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Great Santa Cruz Island

If you’ve already had your fill of white sand, pristine beaches, then why not enjoy a different-coloured one? Explore and lounge on the pink sands of the Great Santa Cruz Island.

As an archipelago, the Philippines has no shortage of beautiful, pristine beaches along its coastline. One of which is the Great Santa Cruz Island in Zamboanga. It features a gorgeous, pinkish beach that feels soft and cool to your feet in spite of the sun. The beach’s pinkish colour can be attributed to the crushed red organ pipe corals that have blended seamlessly with the Island’s white sand — giving it a unique hue of pink. At the same time, the island’s turquoise blue waters are perfect for a leisurely swim and even a few water activities.



The Great Santa Cruz Island is a small, inhabited island in Zamboanga City.


Opening Days and Hours

The Island is open to the public from 07:00 to 14:00.


Entry Fee and Bookings

Fees for a visit to the Island include:

  • Entrance Fee: PhP 100 (USD 2) per person
  • Terminal Fee: PhP 5 (USD 0.1) per person
  • Boat Fee: PhP 1,000 (USD 20) for 1 to 10 persons (you can share with other passengers)

Cottage Rentals:

  • Small (6 pax): PhP 100 (USD 2)
  • Large (10 pax): PhP 200 (USD 4)
  • Pavilion (15 to 30 pax): PhP 500 (USD 10)


How to Get There

  • From the country’s capital of Manila, fly to Zamboanga city via Cebu Pacific or Philippine Airlines.
  • Go to Paseo Del Mar in Zamboanga City and to the City Tourism Office for assistance and to charter a boat.
  • Head to Great Santa Cruz Island.


Suggested For

  • Backpackers/solo travelers
  • Couples
  • Group of friends
  • Families


Time to Spend

You can opt to stay 1 to 2 hours swimming and exploring the beach.


Popularity and Best Time to Go

The best time to visit the Great Santa Cruz Island is during the summer months of April to May and during the early part of the day. The Island is not open for overnight stays and the waves can go crazy as the day progresses, so it is safer to go on the boat ride during the early part of the day.



  • Swimming
  • Snorkeling
  • Lagoon tour and sandbar
  • Diving
  • Bird watching
  • Cultural immersion in the small Sama-Bangingi community
  • Ride Vinta boats



The Island has no restaurants so you can opt to bring your own food and meals. Locals also sell fresh seafood, which they can also cook and prepare for you.


Nearby Attractions

  • Fort Pilar
  • KCC Mall de Zamboanga
  • Plaza Pershing



There are no accommodations on the Island, but you can opt to stay within the Zamboanga City proper. Popular accommodation options include Grand Astoria Hotel, Garden Orchid Hotel, CityInn Hotel, Winzelle Suites, and Casa Canelar Pension House. Rates range from USD 20 to USD 45.

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