Craving for that weekends where you can literally just lie thru the sand, enjoy the sunsets and somewhere that is just near Manila + the fact that you are also quite on a budget?? — then this spot might be for you too! In this blog, I’ll share with you our DIY Nagsasa Travel Guide for 2D/1N and a side trip to Anawangin and Capones Island and Camara.
“a shooting star!” we excitedly exclaimed as we stargaze thru the night.
It was certainly my first time to witness it firsthand just by staring blankly thru the calm sky above us. “mag wish ka, mag wish ka!!!” (make a wish, make a wish) as what was Paul and Brian telling me after being extra excited on that first shooting star that passed by.
I personally couldn’t focus with that wish, thinking that the shooting star was too overwhelming to see. And we spent the rest of the night counting for more shooting stars, happily gazing the entire time, until we have fallen asleep in the beach shore.
This basically made this trip extra special, apart from another camping escapade, it was also a beach trip where we were once again in awe with the beautiful sunset and certainly a lot of good times.
Trust me, when I say that I’ve been wanting to visit this island for longgggg but I do not enjoy a joiner van trip ride from Manila all the way to Nagsasa (*no harm intended to those travel agencies; I certainly am not just a fan of it)
NAGSASA COVE is another camping spot favorite in the province of San Antonio, Zambales. Mostly people and tourists would go to Anawangin that is also just across the cove. Nagsasa may be applicable for those seeking a place that is quiet and more peaceful. It has picturesque hills, a perfect sunset, and clear beach all at the same time.
Just a four-hour land trip all the way to San Antonio is another island worth coming for, a cheap escapade with all the adventures you are looking for.
For travel agencies, going to these islands takes almost Php 2,000 only per person and that’s a good deal already considering it was all-in (transpo, boat, tent, and food) but if you want to manage your own time and itineraries as well, check out how we did it ourselves.
HOW TO GO TO NAGSASA COVE?
- Public Transfer :
- From Monumento / Cubao ride a bus bound to Iba, Zambales or Sta. Cruz and alight at San Antonio Market. Travel usually takes 4 – 5 hours (Rate Php 260 – 350)
- From the Public Market, ride a tricycle to Pundaquit (Php 40.00 / head). Travel time is around 15 – 20 minutes
- From Pundaquit, you may now rent a boat to take you to Nagsasa Cove or take the island hopping package already to explore more.
- Private Car – is always accessible via Waze and drop off at Cross River, only pay the parking fee of Php 200 for the overnight stay
- I actually got a contact person already for the boat ahead of time, should you need one — you may call or text FATIMA 09956451065 and she reserved the boat already in advance
- From the parking area, we brought all our bags and things together all the way to the boat
BOAT TRANSFER / ISLAND HOPPING
- There is actually a standard rate depending on the number of passenger to the boat, it will also depends which island you would be staying for overnight (*please see rates below for the boat and itinerary)
- Mostly, you’d hear everyone staying at Anawangin, but for us we opted to stay at Nagsasa instead. And we’re not complaining as it was really amazing!!!
- What’s best about doing and hiring your own private boat you get to manage your time and itinerary at the same time.
- Make sure to talk with your boatman properly as to the timeline, and what time will they be picking you up
SMALL BOAT | Capacity: Up to 4 pax
Prices below are per boat basis meaning a minimum of 1 and max to 4pax can share and divide the rate and cost per boat.
- Anawangin Cove Only: P1200
- Talisayen Cove Only: P1500
- Nagsasa Cove Only: P1800
- Silanguin Cove Only: P2500
- Anawangin + Capones Island: P1300
- Anawangin + Capones + Camara: P1800
- Anawangin + Nagsasa: P2400
- Nagsasa + Capones Island: P2100
- Nagsasa + Capones + Camara: P2400
- Anawangin + Nagsasa + Capones + Camara: P3000
BIG BOAT | Minimum of 10 pax; prices below is per person already
- Anawangin Cove Only: P300
- Talisayen Cove Only: P300
- Nagsasa Cove Only: P450
- Silanguin Cove Only: P600
- Anawangin + Capones Island: P300
- Anawangin + Capones + Camara: P450
- Anawangin + Nagsasa: P600
- Nagsasa + Capones Island: P550
- Nagsasa + Capones + Camara: P600
- Nagsasa + Anawangin + Capones + Camara: P750
You’ll see that the bigger the group the cheaper It could get.
WHERE TO STAY?
- As you reach Nagsasa Cove, there were actually a lot of areas around you may choose to roam around first to check it’s campsite or just let your boatman suggest the best site for you
- Since I booked via the contact of FATIMA for the boat, (they have a tie-up / partner if I may call it that way) in the island where there is actually less people and crowd compare to other campsite aread.
- Entrance was Php 130.00 per person and tent pitching was actually included in the entrance fee already we also got a private cottage within our pitched tent for Php 500 per night. What’s best about this, there isn’t actually a strict check-in and check-out schedule in the campsite.
- For the tents, you may rent on-site and just ask help for pitching
- As for our end, coming from our first (*not so tragic first camping experience in Treasure Mountain – we decided to book in advance a nice set of tent)
- We booked and picked-up a good for 6 pax tent for only Php 750.00 per night via Go Camping Tent Rental, you may check them out from Facebook and send a PM for your request, we pitched it for the first time and it was like a team building activity with Brian and Paul (*and yes, we’re just three but we all stand 5’6 and above hahahah!! So we really took a bigger tent to fit us all three in comfortably)
Addl Notes for tent pitching :
- I’d also like to share some notes and keypoints we learned from pitching our own set of tents
- Buy a plastic cover or if you have a big tarpaulin that you can use to cover the flooring of the tent first the better
- Bring a cushion, or mattress or whatever you feel like would be comfortable from your end for your camping experience, don’t forget to bring pillows too
- Remember to bring a portable lamp or flashlight at the same time
- We loved the tent we rented from Go Camping Tent Rentals it was very sturdy and it was really spacious as well.
ITINERARY / ACTIVITY TO DO IN NAGSASA :
- Since we arrived pretty late by 2PM in the afternoon at Pundaquit (we still did a short grocery and bought food and rice and meals along the way) we decided to spend the rest of the afternoon chillin’ by the beach as we wait for the sunset.
- We pitched the tent, had our late lunch and sleep until both Paul and Brian snores hahahaha!!!
CATCH THE SUNSET
- Never not loving the sunset of Zambales, as it truly is one of the best as always. Make sure to bring a pashmina with you, lie thru the sand and enjoy as the sun sets.
- As mentioned earlier, this is something you can absolutely do for free while you stay in Nagsasa. Stars were pretty visible anywhere and it was super overwhelming to capture all those shooting stars first hand.
BONFIRE / DO-IT-YOURSELF SMORES
- If you want to buy for a set of wood for Php 100 for a bonfire session at night, you may do so, just request for assistance from the kuya’s around to help you out. Also, you may also bring your own marshmallow, graham cookies and chocolate (*I just wish that we didn’t forget our choco spread in the car before reaching the cove hahahah!)
CLIMB TO THE VIEWPOINT
- In the morning, you may start the day pretty early and try to trek all the way up the mountain just across Nagsasa, a payment of Php 20.00 is required and a guide to help and assist you with where we paid for Php 200.00 good for the three of us already
- Be amazed on the scenery that definitely is one for the books!!! The trekking would most likely take around 45mins – 1 hour, depending on your phase (*this phasing is for non-hikers like us, so bear with us)
- By the afternoon, our boatman asked how long would we want to stay in the campsite. We tried to beach bum as much as we could then ventured to our island hopping.
- There were actually certain packages depending on the rate of the boat transfer, so you may get to explore Anawangin, Capones and Camara all at the same time.
Other Notes :
I personally enjoyed our short but very productive weekends at Zambales. A perfect go-to beach as always just within the reach of Manila.
I loved how cheap it was and how we were able to maximize our stay in this island at the same time. Camping was something we are very proud of for this travel, how we managed to plan everything about this trip just for a week was impressive.
Also, I started investing on camping tools such as flashlights and lamps thinking we’ll have more to come in the future with my two favorite travel buddies – Brian and Paul.
As I mentioned earlier, I have been rooting for this trip for long, but solo travelling for this island would be pretty much expensive for me, the thought of travel agencies where I needed to join a van ride isn’t really my thing. I felt that it was just really a perfect timing to have this beach / camping trip at this particular time.
Our camping for the second time around was indeed better and we’re more prepared this time. You may want to check out our first crazy camping adventure at Treasure Mountain.
Also read : Treasure Mountain : Camping Experience for 2D/1N
I realized that having a good set of travel buddies really changes the entire experience. I remember that I even had to join a joiner van trip just to spend my weekends outside Manila — and though I didn’t like the full experience of a van ride it actually gives me chances and it also served as an avenue to meet new people as well along the way.
If you wanted to see the actual places I’ve been, check out my IG story highlight – under Nagsasa @nathaliecsalcedo
Hope this helps you too.
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*All photos were original from the blogger