Traveling might be one of the relaxing activities to enjoy especially if you wish to experience a new environment to temporarily detox from a stressful urban life. Luckily, our country is considered one of the best places for adventures especially if you are a nature lover as well. In fact, the Philippines is considered an archipelago consisting of an estimated number of 7,107 islands which makes it a perfect place for travels and appreciating the beauty of nature. Visit a hundred of our islands in Bolinao, Pangasinan wherein the famous hundred islands national park is located. Read this article to help you plan your itinerary if you’re a first-time traveler.
It’s more fun in Pangasinan
If you have a limited budget but you want to experience different activities in various environments, visiting Pangasinan on your next vacation should be the best choice. Pangasinan is known for its hundred islands as well. If you are not familiar with hundred islands yet you love explorations, you are surely missing a lot! So, you must hurry and plan your Bolinao Hundred Islands itinerary right now because the best time to the place in from November to May.
Planning your trip to visit the hundred islands
Working on your Bolinao Hundred Islands itinerary may be overwhelming because, from the name of the place, you will surely have a lot of places to visit. We know the feelings of FOMO or the fear of missing out. Realistically speaking, a one-time visit may not be enough to experience the best of the hundred islands of Pangasinan. However, we can still make the most out of your first visit in Bolinao.
If you are starting to be curious about Bolinao Hundred Islands or you have already decided to go and make an itinerary on your first visit, this is the right guide for you. Budget, what to prepare, and other things to consider, you do not have to worry because we will help you plan a memorable vacation of your life.
Quick Facts about Bolinao and Hundred Islands
From its name, Bolinao Hundred Islands is composed of more than 100 uninhabited islets – 124 during low tide and 123 during high tide.
1. A protected and conserved haven
Bolinao Hundred Islands is well-protected by the government and its locals to preserve its beauty and condition. In fact, on January 18, 1940, President Quezon signed Presidential Proclamation No. 667 to promulgate the islands as Hundred Islands National Park (HINP).
After 20 years, the presidential proclamation became a law which created the Hundred Islands Conservation and Development Authority (HICDA). The national park and its surrounding areas were proclaimed as Tourist Zone and marine Reserve under the management of the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA).
2. More than just beautiful beaches
Additionally, the national park isn’t just composed of numerous islands but it also exhibits the best of nature all in one place as you will see different scenic spots like white sand beaches, rich marine life, and various and unique rock formations.
So, expect that your stay in the Hundred Islands will be full of adventures as it gives you different experiences and sceneries all in one place. Alongside your adventure, recreational activities are also present on your island tour. With this, your stay in Bolinao Hundred Islands will make you plan a comeback tour right away.
3. Major Islands to visit (7 of 100)
Despite being composed of numerous islets, there are 7 major islands which is considered as the best among the islands found in Bolinao. These are:
- Governors Island
- Virgin Island
- Quezon Island
- Marcos Island
- Scout Island
- Children’s Island
- Pilgrimage or Ramos Island
These 7 major islands are the most popular among the islands comprising Bolinao. With its popularity, these are usually part of the travel package offered to the tourists of the hundred islands.
Now that you have a background of the best islands to see in Bolinao Hundred Islands, you must now start planning your itinerary to bring out the best of your stay in Bolinao.
Pre-Trip Planning for Bolinao Hundred Islands
The best season to visit Bolinao is during the dry season which happens from November to May of the succeeding year. You surely want to ensure a safe adventure so you would not book your vacation during typhoon season as this may cause an accident during the water activities.
Nonetheless, before mapping your journey in Bolinao Hundred Islands, you must prepare some requirements and necessities to make your adventure smooth sailing.
Since this is an island, expect that living standards are not modern compared to city life. Hence, there are places that do not have a stable network or the hotels themselves do not offer internet or Wi-Fi connection. With this, it is best to bring your pocket Wi-Fi especially if you need to connect to the internet to communicate with your colleagues.
Additionally, payment methods here are not modern at all so you need to stack up cash before you go to Hundred Islands because ATMs are not easily accessible here unlike in the city.
3 Necessities to Bring on Your Bolinao Hundred Islands Trip
To make you comfortable in your adventure, you should prepare some necessities in order to fully enjoy your tour in Bolinao.
- Sun Block – since you will do a lot of explorations under the sun, aside from a hat, a sunblock will come off handy so you would not have to worry so much about the UV damage that will be caused by the sun.
- Light and Breathable Clothes – knowing that you will have a long adventure, you should opt to wear and bring the most comfortable clothes you have especially since you will be exposed to the sun on your island tour.
- Camera – you surely want to capture the best moments of your adventure. If you have a budget, having a waterproof camera is the best for traveling as it lets you record even your water activity experiences. It is nice to have a camera by your side to easily remember and cherish the best moments of your life.
These three are considered the basic necessities to have on your trip to Bolinao to bring the most out of your travel. It would also be better to bring your own food especially if you want to focus on your adventures instead of finding the best restaurants in the area.
Making the Best Bolinao Hundred Islands Itinerary
Establishing your own itinerary in Bolinao Hundred Islands may be simplified by purchasing tour packages from travel agencies. In fact, it might be cheaper to purchase such because more often than not, low-price deals are offered by these agencies to attract more tourists. It might be the best choice if you lack time to do research about the best activities to do in the national park but if you are very adventurous and you know your preferences, doing your own itinerary for your Bolinao Hundred Islands will make your stay more memorable and enjoyable as you know that everything in your plan is in accordance with your likings. If you are feeling overwhelmed or you want to know the best experiences enjoyed by the tourists of Bolinao, here are the activities to include in your itinerary.
Miss other activities but not island hopping! This is the beauty of this national park, the numerous islands that comprise it. Of course, you do not have to see every island in this park but if you will not go to the major islands of the national park, you are surely missing a lot. Additionally, your stay would not be enjoyable if you do not want to island hop as every major island has a unique activity to try and enjoy.
Obviously, the geographical location of the Bolinao Hundred Islands makes it perfect for various water activities. The activities to enjoy in the national park sometimes depend on the island you are located in. Hence, it is better to know what water activities you can do so your adventure will be efficient.
Here are some of the most enjoyed activities of the tourists of Bolinao together with the estimated cost to experience such activities.
- Snorkeling – this is perfect for enjoying the colorful marine life. The gears used are rented for PHP 250.
- Swimming – the most common activity to enjoy especially in tourist attractions filled with water forms.
- Helmet Diving – this might be similar to snorkeling but this is perfect for people who do not know how to swim but wants to enjoy the underwater view of the island. You can experience it at a rate of PHP 400 for 20 minutes.
- Kayaking – this is perfect if you want to have a journey on your own or with your companion on the different islands of Bolinao. You can rent a kayak for PHP 250 per hour. The kayak is good for 2 people.
- Jetski – if you want to explore the island yet you want to look cool, renting a jetski is a good option for you. The rental rate is PHP 1000 per 15 minutes.
- Banana Boat – if you have a group with you and want to explore the island through the sea, this is your best option. The minimum seating capacity of the banana boat is 6 persons and has a rate of PHP 250 per person.
Bolinao Hundred Islands will always be the perfect place to do a lot of different activities in one place. Despite being an island, its landforms are rich as well making it a good location for land activities. Here are the land activities you can enjoy when you go and include in your Bolinao Hundred Islands itinerary.
- Cliff Jumping – you can do this on Marcos Island.
- Zipline – this is available in Governors Island and Quezon Island. If you want a shorter zipline experience, you should do it in Quezon Island. There are two ziplines in this island and these are shorter than what you can experience in Governors Island. You can choose whether to ride in 345-meter zipline or 120 meters. The cost of the 345-meter zipline is PHP 250 while the other is PHP 100.
- Rappelling – if you have the right gears, you can do this in the Hundred Islands of Bolinao.
- Pilgrimage – if you want a solemn environment, Pilgrimage Island is perfect especially if you are religious as well. You will find a giant statue of Jesus Christ in this place.
Your Sample DIY Bolinao and Hundred Islands Itinerary
Despite comprising a vast amount of islands and islets, having a day or two is enough to experience the beauty of Bolinao especially if you have a limited time or you just want to try the place before going all in for your comeback tour. Here is a sample one-and-a-half (1 ½) day itinerary for your Bolinao Hundred Islands tour.
- Day 1
- 11:00 PM – Travel to Alaminos Pangasinan (estimated fare from Metro Manila: PHP 400)
- 5:00 AM – Estimated Time of Arrival and Breakfast Time
- 6:00 AM – Buying of other necessities in the local market or grocery store
- 6:30 AM – Go to Lucap Wharf
- 7:00 AM – Pay the necessary fees at Tourism Center (estimated fee: PHP 400)
- 7:15 AM – Rent and ride a boat in preparation for island hopping
- 7:30 AM – Start of island hopping
- 8:00 AM – First Island Stop: Governor’s Island
- 9:00 AM – Second Island Stop: Virgin Island
- 10:00 AM – Third Island Stop: Pilgrimage Island
- 11:00 AM – Fourth Island Stop: Children’s Island
- 12:00 NN – Lunch Time
- 1:00 PM – Fifth Island Stop: Scout Island
- 2:00 PM – Sixth Island Stop: Marcos Island
- 3:00 PM – Seventh Island Stop: Quezon Island
- 4:00 PM – End of Island Hopping and return to Lucap Wharf
- 5:00 PM – Arrival at Lucap Wharf and claiming the trash deposit fee you paid before your island hopping
- 5:30 PM – Freshen up and Preparation for rest
- 6:00 PM – Enjoy the view of your hotel or lodge
- 7:00 PM – Dinner time
- 8:00 PM – Sleeping time
- Day 2
- 7:00 AM – Breakfast
- 8:00 AM – Checkout from your board and lodging
- 8:30 AM – Return to Manila
You can save more if you would not avail a board and lodging service but the day activities are too tiring so it is more advisable to spend the rest of your night in the island especially if you left the city late at night. If you will be following this sample itinerary, you will roughly spend a minimum of PHP 2,000 given that you do not splurge so much in your meals. Your board and lodging are not yet included in this amount. To give you an idea, hotel rooms in Bolinao cost about PHP 1,200 – PHP 2,000 which is good for 2 people already. Aside from this, if you are not from Manila, you might need to include the airfare in your budget as well.
Making the Best Travel Experience
Perhaps, traveling is the most relaxing yet luxurious activity to do to destress from your daily responsibilities. By relaxing, you are resetting your mind and yourself which prepares you for another challenge in life.
There are times that whenever we travel, we will fall in love with the place. At first, we may have no plans to move to another place especially when we have established everything in a city or province. However, some places give us a sense of comfort that will change our decisions. We always want to live in peace and experience the most relaxing living environment. Traveling shows us the best of a place and gives us new perspectives on how we should live our life.
With this, if traveling to Bolinao made you love the province, Bria Homes offers an affordable house and lot located in Alaminos City and Urdaneta, Pangasinan. If you have a sudden change of heart on your retirement place, Bria Homes are the perfect choice as it gives you easy access to a new home through affordable pricing and easy financing methods like bank loans and Pag-IBIG housing loans. For more information, you may visit the website or their social media account.