Pundaquit, Zambales: A Paradise Within Reach
In recent years, Pundaquit has become a popular destination for beach and nature lovers because of its proximity to Metro Manila. Located in the town of San Antonio in the province of Zambales, Pundaquit serves as the jump-off point to Capones Island, Camara island, Anawangin Cove and Nagsasa Cove, which are the main tourist attractions of this place. Aside from swimming and snorkeling, there are a lot more activities that you can do here such as fishing, surfing, trekking, camping, island hopping, among other things.
Even if Pundaquit is facing one of the major oceans, the China Sea, its beaches remains calm because it is sheltered by Capones and Camara Islands, making it ideal for swimming, snorkling and fishing. However, one’s visit to Pundaquit is never complete without seeing the surrounding islands of Capones and Camara with their white beach swimming areas, breathtaking views and an an opportunity to do some short trek and hikes. Pundaquit also has beautiful coves such as the Anawangin, Nagsasa and Sinlanguin coves which offer a more quiet and peaceful alternative to campers and tourists.
TOP TEN THINGS TO DO IN PUNDAQUIT
- Island hop. There are plenty of coves and small islands nearby that you can visit. A one-day island hopping is enough to get you to all these interesting places.
- Trek to Capones Light House.
- Try camping in Anawangin Cove. You can even stay overnight if you want.
- Camp out. You can actually spend the night in one of these islands: Camara or Capones.Just hire a boat and ask the boatman to take you there.
- Practice your photography skills. There are lots of beautiful sceneries and subjects to practice photography here.
- Watch the sunset. Since Pundaquit is facing the West, sunsets, especially in the Summer is magnificent.
- Picnic @ pundaquit-bamboo picnic shed with the island views added to the ambience of good food and company.
- If you love to hike or trek, you can try passing through the mountain to get to Anawangin Cove. (Instead of the usual boat ride).
- Visit Pundaquit Falls. You can get there by just walking from the Pundaquit beach.
- Surf. Surfing is also popular in Pundaquit during moonsoon season when waves are ideal for surfing.
- Camara Island
This is the nearest island from Pundaquit shores and takes around 15-20 minutes to get there. It is usually the first stop of an island-hopping itinerary. Camara is essentially just a big lump of rock with very little soil. Thus, trees are rare but the big rock formations can give you some necessary shade where you can rest or take photos, especially that Camara has a great view of the open ocean. Also, you wouldn’t miss the picturesque contour of Pundaquit and mountains that surround it from this island. Camara is not perfect for swimming but is a good venue for snorkeling.
- Capones Island
Capones is one of the main attractions in Pundaquit, Zambales. Like the Camara, Capones is also composed of rock formation with very little soil. The main highlight of visiting Capones Island is the tour of the lighthouse. The 57-ft lighthouse was built in 1890 during the Spanish era and located at the back of the island when you are facing the open sea.
Climbing up the ladder to the top of the light house also requires lots of stamina, will power and courage. The steps look like they will easily give away if you happen to be heavy or if you step on the wrong side of the ladder.
But you can forget about these easily once you reach the top of the tower, which give you 360 degrees view of the whole coast of Zambales that extends through the South China Sea. There are a lot of photo opportunities from here so do not forget to bring your camera with you. Just be very careful.
- Anawangin Cove
Anawangin Cove is, by far, the most popular destination in Pundaquit. A trip to Pundaquit is never complete without experiencing Anawangin with its white sand and beautiful pine trees, surrounded by mountains of rocks. Here you can pitch your tent, set up a hammock and sleep or read a good book. Anawangin is also good for swimming with its white grayish sand, which is actually a combination of sand and volcanic ash. Entrance to the developed and guarded side of Anawangin is not free. Visitors are being charged a fee of P50 per head for a day trip and P150 for an overnight stay.
- Nagsasa and Sinlanguin Cove
On the other hand, if you are more adventurous and prefers a more relaxed and quite place, then the more pristine coves known as Nagsasa Cove and Sinlanguin Cove are for you. The Nagsasa Cove is twice the distance of Anawangin Cove from the shores of Pundaquit. There are also streams and waterfalls in Nagsasa, making it a better place to hang out than the more popular Anawangin Cove. The downside is that, Nagsasa Cove is not as homie for campers compared to the developed Anawangin Cove–no facilities, no cellphone signals.
HOW TO GET TO PUNDAQUIT FROM MANILA
You can reach Zambales via land travel in three-five hours depending on the time of the day and traffic situation. The town of San Antonio, where Pundaquit is situated takes another 30 to 60 minutes from the first city of Zambales, which is Olongapo. Traveling to Pundaquit is easier via the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and the Subic-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX).
- Traveling via private vehicle
- From Manila, take the NLEX until you Dau Toll Plaza.
- From the Dau Toll Plaza, drive towards the SCTEX toll entry point then drive towards the direction pointing to Subic. This is just a straight drive all the way to the Tipo Interchange.
- Once in SBMA drive towards the North and exit at the Olongapo Gate. As soon as you exit SBMA, head northwest and you will pass by the towns of Castillejos, San Marcelino and then the Town of San Antonio.
- Once you are in San Antonio, it’s advised to ask the locals for the way to Pundaquit as it’s a bit complicated having no street signs in the area. Locals will be glad to answer you for directions. A fool proof way to ensure you won’t get lost, hire one of the many tricycle drivers to take you there on a convoy. If you made your reservations, mention the name of the resort beforehand so they know exactly where you are going.
- Traveling via public transport
- The best public transport is to take a bus to San Antonio, Zambales and riding a tricycle to the town of Pundaquit. Check the schedule of the Victory Liner online to be sure of the time departures. There are five bus stations in Manila with everyday trips towards Sta Cruz and Iba Zambales.
- Go to one of the Victory Liner bus stations and get yourself a ticket to either a bus going to Iba Zambales or Sta Cruz Zambales. Both trips will pass by the town of San Antonio. Ask the bus conductor to drop you off in front of the town proper near the public market.
- Get a tricycle. They are everywhere almost 24 hours a day. Tell the driver the name of the resort you made reservations at in Pundaquit and they will take you there. Travel time is 10 to 15 minutes.
VIEW MAP OF PUNDAQUIT AND ADJACENT POINTS OF INTEREST
WHERE TO STAY IN PUNDAQUIT
If you are planning to spend the night in Pundakit, then look for a place with comfortable and air-conditioned rooms. There are plenty of classy resort in the area of Pundaquit. However, if you opt to spend more time exploring the beautiful islands and coves near Pundaquit, it is best to equip yourself with camping gears and head directly to any of the said islands and coves.
- Hotels in Pundaquit
We might have missed some here, please alert us if you know other accommodations in Pundaquit not included in this list.
DISCLAIMER: The photos used in this article were taken from the resorts’ websites and internet ads. This page is not in any way affiliated with any and all of the resorts listed. Should you need further details about accommodation, packages, and facilities, please contact the resort directly.
Capones Vista Beach Resort
Mobile: +639209183668 or +639189455721
Email Address: [email protected]
Megan’s Paradisio Beach Resort
Landline: +63 (47) 603 0232 / +63 (47) 603 0233
Mobile: +63 (919) 480 8520 / +63 (921) 793 6797
Email Address: [email protected]
Nora’s Beach Resort
Mobile: +639182788188 / +639196374917
Email Address: None
Patio Beach Resort
Mobile: +63 (918) 232 5088 / +63 (906) 427 1561
Email: [email protected]
Punta De Uian
Tel.: +63 (47) 2522692
Mobile: +63918808 +639188008426 +639188888426
Email Address: [email protected]
Another option is to go camping and spend the night in either Capones Island or Anawangin Cove. If you do not have a tent, you can always rent a tent from resorts in Pundaquit. When staying overnight in any of the islands or cove, make sure to bring enough food and water as there are no cottages and stores in the island. Also, when going to the Nagsasa Cove, bear in mind that there are no facilities nor mobile phone signal. So make sure inform your resort’s caretaker about your itinerary so they are aware of where you are going and the time you will be spending in the Cove.