Top Tarlac Tourist Spots + Sample 2-Day Itinerary

Planning a trip to Tarlac? I got you! Here are the top Tarlac tourist spots + a sample 2-day Tarlac itinerary for your next visit!

I admit – when I was invited to visit tourist spots in the northern part of Luzon, I wasn’t as excited when I learned that we were visiting some of the most famous Tarlac tourist spots.

I mean, Tarlac is not usually top of mind when people think about the best places to visit in the Philippines.

So, it was a pleasant surprise that our 2-day itinerary in Tarlac was filled to the brim with experiences – the kind that will make anyone looking for a good mixture of history, nature, adventure, and some quiet – like me – enjoy.

So, if you’re planning your trip, here are the top Tarlac tourist spots + a sample 2-day Tarlac itinerary for your next visit!

Planning a trip? Use my favorite resources.

πŸš— Car Rental: Discover Cars
πŸ›οΈ Hotels + Accommodation: Agoda, Booking.com, Hostelworld

🏞️ Tours + Experiences: GetYourGuide, Klook, Viator
πŸš‚ Trains, Buses, Sea Ferries: 12go
βœ”οΈ Travel Insurance: Heymondo

*These are all travel resources I personally use for planning and booking my trips. If you use them, some of them will earn me a commission at no extra cost to you. This helps reduce the ever-increasing costs of keeping my site up. Thanks!

βœ”οΈ Must-Visit Tarlac Tourist Spots

Here are the Tarlac tourist spots you should consider including in your itinerary for your next visit!

1) Monasterio de Tarlac

Top Tourist Spots in Tarlac: Monasterio de Tarlac

Monasterio de Tarlac is a popular pilgrimage site in the Philippines and is believed to house a relic of the True Cross.

It is also where you can see a 30-ft statue of Jesus Christ.

Monasterio de Tarlac: Photo of the statue of Jesus Christ shot from behind and with a view of Zambales

It is located in San Jose, Tarlac – atop Mount Resurrection – and provides a beautiful view of the Zambales Mountain Range. 

If you want a peaceful environment and a space to reflect and pray, consider visiting this tourist spot in Tarlac.


2) Tarlac Recreational Park

Top Tourist Spots in Tarlac: Tarlac Recreational Park

From Monasterio de Tarlac, we headed to Jose V. Yap Sports and Recreational Complex (also known as Tarlac Recreational Park) in San Jose, Tarlac.

If you’re looking for a Tarlac tourist spot where each member of your family or group of friends can find something to enjoy, then I invite you to check out Tarlac Recreational Park.

Outdoor Pool at Tarlac Recreational Park - one of the top tourist spots in Tarlac

Tarlac Recreational Park has a huge oval track, basketball court, and swimming pool for those who are looking for some fun and outdoor activities.

It also has a quiet area by the lagoon, where you can sometimes watch horses grazing grasses or just find some peace and write in your journal or draw on your sketch pad.


3) Aquino Center & Museum

Bloggers at one of the top tourist spots in Tarlac: Aquino Center and Museum

Visiting the Aquino Center & Museum is, in my opinion, one of the best things to do in Tarlac if you’re interested in history. 

Having always been interested in politics, governance, and nationalism, every bit of information gathered during the tour, as headed by Ms. Karen Nina Lacsamana-Carrera, manager of the Aquino Center, rekindled my love for my country.

I am a public administration graduate who has worked with the House of Representatives and an NGO that focuses on linking democratic politics, good governance, and development outcomes.

After leaving the NGO and experiencing heartbreak during the last national elections, I intentionally avoided reading the news and keeping myself updated about what was happening because it brought up emotions I did not want to entertain.

However, learning again about Ninoy and Cory Aquino and how much they sacrificed for the country rekindled my interest in being involved.

I will still not be as vocal about this on social media as most of my former colleagues, but I will speak up more now when political conversations happen in my circle.

Blogger friends at Aquino Center and Museum - one of the top tourist spots in Tarlac

If you’re interested in history and would like to learn more about former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino and former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino, I invite you to visit The Aquino Center & Museum (located in Hacienda Luisita, Tarlac City) – definitely one of my favorite Tarlac tourist spots.


4) Kart City Tarlac

Two people trying the karts at Kart City Tarlac - one of the tourist spots in Tarlac

I was so excited when I learned about the possibility of trying karting! Although I am not so into adventure-type activities, this one caught my attention.

It was a pity that the race track was flooded when we visited, so we didn’t get to try karting out. But I hope you get to!

If you’re looking for an adventure, Kart City Tarlac is one of the tourist destinations in Tarlac you should consider checking out.


5) Luisita Golf & Country Club

A golfer playing at one of the top tourist spots in Tarlac - Luisita Golf and Country Club

Located in Hacienda Luisita, Luisita Golf & Country Club is another tourist destination in Tarlac.

If you wish to hit some balls and exercise those muscles, head to this place. The greenery and exclusivity of Luisita Golf & Country Club will help you concentrate.

While I don’t golf, I enjoyed watching the golfers do their thing while we were there.


6) Capas National Shrine

Capas National Shrine (formerly known as Capas Prisoners War Concentration Camp) is a 50-hectare land dedicated to honoring the Filipino and American soldiers who endured the Bataan Death March during World War II.


7) Mount Pinatubo

Plan a day trip to explore the beauty of Mt. Pinatubo, one of the tourist attractions you should consider including in your itinerary when you visit Tarlac.

Go on an adventure and ride a 4×4 Jeep, then trek to its crater, where you can see the gorgeous Pinatubo crater lake.

Other tourist destinations in Tarlac you can consider for your next visit are Canding Falls, Saipan Beach, Anzap Twin Falls, JSJ Goat Farm, and New Clark City.


πŸ—ΊοΈ Map: Tarlac Tourist Spots

Here’s a map of Tarlac tourist spots listed in this post.


πŸ›οΈ Where to stay in Tarlac: Microtel by Wyndham Tarlac

Front of Microtel by Wyndham Tarlac

Exhausted after a day of travel and touring Tarlac, I looked forward to spending the night at Microtel by Wyndham Luisita Tarlac.

Microtel Tarlac is one of Microtel’s prime properties and the first ever Microtel in the Philippines. It is located in the heart of Hacienda Luisita and provides the rustic, comfortable feel of the province.

A woman looking at the view from one of the rooms of Microtel by Wyndham Tarlac - where you should stay when you visit Tarlac

Having lived in Metro Manila all my life, I have always enjoyed going to the provinces. While I can rough it up (when needed), I am also a city girl by heart. And, doing an overnight stay in the provinces always requires me to do my research to ensure that my stay will be enjoyable.

Microtel Tarlac didn’t disappoint. The chiropractic-approved beds, clean rooms, clean toilets and baths with hot and cold showers, and hospitable staff made this tour’s first day and night as comfortable as possible.

A photo of the chiropractor-approved bed of Microtel by Wyndham Tarlac

Whether you are in Tarlac for business or just to enjoy your time off, I recommend staying at Microtel Tarlac.


Planning your visit to Tarlac

Now that you have a list of the top tourist attractions in Tarlac, let me help you plan your trip to Tarlac.

Here’s a quick travel guide for your visit to Tarlac:

πŸš— How to get to Tarlac from Manila

You can get to Tarlac by bus, by renting a car, or by driving.

  • By bus – If you’re coming from the airport, head to Cubao. From Cubao, you can take the bus to Tarlac.
  • By renting a car / driving – I’ve visited Tarlac with my family and my friends. All the time, we drive a car to Tarlac because we make so many stops and it’s more convenient if we just drive a car. If you want to visit the Tarlac tourist spots, I recommend renting a car.

πŸ“† Best time to visit Tarlac

If you’d like to experience a festival in Tarlac, schedule your visit in January when they celebrate the Kaisa Festival. If you’re not used to heat and humidity, I think the best time to visit Tarlac is between January and March, when the temperatures are tolerable.

πŸ’‘ PRO TIP: Planning a trip to the Philippines? Check this post out for the best time to visit the Philippines.

🍽️ Where to eat in Tarlac

As we ran from one place to another under the scorching sun, we all looked forward to experiencing Tarlac cuisine.

While I am not a very picky eater, I am also a square-ish person, and I am not super adventurous about trying out dishes offered by the places I visit.

Victor’s Ihaw-Ihaw

One of the places you should try eating at when you visit Tarlac is Victor’s Ihaw-Ihaw. If you like grilled food, this is a place you can go. I particularly enjoyed its chicken, eggplant, and tilapiaβ€”and the sauce that is originally Victor’s Ihaw-Ihaw.

πŸ’‘ PRO TIP: If you do not want to wear the sisig scent after eating here, eat outside instead of in their air-conditioned room.

The Gameroom Sports Bar

The Gameroom Sports Bar is not just a place to eat but also a spot where you can enjoy time with your friends and family.

Between your billiards game, you can also enjoy the delicious food you can order from them.

πŸ’‘ PRO TIP: Try their rolled pizzas. They’re delicious! πŸ‘Œ


Sample 2-Day Itinerary: Tarlac Tourist Spots

Here’s a sample 2-day Tarlac itinerary, featuring some Tarlac tourist spots, that you can use for when you visit Tarlac.

Tarlac Itinerary Day 1:

  • Morning: Capas National Shrine + Monasterio de Tarlac (Optional: Tarlac Recreational Park)
  • Afternoon: Aquino Center & Museum
  • Evening: Kart City TarlacΒ 

Tarlac Itinerary Day 2:

  • Morning: Mount Pinatubo
  • Afternoon: Start traveling to your next destination

FAQs: Top Tarlac Tourist Spots + 2-Day Sample Itinerary

Here are the frequently asked questions for Tarlac tourists spots + 2-day sample itinerary:

What is Tarlac famous for?

Tarlac is known as the melting pot of Central Luzon. It is landlocked by Pangasinan (formerly part of Central Luzon), Zambales, Nueva Ecija, and Pampanga. Tarlac is also famous for its rich history and expansive sugar and rice plantations.Β 

What is the tourism capital of Tarlac?

Capas is dubbed as the Tourism Capital of Tarlac.

What is the famous product of Tarlac?

Because of its expansive rice and sugar plantations, Tarlac’s most famous products include rice and sugarcane.

What is the most famous festival in Tarlac?

Tarlac’s most famous festival is the Kaisa Festival (formerly known as the Malatarlak Festival and Melting Pot Festival), celebrated every January 20 in Tarlac City.

What language is spoken in Tarlac?

As the melting pot of Central Luzon, here are the languages/dialects spoken in Tarlac: Pangasinense, Kapampangan, Ilocano, Tagalog, and English.


The Wrap-Up: Top Tarlac Tourist Spots + 2-Day Sample Itinerary

When I woke up on the morning of this trip, I felt like everything was in slow motion. 

So many uncertainties and emotions popped up that I didn’t know which one to entertain.

I had not yet packed my bags. I was so sleepy. And, being an introvert, meeting new people always makes me jittery.

But as moments passed, I warmed up to the group, and the jitters I had in the morning slowly disappeared.

Everyone was so welcoming and genuinely happy–the kind you would always like to be around.

Mai shared that she hesitated to pair me up with Celine, fearing I wouldn’t warm up quickly.  But, well, she would already be as updated as Mai in my life events as early as the first day.  As it turned out, Allan would be our first guest every day, and his voice in the morning is like an alarm set on your phone that won’t snooze.  LOL.

I have yet to talk to Billy and Claire, but I’m pretty sure that by the end of this tour, we will get to know each other as if we’ve been friends for a long time.

I’m glad I went on this trip and experienced the sweet surprise of exploring Tarlac tourist spots with this bunch.


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