Escaping from the busy urban life like that of Manila is actually achievable even if you just have the holiday season or the weekend to make the most of. With several fine-looking tropical beaches to pick from that is accessible either by land transport or boat transport, you don’t have to spend huge bucks of money just to fulfill your dream beach destination in Luzon. To give you a summary guide of the beach spots which you might want to explore, here is the list of top beaches to visit just near in Manila.
San Antonio, Zambales
Nagsasa Cove in Zambales has been recently recognized as a tourist destination especially for those who are adventure enthusiasts. Nagsasa Cove is renowned for its sands enveloped in ashes, teeming Agoho Trees which look similar to pine trees and a laid-back cool setting which is believed to be a fusion of the Baguio and Boracay atmosphere and stunning beach. Nagsasa Cove is regarded as an ideal spot for those who are in for a revitalizing plunge.
How to get there:
To head to Nagsasa Cove, you must first get to San Antonio by riding a Victory Liner bus from Pasay or Caloocan that is bound for Sta. Cruz or Iba, Zambales. Just inform the driver to drop you at San Antonio. Travel time via bus is around 3-4 hours. From San Antonio, you can ride a tricycle to take you to Barangay San Miguel or Pundaquit. From San Miguel or Pundaquit, Nagsasa Cove is approximately an hour and a half boat ride. Boats to Nagsasa are usually priced at 2000 pesos roundtrip for 4 persons.
Another considered gem in Zambales is Anawangin Cove. Anawangin is a crescent-contoured cove with an extensive, unspoilt white beach that is famous for its tall, packed pine trees. Also, Anawangin used to be very rocky on the way to the top but everything changed after the huge Mt. Pinatubo explosion covered the vast area with volcanic ashes thus also added up to the lush vegetation in the region. Even so, remarkable overlooking views of the mountain scopes put in more magic to the natural beauty that Anawangin Cove can truly boast of.
In the southern tip of San Antonio, Zambales you’ll find Capones Island which is one of the considered island paradise in Luzon. The island is specifically situated in Brgy. Pundaquit and is well-known for its lighthouse which was hand-made by Filipinos way back in the Spanish regime. Capones Island is adored for its white sand beach and clear turquoise waters, offering a one-of-its-kind experience to its tourists. Bear in mind that there are no well-to-do accommodation amenities in Capones, thus you must bring your own camping equipment and personal necessities.
Borawan Beach in Padre Burgos, Quezon
For beach enthusiasts, Borawan Island in Quezon is incontestably one of the top beaches to visit that is just near Manila. Borawan Island may be quite small compared to other islands in Luzon but it showcases an eye-catching vacation spot where you can really have a good time with your loved ones. Moreover, for those who are adventure and camping aficionados, Borawan Beach is great for camping, social drinking or to just simply take pleasure in nature’s magnificent creation. Plus you need not to worry about your accommodation since Borawan provides complete facilities from fresh new huts to comfort rooms, kitchen, tents for rent and even a store where you can purchase food and your other personal necessities.
How to get there:
Ride a bus that is heading to Lucena, Quezon. Travel time is around 3-4 hours. From the Lucena Grand Terminal take the bus that is passing by Padre Burgos. Then inform the driver or bus attendant to drop you at Basiao intersection. From there you can take the tricycle or just walk to the beach where boatmen are waiting to take you to Borawan Island.
Potipot Island is an isolated island which doesn’t have hotel-like room accommodations to boast about or even convenience stores which sell personal necessities so if you plan to visit this tranquil sanctuary, then, you have to bring your own tent and ample food which will suffice you for your whole length of stay along with your other personal needs. So if you are in search for a place to escape which offers captivating views of green tries, white sands and serene, clear waters, then Potipot Island should be your perfect choice.
How to get there:
Potipot Island is more or less around 240 kilometres away from Manila and can be accessed thru riding a bus from Cubao to Iba, Zambales for around 4 hours. From the heart of Iba there are buses bound for Sta. Cruz which pass by Uangco which is the main entry point to Potipot. From there you can take the tricycle which headst to the local boat docks that can give you a ride tto Potipot Island. Boat rides more often than not take around 10-15 minutes only.
Magalawa Island in Palauig, Zambales
Mangalawa Island is an island baranggay which covers 56 hectares of land area, positioned around 6 kms northwest of the town of Palauig, Zambales and is just close to the China Sea. Further the north you can find the San Salvador Island of Masinloc while lying on the east is Sitio Luan, Lipay. Undeniably, Magalawa offers a worthwhile getaway from the fast paced setting of the city life with its very laid-back setting. Magalawa Island has no electricity nor first-class hotel-like accommodations and restaurants so be sure to manage your expectations and bring extra batteries for your gadgets since the island only utilizes the use of a generator in the evening. Nevertheless, if you are longing for a serene island with unrivalled beauty that is favourable for soul-searching and exciting adventure then, without a doubt, Magalawa is just perfect for you.
How to get there:
From Cubao/Caloocan Bus Terminal in Manila, take the Victory Liner bus that is heading to Iba, Zambales. From Iba, transfer to another bus which heads to Sta. Cruz, Zambales. Then tell the driver to drop you off at Baranggay Pangolinan of Palauig (Cor Radio Veritas Road). From Brgy Pangolingan of Palauig ride a tricycle which is bound for Luan Port. The whole 20 minutes tricycle ride to Luan Port is quite bumpy so be sure to prepare yourself for it. From Luan Port, take the small boat which heads to Magalawa Island. Travel time is around 10-15 minutes.