A behemoth of volcanic rock jutting from sea to sky, the bone-shaped Capones Island is accentuated by a dramatically weather-beaten Spanish lighthouse, Faro de Punta Capones, completed in 1890 after seven years of arduous construction. The original light and equipment were imported from France. The beautiful structure, sitting above the island’s crown of wild grass and low-lying trees, served to warn passing boats of the dangerous, rocky coastline. The island (as seen from Camara Islands in the first photo) is located six kilometers off Pundaquit Beach in San Antonio, Zambales and accessible by a 15-minute ride on a banca (outrigger boat).
After a 2003 survey, the Environmental Protection of Asia Foundation proposed to rehabilitate the structure to become the Marine Conservation Research and Development Center. Today, the parola is powered by two large solar panels, adjacent the main building made of battered bricks and melancholic eaves eaten by time and unforgiving weather. For the adventurer, climbing up to the top of the lighthouse is a must! When exploring, be careful of broken glass, twisted metal and other debris. And keep steady while ascending and descending the shaky wrought-iron spiral staircase within the tower. From the top, one can admire the impressive precipices, stony inlets and the foggy mountain range along the mainland in the distance.
Easy forest trails inhabited by lizards and butterflies, along the elevated edges of the island, leads hikers to pocket beaches of sand and polished stones, where visitors can privately frolic with the island’s moody waves and relish the bright sun. Capones Island is a magnetic place. Its sheer isolation and nostalgic textures beckons every artistic soul to immortalize its beauty in paint, film or pixels.
For directions on how to get to Capones Island and other hotspots near San Antonio, please jump to my entry on Anawangin Cove. The best time to head off to the island is during summer, at 6:00AM to 8:00AM, when the temperamental waters of Zambales are calmer.
Welcome to my website! I’m travel writer, photographer and online influencer Edgar Alan Zeta-Yap from the Philippines. Join me as I hike, dive, fly, eat and do pretty much anything in between across 7,641 islands and beyond. Need to reach me? Please write me an email.