Last month, I was lucky enough to be part of a pilgrimage that aimed to visit some churches in Pangasinan (Check : A Pilgrimage to Pangasinan) . Prior to our pilgrimage, we had a chance to visit one of Pangasinan’s most popular attractions – the Hundred Islands National Park. Honestly, it has always been a dream for me to visit this place. I used to see those famous islands from our text books but never had a chance to visit the place at all.
I have been to Pangasinan once but only to visit the Cabangaoan Beach resort and their famous Death pool (Check : A Day Trip to Pangasinan : Cabongaoan Beach and Death Pool) and also the Instagram-worthy attraction of Tayug – The Sunflower Maze Farm (Check : Sunflower Maze Farm of Tayug). Wonderfully, similar on how they are depicted on our text books, the Hundred Islands National Park of Alaminos, Pangasinan is truly a sight to marvel.
Although I was really expecting that the islands are actually far from each other, some of them can actually be reached via boat ride for 10-15 minutes. It is very interesting to note that Hundred Islands in Alaminos is the very first National Park and protected area in Northern Philippines. As what the title suggests, there are 124 islands in this place (123 if high tide) but only few of them are developed for tourism.
Three main islands including the Governor’s Island, Quezon Island and Children’s Islands are the most developed among others. However, as the tourism grows, some islands are being developed to attract more tourist. Islands like Virgin , Century, Marcos, Crocodile, Devil and Cathedral all offer equally-stunning atmosphere. Some has unique features that will definitely satisfy all adventure-seekers. One of the recent addition to this growing number of attractions in Hundred Islands is the newly-developed Pilgrimage Island.
Unfortunately, our three-hour tour is not enough to explore all these popular islands and we only managed to visit three; the Governor’s Island, The Virgin Island and the Pilgrimage Island that features a 56 ft statue of the Risen Christ.
The adventure begins at the Lucap Wharf in Alaminos. This is where you can find their reception area. Since what we had is a packaged deal, I have no idea how the transactions were processed. But as displayed on their reception area, here are the following rates:
Registration Fee – Php100
Environmental Fee – Php60 (Day Tour)/ Php120 (Overnight)
Entrance Fee – Php30 (Free for 5yrs old below)
Insurance – Php10 (Effective 24 hours)
Small (5-6 Passengers) – Php1400(Day Tour)/ Php3,000 (2 Day-Tour)
Medium (6-10 Passengers)- Php1,800 (Day Tour) / Php3,800 (2 Day-tour)
Large (11-15 passengers) Php2,000(Day Tour) / Php4,500 (2 Day Tour)
For accommodations and other facilities: The lowest rate is Php200 for Tables. The Gazebo is at Php600 while Pavilion ranges from Php3,000 to Php5,000. Take note: The rates will vary if you are planning for an Overnight stay.
There’s also a wide range of activities in the island to try including Zip Lines, Jet-Ski, Banana Boat, Helmet Diving, Kayaking, Snorkeling and more.
The boats in Lucas Wharf
Some islands we encounter along the way.
Islands and islets of different shapes and sizes
You can really tell that the place is well-maintained. The water are amazingly clear as well.
The newly developed Pilgrimage Island is absolutely a sight that cannot go unnoticed due to its huge Christ Statue which you can instantly see from afar.
Our first desination : The Governor’s Island
The Governor’s Island is probably one of the most developed and most visited island in Hundred Islands National Park. There are stores, souvenir shops and various accommodations and facilities within the island. You can also hit the beach nearby.
What really makes Governor’s Island more special is the panoramic view that you can get from the top. Minor trekking is required but absolutely manageable. Cemented stairs will lead you to the view deck.
The stunning view of the islands from Governor’s Island View deck
The other side showing the Virgin Island
The beach area of Governor’s Island
Just be cautious!
Interestingly, you do not need a boat ride to visit the neighboring island! You can always try their floating bridge!
The crystal clear water of the island makes it an ideal place for snorkeling
Definitely, every angle is picture-worthy
The Governor’s Island. View from the other end of the floating bridge
Just few minor trek and you’ll reach the Virgin’s Island
Although we failed to utilize all our time touring the Hundred Islands, it was still a satisfying experience. You can engage yourself with so much activities from snorkeling to zip-lining. Exploring 3 to 6 islands are actually possible for a Day tour but you can enjoy it more if you’ll go for an overnight or 2Day tour.
Things To Consider Before visiting the Hundred Islands National Park
►Take note of the updated rates as mentioned above
►The budgetarian like me, the trip is more ideal for a group tour so you can split the cost especially for Motorboat rates and accommodations.
►Make sure to bring sun-protection gears and beach-friendly footwear (you can spot many shops and vendors in Lucas Wharf)
►Ideally, bring your own meal. You can spot stores on some of the islands but the prices are quite expensive.
►There are Comfort rooms in most developed islands (with Fee)
►Bring your own swimming gear to avoid expensive rentals
►Mobile signal in the island is weak
How to Get to Hundred Islands National Park in Alaminos
►Ride a bus bound to Alaminos, Pangasinan (Victory Liner Terminal in Cubao offers such route).
►From Alaminos terminal, ride a tricycle and ask the driver to take you to Lucas Wharf
My next entry is all about the newly-developed attraction in Hundred Islands National Park. The Pilgrimage Island!