Corregidor is one of the most important historic and tourist sites in the Philippines. This island located at the entrance of Manila Bay in the southwestern part of Luzon played an important role during the invasion and liberation of the Philippines from Japanese forces during World War II. Because of its historic value and close proximity to Metro Manila, visiting Corregidor is a good option for foreign or local tourists who want to go on a day trip or stay overnight.
WHERE EXACTLY IS CORREGIDOR:
The island of Corregidor lies 48 kilometers from Manila at the entrance of Manila Bay. Corregidor and other fortified islands fall under the jurisdiction of the City of Cavite, Cavite Province, Philippines.
HOW TO GET THERE:
Take the Sun Cruises ferry from Manila to Corregidor. The ferry terminal was previously located at the back of the Folk Arts Theatre at the CCP Complex Roxas Blvd., Pasay City. Sun Cruises’ new terminal (they moved on July 1, 2015) is now located at the Esplanade, Seaside Terminal of SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Complex. There’s only one trip daily to and from the island. Reservations are required before your trip to ensure you have seats. The island is about an hour and 15 minutes away by ferry from the port.
DAILY FERRY SCHEDULE: (Note: cut off for boarding is 30 minutes before departure)
- Check-in at terminal: 7:00 am
- Boarding: 7:30 am
- ETD Manila: 8:00 am
- ETA Corregidor: 9:15 am
- ETD Corregidor: 2:30 pm
- ETA Manila: 3:45 pm
According to a poster near the port in Corregidor, it’s also possible to get there from Camaya Point Marina, Brgy. Alasasin, Mariveles, Bataan (MAAP Port Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific) to Corregidor. The Corregidor Day Tour Promo (inclusive of boat transfer, entrance fee and guided island tour) costs P600 per person and is only available every Sunday at 10:00 am. For inquiries, call 0927-2521719, 09277281367, 0906-2148590.
There is no public transportation around Corregidor, though vehicles like jeeps and vans are available for rent (rates vary).
Trams or tranvia: Most tourists who come here get around through the scheduled tours via the open-air tranvia, patterned after pre-World War II trams which were used in Corregidor and Manila.
By Foot: For hikers, birdwatchers or photographers who want to explore on their own, it’s possible to walk around the island, but a lot of the destinations are located far from each other. This is how you’ll get around if you’re taking the Historical Walking Tour or the Corregidor Adventure tour.
Bicycles: In my opinion, bicycles are the best way to explore Corregidor. There are no bicycles available for rent at the moment, but bikers can bring their own bikes to join the guided biking tour or explore at their own pace if they decide to stay overnight. (See my separate post: Biker’s Guide to Corregidor)
Motorcycles: Employees stationed in different areas have their own motorcycles and scooters for getting around. While there’s no official place that offers motorcycle rentals on the island, you can bring your own motorcycle to Corregidor for an additional cargo cost of P500/motorcycle. This doesn’t include the RT ferry and other costs.
WHERE TO GO IN CORREGIDOR:
Corregidor Island is divided into four sections, each with their own areas of interest and landmarks.
The island’s biggest area, which points towards the West Philippine Sea, rises prominently to a large flat area referred to as the “Topside”. Areas of interest here include: Mile-Long Barracks, Pacific War Memorial, Eternal Flame of Freedom, Spanish Flagpole, Cine Corregidor and the Spanish Lighthouse.
Middleside is the central area between Bottomside and Topside, which used to be the location of 2-story officers’ quarters, barracks for the enlisted men, a hospital, quarters for non-commissioned officers, a service club, PX, and two schoolhouses. It now contains the Filipino-American Friendship Park, ruins of the Middleside Barracks, Army Hospital and YMCA and the Youth for Peace Campsite.
Bottomside is the lower part of the island that connects the tail and head of the island. South of Bottomside was Barangay or Barrio San José (near what was Navy Beach); on the north is what was Army Dock, with its three large piers, and, east of Bottomside, is the Malinta Tunnel. The Malinta Hill separates Bottomside from the Tail End.
The Tailside or Tail End is the remaining portion of the island containing memorials, shrines and the island’s airstrip. Here, you can find Kindley Field and runway, the Japanese Garden and the Filipino War Memorial.
Corregidor Day Tour: The most common and easiest way of exploring the island. This includes RT Ferry transfers, shrine and entrance fees, guided island tour onboard a tram, buffet lunch.
- Day Tour Weekday Adult Rate – P2,350.00/person
- Day Tour Weekend* Adult Rate – P2,549.00/person (*Saturday, Sunday & Holidays)
- Day Tour Child Rate (3-11 yo) – P1,500.00/person
Sunday Biking: Discover the trails of Corregidor by bringing your own bicycle. This special adventure gives biking enthusiasts the opportunity to traverse the island’s well-paved biking trails at their own pace while touring around the historic spots. Regular biker’s rate is P1,700/person (Includes RT ferry transfers, shrine and entrance fees, bike cargo fee) but they sometimes give special discounted promos where lunch & overnight accommodations are included.
Guided Walking Tour: Corregidor offers a special Guided Walking Tour, dubbed “Of Bombs, Big Guns & Lost Gold” which was developed by Ivan Man Dy, the founder and lead guide of Old Manila Walks. The walking tour is concentrated on the “historic core” if the island and provides a broader, more contextual, insightful and critical understanding of World War II in the country. P1,800 (Includes RT ferry transfers, shrine & entrance fees, guided walking tour)
Adventure Challenge: A tour suitable for barkadas and team-building. Participants get to race through the ruins, crawl through tunnels, trek through forests, and explore some of the island’s sites you wouldn’t normally get to visit while completing tasks and puzzles. P2,149/person (Includes RT ferry transfers, shrine & entrance fees, packed or boodle-style lunch, Corregidor adventure race)
OTHER ACTIVITIES ON CORREGIDOR:
Light & Sound Show at Malinta Tunnel: An optional part of the day tour where guests get to walk through the Malinta Tunnel and listen to a re-enactment of World War II’s dramatic events. The show is scripted by national artist and film director Lamberto Avellana and sculptures are made by national artist Napoleon Abueva. The show lasts 30 mins. long and costs. P200/person.
Sunset & Sunrise Viewing: Catch the sunset from Battery Grubbs, one of the disappearing guns perched on a hill overlooking Bataan. Early risers can catch the sunrise tour at the island’s tailside. P250/person (Tunnel Lateral Tour included)
Explore the lateral tunnels of Malinta at night: This “ghost-hunting” tour that takes you through the unexplored side of Malinta Tunnel’s 1,000 bed hospital area during World War II is pretty cool. At times, the guides made us turn off our flashlights and we were forced to walk through the tunnels in complete darkness. P250.00/person (sunset & sunrise viewing included)
Hiking: Hike the woodland trails of Corregidor. First-time hikers can enjoy an easy hike through rediscovered trails, forests and ruins.
Birdwatching: Birdwatchers have spotted species of birds in Corregidor such as White-collared Kingfishers, Zebra Dove, Blue Rock, Asian Glossy Starlings, Eurasian Tree Sparrows, and Black-naped Orioles.
ATV: Rent an all-terrain vehicle and drive around “The Rock.” P500.00/hr.
The Rocket Zipline: A short zipline that goes from Corregidor Inn to the beach area. P100.00/person
Kayak: Rent a kayak and paddle around the designated area for a good workout. This is only available if the waves aren’t too rough. P500.00/hr. (good for 2)
Island Hopping: Circle the island on sturdy outrigger boats to visit neighboring isles, La Monja, Caballo (Fort Drum) and the scenic coast of Mariveles. Stop over at fishing spots nearby for enjoyable sport fishing.
Photography: Corregidor has a discounted rate for Photographers every Sunday. This is a good option for those doing photo walks who don’t want to be restricted by the typical tour. P1,450 + P100 fuel surcharge. (Includes RT ferry transfers, shrine & entrance fees, buffet lunch, drop off and pick-up)
WHERE TO STAY:
The best place to stay on the island is Corregidor Inn, a 31-bedroom hotel & resort with its own restaurant and bar located in the Middleside part of the island. They currently have 16 twin, 13 double, 1 single, and 1 suite rooms available. Check-in time is at 2:30 pm and check-out time is 12nn.
- Single with Breakfast – Php1,500.00
- Twin/ Double with Breakfast for two – Php2,000.00
- Extra Person with Breakfast – Php750.00
Rooms are basic, but cozy and air-conditioned, which you’ll appreciate because it can get quite humid on the island. The bathrooms come with hot and cold showers. Rooms don’t have TV sets unless you get the VIP Suite.
Corregidor Inn has a small 5-feet deep swimming pool for guests staying overnight.
Corregidor Inn’s Hostel is a fully-airconditioned dormitory type accommodation with two wings. Each wing has 13 double deck beds and can accommodate 26 persons, with a maximum capacity of 52 people.
McArthur’s Cafe Dormitory
The McArthur Souvenir Shop and Restaurant has a few basic air-con rooms for rent. The room rates range from P1.000 (good for 2) – P2000 (good for 4). However, the rooms are a bit run down and the price difference isn’t that far from the hotel.
Camp out on the Beach
You can bring your own tent or rent tents from NhickoJee Souvenir Shop at the South Beach. I spotted a couple of guys who hung up hammocks under the trees near the beach area and had their stuff kept in a shaded gazebo. There are public restrooms and shower areas nearby with running water.
WHERE TO EAT:
Food and drinks on Corregidor Island are admittedly on the expensive side. Beer costs P80 a can (!!!) at the hotel while juice or softdrink costs P40 bucks each in the sari-sari stores. If you’re on a budget and not picky, you can bring your own snacks and drinks (no corkage).
La Playa Restaurant at Corregidor Inn serves buffet lunch that you can avail of (includes welcome drink, DIY salad bar, soup, seafood paella rice, pasta, 2 meat dishes, dessert, fresh fruits). Buffet lunch costs Php480/person during weekdays and Php520/person during weekends. The buffet lunch is usually included in most of the packages. The resto also has a limited selection of ala carte meals. The buffet lunch is just ok, but the Chicken Inasal was pretty good. Breakfast meals consist of Silog meals.
There are several small open-air eateries that serve cheaper local dishes including McArthurs Cafe Restaurant & Souvenir Shop, NhickoJee Souvenir Shop at the South Beach and Baywalk Convenience Store near the port. Average price for breakfast meals with coffee/milo (P150 each), sandwiches (P25-70), short orders (P120-150), meals for sharing (P300). The small stores also sell chips, soft drinks, beer and Emperador Light at a cheaper rate compared to the hotel.
ADDRESS & CONTACT DETAILS:
Sun Cruises Corregidor Reservations Office
Esplanade Seaside Terminal, Esplanade Seaside Park (Seaside Blvd., MOA Complex), Pasay, Pasay City, Philippines [MAP OF TERMINAL]