Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Pangasinan Travel Guide: Hundred Islands National Park Day Tour

Scattered in Lingayen Gulf and comprised of 124 islands and islets during low tide and 123 at high tide, the Hundred Islands National Park is the crown jewel of Pangasinan's tourism industry. A protected area located in Alaminos City, it has a total area of 16.76 square kilometers. The islands are actually ancient corals exposed to the surface due to the lowering of sea level and the distinctive shapes were formed by the eroding action of ocean waves. Operated and maintained by the City Government of Alaminos, Hundred Islands National Park is one of the Philippines' most visited tourist attractions.

I visited the Hundred Islands National Park a few months ago when I was in Dagupan City for a work-related assignment. Here's a travel guide on how to get there, entrance fees and boat rates and what to expect during a day tour at the Hundred Islands National Park in Alaminos City, Pangasinan.

How to Get There

Victory Liner, Dagupan Bus and Five Star Bus liners have regular trips from Manila to Alaminos City. Visit the links to inquire about the schedule. Bus fare is around P400.00 and travel time is about 5-6 hours.

In Alaminos, you can hire a tricycle to take you to Lucap Wharf for P60.00. Or you may go to the Lucap tricycle terminal and share the ride with other passengers. Fare for the shared ride is P15.00/person but the tricycle will only depart once all seats are occupied. The wharf is about 8  kilometers away from the Victory Liner Terminal in Alaminos.


Since I was already in Dagupan City, I simply walked to the Pines Garage terminal and ride a van going to Alaminos City. I disembarked at the Victory Liner Terminal upon arriving in Alaminos. A tricycle driver offered to take me to Lucap Wharf for P80.00. Since I have no idea yet on the actual fare, I accepted his offer. After my island hopping tour, I took another tricycle from the wharf back to Victory Liner terminal and the driver asked me to pay only P60,00, which I assumed is the correct fare.

Fees and Boat Rates

Upon arriving at Lucap Wharf, go straight to the Tourism Center building. These are the standard fees and motorboat rates:


Since I traveled solo, I have to pay P1,400.00 for a small boat with a maximum capacity of 5 persons. Day tour in Hundred Islands is expensive if you travel alone so it is recommended to travel in group to share the cost.


There is a food court adjacent to the tourism building where I bought bottled water and food for lunch as I presumed that it is more expensive to buy in the islands. I also bought food for the boatman and his assistant.



Governor's Island


Governor's Island was our first stop during the island hopping. The island is where the Big Brother House of ABS-CBN's Pinoy Big Brother Teen Edition 2006 was built. Upon arriving at the island we climb a series of concrete steps up to the view deck where the overlooking view of Hundred Islands can be seen.


Also on top of the hill is the zipline which crosses over to the neighboring islet and the newly-built statue of Alaminos City's patron saint, St. Joseph the Carpenter.


Governor's Island has a small area with shallow waters ideal for kids swimming. A floating bridge, which sways along with the waves, also connects the island to its neighbor islet.

Marcos Island



After Governor's Island, our next stop was Marcos Island.


The island has a nice beach with fine sands in light-brown color.


A small pathway leads to the opening of Imelda Cave. Here one can jump off the cliff and splashed down the water below. Depending on the tide, you can jump from as high as twenty feet. When I was there, the height was about 14 feet. I was able to conquer my fear of heights and jumped off the cliff not just once but twice!

Cathedral Island


From Marcos Island we passed by Cathedral Island. It is a small islet named so because a statue of Mother Mary stood inside its cave-like opening.

Quezon Island


Quezon Island is the most developed among all the islands and islets of Hundred Islands National Park.


As most tourists opt to stay here longer, the island is crowded most of the time.


I don't like crowded beaches so we did not linger long here. After eating lunch and taking some photos, we proceeded to our next destination.

Bat Island


From Quezon Island, we just cruised by along this islet. Thousand of bats can be seen sleeping and clinging upside down on the branches of the trees.

Children's Island 


Children's Island has a small beach with clear and shallow waters ideal for swimming.


We stayed here a bit longer as I opted to take a dip.


As its shallow waters are generally safe for swimming, I observed mostly families with small kids hanging on the beach of Children's Island.

Cuenco Island


Our last stop for the day was Cuenco Island also known as Cuenco Cave.


The large cave has openings on opposite sides. From the main entrance we passed through the cave and into its opposite side which has a bamboo platform built above the sea. Some tourists would jump from the platform and into the wavy waters.



Just like what I did in Marcos Island earlier, I managed to jump twice into the deep blue ocean (with lifevest on for safety).

Going Back to Alaminos City

Upon arriving back at the Lucap Wharf, I took a bath at the newly-built shower building for a minimal fee. After a quick shower, I hailed a tricycle just outside the wharf and went back to Alaminos City proper.

More Tips:

1. Waterproof your belongings during the island hopping tour.
2. Entrance fees to the islands are already included in the fees paid at the Tourism Center.
3. Bring sunblock lotion and wear appropriate attire. Wearing of rashguard is highly recommended.
4. You can stay overnight in Lucap Wharf or in one of the islands. Contact the following numbers for more information: 
(075) 551-2505; 
(075) 205-0917; 
09282449011
 5. You can read my other posts on Pangasinan in these links:    
    Our Lady of Manaoag Church
    Bolinao Tricycle Tour Experience
    The Crowded Patar Beach



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