NUEVA ECIJA | Travel Guide + Itinerary | Lakad Pilipinas

Nueva Ecija Travel Guide

Nueva Ecija is a land-locked province located at the central plains of the Philippine’s Luzon island. Located about 180 kilometers from Manila, it is dubbed as the Rice Granary of the Philippines due to the vast plains of rice fields within the province. Tourist attractions are few and far between across its five cities and twenty seven towns, but there are still places to visit in Nueva Ecija. It may not have any beaches, but it has an abundance of rivers to explore, a few waterfalls and a lot of historical places.

Although Palayan City is the provincial capital of Nueva Ecija, Cabanatuan City is the more commonly associated one and easier to access than the former. I would be basing this travel guide with Cabanatuan being the point of destination.


HOW TO GET TO NUEVA ECIJA

The province of Nueva Ecija, thru Cabanatuan City, is easily reachable from Metro Manila through numerous bus lines plying the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and the Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX). Travel time is about three to four hours, depending on the traffic. Most, if not all buses, stop at Cabanatuan City’s central bus terminal, found just a little bit on the outskirts of the downtown area. Currently, there are no commercial airports in Nueva Ecija.


Traveling to Cabanatuan via Metro ManilaVIA METRO MANILA
Numerous bus lines travel to Cabanatuan City on an hourly and daily basis. Most of these are located in Caloocan, Pasay and Quezon City (Cubao). Travel time takes approximately three to four hours, depending on the route your chosen bus takes. Take the ones with the signboard Cabantuan or San Jose Via SCTEX for a shorter journey time. Buses are generally air-conditioned, with a fare of Php190.00+/-, but there are still ordinary buses if you want to save a bit on expenses.

Baliwag Transit Caloocan, Cubao | (02) 912-3361 
ES TransportCubao | (02) 912-5975 | (02) 421-4339
Five Star Cubao, Pasay | (02) 851-6614 | (02) 851-6659
Genesis (Baler-Bound) Cubao | (02) 709-0803 | (02) 421-1425
Victory Liner (Tuguegarao-Bound) – Kamias, Pasay, Manila, Caloocan | (02) 727-4688


Traveling to Cabanatuan via Baguio CityVIA BAGUIO CITY
Currently, there’s only one bus line plying the Cabanatuan to Baguio route, Summer Bloom Transport (Php180.00+/-, ordinary and air-conditioned, 4 hours travel time). One can also take vans, which are a bit faster than buses (Php250+/-, 3.5 hours travel time).




GETTING AROUND NUEVA ECIJA

Getting Around Nueva Ecija

Cabanatuan is dubbed as the Tricycle Capital of the Philippines. Just go to the area near the public market and you’d understand why. With that, the tricycle is really the preferred mode of transportation, not only in Cabanatuan, but also the other municipalities and cities in Nueva Ecija. Minimum fare is set at Php10.00. For longer journeys, there are also jeepneys available, but mostly on the city centers only.




NUEVA ECIJA TOURS

Travel Nueva Ecija

As far as I know, there are no organized tours around the province of Nueva Ecija. During one of my visits though, Microtel Cabanatuan organized one for us using their hotel van. You may contact them at this number: (0927) 804-2929.





SPEAK NUEVA ECIJA

Nove Ecijanos, as the locals of Nueva Ecija call themselves speak Tagalog and Ilocano. Almost 70%, mostly from the southern areas of the province uses Tagalog, while the remaining 30% uses Ilocano as their native language. Note that the Ilocano-speakers can also understand and talk in Tagalog and the whole province can understand and speak English.


Novo Ecijano

Thank You – Salamat / Agyamanak
Good Morning – Magandang Umaga / Naimbag a Bigat
Good Afternoon – Magandang Hapon / Naimbag a Malem
Good Evening – Magandang Gabi / Naimbag a Sardam
How Much? – Magkano? / Sagmamano Daytoy?
Where is… – Saan Ang… / Sadino ti…





WHERE TO STAY IN NUEVA ECIJA

Most of the accommodations I know in Nueva Ecija are concentrated on Cabanatuan City. While there are inns and hotels around other towns in the province, it is really easier to start your sightseeing tour with Cabanatuan as your base of operation. As of the moment, there are no 5-star hotels in the city, but there are pretty decent lodging houses where you can spend your night in.



Harvest HotelHARVEST HOTEL
Room Rates: Check Here
Address: 1179 Pio del Pilar St., Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija
Contact Number: (0917) 543-2584
GPS Coordinates: 15.492916, 120.972303
PHOTO FROM AGODA

Hotel Sogo CabanatuanHOTEL SOGO CABANATUAN
Room Rates: Check Here
Address: Maharlika Hi-Way, Barangay San Juan, Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija
Contact Number: (044) 246-5031
GPS Coordinates: 15.425170, 120.938478
PHOTO FROM AGODA

Hunter Valley Plantation and ResortHUNTER VALLEY PLANTATION AND RESORT
Room Rates: Check Here
Address: Brgy. Cabu, Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija
Contact Number: (044) 806 1671
GPS Coordinates: 15.508362, 121.062027
PHOTO FROM AGODA

La Parilla HotelLA PARILLA HOTEL
Room Rates: Check Here
Address: Zulueta Street, Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija
Contact Number: (044) 463-1810
GPS Coordinates: 15.486125, 120.959688
PHOTO FROM AGODA

Microtel CabanatuanMICROTEL CABANATUAN
Room Rates: Check Here
Address: Sta. Arcadia, Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija
Contact Number: (044) 958-7777 | (0927) 804-2929
GPS Coordinates: 15.481991, 120.962329


Royal Crest Hotel Restaurant ROYAL CREST HOTEL RESTAURANT
Room Rates: Check Here
Address: Maharlika Highway, Cabanatuan
Contact Number: (02) 463-0814
GPS Coordinates: 15.483925, 120.967088
PHOTO FROM AGODA



Besm Travellers InnBESM TRAVELERS INN
Room Rates: Check Here
Address: Barangay Adorable, San Leonardo, Gapan, Nueva Ecija
Contact Number: (0922)584-4388
GPS Coordinates: 15.36498,120.96284
PHOTO FROM AGODA



Farmhouse Hotel and CafeFARMHOUSE HOTEL & CAFE
Room Rates: Check Here
Address: Zone 6, Maharlika Highway, Brgy. Caanawan, San Jose, Nueva Ecija
Contact Number: (044) 806-1167
GPS Coordinates: 15.763095, 120.957988
PHOTO FROM AGODA



Crystal Waves Hotel and ResortCRYSTAL WAVES HOTEL & RESORT
Room Rates: Check Here
Address: Maharlika Highway, Dinarayat, Talavera, Nueva Ecija
Contact Number: (044) 411-0834
GPS Coordinates: 15.559876, 120.926885
PHOTO FROM AGODA





WHERE TO EAT IN NUEVA ECIJA

To be honest, I haven’t really tried eating out on most parts of Nueva Ecija except Cabanatuan City. From the little time I spent on the city’s restaurants, I never once got disappointed. Actually, I was fairly surprised at the number of good places to eat in Cabanatuan and at the quality of their dishes. Most serve Filipino and Western cuisines.



Bistro 360BISTRO 360
Type: Filipino, Western, Asian
Address: Gen. Tinio Street, Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija
Contact Number: (044) 463-0049
GPS Coordinates: 15.486499, 120.967587


HAPAG KAINAN SA HARDIN
Type: Filipino
Address: Circumferential., Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija
Contact Number: (0919) 351-6251 | (0923) 708-6496
GPS Coordinates: 15.470020, 120.956031


Hapag VicenticosHAPAG VICENTICOS
Type: Filipino
Address: 1077 Del Pilar St., Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija
Contact Number: (044) 600-3237 | (0917) 565-7860
GPS Coordinates: 15.490893, 120.967777


Nyork CafeNYORK CAFE
Type: Cafe, Pasta, Pastries, Western
Address: The Podium, Kapitan Pepe, Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija
Contact Number: (0923) 625-6163
GPS Coordinates: 15.472796, 120.949976


Rosenda'sROSENDA’S RESTAURANT
Type: Filipino, Chinese, Western
Address: 247 Maharlika Highway, Brgy. Dicarma Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija
Contact Number: (044) 940-7326
GPS Coordinates: 15.488649, 120.974800


Rustica

RUSTICA RESTAURANT 
Type: Filipino
Address: Bernardo District, Maharlika Hi-way Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija
Contact Number: (044) 940-7927
GPS Coordinates: 15.481991, 120.962329





WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN NUEVA ECIJA

Nueva Ecija is recognized for producing tons and tons of rice but it’s not really known as a tourism hub. You can literally count the number of tourist spots along its almost 6,000 square kilometers of land, but to be fair, one can still get something out of a visit to the province. Besides the earmarked tourism places in the area, one can also enjoy the seemingly never-ending scenes of pastoral rice fields, small brooks and serene rivers that dot the entire province.



Cabanatuan CathedralCABANATUAN CATHEDRAL & ANTONIO LUNA SHRINE
Address: Del Pilar St., Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija
Contact Number: (044) 463-0388
Entrance Fee: None
GPS Coordinates: 15.489398, 120.964183
PHOTO FROM WIKIPEDIA

Camp Pangatian War Memorial ShrineCAMP PANGATIAN WAR MEMORIAL SHRINE
Address: Nueva Ecija-Aurora Road, Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija
Entrance Fee: None
GPS Coordinates: 15.510518, 121.044193





Dupinga RiverDUPINGA RIVER
Address: Brgy. Dupinga, Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija
Entrance Fee: Free
Cottage Rental: Starts from Php300.00
GPS Coordinates: 15.505875,121.325111


Gabaldon FallsGABALDON FALLS
Address: Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology Gabaldon Campus, Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija
Entrance Fee: Php20.00 | Guide Fee: Php100.00
GPS Coordinates: 15.455224, 121.339745
PHOTO FROM RJDEXPLORER.COM



Gapan Ancestral HousesGAPAN ANCESTRAL HOUSES
Address: Delos Reyes Street, Gapan City, Nueva Ecija
Entrance Fee: None
GPS Coordinates: 15.313777, 120.948814



Virgen La Divina Pastora ShrineVIRGEN LA DIVINA PASTORA SHRINE
Address: Delos Reyes Street, Gapan City, Nueva Ecija
Entrance Fee: None
GPS Coordinates: 15.313777, 120.948814





Minalungao National ParkMINALUNGAO NATIONAL PARK
Address: Brgy. Minalungao, Gen. Tinio, Nueva Ecija
Entrance Fee: Php20.00
Guide Fee: Donation
Cottage Rental: Starts at Php200.00
GPS Coordinates: 15.298281, 121.121852



Aquino Diokno MemorialAQUINO-DIOKNO MEMORIAL AT FORT MAGSAYSAY
Address: Fort Magsaysay, Laur, Nueva Ecija
Entrance Fee: Donation
Open Hours: Monday to Friday 8:00AM to 5:00PM
GPS Coordinates: 15.436905, 121.081917




Pantabangan DamPANTABANGAN DAM
Address: Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija
Entrance Fee: None
GPS Coordinates: 15.814215, 121.107905





Carron Dream ParkCARRON DREAM PARK
Address: Bgy. Sto Cristo, San Isidro, Nueva Ecija
Contact Number: (044)9589952 | (044)9589953
Entrance Fee: Php300.00 Ride All You Can | Open Hours: 4:00PM to 12:00MN
GPS Coordinates: 15.300106, 120.891235
PHOTO FROM RJDEXPLORER.COM





FESTIVALS IN NUEVA ECIJA

Taong Putik FestivalTAONG PUTIK FESTIVAL
Location: Barangay Bibiclat, Aliaga, Nueva Ecija
Festival Date: June 24 every year (Feast of St. John the Baptist)
Activities: Parades, dressing up with mud and native materials, alms giving
PHOTO FROM WIKIPEDIA





WHAT TO BUY IN NUEVA ECIJA

If you’re looking for the usual city shirts, mugs, key chains and ref magnets, Nueva Ecija might not be the place for you. Tourist trinkets are virtually unknown on this part of the Philippines. What you can bring home though are delicious packs of local sausage or longanisa, especially those found in Cabanatuan City.

Batotay Cabanatuan LonganisaBEEF BATOTAY AND CABANATUAN GARLIC LONGANISA
Where to Buy: Ka Efren Meat Shop
Address: Mayapyap Sur, Cabanatuan City
Contact Number: (0915) 202-8454 | (0998) 472-3081

Also readily available in the marketplace

Puno's Ice CreamPUNO’S ICE CREAM
Where to Buy: Puno’s Ice Cream
Address: Maharlika Highway, Bitas, Cabanatuan City
Contact Number: (0932) 881-4249 | (044) 464-8694
PHOTO FROM RJDEXPLORER.COM





NUEVA ECIJA TOURIST SPOTS MAP

Nueva Ecija Tourist Spots Map





EXTEND YOUR TRIP

Cabanatuan to Baguio CityBAGUIO CITY TRAVEL GUIDE
Hours Away: About 3.5 hours away by bus or van
Suggested Number of Days: 3 to 4 days




Cabanatuan to Tarlac
TARLAC TRAVEL GUIDE
Hours Away: About 2 hours away by bus
Suggested Number of Days: 2 to 3 days



Cabanatuan to TuguegaraoTUGUEGARAO TRAVEL GUIDE
Hours Away: About 6 hours away by bus
Suggested Number of Days: 2 to 3 days




Cabanatuan to Quirino Province
QUIRINO PROVINCE TRAVEL GUIDE
Hours Away: About 5 hours away by bus and transfers
Suggested Number of Days: 3 to 4 days



Cabanatuan to Vigan
VIGAN TRAVEL GUIDE
Hours Away: About 6 hours away by bus and transfers
Suggested Number of Days: 3 to 4 days





NUEVA ECIJA SAMPLE ITINERARY

Visiting the known tourist spots in Nueva Ecija will surprisingly take three full days; the main reason being that most are located far from each other. I suggest you base your stay at Cabanatuan City, as it is the easiest town you can reach via public transport and there are a lot of good food places within the area. If you don’t have enough time, you may skip on a few places and limit your stay to two days. And if you have more time to spare, I suggest you add a day or two on your itinerary to visit the many rice fields and rivers within Cabanatuan City and its neighboring towns. Below is a sample itinerary maxing out the full potential of Nueva Ecija’s identified tourist spots.


D A Y  1
Depart Manila very early in the morning
Explore Minalungao National Park
   - Rafting
   - Caving
   - Wall Climbing
   - Grotto Hike
   - Swimming
   - Zipline
Picnic lunch at Minalungao
Visit Gapan Heritage street
   - Ancestral Houses
   - Virgen La Divina Pastora Shrine Church
Check in at Cabanatuan City
Dinner at Bistro 360

D A Y  2
Breakfast
Visit Fort Magsaysay and the Aquino-Diokno Memorial
Visit Camp Pangatian Shrine
Lunch at Hapag Vicenticos
Drop by Cabanatuan Cathedral and Antonio Luna Shrine
Visit and have sunset at Pantabangan Dam
Dinner at Rustica

D A Y  3
Breakfast then check out from hotel
Explore Dupinga River
Picnic Lunch at Dupinga River
Trek Gabaldon Falls
Travel back to Manila

 


Nueva Ecija Travel Guide & Itinerary
NUEVA ECIJA TRAVEL GUIDE AND ITINERARY 
UPDATED AS OF JUNE 17, 2016

´

Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Sunday, August 2, 2015

13 comments:

  1. Proud Novo Ecijano here😊
    Nice Post😊

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Mac! Glad you like it. I'll be updating this travel guide from time to time as I know there's a lot more to Nueva Ecija than the list I posted above. :)

      Delete
  2. My friends and I wants to go here :) #HeneralLunaFever

    ReplyDelete
  3. My friends and I wants to go here :) #HeneralLunaFever

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Xabryl, a weekend is enough to explore Nueva Ecija! Go! :)

      Delete
  4. Very informative & detailed! Thanks! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi. Can i ask. How to commute from tarlac city to gapan nueva ecija? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Joanna, I haven't tried commuting from Tarlac to Gapan yet. If ever you have already, please share your experience here. :)

      Delete
  6. How much the bus fare from nueva ecija to cubao?

    ReplyDelete
  7. May I know, how much you have spent for nueva ecija?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Me and my cousins are going to Minulangao National Park this Oct. 21. and ur post is all I need! Grabe ang dami palang mpupuntahan s nueva ecija.. excited n ko.. meron din spring, and un n lng ata ang kelangan kong mlaman kung saan..
    Can i just ask kung gano po katagal ang byahe to pantabangan dam galing sa Gapan? Kaya b ng daytrip lng ang minulangao-ancestral-pantabangan? Pls let me know po.. thanks

    ReplyDelete