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Travel Guide: Nagsasa Cove on a Budget

I've been dying to go to Zambales since I saw tons of post in a Facebook group called DIY Travel Philippines about how you can surf, camp, dive in Zambales. Without breaking your bank, that is.

Nagsasa Cove is located in San Antonio, Zamabales and is one of the famous tourist spots in the Central Luzon area. And it's only 4-5 hours away from Manila. This is the perfect go-to place if you want a sun-kissed skin, go on a hike, bond with nature and go camping, or just escape the very busy city of Manila.

How to get there:
From Manila:

  • Ride a Victory Liner Bus bound to Iba Zambales and drop off at San Antonio.
  • From San Antonio, ride a trike to Pundaquit.
  • Hire a boat for your island destination.
If there are no buses bound to Iba Zambales directly, you can drop off at Olongapo. From there you can ride a bus in the terminal that's bound to Sta. Cruz/Iba Zambales and arrive at San Antonio.

For the strong people out there, you can also go to Nagsasa Beach via hiking. Although we did not choose to hike our way to the beach, my most trusted mountaineering source explains on his blog how to do it.

Where to stay:
If you're coming from a very far away land (lol), you can check in on hotels through here, see below. We stayed on a tent and camped.

What to do:

Nagsasa cove offers tons of activities based on the photo above. You can also go on an island hopping! Boat ride prices will depend on the number of islands you'd like to visit. In our case, we only visited Kamara Island, Capones Island, Anawangin Cove, and we then stayed at Nagsasa Cove. You can see how it went through this post.

What to bring:
  • Tents if you're staying overnight. They have available tents for rent over the islands, they cost about 500 per day. It's quite pricey so I suggest you bring your own or just borrow from a friend.
  • Packed food and snacks is a must. Everything they sell in the island costs a lot so it's better that you have your own food. 
  • Bring cooking utensils. Totally optional, only if you want to cook your own food. But they also offer these stuff for a price as well. They can also cook for you.
  • Water, and lots of it. Drinking water is scarce when you're in an island.
  • Sun block with extra SPF because it's really hot out. Especially if you're going hiking.
  • Insect repellent, you might need if you're hiking.
  • Waterproof cameras, because of course ;)
  • Waterproof bags/Dry bags for the boat ride can get a bit... wet.

Total damage:

Bus to Olongapo
P436 (round trip/pax)
Bus to San Antonio
P88 (round trip/pax)
Trike to Pundaquit
P70 (round trip/pax)
Boat Ride to Nagsasa + Island Hopping
Entrance Fee
P794 (boatride excluded)

*Travelling is always cheaper when you're with a large group because you can split bills, and all.
* Some offer packages of P700/pax (min. of 10 pax) Inclusion: boat ride, utensils, bonfire, tent, water. I forgot the contact person, hehe. Try Kuya Jake's on Facebook.
** Boatride fee can be split up to 6 pax, depending on the boat you're renting. Prices are negotiable, use your charms with the boatmen ;)


  • There are no network service available on the island so it is the best time to socialize with your friends and loved ones.
  • I think renting a tent there included a bed cushion so it'll be as comfy as home.
  • You can buy food in San Antonio public market before you went on to the island, it's cheaper there.
  • Boat ride to Nagsasa Island is about an hour from Pundaquit.

I hope this was helpful, let me know on the comment box below if I missed something out or if you have any more questions regarding this destination. You might want to check out this post for more information as well. :)

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  1. Nikaaa! Thank you for sharing! I've been planning my summer already but since I am newly employed, I can't risk going to places that are quite expensive yet. This is going to be one of the options! Thank you! You made me really excited about vacation.

    Xeph | Misadventures

    1. You're welcome! Good luck on your new job Xeph! :)

  2. Yaaay thanks for a detailed guide to Nagsasa Nika. I love the "Waterproof cameras, because of course ;)" part, idk why but it made me laugh haha.

    Danica Rama x

    1. Hahaha everything camera related is of course lol :)) thanks for dropping by! :)

  3. Love your photos, Nika! Plus your tips are really helpful. May breakdown pa ng expenses! :) Hope to hear from you soon!

    Love, Airish
    Gorgeous Glance

    1. I'd like it to be as helpful as possible for my fellow DIY-ers kasi. Makes a trip easier! Thank you :)

  4. The next time I visit this Philippines, I definitely need to visit the beaches! They're so beautiful! And definitely need to go when it's not rainy season because the last time I was there it was =(

    xoxo Rina Samantha

    1. Aww, summer is the best place to go but on the midweek so you can avoid the crowd! :)

  5. I love the view!! Makes me want to visit the beach asap! I commend on your detailed guide, Nika. Hihi. Someday I'll visit here if I get the chance. Hihi :)

    Loi x Wanderlaska

    1. Thank yooou! You should definitely visit when you come up north! Looking forward to it ;)

  6. Aw these photos are so good! Nice tips too.

  7. Is this the part of Zambales that's totally isolated? I heard there's an area their without networks so you can't connect to the outside world. It's perfect for when you really want a get away.

    1. Yes it is, there's no available network in the area so you have no choice but to socialize and unwind! :)

  8. The photography in this is amazing, it looks beautiful!


  9. I didn't know about Zambales before and I think this place doesn't have many visitors yet, means that it's the perfect place for holiday getaway! I really want to go there someday! Beautiful pictures anyway <3



    1. Thank you! You definitely should! Off season is the perfect place to go to avoid the crowd! :)

  10. That's a very beautiful place! Will visit one day! :)


  11. Zambaleeeeeees! I really can't wait to visit this place. The more I see these photos, the more I want to visit it.

    1. Visit soon! The place is amazing and you can do lots of activities as well :)

  12. The place look so relaxing and ig worthy. I haven't been to Zambales since I'm from the south but I'd love to go there sometime. Great tips! very useful indeed. I followed you on Instagram :)

    Capturing Life Memoirs |

    1. It is IG worthy indeed! Hahaha. Thank yoU! I followed you back :)

  13. Ang dami ng activities since I last went so many years ago. Haha! But I agree, it is the best place to really spend time with people since you get disconnected from the outside world. Even the stars looked so close!

  14. Thanks for sharing, Nika. You think a solo traveler can visit Nagsasa Cove and survive? I really wanted to visit a beach alone, and mingle with the locals.

    1. Going solo to Nagsasa Cove is definitely a good idea! I suggest to go on a weekday para mas feel mo yung lugar :)


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