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Zamboanga Pink Sand Beach: Complete Travel and Budget Guide

Level up your beach experience in Zamboanga’s beautiful pink beach. We’ve compiled all the information you will need to get there and exactly how much do you need to have an enjoyable vacation there. So without further ado, here is the complete travel and budget guide to the Pink Sand Beach in Santa Cruz Zamboanga.

Pink Sand Beach Philippines

A photo of the pink sand beach in Zamboanga city. (IMAGE INSTAGRAM/mie_moi)

Going to Zamboanga from Manila

When going to Zamboanga from Manila, you can either opt to ride a plane or a ferry. Plane rides are shorter and more comfortable but can sometimes be more expensive. Ferry rides are longer but are usually 50% cheaper, particularly when booking a seat within the next 4 weeks. However, if you plan in advance and book a trip to Zamboanga 3 to 6 months earlier, you can score a roundtrip airfare ticket for less than a thousand pesos or $20 USD.

Booking a Plane ticket to Zamboanga

Based on our research, there are only 2 airline companies flying from Manila to Zamboanga airport. This is Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines. If you are on a budgeted trip, choose Cebu Pacific as it is almost always cheaper. However, if you are booking for a trip within 30 to 90 days, check Philippine Airlines fare rates too as sometimes the price difference is small in exchange of high-quality service and comfort.

Cebu Pacific Rates

Normal Rate: 5,000 to 6,000 Pesos or $125 to $150 roundtrip from Manila to Zamboanga
Promo Rate: Less than a thousand pesos or approximately $20 roundtrip from Manila to Zamboanga

Philippine Airlines Rate:

Normal Rate: 6,500 to 7,500 Pesos or $150 to $175 roundtrip from Manila to Zamboanga

Travel time is usually 1 hour and 40 minutes and a total of 7 flights a day arrive in Zamboanga from both airlines.

Booking a Ferry Ride to Zamboanga

After thorough research online, it looks like Travel 2 Go is the best choice, if not the only, to go to Zamboanga via a ferry. Fare tickets cost anywhere from 2,093 pesos to 2,271 pesos each person. They also offer cabins for 4 persons for 3,035 pesos and staterooms for 2 that costs 7,635 pesos. In addition, a 12% VAT will be added for every ticket cost.

Passengers will be boarding the St. Michael the Archangel vessel from North Harbor Pier 4 in Tondo Manila. Just make sure to bring a copy of the eTicket itinerary receipt you received after purchasing a ticket online and a valid ID.

In Travel 2 Go’s website, they indicated that they offer a ferry ride to Zamboanga once a week every Sunday. The departure time is always at 8:00 PM which arrives at Zamboanga PPA Port 2 days after at approximately 2:00 PM.

Make sure you are at the pier 4 hours before departure time and have 95 pesos ready for terminal fee. This is because ferry rides are boarding starts 3 hours before departure time so arriving there on time is crucial. For more information about a traveler’s experience in a Travel 2 Go ferry, check this blog post.

Zamboanga City Airport to Pink Sand Beach

Once you’ve reached Zamboanga city airport, all you need to do is ride a tricycle to Paseo Del Mar to ride a boat to reach the Pink Sand Beach via the Great Santa Cruz Island Boat station. However, if you’ve reached Zamboanga late in the day, we recommend checking in first in your hotel. In this way, you can drop your bags, get your much-needed rest so you can enjoy the whole day in the Pink Sand Beach tomorrow.

Finding a Hotel Near Pink Sand Beach Santa Cruz Island

Unfortunately, you can’t stay overnight in the Pink Sand beach. Tourists are only allowed to have a day tour in the island and head back before the night arrives. So far, the hotel’s and budget inns below are the closest accommodation you can get in the city:

List of Hotels You Can Stay at:

Winzelle Suites: 1,000 pesos to 1,500 pesos a night
Ever O Business Hotel: 1,200 to 1,700 pesos a night
Jardin de La Vina Hotel: 600 to 1,000 pesos a night
Cityinn Hotel: 800 pesos to 1,200 pesos a night
Casa Canelar Pension: 1,000 to 1,500 pesos a night
Garden Orchid Hotel: 4,000 to 5,000 pesos a night
Lantaka Hotel by the Sea:

Getting to Pink Sand Beach

From your hotel, just take a tricycle ride to Paseo Del Mar and book a boat ride to Pink Sand Beach. The boat station is just located beside the building of Centro Latino so it’s not that hard to find.

Each boat to the island can carry up to 10 persons with a fixed fee of 1,000 pesos (roundtrip). Each additional person will need to pay 100 pesos. In addition, a 25 pesos fee is collected upon landing on the island for the environmental fee.

You also have the option to rent a cottage while on the beach. A small cottage only costs 100 pesos which are already good for 6 persons while the biggest cottage can be rented for 500 pesos and is good for up to 30 persons.

Facts about Pink Sand Beach

The island officially opens from 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM every day and will only accommodate a maximum of 400 guests each day. For this reason, it is crucial that you reserve a slot in advance or head to the port early. For reservations and inquiries, you can reach the city’s tourism office at 0927 283 5684.

Don’t be alarmed if you see security personnel and armed forces around the area, they are just there to make sure everyone on the island is safe and secure. It is also important to note that parts of the island are not open to the public. You may need to ask for police assistance to explore the deep areas of the island.

Make sure you also bring all the food and water you need while in the area. Just remember to clean up and don’t leave any trash behind when you leave the island. Unfortunately, liquors and alcoholic beverages are not allowed in the island.

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