Hello and welcome back to my travel blog. For this trip, I’m going to talk about Hundred Islands National Park in the Philippines. If you’re ever in the Philippines, this is a stop you should make. The Philippines is comprised of over 7,000 islands, and as you can imagine, there are countless things to do or see in the country. So why this park?
Hundred Islands National Park is accessible from the city of Alaminos in the province of Pangasinan in the northern part of the Philippines. The park is a very short boat ride off the main island of Luzon. You can get to Alaminos by car after you land at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila or at Clark International Airport in the Clark Freeport Zone (the former home of Clark Air Force Base, the once largest American base not on US soil).
One of the main reasons why you should visit this park is the price. The Philippine Peso exchange rate to the US Dollar hovers around 45 pesos per 1 dollar. Sometimes it’s higher, sometimes, its lower. That means you can do a lot more there with your money than you could back home in the States.
Our largest expense was transportation. We rented a van for a few days for the low price of two hundred dollars. This included a driver, gas, and fees. The driver stayed with the van the whole time, so we never had to worry about parking or theft. It could have been a much cheaper trip if we traveled by bus, which would cost around 20 dollars per person from Manila to Alaminos. A bus isn’t bad either. They have a TV, air conditioning, and make a stop or two so you can eat and use the bathroom.
For the trip itself, I brought my extended family, my wife’s family, and a few family friends with us to the park. In case you were wondering, I am half Filipino and have many family members in the Philippines.
We had a large group, so we rented a vehicle and took our own SUV. We stayed at the Islandia Hotel. Rooms are affordable, starting at around 35 dollars a night! There is complimentary breakfast, an outdoor pool, and 24/7 dining at the restaurant, free wifi in the lobby, air conditioning, hot & cold showers, and cable TV.
We pre-booked a package deal with the hotel before our arrival. The package cost around 40 dollars per person, which included a 1 day, 1 night stay. It also included a plated dinner for everyone that night, and rooms that accommodated up to 5 persons. As well as a plated breakfast before the park visit. For the park itself, the hotel package included a boat to take us island hopping, bird watching, and caving. They packed treats and juice for a snack, and later on that day, we were served a packed lunch with bottled water and juice. The package also paid all associated government fees and taxes to visit the park.
Now for the trip! We were brought to the Lucap Wharf to link up with our Bangka Boat. These outrigger style canoes are the main mode of over water transportation for small groups in the Philippines. We boarded ours and were taken to Governor’s Island to start the tour.
Governor’s Island is more of a tourist hub island. You could go there and take pictures, and then you head off to one of the other islands. Not all islands had beach access, so you get to see many of the islands on the way to find an open beach. Tour Governor’s Island though, there is much to see there.
I’d like to thank my beautiful wife for making this trip happen! She handled all of the logistics and planning. It made for a great trip!
After all that walking in the heat, we were ready to swim! It was back to the Bangka Boat and off to a pristine beach front. Nothing is better than clear water over a white sand beach. You’ll want to immediately cool off by jumping in the water. I suggest you take it easier than I did though, the water isn’t going anywhere.
Hundred Islands National Park is a great destination for a trip that everyone can enjoy. You can go by yourself, or head out with your friends and family. You can snorkel, kayak, or even stay overnight on one of the island’s beaches. The surrounding waters are full of reefs, marine life, and corals. It will not disappoint.
All content and images are owned by Paul Russell Parker III. Copyright 2017. All Rights Reserved