The Philippines is truly gifted with outstanding places that can make your travel experience memorable, relaxing, and amazing. There are some places in the Philippines that you can’t find anywhere else in the world.
We have virgin islands, pristine falls, caves, rock formations, and other tourists spots that can attract foreigners. One of which is the Sila Island in Northern Samar.
Sila Island is one of the seven islands that compose the island-municipality of San Vicente Northern Samar. These islands are the boast of white sand beaches, but Sila island has its own uniqueness. The sand in the island is pinkish.
Aptly nicknamed the “pink beach” by locals and travelers alike, this amazing destination is still untouched by the damaging effects of over-commercialization. For this reason alone, it’s a perfect choice for your next summer adventure especially if you want to experience the humble perfection of this emerging island paradise.
Why is it pink?
The pinkish hue of the island’s sands comes from the natural colors of coral and shell fragments. These finely pulverized materials, through thousands of years of process, have been mixed with the originally white-colored sand of the island’s shores. During mid-day when the sun is at its hottest and brightest, the beach reveals another more saturated reddish shade.
How to get there
Manila-Catarman (By Plane)
- Catarman has one small semi-active airport (the nearest to Sila Island) that caters to one airline company, Philippine Airlines. There are also chartered jets available from Cebu, Davao, and Manila.
- However, flying directly to Catarman from Manila is not a practical option for budget travelers especially if they don’t want to spend too much on plane tickets alone.
- From Catarman, you have to take another van service to reach Calbayog, the nearest city to San Isidro, the jump-off point to San Vicente.
Manila-Sorsogon-Sila Island route (Land and Sea Travel)
- From Manila, land trips and sea travels going to Sila Island in San Vicente offer more affordable options. There are bus companies which routes can take you to Bulan, Sorsogon (fares for air-conditioned buses may vary, but it usually starts at ₱400 – ₱1,000).
- Upon arriving in Bulan, Sorsogon, you can either walk or take a local ride to the town’s port. From the port, you can hire private boat services to take you to Sila Island. This is an option for group travel, especially if you want to explore two popular Philippine destinations at the same time, Sorsogon, and Northern Samar. Prices are negotiable and will be based on the terms that you’ve agreed with the boatman.
- Direct bus companies offer trips from Manila to Calbayog, the nearest Northern Samar town to San Vicente Northern, Samar, the jump-off point to Sila Island. For more details and ticket prices, you may visit this useful link here.
- Boat rides to San Vicente from Calbayog can take up to 45 minutes. As mentioned above, boat fare costs ₱100 per person.
- ALTERNATIVE: There are special trips available for tourists who want to go directly to the Pink Beach either from San Isidro or from the next town of Victoria; it is about 6 km away from the town of San Isidro. Fare ranges from ₱7,000 to ₱9,000 per group (round trip). Can be lower depends on your haggling skills.
- Snorkeling, scuba/free dive
- Camping out is an option if you want to spend the night on the island as long as you observe cleanliness – and it means leaving no trash behind.
What to bring
- Appropriate foot wear preferably a pair of aqua shoes.
- Food/water – Bring food and refreshments from the nearest city since there are no stores and commercial buildings near the beach.
- Cellphone and power bank, place them in a ziplock.
- For scuba driving and snorkeling, be sure to bring your own equipment as there are no shops where you can rent/buy gear.
- For camping – bring your own tent and other camping equipment.
- The best time to travel to Sila Island is during the dry months (February to May).
- Since Sila Island is not an established island-resort, it lack facilities and accommodations, although there are several homes in San Isidro that accept tourists at a friendly rate of ₱150/3.00 USD per person.
- They have bamboo kiosks for a comfortable day at the beach for groups.
- Toilets are available.
- Bring cash. ATM’s aren’t available even in nearby islands.
- WiFi isn’t available. 3G and 4G signals aren’t reliable as well.
- You may also visit Biri Island in Northern Samar.
Address: Sila Island, San Vicente, Northern Samar
ENTRANCE FEE & OTHER CHARGES
Entrance fee – ₱40/0.80 USD
Children (10 years old below) – ₱20/0.40 USD
Cottage – ₱500/9.99 USD
Cottage overnight – ₱650/12.98USD
Space for tent – ₱100/2.00USD
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