We Almost Didn't Make it to the Pink Sand Beach of Sta Cruz Island Zamboanga

6:42 PM

Sta Cruz Island is located off the coast of Zamboanga City. The island boasts pinkish sand and clear waters. The pinkish hue came from pulverized organ pipe red coral. Hence, the pink sand beach of Sta Cruz made its mark. 

We Almost Didn't Make it to the Pink Sand Beach of Sta Cruz Island Zamboanga

The Great Sta Cruz and the Little Sta Cruz Islands are both declared as protected areas. The LGU of Zamboanga is gearing towards preservation, protection, conservation and rehabilitation of the island's ecosystem.

We Almost Didn't Make it to the Pink Sand Beach of Sta Cruz Island Zamboanga

How to Get to the Island?

If you're planning to visit the island with a large group, it's better to call days before your date of visit to secure a reservation. Personally, we called on a Friday hoping to book for the weekend. Unfortunately, they were fully booked and the next available slot was after a week. We were saddened by this information but we looked for other ways to get in. Since we called for a D.I.Y. trip and boats are fully booked, we sought help from travel agencies that are recognised by the tourism office. Sadly, their tours also depend on the slots given by the tourism office. They were also fully booked. We were getting frustrated and blamed the system.

We Almost Didn't Make it to the Pink Sand Beach of Sta Cruz Island Zamboanga

I paused, thought for a moment, and started rationalising. They are limiting the number of tourists in the area since they want to protect it. The priority is the welfare of the whole island not the earnings from tourism. Instantly, I realised how great their cause is. And, I commend the whole LGU for their efforts. It's nice to know that a local government is religiously preserving the island.

We Almost Didn't Make it to the Pink Sand Beach of Sta Cruz Island Zamboanga

Luckily, the tourism office notified us that we can go to Paseo del Mar and sign up as "chance passengers" on the day of our travel. Our dying spirits quickly regained its strength and we were so ready for Sta Cruz Island. It really pays to coordinate with the tourism office

We Almost Didn't Make it to the Pink Sand Beach of Sta Cruz Island Zamboanga

We arrived in Paseo del Mar around 7 AM. It was packed with excited tourists. Hurriedly, we went straight to the information booth and asked for the wait list. We wrote our names and prayed for a slot.

Around 9 AM, we got a slot and was scheduled to depart in 30 minutes. It was a moment of triumph! 

Fees
  • Boat - Php 1000 ( Good for 10 persons; Roundtrip) In our case, we paid Php 100 each for the boat since we shared the cost with the other smaller groups. 
  • Island Entrance Fee - Php 20
  • Terminal Fee - Php 5
  • Cottage Rental Fee - Depends on availability
    • Small - Php 100 (4-6 pax)
    • Large - Php 200 (8-12 pax)
    • Pavilion - Php 500 (20-40 pax)
We Almost Didn't Make it to the Pink Sand Beach of Sta Cruz Island Zamboanga

Things to remember
  • Bring all your trash/ rubbish. Do not leave anything on the island.
  • Collection of corals, shells, sand, and other living and non-living components are strictly prohibited.
  • Vandalism is not allowed. 
  • Pets are not allowed
  • Strict ban on alcoholic drinks
  • Fishing is highly prohibited
  • Loudspeakers, karaoke, etc shall need approval from the office
  • Overnight stay is not allowed
  • Washing the dishes are not allowed in the swimming area
  • Only grill on designated areas
  • Only licensed vessels shall be permitted to transport guest to/from the island
Please call the Sta Cruz Island in-charge at 0977 708 3194 for bookings and reservations.

We Almost Didn't Make it to the Pink Sand Beach of Sta Cruz Island Zamboanga

If you simply have lots of dough to spare and want to have a hassle-free trip, please coordinate with their tourism office for packaged tours. Below is the tour agency that they have recommended:

Zamboanga Day Tours
Landline: (062) 991-1174
Globe: 0917 722 6410, 0917 392 9474, 0995 699 3274
Smart: 0939 445 6290

Great Sta Cruz Island

It's so amazing to see the crystal clear waters of Sta Cruz Island considering that it's just a few minutes away from the mainland. The sand is not that pink as seen in some heavily edited photos online. Instead, the fine sand is powdery white with a pinkish blush. 

We Almost Didn't Make it to the Pink Sand Beach of Sta Cruz Island Zamboanga

Never miss the smaller counterpart -- Little Sta Cruz Island. The sandbar is surrounded with Gatorade-like waters. It is so beautiful that our photos don't do justice at all. Just inform your boatman to take you to the other island. You'll just need to pay Php 200 for a quick 10-minute island exploration.

We Almost Didn't Make it to the Pink Sand Beach of Sta Cruz Island Zamboanga

We Almost Didn't Make it to the Pink Sand Beach of Sta Cruz Island Zamboanga

Where to Eat on the island?

Since you'll just be staying for 4 - 5 hours, it's better to bring your own food and drinks. But if you hate bringing all those stuff, vendors on the island offer a seafood variety. We bought 4-5 pieces fresh squid in medium size and a kilo of cooked rice for Php 700 pesos. It was grilled immediately and served with the traditional soy and vinegar concoction. Also, we purchased a big bag of crabs for Php 500. They also sell a 1.5-liter bottle of soft drinks for Php 95.

We Almost Didn't Make it to the Pink Sand Beach of Sta Cruz Island Zamboanga

Where to stay for the night?

Unfortunately, no one is allowed to stay overnight on the island. It's against the rules of the local government. Everyone should be back to the mainland before 2 PM.

We Almost Didn't Make it to the Pink Sand Beach of Sta Cruz Island Zamboanga

Where to stay in Zamboanga City?














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