Are you planning on a relaxing but adventurous out of town trip? An overnight microvacation maybe?
If you’re a student or a young-at-heart working individual living in the busy region of NCR or places near that, having a very affordable overnight island hopping trip to Nagsasa, Anawangin, and Capones should be on top of the list.
Understanding Nagsasa, Anawangin, and Capones
Nagsasa and Anawangin Coves are mountain slopes. Nagsasa is the farthest cove bypassing Anawangin with a travel time of approximately 40 to 45 mins while Anawangin is 30 to 35 mins via boat from Mt. Pundaquit.
However, for Capones, it is the nearest island to Mt. Pundaquit with a travel time of 20 mins. Mt. Pundaquit is actually the rendezvous point where you can rent boats going to the three destinations.
For Capones Island, it is recommended that your boat dock where rock formations are and you will appreciate Capones more by trekking going to the lighthouse.
There are no fancy rooms or accommodations in these three wonders, so when planning for an overnight trip, tents and camping supplies and resources are must haves. There is no electricity as well, so bring flashlights and extra batteries. To save the batteries of your cellphones, just turn it off during your entire stay since there is completely no reception or network signal in these islands. However in Capones, the network signal is very weak.
Best months to go are between Januarys to Marchs, as waves are undisturbed. Aprils to Mays are also good months; however, both places are too crowded. Anawangin is actually more crowded than Nagsasa.
For better understanding you can also refer to this table:
|Destination||Geography||Travel time from Mt. Pundaquit||Recommended time spent||Recommended activities to do|
|Nagsasa Cove||Mountain slope||45 mins to 1-hr||Overnight ||Explore the Nagsasa Waterfalls, trek on its mountain|
|Anawangin Cove||Mountain slope||30 to 35 mins||2 to 3 hours ||Trek on its mountain or go to the farthest right side of the cove (if facing the sea), stone formations are amazing|
|Capones||Island||20 mins||2 to 4 hours||Trek to Capones Lighthouse|
  You can interchange time spent for Nagsasa and Anawangin
Things to bring
Since there are limited resources in the island, it is recommended that you bring basic camping resources. I suggest that you bring these important things:
- Tent or hammock plus blankets and pillows for comfort
- Portable stoves or grill supplies
- Cooking tools and equipment (portable stove, knives, can opener, lighter, matches, etc.)
- Rice meal, canned goods, chips, breads and spreads
- Gallons or liters of water
- Flashlights or headlamps plus extra batteries
- Plastic bags or trash bags (take care of your environment)
- Waterproof bags or cases
How to Get There
Zambales is 2 to 3 hours away from Manila to Brgy. Pundaquit.
Just go to one of Victory Liner stations and get yourself a ticket to Iba, Zambales or Sta. Cruz, Zambales (Php 251.00).
When nearing the town of San Antonio, tell the conductor to drop you off the town’s public market. Then ride a tricycle going to Mt. Pundaquit (Php 30.00 per head) which is 25 to 30 min tricycle ride. Upon reaching Mt. Pundaquit, rent a boat ride.
Renting a boat ride
San Antonio, Pundaquit Tourism has fixed pricing yet, sometimes, can be smaller if you know how to negotiate well; however, to help locals earn a decent living, STOP HAGGLING!
The price shown below is from Mt. Pundaquit to Nagsasa including island hopping to Anawangin and Capones.
Small boat. Capacity of 1 to 4 people – Php 1,500 to Php 1,800
Big boat. Capacity of 10 to 15 people – Php 3,000 to Php 4,000
 Price is not updated as of 2011 when I traveled there.
The Island Hopping Sample Itineraries
Below are the itineraries which you can try. If you have better options, let me know
Estimated Budget and Expenses
There are now several travel tours or agencies that offers this island hopping adventure. But I still prefer a D-I-Y (do-it-yourself) itinerary when traveling because its much cheaper and no time constraints. To give you an idea, here’s the estimated costs for a D-I-Y trip:
PHP 1,500 to 1,800 – Anawangin, Nagsasa, Capones
PHP 800 to 1,200 – Anawangin only
PHP 1,200 to 1,500 – Nagsasa only
Recommended minimum number of participants is 4 for small boats to divide the costs of boat expenses.
Nagsasa overnight fee: Php 100
Anawangin overnight fee: Php 100
Entrance/Environmental fee: Php 50 
 For example you chose an overnight stay in Nagsasa or Anawangin, you will have to pay Php 100 + Php 50 per head.
Since you will be sleeping in a tent, I know that safety is your concern as well. But you don’t have worry as people are trustworthy in this place. Boatmen and sari-sari store owners will always watch your things. So far, we haven’t heard any theft incident happened in this place.
Must-Reads Posts Nagsasa, Anawangin, and Capones
Updated as of February 07, 2013
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