Great Santa Cruz Island is home to the Philippines’ renowned “Pink Beach.” It is one of the more breathtaking places in the country, and unlike some of the beaches which were developed for public consumption, this beach was preserved, as opposed to commercialized. This island is located near Zamboanga City in the Zamboanga del Sur province.
Because Zamboanga counts as one of the hot spots of strife in the Philippines, tourism to the island has cut down a bit. In the 1970s to the early 1980s, this was a favorite tourist destination for Germans and Italians. Nowadays, the local government is working to enhance the island’s beauty and potential as a tourist destination. The best way to get there is to fly into Zamboanga City, then head on over to Paseo del Mar from the airport.
Going to the island via land trip from elsewhere in Mindanao is also doable, however, due to safety concerns, it would best to steer clear of extended travel via land.
That aside, the Pink Beach should be on any Filipino’s travel “bucket list,” risks notwithstanding. It is a rare moment where you can see beauty as refreshing and breathtaking as this:
In going to Great Santa Cruz Island, here are things you need to know:
- There are no accommodations on the island, but there are cottage that tourists can rent.
- Camping is not allowed, however, so save yourself the trouble and just pack food and your camera and its accessories.
- Although, a plus is that visitors can just head to the City Tourism Office in Paseo del Mar without a need to make reservations beforehand.
- The beach is located in a high-risk area, so you may be assisted by armed police officers.
- Other travelers advise to bring your own rice or corn, though seafood can be bought from island vendors.
- A boat trip may cost Php 1,000, round trip, good for up to 10 people. You may pay an additional Php 100 in excess of that number.
- Entrance Fee is Php 20, while the Terminal Fee is Php 5.
- Php 100 for a 6-person cottage
- Php 200 for a 10-person cottage
- Php 500 for a 15 to 30-person pavilion
[Source of the rates: Lakwatsero.com]
The island is said to be very therapeutic. Some travelers even say that they felt closer to the Creator as they came over. Many report that the security risks they were apprehensive of could not be felt as they traveled to the island. They also spoke of the delicious fresh seafood, and the colorful sights they were treated to, upon their visit.
If you are apprehensive of the beach-loving crowd, take heart, as the visitors are limited to only 250 people at a time. So introverts can soak up the sun, the sand, and the surf without the drain of dealing with the crowds.
So plan a trip to the Pink Beach, once in your life, if you dare. It’s well worth the risk, real or imagined.
Photo Credits: Anne Gacer