At the mouth of Manila Bay lies Corregidor Island, a rocky isle with a storied past. Its strategic location off Manila and the provinces of Bataan and Cavite has shaped its many roles throughout Philippine history. From the 16th to 18th centuries, it was a dock for pirates, merchants, and even British invaders. In the 1850s, a lighthouse was built on Corregidor’s highest point. In the early 20th century, American military troops fortified the island to defend Manila and Subic bays better.
Nevertheless, Corregidor is widely remembered as one of the Philippines’ last military strongholds in World War II. Students, history buffs, and veterans travel to The Rock to view wartime relics and pay respect to those who perished in battle. But nowadays, there is much more to Corregidor than ruined barracks and pockmarked artillery.
If you can’t wait to travel again and are looking for a place that’s easy to access, Corregidor is perfect. It’s great for a day of leisure and reliving history. And you don’t have to fly or ride a car or bus for hours to get there.
After 11 months of closure due to the pandemic, Corregidor recently reopened to local tourists. In this handy guide to visiting Corregidor Island in the new normal, we’ll also share the exciting activities you can do in The Rock.
Planning Your Trip
Remember to keep these details in mind when planning your Corregidor trip:
- Schedule: Corregidor Island day tours are only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The ferry departs Manila at 8:00 a.m. and leaves Corregidor at 2:30 p.m.
- Accommodations: Corregidor Inn remains closed, but you can stay at Corregidor Hostel or MacArthur’s Lodge.
- Age limit: The number of visitors is limited at the moment. While the tour is open to visitors aged 16 to 65, travelers under 16 or over 65 will have to sign a waiver.
- Documents: You will need a negative COVID-19 test result or medical certificate issued by your local health center or any doctor. You will also have to accomplish a health declaration and contact tracing form at the ferry terminal.
- Health protocols: Observe physical distancing. Wear your face mask and face shield. Sanitize your hands often.
- Food and drinks: For health and safety reasons, pack your lunch and snacks to be enjoyed at the South Beach picnic grounds.
- Fees: Additional fees apply to other tours and activities. Touring Malinta Tunnel costs 200 PHP; camping rate is 200 PHP per person; cycling fees are about 500 PHP.
Pre-booking is recommended. For more information, call Corregidor Foundation at +63 2 8823 3281 or +63 977 643 4819. You may also email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow the foundation on facebook.com/CorregidorNOW for updates.
Things To Do In Corregidor
Corregidor offers a wide array of activities, from rediscovering history to basking in nature to enjoying seaside leisure. There are many other surprising things you can do while in The Rock apart from the usual sightseeing.
Ride The Tram
Travel back in time on a tram ride inspired by Corregidor’s railway system in its heyday. A tour guide accompanies you on your journey, making history come alive with anecdotes and trivia.
Prefer to explore Corregidor at your own pace? Then biking around the island is the choice for you. Pedal across the glorious Mile-Long Barracks or race your friends to South Beach on trails that can’t be accessed by tram.
Hike In Nature
Beyond war and history, Corregidor hosts a dynamic ecosystem with a wide array of flora and fauna. See monkeys, geckos, kingfishers, and sparrows around the island.
Stay For The Night
Although Corregidor Inn is temporarily closed, Corregidor Hostel can accommodate larger groups. Backpackers on a budget should consider the MacArthur Lodge, which is a brisk two-minute walk away from the dock.
Take A Photo Walk
You’ll never run out of subject matter to photograph in The Rock, whether you use a smartphone or a professional camera. Breathtaking views, nature, and architecture are yours for the taking—of snapshots, that is.
Visit The Memorials And Exhibits
The island is one living, breathing exhibit, but don’t forget to check out the Pacific War Memorial and Museum for military paraphernalia and the Filipino Heroes Memorial for war-inspired paintings. The Japanese Garden of Peace also offers an unrivaled view of Caballo Island.
Walk Inside Malinta Tunnel
No trip to Corregidor is complete without a walk inside Malinta Tunnel, especially the attraction’s light and sound show. But why not be bold and take your historical adventure to a new level with a tour of the lateral tunnels at the sides?
Book your Corregidor Island tour
KKday offers Corregidor Island tour packages for groups of up to five persons. Venture to Corregidor Island for a day and explore relics from World War II. Book your excursion now at prices starting from 4,888 PHP per head.
*Featured image via Robert Verzo on Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)