Travel Guides & Tips

Hundred Islands, Pangasinan: 5 Islands to Explore If You Only Have 1 Day

5 of Pangasinan’s Hundred Islands to explore in 1 day


The Hundred Islands National Park, or Isang Daang Isla, is arguably the most popular scenic spot that Pangasinan – the largest province in the Philippines – has to offer. 

With a plethora of fun activities to do, such as snorkeling, hiking, and ziplining, this itinerary will ensure that you get the most out of these 5 islands, all within the span of 1 day. 


1. Quezon Island – the place to go for water activities



Image credit: Dana Marinella Revoltar

Start the day at Quezon Island, with a whole kaleidoscope of water activities! The choice is yours – you can go snorkeling, jet skiing, or helmet diving here. 


Swim among the fishes when you go helmet diving
Image credit: @kelvin.philippines

Even if you do not know how to swim, there are plenty of activities that are suitable for you. Gather your friends, and all of you can sit on a banana boat together. All you have to do is sit and hold on tight, and a motorboat will tug your banana boat along. Alternatively, if you prefer to explore the waters solo, you can rent a kayak instead.


Enjoy the view on a banana boat with your friends
Image credit: Hundred Islands Tour Guide


2. Marcos Island – cliff jumping from 12ft high


For the next stop, make your way to Marcos Island, which is only a short distance from Quezon Island via boat.  


Image credit: @i_am_butzee

Once you dock at the island, climb up the flight of stairs until you reach the mouth of Imelda Cave. This is undoubtedly the key attraction at Marcos Island, but keep a lookout for any bats that may fly above your head while you are in the cave.

Also, do wear a life vest before you attempt the highlight of Marcos Island: cliff-jumping from 12 ft high!


Make sure to wear a life vest when cliff-diving into the cave’s waters
Image credit: @qwchua08 

Take a deep breath, and then take the plunge. Thereafter, swim out of the lagoon, which will bring you back to the vast and beautiful ocean waters. 


Image credit: Charlieson D. Viray

If you are afraid of heights, head to Coral Garden instead, which is very near to Marcos Island. Here, you can go scuba diving to admire some colourful corals and taklobo (giant clams).  


3. Children’s Island (Cuenco Island) – ideal location and activities for the young ones



Image credit: @elleyennn

As the name suggests, Children’s Island is perfect for those with young ones in tow – the shallow waters make it great for kids to splash around, swim, and have fun. Bring your own goggles, floats, or sandcastle building equipment, and the children will probably be entertained for a long time while you enjoy the delicious lunch that you brought along.


You can kayak or swim in these beautiful, clear waters
Image credit: @christylainng

Other than swimming, you can also rent a kayak and make it an activity for the family here. 

Even if you are travelling to the Hundred Islands without any children, Children’s Island is a perfect spot for lunch. Its shallow waters make it very tempting to soak your feet in the water, especially if the weather is hot. 


The tunnel-like cave at Cuenco Island is suitable for all ages, even young children
Image credit: @orangemylesy

Take a short stopover at Children’s Island, before you hop back into your boat and continue on your adventure by visiting the cave at Cuenco Island, which is just a stone’s throw away from Children’s Island. 


Cuenco Cave
Image credit: @jellofromtheotherside

After you meander to the other end of the cave, there is a platform jump. It is less intense than Imelda Cave, and perhaps more child-friendly too.


Take a leap of faith from the platform jump at Cuenco Cave
Image credit: @galdzz


4. Pilgrimage Island – see a Christ statue similar to the one in Brazil



A close-up view of the Christ the Savior statue on Pilgrimage Island
Image credit: Clara Lai

Without travelling to Rio de Janeiro, you can see a statue similar to Brazil’s Christ the Redeemer statue. Here on Pilgrimage Island, you can marvel at the 56-foot tall statue. 


Statues depicting the Last Supper
Image credit: Clara Lai

From the base of the island, simply follow the trail that leads you past various depictions of the Catholic faith, such as the Ten Commandments, the Last Supper, and the 14 Stations of the Cross.


The picturesque view as seen from the highest point of Pilgrimage Island
Image credit: Clara Lai

Finally, when you reach the Christ the Savior statue, located at the highest point of this island, you will also be treated to a breathtaking view.


5. Governor’s Island – the ultimate way to island hop…via zipline



Image credit: @itsjeanieeeee

End your day on a high note – literally! At Governor’s Island, the 546-metre long zip line is bound to be a thrilling adventure that will get your adrenaline pumping. It starts at Governor’s Island and stretches all the way to Virgin Island. 


Image credit: Clara Lai

After a safety briefing by the staff at the base of the island, jump into the harness and get your helmet on, before taking a short trek up to the viewing deck. One final check by the staff, before you are securely fastened to the zip line, and off you go!


Image credit: Hundred Islands Tour Guide

As you zip towards Virgin Island at a height of approximately 20 stories above sea level, just remember that it is perfectly fine to scream at the top of your lungs.


How to get to the Hundred Islands


From Metro Manila, take a bus to Alaminos City, Pangasinan, approximately 4 to 6 hours away. Then, take a tricycle to Lucap Wharf, where the Hundred Islands Tourist Office is located. Here, you can rent a boat to bring you around the various islands. 

Do also remember to pack some food, snacks, and drinks before you hop into the boat and embark on your one-day adventure.


A family posing in front of the welcome sign at Lucap Wharf.
Image credit: George Viray

If you have time, you can also check out the nearby historical landmark, the Lucap Lighthouse.  

The best time of year to visit is November to May, when there is generally good weather. Avoid going in June to October, as it is the typhoon and monsoon season. 

Tip: Check out the official Alaminos City Tourism page for the latest advisories before embarking on your trip, as well as the fees for boat rental and the various activities. As of 13th June 2021, this is the most recent update:


How to spend a day at 5 of Pangasinan’s Hundred Islands


With so many fun activities to try at the Hundred Islands, one day may not be truly enough. But if you have a limited time or just a weekend to holiday, this guide can help you pack as much fun as possible into your short trip.

Also check out:


Cover image adapted from: @kelvin.philippines, @qwchua08, Hundred Islands Tour Guide, Hundred Islands Tour Guide 

This article was produced in collaboration with National Youth Council Singapore‘s Asia-Ready Exposure Programme. 

Follow The Smart Local Philippines on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Telegram for more stories like this. If you have a story to share, email us at pressph@thesmartlocal.com.

Clara Lai

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