San Antonio, Zambales: Island-Hopping with Capones Vista Beach Resort
Capones Beach Vista Resort in Barangay Pundaquit in San Antonio, Zambales provides a convenient jumping-off point to Capones and Camara islands offshore. These islands were one of the first destinations in the Philippines when I started traveling a lot in 2008 (check out my blog entry from seven years ago). In spite of its popularity, it was good to see the islands retain its rustic atmosphere through the years, and not succumb to tourism overdevelopment that has befallen other tourist spots in the country.
A 15-minute boat ride from Pundaquit Beach shuttles visitors to Capones Island, a hunk of volcanic rock jutting out from the sea, topped by a weather-beaten Spanish lighthouse, Faro de Punta Capones, which was built from 1890 to 1897. During our trip, our boat couldn’t anchor close enough to shore due to the low tide and strong waves, so we had to swim to shore, holding on to a rope for safety. From the stony beach, it was a short but steep climb to the lighthouse sitting on a grassy meadow that dropped down to sheer cliffs. Capones is always quite an adventure – I wish we had camped on the island overnight!
The resort has its rooms and villas built around two swimming pools, the entire complex perfectly framing the islands floating on the West Philippine Sea. Room accommodation starts at PHP 3,300 for deluxe doubles on weekdays, and PHP 3,500 for weekends and holidays.
Capones Vista Beach Resort
Barangay Pundaquit, San Antonio, Zambales
Tel. +63 47 6031382, +63 9209183668 (Reservations available from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)
This trip was made possible through NLEX Lakbay Norte 4, a media trip held from January 29 to February 1, 2015, and organized by the North Philippines Visitors Bureau (NPVB), a non-stock, non-profit organization spearheaded by the Manila North Tollways Corporation, builder and concessionaire of the North Luzon Expressway.
Fly to Manila from abroad or across the Philippines on Philippine Airlines – your home in the sky. San Antonio, Zambales is 186 km northwest of Metro Manila.