Four kilometers off Barangay Pundaquit of Zambales in the main island of Luzon is the Capones Island or “Isla de Gran Capon” during the Spanish era. It is a two-kilometer long bone-shaped island surrounded with white sand and rocky shores.
This island boasts of white sand beaches conducive for overnight camping, day picnic and swimming; turquoise water and rich marine life that is great for diving and snorkeling.
There is no commercial establishment on the island and the only structure there (apart from an unfinished building) is an old Spanish lighthouse known as Faro de Punta Capones, built in 1890 to guide ships entering and leaving Subic Bay and to warn passing ships of the dangers of rocky shores around the island. The solar-powered lighthouse is Capones’ best kept secret, with its original brick house structure still in place, though in ruins and neglected, that still draws a dramatic scene.
Just a stone throw away from Capones Island is the Camara Island, which is virtually two islands connected by a sandbar.
How to Get to Capones Island
To get to Capones Island from Manila, ride a bus bound to Iba or Sta. Cruz, Zambales via Olongapo. Victory Liner has scheduled trips to these destinations. Tell the driver to drop you off at San Antonio. Fare starts at P270, travel time is around 3 to 4 hours via NLEX.
Upon reaching San Antonio, transfer to a tricycle to Barangay San Miguel or Pundaquit, standard rate is P30 per person, you may opt to add some tip since it is quite far.
Boats can be chartered at Barangay San Miguel or Pundaquit going to Anawangin, rate starts at P1,000 for Anawangin – Capones round trip good for maximum of four persons. Travel time from Pundaquit to Anawangin is roughly 45 minutes.
Capones-Anawangin-Nagsasa Boat Rate 2017
|Anawangin + Capones||1-4 persons||P1,000|
|Capones + Anawangin + Nagsasa Cove||1-4 persons||P2,500|
|Anawangin + Capones||5-6 persons||P1,500|
Where to Stay in Capones and Pundaquit
Since there is no commercial establishment in this island, you may bring a tent or camping equipments (plus foods and drinking water) if you are planning to stay there overnight. Just tell the boatman your planned date and time of return to San Miguel/Pundaquit.
If you are not into camping, you can have a day trip in Capones Island and stay overnight in Pundaquit or San Miguel where numerous hotels and restaurants can be found.
Recommended Accommodations in Pundaquit
Lalyn’s Home in San Antonio
DG Paraiso Restaurant
Here are some of the accommodations in Barangay Pundaquit and San Miguel.
Nora’s Beach Resort
Contact No: +639182788188/+639196374917
What to do in Capones Island and Nearby Areas
- Trek to Capones Lighthouse: If you are coming from the east side of Capones Island, you have to trek for an hour or less, to a rocky shore, passing to an unfinished building and statue of Mama Mary. I suggest you have someone with you who knows the place since the trail up has no signage, (only stone guides) and you may get lost. But if you are coming from the other side of the island (near the stairs), the lighthouse is already visible so it is easier to reach the place passing through a field, this side of the island however has rocky shore and some huge waves making it impossible for bancas to dock.
- Camping: Bring your own camping equipments, enough foods and water supply.
- Swimming, Snorkeling and Diving: Bring your own equipments.
- Island Hopping: You can visit the nearby Camara Island, Nagsasa Cove, Silanguin Cove, Talisayen Cove and Anawangin Cove.
- Aquatic Sports in Barangay Pundaquit: Jetskis are available for rent.
- Visit Pundaquit Falls
- Explore Palauig, Potipot, Masinloc, San Narciso or Liwliwa (San Felipe)
- Check out Anghalo Falls in San Felipe
- Taste the sweet mangoes of Zambales
- Trek to Mount Pinatubo Crater Lake via Botolan
- Enjoy arts and music at Casa San Miguel
- Trek to Mt. Pundaquit, Mt. Nagsasa, Mt. Cinco Picos or Mt. Balingkilat
DIY weekend camping itinerary
0500H : Departure from Manila to San Antonio, Zambales
0930H : Arrival in San Antonio
0930H – 11:00H: Market to buy necessary camping supplies, foods and other equipments, bring packed lunch or buy from the market, proceed to Pundaquit or San Miguel via trike to ride the boat
1100H – 1130H: Pundaquit or San Miguel to Camara Island
1130H – 1200H: Free time in Camara Island
1200H – 1230H: Camara to Capones Island
1230H – 1400H: Setup camp, fix stuff, lunch
1400H – 1800H: Explore, swim, photo ops
1800H – 2000H: Wash-up, prepare dinner
2000H – 2100H: Dinner
2100H onwards: Bonfire, Night party, Socials
0600H: Wakeup Call
0600H – 0900H: Breakfast, free time, swim, break camp
0900H – 1000H: Trek to lighthouse
1000H – 1130H: Photo ops, explore, rest in the light house
1130H – 1230H: Lighthouse to the boat
1230H – 1300H: Capones to San Miguel / Pundaquit
1300H – 1500H: Lunch, Shower / Fix up / Trike to San Antonio
1500H – 2000H: San Antonio to Olongapo / Food trip in Olongapo / Olongapo to Manila
Budget / Expenses
Here’s the estimated expenses for a group of four:
Manila to San Antonio Bus – 270
Food & Miscellaneous – 500
Boat Share – 250
Trike Share – 70
San Antonio to Olongapo Bus – 120
Olongapo to Manila Bus – 215
Approximately P1,425 / person
- Since this area is facing the open waters of the South China Sea, the water is generally rough any time of the year specially during afternoon.
- No mobile signal and electricity in the area