Gateway to the Philippines
Clark is a glittering secret hiding in plain sight. Also known as Clark Freeport Zone, the former US airbase is a huge cosmopolitan hub with country clubs and theme parks, casinos and restaurants, hot springs and hiking, and malls galore. Whether you’re travelling for business or leisure, it’s all happening here.
If you have kids with you, check out Aqua Planet Water Park, Dinosaurs Island and Fontana Leisure Park. For a bit of R’n’R, go for a soak at Puning Hot Springs or play a round at Mimosa Golf Course. History buff? Check out the Clark Museum (Museong Kapampangan) and 4D Theatre.
Gateway to the Philippines, Clark is only a three-and-a-half hour flight from places like Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan and Korea, so it makes for a super-fun stop-over.
Things to do: Clark
Experience village life at Nayong Pilipino
Spend a day dipping into all the cultures of the Philippines at Nayong Pilipino. This living cultural park is super family-friendly. It’s laid out just like a Filipino village, complete with Spanish architecture, the Colonial Plaza, cobblestone alleyways and the Barasoian Church. The park showcases the Philippines’ biggest cultural and geographical attractions, including Bohol’s Chocolate Hills, but in miniature, so it’s a fun way to soak up the sights.
Be blown away by the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta
If you’re visiting Clark in March, Don’t miss the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, the longest-running sports aviation event in Asia. While the main events are the morning and afternoon hot-air balloon flights, there’s a bunch of other aviation activities including skydiving, paragliding and aircraft flights.
Trek Mount Pinatubo
An easy day trip from Clark, Mount Pinatubo is famous for having one of the greatest volcanic eruptions of the 20th century. It’s an ideal trekking destination – it has the world’s largest lahar canyon and a crystal-clear lake in the centre of its crater. Soothe your trekking muscles afterwards with a massage or volcanic mud treatment at Pinatubo Spa Town.
Get lit at the Giant Lantern Festival
A big (and we mean big) highlight of Clark’s Christmas season is the Giant Lantern Festival. This massive festival, held in mid-December in nearby San Fernando, draws huge crowds from all over the Philippines, ready to get into the festive spirit. Get lost in the light as the sun goes down and immerse yourself in the sparkly glow of these intricate and genuinely giant (up to 7m in diameter) lanterns.
Have an urban adventure in Manila
Manila, the Philippines’ capital, is only a two-hour drive away and makes for an excellent day trip. A blend of old and new, Manila is one of the world’s most densely populated cities. It’s an eye-opening and exciting city to visit, with some phenomenal shopping and incredible street food to be had. Must-sees include Rizal Park and Intramuros, Manila’s oldest district filled with Spanish architecture dating back to the 16th century.
Clark International Airport (CRK)
Distance to city centre 4km to Clark, 95km to Manila
Taxi A taxi to central Clark takes around 10 minutes and costs about USD $26; to Manila it takes around 2 hours and costs from USD $100.
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When to go
Warm year round, the Philippines is most popular during its dry season, between December and May, when rainfall and humidity are at their lowest. The wet season (April–November) can see as much as 140mm rain each month.
In June, check out the Clark Hot Air Balloon Music, Arts and Food Festival. In December, don’t miss the annual Giant Lantern Festival in San Fernando City, a 15-minute drive from Clark.Back to top
As taxis are quite expensive and public transport limited, the best way to get around the Clark Freeport Zone is either by renting a car or motorbike, or getting around on foot. Rental cars can be found at the Clark International Airport, while motorbikes and scooters can be rented from nearby Angeles City. Buses and shuttles run multiple times a day to nearby cities including Subic and Manila.Back to top