Mini Break: Potipot Island, Zambales

This post should have been titled: “Nag Your Way to a Holiday” or “5 Manipulative Steps to a Mini Break”.  But I won’t do that because after all’s said and done…our weekend was a blast. I just wish we had tents, so we could have stayed overnight.

Our journey started at the Victory Liner terminal at Sampaloc,Manila. Here, we boarded a bus bound for Sta.Cruz, Zambales. We were getting off at the municipality of Uacon, which is on the way to Sta. Cruz.  Fare cost 450 (one way).  The journey took around 5 hours (we left at around 11pm and got to Uacon by around 4am) which was OK since we slept most of the time.

When we got off Uacon, we went straight to Dawal Beach Resort whose entrance is just along the National Highway. At the reception area, we were told that the boat ride to Potipot Island would cost 400 (back and forth), good for 6 people. We had some breakfast and were off to the island by 6 am.

Dawal Beach at Sunrise, photo taken from Boat

After the short boat ride, we were finally at our destination! Potipot Island, is a small privately-owned island off the coast of Zambales. It doesn’t have any resorts on it or bars or restaurants. What it does have is clear waters and white sand. Which I think is essential to having a great time at the beach.

A welcome sight: Just 100 pesos to enjoy the beach

What I really like about Potipot though is that it’s cheap but very, very pretty. For a hundred pesos a person, you’d expect a beach littered by garbage and what not. Instead, we were greeted by white sands and clear blue waters. They have some cottages and tables to rent though, so you wouldn’t be at a complete loss.

First Sight, photo taken from the boat

The island is really small. It would take you around 30 minutes to walk around it. But it lacks in size it makes up for beauty.

Sunrise on Potipot Island
An Invitation to Dive in

Another thing I like: not many people go there. I know it’s a bit elitist of me to say so…but I’ll say it anyway. I don’t like beaches or resorts with lots of people. I can’t relax if there are icky guys in board shorts posing round for pictures and saying “dudepare ang hot nung girl…” I can neither stand going to places where some patrons are wearing the classic t-shirt and shirt combo in the conservative pinay tradition. According to the caretaker, it was a good thing we went now. The place is supposedly packed during the height of summer.

Picturesque Potipot

The island doesn’t have great plumbing though. I wouldn’t recommend it to the squeamish. It does have fairly manageable bathrooms and hand pumps. Otherwise, you can get changed when you get back to the mainland (if you’re staying at the resorts).

Wind Blows Soft at Potipot
Dead Jelly Fish, Masquerading as Glycerin Soap on the Shore

Bottom line: I give it 5 out of 5. I got my mini break at minimal cost. I’m definitely going back there. ♥

That’s me, Enjoying the Sun
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18 thoughts on “Mini Break: Potipot Island, Zambales

  1. tisha…is that you? haha! I was actually reading tons of stuff about potipot and anawangin coz i’m looking for a nice place to go and have a romantic getaway this summer *wink wink* Is potipot really as nice as you guys say? Like you, I’d hate a crowded island and I would certainly not enjoy it if there were trash littered all over. One more thing, I’m kinda torn on which resort to stay in. Was your stay in Dawal pleasant or should I be considering other resorts? thanks! ^_^

    1. Hi Swaney! Potipot Island in itself is great! Though I can’t say much for the Dawal Beach Resort’s rooms since we didn’t stay there. We opted for the day trip. Although I’d still recommend Dawal – it’s the biggest resort on that row. They have friendly staff and fast service. Be sure to book ahead of time! 🙂

  2. hi!!!! i did have a great time at potipot island,,,i spent my vacation time with my officemates (summer 2009) its just like the ambience of boracay island (less the crowded people and sari-sari stores,,, hehehehe) a small island… cool,clean and clear water, white sand… a romantic place for couples, a nice hang-out for barkadas, a peaceful haven for families to enjoy… the roadtrip from manila to zambales may take you glued in your seat for hours but at the rainbows end-the pot of gold POTIPOT ISLAND awaits every visitor to experience what kind of pleasure the place has to offer. every little moment that may pass by is a MUST to treasure… POTIPOT ISLAND… ISANG HAMAK AT PAYAK, NGUNIT MAY KAKAIBANG ANYAYA AT GAYAK….

  3. Hi Tish! I am actually looking for an island day trip too. My hubby wants to go to Anilao in few hours, but I’m really considering Potipot. I’ve been reading a lot of good reviews about it. I’m thinking whether to go later or maybe save the trip for next weekend so we can stay overnight.

    Either way, I will have my Potipot break soon. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  4. been there myself.the place is a paradise.places like this should be kept and maintained.been to anawangin cove as well, but potipot’s feel is humbler & more serene.i would love to visit this place again.when we went there the place is all to ourselves.

  5. you should also try visiting pagbilao quezon’s lukang beach.check it out.it’s a mini beach with a cave.cool.

  6. May iba pa po kayong option maliban sa resort nila Grace Armada na yan. May camping area po sa harap ng isla kung saan mas malamig at may mga cottage din. Nakapunta na ba kayo ng Anawangin or Nagsasa cove? Parang ganun din ang style. Mahangin din at mas maganda ang Magalawa Island hindi naman sa nagyayabang…
    Kung gusto niyo pong i-try na pumunta tawagan niyo po ako sa Manila at tutulungan ko po kayong magcoordinate sa caretaker na isla na uncle ko din na si Uncle Mulo. Ito po yung landline number ko sa Maynila (02)983 0432 or sun number 09222688111 or smart number 09475181409 hanapin niyo lang po si Raymond (ako po yun).

    Ito po ang presyuhan doon sa campsite :

    Boatpick up (2 way)
    — 100/pax-kung galing luan
    — 200/pax-kung galing masinloc

    Entrance fee 100\pax overnight,

    Cottage 1000\night (kasya 5pax)

    — If you like all Package Foods,Entrance, Boat Ride,Cottage, and also Van pwede rin po..

    — Bonfire ( 100 )

    Kasama na po sa entrance fee ang paggamit ng cr at maintenance ng lugar. Ingat lang po na huwag magkalat masyado kasi po maliit lang po na isla yun at mahirap kung magka garbage-problem. You will be spending about 300 or less for food siguro. Maraming nabibilhan ng pagkain sa loob ng island. Puwede rin po kayong magpaluto for a small fee. No available rental of snorkel/mask/fins dun for now so its a good idea to invest on a good set nalang. Wala pa rin po available na rental ng tent pero malapit na po. Mag inquire nalang po kayo kung may available na pagtawag ninyo. Kung magdadala po kayo ng sarili ninyong tent ay libre na po ang puwesto kasi po kasama na po sa entrance fee yun kaya entrance fee nalang at boatride nalang ang babayaran ninyo.

    Ang puwesto na kung san nakatayo ang resort nila grace armada ay may problema kasi lumalabas na nagsquat lang sila dun.Dahil dito tuwing pumupunta ang may ari ng isla na si madam L.Ruiz ay pinapasara nila pang samantala ang resort nila Grace Armada. Dahil dito ay kailangan mag ingat kayo lalo na kung hinihingan kayo ng deposit ni Grace Armada. Kung magkabulilyaso tulad ng nabanggit ko ay hindi niyo na makukuha ang deposit niyo.

  7. Hi Tish! my friends and i were scheduled to o there next weekend. We are all anxious and excited to this place as we read these reviews about the island. Just a concern, are we allowed to make a bonfire here? if so, are we also the one who’ll gather the woods? hahah. 😀 kudos!

    1. Hi Rod!

      Sorry I was not able to answer your questions — been out and all over the place these past weeks. I hope you and your friends had a great time at Potipot. Were you able to make a bonfire? I’d love to hear about it.

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