My aunt and cousin from Canada went to the Philippines to visit us. Everyone in the family was overjoyed- specially my grandmother. 8 years of being away from home had them craving for the warm beaches Philippines has always been known for. We gave them memories that would warm them during those cold days away from us- a hundred beautiful memories cherished at the Hundred Islands.
The grand arc of the Hundred Islands
Banana boat ride at Quezon Island
The Hundred Islands National Park is located at the Northern part of the Philippines- specifically at the province of Pangasinan. The Hundred Islands actually has a total of 124 Islands at most depending on the tide. Of all the 124 Islands, only a few were developed for tourism so you’ll definitely feel in touch with nature here. Among the developed Islands are the famous Quezon Island, Governor Island, Marcos Island, Children Island and my personal favorite: the Pilgrimage Island.
Prepare for a very long ride if you plan to go here from Manila. From the country’s capital, it will take you about 5 hours to reach Alaminos but hey- a Hundred Islands weigh much more than 5 measly hours. Be sure to come here early and if possible, on a weekday. The park could get really crowded on a weekend. Upon reaching Alaminos, you should immediately look for Lucap Wharf. This is where the tourists can sign up for a tour at the hundred Islands. Don’t worry though as the road signs pointing to the Hundred Islands pop up the moment you enter the vicinity of Alaminos.
Upon reaching the Wharf, ask the locals about the tourism office and they will guide you to it. You have to pay for the boat and the local bangkero (boatman) who will also serve as your tourguide for the duration of your stay in the Hundred Islands (if you are availing the day tour). Also, a recyclable garbage bag will be given to you to ensure that you do not pollute the park. The fee for the garbage bag can be refunded after you return the bag to the tourism office. After getting the receipt, your bangkero will then welcome you to their boat to get your Island hopping started.
There are various boats that you can rent depending on how many you are in a group. I will post a price list later for all the park fees including the optional Island activities so that you’ll have a general idea of the expenses. You can rent a small boat (1-5 persons), a medium boat (6-10) or a large boat (11-15). Naturally, we rented a small boat for the tour.
The boats are anchored near the Wharf. The water here is a little bit muddy- a contrast to the clear waters of the Hundred Islands.
After getting on the boat, prepare your medicine if you easily get dizzy on boat transportation as the trip going to the hundred Islands will cover about 30 minutes of your time. The waves can get pretty strong too so put that in mind.
The water starts to be clearer the farther you go away from the Wharf.
Do you see the statue of Jesus in pilgrimage Island?
The statue of Jesus at Pilgrimage Island becoming more visible (left side) and the water becoming more clearer.
We’re getting closer.
After a half an hour of boat ride and sightseeing, we finally set foot on one of the islands. Here, the water is as clear as can be, with white sand to match its beauty. In short: each island in the Hundred Islands park is a mini beach paradise in itself.
Need I say more?
I could watch the waves crawl to my feet and retreat to the ocean all day.
For starters, you may want to ask your bangkero about which Island is best to visit and the activities frequented by tourists. The Quezon Island is by far the most developed Island in the park which makes it also the Island with the most number of activities. Here, you can do:
– Swimming (For obvious reasons)
– Snorkeling (They have their own coral garden near the Quezon Island. You may even see giant clams here)
– Helmet Diving
– Banana Boat Ride
– Island to island zip lining
– Rock Climbing and wall Rapelling
The banana boat ride lasts for about 15 minutes.
Take hold of that handle firmly unless you want to fall!
Prepping for the zip line.
My cousin and my aunt. They insisted that I go first with the zip line.
After passing through the terrain, I felt completely safe as the water will be less fatal if I fall. That smile is completely forced out of my face.
My cousin trying to catch our lunch.
If you are the adventurous type of person, then you may want to try out the cliff diving at the Imelda Cave in Marcos Island. Have that feel of your stomach being left in midair as you jump from a 12-foot cliff. The steps are extra slippery though so you should be careful.
Entrance to the cave. Please do follow the rules to ensure your safety.
Go cuz! Own that jump!
The view of the cave as seen from the water after you jump.
We also came close to pilgrimage island, unfortunately, we were not able to hop off the boat and walk up to the huge statue of Jesus. The Island is sill beautiful from afar- the landscaping looks professionally made. Just one question though: how on earth did they build that huge statue way up there?
The Pilgrimage Island
We certainly took our time enjoying the sceneries. After a few minutes spent on an Island, we then ask our guide on his recommendation about which next Island is best to visit. It is also a way to help the bangkero so that they would be able to conserve fuel for their boats.
We let the bangkero decide the last Island to visit before we head back. We stopped by a cave with very few boats anchored outside the cave mouth. I was skeptical about this last stop but went with his decision anyway. The Island does not seem to offer anything but a cave opening- I’ve never been so wrong. We pushed on further and slowly, a nice little restaurant came into view. The whole place gives an impression of a cute little sanctuary away from the more popular and busy Islands. They even have an improvised diving platform! How cute is that?
The cave entrance. Nothing seems special here..
..Until we were welcomed by an adorable Island restaurant. The food here is undeniably cheaper too!
View from the other side of the cave.
You ready to jump, cuz?
That jump concluded our trip here. Unfortunate as it may seem, all things come to an end. With that last jump, we knew that our experience at the Hundred Islands would be one that will be cherished forever.
– Registration fee Day tour: 80 pesos (1.55$)
– Overnight fee: 120 pesos (2.32$)
– Small boat (1-5 passengers) rental for 1-day tour: 1400 pesos (27.085$)
– Small boat (1-5 passengers) rental for a 2-day tour: 3000 pesos (58.038$)
– Medium boat (6-10 Passengers) rental for 1-day tour: 1800 pesos (34.82$)
– Medium boat (6-10 Passengers) rental for a 2-day tour: 3800 pesos (73.52$)
– Large boat (11-15 Passengers) rental for 1-day tour: 2000 pesos (38.69$)
– Large boat (11-15 Passengers) rental for a 2-day tour: 4500 pesos (87.057$)
– Guest House (Electric Fan room) Overnight: 5,000 pesos (96.73$)
– Guest House (AirCondition room) Overnight: 10,000 pesos (193.46$)
– Gazebo day tour: 600 pesos (11.61$)
– Gazebo overnight: 1000 pesos (19.35$)
Governor Island Zip-line (546m): Php 250.00/jump (4.84$/Jump)
Quezon Island Zip-line (120m ):Php 100.00/jump (1.94$/jump)
Lopez Island Zip-line (345m ):Php 250.00/jump (4.84$/jump)
Wall Climbing: Php 50.00/pax (.97$)
Rappelling: Php 50.00/pax (.97$)
Helmet Diving: Php 400.00/dive (15 mins.) (7.74$)
Banana Boat Ride (min. 6 pax): Php 250.00/pax (4.84$)
Kayaking (max 2 pax): Php 250.00/hour (4.84$)
Snorkeling: Php 250.00 (set gear rental: mask,snorkel, aqua shoes, and life vest) (4.84$)
Scuba Made Simple: Php 300.00/20 to 30 mins (5.81$)
Intro Dive: Php 2,500.00/person for – 2 dives (2 days Booking) (48.39$)
Jet Ski (1-2 pax): Php 1,000.00/15 (19.36$)
–Php 2,000.00/Solo ride (38.71$)
– php 3,000.00/2 person (58.072$)
How to get here:
-From Cubao, ride a bus bound for Alaminos (There are a lot of bus stations here).
– After reaching Alaminos, go to Lucap Terminal and hire a trike to take you to Lucap Wharf
– Upon reaching the Wharf, look for the tourist information center to pay the needed fees.
A special thanks to: www.asensopangasinan.com This is where I’ve gathered the info on the park fees.
I hope that I was able to help you out if ever you are planning your visit here. Happy traveling guys!