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Zambales Weekend: Anawangin, Nagsasa and Capones Island

It was once an unknown place where people go when they want peace and tranquility. Now Anawangin in Zambales and its neighboring coves are probably one of the most popular destinations in the North. A great weekend destination since it is just a few hours away from Manila.

Nagsasa Cove

How to get there

If commutting from Manila, you can ride a bus going to Iba, Zambales from the bus stations in Pasay, Caloocan, and Cubao. Tell the conductor the drop you off in San Antonio. Fare is PhP 250.00. Another option is to take a bus bound for Olongapo (fare is PhP 200.00) then take another bus going to Iba. The travel time from Manila - San Antonio is around 3 - 4 hours. When you're in San Antonio, take a tricycle to Pundaquit (fare is around PhP 20.00 each). From there you can contact your boatman to fetch you.

If by private vehicle, take NLEX and exit in San Fernando then continue to drive straight toward Bataan Provincial Highway then turn right to Dinalupihan Exit to take SCTEX you'll then reach Olongapo and then Zambales. There are available parking areas on Pundaquit beach, where you can leave your vehicle for PhP 100.00.

Pundaquit Beach
When you reach Pundaquit beach, you will be taking a 45-minute boat ride to get to Anawangin. Usually, the boat transfers come together with an Island Hopping. For PhP 500.00 per person, you'll have the transfer to the cove (Anawangin or Nagsasa), with Camara and Capones Island Hopping. They also include a 5-gallon drinking water, cooler with ice, cooking utensils, tents, firewood, and charcoal. You can also ask a mini gas stove, but they'll charge an additional for that.

Capones and Camara Island
*When you reach San Antonio, make sure to buy all things that you need in the market. Prices in the coves are surprisingly high.
*If you want to hike Mt. Pundaquit, you can tell your boatmen to deliver your stuff in the cove.


WHAT TO BRING

  • Tent for overnight camping (They charge PhP 200.00 for small tent rentals, pretty expensive just for a rental)
  • Cooked or canned foods (Don't bring foods that easy to spoil)
  • Paper plates and cups
  • Sun protection (sunblock, sunglasses, rashguard, hats)
  • Insect repellant lotion
  • Flashlight, candles or lamp (there is no electricity in the cove, but I heard a videoke machine!)
  • Extra charcoal and firewood (firewood costs PhP 200.00 in the cove!)
  • Garbage bag (Clean as you go, please!)
First stop, Anawangin Cove


Anawangin Cove

Anawangin is probably the most popular among the coves in Zambales. It is the nearest cove from Pundaquit and the most visited one. Compared to Nagsasa, this cove is smaller so it's a little crowded here in peak seasons. At the center of the cove is a small shallow lake. Entrance fee is PhP 50.00 for day-tour and PhP 100.00 for overnight. There are also restrooms and shower rooms in the cove, as well as "sari-sari" stores (just expect that prices are higher than usual).

Sands of Anawangin, mostly from Mt. Pinatubo's ashes

Small stores and souvenir vendors in front of the beach

Huts and tents in the cove
Shallow lake at the center of the cove
Carabao skull display in a small store

Summer pine trees!

Nagsasa Cove

Not far from Anawangin is Nagasasa cove. A bigger cove than Anawangin but have the same beauty. There is also a small waterfall here that you can do a side trip. Same entrance fee of PhP 50.00 for day-tour and PhP 100.00 for overnight. Restrooms, "sari-sari" stores are also available here.

On the way to Nagsasa Cove

Sitio Nagsasa
Nagsasa Cove
Huts in the beach front

Directional arrows

Climbing Mt. Nagsasa
View from top

Capones Island

Well, we didn't have the chance of exploring this island because of our boatmen's "schedule conflict", Anyways this is where Capones Lighthouse is located. It's also a big island, with creamy-white sands. No entrance fee here.

Capones Island
Just went here very quickly

The lighthouse is on the other side of the island

Activities

  • Camping and Bonfire
  • Beach Volleyball (court and ball can be rented)
  • Swimming, Skimboarding (bring your own skimboard) and Cove/Island Hopping
  • Hiking in Lighthouse in Capones, Waterfalls in Nagsasa or Mt. Pundaquit


Expenses

  • Roundtrip Bus Fare Manila San Antonio-Manila: PhP 500.00 (per person)
  • Roundtrip Tricycle San-Antonio-Pundaquit-San Antonio: PhP 40.00 (per person)
  • Boatride with Freebies: PhP 500.00 (per person for group of 6)
  • Entrance Fees: PhP 50.00 (Anawangin - daytour), PhP 100.00 (Nagsasa - overnight)
Without food, the total expense is PhP 1,190. You can have a relaxing weekend without spending too much. Just remember to be a visitor, not a tourist. Take only selfies and leave only footprints.

Cheers from Zambales!


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Hey there, thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed reading my article and helped you out with some travel tips and ideas. Please do leave a comment if you have some comments or suggestions and I'll gladly answer it. Cheers!

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