Monday, June 15, 2009

A Weekend In Pundaquit

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My friend Ge, who is currently working in China, went home last May. He badly wanted a beach break, so the usuals (Dan, Lor, Do, Ge and I) decided to have an overnight stay in Pundaquit, San Antonio, Zambales. Why Pundaquit? Well first, it's near Manila (around 3 hours drive only) and second, we wanted to go to Anawangin Cove (to see what the fuss is all about).

We left Manila around 4am and had a stopover breakfast at North Luzon Expressway (NLEX). After breakfast, we continued driving through NLEX and then we exited at Dau. From Dau, we entered the newly constructed Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTex). This highway is beautiful. The view is just breathtaking and because there were very few cars, it felt like we were alone in the whole highway.

At Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (taken May 16, 2009)

After exiting the highway in Subic, we drove for about 1 hour more before finally arriving in San Antonio, Zambales. We checked in at Sir Williams Cottage (around P2500 for 5 people, contact number 09183433717) and rented their bangka (P1300 for 5 people) to go island hopping. Our jump off point: Pundaquit Beach.

Pundaquit Beach (taken May 16, 2009)

From Pundaquit Beach, it took us around 10-15 minutes to reach Camara Island. This island has white sand beach but don't expect powdery Boracay-like sand. In low tide, you can also walk towards the whale-like rock formation near the island. Just be careful since you will be walking on rocks and it gets a little slippery. If you plan to go to the rock, keep your gadgets in a water proof container or don't bring them with you anymore.

Camara Island (taken May 16, 2009)

After Camara Island, we went to Capones Island. The sand here is finer than that of Camara's but still not that fine. This island is also known for its lighthouse, but you have to either ride the bangka to go there or trek for around 3 hours under the heat. We chose the first option :D Our bangka took us to another part of Capones Island and from here you can go up to the lighthouse.

Capones Island (taken May 16, 2009)

Capones Lighthouse (taken May 16, 2009)

After Capones, we finally set off to Anawangin Cove. The current around Anawangin is said to be strong, but because the weather was great, we had a smooth 30-minute ride to Anawangin Cove. The first thing I noticed when we touched down in Anawangin is the sand is smoother and kinda silverish. And instead of the usual coconut trees, Anawangin is lined up with pine trees! There were lot of campers around but the place is still very serene. You can still hear the chirping of the birds and everything just seems so peaceful. Despite being notorius for its strong underwater current (and yes even killing a number of people), Anawangin is indeed a magical place.

Anawangin Cove (taken May 16, 2009)

Since we heard that the currents are stronger in the afternoon, we left Anawangin early and made our way back to Pundaquit where we relaxed for a while before watching the wonderful sunset in this side of the Philippines.

Sunset in Pundaquit (taken May 16, 2009)

Pundaquit Beach at sunset (taken May 16, 2009)

We spent the night in Pundaquit. There is another way of course and that is to camp out in Anawangin and return to Pundaquit the next day.

Pundaquit and its neighboring islands and coves may not be as popular as Boracay, but they have their unique charms. If you want a beach break and do not want to travel far to get to one, then why not go Pundaquit, Zambales.

Access to Pundaquit (from Manila)
1) By car: NLEX exit to Dau then take SCTex until Subic. Then enter SBMA and exit at Kalakan Gate then drive until you reach San Antonio Zambales. You will pass by the towns of Castillejos and San Marcelino before arriving at San Antonio. From San Antonio, look for signs of resorts in Pundaquit and just follow these.
2) By bus: Bus to San Antonio, Zambales and ride a tricycle to Pundaquit

Access to Anawangin (from Pundaquit)
1) By boat from Pundaquit (around 30 minutes and current might be strong so look for bangkas with life vests)
2) Hike up Mt. Pundaquit and down to Anawangin Cove (around 4 hours)

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  1. Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog. This trip looks amazing. I was in the Philippines once, in Manila and Cebu, but I was there for work and didnt have much time to relax and have fun. I dream of going back for an island hopping trip sometime!

  2. @Lor hahah yeahhhh if we have the energy haahhaa

  3. @Kristine
    My pleasure. You have a great blog and I wish I could go to the places you've been to :D
    If you have time, come back to the Philippines. There are many beautiful beaches here and I am sure you'll have a great time. Thanks for stopping by my blog :D

  4. Hello Visit my website

  5. hellow. ok ba dun sa sir william's cottage?

  6. @cuteehcath hi! basic lang siya like there is a bunk bed, aircon, tv and washroom. It's okay for its price :D

  7. Hi!

    I hope you don't mind me asking, but how was your accommodations at Sir William's? I've been having a hard time getting objective reviews about the place.

    Hope you can help us.

    Thank You!

  8. Hi there! Well its just basic accomodation. There's a bunk bed, aircon, tv and washroom. Considering that it is quite hard to find accomodations in Pundaquit, it's quite ok. But don't expect too much

  9. I hope I can go back to Pundaquit this coming summer! Will surely visit the Anawangin, Capones Island and Camara Island. Enjoyed the Lumot River and Cpones Lighthouse too!

  10. @Pundaquit Beach hope you can go back!!!! Please update me on your future travels :D

  11. it's a nice blogsite.

    i suggest if your going to pundakit,
    try it here;

    Sir Williams Cottage

  12. Hi William thanks for the info!

  13. Hello from casa san miguel in nearby san miguel where we run an annual festival of classical music concerts, exhibits on contemporary art, historical and cultural, and community dev programs. Opens feb4 2012. Please add casa san miguel on fb. We also have a bed and breakfast and a quaint coffeeshop

  14. Hi. Can you say the beachfront of mainland Pundaquit itself can stand on its own? I mean, I will be going there with my family (senior citizens and kids), and we might just swim/stay near the resort. When i read blogs about Pundaquit, they only mention the beach of the 3 islands and forget to mention the beachfront of the resorts/hotels where they stayed. I hope you can enlighten me on this. Thanks! -W

    1. Hi W, as far as I remember, it was okay. You can swim and chill on the beach. Do not expect Boracay-level sand though. Pundaquit is more like Batangas. As for activities, there were not much back then. I am not sure if they added new activities now. Hope this helps!