Potipot Island: Your Ultimate Castaway Experience
When in Manila, we sometimes feel like we just want to break away from from the hustle and bustle of the city. We long for the time to come that we will have our own peace and quiet to be able to relax even for just a few days. With work getting in the way of our schedule, it might seem difficult to squeeze in a beach trip with the family or with your partner. But did you know that a small paradise lies just a few hours from Manila? Just hop on and drive 250 kilometers north to reach Potipot Island, an island off the coast of Candelaria, Zambales.
How to Get to Potipot Island
To get there via public transport, take a bus bound for Sta. Cruz, Zambales and tell the bus conductor to drop you off at Brgy. Uacon’s public market in Candelaria. You can take a tricycle from here to take you to your resort. If you will bring your own car, take the North Luzon Expressway and exit at Dau. Head on to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) and exit at Tipo which will lead you to Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA). Take the exit to Subic Town and take the national road all the way to Candelaria. You will pass through 9 towns (Castillejos, San Marcelino, San Narciso, San Felipe, Cabangan, Botolan, Iba, Palauig, Masinloc) before arriving at Candelaria.
This trip is perfect for a weekend getaway because it will only take about 4-5 hours to reach Candelaria, Zambales from Manila. If you want to just drop by and visit the island for a day, you can go rent boats from the fishermen there to take you to the island. If you opt to stay overnight, there are a lot of beach front resorts along Candelaria that offer comfy accommodations.
We stayed at Potipot Gateway Resort, which is located in Sinabacan, Candelaria. The resort offers roomy accommodations for Php 3,500 ($78) a night including breakfast. The resort itself is already a place where you can spend some quiet time and relax.
The resort is located right by the sea and so swimming in the beach is just a few steps away. They also offer water activities like banana boat rides and kayaking, to name a few.
They have hammocks strategically positioned where the wind blows, as well, making it the perfect spot to take a satisfying nap. Don’t worry about bringing your children with you because they set up a play space and a swimming pool with waterslides.