With close proximity to Metro Manila, Hundred Islands National Park is a famous choice among families wanting a quick vacation. I’ve always wanted to see the national park since I first learned of it in a textbook in grade school.
Being one of Pangasinan‘s major tourist draw, you can tell that the province really spent a good deal making sure it is as tourist-friendly as can be.
Arranging a tour to the Hundred Islands National Park is one of the most organized I’ve experienced in my travels in the Philippines.
All tour bookings are done at the tourism office in Lucap Wharf. Steps and rates are clearly marked. They also utilized the hotels and homestays to make the bookings for their guests as well as accompany them. Making everything run smoothly.
In an effort to keep the islands clean, all tourists are provided two trash bags before going to their boats. As an incentive, tickets for free tours are given after you surrender your trash once you get back to the wharf.
Buy your food at the many eateries and convenience store at the wharf. Though there are restaurants and sari-sari stores on some of the islands, the prices are often more than double. Make sure to also bring food for your boatmen.
Provide your boatmen a list of your must-visit islands and they’ll work out the best route.
Hundred Islands Nationa Park Tour Rates
|Small (3-5 passengers)||PHP 1,400||PHP 3,000|
|Medium (6-10 passengers)||PHP 1,800||PHP 3,800|
|Large (11-15 passengers)||PHP 2,000||PHP 4,500)|
For a complete list of other activities, cottage and overnight stay srates, see photo on Visual Journey section of this post.
A few meters from Lucap Wharf is Ed Transient House. We stayed in one of the family rooms that share a common seating area with another room.
The room is spacious and clean. The staff are super nice. They are quick to respond to both facebook and text messages. We stayed for two nights and only needed to make a deposit of PHP 1,000 to confirm our booking. Has own parking space.
Ed Transient House
#743 Recudo St., Brgy. Lucap, Alaminos, Pangasinan
075 205 0798
Governor’s Island has the highest peak amongst all the islands in Hundred Islands National Park. It’s a fairly easly climb to the top. The viewing deck at the top provides sweeping views of some of the other islands in the national park.
We took a different route on our way down that led us to a cave and a small cove with fine, cream-colored sand. The cove is devoid of any tourists. Looking back, said cove would have been the best place for swimming instead of crowded Quezon Island.
Virgin Island is connected to Governor’s Island by a bridge made of the same materials used for modular floating piers. You may also cross via zip line, if that’s more your thing.
There’s not much to see on this island. Though it’s really fun balancing yourself as you cross the floating bridge. Much like the thrill when you’re crossing a hanging bridge.
Our boatmen then took us to a spot near Marcos Island where we snorkled. There’s not a lot to see. Most of the corals are dead. There are not that many marine life.
Still, it’s a great activity. The occasional fish really gets every one excited. And it’s always fun bobbing about in the sea.
Before we docked at Quezon Island, we decided to have lunch on our boat. There are cottages on the island. But why pay when you can enjoy your meal on a boat (without paying for a cottage)? Quezon Island has the most number of tourists among all the islands we visited.
There’s a small beach with fine cream-colored sand. A hanging bridge leading to another island, that’s then connected to Lopez Island via zip line. There’s also a concrete bridge that leads to another island. A wooden walkway also takes you around one side of the island. There are mermaid statues atop the island and another of the island’s namesake near the beach.
After a brief altercation with an over zealous foreigner, we were finally able to dock at Children’s Island.
We didn’t stay long on the island. There’s not much to see. The island has a short pebble beach. The water is warm and calm. Perfect swimming spot for kids.
Our boatmen told us that there is a 14-foot platform on Cuenco Island where we can dive. To get to the diving platform, you need to go through a cave.
Good thing we arrived a few minutes before the other tourists did. We had the island to ourselves while we muster enough courage to do our first jump and then a second one just for fun.
Formerly Martha Island, Pilgrimage Island is immediately recognizable from afar thanks to the 56-foot statue of Christ atop it.
Our boatman told us there’s a few hundred steps to get to the statue. Don’t fret, it’s not all ascending. It’s quite an easy hike. Life-size stations of the cross adorn the path to the statue.
The way down is a more straightforward affair. One that elders and people who may have a hard time walking can take, if they only want to see the statue up close.
Hundred Islands National Park is one of the best organized tours I’ve experienced. The local government did a great job. Their efforts to keep the National Park clean is also commendable. Unfortunately, we still saw some leaving their trash without any regard.
Now I understand why the Hundred Islands National Park has been part of every textbook we had in grade school. It’s a charming place. One every Filipino can be proud of and help preserve.
Even though we only spent a few days in Pangasinan, we were able to see so many beautiful sites. Bolinao‘s waterfalls, caves, lighthouse and beach. Tondol White Sand Beach in Anda is definitely worth visiting again. And of course, the tiny gems that are the Hundred Islands. It was a wonderful family vacation!