Nagsasa Cove DIY Trip | Zambales Backpacking Series

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When talking about Natural Resources and pristine travel destinations, Philippines would definitely stand out across South East Asia. Waterfalls, lush mountains, clear seas, name it. Despite being labeled as a third-world country, I actually feel so lucky to be living in an archipelago of 7,107 magnificent islands.

During our trip to Luzon last year, we have witnessed another travel destination so majestic we thought we have just been into a trance. In the town of Zambales nestle four coves, having Anawangin and Nagsasa as the most famous camping destinations. A long stretch of volcanic sands (which is an effect of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption) with Pine trees lining up the coast  will welcome you as you approach the coves. In Nagsasa, behind the towering Pine trees is a wide grassland with a beautiful backdrop of the mountains, and a bonus of a waterfall if you trek farther. Some of the reasons why we decided to camp there.

THINGS TO DO IN NAGSASA

1. Beach camping
          If you don't have tents, worry no more because there are tents for rent worth 300.00php that fits up to four people.


2. Have a bonfire
          We had s'mores and some cans of beer which we bought before embarking on the boat en route to Nagsasa. Unlike the white sand beaches, bonfires are allowed in Nagsasa and Anawangin.


3. Trek to the waterfall
          What better way to make your adventure more intense than to go trekking for an hour to the waterfall? It was a very nice experience for we got to see more of Nagsasa. We paid 100.00php per head for the guide who was referred by the owner of the resort we camped at.


4. Watch the most beautiful sunset
          After the trek, we arrived back at the beach in time for the best sunset ever! No filter needed for this beautiful moment. We just sat there for a couple of hours staring at the beautiful horizon before we cooked our dinner.


HOW TO GET THERE:

          From Cebu, we took a plane bound for Diosdado Macapagal airport in Clark, Pampanga. From there, we took a cab to Dau Terminal. There is a shuttle to and from the airport to Dau which we rode on our last day bound for home. From Dau, we then took a V-hire to Olongapo. Finally we took a bus en route to San Antonio, Zambales then a tricycle from the Municiapal Hall to the beach in Brgy. Pundaquit, which is the jump-off point for the island hopping. Capones and Camara islands are visible from there.

         There are two ways to reach Anawangin and Nagsasa coves. First is to start a trek to Mt. Pundaquit and descend to Anawangin, which offers a magnificent view of the entire cove, or you can take a boat directly to the coves and the islands. In our case, we have arranged a boat trip packaged for Capones island, Anawangin and Nagsasa respectively since we took my sister's 2-year old daughter with us. 

You can check my Capones Island story here.


TIPS:

- Before flying out to Zambales, my cousin Cindy from www.fromseatosummit.wordpress.com had done an extensive research for this DIY trip. Before we left Cebu, we have already contacted Mang Mike from Brgy. Pundaquit who operates boat trips to the islands and the coves. We were lucky enough to have reached him because we were not ripped-off. He was so kind enough that he even arranged a trike to fetch us at San Antonio Municipal Hall en route to Pundaquit and another one from Pundaquit to Crystal Beach Resort in San Narciso. Unfortunately my phone was stolen which had Mang Mike's number but I suggest you look for him because he has the most reasonable price for the boat package.

- You should buy everything you need for the camping at San Antonio market  before sailing
: foods, charcoals, water, softdrinks, etc.

- When we reached Nagsasa, we were ushered to our cottage and pitched our tent beside it. There were comfort rooms available and a clean water for washing. There's a store with a generator available at night where you can charge your gadgets for 100.00php per charging regardless of the hours.

- Make sure to bring an insect repellent because you're like camping in the wild (No air conditioned rooms, etc.) and a jacket for it could get really cold when the night falls until early in the morning.

- Always clean your campsite before leaving. The best you can do as a visitor is to keep this laid-back beach as clean as possible.


Credits to Cindy Solon for the photos.

There you have it. I hope you have gained some ideas for your upcoming Nagsasa Cove trip. More about our Zambales Backpacking Series soon! Happy travels! 

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