San Antonio in Zambales, about 189 kilometers from Metro Manila, is home to well-known beaches, including Capones Island, popular with beach-goers staying in Pundaquit or Anawangin or Nagsasa coves. Even among San Antonio's collection of pretty islands and coves, uninhabited Capones stands out with its glassy blue waters and sprawling hilly terrains. Rough seas — the island faces the open ocean — mean swimming isn't usually safe, but nearby Anawangin beach is just a short boat ride away. Capones is made popular by its breathtaking views and the climb to the top of Faro de Punta Capones Lighthouse, built during the Spanish colonial era. From the west end of the island, where the lighthouse stands, visitors can trek the length of 1.9 kilometer Capones to a white-sand beach lapped by Pacific ripples and hemmed by a tumble of giant rocks on one side. There are no amenities on the island so take provisions with you if you plan on camping or staying overnight. Make prior arrangements with boatmen for pick-up time. Best time to go to avoid rough waters is sometime November till May. Find out more about Capones island and where to stay in our article on Northern exposure.
How to get there
From the terminal in Cubao, take the Victory Liner bus to Iba, Zambales. Tell the driver and conductor to drop you off at San Antonio, Zambales. Travel time is about four hours. The bus will drop you off by the marketplace, then you need to ride a tricycle to Pundaquit beach. From there, there are boats that can take you to Capones Island and the other coves.
Cover photo is a screengrab from @chee_ep on Instagram.
By Celia Nachura
Published October 2016