NAGSASA COVE & MOUNT PUNDAQUIT

It's Summertime! Talking about the camping capital of the Philippines, San Antonio, Zambales is the home to the ever famous Anawangin cove. It's great that its popularity has paved a way for other secluded coves to be known by many like Nagsasa, Talisayin, and Silanguin.

We decided to check out Nagsasa cove! Accompanied by my travel buddy, the diva, Carter, we were astonished of what we came upon this place and I am so excited to share it with you!


THE PLAN: To chill out for a day at Nagsasa Cove, drop off to Anawangin cove the next morning and trek over Mt. Pundaquit all the way back to Barangay Pundaquit. Let's do this!

HOW DO WE GET TO NAGSASA COVE?

From Victory Liner bus terminal in Pasay (Manila), take the bus that's bound for Iba/Sta. Cruz Zambales (Fare: Php 275.00).  It's a long, six-hour ride for you to reach San Antonio. Though there are stopovers in between, it's best to prepare your tummy and bladder for the trip.

I suggest for you to phone Victory Liner for the trip schedules as the ones that you see online are not that accurate. You may contact them at (02) 833-4403 or (02) 833-5019 to 20.

Once you reach San Antonio, you can start buying food and stuff that you will be needing for the entire getaway as the public market is just on the corner of the street. The good part is, things are a lot cheaper here than buying them from the cove.


When you're done, you'll see tricycle lanes nearby. Take a tricycle and ask the driver to take you to Barangay Pundaquit. In our case, we asked the driver to take us to Purok 3 because that's where our contact is located.

It took us about 15 to 20 minutes to reach Purok 3 and our contact person, Ate Olive, was already waiting for us when we arrived. It was almost 11:00 PM at that time (We left from Victory Liner bus terminal at 4:00 PM).

They let us borrow their ice chest and some of their kitchen wares (plates etc.) so we can use it at the cove. They are also selling mineral water (for Php 50.00 - big container), charcoal (for Php 10.00) and bonfire wood (for Php 100.00) so we took the chance to buy some before we head to Nagsasa.

The boat fee for me and my friend was Php 1,800.00. This amount is tailored for our itinerary which is from Pundaquit to Nagsasa cove and then from Nagsasa to Anawangin Cove. It can still be divided by a maximum of 4 people as well. After everything has been paid for, please do not forget to tell your contact person or your boatman the time as to when they will have to pick you up from your location.  You need to make this very clear to them as there is no signal or whatsoever in Nagsasa so you guys won't be able to contact them through your mobile phones.

So there we were, about to ride the boat in the middle of the night. How exciting! lol. It was very dark as expected from a provincial spot but we felt very safe because our boatmen accommodated and assisted us very well.  With our life vests and the bangkero's only flashlight, we headed our way to Nagsasa cove!


We finally reached Nagsasa cove after an hour of boat ride. It was already past 12:00 AM then so we needed to set up our place quickly. We have our own tent but we still decided to rent a cottage which cost us Php 100.00. Our boatmen, being as helpful as they are, still assisted us in setting up from arranging our stuff in the cottage, up to getting us a bonfire! They really are awesome!

To reward ourselves after a very long trip, we had some good food, drank some good tequila, threw some good jokes and stories and rested. We were very excited to explore Nagsasa cove at the crack of dawn!


Good morning Nagsasa! The place is very beautiful! From its grayish-white sand, humble nipa huts, and clear waters, it's just a perfect stress reliever!


There are no commercial room accommodations here, just the huts and the sand. It's best to bring a tent for your group and it's either you rent a tent from your contact person or you buy your own.


We are visitors of this paradise. The locals would be seen cleaning the area early in the morning. It'll be awesome if we help them with our own little ways by keeping our camps clean.


Few souvenir shops have been spotted in the area as well.


The clear waters of Nagsasa cove... and my feet.


Fishing: one of the main sources of living by the locals.


Shower rooms and changing rooms are not that much but they're doable.


Locals are offering mobile phone charging and cooking services too! However, please take note of the time as the electricity will be out at 12:00 AM.


You can enjoy various activities here in Nagsasa Cove. From beach volley, skim boarding to trekking, your family and friends will love it here for sure!




The next morning, at around 4:30 AM, our boatman came to pick us up. They will be dropping us off to Anawangin Cove. That will be the starting point of our trekking activity over Mount Pundaquit. Yes! We will be trekking the mountain from Anawangin all the way back to the location of our contact person (Ate Olive) in Purok 3!


It took us around 20-30 minutes to reach Anawangin cove from Nagsasa. I did not bother to take pictures of Anawangin because when we got there, it was full of people and you know how it goes. Honestly, if I am to choose, I'll definitely go for Nagsasa over Anawangin.


The bangkero endorsed us to our trekking guide, Kuya Jun. He will be with us until we reach Ate Olive's house in Purok 3. The fee for Kuya Jun would be Php 500.00. This amount can still be divided among the members of your group, depending on your negotiation.


It was an amazing feeling when we reached the peak. I mean, I know this is not even half of what seasoned mountaineers do but it made me burn tons of fats in my body. Now that is an achievement for me lol! (Also, pardon my attire. I know it's not the proper trekking get up but this is what I'm comfortable wearing so it's all good lol!)


It was around 4 to 5 hours of trekking and we were able to get to Ate Olive's house at around 10:00 AM. She let us rest at her place for a while and was also kind enough to let us use her shower room so we can freshen up before heading home.

You'll be taking the same route in going back to Manila. However, when we were waiting in San Antonio for an air-conditioned bus directly bound for Pasay, almost an hour had passed and there was still no sign of it. So what we did was we rode an ordinary bus from San Antonio to Olongapo bus terminal and from there, we took the Victory Liner Bus going to Pasay terminal.

THE STINGY BUDGET:

Bus ride from Victory Liner (Pasay) to San Antonio, Zambales = Php 275.00
Tricycle ride from San Antonio to Purok 3 Brgy. Pundaquit V.V. (Php 30.00 one way, Php 40.00 if it's night time) = Php 70.00

Food, beverages, bonfire wood etc. = Php 1,500.00 (Php 750.00 each - for me and the diva)
Boat fee = Php 1,800.00 (Php 900.00 each)
Overnight stay fee in Nagsasa cove (2 nights) = Php 200.00
Cottage fee in Nagsasa cove = Php 100.00 (Php 50.00 each)
Trekking guide fee = Php 500.00 (Php 250.00 each)

Bus ride from San Antonio to Olongapo bus terminal = Php 44.00
Bus ride from Olongapo bus terminal to Victory Liner Pasay terminal = Php 250.00

TOTAL EXPENSES (each) = Php 2,789.00

Contact Person: Ms. Olive Agasa (Contact number: +639065156823)
NOTE: The boat fee varies depending on your itinerary and number of members. The Deksbook is not in any way affiliated with the above contact person. This information is being placed here for the purpose of helping Ms. Agasa as I've been satisfied with how they assisted us during our trip and sharing it with the readers.

PROS:

- The water is super clear, especially in the morning.
- Nagsasa Cove and Mount Pundaquit are very clean. It is evident that the place is well maintained by the locals and tourists.
- The locals are very friendly and accommodating.
- The place is very peaceful and relaxing.
- I love the trekking experience!

CONS:

- Items sold on the cove are expensive.
- Anawangin Cove. Sorry, but I felt sad when I saw it the morning we arrived for the trekking activity. It actually didn't meet my not-so-high expectations. I just hope that campers and tourists would realize how important it is to hold responsibility in keeping it clean. Anawangin cove is such a gorgeous place and for it to be exploited is just sad.

So there you have it guys! I hope that it somehow helps you in your next summer getaway should you plan to visit Nagsasa Cove and Mount Pundaquit. If you already did and would like to share your experience or tell something that hasn't been told in this post, please feel free to post it on the comments section down below.

Thanks for reading and have a happy summer!

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12 comments

  1. Thank you very much as well Xandra! :)

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  2. Cherrybeth Inhug CorboMay 8, 2015 at 9:57 AM

    loved the place! very nice! :D

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  3. Thanks Cherrybeth!


    Please watch out for my future posts. I'm trying hard to make it as informative as I can.


    Cebu's one of the places in my bucket list this year so I'll see you very soon! :)

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  4. Xandra Estrada MacabioMay 9, 2015 at 10:00 AM

    Thanks for the very informative blog post. :)

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  5. Christopher EstradaJune 9, 2015 at 12:25 AM

    is trekking doable even without a guide?

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  6. Hi Christopher!


    If you are a well-seasoned mountaineer, it definitely is! I even saw one when I went there. Yes, he was trekking alone! I think it's awesome!


    It might even be doable if you are with a big group so you won't get worried losing on the trails. You will surely be bumping with other groups as well along the way so that's going to be a good sign that you're on the right track.


    But for newbies (like me)... I would definitely recommend that you hire a guide. Not only it is safe but, you are also helping the guide to earn for that day. :)

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  7. Nice! Thank you for your blog post. Looking forward to our Nagsasa cove getaway. \m/

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  8. Hi Ken! Thank you for your time in reading the blog as well!


    It'll be awesome if you share your experience here as well. Have a safe trip to Nagsasa cove! :)

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  9. Your attire is just fine :). Thanks for this blog. I got here because of your comment on another blog. She said the sand is coarser and much darker than in Anawangin. Kinda worried about that because I was in Anawangin last week and I thought it was great. I hope I don't get disappointed in Nagsasa.

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    1. Hi Wency! I appreciate you dropping by the Deksbook! If you are to ask me, I actually prefer Nagsasa than Anawangin. Although Anawangin has its great beauty and reputation, I got to appreciate Nagsasa more probably because it was less crowded when I visited and with less crowd, comes less noise and trash. The sand is pretty much the same as well. I have high hopes that you'll have a fantastic time in Nagsasa Cove! Enjoy and have a safe trip! :)

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  10. hi , planning to visit anawangin this year and will be staying at nagsasa cove.. can you share experience on the travel going to these islands. I will bring my 10 year old daughter and i dont want to get her traumatized as this will be her first inter island experience via boatride.

    Thanks!

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    1. Hi Leah, sorry it took me so long to reply. Best advise I can give you if you're with your 10 year old child is for you to start traveling early in the morning unlike with my experience, we started traveling a little late so we reached the cove past midnight already. The rest of my experiences are written on the blog. Thanks!

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