Bulacan’s Hidden Gem: San Rafael River Adventure
It's only a short drive from Manila.
(SPOT.ph) The province of Bulacan isn’t exactly a top destination when one wants to unplug, escape the concrete jungle and ditch the city life—but not for long. Just recently, there’s been a buzz of excitement over a new riverside destination: the San Rafael River Adventure, which is simply the perfect restorative getaway for the stressed out and tired. Slightly off the beaten path, the place will charm you with its natural beauty and captivate you with an instant sense of belongingness; that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you know you’ll miss the place after spending a wonderful weekend.
The glass cottage
San Rafael River Adventure (SRRA) was initially built as a venue for the owner’s parents who were celebrating their golden wedding anniversary. It was then developed as the family’s weekend home before they opened to the public in 2015 (and we’re so glad they did!).
The place is loaded with many surprises but its most distinct feature are the glass cottages. From the inside, you’ll be struck by how the lush landscape flows right through the house; outside, you can marvel at the reflection of the stunning view right in your own paradise home.
Inside the glass cottage
The cottages are spread throughout the big property giving guests their own unobstructed view and more privacy. Just imagine waking up to the sound of birds and rustling leaves, and chilling on the front porch as the sun dissolves the early-morning mist—quiet moments like this are precious.
For bigger groups, SRRA also offers the glass villa (which can accommodate up to 20 people) and it comes with your own private pool. They’re also building a stunning glass tree house—possibly the first of its kind in the country—with a hot tub.
The glass villa
The glass villa has two rooms, bunk beds, and a loft.
The other side of the glass villa
SRRA doesn’t have a restaurant but they offer meals—all affordable and delicious—that will be delivered by your butler to your front porch for al fresco-style dining, much like having room service every day.
Cripsy Pata, Sinigang na Hipon, and Adobo are some of the must-try dishes
The winding garden paths from the cottages are like soft imprints that will invite you for a walk going to an infinity pool that dangles from a hillside cliff. Overlooking the calm Angat River, the pool starts off like a beachfront with comfortable beach beds in the shallow part. If you want to have a more relaxing experience, consider taking a dip in their hot tub, too.
The best thing about staying in SRRA is that it can be exciting when you want it, and peaceful when you need it. There are areas ideal when you want to read a book or just master the art of being idle; there are activities you can also do if you want to have fun.
Chess area near the pool
One of the must-try activities is the San Rafael River Cruise, where you can enjoy the relaxing scenery of the nearby islets while having a grilled buffet served aboard the raft. The delectable spread consists of fresh seafood, native dishes, and probably the best-tasting leche flan you’ll ever have for dessert.
The river cruise
The air is fresh and the river breeze while cruising is very relaxing. You can simply sit back and appreciate the beauty of nature, or sing your feelings out as there’s also a karaoke. If you’re up for a swim, there’s a small pool with the river’s running water while you cruise.
For those who crave the adrenaline rush, other activities include the ATV, banana boat, horseback riding, jet ski, kayaking, paddle board, and wake boarding. With these activities, SRRA is definitely a perfect place for company outing, team building, getaway with friends, or a family reunion. Don’t worry about it being too crowded, though. The place is exclusive with only four glass cottages and one glass villa, and there’s an allotted space for the fun activities, too—away from the spots where it’s supposed to be relaxing.
You can also try sleeping in a tent here. Choose between their ordinary Glamping or Glamping with a Twist package which is basically a floating tent. SRRA can even setup a bonfire for that authentic glamping experience.
SRRA is a nurturing cocoon and a space for relaxation. It's hard not to romanticize a quieter life—especially if you’ve been wanting to escape the city.
The San Rafael River Adventure is at Barangay Talacsan, San Rafael, Bulacan (about an hour away from Balagtas Exit of NLEX). For inquiries, contact 0995-974-6224; 0917-924-4546; 513-1569; e-mail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit their website.
Photos by Gene Loves Acosta