Philippine Trip: Isle of Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is a protected island off of Zamboanga and to get here, you need to have permission from the Department of Tourism. This was my first time going to Santa Cruz, but it’s a popular destination because of the pink sand on the beach. The pink sand is from the pink shells from the ocean that wash up on the shore.

Pink sand at Santa Cruz.

Boat rides to and from the island end about 2 pm because after that time, the waves are too strong to use the small boats.

My family managed to get permission so we went to Paseo bright and early in the morning to wait for the small boat to take us to Santa Cruz. When it was our turn to get on our boat, we were given a speech about the island, what to do and not do, and we put on our inflatable vests before getting on the boat.

Starting out from Paseo.
View of the water from Paseo.

Some of the things the guide mentioned was you cannot take anything from the island, not even sand, don’t leave anything behind like trash, there is no drinkable water there (so bring your own), and bring your own food as well if you’re going to stay a couple of hours.

Santa Cruz off in the distance.

I suggest bringing earplugs with you for the boat ride because the engine on the boat is very loud.

A closer view of Santa Cruz.
The boat that took us to Santa Cruz.

It didn’t take long for us to arrive to the island and we were greeted with a large “I heart Zamboanga” structure. There were plenty of huts with a table under the roof for people to sit at and have their picnics.

I heart Zamboanga structure.
Huts on the beach.

There are locals who do live on the island and sell some food for a lot cheaper than what it’d cost if you bought it in Zamboanga. My mom bought some food to take back to cook with.

Isle of Santa Cruz sign.

There are guards who walk around the island to keep people safe, but you can just ignore them. By the way, you are not allowed to pose with them and take a picture.

The view of Zamboanga from Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz is a beautiful place and I enjoyed visiting there. People come here to picnic and swim, as well as enjoying the view. There is also a lagoon on the island that you can visit while on a boat for 50 peso per person. The money goes to the locals who live on the island.

A stray cat living on Santa Cruz.

By the time we left Santa Cruz, it was a little past 1 pm. We had packed up everything, put on our vests, and got back on the boats towards Paseo.

Philippine Trip:
1) Don’t Forget Your Luggage Tag!
2) Flight To Manila
3) 9 Hours at Ninoy Aquino Airport
4) Arrival in Zamboanga City
5) Isle of Santa Cruz
6) Paseo del Mar
7) Fort Pilar
8) Alavar Restaurant
9) City Mall
10) Vista del Mar
11) KCC Mall
12) Returning Home from Zamboanga City

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