of trips and travel notes

Frolicking Potipot

Summer is officially here! Where will you go? (or what beach you’ll be heading to?)

when I asked a local where did the name of the island came from, he just said "Puting ipot" with a cheeky smile. I wouldn't argue. Just go and see it for yourself

when I asked a local where did the name of the island came from, he just said “Puting ipot” with a cheeky smile. I did not argue, nor probe further. Just go and see it for yourself

Did you know that last year, CNN shortlisted this popular island getaway as one of the most Googled local travel destination? I wouldn’t be surprised, with its crystal clear, calm and cool waters, good driving distance from Metro Manila, it’s non-commercialized, unspoilt appeal and proximity to mainland Zambales makes it a very popular getaway place all year round.

Potipot is a rice-grain shaped island situated within Uacon, Candelaria Zambales, a good 251km northwest of Metro Manila.

cool, calm, clean and crystal clear

cool, calm, clean and crystal clear

soak up the sun

soak up the sun

I think part of its charm is in its very simple, laidback and unspoilt appeal. There are no decent accommodation on the island itself except for some nipa huts that are lined on the northern side of the island. If you would like to spend the night, sleeping in tents is the way to go. Aside from the absence of electricity, there are no potable water on the island itself (there are few faucets that are scattered all over the place, but they are not drinkable) so make sure you have enough supplies when you do a daytrip or an overnight excursion. This should not discourage beach goers and tourists alike, as for the lack on the island itself, it makes up for all the resorts with complete amenities (including swimming pools and parking spaces to those who would like to bring their own ride) scattered on Uacon Bay surrounding Potipot, which is just a good 10 minute boat ride from its black sandy beach.

Potipot as seen from Uacon Bay

Potipot as seen from Uacon Bay

the iconic drift wood of Potipot

the iconic drift wood of Potipot

by management

by management

The island is perfect for bumming around, catching up on your book, sleeping on hammock or strolling lazily the entire stretch of the beach, which can take you a good 30-45 minutes to circumnavigate it. The island have plenty of shade thanks to the camachile, coconuts and other fruit bearing trees scattered all over the place.

You cannot leave Potipot without posing for photos on the imposing drift tree at the back of the island that has become one of the iconic spot in Potipot. The drift wood, was washed ashore one strong typhoon early 2000 and refused to leave the island ever since.

Be carefull!        starfishes such as these crown of thorns are scattered all over the island, so be extra cautious when walking barefoot on the sand

Be carefull!
starfishes such as these crown of thorns are scattered all over the island, so be extra cautious when walking barefoot on the sand

Travel notes to Potipot

• leave early in Manila to arrive in Uacon Candelaria Zambales before day break. Travel time is 5-7 hrs depending on traffic and mode of transport.

• from Uacon Bay, resorts like Dawal Beach Resort and Sunbloom Resort will arrange your boat transfers to the island. 400php per trip (good for up to six people per boat) is the minimum rate.

• first trip to the island begins at 6am, the last boat leaves Potipot at 6pm. Inform the boatman what time you will leave the island as soon as you reach Potipot so they will know when to fetch you and your group.

• There’s an entrance fee of 100php per head on the island. If you plan to go for an overnight stay, it’s 300php per head.

• You can rent tents at 300php good for two persons, nipa huts are 500php good for your entire stay and the tables with long benches are free.

• You can test your haggling skills by directly look for motorized bancas on Uacon beach itself that will drop you to the island. Ultimately, cheapest way is to swim it from the black sandy beach (I never heard anyone done this though).

• water, food and other supplies can be bought from the neighbouring resorts so dont worry if you will go to Potipot without anything other than your smartphones, cameras and a days worth of changing clothes.

huts for rent!

huts for rent!

summer shade

summer shade

Getting there and Away

by commute

The quickest way to go to Potipot is via Victory Liner buses at Caloocan City terminal that leaves Manila and goes all the way to the northern most tip of Zambales. Last trip going to Sta. Cruz Zambales leaves at around 11:55pm. One good thing on travelling at this hour is that there’s no traffic. Travel time is between 5-6 hrs. Fare is 450php one way. The bus will make few stops along the way including one at their terminal at Olongapo. Inform the conductor that you need to alight at “Dawal” in Uacon, Candelaria. From there, the beach is just a good 10-15 minute walk from the main road. Prebook your tickets so you have a guaranteed seat as most of the time the bus leave the terminal full.

From Manila, other options include going to Olongapo first, then change buses bound for Sta. Cruz Zambales. To those who are familiar going to San Antonio, Zambales (Anawangin/Nagsasa/Capones jump off point) Uacon, Candelaria is a good hour and half more of travel time.

Going back, you can take a tricycle (50php per head/150php per trip) and head to the Victory Liner Sta. Cruz terminal or just wait for the non-AC buses bound to Olongapo on the national road. From there, buses leaves on hourly interval bound for Caloocan, Cubao and/or Pasay.

by car

If you have anything that have 4 wheels that could hold up at least 5 people, driving going to Potipot is not a bad option. Gas consumption would be around 1,500php going to Zambales and back.

From Manila, just head up north and traverse NLEX and SCTEX passing Olongapo and Subic then follow the national highway and pass towns named after saints – San Marcelino, San Antonio, San Narciso, San Felipe before reaching the towns of Botolan, Iba, Palauig, Masinloc then finally Candelaria. Travel time is 4-5 hrs if you will leave Metro Manila by midnight.

dip in

dip in

Directories

• Dawal Beach Resort +63 919 5730952 / +63 920 6651577 / http://dawal.com.ph/2011/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dawal-Beach-Resort-Restaurant/162503003761870
• Sunbloom Beach Resort +63 906 2793607 / http://sunbloomresort.com/
• Puerto Del Mar Beach Resort +63 917 4093230 / +63 918 3170478 / +63 919 5016395 http://www.puertodelmarbeachresort.com/
• La Trinidad Bay Resort +632-4211817 / http://www.latrinidadbeachresort.com/ https://www.facebook.com/pages/Trinidad-Bay-Resort/316676855312

courtesy of Google Maps

courtesy of Google Maps

Suggested Budget

For two persons, below is the suggested budget for an overnight trip in the island:

1,000php – transportation roundtrip (x2) = 2,000php
400php – boat transfer back and forth = 400php
300php – overnight entrance (x2) = 600php
1,500php – food = 1,500php
300php – tent rentals 300php
1,000php – incidentals 1,000php
_________________
Total: 5,800php

An ideal budget should be 3,000php per head for an overnight excursion. Of course, the more that would tag along, the lesser would be the shared expenses.

the author together with some wandering extras :D

the author together with some wandering extras 😀

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This entry was published on March 11, 2014 at 3:37 am and is filed under beach, getaway, island hoping, places (local), travel. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

20 thoughts on “Frolicking Potipot

  1. This guy knows more about Potipot than I do… To think, I live here in Zambales… Awesome info, bro, very helpful…

  2. Irving Vendiola on said:

    lovely! just lovely… judging by the pics, the place looks virgin in its simplest sense. wish i could get to have the chance to visit the place soon…

  3. Never knew there is such a place in Luzon:) Nice job on showing this. I would love to go there:) WOW as in…

  4. Nice Deanie 🙂 Eyeing to go there this Holy Week 😀

  5. Kenneth on said:

    As always you’ve done a wonderful job.. 🙂 Keep it up.. 🙂

  6. deanie!! this is very helpful, i’m really looking forward to visit zambales too. 🏊

  7. Hi there! My friends and I are planning to go there on April 4. Where can we possibly rent tents? I checked some blogs and they said that there are no tent rentals in Potipot so we’re just planning to buy our own, but we wouldn’t like to carry much things during the trip. Thanks! BTW, nice blog! It makes me think about doing my own blog too. 🙂

  8. Katty Hilario on said:

    My boyfriend and I together with other friends are planning to visit the place this holyweek for an island camping..my only worry is that the island might be sooo crowded?
    nice blog though! very informative.. thanks so much!

  9. kyeme on said:

    Nagtataka lang ako, iba yung nakita ko kanina. Ang daming patay ng corals tapos marami ding mga something na halaman sa tubig. Wala din akong nakita na starfish.

    • You had visited at the tailend of summer. try going there Jan-Feb. Like any places frequented by people, dumudumi yung place at nawawala yung mga natural flora o fauna nung lugar.

  10. Katty Hilario on said:

    we’ve seen a lot of starfishes and sea urchins during our stay.. pero madami ngang halamang dagat.. i was so amazed lalo na nung nag lowtide..
    sana lang mamaintain pa din cleanliness..

  11. Nice post. Out of all blogs about potipot, ang daming info.
    Just for clarification, yung mga stores ba sa potipot mismo or sa jump off point? Are the prices overly charged kasi nasa island?
    Maraming Salamat
    Bohdj c”,)

  12. Patricia Mencias on said:

    Hi! I found this blog helpful when I was planning our trip into Potipot so I thought of returning the favour by sharing some updates. 🙂

    – Currently, there are “stores” in the island which sell drinks, snacks, ice and souvenirs. I asked the personnels in the Information cottage and they said those are not permanent, they are only available this summer since there are a lot of guests
    – There are several cottages available for 1,500. Just not sure if this a per day or overnight rate. Big groups can fit in the cottages. Each cottage has a room / sleeping area and then beside that is a covered dining / sala area with tables and benches.
    – If you are bringing a car you can either park in one of the resorts where you’ll be getting a boat. If you directly contact one of the bankeros, there is a parking space very near the port. They charged us P100 for overnight parking.
    – There is a generator now in the island so at night, it’s used to power the large lights near the cottages and the common areas.
    – There is a grilling area so no need to bring your own griller. Just bring uling with you. There are several grillers available. It can get really hot though when many people are grilling at the same time.

    TIP: I agree with The Lost Kids that if you want some privacy, set up camp at the back of the island (the side facing the sea). There are CRs there as well. You can still swim there, although during low tide the sandy area gets smaller. But if you’re going to Potipot to escape the noisy city, then I highly suggest you stay near the back instead. That’s also nearer to the famous drift wood. 😉

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