Zamboanga City Travel Guide
Table of Contents
Zamboanga City (Ciudad de Zamboanga) is Asia’s “Latin City” and a modern city inhabited by more than eight hundred thousand of people as of the 2015 Census. It is situated on the island of Mindanao with abundant natural resources which is why it is often called the “Sardines Capital of the Philippines” because the majority of the country’s canning companies are located there.
If you’re interested in seeing boat races which make use of boats that have bright sails that glow as the sun hits them, then visit Zamboanga City and experience other activities in the city of the Chavacanos.
When You Should Go
You can visit Zamboanga City any time of the year but if you’re looking to see the famous Zamboanga La Hermosa which is a month-long event then you must go on October.
How To Get There
By Air: Zamboanga is an accessible place; there are direct flights to Zamboanga City from Manila, Cebu and Davao City.
By Boat: 2GO ferries have one ferry a week sailing to/from Manila via Dipolog and Dumaguete. Aleson Shipping lines have a ferry going to and from Sandakan Malaysia. The Port of Zamboanga is an international port of entry. It has a schedule passenger trip to Sandakan, Malaysia and several shipping lines offer regular trips from and to Jolo, Bongao, Isabela City.
By Land: Traveling to Zamboanga City by land is also an available option but this takes about 3 days from Manila via RORO. Rural Transit Buses to/from Dipolog or Cagayan de oro are also available.
Getting Around Zamboanga
Once you reached the City, you can ride a jeepney, Taxi or tricycle to roam around.
What You Need To Wear And What You Should Bring
It’s always advisable to bring comfortable clothes, change of clothes and extra sets of underwear and lightweight towel. You can also bring lightweight night wears in case you’re planning to attend an event. The best shoes to wear during travels are rubber shoes and one semi-formal shoes or sandals.
Make sure to wear pants and full covered top if you plan to visit Mosques and religious places in the City.
What You Will Experience
Aside from La Hermosa, you can enjoy a limitless amount of time under the sun thanks to the pink sand beach of Sta. Cruz Island. There’s actually another island which is called Little Sta. Cruz but it’s not open to the public because it is being used as a camp for the military.
You can also visit mangroves that are already a hundred years old at the Lagoon in Sta. Cruz where you can also see beautiful birds while you ride a paddle boat.
Burial Places are not for everyone but if you’re one of the few who are intrigued by it, then head on to Badjao Burial grounds in Sta. Cruz Island where the local tribes Badjao and Bangingi put their dearly departed to rest.
Zamboanga is known for their woven yakan clothing and other woven accessories and no visit to the city will be complete without going to Yakan Weaving Village. Their unique designs are bright and everything they make is handmade, thanks to old traditions that they’ve been practicing for a long time.
Tourist Spots to Visit
You can visit Taluksangay Mosque, a more than a century old Muslim place of worship which happens to be the oldest mosque in Western Mindanao.
Drop by the 17th Century citadel of Fort Pilar, Marian Shrine where devotees flock regularly and the newly transformed National Museum of the Philippines local branch.
And of course, Zamboanga La Hermosa, their most celebrated feast of Nuestra Senora del Pilar. This is also one of the oldest Philippine festivals so don’t miss on all the parades, regatta and street dance contest with participants from various schools of the city when you’re visiting.
You can talk a stroll at Cawa Cawa Boulevard after a day of exploring the city and just watch the beautiful sunset.
List of Top Activities and Tourist Attractions in Zamboanga City
- Visit Fort Pilar Shrine and Museum
- Zamboanga City Hall
- Checkout Plaza Pershing
- Metropolitan Cathedral of Immaculate Conception
- Pasonanca Park
- Experience Vinta Ride at Paseo del Mar
- Watch Sunset at the Paseo del Mar
- Visit the pink sand beach of Santa Cruz island
- Bird Watching in Sta Cruz Island
- Eat Curacha
- Eat spicy Satti for breakfast
- Visit Rio Hondo Village
- Shop at Yakan weaving village
- Shop at Canelar Barter Trade Center
- Visit Climaco Freedom Park
- Visit Hock Chuan Temple
Also Read: Things to do and see in Zamboanga City
Where to Eat in Zamboanga City
Hacienda de Palmeras Hotel & Restaurant
Address: Pasonanca Road, Zamboanga, Zamboanga del Sur
Phone: (062) 991 3284
Alavar Seafood Restaurant
Address: Don Alfaro St, Zamboanga, 7000 Zamboanga Sibugay
Phone: (062) 991 2483
Greenfields Mano-Mano Resto
Address: Blue Ridge Lane, Gov. Ramos Ave, Zamboanga
Phone: 0935 488 6387
La Vista del Mar
Address: Labuan-Lampara National Road, Zamboanga, Zamboanga del Sur
Address: Rizal Street 7000 Zamboanga City
Phone: (062) 991 9068
Jimmy’s Satti Haus
Address: Pilar St, Zamboanga, Zamboanga Sibugay
Dennis Coffee Garden
Address: Labuan-Limpapa National Road, Zamboanga
Phone: (062) 957 1131
Where to Stay in Zamboanga
Garden Orchid Hotel Zamboanga
Book Online via Agoda
Address: 7000 Gov Camins Ave, Zamboanga, Zamboanga del Sur
Phone: (062) 991 0032
Book Online via Agoda
Address: Gov Alvarez Ave, Zamboanga, Zamboanga Sibugay
Phone: (062) 955 4058
Book Online via Agoda
Address: N S Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Del Sur, N S Valderosa St, Zamboanga
Phone: 0908 488 8033
Marcian Business Hotel
Book Online via Agoda
Address: Mayor Cesar C. Climaco Avenue, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Del Sur, Brillantes St, Zamboanga
Phone: (062) 991 0005
Pasalubong Shopping in Zamboanga
And before you head home, don’t forget to go to Canelar Barter Trade Center (Zamboanga Barter) and buy some pasalubongs for your loved ones. You can haggle it out and go home with multi-colored and woven bags and accessories that are uniquely made. If you live in Manila, you will be happy that it is not too common to see people using these kinds of tribal designs.
Apart from Canelar Barter Trade Center, there are also barter centers inside Sta. Cruz Commercial Complex, Baliwasan Commercial Complex and Zamboanga City Public Market.
Being in Zamboanga brings you closer to nature while also experiencing the city so what are you waiting for? Pack your things and book a flight now!
- Exploring the Pink Beach of Great Santa Cruz Island in Zamboanga City
- Young Foodies Fire Up the Stage for Zamboanga’s Savores 2017