Nagsasa Cove Guide: directions, tips and itinerary

It has been a while since my last trip to Nagsasa Cove yet my old posts about this hidden gem in the north are still receiving quite a number of comments from people who asking for suggested itineraries, directions on how to get to Nagsasa and other similar inquiries. Hence, I have come up with this quick guide on how to plan your own trip to Nagsasa Cove, Zambales.

What to bring?

There will be no food sources, electricity, cellular signal, proper accommodation and other usual amenities in Nagsasa Cove. It should be best that you only bring the necessary items. Canned and other instant food will come in handy. You can bring your own tent or hammock but in case you don’t have these, you have the option to rent from the tour guides in the town of San Antonio. If you’re looking at buying meat or fish for grilling, be sure to bring knife, ice chest, grill necessities, marinade among others.

How to get to Nagsasa Cove, Zambales?

This guide is for people who will be coming from Manila. The most ideal time to leave Manila is 4a.m. Try to catch the first bus leaving for Iba, Zambales from the Caloocan bus station. It will take you approximately three hours (including the stop-over in Olonggapo City, Pampanga) to get to the town of San Antonio, Zambales. Just tell the bus conductor or the bus driver that you’ll be dropping off at San Antonio. Most likely, some of the bus passengers will also be taking off at San Antonio.

Upon arriving in San Antonio, you have the option of getting breakfast at the town proper. Take advantage of this opportunity to shop for camp necessities in case you forgot something. In our case, we bought the food (fresh fish, meat, etc.) we brought from the town’s public market.

From the market, you may take a tricycle going to Barangay Pundaquit (Pundakit) where you will be renting the boat that will take you to Nagsasa Cove. It’s around 20 minutes away from the public market.

Renting a boat ride

The rate of boat rentals usually vary depending on your number. For a small boat with a capacity of four persons, the standard rate is P1,800.00 for a round trip. You have to arrange your return trip schedule with your tour guide. You can also have the option to visit the other coves like Talesayen, Silanguin and Anawangin Coves for an extra fee. You may also arrange to include island hopping to Camara and Capones islands before going back to Pundakit.

In case you didn’t bring your own tent, you may opt to rent your own tent from your tour guide. Tent rental ranges from P250/day to P600/day depending on the tent size and capacity.

At this point, it is best to turn off all your mobile phones. You won’t be able to use your phones while in Nagsasa Cove and turning them on will only drain your batteries out. There’s no cellular reception in the area and you won’t be able to charge your phone in case it drains out of power. There’s no electricityeither in Nagasasa Cove.

Should you wish to do all arrangements prior to the trip, you may contact our tour guide at 09108162974 and/or 09172022692. They will be glad to assist you with your needs.

Itinerary

Here’s a sample itinerary of my first trip to Nagsasa Cove. Though the itinerary didn’t mention, we made a side-trip to Capones Island before heading back to Pundakit. Of course, this was arranged with Kuya Kulot, our guide, for an extra fee.

DAY 1

04:00 Leave Caloocan for Iba, Zambales
06:30 Arrive at San Antonio, Zambales
06:45 Breakfast/ Palengke (for our meals)
07:45 Take a tricycle to Brgy Pundaquit
08:10 Arrive at Pundaquit
08:30 Take a boat to Nagsasa Cove
09:30 Arrive at Nagsasa Cove

Day 2
10:00 Leave for Pundaquit
11:30 Tricyle to San Antonio
11:45 Bus to Olongapo
12:30 Lunch
14:00 Bus to Manila
18:00 Arrive at Manila

Other guides to Nagsasa Cove

Tips when visiting Nagsasa and Anawangin Coves

 

It has been more than a year since the first and last time I went to Nagsasa Cove. Since I wrote about Nagsasa Cove and how to get to there, I have been receiving a lot of comments and inquiries on tips when going to Nagsasa and Anawangin coves.

I have compiled here a list of tips based on what we have experienced during our trip to Nagsasa, Zambales.

Things you should bring:

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  • Bring your own tent and sleeping bag. If you don’t own one, you may rent one in Pundaquit, San Antonio. You may ask your boatman where to get one.
  • Secure your own jacket. Cold nights at Nagsasa and Anawangin are sometimes unbearable.
  • If you are into serious photography, bring with you your camera, tripod, a wide angle or kit lens, a set of neutral density, graduated neutral density, bi-color, or polarization filters. Make sure to also secure your equipment in a waterproof bag. The boat ride to and from Nagsasa and Anawangin can be rough.
  • Bring enough food and water supply. There are no stores or clean sources of water when you get there.
  • Sunblock, insect repellent and other personal care.
  • If you’re planning of cooking or preparing your own food, be sure to bring with you your basic utensils, fuel, charcoal and other basic cooking tools.
  • Don’t forget to bring your own garbage bag. You will have to bring with you when you leave whatever trash you have during your stay.
  • A first aid kit is also necessary, just in case.

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Things you may opt not to bring:

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  • A high-end cellphone — Nagsasa Cove and Anawangin Cove both have no cellular reception from all network providers. Since the air in the area is high in humidity and it’s near the sea, there’s a high risk of corrosion for your cellphone and other metallic gadgets when exposed to these conditions.
  • Valuables — On your stay in Nagsasa Cove and Anawangin, it’s possible that you will be sharing the camp area with other tourists. It is best to secure your personal belongings or not bring your valuables at all.

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If you can think of other things that I might have missed, please feel free to leave a comment below. I will be updating this post occasionally to reflect your suggestions. Enjoy your next trip to Nagsasa Cove and Anawangin Cove.

A day in Nagsasa, San Antonio, Zambales

I must have spent most of my time with my camera during our stay at Nagsasa Cove last weekend. After we have set our camp and have eaten our lunch, I immediately grabbed my camera and tripod and started exploring the place. There were not much people that day except for a small group near our camp. In my opinion, one advantage of Nagsasa Cove over Anawangin Cove is the density of tourists that visit the place. If you’re into a serene and laid back type of vacation, then Nagsasa Cove is just right for you.

Continue reading “A day in Nagsasa, San Antonio, Zambales”

Nagsasa Cove

If you were to be asked for a good place to go for weekend holidays in Luzon, you would likely give Batangas, Tagaytay or Baguio for an answer. But after experiencing one of the hidden jewels of Luzon last weekend, if I’m asked, I’d probably give a Nagsasa Cove for an answer.
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