Magalawa Island - Things to Do and How to Get There

Magalawa Island Palauig Zambales
Magalawa Island

The province of Zambales boasts several tourist attractions. From hiking the mountains of Redondo Peninsula in the South (Mt. Cinco Picos, Mt. Balingkilat) and Mt. Tapulao's peak in the North also the islands and coves such as Capones and Potipot, to name a few. Up north of Zambales, there is an island less visited by weekenders a few years back and is now becoming a tourist attraction packed with people, especially on holidays. This is the Magalawa Island.

How To Get To Magalawa Island

If you're from Manila, take the Sta. Cruz or Iba, Zambales route of Victory Liner from Pasay, Cubao, or Caloocan Terminal. Stop at Brgy. Pangolinan in Palauig, Zambales. There is a waiting shed (beside JB Sari Sari Store) on the left side of the road with a tricycle terminal. On the right side of the road are vegetable and fruit stalls. Not all bus drivers are familiar with this drop-off point but these words may ring a bell to them: Luan Port and Radio Veritas Road.

Radio Veritas Road
The group having photo ops at the famous rip-rap landmark (stop over to Magalawa Island). The foot of Mt. Tapulao in the background.
Upon arrival on the road to Luan Port, take a trike for a boat ride to Magalawa Island. Travel time is around 30-40 minutes to the port. Ride a boat to Magalawa Island; there are boats from Ruiz Resort and Armada Resorts available but better yet, book in advance.

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 the finer beach and a sandbar.

Magalawa Island Day Tour Experience

Since we are from Olongapo City, we took the victory bus bound for Iba town. we decided to stop at Iba to buy supplies (fresh fish for grilling, mussels, water, snacks, and cooked rice at Iba Public Market). We had our breakfast there before riding a jeep in front of Iba Public Market to Barangay Pangolinan in Palauig. the jeepney driver dropped us off at Radio Veritas Road, being the drop-off point to Luan Port.

We then took a trike to Luan Port for 100 pesos per head because the road to the port is rough and dusty, tricycles only accommodate 3-4 persons. Lowered vehicles or cars are not advisable.

Magalawa Island Palauig Zambales
This sign is located in Armada Resort's sandbar.
At Luan Port area, there were queues of people waiting for the boat to the island. At first, we chose Ruiz Resort since it's cheaper than Armada Resort but there are many guests waiting for the Ruiz's boat transfer. We were only on a day tour and had no reservations so we went to Armada Port and asked them for any available boat rides. The caretaker and the owner immediately told us that the boat is ready to take us to the island. Boat rides cost 400 pesos per person, round trip, including pitching of tents and the entrance fee.

The boat ride to the island took us 10-15 minutes. When we arrived, the owner told us to look for her if we needed something. We pitched our tents under a shaded tree. The spot we occupied wasn't so crowded on the left side of Armada Resort close to the owner's house. It was very relaxing.

Magalawa Island
Beachfront cottage of Armada Resort
As soon as we were settled, we roamed around the small resort. There were many tents on the other side of the house pitched under the shade 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 "moments" with the beach and starfish, we ate our lunch and stayed the entire afternoon close to our tents chilling/relaxing, feeling the breeze of the sea, and sometimes taking naps.

At around 4:00 PM we left Magalawa Island. (The last boat ride back to Luan Port is at 4:00 PM).

Things to do in Magalawa Island

  • Camping - There's a vast area to camp on the island if you prefer pitching a tent rather than getting a room from Armada or Ruiz Resorts.
Things to do in Magalawa Island
We brought our tents and pitched at the eastern part of Armada Resort
  • Visit the Mangrove - Mangrove vegetation can be found on the southern part of the island but more accessible when checked in or camped at Armada Resort.
Magalawa Island
The mangroves 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 mangroves, the northern part will suffice for strolling.
Mangroves in Zambales
We spotted a salt tolerant tree while strolling Magalawa
  • Look for Starfish - If you're a fan of Spongebob, you might know "Patrick Star". Go search for him.
Magalawa Island
Starfish at the beach
  • Swim at the Beach - If you don't know how to swim, just relax in the shallow part of the white beach.
Magalawa Island
The beach has white sand
  • Paragliding - I'm not sure but I pictured this fellow on the island ready for paragliding.
Magalawa Island
Paragliding at the sandbar
  • Snorkeling - The northern part of the island's beach is abundant in marine life especially seaweed and starfish. Bring your own snorkeling gear.
  • Avoid the Sea Urchins - This is just a precaution because we spotted sea urchins at Armada Resort's southeastern. 

Magalawa Island Map

Our Magalawa Island day tour was an excellent adventure. Have you visited this great island? We would love to hear about your experience.

Magalawa Blog Topics:

  • Magalawa Island Day Tour
  • Ruiz Resort
  • Armada Resort 
  • How to Get to Magalawa Island
  • Camping in Magalawa Island
  • Magalawa Island Tours
  • Things to do in Magalawa Island
  • What to see in Magalawa Island

shared by pgsunglao


  1. I've been to Magalawa Island twice and I really enjoyed it. We pitched our tents at Ruiz Resort and the owner was also accommodating but their resort was packed because we went there on weekend. Nice pictures of Magalawa by the way especially the first one. Keep it up!

  2. Thanks Charlene! Armada kami kasi bangka nila nasakyan namin lol. I agree with you matao din nuon kasi weekend. Boracay's replacement pansamantala pag nagsara. :)

  3. Hi, rough road parin pala yong daan patunong Luan Port. Enjoyable yong ride nung nagpunta kami. Saya!

    1. Yes Ms. Jenny pero it was more than a year ago. Baka aspaltado na haha!


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