Zambales' Coves: Anawangin and Nagsasa 2D/1N Itinerary, Guide, and Budget

Nagsasa Cove
Nagsasa Cove
Zambales which lies on the western side of the Philippines is home of  many beautiful coves and inlets in the country and the popular ones were Anawangin and Nagsasa Cove. Anawangin was once a secret hideout to mountain climbers and trekkers by traversing the mighty Mt. Pundaquit enroute to Anawangin cove. Today, non-trekkers can now easily get to Anawangin through an outrigger boat. The trip from barangay Pundaquit to Anawangin cove could take approximately 30-45 minutes, depending on the water condition. On the other hand, Nagsasa cove can be reached approximately 45 minutes to an hour from barangay Pundaquit. There are times especially during the months of September to December where the waters are generally rough especially during the afternoon. During this time, it is advisable and safer to just burn your calories and climb the mountains in Zambales to reach its coves. Although these mountains (Mt. Pundaquit and Mt. Nagsasa) are just minor climbs, one should not underestimate its might and a physical preparation is really needed. Trekking could only take for about 3-4 hours depending on your groups pacing.

Anawangin Cove
Anawangin Cove
What are the essential things to bring?
1. Tents - Although, there are cottages in the island, bringing of tents or borrowing from friends could help cut down your expenses. Tent rental in Pundaquit pegged at PHP200.
2. Foods/Supplies - In our case we bought our food supplies at Olongapo City. Yes there are stores in Pundaquit, but there might be slight difference with the price.
3. Water - The amount of water to bring would really depend on the number of your group. A 2 5-liter water is enough for 8-10 persons.
4. Cooking equipment or utensils - There are locals in the island which you can ask to cook for you, but they charged PHP60 per meal. Bringing grills or portable stoves could also help cut down the expenses. Firewoods can be bought at barangay Pundaquit, but too pricey at PHP200.
5. Flashlight/Headlamps - There is no source of electricity in the island.
6. Trash Bags - "Leave no trace." Let us practice proper disposal of our rubbishes.
7. Insect Repellent - This is to protect ourselves from insect bites especially mosquitoes.
8. Camera - This one should always be secured in your bag to document your experiences and moments.

How much budget needed?
Traveling really comes with a price tag! So to give you an estimate as to the budget you needed for this trip, here are my actual expenses during my trip to Anawangin, Nagsasa and Capones Island:

From Cebu City:
PHP200 - Terminal Fee (Mactan International Airport to Clark International Airport)
PHP50 - Airport shuttle service to Dau or Mabalacat Terminal
PHP130 - Van from Dau terminal to Olongapo City
PHP58 - Bus (non-AC) from Olongapo to San Antonio, Zambales
PHP4000/8 - Big boat (10-15 pax) rental for Island Hopping (Anawangin, Nagsasa, Capones, Camara). Inclusive of 2 tents, 2 5galloons of water, utensils, cooler with ice
PHP200 - Foods and supplies
PHP100 - Camping fee at Nagsasa
PHP20 - Entrance fee at Anawangin Cove
PHP500 - Taxi from Subic to Clark Airport
PHP150 - Terminal Fee at Clark International Airport
Total Expenses:  PHP1908.

How to get to Anawangin and Nagsasa Cove
The province is approximately a 3 to 4 hour drive from Manila, depending on traffic. Go to any of the Victory Liner bus stations and catch bus bound for Iba, Zambales. In the event you you missed the Iba, Zambales bound trip you can ride bus bound for Olongapo and transfer another bus going to Zambales. Your landmark would be the San Antonio Municipal Hall situated at the right side of the road.

From Clark International Airport
If you came from Visayas or Mindanao, flying to Clark would be the most convenient and easiest way. From the Clark Airport ride the airport shuttle (PHP50) which would take you to Dau Terminal. It could take about half an hour to reach Dau Terminal. There are vans (PHP130) located near Jollibee that can take you directly to Olongapo City. Travel time from Clark to Olongapo is one-and-a-half hours. Then catch bus bound for Zambales (PHP58), another 30 minutes trip and alight at San Antonio, Zambales.

Your drop off point would be at the Municipal Hall of San Antonio, Zambales so make sure you inform the conductor beforehand especially if you are not familiar with Zambales. At the Municipal Hall, there are trikes which you can hire to bring you to barangay Pundaquit, the jump off point for your Anawangin and Nagsasa Cove island hopping. Kuya JR +639173809104 is a highly recommended boatman.

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