Zamboanga City Beaches

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Zamboanga City's Bolong Beach - enjoy!

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List of Zamboanga City Beaches

(The Philippine Islands)


Greater Santa Cruz Island's rare "Pink Sand Beach":  (View incredibly detailed Satellite Map)

The Great and Little Santa Cruz Islands' respective Pink and White Sand Beaches are, arguably, this city's best beaches, and one of the country's best.  In its ideal natural state, there is no comparison to the uniquely beautiful "pinkish" sand (a coloration effect of pulverized rare red Organ-pipe Coral ( tubipora musica ) from eons of surf erosion mixed in with the white sand) and colorful coral reef just a few feet away from the shore of the Great Santa Cruz Island.  The "Pink Sand Beach" of Great Santa Cruz Island is rare, and is one of the very few found in the entire world.  There is over three miles of this rare pink sand beach encircling the beautiful island.


The nearby Little Santa Cruz Island (View incredibly detailed Satellite Map) has a beautiful white sand beach instead, and is a military installation.  Snorkeling and scuba diving are excellent diversions for the sun worshipers with lots of colorful marine life to experience in excellent water visibility, depending on weather conditions.  In the Great Santa Cruz Island, there are some covered huts used for picnicking (food and water can be brought in), and adequate bathroom facilities.  The Great Santa Cruz Island has a big mangrove-laden lagoon inside where its water level rises and falls with the tide, along with a small Badjao village and their increasingly larger burial ground nearby the mouth opening of the lagoon.  The island interior is lushly covered with natural island vegetation and grass, with some flowering trees, providing a welcome shade from the near equatorial sunshine.  It is also home to numerous red mangrove crabs and other sea creatures that seek shelter inside its protective lagoon.


Motorized vinta ride to Santa Cruz Island, on Basilan StraightThe Great Santa Cruz Island can be reached with any motorized vinta (outrigger) or boat from downtown Zamboanga in about 15-20 minutes, for about 800 pesos, depending on type of boat.  All trips must be coordinated with the Philippine Tourist Authority located in the Lantaka Hotel front side.  The water current of the adjacent Basilan Straight is strong, following a south-eastwardly flow of water exiting from Sulu Sea into the Celebes Sea, and swimmers should proceed with caution - there are no lifeguards on duty.  The Basilan Straight acts as a channel between two vast seas (the deep-water Sulu Sea and the Celebes Sea) and a natural conduit for migrating fishes.  The underwater scenery here can be spectacular.


NOTE:  Sadly though, recent activities of illegal coral reef mining has wiped out most of the Great Santa Cruz Island's vast and beautiful coral reef population.  All that's left are the dead skeletons of what once were glorious shells and coral reefs.  The numerous colorful fish and rich marine life is no longer there, but some adventurous fish life still comes to visit along with the well-guarded human visitors.  No matter, the beach and water is still a thing of beauty, and well worth your endeavor.  Thankfully, the thieves of nature cannot cause the same damage to nearby Little Santa Cruz Island because it is a guarded military installation, and the coral reef there is still healthy, and a possible source for restoration of the big island.  Please help us restore the stolen beauty of the once spectacular coral reef of the Great Santa Cruz Island.  Thank you.


***View more beautiful photos of Greater Santa Cruz Island's "Pink Sand Beach" here!

Bolong Beach:
Zamboanga City's Bolong Beach... nice!If you like to jog or just simply walk in the early morning and see the sunrise, Bolong Beach is the place to be. It is a good 1.5 kilometers long. There are several huts with tables that are available for rent at 50 pesos per day. There are BBQ grills available so you may cook your own meal. You can also rent canoes from the nearby fishermen or late in the afternoon you can participate in the pulling  of  the wide net that covers about 800 square meters. This is fun because if the catch is plentiful you can get a little share.  Bolong is about 33 kilometers from downtown Zamboanga City (about 45 minutes to 1 hour from downtown, depending on traffic). If you do not have your own transportation, you may rent a Jeepney. They are readily available for about 600 to 700 pesos per day. Tip: Stop by the barrio of Sangali to get your fresh fish.


***View more beautiful photos of Bolong Beach here!



The beautiful white sandy beaches on the Eleven Islands off Bolong Beach (view Zamboanga satellite map for location of 11 islands):


1. Pitas Island Beach:

Right across from Bolong Beach, one could almost swim towards it via the narrow channel dividing Pitas Island from the mainland of Zamboanga City.  The island is sparsely inhabited by a few fishermen, and the white sand beach is better accessed via a local motorized vinta for a few hundred pesos (for the 11 Islands group) - most of the cost is fairly negotiable, depending on who you know.  The crystal-clear water surrounding these Eleven Islands, as most are locally known by, belongs to the Moro Gulf.  The water is teeming with fish, and snorkeling is a good option.  Just as everything else, please be cautious and let your friends know your whereabouts.


***More photos of Pitas Island Beach and its surrounding area can be experienced here!


2. Visa Island Beach:

Zamboanga_City_Visa_Island_closeupIt is a little farther up north of Pitas Island and Bolong Beach, but Visa Island Beach is reachable by a rented motorized vinta (see above for ride details).  It is a little bit smaller than Pitas, and is not as inhabited.  The beautiful white sand beach and crystal clear waters is your reward for the adventurous spirit of island hopping (11 of them if you so desire), just off the beautiful expansive beach of Bolong, in the peninsula city of flowers - Zamboanga City.


***More photos of Visa Island Beach and its surrounding area can be experienced here!


3. Baong Island Beach:


Just north of Visa Island, Baong Island is visibly much bigger in size than Visa Island and has a substantially larger expanse of white sandy beach for visitors to frolic on.  As with the other nearby islands, the water is teeming with fish and snorkeling is a good option.  It is sparsely inhabited by local fishermen.



***More photos of Baong Island and its surrounding area can be experienced here!


4. Bobo Island Beach:

Zamboanga City's bobo Island & Beach Also just north of Baong Island, Bobo Island is much bigger than its neighbor Baong Island but has about the same amount of white sand beach area.  The same water characteristics pretty much holds true for most of these 11 islands as they are abundant with fish and other snorkeling activities, or scuba for that matter.  The island has some inhabitants.



***More photos of Bobo Island and its surrounding area can be experienced here!


5. Salangan Island Beach:

6. Lambang Island Beach:

7. Bugias Island Beach:

Zamboanga City's Bugias Island

8. Kablingan Island Beach:

9. Panganaban Island Beach:

10. Lamunigan Island Beach:

11. Island with no name Beach:

Zamboanga Beach Park:

Arcillas Beach:

Caragasan Beach:

Zamboanga_City_Caragasan_Beach3A long-time favorite of Zamboangue�os, Caragasan Beach's white sand area has been diminished over the past many years and is now more rocky than sandy.  The open view of the Basilan Straight water has increasingly been blocked by numerous street vendors on the beach side of the street, almost eliminating the still beautiful view of the water and beyond.  The beach is still very popular with local area residents, and continues to attract throngs of people into its warm shallow waters.  However, its beach has become dirty and polluted with garbage, left over by picnickers without any regard to preserving its environment.  It is hopeful that the city and the barrio government will enact a much needed beach cleaning process in order to rectify a visual eye-sore, and establish zoning rules to keep vending stores located only on the opposite side of the street facing the beach.


***More photos of Caragasan Beach and its surrounding area can be experienced here!

Cawa-Cawa Beach:
Cawa-cawa Boulevard and Beach frontThe only downtown public beach in Zamboanga City where decades of family fun were celebrated, up until recently when "Cawa-Cawa" Boulevard was widened and the beach, or a semblance of it, is only a distant memory.  Beautiful sunsets may be the only legacy left for everyone to enjoy.  Then, one can enjoy the Chavacano cuisine from nearby restaurants.  A stroll, or "paseo" along the boulevard is a favorite pastime for the locals, and should be on your "to do" list.


Golf Course's Yellow Beach:
This is a private beach but the public is  welcome for a fee of 10 pesos per person. It's about 1 kilometer long and dotted with trees, kiosks and restaurants with karaoke bars. There are also sari-sari stores where you can buy the items that you forgot. The place is open 24 hours a day. After your swim you can rinse out at the public dressing room areas. The beach is not as sandy. There are lots of stones and rocks.

Thursday, August 28, 2003 (SunStar Zamboanga)
P15M for rehab of Calarian beach

THE Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) has allotted P15 million for the rehabilitation of the beach resort in Upper Calarian.

According to Carlitos R. Serrano, PTA regional manager for Mindanao, the amount will include the construction of a food court with 16 cubicles, rehabilitation of beach park and improvement of seaside.

"Actually, improvement of the seaside in the golf beach will start next month, and the truth is that the Golf Beach is still owned by the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA)" Serrano said.

Serrano also said some Korean investors plan to build a hotel in the beach resort as he denied rumors that the Koreans already own the beach resort.

"We have no lease contract yet or no memorandum of agreement between the Korean investors and the Philippine Tourism Authority," he said.

He said the Korean investors are expected to come to the country anytime soon to finalize the contract for the hotel.

The PTA earns P150,000 to P200,000 monthly in entrance fees from the beach resort.


La Vista del Mar Beach Resort:

It is now a favorite of city dwellers, offering them the many amenities they are wanting and the close proximity to downtown.  The well manicured and lushly appointed garden grounds of this private beach resort provides a nice tropical welcome to the paying visitor.  The beautiful view of the Basilan Straight water and Santa Cruz Islands in the distance, along with the cooling shade the giant acacia trees casts, are some of the special treats that keep paying visitors coming back for more.  The beach itself is lacking in its content and visual appeal, but nevertheless remains popular with city residents and continues to attract throngs of people into its warm shallow waters.  The resort owners need to do a better job at cleaning the beach sand daily, along with the water that sometimes get covered with garbage in some areas from leftovers by picnickers.


***More photos of La Vista del Mar Beach Resort can be experienced here!


Labuan Beach:

Labuan Beach


Malandi Beach:


Malanipa Island & Little Malanipa Island Beaches:

Just south of the big city island of Sacol, the white sandy beaches of Malanipa Island & Little Malanipa Island are only a short boat ride from the Zamboanga peninsula, and present an adventure for those who like the isolation from the beach crowd, and offers great snorkeling and scuba diving.  Located in the path of the Basilan Straights current draining eastwards from the Sulu Sea into the Moro Gulf, the sea-life one may encounter on your scuba diving excursion or on a fishing boat trip would be fantastic.  The area surrounding the outward islands of Zamboanga's Gulf Coast is known for its rich marine life, and the Moro Gulf is known for its tuna fish abundance (it suffers at times from over-fishing, which forces local fishermen to extend their search further into Malaysian waters and causes their boats to be impounded by Malaysia).


Sacol Island Beach:

A white sandy beach with gently sloping seabed that has very good areas of corals, and also visibly demolished sections that are tragic remnants of local fishermen using dynamites for fishing.

Here is a satellite photo of the Sacol Beach located on the southeast corner of the island, facing the beautiful and expansive Moro Gulf.  The Gulf Coast Beaches of Zamboanga are some of the finest around, and the waters are more calm on the average compared to those city beaches on the Sulu Sea side of the Zamboanga Peninsula.  Sacol Beach is a short distance by boat from Bolong Beach, which is located to the north of it.  Sacol Beach is not visible from the mainland Zamboanga as it is located on the opposite side of island, with it's hills covering it.  Its beautiful white-sandy beach is something to behold and is one of the longest stretch of white-sandy beaches around Zamboanga, and surely worth the experience.  It is ripe for tourism development in terms of accommodations and transportation development as a tourist destination spot.


San Ramon Beach

San Ramon is approximately 23 kilometers from the city hall of Zamboanga City.


This beach is located about 150 meters from the San Ramon Penal Farm.


This is not a private beach. The public is welcome. However, you need to get permission to go in.


Talisayan Beach:

Other Information: I went home and saw the place first hand and it was different. There were a lot of people squatting on private properties, and at the Talisayan Beach, there are a lot of sardine factories. The water is polluted and not fit for swimming, and all the fish guts are thrown in the river were it smells real bad on a hot day. It saddens me to see all these. I guess the Talisayan that I know so long ago will always be how I pictured it and it is in my heart. Nobody can take that away....Ed Makasiar II.


Tictabon Island Beaches:

It is the closest cluster of Zamboanga City island beaches from the downtown metropolis, across from the Tictabon Channel.  The Tictabon Island Beaches are part of the Gulf Coast Beaches of Zamboanga facing the beautiful Moro Gulf.  Many of the city's beaches we present here are fairly unknown to majority of the locals, and have a historical notion of belonging, influence-wise, to the gun-toting motorized-vinta runners of the past, and desperately needs to be updated by the city government.  The local, national, and global tourism potential of these beautiful city-owned island beaches are being lost to a few band of renegades who still hold hostage the city and its future hopes and potential.  Here are satellite photos showing the cluster of white-sandy beaches of Tictabon Island.



1944 Map of Zamboanga's Downtown Beaches - 1944 Map of Zamboanga's Downtown Beaches

- Satellite view of downtown Zamboanga now.

We need some of your photos of excursions on the fantastic beaches of Zamboanga City, and your personal story to go along with them.  Share your beautiful experiences with the rest of the world!  Come one, come all!  Contact us:


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