Re-visiting Potipot Island Of Candelaria, Zambales

Candelaria Zambales Potipot Island

At the infancy of my wandering back in college, newbies like me had few less options when it comes to destinations. Confined with limited knowledge of destinations and traveling ideas, I was bound to nearby locations. Not far up north in a province called Zambales lies coastal destinations promising pristine beaches and offering a wide array of adventure awaiting the intrepid traveler. One of Zambales’ provinces is a paradise locals of Candelaria take pride of. I’ve been here once and was committed to revisiting the unspoiled island of called Potipot.Looking forward to an easy five hour drive, we opted to leave Laguna around past 12 hoping to avoid the daytime traffic of the National Highway passing by several towns of Zambales. Halfway on our journey we stopped by Subic’s The Coffee Shop to indulge ourselves with Jumbo Tacos for breakfast. Overflowing with succulent ground beef topped with vegetables and lots of cheese are wrapped in a taco shell of your choice. Eating this Taco is messy but at the same time delicious.

jumbo taco in subic coffee shopThe Coffee Shop‘s Jumbo Taco in Subic.

COffee Shop Rooftop hotel Subic ZambalesThe Coffee Shop Restaurant  entrance. View from the National Highway.

Expanding volume of traffic was inevitable as streets of Zambales get busy with residents get on with their usual weekend routine. As crawled our way in town propers, our pace got faster as we exit town to the outskirts. Fortunately, there were routes avoiding several town proper until we finally arrived at the town of Candelaria.

Facing the South China Sea, Candelaria is the second farthest coastal town in Zambales. Along the highway stood bold signboards of numerous resorts which serves as entry points to the pristine Potipot Island. From one hotel we hopped to another in search of the cheapest but accommodating place to stay for the night. We literally scanned one resort to another.

rooms in puerto del mar uacon candelaria zambales Air-conditioned cogon cottages. Nope, not our room.

gazebos in puerto del mar uacon candelaria zambales Cogon picnic shades, nope not our dining area.

hut in puerto del mar candelaria zambalesThis is our humble hut.

open huts in puerto del mar uacon candelaria zambales And our dining area.

Among all the resorts, Puerto Del Mar caught our eyes and fitted perfectly our budgets. Rooms and cottages are cheap. Within the vicinity are barbeque grill areas and open huts.    Talipapa, a small wet market, is available within proximity. In addition, the resort has an in-house sari sari stores selling basic supplies like canned goods, drink, beer, cigarettes, etc., conveniently open 24 hours (but I think you have to knock).

Sufficing our overnight accommodation was a humble hut with native cogon grass for a roof. Sliced bamboos made up the four walls of our cottage. For our dining area, we also got an open hut, installed with a table and two benches. Basically, everything we need is at hand for a cheap price P600.00.

Uacon Beach Potipot Island Candelaria ZambalesCalm waves sweeping Brgy. Uacon’s shores.

Sunset in Uacon Candelaria Zambales Potipot IslandView of Potipot Island from Brgy. Uacon’s beach on a rainy afternoon.

Setting aside resort amenities and facilities, Puerto del Mar stood out, at least for me, because of the resort’s clean beach front. There were no boats, little to garbage-free, and it was quiet and isolated since it was a bit farther to the popular resorts in Baranggay Uacon, Candelaria. So after settling down, we had a nice time at the beach, skimmed the smooth shores swept by calm waves, and tried throwing a boomerang which we were unfortunate to catch.

Everyone was still deep in their sleeps, except Malai, when I woke up that morning. I helped prepare the hefty breakfast of hotdogs, eggs, and smoked fishes to get us carbo-loaded for an entire day in Potipot Island. Sandwiches and ice cold drinks were also packed as snacks in our island getaway. After tummies were filled and everything was ready, our kind host, Kuya Ronald, assisted us to two small outriggers boats capable of carrying 4 passengers each. Life jackets were provided to ensure the safety of guest onto the 5-10 minute boat ride under a occasional drizzles and a brewing storm.

breakfast vacationStarting the day right with a heavy breakfast.

boat to Potipot Island Candelaria ZambalesLife vests provided to ensure the safety of boat passengers. Beers not included.

boat white sand in Potipot Island zambalesRain clouds hovering the Zambales province.

Opaque dark blue waters turned translucent revealing the thriving marine life until I felt the boat’s bow touched the the powdery wite sand of Potipot Island. Upon arrival, the island caretaker greeted us by charging a P100.00 entrance fee per head. The entrance fee comes with a beach front picnic table free of use. Cottages and comfort rooms are also installed within the island.

Cottages and comfort room in Potipot Island ZambalesCottages and comfort room in the island.

Potipot is a 7.5 hectare island surrounded by fine white sands and small corals. Circumnavigating the whole island would take a 20-30 minute walk along its beach. The walk passes by a large driftwood which has been there ever since and an iconic structure in Potipot Island. An isolated area on the western side (I think), has crystal clear water and soft pinkish white sand.

Isolated beac potipot island zambalesAn isolated area in Potipot Island.

Potipot Island ZambalesScattered along Potipot’s beaches are varying sizes of drift wood.

Potipot island zambalesCG and Malai sat by the huge branch of the driftwood.

Potipot Island Zambales driftwoodFeet dangling from the enormous branch.

So, that’s about it. Overall, we spent more or less than P1,500, but I’m 100% sure it still can be reduced. We brought a van, but since a friend followed later the first evening, they had to bring another car. Final plans for this trip were made the last night before our target date. We had not enough time to shop and prepare food and  supplies since most of us were busy with work. In the end, everything ended well. Everyone was happy, everyone was exhausted, we encountered problems along the way, but this journey was one hell of a ride. See you on our next Biyahe.

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Now here are some fast facts which may help on your trip:

1. If you’re driving to Candelaria, Zambales:
From North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), take Dau/Mabalacat Exit, entered Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) to Tipo Exit. Pass through Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) to Subic town proper. From Subic, pass by the towns of Castillejos and San Marcelino, then take the short cut (which is going straight instead of turning left) to avoid passing by San Antonio. When you reach a T-junction, turn right to San Narciso town proper. From there, head north passing by the towns of San Felipe, Cabangan, Botolan, Iba. Upon reaching a Y-junction, take the left road to Masinloc to avoid passing by Palauig town proper. After Masinloc, and the long agonizing drive is the town of Candelaria.

2. If you’re commuting, you may take a Victory Liner Bus. The Caloocan and Cubao Terminals have daily trips to Iba or Sta. Cruz, Zambales. Taking the Sta. Cruz bus will pass by Candelaria Town Proper, and you may take the tricycle from there. However, if you’re taking the Iba bus, you have to alight in Iba then ride a jeep, or a bus going to Sta. Cruz. Bus fare cost from P451.00-P456.00 depending where you will be coming from. For the schedule check the Victory Liner Schedule Table or call their terminals just to make sure.

Caloocan Terminal – (02) 361-1506 or (02) 361-4665 to 66
Cubao Terminal – (02) 410-8986 or(02) 727-4534
Pasay Terminal – (02) 833-4403 or (02) 833-5019 to 20

3. Just to give you a rough estimate, our gas budget for a Toyota Hi-Ace Diesel van was P2,260 from Manila-Candelaria and back.

4. Boat from Uacon to Potipot Island cost P400.00 maximum of 4 persons per boat.

5. Click Puerto Del Mar Beach Resortfor the accommodation rates and prices. Call or text Kuya Ronald Pangan for reservation and inquiries on the resort. 09183170478 or 09324038864

6. Like BIYAHERONG BARAT on Facebook.

7. More destinations in Zambales in Biyaheng Zambales.

8. Follow @BiyaherongBarat on Twitter

9. Be safe and enjoy your trip.

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I saw some photos of our first trip to Potipot Island and Candelaria, Zambales 5 years ago. This was one of my favorite trips.

Potipot Island around 2005 or 06 ZambalesOur mandatory drift wood shot

Potipot Island around 2005 - 2006The whole group in Potipot Island.

Potipot IslandJett, Yani, Sam & Me in front of Isla Vista, Brgy. Uacon, Candelaria, Zambales.

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33 thoughts on “Re-visiting Potipot Island Of Candelaria, Zambales

    • Hi Carissa,

      I’m really glad I was able to help. Potipot Island is really a must see. May I know when is your trip, and share us your experience in Potipot, ok? Enjoy and have a safe trip, ok? Have great day!

  1. Pingback: Long Way Up To Capones Lighthouse in San Antonio, Zambales « Biyaherong Barat

  2. Hello Jed! Nice web site. Your article on Potipot Island is definitely what I was looking for. Great photos too! Anyways, I would like to ask for some tips, if you know, on how to get back to Manila from Candelaria. We’re planning on commuting btw, any idea on how to ride a bus back to Manila? Thanks in advance! :)

    • Hi Totit,

      Thank you very much. There are buses coming from Sta. Cruz which pass by Candelaria, you could take it from the main highway. It goes directly to Manila, either Cubao, Pasay, or Monumento. I’m not sure with the schedule though. You could check with Victory Liner’s website. =)

      Have a great day. Thank you very much.

  3. Hello Jed! Your site is really helpful for the biyaheros like me! May I know if we can stay for a beach camp on the island? (Sana pwede… “,)

    -ar’o :)

    • Hi Ar’o

      Thank you very much. I’m really glad to help. Yes, camping on the island is allowed. I haven’t tried though, but I’m sure it’s quite an experience.

      Have a great trip, ar’o. Enjoy.

  4. I’m sure you’ll love to stay for some long time in the beach, I suggest you must try it with your barkada. I recommend burot beach in calatagan for a beach camp… it’s really an experience!

    Thanks for the answer! More trips to come! :)

  5. Hi,

    Love your blog.

    The pic you have here for the air-conditioned cogon cottages, same resort din ba yan where you stayed? Puerto Del Mar too?

    Thanks :)

  6. Love your blog. And great pics too!

    The pic u have here for the air-conditioned nipa cottages, sa same resort din ba sila where you stayed? Puerto del mar?

    Thanks!!

    Lia

  7. Hi! Mas mura ba ang mga seafoods sa Candelaria compared to Manila? Much better ba kung magdala nalang ng cooked food or hindi naman ganon kahassle mamalengke sa talipapa nila then magluto sa resort?

  8. HI Jed, planning on bringing my kids to this island this weekend but been reading a few stories about jellyfish attack. im scared. is it true?

  9. sir anggaling ng shots mo. what dslr are you using and settings narin? lupet. keep up the good work. love your site. really helpful

    • Hello Jet,

      Maraming salamat. I’m using a Canon entry-level DSLR pero Canon man o Nikon, pareho lang naman sila and its a never ending debate. In the end nasa shooter din naman yun kung pano makakakuha ng perfect exposure. Preference ko lang mag-Canon kase mas maraming service center. Mas madaling mapuntahan. Kahit ako ‘di ko rin alam yung technical stuff, at specs, e.

      Sa settings, they vary from time to time depende sa ilaw, at sa kukunan. Pero ang mga minsan ko lang palitan, yung:

      White Balance – AWB
      Focusing Point – Center lang lagi
      Metering – Evaluative (pero minsan nagpapalit din ako)

      Aperture ko usually f/11 ‘pag mga landscape pero depende pa din, minsan mas feel ko mas malaking depth minsan ok na sa f/11. Depende rin sa yo.

      I hope this helps. Sorry ‘di ako masyadong technical sa settings, ‘di ko rin kase gaano alam kung pano gamitin yung iba.

  10. Bro, nice blog you have. Ask ko lang, for a family of 5 with 3 kids mag kano kaya ang gagastusin to stay for 2 days and 1 night lang.

    Puede ba na magdala lang ako ng tent sa resort and then coke our own food. I hope you can advise me on this.

    Thanks Bro.

  11. Hi Sir,

    We are planning to visit the island. Byahe kami ng May 18, Saturday, night around 11pm then direct na kaming punta ng island. San kami pwedeng sumakay ng bangka sa candelaria in going to Potipot ng mga 5 or 6 am?

    Hope you could us. Thanks.

  12. Hi! I read blogs for Potipot Island getaway, compare to the others, mas comprehensive ang sa iyo. thanks for all the info’s. We’re planning on June 1, hopefully di maulan at di masyadong hi-tide. yung tama lang :=)

    all the hangin’ questions were answered. Thank you very much.

  13. This is cool article! Big help! You might also know how can we get to Potipot (by commure), if we’ll be from San Antonio (Nagsasa).

    Planning to get in Nagsasa first then to Potipot. Thanks :)

  14. Hi. Thank you for a very informative blog. My family and I will be staying at a resort in Botolan beach. I really want to visit Potipot Island because I have been reading a lot of good readings about it. Do you think we can arrange a boat trip from Botolan Point Beach to Potipot Island? Is that doable? :) thanks!

  15. hi!just want to say thank you coz this blog really help us to discover Potipot Island,but one thing i disagree that Puerto del Mar is a good place to be(Im sorry)coz our experience is not really good,they say that they dont have big rooms for 14 pax so we just negotiate by renting one room at dahil free naman ang open cottage ok na sana kame mag stay dun at may dala naman kaming camping tent,bigla ba namang sinabe na may bayad ang pag lalagay ng tent at P500 ang isa,grabe lang sila,naiintindihan nmen may bayad ang entrance at parking pero yung pag lalagay ng tent?sobra naman sila.sorry gusto ko lang i-share nakakainis lang kasi,anyway nag decide kame na mghanap ng iba at yun mas nakamura pa kame.Thank you again and i really love your blog!

    • Oo Cyrene, dami namang resort dun. Medyo hassle nga yun. Siguro nagkataon lang na walang tao nung pumunta kami kaya ok lang mga kung anu-ano. Nevertheless, I hope you still enjoyed your trip.

  16. Hi,we are planning to go to potipot island but still looking for a place to stay. I read a lot of blogs about the resorts near the island and what caught my eye is the dawal beach resort and the Puerto Del Mar. What i liked about Dawal is the amenities they have and as per their website they offer the same price. (not really sure though) We’re just 2 actually,any idea how much we need to spend for an overnight stay? Thanks! :)

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