Located at Barangay Talacsan, San Rafael, Bulacan, San Rafael River Adventure provides a quiet and relaxing get-away in Northern Metro Manila.
My friends and I were looking for a quick trip when we chanced upon San Rafael River Adventure. After reading the reviews on some websites and blogs, we decided to give San Rafael River Adventure a try. So what are the things you can do at this increasingly popular spot?
Book a day tour or an overnight stay
Since this trip was rather spontaneous and fell on a holiday, most of the accommodations were already fully booked. Thankfully, Sheila was able to get a hold of a representative on Facebook and was able to get us their “Glamping with a Twist” package. The package includes the use of a tent on a raft by the river, kayak and paddle boards, and access to the infinity pool. It costs PHP 2,500.00 for 2 pax and an additional PHP 500.00 for each pax, up to a maximum of 4. For other accommodations, inclusions and their rates, you can check out their page here.
Usually, they would ask customers to place a deposit first. However, since ours was a last-minute booking and fell on a non-banking day, they allowed us to pay on the spot instead. Do note that they only accept cash payments at the moment. After settling our payment at the reception desk, the receptionist introduced us to our guide who led us to our tent. Also, the guide also serves as your point of contact in case you need to make requests.
1st Note: According to their Facebook page, they are receiving a large volume of inquiries so expect their replies to take a while.
2nd Note: You can buy snacks and refreshments at the reception area. These ranges from soft drinks, beers and juices to chips and ice creams.
3rd Note: Cooked food are available at SRRA; however, these have to be ordered in advance. Similarly, you are free to bring your own food and drinks without any corkage fee.
Bond and relax in their accommodations
Glamping or glamorous camping is basically the spoiled version of camping. Here, everything is set-up for you, and unlike natural camping, you have access to civilization. The part which gives the twist to glamping here, is that your tent sits afloat on a raft!
4th note: Do expect a bit of swaying though. The river water can get into your raft so it’s best you change into water-proof footwear or at least a footwear that’s okay when wet.
Aside from a set of table and chairs outside, there are also make-shift beds inside the tent for you to rest at. In case it gets too hot, feel free to use the fan. And when it gets dark, simply use the lamp or the spot light! Nothing too difficult for campers, yes?
5th note: The tent is quite private so the girls used this as their changing room instead of having to go to the shower rooms before swimming.
Random thoughts: To be honest, the accommodation for a day tour was unnecessary since we were out most of the time. However, we needed a place to secure our things so I guess it worked out in the end.
You also get your own bonfire site. We were actually planning on roasting marshmallows here but lacked the time to do so. You know, typical bonfire stuff! Making s’mores and sharing stories over the warmth of a fire under the starry nights. Sigh!
For those who avail of the Glamping without the Twist, this will be your bonfire area. This one actually feels more authentic, don’t you think?
Aside from the glamping options, you can also stay at their glass cottage. The glass cottage costs PHP 5,000.00 for 4 pax and an additional PHP 500.00 each, for up to 6 pax maximum. If I’m not mistaken, their glassed accommodations should have air-conditioning units.
Their glass villa, on the other hand, can accommodate more people and has its own private pool. Had we booked a glass cottage or a glass villa, we probably would have just stayed inside all day and bonded over board games or stories.
Enjoy their land and water activities
Unless you’re really in it for the stay-cation, there are actually a few things to do outside.
Whether you’re an animal lover or not, there are few “wildlife” here which you can learn about.
You can also go on a battle of wits at chess with your partner or friends near the pool area.
For more physical land activities, you can rent their ATVs or go horse-back riding. They also have a mini basketball court near the glass cottages.
For larger groups or companies, they also offer team-building sites and activities.
They also have this floating bridge challenge but the place was dry when we went there.
For water activities, you can take a dip at their swimming pool and Jacuzzi. Be warned that some of the area are really deep; so make sure to look out for your kids when you’re there! You’re also free to bring your own flotation devices that are all the rage these days.
6th note: The shower stalls don’t have actual racks to hang your dry clothes at. You could probably lock the door if you decide to leave your change of clothes outside.
Aside from the pool, you can request for a banana boat with the corresponding fees and minimum pax.
There’s also the free use of kayak that comes with all the packaged tours and accommodations.
Similar to Loboc’s River Cruise, you can also eat lunch on a floating restaurant. Again, this wasn’t available when we went there and would probably have to be requested beforehand.
Aside from the multitude of activities, you could simply…
Take in the tranquil scenery
There are a few lounge areas like there where you can just hang around.
Or you could take a walk around and breathe in nature.
Overall, our day trip to San Rafael River Adventure was so-so. Although not exactly bad, I feel that a number of improvements can still be made for a better experience. Having various activities were nice, but that’s it. There’s honestly not much scenery surrounding the resort that makes it worthwhile to go on the ATV or kayak and paddle boards.
Anyway, if you’re looking for a quick day trip away from the city, I feel that Luljetta’s would be a much better option. As for overnight stays, I don’t exactly have an opinion on this since I have yet to try both.
To know more about San Rafael River Adventure, you can visit their webpage here.