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Top 14 Beaches in Zambales

Zambales is sitting along the western coast of the Philippines. Thus, it boasts some of the best beaches in the Philippines. Apart from this,  it can boast of its well-preserved churches, other historical sites, and its sweetest produce. Zambales starts the celebration of the annual Mango Festival every third Tuesday of April. This festival is a form of thanksgiving to God for producing a bountiful and sweetest harvest of mangoes.

Meanwhile, in certain towns, Zambales preserves some of the landmarks that possess important historical values. In the town of Castillejos, Zambales maintains the former home of the previous Philippine president, Ramon Magsaysay, Sr. This place now serves as a museum that speaks of some of the highlights in life and contributions of former President Magsaysay.

The 19th Century Church, made of Coral stones, is still standing in the town of Masinloc. This church is the San Andres Apostol Parish Church, sometimes referred to as the Masinloc Church.

Zambales is also home to several beaches, ideal for swimming, snorkeling, extreme water sports, or just for photo opp. Some of the beaches can serve as a base for your island hopping. But, some can only serve as a side trip you can’t miss.

Below is more detailed information about some of the best beaches in Zambales. In each number, you can find the location of the beach, the facilities available, if any, and some quick facts about each beach. Let’s start.

1. Magalawa Island

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love the place

Magalawa Island is one of the blossoming tourist destinations in Zambales. It features a white sandbar almost as fine as the white sand of Boracay.

It is also locally known as the Island of the Stars. This is because several starfish can be spotted here.

Magalawa Island is home to a small village. But, there are only two resorts available on the island. They provide lodging, a campsite, a grilling facility, and a canteen. You can bring your own food too. For better seats, ambiance, and food, you may try the floating restaurant in one of the resorts on-site, the Armada Resort.

While staying on Magalawa Island, you can go snorkeling, kayaking, and camping. You can also go for an island hopping to nearby islands like Bacala Sandbar or Potipot Island.

The Magalawa Island can be reached via a 10-minute boat ride from the shore of Brgy. Pangolingan, Palauig, Zambales. The town of Palauig is the tenth town from Olongapo City and sits right after the Municipality of Iba.

Once you’re in Palauig, just continue following the National Road. You’ll pass by two intersections, the Amungan Triangle and then the Banlog Triangle. Shortly after arriving in Brgy. Pangolingan, turn left to follow the Veritas Road and reach the port. There’ll be parking available for private vehicles near the port. When taking public transportation, the bus can drop you off along the National Road in Brgy. Pangolingan, Palauig corner Veritas Road.

How to get to Magalawa? Read this Travel Guide Magalawa Island + Bacala Sandbar in Zambales

2. Bacala Sandbar

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Bacala Sandbar

I’ve mentioned that a side trip can be made from Magalawa Island to Bacala Sandbar. This is located in the town of Masinloc but not more than a half-hour away via boat ride.

The Bacala Sandbar is a bit sunken. During high tide, its water can reach up to knee-deep. During low tide, the water can only be ankle deep.

The main highlight in the Bacala Sandbar is a beach house built by the local government. Its second floor is lodging for its caretakers. And, the first floor is for tourists who can just lounge and have a picnic while enjoying the view of the sandbar and the coast of Zambales.

The Bacala Sandbar is actually part of San Salvador Island, Masinloc. The Municipality of Masinloc is located north of the Palauig. For a boat ride that directly heads to Bacala Sandbar, you should find the Masinloc Mall. Behind it is the port where the small boats are available sailing to Bacala Sandbar or San Salvador Island.     READ: TOP BEACH RESORTS IN ZAMBALES

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3. Anawangin Cove

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Credit: Ver Estotsenberg / Creative Commons

Anawangin Cove is a beach that popped up after the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. The formerly rocky cove turned out to be a budget-friendly beach destination. Anawangin Cove doesn’t have an electricity supply and has a low to no mobile signal. There are sari-sari stores, canteens, shared toilets, and shower rooms. Available lodging is limited to camping tents and a few cottages. Thus, letting you get close to nature.

Aside from having a nice swim, you can also go out for island hopping to nearby coves and islands like Capones Island with Lighthouse and Nagsasa Cove. You can also take a short hike on the hilltop of Anawangin.

Sitting in San Antonio, Zambales, the Anawangin Cove can be reached by a boat ride from Pundaquit which is also in San Antonio. San Antonio is the fourth municipality from Olongapo City.

How to get to Anawangin Cove? You can ride a bus that can drop you off at the San Antonio Market. From there, you can ride a tricycle to take you to the Pundaquit beach. Alternatively, from Manila, you can alight at Olongapo City. And then, ride a bus heading to San Antonio Market. Once in Pundaquit beach, you can ride a boat going to the Anawangin Cove. This will only be about a 15 to 20 minute-boat ride.

Map

4. Nagsasa Cove
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Similar to Anawangin Cove, Nagsasa Cove is a beach that blossomed after the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. It can be reached by boat from Pundaquit beach.

Nagsasa Cove doesn’t have electricity and a mobile signal. There are only campsite and cottages available for lodging. Some lodging facilities providers in Nagsasa Cove may have a generator. The Nagsasa Cove can be your jump-off point for island hopping. Your route can include Anawangin Cove and Capones Island.

Another thing you can do here is to go out to catch fish. You may borrow a fishing rod from your boatman. From the beach, you can also take a hike uphill. This is a bit steep and can take 30 minutes to an hour.

Within the greenery of Nagsasa are their waterfalls. The trail towards the Nagsasa waterfalls is an easy trek through shrubs, mostly flat ground, and only a few hikes. The trail is unmarked so a guide is highly advisable.

READ: Nagsasa Cove, Zambales: A Chance to Give Back

5. Hermana Menor Island
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The island of Hermana Menor boasts a white sand beach, a sandbar, and a rocky beach.

To preserve its unspoiled island, access to the Hermana Menor is only limited to day trips and sometimes limited to a certain number of visitors or select visitors. It is best to coordinate with its caretaker or its tour provider ahead of time.

There are no stores, overnight accommodation, or resorts here. There’s a family vacation house on the island but it is not available for rent and is a restricted area.

There are only four cottages available for day trips only. Then, other available facilities you can use are a separate bathroom for men and women and a grilling station. Don’t forget to bring your own food and drinking water.

The Hermana Menor is an island of Sta. Cruz, Zambales. The Sta. Cruz, Zambales is the northern most part of Zambales.

How to get to Hermana Menor Island? When taking public transportation, alight in the Petron Station in Brgy. Lipay. From which, you can ride a tricycle that will take you to the port of Brgy. Lipay. And, there, you can rent a boat going to Hermana Menor.

READ: Hermana Menor Island in Zambales TRAVEL GUIDE

6. Capones Island

Capones Island is a secluded cliff island with no commercial establishments. It’s home to an old Spanish lighthouse built in 1890.

It was called Faro de Punta Capones. It is a solar-powered lighthouse. It has been used to guide the ships going to and fro the Subic Bay. Alongside the lighthouse is an unfinished brick establishment.

The old Spanish lighthouse is located on top of the rocky cliff of Capones Island. It is a steep hike for only 15 minutes. Near Capones Island is an ideal snorkeling and diving site.

Capones Island is ideal for a day trip since there really are no facilities available here. The jump-off point to get here can be from the port of Brgy. Pundaquit. Or, it can be a side trip from Anawangin Cove.

7. Potipot Island

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Jump Shot!

Potipot Island is a secluded islet and can be explored in not more than fifteen minutes. There is no electricity, just a generator at night. The island has a camping site. But, don’t forget to bring your own meals and drinks. Setting up bonfires and littering are prohibited on the island.

Potipot Island has cottages available for rent. Other facilities available are the bathroom, shower room, and grilling station.

Potipot Island is a small island that is part of the Candelaria, Zambales. To get there, ride a bus bound to the Sta. Cruz, Zambales. Then, you will alight in Brgy. Uacon, Candelaria, Zambales, near its Barangay hall. Then, from here, you can ride a tricycle heading to the beach area of Brgy. Uacon where you can ride a boat. A boat ride can only take 15 minutes.

READ: Potipot Island Travel Guide and Story

8. Crystal Beach Resort

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Credit: Crystal Beach Resort  Site

The Crystal Beach Resort is easily accessible by private vehicle and public transportation. It does not feature a fine white sand beach like the other beaches in Zambales. But, it is convenient for those who prefer staying in the rooms than in tents.

For those who prefer outdoor, a camping site is available at Crystal Beach Resort. You can rent a tent or bring your own.

The Crystal Beach Resort provides rooms with fan or aircon. They also have an on-site restaurant.

For other food options, you may bring your own food or buy it at the nearby stores and canteen. Corkage fee though may be required.

What people love most about the Crystal Beach Resort is its strong current. This is most ideal for surfing.

How to get to the resort? The Crystal Beach Resort is located in San Narciso, Zambales. The Municipality of San Narcisco comes after the town of San Antonio. When riding a bus bound to Iba or Sta. Cruz, Zambales, you can alight in San Sebastian Catholic Church in San Narciso. Then, take a 10-minute tricycle ride to the Crystal Beach Resort.

9. Talisayin Cove

The Talisayin Cove (sometimes spelled as Talisayen Cove) is located in San Antonio, Zambales. It is specifically in the middle of Nagsasa Cove and Anawangin Cove. It is the least visited beach among the three.

Also, among the three, the Talisayin Cove has the clearest water. You can literally see fishes making a swim.

Its sky above is also clear that it is an ideal site for stargazing. Talisayin Cove has no mobile signal and electricity. The generator is available from 5 PM to 10 PM. There’s a store in Talisayin Cove but only sells snacks and drinks.

Three resorts provide basic camping facilities. There are cottages with hammocks and a camping area. Other available facilities of the resorts are shared restrooms with running water and an open kitchen. In the Talisayin Cove, there’s a hill you can climb which is an easy 40-minute trek. From this hill, you can also see Capones Island.

10. Silanguin Cove

Silanguin Cove is the fourth cove in Zambales. It is the biggest among the four coves but the farthest cove. The boat ride from the Pundaquit beach may take an hour and a half, or more or less.

There are three resorts in Silanguin Cove. They provide shared bathrooms and shower rooms, grilling facilities, and a shared kitchen. There is no electricity here but only solar power at night.

For recreational activities, the resorts provide facilities for kayak and other water sports which can be rented. For overnight, they have cottages and tents.

On the dry area of Silanguin Cove, there’s a short trek towards the Viajero’s View Deck. It is really steep and is unmarked. But, once you’re in the peak, you’ll see the scenic beach of Silanguin which features fine white sand of the cove and the abundant pine-like trees.

The second hiking activity in Silanguin Cove heads towards its waterfalls. This hike will be more than a half-hour hike through fields and riverbeds.

11. Liwliwa Beach

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Credit: blankitineraries.blogspot.com

Liwliwa Beach is another ideal surfing spot in Zambales. But, by summer, the waves tend to be calmer.

Like other beaches in Zambales, the Liwliwa Beach features fine gray sand and pine-like trees near its shore. This is its designated picnic site.

At Liwliwa Beach, there are budget-friendly to high-end room accommodations available. Alternatively, there is a camping area. But, guests should bring their own tent since there is no camping tent available for rent.

When looking for food, some canteens suit your budget. Or, you can try some cafes and restaurants that can be a bit pricey but well worth it.

Liwliwa Beach is part of the San Felipe, Zambales, right next to San Narcisco. So, drop off point of Iba or Sta. Cruz-bound bus is in the public market of San Felipe and 7-11 store. Then, ride a tricycle to take you directly to Liwliwa Beach.

12. Subic Beach

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Credit: White Rock Waterpark and Beach Hotel

Subic Bay is one of the most visited beaches in Zambales because it is easily accessible from Manila. Travel time may only take three to four hours.

Sprawling on the coast of Subic are several beach resorts, from budget-friendly to high-end resorts. Some are even theme parks. Subic Bay has four main beaches. Two of them are just a few minutes away from the Subic International Airport. The third beach lies in Grande Island and can be reached via ferry boat only.

The fourth main beach in Subic is Camayan Beach. It is located along the Ilanin Road, near the Ocean Adventure Park. This is the most accessible by the public. Aside from swimming, Camayan Beach is also a nice snorkeling spot. The Camayan Beach also serves as a jump-off point by scuba divers to impressive marine sanctuaries.

READ:  Top 13 Beach Resorts in Subic Zambales

13. Pundaquit Beach

I’ve already mentioned in this article that the Pundaquit Beach serves as a jump-off point to the different coves in Zambales. This serves as the home of fishermen.

Along the beach are several resorts, accommodations, canteens, and other commercial establishments. It is also near its public market and town proper.

Pundaquit Beach is also swimmable since its waters are usually calm throughout the year. But, by Monsoon season, or right after summer until October, the waters get to have strong waves which make the beach an ideal site for surfing.

Pundaquit Beach is located in the town of San Antonio, Zambales. Drop off point of buses is at Municipal Hall of San Antonio, or the town proper. From there, a tricycle is available and can take you to the beach.

14. Camara Island

Camara Island is a small islet that can be seen from Pundaquit Beach. It features rocky hills, huge chunks of rock formations, boulders of rock, and a sand beach.

Camara Island is a good place to go for snorkeling, swimming, and photo opp. It also boasts a sandbar that only pops up every low tide or usually after the rainy season.

Other than that, there isn’t much to do on the island. There are no commercial establishments as well. If you’d like to have a picnic here, it is best to bring a garbage bag and take them home with you.

Camara Island is also near Capones Island. This is usually a side trip to the island-hopping from the main coves in Zambales. It is only roughly 10 to 15 minutes away from Pundaquit Beach.

Updated for 2020, 2022