A laid back paradise that lies 15-20 minutes boat ride away from the Paseo del Mar is another paradise worth visiting when in Zamboanga. The island features a pink sand beach and it’s what makes this island unique above other beaches. Sta. Cruz Island is definitely the Boracay beach of Aklan if you are to ask me. Your travel to Zamboanga is incomplete without having to visit this well know pink beach. Of course, I’ll share with you how to go to Sta Cruz Island DIY way!
Last February 2020, we went to this stunning island as part of our ZAMBASULTA trip. It’s amazing how the beach of Sta. Cruz is shimmering in pink color as our boat approaches the shore. Excitement made me want to get to the island and see for myself if the grain of sand is really pink. So I went to check it for myself and it really is in pink shade! Check out our ZAMBASULA video on Youtube!
Pre-Travel Guide to Sta Cruz Island
Best time to visit Sta Cruz Island
The best time to visit Sta. Cruz Island is early morning so you can enjoy the sun in the morning. Also, best season to come is the summer season in the Philippines. It would be better to be early as much as possible in the island since overnight or camping is not allowed by Zamboanga’s Tourism office.
Zamboanga to Sta Cruz Island DIY
To get to Sta Cruz Island, proceed to Paseo del Mar and rent a boat that will take you to the pink beach. Be reminded that you have to register to the tourism office in Paseo del Mar and rent the boat. Rates are subject to a standard price provided by the tourism office.
- Be reminded that they only accept limited number of tourists per day. (500 pax/day)
- To secure your slot, reserve slot by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact them at +63 905 601 6316
- The pink beach is open daily. However, there are no overnight trip and camping is not allowed in the island as well. The first trip of boat to the island is 7:30 AM and last trip of boat back to Paseo del Mar is 2:00 PM.
- Try the grilled squid in the island!
- Before you proceed to the island, there will be a short briefing in the tourism office.
- Collection of corals, sand and shells is strictly prohibited
- NO NUDITY
- Pets, alcoholic drinks and fishing rods are not allowed
|Boat Rental||PHP1,000.00 (for 1-10 pax)|
Exceeding the 10th pax will pay additional PHP100.00 per pax that will be added
|Cottage Rental Rate:|
|Small (4-6 pax)||PHP100.00|
|Large (8-12 pax)||PHP200.00|
|Pavilion (20-40 pax)||PHP500.00|
Insider Tip: For budget travelers, renting cottage is not mandatory. You may just bring a picnic cloth or hammock with you or sit in the wooden chairs available like what we did.
The Pink Sand Beach of Zamboanga del Sur
As our boat slowly approaches the beach, my curiosity to prove if the beach really has pink sand is becoming real. I have heard of the pink beach in Matnog in Luzon but I have never really seen it. To my surprise, there really is a pink sand beach! I think I personally enjoyed looking at the sand than bathing in the beach.
Why is the sand pink?
So how is the sand pink? Actually, majority of the grain of sand is white but it was mixed with grains from crushed pink shells. It can be associated with Boracay’s Puka beach where the feature of the sand is from crushed puka shells. The pink shells that can be found in the seas are what makes the island special. If you go around the island, you’ll see some hanging pink shells which are examples where the pink sand comes from.
Activities to do in Sta Cruz Island
Some of the activities you can do in Sta Cruz aside from swimming are: snorkeling, volleyball area is available and photo ops.
Small Sta Cruz & Great Sta Cruz Islands
There are 2 islands you can go to and they are (1) Small Sta. Cruz and (2) the Great Sta Cruz. Since they only allow day tour, you should start your tour at 7:00 AM so that you’ll be able to explore the 2 islands the whole day. Although the 2 islands are near each other, take note that the last trip back to Paseo del Mar is at 2:00 PM.
The 2 islands has the same features of pink beach. You can either visit the 2 or not. But if you have more time, be sure to check out the 2 islands.
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