Isla de Potipot is the answer if you are looking for quick get-away where you can enjoy both a long drive and a quiet time in an island.
It is located in Candelaria in the province of Zambales.
Isla de Potipot is ideal as a camping site for those people who are nature and adventure seekers.
It is 5-6 hours drive from Manila and 10 mins boat ride from the main land going to the island.
How to get to Isla de Potipot
By Private Car
You have two options when driving going to Candelaria, Zambales. You may take via NLEX Mabalacat-Subic route which is around 275 kilometers from Cubao or the NLEX Mabalacat-Tarlac-Pangasinan route which is longer as it is around 320 kilometers from Cubao.
The Waze app is your friend if you are planning to drive all the way to Zambales. Waze will give you which route has better traffic flow for you to reach Zambales faster.
There are local residents that offer rental of camping stuff and parking space if you don’t want to bring too many items like tents, cooking and kitchen utensils, stove, grills, ice cooler, especially if all you want to do is to soak in Potipot’s water and chill in its shores.
You may contact Mr. Rapoy Hermogino 0915-801-8101, from Brgy. Uacon, Candelaria, Zambales, to reserve you a parking space and camping items.
He will guide you where you can park, buy food to cook, rent cooking and kitchen utensils, and rent boat for your group.
By Public Transportation
You may take a bus bound to Sta. Cruz, Zambales (Victory Liner in Sampaloc, Manila or Cisco Bus in Cubao using PinoyTravel online booking).
1. Ride a bus bound to Sta. Cruz, Zambales. Price may vary (Ranging from Php 450.00 – Php 550.00)
2. Drop off at PTT Gas Station in Brgy. Uacon, Candelaria, Zambales (Landmark: PTT gas station is located in front of the basketball court or plaza)
3. You may call Mr. Rapoy Hermogino 0915-801-8101 or hire a tricycle going to Potipot Park n’ Boat.
4. Rent a boat to take you to Isla de Potipot.
If you are planning to stay in the cottage and do not want to sleep in the tent, better reserve early to avoid the hassle. You may reserve by contacting the admin of Isla de Potipot Hotel and Beach Resort.
This quick getaway would be the most relaxing as the itinerary is quite straight-forward. You can do kayak, balsa ride and of course, swim in the clear waters of the beach.
I highly suggest to visit the island during weekdays and avoid peak days like holidays and weekends for you to fully enjoy the place.
For those who love long drives and do not want the hassle of packing too much stuff in the car (we drove our personal car going to Zambales and brought only our clothes, cameras, phones, snacks and 2 tents and mats).
Entrance fee (for overnight stay): Php 500.00 per head
Rental: Php 1300.00 for group of 4 or Php 325.00 per head (Boat, parking, cooking and kitchen utensils, gas stove, charcoal, 2 water containers, ice cooler)
Food: Php 1700.00 for group of 4 or Php 425.00 per head (good for 2 lunches, 1 breakfast and 1 dinner, bottles of beer)
Cottage rental: Php 2500.00 (The bed is good for 2 persons. The room can fit 6 persons but you need to bring your mat)
Note: There is only 1 outlet inside the room. Better bring your own extension so you can still use electric fan while charging your mobile phones).
I intentionally did not include the gas and toll as it may vary depending on your vehicle or route but if you are interested to know how much we spent, here’s the breakdown:
Gas: Php 1500.00 (back and forth) or Php 375.00 per head
Toll: Not more than Php 1000.00 (back and forth) or Php 250.00 per head
Total cost per head: Php 1875.00
Total cost per head (with cottage rental): Php 2500.00
1. Bring your own tent, mats, cooking and kitchen utensils, food, coffee, charcoal, beer (yasss!). These are the things that you can control to reduce your expenses.
2. Bring or buy drinking water and ice before riding a boat going to the island.
3. Bring powerbank, camera or drone (yes, you can fly drone there!) and extension wire (if you will rent a cottage).
4. The island has public comfort rooms with water but better bring hygiene kit like tissue, wet wipes, soap, etc.
5. Bring plastic bags for trash (Do not litter. Love our nature!)
5. No need to bring or rent cooking grills. Isla de Potipot offers free grilling station.
6. Plan to arrive early at the island so you have a better chance of choosing a good place to pitch your tent or cottage to rent as they honor first come, first served policy.