It is only through a 4x4 truck that you can access the road going up to Mount Pinatubo. You can either take the long way or short way. The short way or what they call “Skyway” is just around 40-45mins walk going up to the crater. Unlike on the long way, you will walk for an estimated 12 – 18 kilometers. It is around 3-5hrs walk. Depends on how fast you walk and how long you take a break. On the short way, the 4x4 path goes up to the mountains and the walk path is going down. On the other hand, long way goes through the mainland and the walk path changes from desert to springs and forests. There are a lot of good views to see and you will appreciate the beauty of nature.
Skyway is expensive than the long way. On the long way, you will just have to pay Php 2,500 for 4x4 truck plus Php 50 each. Unlike if you use the Skyway, there is an additional Php 1,500 and another Php 500 for the toll fee.
Ride a bus from Manila to Iba / Sta. Cruz, Zambales.
You'll be going down in San Antonio which is about 45 min to an hour from Olongapo.
Fare to San Antonio is P256 - Victory Liner Aircon Bus
In San Antonio, there will be tricycles offering a ride to Pundaquit.
Fare is P100/ 4 persons.
You may ride a boat to Anawangin or hike the mountain. We chose the latter.
Boat would cost P800-P1000
A hiking guide cost us P700 (there were seven of us). It took us 4 hours to get to the beach.
It would be a lot more convenient if you have arrangements before you get there. But then again, you'll survive without it. As for us, because we opted to go hiking we contacted Mang Alfring to arrange that for us. He arranged for the tricycles which fetched us from the San Antonio market. And before going home, he let us use their home's facilities so we could clean up.
It is much more convenient to go and move around the different towns of Zambales using your private vehicle. You can manage and control your travel time if you bring your own vehicle rather than commute by bus, then hail a jeep or tricycle to go to your destination(s).
If you intend to go island hopping, you have to make arrangements with your Beach Resort/Hotel for a "banca" or small boat. The bancas are usually behind the beach resorts. Boat capacity is limited to 4-5 persons, depending on the passengers' weight. A separate banca must be hired for the baggages.
To get to Anawangin, one may drive to Brgy. Pundaquit, Zambales which is around 3.5 hours away from Manila. Vehicles may be parked for a day or two in Pundaquit for a minimal fee. (I think, P150 or 3 USD)
From Pundaquit, small boats can be rented to go to Anawangin Cove. The boat ride to Anawangin would take about 15 minutes.
We rented 3 boats for P1500 each (total of P4500 or 90 USD). This was inclusive of the trip to Anawangin on Saturday AM and the pick-up from Anawangin back to Pundaquit the following day. On our way back, we stopped over Capones island. (If there are no stop-overs, we will only be charged P3000 or 60 USD for the 3 boats)
We were 11 passengers in all. Each boat can carry maximum of 5 pax. Our third boat was for our baggage.
*most boats have no life vests so if you feel it's necessary, please bring one.
Going to Zambales:
* Victory Liner Inc: They have three terminals(Pasay City,Cubao and Caloocan)
- take air conditioned bus with Iba or Sta. Cruz signage on it.
-fare is relative depending on the town you are getting to. Just to give a rough estimate,the fare is around 300-399 pesos.
**Saulog Line: They have no known terminal in manila since their bus route is direct from Olongapo to Cavite (vice versa). Their bus fare is slightly cheaper than the VLI. They have no stopovers which is faster going to Olongapo City.
- From Olongapo City you can take VLI bus up north.
It will be best to take the Victory Liner bound to Sta. Cruz, Zambales. You can go to the Victory Liner Bus Station at España corner Galicia St. The last bus leaves at 11 PM. The fare is less than 300 php. For more info on the schedule and latest fare, check out their website htttp://www.victoryliner.com or call them at 741-1436 .
Zambales is located at the Western coast of Luzon, Philippines and is accessible by land, water and air transport. It is located at 15 coordinates latitude and 12 longitudes in the island of Luzon. It shares common boundaries with Pangasinan in the North, Tarlac and Pampanga on the East, Bataan on the South and China Sea on the West. It is 210 kilometers and approximately 3 hours drive away from Manila. Zambales is the host province to the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, which has a premier international airport and a seaport, thereby, making the province accessible to the rest of Asia.
Subic Bay International airport has direct flights to key cities in China as well as neighboring Southeast Asian Countries. Being part of the W Growth Corridor’s Tourism Belt, Zambales is blessed with sceneries untouched by time like his fish sanctuary in Masinloc with corals underneath rock formation. Just one of the places tourists would very much enjoy.
If you decide to commute by bus to Zambales, you will have to take the tricycle to bring you to the public market, your beach resort/hotel, and the bus terminal when you go home.
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