Here's your complete travel guide to the Hundred Islands including things to do, budget and itinerary.
Throughout the Northwest coastal line of Luzon island, I have only been to Pangasinan once in my life (yet). But did you know that more than a hundred of islets in the country are found here?
That's why I decided to join our trip (TB Boys) in March of 2015. It's part of our 2D1N Alaminos-Bolinao Trip that summer.
In this do-it-yourself (DIY) guide, I will include important things you need to know such as facts, things to do, islands to visit, where to stay, where to eat, budget and itinerary, before you go so you can plan ahead for your island adventure!
ABOUT HUNDRED ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK
As the name suggests, Hundred Islands National Park in Alaminos, Pangasinan has more than 100 islands for you to enjoy - 124 to be exact during low tide and 123 during high tide. You can dip at the beautiful beaches and see amazing nature spots.
WHY VISIT THE HUNDRED ISLANDS
Aside for being known as a place where you can find more than a hundred islands and islets, there are more reason to enjoy your experience here.
Hundred Islands got a lot to offer to all tourists - local or foreign. A place where you can have every water adventure you can think of.
Before traveling, you might want to check the live weather forecast and updates to make your trip even easier and safer for you. You can also get the latest report for land traffic in Metro Manila and major parts of the Philippines.
A BIT OF HISTORY OF HUNDRED ISLANDS
On January 18, 1940, President Manuel L. Quezon signed Presidential Proclamation No. 667, creating the Hundred Islands National Park (HINP). More than 20 years later, on June 22, 1962, Republic Act No. 3655 was signed into law.
This created the Hundred Islands Conservation and Development Authority (HICDA) that aims to manage the HINP. The national park, Lucap Bay and its surrounding areas, was then proclaimed as a Tourist Zone and Marine Reserve under the management of the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA).
It’s truly a home to places that are perfect for recreational activities—from swimming and trekking to sightseeing.
WHAT TO BRING IN PANGASINAN
Here are some things you might consider bringing with you for your day tour / adventure:
- Stylish face mask
- Water container/tumbler to rehydrate
- Sunscreen for skin protection
- Goggles for swimming or snorkeling
- Stylish Swimsuit
- Travel backpack / luggage
- Reusable vacuum storage packs
- Selfie stick
- Waterproof phone case
- Acion cam
- Camping tent
- WiFi kit
HOW TO GET TO THE HUNDRED ISLANDS
Traveling to Pangasinan from Manila is not as complicated as you think it is. From Cubao or Pasay, you can ride a bus going to Alaminos, Pangasinan where Hundred Islands is located.
Major bus companies like Victory Liner, 5-Star Bus Company, Dagupan Bus Co., Cisco Bus and First North Luzon Transit provide daily trips to various stops in Pangasinan like Bolinao, Dagupan, Alaminos, Lingayen and Urdaneta.
For those who are bringing own vehicle, you may use Waze or Google Maps for directions. If you don’t have a private vehicle, you can rent a car or van here.
|The team on Victory Liner bus to Pangasinan in 2015|
Travel time from Metro Manila to Pangasinan is around 4 to 6 hours depending on which town you are visiting. In our case, we started traveling from Cubao at around 1am and we reached Alaminos before 6am.
From Alaminos City proper, we took a tricycle ride going to our accommodation before we headed to Lucap Wharf Alaminos City Pangasinan where the Tourism Information Center is located. At the Tourism Information Center, register and pay the necessary fees for an island-hopping tour at Hundred Islands Alaminos Pangasinan.
FUN FACT: visiting more than 100 islands one-by-one is impossible to do in a day or even overnight. Most of the visited islands are located in the northern part of the national park. They can only be reached by riding a boat since they are farther from the mainland Pangasinan.
As you can see on the map, the nearest islands in the south can be accessed by a man-made road:
|The Hundred Islands on map / aerial view|
I wonder what the south part of the Hundred Islands National Park look like and I would love to go back for it.
BEST TIME TO VISIT THE HUNDRED ISLANDS
Pangasinan province has generally pleasant weather so it’s an ideal vacation spot all year round.
|The Hundred Islands in Alaminos, Pangasinan 2015|
However, Pangasinan Island also experiences typhoons and monsoon rains so avoid visiting 100 Islands Pangasinan during the wet season from June to October. That's why we planned to travel in April to avoid the wet season.
THINGS TO DO IN THE HUNDRED ISLANDS
Alaminos' Hundred Islands is not just about swimming and obviously, you cannot visit all 100+ islands in a day or two. But if you’d explore it even more, you’ll discover that there’s more to it than just sun, sand, and sea.
Here are 5 fun things you can do while you island-hop the Hundred Islands:
ENJOY PANORAMIC VIEW AT GOVERNOR'S ISLAND
Off to our island hopping before the sun even comes up, we visited first one of the biggest islets/islands in the area - the Governor's Island.
It was a bit wavy in the morning when we started our island hopping. We rented a whole boat for the four of us for the day tour. It took about 20-minute boat ride when we finally arrived at Governor's Island.
NO DRONES NEEDED! At Governors Island, you can enjoy taking selfies and panoramic view. To get there, you’ll have to climb a 123-step staircase. The view deck area is not spacious enough to accommodate many people. So be sure to visit this island first off your island hopping to take advantage of the scene.
CLIFF JUMPING AT MARCOS ISLAND
|Marcos Island - Hundred Islands, Alaminos, Pangasinan 2015|
Second island to tick-off the list is Marcos Island. This one is famous not only because of it's white sand beach and clear waters but with it's cave named after the late former Philippine president Ferdinand E. Marcos' wife, Imelda Marcos.
You have to climb and take a few steps to get in to the entrance where you can see a narrow platform for your next adventure - cliff diving!
The platform is about 7-8 feet high from the sea level during our visit. The water is about 8 feet deep and you have to swim out to exit the cave.
If you are into adrenaline rush then you mustn't skip this one!
SNORKELING AND HELMET DIVING
After cliff diving at Marcos Island, we went to Coral Garden to see the beauty of Pangasinan Island’s underwater world. Here you’ll see lots of colorful fishes and corals. The water is so clear enough for you to see everything underwater even without diving deep.
Bring your best swimming goggles for best viewing!
Optional: helmet diving
PICNIC AND ZIPLINE AT QUEZON ISLAND
Among the islands in Alaminos, Pangasinan, this is the most developed. At Quezon Island, there are many huts, cottages, and picnic areas where you can enjoy a meal with a view together with your family.
The whole tour, we stayed here the longest. The island was huge compare to others. It has different areas where you can swim, cross the nearby island by floating bridge or zipline.
HIKE UP AT THE PILGRIMIGE ISLAND
One of the newest attractions in Hundred Islands is the 56-foot Christ the Savior statue atop Pilgrimage Island (formerly Martha Island). You can climb 263 steps from the beach to not only give respect to Christ the Savior but also enjoy the panoramic view of some of the nearby islets.
We missed to visit this one since this one was just recently added attraction.
|Cuenca Island - Hundred Islands, Alaminos, Pangasinan 2015|
If you are looking for more diving spots, there's a diving platform from Cuenco Island. Just like the Marcos Island where it has Imelda Cave, Cuenco has can of its own. The dock is connect to the tourist platform via Cuenco Cave.
If you wanted to chill or do kayaking, include visiting the Children's Island. Here, we stayed for a few minutes to enjoy swimming since the water was shallow, maybe the reason why it's called "Children's Island".
|Children's Island - Hundred Islands, Alaminos, Pangasinan 2015|
There's another island our tour guide suggested to us before ending our island hopping. After Children's Island, he took us to what they call "Bat Island". Yup, it is literally an island full of fruit bats.
|Bat's Island - Hundred Islands, Alaminos, Pangasinan 2015|
The whole tour only took us roughly six hours and we visited at least 7-8 islands. We did not plan to stay long since we went straight to Bolinao after the tour. But of course, it's up to you if you wanted to spend more time from one of the islands especially Quezon Island and Children Island where there are cottages you can rent for the day tour.
For those who wanted to stay until the next morning, you can bring or rent a tent from Quezon Island. The tour guide will leave you there for an overnight stay then will fetch you the following morning. Make sure you to inform your guide since the cellular network coverage in the Hundred Islands is not that good.
HUNDRED ISLANDS ITINERARY
The Hundred Islands can be visited for a day tour or a side trip to Bolinao and any other destinations in Pangasinan. Here's a sample itinerary for a day tour to the Hundred Islands:
12:00AM Departure to Alaminos, Pangasinan (Victory Liner, 5-Star Bus Company, Dagupan Bus Co., Cisco Bus and First North Luzon Transit provide daily trips to Alaminos)
06:00AM Arrival in Alaminos (city proper)
07:00AM Tricycle to Lucap Wharf
07:30AM Registration and booking a boat ride
08:00AM Start of island hopping
12:00PM Continue island hopping or chill/swimming or other activities
03:00PM End of island hopping
04:00PM Back to Lucap Wharf
04:30PM Buy pasalubong/merienda then back to Alaminos town proper
05:00PM Departure to Manila or to other destination
NOTE: the above itinerary is for a day tour ONLY and it may vary according to your planned schedule and destination/s. In our case, we finished the island hopping at noon time to catch up for a trip to Bolinao.
Alternately, you may want to spend a night at the Hundred Islands.
BUDGET BREAKDOWN AND OTHER FEES
Here are the rates you need to prepare when visiting the Hundred Islands:
- Entrance Fee: PHP30 per person
- Environmental Fee: PHP40 per person
- Insurance: PHP10 per person
- Small Boat (1 to 5 persons): PHP1,400
- Medium Boat (6 to 10 persons): PHP1,800
- Big Boat (11 to 15 persons): PHP2,000
- Entrance Fee: PHP30 per person
- Environmental Fee: PHP80 per person
- Insurance: PHP10 per person
- Small Boat (1 to 5 persons): PHP3,000
- Medium Boat (6 to 10 persons): PHP3,800
- Big Boat (11 to 15 persons): PHP4,500
- Camping Fee: PHP250 per person
- Tent Rental: From PHP500
WHERE TO EAT IN ALAMINOS
Since it is an archipelago of islets, there are no restaurants or local stores in it. However, it is advisable for any visitors to BRING YOUR OWN food before getting there. However, there are some little sari-sari stores in some islands like in Governor's, Quezon and Cuenco.
There is a public market in Alaminos where you can buy food, water and necessary things. What we did was ordering a "bilao" of pancit canton from an eatery in Alaminos town proper.
MUST-TRY FOOD IN PANGASINAN
- Puto Calasiao
- Lechon bagoong
- Mangaldan Tapa
- San Jacinto Corn
- Alaminos Longganisa
WHERE TO STAY IN ALAMINOS
Whether you’re a backpacker looking for a budget Alaminos beach resort or someone traveling with family who wants to stay at luxurious resorts, the town has a lot in store for you.
Here's a list of resorts, hotels and transients near Alaminos, Pangasinan:
- Islandia Hotel (Alaminos)
- Puerto Del Sol (Bolinao)
- El Puerto Marina Beach Resort & Spa (Lingayen)
- Monarch Hotel (Calasiao)
- Asia Novo Boutique Hotel (Alaminos)
- Treasure Isle Guesthouse (Alaminos)
- VEUE Beach Cabins (Bolinao)
- Birdland Beach Club (Bolinao)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Hundred Islands
- How many islands are there in Hundred Islands?
- What is Hundred Islands known for?
Hundred Islands is known across the world for good reason—scattered beautifully upon the blue-green waters of the Lingayen Gulf, with abundant inland and underwater flora and fauna, cream-colored fine sand that yields to every step, and friendly local islanders.
- Where are Hundred Islands found?
The Hundred Islands National Park is the first national park and a protected area located in Alaminos, Pangasinan in the northern Philippines.
- How to commute from Manila to Hundred Islands?
From Cubao or Pasay, you can ride a bus going to Alaminos, Pangasinan where Hundred Islands is located.
- What to wear in Hundred Islands?
It's recommended to wear your best swimsuit or Dri-FIT since you are going to plunge and dive in to the waters of Lingayen Bay.
- What to wear in Hundred Islands?
Amongst the many things you can do while at the Hundred Islands, here are the best things to do:
- Enjoy the panoramic view at Governor's Island
- Cliff Jumping in Imelda Cave at Marcos Island
- Snorkeling and helmet diving
- Hike up at the Pilgrimige Island
- Picnic and zipline at Quezon Island
This is part of my 2D1N Alaminos-Bolinao Trip in 2015
- The Hundred Islands (ALAMINOS)
- Saint James the Great Parish Church (BOLINAO)
- Cocos Beach Resort (ILOG MALINO)
- Rock View Beach (PATAR)
- Cape Bolinao Lighthouse (PATAR)
- Patar Beach (PATAR)
- The Enchanted Cave (PATAR)
Have fun, Juan!
WHERE TO GO NEXT
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- My Ilocos Norte DIY Travel Guide (How To Get There, Things To Do, Budget And Itinerary)
- ILOCOS SUR: Vigan Travel Guide
- PANGASINAN: Hundred Islands Travel Guide
- A chill visit to Bolinao, Pangasinan (Plus Travel Guide)
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- PALAWAN: El Nido Travel Guide - A 4,500 PHP Itinerary
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- CATANDUANES: Complete Travel Guide | How To Get There | Budget and Itinerary
IMPORTANT NOTE: The rates, contact details and other information indicated in this post are accurate from the time of writing but may change without IMFWJ's notice. Should you know the updated information, please message us on Facebook.
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