Potipot Island has been tagged as the "Boracay of the North" which is just 5 to 6 hours drive away from Manila or four hours from Clark Freeport Zone. It is a very small island with pristine blue waters and fine white sand. One can tour around the island in less than two hours if random picture taking is included.
Its proximity from Metro Manila is one of the reasons why it is becoming the best alternative for beach goers not to mention that with approximately P1,400, one can frolic on its charming and inviting tropical white sand.
This beautiful island is just 5-10 minutes from the mainland which is particularly in Brgy. Uacon of Candelaria, Zambales where guests can have the option of getting a comfortable but affordable accommodation.
For guests who are in day trip, an entrance fee of P100 is charged per person while for those who opt to stay overnight it costs P300 per head.
Some islands during low tide has its swimming area far from the cottage or shady trees but Potipot is so conveniently near. So near that guests can even watch their kids swim while they grill barbecue or fresh fish
With vast green grassy areas roofed with tall trees, guests can enjoy outdoor games or team building activities far from the heat of the sun.
Comfortable cottages made of nipa and bamboo can vary in rates from P1,000 to P2,500 depending on its size with average ones can accommodate for ten persons and the big ones to accommodate a maximum of 25 persons. There is also an option to pitch your own rent. I saw a shop in the island which offers swimming equipments for rental but I haven't ask if they also have tents for rent.
For those who opt to have a comfortable stay prior to Potipot's experience, they can choose from numerous hotel accommodations in the area where the popular ones are Dawal Beach Resort, Puerto Del Mar Beach Resort, Isla Vista Beach Resort and Potipot Gateway Resort (Price range starts at 1400Php for air conditioned rooms)or better stay at Sun Bloom Resort with affordable accommodation with comfortable set up and personalized service. These resorts can readily arrange your boat transport at P50 per person roundtrip. Bigger groups may have less in sharing the cost of the boat rental but the rates in most cases will still vary depending on your haggling skills.
HOW TO GO THERE
By Public Transportation
1. Ride a Victory Liner bus bound to Sta. Cruz, Zambales. For this route, Victory Monumento Terminal is highly preferable with its last trip up to 11 P.M. during lean season but may extend to 12 midnight during peak season where they open special trips just to accommodate all passengers.
2. Coordinate with the bus conductor to drop you off in Brgy. Uacon, Candelaria or in Dawal. If you haven’t bought your supplies, you can ask the conductor to drop you at Candelaria Public Market and just ride a tricycle to bring you to the resorts in the area. There is no drinking water supply in the island and so it is advisable to buy it from the mainland.
3. Upon finding a resort of your choice, hire a bangka (boat) going to Potipot island or just simply hire a bangka which will take you to the island for P50 roundtrip.
By Private Vehicle
1. Use the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) all the way to Dau exit then continue to the Subic-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx).
2. Travel all the SCTEx till Tip Exit, passing through the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and on to the Subic Town.
3. Take the National Road where in you will pass the towns of Castillejos, San Marcelino, San Narciso, San Felipe, Cabangan, Botolan, Iba, Paluig and Masinloc before reaching Candelaria. You can easily ask for the directions/suggestions for accommodation.