Ultimate Guide for Budget Traveler and Adventure Seeker

Santa Cruz Island is a must visit destination in Zamboanga city. It is famous for its pink sand. Yes, there's a pink beach! It's o...

Santa Cruz Island : The Pink Beach in Zamboanga City

Santa Cruz Island is a must visit destination in Zamboanga city. It is famous for its pink sand. Yes, there's a pink beach! It's one of  the best pink beaches in the world that you should include in your travel bucket list.

Situated in Basilan Strait,  about 20 minutes boat ride from the city proper, Santa Cruz Island offers an amazing pink sand that results from pulverized red organ pipe coral washed up from offshore mixes with white sand. The blue and green shades of the sea and the lush greenery add more beauty to the island. You can indulge swimming, sun bathing, snorkeling, and other outdoor activities.

Aside from its famous pink beach area, another attraction is the mangroves area. The tour was led by Errold Lim Bayona of Zamboanga Itravel Tourist Lane. He gave a lot of information about the island and the lagoon. He also shared on how to determine the sexes of mangroves. This was interesting! My favorite part of the mangroves tour was to see jellyfish up close. These beautiful creatures are like the jellyfish in Sohoton Cove National Park in Siargao. They are both stingless. I'm not really comfortable touching water creatures so I let my brother touch it. They look very friendly.

At the end of the magrove tour, a small vinta was waiting for us. I tried to row down the vinta to the lagoon. It's easy and truly fun! This was the perfect time to shot with the traditional boat made by Bajau and Moros.

A sidetrip to sandbar of little Sta Cruz Island is a must. It is a highly protected sanctuary for sea turtles and other marine life. It's visible all the time. Tourist are only allowed to stay here for 10-15 minutes. This destination is also only allowed one boat at a time to avoid crowd. Swimming is also not allowed to avoid contaminating the water with sunblock and other skin products.

There are no hotels or resorts on the island but there are available tables and cottages with grill stations. Overnight camping is not allowed and bringing of liquor and alcoholic drinks is also not allowed.

For day tours, please bring your own food and lots of of water. There's no available restaurant in the island but there are vendors selling buko and seafood specialties. 

The boat costs P1,000 round trip, good for 1-10 people. Entrance fee of P20 and terminal fee of P5 are also collected for every guest.

Tourists can visit Sta. Cruz Island from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Only a limited number of tourists (up to 400) may visit per day. Make sure to book a slot in advance if you plan to go during holidays, peak seasons or weekends.

How to get to Santa Cruz Island

  • From the airport, take a tricycle going to Paseo del Mar . Fare is around P50
  • From there, book a boat going to Sta Cruz Island. Boat costs P1000 and up. 

For Tour Booking/Reservation:
Call (062) 991-1174 /Text/Call (0917) 7226410
Address: Mayor Jaldon St., Canelar, Z.C. (near DHL Office), Philippines
Email: info@itraveltouristlane.com
Website: www.itraveltouristlane.com