Another center for a nearby holiday escapade is Capones Island. The trip takes about 4 hours from Manila passing through the city of Olongapo heading further north to San Antonio then following the directions to Barangay Pundaquit. The village’s beautiful beach is exceptionally located behind a mountain and facing the horizon of the setting sun. In front of it is Capones Island, which is accessible for overnight camping, day picnic and swimming. Bancas are present along the beach of Pundaquit, and available for rent anytime. Overnight stay is allowed but with prearranged pick up with a boatman. You may enjoy swimming in the crystal clear water along the beach, snorkel, explore the surroundings by kayak or simply walk around and discover the natural beauty of the island. Request your boatman to drop you closer to a tall cliff for a better shade. Be sure to bring all necessary gears and lots of liquids as the sun can be strong during hot summer season.
A few rustic resorts are available in Pundaquit if planning to stay for few days. There is a tiny restaurant serving good food in the area but we can’t assure their availability at this time.
Capones Island is famous for its average yet manageable surfs. On the right season, the island’s reefs offer well formed breaks for advance surfers. Pundaquit however has waves perfect for beginners ranging from 3-9 ft during season. This period commonly runs between July and December but the best timing to enjoy such adventure is within few days after a storm.
How to go there
From Manila, take the North Expressway and exit at San Fernando. From San Fernando, head southwestward all the way toward Olongapo City. Right before the city boundary of Olongapo, there is a bypass way via the Subic Base Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) which you may want to take to avoid passing through the city. Take this bypass road through SBMA then head northwestward to Subic town, Castillejos, then San Marcelino then westward to San Antonio. At San Antonio, you will head southwestward to Pundaquit. At this point you may want to ask directions from the folks at San Antonio, on where to pass to reach the road that leads to Pundaquit as this road is behind rather circuitous village roads.
The road to Pundaquit is a narrow but amazingly well constructed concrete road. At Pundaquit proper, you will have several beach resorts to choose from. At these resorts, you can directly hire a fishing boat to take you to Capones Island.
The waters surrounding Capones Island in particular is known to be generally rough. It is relatively calm only on early morning up to near noon time. It is advised that you take a boat ride on the early morning and head back noon time at the latest. If you fear the rough open seas, you may want to just go to the Camera islands instead of venturing on further to Capones. The waters to Camera islands will be a bit less rough. The fishing boats that you could hire are small and the boatmen tend to allow their boats to go dangerously near full load which makes the boats dangerous on rough seas. Do bring your own life jackets! Most boatmen in this village do not provide life jackets.
The white beaches move around throughout the year. Half of the year they are on one particular side of the island then on the other half, they move to another side! So do not be surprised if the beaches on the pictures above are no longer there when you go to Capones. Go to Capones during rainy season (June to Sept) and you will see the white beaches on the North side. Otherwise, you will find the beaches on the south side. Here's a nice tip: Go to the Camera islands near the end of the rainy season and you will get to enjoy a wonderful sandbar linking the two Camera islands! The sandbar's sand literally moves away (as in, not sink, but literally crawls away, pushed by changing currents) during the other months of the year.
You can also check out the waterfalls at Pundaquit when you were there. Other pictures of Capones Island are shown below.