Most of my trips are solo not because I don’t have friends nor I dislike people. Its just that friends and acquaintances are either busy with work or just don’t have the time to travel.
Anyway, I finally set my feet on Pundaquit Bay and I was surprised to see that it was really that awesome. I really thought it was overrated and that people are raving about this because they haven’t seen much of what the Philippines has to offer. I was wrong until I saw it from my own eyes.
Capones was really scenic, its like a little Batanes with a complete opposite temperature. It was scorching hot that visitors preferred to stay under the shade of the rocks.
Camara island just beside Capones was not visited because of the raging waters.
What’s the difference between an island and a cove? An island is a piece of land surrounded by water. It is off-shore and not part of the main land. A cove is a coastal inlet or a small bay, usually oval in shape. It is part of the mainland.
Anawangin Cove is the most visited and the most touristy of all. I’m the only one who checked it out and my friends just stayed at the boat on the way to Nagsasa Cove. A friend of mine told me that there are already henna tattoo offers and so many souvenir shops so it was a turn-off for me.
Nagsasa Cove is just perfect! Almost the same with Anawangin except for the souvenir shops, subdivided and fenced properties, and swarms of beach campers.
So after 1.5 hours of boat ride we arrived at this phenomenal cove. A decade ago this was a rocky cove but when the accumulated ashes from the mountains fell because of rain and nature design this cove was brought to life.
There are no hotel or inns in Nagsasa, there are makeshift comfort rooms and some huts for some shade. Sari-sari stores are already present to provide some snacks for the weekenders.
It is lined with ironwood or Agoho in Filipino, yes its under the pine tree family and has medicinal value.
I just slept when we arrived as the heat took its toll on me.
We ended the fine camping trip with moon-bathing.
Some activities you can do in Nagsasa Cove:
- Beach camping.
- Moon and star gazing.
- Visit the river on the left-most side when viewed from the sea. (20-minute walk)
- Trek the waterfalls. (45mins-1hour easy trek along tall grasses and river rocks)
- Hike Cinco Picos
How to get there?
From Manila, take the Victory Liner bus to Iba. Tell the conductor to bring you to San Antonio, Zambales (3.5-4 hours travel time). Fare: Php265 (including P5 insurance)
From San Antonio, take the tricycle to Pundaquit bay. Fare: Php30/pax (one tricycle can carry 3pax)
In Pundaquit, there are lots of boat tour operators.
We booked one from Mang Florante “Rante” Lavesoria. If you want to do the same, tell the tricycle driver to bring you to Apo Backet Beach (in front of Guadalupe Church). Contact number: 0910-805-3388 (text or call him in advance)
Alternatively, you can trek the mountains to Anawangin, it would take you 3-4 hours depending on your fitness level. There is an established route so you will not get lost.
Choose a tour that fits your budget and desire. You can also haggle if you want.
I guess I spent less than Php1,200 for everything (transportation from Manila, boat tour fee, camping fee, guide fee, food contribution, etc.)
We paid Php2,200 for the boat- Pundaquit-Capones-Anawangin-Nagsasa-Pundaquit. All-in and we stayed overnight at Nagsasa Cove.
Entrance in Nagsasa: Php100/person
Hut Rental: Php100
1. Bring flashlight or headlamps.
2. There is no electricity and cellphone signal in Nagsasa, last coverage is in Capones island.
3. Bring drinking water. There is fresh water supply in Nagsasa.
4. Water-proof your belongings.
5. Bring your own food. Locals can also cook rice or grilled fish for you for a fee.
6. When going to the waterfalls, ask first how much you are going to pay for the guide.
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Trip happened during Days 4 & 5 of ISANG DAAN Journey at San Antonio, Zambales. Thanks to Fredda, Aggy, Lauvee and John for being with me in this journey.
#ISANGDAAN is a personal journey and challenge to backpack around the Philippines the cheapest way possible for 100 days.
If you want to follow my steps, I have an interactive map- ISANGDAAN Journey map.