Great Sta. Cruz Island
Sta. Cruz Island, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Sibugay
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- Great Outdoors
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We have a few hours to stay in Zamboanga City so we grabbed the opportunity to go to Santa Cruz Island. Also known as the Pink Beach, it is covered in beautiful pink sand that results from all the crushed red organ pipe coral that washes ashore. There was even an article "21 Best Beaches in the World list" published by Nat Geo last year and Pink Beach made the cut at #15, and the only one from the Philippines. Wow!
It was just a 15 - 20 minute boat ride from Paseo del Mar. Make sure to make reservations ahead of time as they put a limit to the number of people that can cross the island daily to keep its environment healthy. A boat costs P1,000 that will fit 10 pax, additional P100 if you are more than 10. I think they have bigger boats that can accomodate max of 20 pax. There is an orientation being done prior to leaving explaining the rules in the island. Bringing of sand, corals etc from the island is not allowed and you will pay a P5,000 fine if you are caught.
You can bring food into the island and you just have to make sure that you bring back everything by the end of the day. There are also crabs and fish vendors in the island and they can cook for you for free if you but from them. There are also a lot of accessories being sold such as pearls, souvenir items etc.
It was a good day to just do nothing at the beach.
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Great Sta Cruz Island or "Pink Beach" of Zamboanga is just 15 to 20 minutes boat ride from Paseo del Mar. Boat ride costs php 1000 (to and from) good for 10 persons (If less than 10, same amount will apply). Additional of 100 per head if exceeded 10.
The red coral that disperses in the sand is what contributes to the pink sand of the beach. They also limit the number of people that goes here because of security reasons. For everyone's safety, during bad weather, they will pull you out from the beach.
It was definitely a wonderful experience. You can bring your own food there and of course you have to bring back your trash to preserve the beauty of the beach. Taking home of corals is strictly prohibited as well.
They have restrooms there for you to change clothes. No shower available and the water they use is salt water. So it is only advisable to change clothes there and take a bath at home.
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Pink sand beach. you can only visit the island on a short period of time, from 7am to 4pm due to security reasons since the island is nearby Basilan.
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