8 of the best Zamboanga City’s tourist spots you need to visit
Zamboanga City forms part of the Mindanao region of the Philippines. It is one of the most important commercial cities in the country and due to the remnants from the Spanish colonial era that are scattered throughout the city, it has aptly earned the nickname as “Asia’s Latin City”.
In addition to Zamboanga city’s tourist spots, it’s worth visiting this city to get a look into a rather unique part of the Philippines. Aside from its deep rooted Spanish history, Zamboanga City also offers unique cultural highlights that are a fresh escape from the usual tropical beaches that the country is known for.
Here are 8 of the best spots you need to visit:
1- Fort Pilar Shrine and Museum
If you want to see one of the best colonial structures in the country, you need to visit this 1635 Spanish garrison. Walk around the Royal Fort of Our Virgin Lady of the Pilar of Zaragoza and be sure to duck into the Fort Pilar museum inside the citadel to see some wonderful artifacts from the sunken Grifim galleon.
2- Cruz Island (Pink Beach)
To get to Pink Beach, you will need to pay a visit to the tourist office in Paseo del Mar. From there, you can arrange a boat to take you out to Sta. Cruz Island. This tiny island which is only 20 minutes off the mainland is a great way to escape the city and see what is the only known pink sand beach in all of the 7,000 plus islands that make up the Philippines. There is a small entrance and terminal fee which seems priceless compared to the beauty you will experience.
3- Vinta Ride at Paseo del Mar
If there is one thing that Zamboanga City is known for aside from its history, it is the sunsets you will see at Paseo del Mar. It is also a fantastic area to people watch as it attracts hordes of locals. There are cement beaches for you to chill out on as well as a walk you can take that runs along the shore. On weekends from 4:00pm to 6:00pm, you can ride the “Vinta” which is a type of mini sail boat.
4- Rio Honda Village
For those that want to go off the beaten track, head to the Muslim village of Rio Honda. It is a tiny bit out of the way as you will need to grab a tricycle but it is well worth the visit even to take a few shots of the houses on stilts which are reminiscent of the floating houses in Cambodia.
5- Canelar market
A great way to immerse yourself into the local culture is to hit the Canelar market for a bargain hunt. This is a crowded and lively market where you can find cheap souvenirs such as coffee, chocolates, tea and candy. There’s also clothing and accessories such as sarongs, bags and batiks available at affordable prices.
6- Merloquet Falls
We all know about the fabulous Filipino beaches but did you know the country also has world class waterfalls? Check out the Merloquet falls for one of the most scenic waterfalls in the country.
7- Boy Scout Ground at Pasonanca Park
Here you will see why this city is also named the city of flowers. There is a wonderful flower garden, butterfly garden and natural pools for you to soak in the nature and enjoy the tranquility of being away from the city.
8- Taluksangay Mosque and Village
If you want to get a glimpse at the local Muslim culture and see one of the more beautiful structures in the city, then you must pay this red-domed mosque a visit. It was the first mosque in Zamboanga and dates back as far as 1885 when it was originally constructed.
Are you heading to Zamboanga City soon? If so, we’d love to hear what you have planned in the comments below.