Guide to Magalawa Island Palauig Zambales

Magalawa is an island barangay lying 6 kilometers, northwest of the Poblacion in the municipality of Palauig, Province of Zambales, Philippines. Surrounding the island is the vast China Sea. Beyond the north is the San Salvador Island of Masinloc and on the east is Sitio Luan, Lipay. It is known for beautiful beaches. Magalawa is 56 hectares in area.

Magalawa Island Sandbar
It's not too late for a summer escapade!

How to Get to Magalawa Island

If you’re coming from the south, take the Sta. Cruz or Iba, Zambales route of Victory Liner from Pasay, Cubao or Caloocan Terminal. If you’re coming from the north, take the Olongapo route of Victory Liner. Upon reaching Olongapo Terminal, take the Sta. Cruz, Zambales route.

Stop at Brgy. Pangolingan, Palauig, where you’ll see a few tricycles on your left and a lane of vegetable stalls on your right. Not all bus drivers are familiar with this drop-off point but these words may ring a bell to them: Luan Port, Masinloc Town or Radio Veritas Road.

Take a tricycle to the port for the boat ride to Magalawa Island. Travel time is around 20 – 45 minutes. Ride a boat to Magalawa Island. Travel time is less than 15 minutes.

The group having photo ops at the famous Landmark (stop over to Magalawa). The foot of Mt. Tapulao in the background.

Resorts in Magalawa Island

There are only two resorts on the island – Armada and Ruiz. Both have adequate space for tents, spacious cottages for big groups, and ample shower rooms with toilets around the resort. Armada Resort has finer beach sand and a sandbar while Ruiz Resort is average. 

Our Magalawa Day Tour

Upon arrival at Olongapo Victory Liner Bus Terminal at around 05:00 am, we took the bus bound for Iba town, the nearest town before Palauig, and the only bus available at that time than to wait for another thirty minutes or an hour before the new bus arrives. So we decided to ride and just buy some supplies (fresh fish for grilling, mussels, water, snacks, cooked rice, etc. at Iba Public Market. Had our breakfast also before riding a jeep from Iba market to Brgy. Pangolingan, Palauig. The jeepney driver dropped us at Radio Veritas Road, which is the drop-off point to Luan Port.

On the left side of the road, there are tricycles that would take you to the port going to Magalawa Island. The Fare is 100 pesos per head. Because the road to the port takes 30-45mins; rough and dusty, tricycles only accommodate 3-4 persons. Lowered vehicles are not advisable if so, take extra care when driving.

Magalawa Islands Accident Prone Area
This warning sign is located in Armada Resort 

At Luan port area, there were queues of people waiting for the boat to Magalawa Island. At first, we chose Ruiz Resort since it’s cheaper than Armada Resort but there were many guests waiting for the Ruiz’s boat transfer. Since we’re only on a day tour, we went to Armada port and asked them if there is still available slot for us. The caretaker and the owner immediately accommodated us and told us that the boat is ready to take us to Magalawa. Boat ride costs 400 pesos per person back and forth including pitching of our tents and entrance fee.

We were lucky enough to be with the owner of the Armada Resort aboard the same boat going to the island. A boat ride from the port to Armada resort will take you 10 – 15 minutes. When we arrived, the owner told us to ask for any assistance from them if we need something. Since we brought our own tent we placed our things under a shaded area. The spot we occupied wasn’t so crowded on the left side of Armada Resort, close to the house of the owner.

Magalawa Island Sandbar
A cottage at the Beachfront of Armada Resort

As soon as we’re settled, we roamed around the little resort. There were many tents on the other side of the house settled under the shades of trees. On the seashore the sand was white and the water was so clear. The beach was teeming with starfish and other marine life. After taking pictures and “moments” with the beach and starfish, we ate our lunch and stayed the entire afternoon near our tents chilling, feeling the breeze of the sea and sometimes taking naps.

At around 4 pm, we prepared our things to go back to the port and waited for the boat for the last trip from Magalawa island.

Things to do in Magalawa Island

  • CampingThere's a vast are to camp on the island if you prefer pitching a tent rather than getting rooms from Armada and Ruiz Resorts.

What to do in Magalawa Island
We brought our tent and pitched at the eastern part of Armada Resort

    • Visit the Mangrove A mangrove vegetation can be found in the southern part of the island but more accessible when checked in or camped at Armada Resort.

    What to do in Magalawa Island
    They can be found in the southern part of the island

    • Stroll on the Island Though the southern tip of the island isn't accessible because of the mangroves, the northern part will suffice. 

    Magalawa Island Mangrove
    Spotted a  salt tolerant tree while strolling.

    • Look for “Patrick Star If you're a fan of Spongebob, you might know Patrick. Go search for him. Hehe

    Zambales Marine Life
    Starfish at the beach
    Starfish Magalawa
    Which one is Patrick?

    • Swim at the BeachShould I include this? Oh well, it's obvious! But if you don't know how to swim, just relax at the shallow part of the beach.
    The fine sand at the beach was enticing

    • Paragliding I'm not sure of this but I pictured this fellow on the island.

    What's famous in Boracay might be famous here as well

    • Snorkeling The northern part of the island's beach is abundant in marine life especially seaweeds. Bring your own snorkeling gear.

    Map of Magalawa Island

    Blog Topics:

    • How to Get to Magalawa Island
    • Magalawa Island Day Tour
    • Things to do in Magalawa Island
    • Map of Magalawa Island

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