Zambales isn’t as developed as other beach destinations like Boracay and Palawan, but that’s a good thing. It gives you island getaways, sweet mangoes, plus a taste of the provincial life – just enough for a quiet weekend away.
Camara Island is nearest the mainland. The waves are strong and not for swimming; people come here to take photos of the larger-than-life rock formations sculpted by the sea.
The larger Capones Island is also not a safe place to swim, but draws in tourists because of its lighthouse constructed in 1890. Getting there entails an hour-long hike up a mountain.
How to get there:
Drive. Zambales is a three- to four-hour drive from Metro Manila via the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) or Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX).
Bus. You can take a bus from Cubao in Metro Manila to either Iba or Sta. Cruz, Zambales.