The province of Pangasinan is well-known for its longganisa for the foodies, and Hundred Islands for wanderers. Consisted of 123 islands and islets scattered on the Lingayen Gulf, the Hundred Islands is a national park located in the capital city of Pangasinan, Alaminos City.
There are many well-known places you can visit in Hundred Islands: Quezon Island, Governor’s Island, and Children’s Island to name a few. The islands and islets resemble a mini archipelago, and to most people, a mushroom due to water erosion caused by ocean waves.
Day tour is usually enough to do island hopping, and can cover 4-5 islands. But if you want to visit all the islands that are open to public, you should at least stay for 2 days, and this depends on how long you opt to stay on each island.
We started our island hopping activity at 8 am, and finished at around 11:30 am. The rented boats in Alaminos can be classified into two: Regular Boats, which take you to the main island attractions; and Service Boats, which take you anywhere you want to go.
The first island we visited was Governor’s Island. Dubbed as the main island among the many islands and islets in the national park, this is where you can see a panoramic view of the Hundred Islands National Park. Be sure to readily climb a hundred steps or more to get to the top.
Other activity you can do is island-to-island zip line, starting from Governor’s Island to Virgin Island. There’s a gazebo you can rent if you want to stay half-day or overnight.
Our next stop was Cuenco Island. Near the entrance, you can see the faded signage which displays the island’s name. The place possesses a shallow cave that has a large entrance. Inside, you can see the white to brown to green colored limestones, and another opening that leads to the other side of the cave.
Another activity you can do on your day trip in Hundred Islands is snorkelling. There are a couple of snorkelling sites around, but we decided to visit the site near Macapagal Island instead. In Coral Garden, another snorkelling site in Hundred Islands located near Quezon Island, offers hemet diving.
Underwater, you can see giant clams on wild, seemingly shy as they close their shells when people go near them. Personally, I didn’t witness this because #pooreyesight, and I didn’t wore contact lenses that time. I just learned that there were giant clams when Mark told me about this.
Marcos Island & Imelda Cave
If I were to pick an island which I like the most in our day trip, it would be the Marcos Island. Approaching the island, it might just be another site where you can swim, and chill lazily on the shoreline in a sunny afternoon. But if you explore the place a bit more, you can discover that there’s more to it.
Imelda Cave is all sorts of fun: up above, you can see sleeping and flying bats, while down under you can observe the clear water imparted by light passing through the underwater opening. People can also cliff-dive in this littoral cave, but make sure to wear your life jacket. I was so careful not to open my mouth when cliff diving to prevent myself from drinking water since there could be guanos, but in the end I failed. Gross, though! LOL
For our final stop, we visited the Mayor’s Island. It’s a great island to top the tour. On our way to the island, we passed by small islets where various birds can be found. It was definitely an amazing scene to witness those birds freely on their natural habitat.
Touring around the Hundred Islands in Alaminos was exciting. I really had a great time together with my new-found friends. Finding a good company, and travelling into different parts of the world are the perfect combination to enjoy a trip, and I’m pretty sure that this is just the start of my journey with these people.
How to Get There:
From Manila, ride a bus bound to Alaminos. Bus terminals in Cubao or Pasay have daily schedule trip to Alaminos, Pangasinan. Travel time usually takes about 4 to 5 hours. I suggest you take the 12:00 am trip, so you could eat breakfast and find a place to stay prior your day tour trip. Fare is about PHP 400.00
Upon reaching Alaminos, ride a tricycle and ask the driver to take you to Lucap Wharf, the place where the tourism office is located, and the jump-off point of Hundred Islands tour. Fare for the tricycle is PHP 80.00-100.00, good for 4-5 pax. In the office, you can register and pay fees for the tour. You will be assigned in a boat that could take you to the islands you wish to visit.
General Fees for Hundred Islands Tour
There are some fees you need to pay prior your island hopping activities. These are legitimate, and much needed fees in order to help manage and develop the national park:
- Camping is allowed in the major islands in Hundred Islands.
- Pangasinan is a part of the Ilocos Region. Ilocano is the native dialect in this province.
- Famous pasalubong you can buy are longganisa, tupik, dried fish and squid to name a few.
- For more details, you can visit their official website or facebook fanpage