Epic 7-Day Mindanao Cultural & Island Hopping Tour Package to Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu & Tawi-Tawi

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Description

Summary

Tour starts
Zamboanga International Airport, Governor Camins Avenue, Zamboan
Starting time
Flexible
Duration
7 days
Ending place
Zamboanga International Airport, Governor Camins Avenue, Zamboan
Languages:
English
Difficulty:
Easy
Available:
All year
Minimum age:
None

Description

Discover the cultural and natural wonders of Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi with this 7-day Mindanao tour package! This Philippines tour package includes roundtrip airfare (Zamboanga-Tawi-Tawi-Zamboanga), shared rooms in accommodations, transfers (ferries, vans, pump boats, jeepneys), the assistance of local guides and a tour coordinator, entrance fees, complimentary lunches in Basilan and Tawi-Tawi, cottage fees, entrance fees, environmental fees, and even reservation assistance for Sta. Cruz Island in Zamboanga. Meals and activities not mentioned and tips and gratuities are not included.

Your 1 week in the Philippines begins in Zamboanga City! After landing at Zamboanga International Airport, you'll be greeted by your friendly tour guide at least 30 minutes before your tour officially starts. Enjoy some free time to relax or explore Zamboanga a bit before going on a 10-hour night ferry headed towards Sulu.

Your next day starts in the early morning in Sulu. At your own expense, enjoy a delicious breakfast at Shara's Restaurant before going on a beach tour. Head to both Mang Sali Beach and Tanduh Beach, known for their pristine white sand and clear waters. Relax and take a refreshing swim before you start your land tour.

See the unique "I love Jolo Marker" and the grand Sulu Cathedral next. Learn about Sulu's history next at the Provincial Capitol and National Museum. Find peace at Masjid Tulay. Then, visit Masjid Bunai, one of the oldest mosques in the Philippines. Enjoy local food and buy souvenirs at Simply Joy. Take in the views with a cup of coffee at Bud Datu Viewdeck. Learn to weave a colorful pis syabit souvenir at the Pis Syabit Making Cooperative. Shopping for souvenirs at a local shop and then enjoy dinner along the beach at your own expense. By 8 PM, you’ll catch a night ferry back to Zamboanga.

You'll arrive in Zamboanga on day 3. From there, you'll hop on another ferry to reach Isabela, Basilan, in the morning. Once you arrive, head to Malamawi Island via private boat transfer. Then, you’ll ride a bongo or jeepney going to Pahali Resort. Enjoy the stunning beach with white sand and clear waters. Relax, swim, or try water activities. You’ll also have a complimentary lunch here before heading back to Isabela via ferry.

Immerse yourself in local culture afterward. Explore the grand Basilan Capitol and the historic Isabela Cathedral. Relax at Isabela Park, and feel free to buy some at the food stalls. After your city tour, you'll catch a Roro (roll-on, roll-off ferry) back to Zamboanga with an estimated arrival time of 7 PM. Check in at your accommodations and relax after a fun-filled day!

On day 4, you’ll go on a Zamboanga City tour. The first stop on your tour is Sta. Cruz Island, where the world-famous Pink Sand Beach awaits! Relax on the unique pinkish sand and enjoy its clear turquoise waters. Then, discover the city’s past at Fort Pilar Museum, housed within the historic Fort Pilar itself.

Admire the architectural beauty of Fort Pilar Cathedral, the oldest Roman Catholic cathedral in Mindanao. Take a leisurely stroll along Zamboanga Boulevard, a waterfront promenade with stunning bay views. Then, visit Zamboanga City Hall, a historical landmark showcasing Spanish colonial architecture.

Immerse yourself in the art of Yakan weaving at a Yakan Village afterward. Finally, end your tour with a visit to the colorful Rainbow Mosque, a unique mosque full of colors to represent peace and unity. By evening, you'll be back at your accommodations.

Your arrival time in Tawi-Tawi will decide if you’ll have your land tour on day 5. If your flight from Zamboanga is in the morning, you'll have a scheduled land tour once you arrive and have checked in at your accommodations. If not, you’ll have free time to explore Zamboanga before your flight and your land tour will happen on the last day of this Philippine travel package, as you’ll have a Tawi-Tawi island-hopping tour on day 6.

The Tawi-Tawi land tour lets you hike Bud Bongao's peak for panoramic views and then learn more about the culture in a Badjao village. You’ll also see Islamic architecture at Masjid Raayat and Masjid Nurul Iman. Afterward, check out local goodies at the Pasalubong Center and discover Boloboc Cave's rock formations. You’ll also learn more about Tawi-Tawi's history at the Provincial Capitol, Municipal Hall, and Old Chinese Pier.

Meanwhile, the Tawi-Tawi island hopping tour lets you explore 3 islands. First is Panampangan Island, boasting the longest sandbar in the Philippines. Next is Simunul Island, which houses the oldest mosque in the Philippines. Finally, snorkel or dive in the vibrant coral reefs teeming with life at Sangay Siapo Island, also known as Tango Island.

On the last day of this ZamBaSulTa itinerary, you’ll catch a flight back to Zamboanga, ending this seven-day Mindanao escapade.

Have a great cultural and island-hopping experience in Mindanao with this 7-day Philippine vacation package. Check the availability by choosing a date.

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Included

Roundtrip airfare | Zamboanga City to Tawi-Tawi (Day 5) and Tawi-Tawi to Zamboanga City (Day 7)
7D6N accommodation (Bed-sharing arrangements)
Roundtrip regular ferry transfer in Sulu
Roundtrip regular ferry transfer in Basilan
Private boat transfer from Basilan to Malamawi Island on Day 3
Complimentary lunch at a resort in Basilan on Day 3
Land (Van) transfer in Sulu
Land (Bongo/Jeepney) transfer to Pahali, Basilan
Land transfer in Zamboanga
Land (Jeepney) transfer in Tawi-Tawi
Local Guide and Tour Coordinator Services
Applicable entrance fees
Applicable environmental fees
Cottages fees
Reservation assistance for Sta. Cruz Island at Zamboanga
Regular pump for island hopping on Day 6
Complimentary meals during island hopping on Day 6
Exclusions: Any meals/activities not mentioned above, Tips and gratuities

Activities

Island Hopping
Hotel + Flights + Transfers
Sightseeing
Private Tours

Daily itinerary

Day 1
Epic 7-Day Mindanao Cultural & Island Hopping Tour Package to Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu & Tawi-Tawi - day 1

Day 1 - Day 1: Arrival in Zamboanga City + Free Time

Once you land in Zamboanga International Airport, a friendly driver will be waiting to pick you up. Afterward, you have some free time to explore Zamboanga at your own pace.

With a few hours in Zamboanga City, you can visit nearby malls or restaurants or immerse yourself in its rich history and culture by visiting Fort Pilar, a Spanish-era fort with a museum showcasing the region's past. You can also relax at Paseo del Mar, a scenic seaside promenade with parks, playgrounds, and a stunning sunset view. At 8 PM, you’ll catch a night ferry for a 10-hour adventure across Sulu.

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Day 2
Epic 7-Day Mindanao Cultural & Island Hopping Tour Package to Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu & Tawi-Tawi - day 2

Day 2 - Day 2: Arrival in Sulu + Sulu Tour

Today, you will arrive in Sulu and start your day tour right after breakfast at Shara's Restaurant (at your own expense). Afterward, you will go on a beach tour. You'll visit the white sand beaches of Mang Sali and Tanduh. Both offer stunning views and crystal-clear waters.

The next part of your trip is a land tour, and you'll visit some cultural landmarks! You'll get to see the interesting "I Love Jolo Marker,” a local landmark that holds a special meaning to the community. Take some pictures before heading to the stunning Sulu Cathedral, the seat of the Apostolic Vicariate of Sulu. Remember to dress modestly when entering the church. Learn more about the local government at the Sulu Provincial Capitol, and then immerse yourself in Sulu's fascinating history at the National Museum of Sulu.

After a morning full of history and culture, take a break for some peace and serenity at the beautiful Masjid Tulay. In the afternoon, relax at either the pristine Mang Sali Beach or the scenic Tanduh Beach.

The adventure continues with a visit to the architectural marvel Masjid Bunai, one of the oldest mosques in the Philippines. Treat yourself to some delicious Sulu cuisine and buy some souvenirs at Simply Joy before heading to Bud Datu Viewdeck. Enjoy a cup of coffee at Stagbucks Coffee Shop, the view deck’s version of Starbucks, while taking in breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

Finally, visit the Pis Syabit Making Cooperative to learn about the traditional craft of making pis syabit, a colorful woven mat. You can even try your hand at weaving your own souvenir to remember your trip!

Find the perfect pasalubong (gift) for your loved ones at a souvenir shop. Afterward, enjoy a delicious dinner along the beach (at your own expense). At 8 PM, head back to Zamboanga and take a well-deserved rest on a night ferry.

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Day 3
Epic 7-Day Mindanao Cultural & Island Hopping Tour Package to Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu & Tawi-Tawi - day 3

Day 3 - Day 3: Arrival in Basilan + Basilan Tour

Prepare for a full day of exploring Isabela, Basilan! You'll arrive in Zamboanga by 6 AM first. Disembark and transfer to another ferry bound for Isabela, Basilan, estimated to arrive by 8:30 AM. Then, you'll take a private boat directly to Malamawi Island. When you get there, you'll hop on a bongo or a jeepney to reach Pahali Resort. This resort boasts pristine white sand beaches and clear turquoise waters, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, or simply enjoying the scenic views. You can also try some water activities offered by the resort and have your complimentary lunch.

Then, you’ll take a ferry back to Isabela City and start your historical and cultural immersion at the Basilan Capitol. This government building houses the provincial administration and serves as a symbol of Basilan's governance. You can appreciate the architecture and take photos as a memento of your visit.

Next, head to Isabela Cathedral, also known as Sta. Isabel de Portugal Cathedral. This beautiful church is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Isabela. Construction began in 1871 and was completed in 1883. The cathedral's facade is adorned with intricate details and religious imagery, while the interiors boast high ceilings and stained-glass windows.

Unwind and take a leisurely stroll at Isabela Park. This urban green space is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the local atmosphere. You can chat with the locals, take a refreshing break under the shade of the trees, or maybe even enjoy some street food snacks. After exploring the city, you'll board a Roro (roll-on, roll-off ferry) heading back to Zamboanga. You're expected to arrive by 7 PM. Once you're settled in at your accommodations, take some time to relax after an exciting day.

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Day 4
Epic 7-Day Mindanao Cultural & Island Hopping Tour Package to Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu & Tawi-Tawi - day 4

Day 4 - Day 4: Zamboanga City Tour

Today, you'll explore the vibrant city of Zamboanga! Your tour kicks off at 7 AM, so grab a hearty breakfast and prepare for some amazing sights.

Witness the wonder of the world-famous Pink Sand Beach on Sta. Cruz Island! Relax on the unique pinkish-hued sand and take in the stunning turquoise waters. Then, immerse yourself in Zamboanga's rich history at Fort Pilar Museum. Housed within the historic Fort Pilar itself, the museum showcases artifacts and exhibits depicting the city's past.

Next, admire the architectural beauty of Fort Pilar Cathedral, the oldest Roman Catholic cathedral in Mindanao. Then, take a scenic stroll along Zamboanga Boulevard, a waterfront promenade known for its vibrant atmosphere and stunning views of the bay.

Next, witness the grandeur of Zamboanga City Hall, a historical landmark showcasing Spanish colonial architecture. Afterward, discover the intricate art of Yakan weaving at a Yakan Village. Learn about the traditional techniques used to create stunning fabrics and witness the skills of local artisans firsthand. 

End your tour with a visit to the colorful Rainbow Mosque, a unique mosque painted in vibrant colors for unity.

After this tour, you'll be back at your accommodations in Zamboanga City by evening.

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Day 5
Epic 7-Day Mindanao Cultural & Island Hopping Tour Package to Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu & Tawi-Tawi - day 5

Day 5 - Day 5: Arrival in Tawi-Tawi + Tawi-Tawi Land Tour

Your arrival time in Tawi-Tawi will decide your activities for the day. If your flight is in the morning, you're in for a treat once you land! After your check-in at your accommodations, a land tour awaits.

Your Tawi-Tawi tour begins with a climb up Bud Bongao, also known as Tawi-Tawi Biodiversity Park. This 234-hectare park offers a challenging yet rewarding hike with stunning views of Bongao Island. Next, immerse yourself in the unique culture of the Badjao in the Badjao Village. You'll get a glimpse into their traditional way of life on houseboats on stilts.

Next, witness the architectural beauty of two mosques. Masjid Raayat and Masjid Nurul Iman. Browse products at the Pasalubong Center for unique souvenirs and local delicacies to bring back home as a memento of your Tawi-Tawi escapade.

You’ll also visit the Boloboc caves in Bongao, which were home to the Philippines' ancient people and date back to about 6000 BC. Then, learn more about Tawi-Tawi's history and governance by visiting these significant landmarks: The Provincial Capitol houses the provincial government offices, while the Bongao Municipal Hall marker commemorates the founding of the municipality. The Old Chinese Pier, on the other hand, is a historical reminder of Tawi-Tawi's trading relations.

If you arrive in the afternoon, you can still explore Tawi-Tawi on your own, but your land tour will be moved to day 7 instead. Otherwise, relax in your accommodations.

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Day 6
Epic 7-Day Mindanao Cultural & Island Hopping Tour Package to Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu & Tawi-Tawi - day 6

Day 6 - Day 6: Tawi-Tawi Island-Hopping Tour

Today, you’ll have a free island hopping tour on a regular pump boat. Prepare to be amazed by Panampangan Island, known for its sandbar, the longest in the Philippines. Don't forget to take a refreshing dip in its crystal-clear waters.

Step back in time to Simunul Island, an island full of history. It’s the location of the Shiek Makdum Shrine and the Shiek Makdum Mosque, the oldest mosque in the Philippines. Learn about the island's rich history and culture while you’re here.

The trip then takes you to Sangay Siapo Island, also known as Tango Island, where you can snorkel among vibrant marine life and colorful coral reefs or just relax in the serene atmosphere. This island-hopping tour lets you fully experience Tawi-Tawi's unique charm.

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Day 7
Epic 7-Day Mindanao Cultural & Island Hopping Tour Package to Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu & Tawi-Tawi - day 7

Day 7 - Day 7: Departure from Tawi-Tawi + Arrival in Zamboanga

Depending on your flight schedule, you may have a land tour of Tawi-Tawi today or a free morning to do some last-minute shopping and explore more on your own. After checking out of your accommodations, you'll have to catch your flight back to Zamboanga.

 

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What to bring

Valid ID
Electronic Copy of Confirmation Voucher
Mobile, Camera & Powerbank
Reusable Water Bottle
Umbrella or Cap
Personal Sanitation Kit (Alcohol, Tissue, Wet Wipes)

Good to know

Tour Information: This private tour is available daily.

Meet-up Information: Guide to the Philippines will send tour reminders at least (1) day before the tour date through your registered email address or mobile number. Please keep all communication lines open. Make sure to have the electronic copy of your confirmed tour voucher ready.

On the day of the tour, your assigned Tour Guide will meet you at Zamboanga International Airport around 4:00 PM for the transfer to the port for the sleeper boat ride. Strictly no latecomers or tour reservations might be forfeited. To arrange for a private hotel pick-up and drop-off, please email booking@guidetothephilippines.ph. Additional transportation fees apply.

Tour Proper: Please be reminded also to dress appropriately. All guests are expected to do their share in ensuring their safety and security as well as that of their personal belongings. Guide to the Philippines and Tour Operators are not liable for the loss or damage to any personal belongings left unattended during the tour.

Children Friendly: For children from 5 years old to 10 years old.

Pet Friendly: No. Please understand that the establishment does not allow pets.

Senior Citizen/PWD Friendly: Yes. However, please be advised that this tour includes mostly walking tours and may not be suitable for PWDs or individuals with existing cardiovascular ailments. It is a self-contained backpacking with a fast-paced itinerary in different locations every day.

Cancellation Policy: The operator may cancel the activity in case of force majeure or unforeseen circumstances like weather conditions. In this case, you will be given the option to reschedule or request a full refund. Schedule cancellation requests must be made 48 hours before your original subject to approval. No shows are not entitled to reschedule and refund.

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