Zambales – Island Hopping

If you’re the backpacker type used to camping in the wild, the beautiful island coves of Zambales provide an opportunity for you to teach your kids a thing or two about camping. I have brought my daughter camping overnight at Nagsasa Cove once and she had spent most of her time playing by the beach, roasting marshmallows over a campfire, and enjoying a rustic family picnic with my friends. However, for most families with young kids, it is best to book a hotel near the coves to ensure comfort and safety and just ask the hotel staff to arrange your island hopping activity for you. With several hotels and resorts to choose from, Zambales is now one of the best family-friendly destinations in the Philippines.

Zambales, located in Central Luzon, has seven beach coves. What’s peculiar with these coves are most of them have pine tree forests. Some of the pine trees seemed to grow out from white sanded soil, but actually, the sand is made up of volcanic ash. The whole mountain forest and white beach scenery is just postcard –perfect; particularly if photographed in the golden hours of sunrise or sunset. The most popular of these island coves are Anawangin Cove, Nagsasa Cove, and Capones Island where the century-old Capones lighthouse can be found. The jump-off starts at Pundakit Beach, a small fishing village in San Antonio.

How to Get There? From Manila, catch a bus going to Iba, Zambales from Cubao or Caloocan bus terminals. Jump-off point is at San Antonio. Bus fare from Manila is roughly 250 pesos. Accommodation for families can range from 2000 to 6,000 per day depending on hotel and room type. Standard rates apply for boat rentals, approximately 300 per person for island-hopping activities. You can hire boats at Pundakit Beach to take you to an overnight camping trip to any one of these coves or a day tour. The boatman usually takes care of the needed supplies like ice box with ice and other cooking utensils. The boatman can even cook for you when you’re camping on one of the coves. Zambales also covers the small white beach island of Potipot, as well as Magalawa Island.

Zambales, #ophirph

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