.
However, I’ve always been afraid of falling, and while the giant water slide gave me a huge rush of adrenaline, once was more than enough. Fellow bloggers Bobby Fabayos and Karla Ramos went again and again, though.
Zipline Across the Resort
Want a little more adrenaline? Climb up the 50-ft Adventure Tower and go ziplining. You can do it lying down facing the ground (Superman Adventure) or just sit (Professor X Adventure).
It’s not that long, just around 200 meters one way. However, it will give you a wonderful view of the resort.
Experience Wall Climbing and Rappelling
As if all these activities are not enough, you can also go wall climbing and rappelling in this Nueva Ecija resort. The wall has several routes that can satisfy both beginners and experienced climbers alike.
Inform the resort in advance if you want to try out this activity. It’s not always available as, of course, it needs the proper equipment and professionally-trained staff to do the belay.
I have done wall climbing before (in Power Up and during UP’s University Fair in my college days), as well as rock climbing in Atimonan, Quezon. However, years of no training at all didn’t prepare me for the wall in Crystal Waves. I made it up 3/4ths of the way and had to go down.
You can also go rappelling. I loved my experience of rappelling in Bataan and really looking forward to do it again.
Find Instagrammable Spots in the Resort
Crystal Waves Resort also caters to the social media enthusiasts. Want to take some nice pictures for the ‘Gram? You can find it here!
There are several colorfully painted murals, for example, and there are also some giant chairs.
The kiddie pool, if it’s empty, can also provide a nice backdrop with its colorful Aqua Play Area. Want to have more fun? Stand under the giant bucket and wait for it to drench you!
Enjoy Boodle-Fight Food
While the resort doesn’t have a restaurant inside, you can order food (in advance) served boodle style. At P999, it’s good for five people and absolutely delicious.
What’s included there: fried rice (of course), chicken satay reminiscent of Malaysia, liempo (grilled pork), fried fish (bangus), shrimp, bits of mangoes, and vegetables.
Don’t let the lack of restaurants deter you from going there. Just outside the resort are a couple of restaurants (Mang Inasal is one) and a convenience store. You can totally buy there and bring the food inside.
Stay Overnight in Crystal Waves…
To make the most out of your stay here, spend a night or two. Crystal Waves has accommodations for all sorts of budget. They have a big dorm-type rooms for maximum 20 people, and rooms good for two to four persons. Rates range from P1,500 (Opal Rooms) to P12,000 (good for 20 pax).
Breakfast is already included in the room rate, as well as the use of the swimming pools and the giant slide.
Separate fees apply, however, for ziplining (P200) and wall climbing /rappelling (P200).
…Or Just Go on a Day Tour
If you can’t stay overnight in Crystal Waves Resort, just go on a day tour. Bring food and drinks. For P300 (adults, kids are charged P200), you get to use all the amenities as stated here, except, of course, for the adventure activities.
Note that everyone has to observe proper swimming attire. And while you’re allowed to bring outside food and drinks into the resort, you cannot eat by the pool. There are cottages for that purpose. Day rates range from P600 to P800.
So there. If you’re looking for a big, fun, and activity-filled resort in Nueva Ecija, your best bet is to head to Crystal Waves. Bring your significant other, your family, or your friends and enjoy what this water park in the middle of the rice fields can offer you.
How to Go to Crystal Waves Resort
Going by car, of course, is the easiest. However, taking public transport is also quite straightforward given that Crystal Waves is just along the highway.
From Manila, go to the Baliwag Bus Terminal in Cubao and get on the bus going to San Jose via SCTEX (fare: P218). Just say you will get off at Crystal Waves Resort. It’s that simple! Depending on the traffic, it takes around 3 to 4 hours, one way.
On your way back to Manila, you have two options. You can go to Cabanatuan City via jeepney (fare: P25) and tell the driver to drop you off at the bus terminal.
You can also do what we did, which was to just cross the street from Crystal Waves and wait for a bus to pass by. It will save you the effort of going to Cabanatuan; however, the buses will most likely be full. Fare is around P222.
Thanks to Lee Rosales for the drone pic of Crystal Waves (cover photo).
Have you been to Crystal Waves?