Read our quick guide here.
Situated a kilometer off-shore Uacon, Zambales, is this small beach bumming paradise called Potipot. With shores surrounded by white sand, and trees to provide much-needed shade, makes the island a good beach camping destination. If you just want to break away from the hustle and bustle of the city and have a quick weekend relaxation with your family or friends, Potipot Island should be on your list.
- Take a bus to Sta. Cruz Zambales. Victory Liner offers this route at their Pasay, Cubao or Caloocan Terminals. Go down at Uacon Barangay Hall in Candelaria. Travel time is around 7 hours. Take note that Victory Liner does not have a lot of schedule for this route. It’s better to call the terminal beforehand.
- Once in Uacon Barangay Hall, take a tricycle to the jump-off to Potipot Island. Travel time is around 5 – 10 minutes. You can ask tricycle drivers to bring you to the boats to Potipot Island. Also make sure to buy your supplies at Uacon since there are no stores on the island.
- Take a boat to Potipot Island. Travel time is around 10 – 15 minutes.
WHERE TO STAY
There are no hotels or inns available in Potipot Island. There are a few cottages for rent but according to our boatman Steve, it easily gets fully-booked. Tent rentals are also available but it is not a regular service on the island. You have to talk to your boatman if you’re planning to rent one.
- 0400 Bus departs for Sta. Cruz Zambales
- 1100 Arrival at Uacon Barangay Hall. Lunch.
- 1130 Hire tricycle to Potipot Island.
- 1145 Arrival at jump-off. Take boat to Potipot Island
- 1200 Arrival at Potipot Island.
Our bus departed at 4 in the morning from Victory Liner Pasay. We were advised that trips to Sta. Cruz easily gets full so to avoid the hassle we booked our tickets ahead of time. The bus will pass by the towns of San Antonio, San Narciso, Iba, Palauig and Masinloc. Travel time with stopovers is around 7 hours. Go down at the Uacon Barangay Hall located minutes away from the town center of Candelaria. Ask your bus conductor to drop you off there.
We arrived at around 11am in Uacon Barangay Hall and hired a tricycle to the boats to Potipot Island. There are many boats available going to Potipot Island. If you want to make sure, you can call our boatman Steve at 09102652053. You can also ask him for cottage and tent rentals.
There’s no water source in Potipot so we advice that you buy your water supply at the jump-off. You can ask Steve for your water supply as well. The boat ride to Potipot didn’t took long. You can actually see how near the island is from Uacon.
After paying the entrance fee, we decided to scout the island to look for a less-crowded camping spot. We explored and decided to settle at the opposite side of the island. Lo and behold, we were the only campers there. Compared to Burot Beach in Batangas, trees are lined up along the shore, so getting a cool shaded camping spot was easy.
- 0900 Wake up Call. Breakfast
- 1400 Freshen up and break-camp
- 1500 Take boat back to Uacon
- 1520 Take tricycle to Sta. Cruz Zambales City Proper. Late lunch
- 1600 Head to Sta. Cruz Victory Liner Terminal
- 1700 Depart for Manila from Sta. Cruz Victory Liner Terminal
- 2345 Arrival at Victory Liner Terminal Caloocan
We woke up early in the morning to cook breakfast and for some last minute swimming. Good thing shower rooms and toilets are available on the island so we decided to freshen up there before heading back to Uacon. We called Steve to pick us up at around 3pm. From Uacon, we hired a tricycle to take us to Sta. Cruz City Victory Liner Terminal and rode a 5 pm bus back to Caloocan. Others would suggest waiting at Uacon Barangay Hall but we think it’s better to take a tricycle to Sta. Cruz so you can have more options going back.
As of May 2015, here are the posted daily trip schedule from Sta. Cruz Victory Liner terminal: Caloocan (12 mn, 10 pm, 5 am and 8 am) Pasay/Cubao (2 pm, 11 pm, 1 am, 6 am) and Sampaloc (4 pm, 12 mn, 3 am, 7 am, 10:30 am). Take note that the schedule is inconsistent.
When we arrived at the terminal at around 4 pm, we immediately asked the dispatcher when will the next bus bound for Manila leave. He said it was already going to be around 7:30pm. So we decided to wait it out and explore other options. But after a few minutes, there’s a sudden announcement that a bus bound for Caloocan will depart at 5 pm. Another option would be getting a bus to Olongapo and riding a bus to Manila from there.
- Transportation: P447 Pasay to Uacon. P451 Sta. Cruz to Caloocan. P50 Tricycle to boat jump-off. P400 Boat to Potipot Island good for 6 persons. P200 Tricycle from Uacon to Sta. Cruz.
- Accommodation: Free. Cottage and Tent rentals available.
- Food: Free. No stores available on the island. Grilling stations are present but we’re not sure if it’s free to use.
- Entrance Fees: P100 per head for daytrip and P300 for overnight.
- There are no inns or hotels available on the island. Cottages are for rent but they easily get fully booked during weekends. Bring your own tent so you can have the flexibility where to camp.
- Explore the island first before setting up camp. There are a lot of good camping spots in Potipot. If you don’t mind the weekend crowd, you can camp near where the boats dock. But if you’re like us who want peace and quiet, we advise that you camp on the opposite side of the island facing the West Philippine Sea. No one camps there, at least during our visit.
- There are a number of shower rooms and toilets on the island so freshening up wouldn’t be much of a problem.
- Bring your power banks and charge your phones. Also bring headlamps or whatever light source you prefer.
- Don’t forget to buy your water supply at Uacon. There’s no potable water source on the island.
- You may call our boatman Steve at 09102652053. He can arrange your boat transfers for you. We believe you can also ask him about the cottages and tents for rent.
- We have seen some litter along the campsites especially on the crowded side of the island. So please be responsible travelers and clean up afterwards.