If you’re looking for a quick get away, a road trip up north to check out the beautiful Nagsasa Cove in Zambales, Philippines would be your best bet. We took a private car to Iba, Zambales at around 8 AM from Makati. The ride from Manila to Iba took roughly 3 hours via NLEX or SCTEX bound for San Antonio, Zambales. From San Antonio public market, head to Brgy. Pundaquit.
Should you wish to take the public transport, take the Victory Liner bound for Iba or Sta. Cruz Zambales. If possible, leave the earliest departure time to make the most of your day trip (that’s 5AM from Pasay and Caloocan). Tell the bus driver / conductor to drop you off in San Antonio, then from there, take the tricycle to Pundaquit. (Bus fare price: P270 | Tricycle fare per passenger: P20)
Feeling extra luxe? You can also charter an aircraft to International Subic Airport, Castillejos Airstrip, or to Iba Local Airport.
When we got to Iba, we settled in Canoe Resort in Pundaquit Shore. From there, we hired a banka ride for two heading to Nagsasa Cove (Price: P1,800). Other island options included Anawangin, Camara, and Capones Island. The banka ride to Nagsasa Cove was nearly an hour ride from Pundaquit Shore, with one the most beautiful mountain sceneries! There is a P100/head per day entrance fee as soon as you land Nagsasa Cove, hut rentals are about P50. There are no fancy resorts or restaurants in Nagsasa so I suggest you pack food and snacks to bring with you to the island. Just make sure you clean as you go, of course!
Activities in Nagsasa Cove include an hour trek to the waterfalls (not for the faint-hearted and those with flimsy slippers!), and a hike to the best cove view (which we unfortunately did not get to see). The trek to the waterfalls would cost you P300 for the tour guide. Make sure to also bring a bottle of water with you. The trek is long and can get crazy hot, but it’s worth it!
After the hour trek, refresh by diving into the cool waters of Nagsasa’s waterfall!
You could bring your own tent and campign equipment, set up camp and stay the night. Should you opt not to, the boat men will suggest you leave the cove before 6 PM so you don’t encounter the big waves on your way back to Pundaquit.
We left around 6 PM, just in time to watch the sunset from the bangka. We freshened up back at the resort and headed back home before 9 PM (and just in time, too! The rain poured soon after.) Google Maps confused us a bit on our way back out to Subic, actually. So should you get lost, just ask any local to point you to the general direction of the National Highway.
I didn’t think I could fall more in love with the Philippines! I can’t wait to check out more of the Philippine beaches soon. (Oh and a big thanks to Yoshke of PhilippineBeaches.org for the suggestions the night before! 🙂 ) Check out more photos from the trip below. All photos were taken with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (#ShamelessUnsponsoredPlug).
I just remember the good things.