Islands

Corregidor Island Visitors Guide

Written by Patrick

ABOUT SEE & DO EAT & DRINK STAY BUDGET ADVICE

Travel Insurance

ABOUT

Located at the entrance of Manila Bay, Corregidor Island is just 48 kilometers west of Manila and one-hour away via ferry.  Given its location, Corregidor Island, along with neighboring islands including El Fraille Island, Caballo Island, and Carabao Island, has been fortified to serve as harbor defenses of Manila Bay and Manila during World War II.

Corregidor Island played an important role in Philippine history as it became an American military reservation, a temporary location of Philippine Government where Manuel L. Quezon was inaugurated as president, and the last to surrender to the Japanese troops in 1942.  Filipino and American forces recaptured the island after almost three years.

Before the American Colonial period, Corregidor was also used as a signal outpost to warn Manila of approaching enemies and as a station for customs inspection under Spanish rule.  It is also how the island got its name since Corregidor comes from the Spanish word corregir which means “to correct”.  Isla del Corregidor literally translates to Island of the Corrector taking into consideration the Spanish customs system.

Nowadays, Corregidor Island serves as a historic monument and a tourist destination where tourists can see various military installations and buildings that bear witness to the war that ravaged many lives of not only Filipinos and Americans but Japanese soldiers as well.

This brief guide to Corregidor Island will help you plan your trip. It contains information on what to do, eat, and drink as well as the must-see spots and the best hotels.

Location

Corregidor Island Location Map

Best Time to Visit

It’s best to visit the Philippines during the dry season.  Dry season in the Philippines spans from November through April.  These are the summer months in this country.

Be aware that temperatures and humidity levels are particularly high in April and May.

The best time to be a beach bum and explore the islands is from March to May.

TIP:  This guide recommends that booking for Corregidor Island summer trips should be done as early as possible, at least a month before your travel dates, since resorts get fully booked early.

The period from June to October is the rainy (wet) season and is best avoided due to the high possibility of typhoons. The typhoons can not only be destructive, but most tours and activities are cancelled under such circumstances.  Transportation via plane and boat is also seriously impacted as well.  This happens frequently so beware!

This guide recommends traveling to Corregidor Island in April-May or in November-December, just before and just after the rainy season. This will likely bring fewer crowds, yet pleasant weather, and is also a great time to score a travel deal.

Fast Facts

Destination Name:
Corregidor Island
Local Time:
PST (UTC+8)
Best Time of Year to Visit:
December – May
Population:
None
Language(s):
English, Tagalog
Currency:
Philippine Peso (PHP)
Exchange Rate:
Approximately 1 USD = 50 PHP click for exact exchange rate
Location:
Geographic Coordinates:
14°23′8″N 120°34′23″E
Area:
5.49 km2 (2.12 sq mi)
Neighboring Cities:
Cavite City | Pasay City
Neighboring Islands:
Caballo | Luzon
Climate:
Tropical
Clothing:
Lightweight casuals
Religion:
Not applicable
Best Known For:
World War II Shrine
Major Industries:
Tourism
Electricity:
Standard voltage is 220V
Plug commonly used is Type A but Types B and C are used as well. Bring A to B adapter(s).
International Phone Code:
+63-046-XXX-XXXX
Seaport(s):
Sabang East Central North Boat Terminal | South Dock
Bus Terminal(s):
None

Getting Here

There are many ways to get here depending on your starting point. This guide recommends using the following online tools to identify all the available options and cost for each while on Corregidor Island:  Rome2Rio and PHBUS. The following are the major ports of entry for this destination.

BUS TERMINAL

Bus Terminal

None

SEAPORT

Seaport

Sabang East Central North Boat Terminal

PH Bus

Getting Around

The following are the modes of transportation available on Corregidor Island …

Bicycles

Bicycles

Bus

Bus

Rome to Rio

SEE & DO

The following is your guide to places to see and activities to enjoy while on Corregidor Island.

1 | Pacific War Memorial Museum

The Pacific War Memorial was erected by the US Government in 1968 to remember Filipino and American soldiers who lost their lives defending the country and the Pacific during the war.  The structure is a rotunda with an oculus where light during daylight hours falls on the altar located directly under the said oculus.  The museum is a treasure trove of items such as old photographs, money, identification cards, and diaries as well as weapons and uniforms used during the war.  There are also statues of soldiers and a bust of General Douglas McArthur, the leader of the troop during that time.

Behind the museum is the Eternal Flame of Freedom, a 12-meter high Corten steel structure with lights powered by solar energy.  The structure symbolizes eternal freedom as well as commemorates the Filipino and American war heroes.

2 | Malinta Tunnel

Built by the US Army Corps of Engineers, Malinta Tunnel is a tunnel complex that was used as a bomb-proof storage, personnel bunker, and 1,000-bed hospital during the American era.  It was the headquarters of McArthur and the USAFFE as well as the seat of the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines under President Manuel L. Quezon and Vice President Sergio Osmeña.

Presently, the tunnel is being used as the venue of an audio-visual presentation by Lamberto V. Avellana, the first National Artist of the Philippines for Film.  The presentation features the events that happened during World War II including the reluctant evacuation of McArthur and President Quezon to Mindanao.

3 | Ruins of Mile-Long Barracks

Although it measures less than a mile, it is commonly referred to as the Mile-long Barracks as the combined length of the structure from first to third floor is equivalent to a mile.  It is said to be the world’s longest military and accommodated 8,000 soldiers at the time.

The barracks was built as hurricane-proof however it was severely damaged during the war and what remains is the skeleton of the building that has seen how Filipino and American forces fought for freedom.

4 | Filipino Heroes Memorial

Located at the tail end of Corregidor Island is the Filipino Heroes Memorial, a 6,000-meter complex which features 14 murals chronicling the major Philippine battles from 15th century up to the present day.  The memorial was designed by Francisco Mañosa and the murals were carved by Manuel Casas.  The complex was inaugurated in 1992 making it the recent addition to several historic attractions on the island.

5 | Japanese Garden of Peace

Funded by the Japan Government, the Japanese Garden of Peace is dedicated to all the soldiers killed during the war.  It is also located at the tail end of the island and features markers with Japanese inscriptions, prayer area, shrines, and a pavilion containing photographs and other memorabilias.  Anti-aircraft guns line the edge of the hill and a Buddha monument towers over them.

Despite the Japanese being the ones who attacked and captured the island, the memorial is not only to honor those who sacrificed their lives but also to symbolize the friendship between Japan and the Philippines.

6 | Corregidor Lighthouse

The historic lighthouse of Corregidor Island was constructed and first lit in 1853 during the Spanish era.  Together with the one in Caballos Island, Corregidor Island lighthouse was the second oldest lighthouse in the Philippines next to the lighthouse at the mouth of Pasig River.  The lighthouse stands on the highest point of the island and measures 42 feet from the base, hence the effective height of 693 feet above sea level.

The lighthouse was heavily damaged during the fight against the Japanese and was rebuilt in 1950 using the remains from the previous structure.  The lighthouse has been running on solar power since the 1990s.

The view deck at the top of the island is a great spot to see the island and the areas surrounding it.  At the base is a souvenir shop selling shirts, old paper bills, and other memorabilias.

7 | Old guns and mortars

Remains of guns, mortars, and other weapons used during the war can still be seen in various parts of the island up to this day.  These weapons have been preserved and presently serve as tourist attractions of the island apart from being reminders of what it took to achieve freedom and peace we are enjoying today.

8 | Nearby destinations

Most tours to Corregidor Island depart from Manila but you can also sail to the island from Mariveles, Bataan which is approximately 10 kilometers away.

NOTE: The Battle of Corregidor anniversary occurs annually in Corregidor Island every 6th of May.

Klook

EAT & DRINK

The following is your guide to the flavorful food to enjoy and restaurants to try while on Corregidor Island.

1 | La Playa Restaurant

One of the two restaurants on the island, La Playa serves local and international cuisines to the tourists of the island.  The restaurant located at the Corregidor Inn has two dining setups – al fresco and indoor but with airy ambience.  The restaurant offers a nice view of the island which makes the dining experience more enjoyable.  The menu may be limited but the food is tasty.

2 | McArthur’s Lounge

McArthur’s Cafe is the newest dining place on the island.  It is located near Lorcha Dock, also referred to as McArthur’s Dock, as it was the dock the American soldier used when he evacuated the island during the fall of Corregidor against the Japanese forces.  The cafe serves local favorites such as silog meals, nilagang baka (a kind of beef soup), and lechon kawali.

WHERE TO STAY

There are many different types of accommodations available in this destination ranging from hostels to luxurious resorts. The following is your guide to our top choices for each range on Corregidor Island.

1 | Corregidor Hostel (Budget)

2 | McArthur’s Lounge (Mid-Range)

3 | Corregidor Inn (Luxury | Resort)

This guide recommends using the following sites to conduct research online of where to stay on Corregidor Island or for a specific destination:

Book your room with these trusted online booking sites.  Booking online in the Philippines almost always guarantees the best price and a room when you arrive.  We use these sites frequently to get the best prices and enjoy convenient bookings. Click each of the buttons below to find the best place for you at the lowest rates:

TIP: Corregidor Inn is the best property to experience this destination.

BUDGET

Suggested Budget

Use the chart below to get an idea of how much to budget daily.  Actual amounts will depend on YOUR travel style. Keep in mind these are daily averages … some days you’ll spend more, some days you’ll spend less. Prices are in USD.

ACCOMMODATION
FOOD
TRANSPORTATION
ATTRACTIONS
AVERAGE DAILY COST
Budget
Accommodation: $7
Food: $5
Transportation: $5
Attractions: $20
Average Daily Cost: $37
Mid-Range
Accommodation: $30
Food: $15
Transportation: $10
Attractions: $25
Average Daily Cost: $80
Luxury
Accommodation: $70
Food: $30
Transportation: $15
Attractions: $30
Average Daily Cost: $145

Travel Costs

Accommodation

A bed in a hostel dorm costs from 350 PHP ($7 USD), but smaller dorms can cost from 500 PHP ($10 USD).  For a private double, prices start around 700 PHP ($14 USD).

Most budget hotels begin at 700 PHP ($14 USD) per night for a double room and usually include free wifi and breakfast.  For a three-star hotel, prices begin around 1,400 PHP ($28 USD) per night.  AirBnB is also widespread throughout the country, with private rooms starting from as little as 500 PHP ($10 USD) per night.  For entire apartments, expect to pay at least 1,400 PHP ($28 USD) per night.

Resorts and luxury accommodations vary greatly from 1,400 PHP ($28 USD) to 5,000+ PHP ($100+ USD).  However, there are some really nice resorts and luxury accommodations which are surprisingly affordable.

We use and recommend booking online to save money using HostelWorldAgodaBooking.com, and AirBnB

Food

Local food is extremely cheap, with street food costing under 50 PHP ($1USD).  For an inexpensive meal at a local restaurant, prices start around 100 PHP ($2 USD).  For a meal at a mid-range restaurant with drinks and table service, expect to pay from 200 PHP ($4 USD).  Knowing that their target customers are primarily tourists, Western food venues can be pricey compared to Filipino food.  Also, some of the ingredients need to be imported, which contributes to the higher cost. Western food (burgers, pizza, pasta, etc.) is much more expensive but is still relatively affordable at around 200 PHP ($4 USD) for a meal and drink.

Fast food like McDonalds will cost around 200 PHP ($4 USD).  A beer at the bar will cost around 50-100 PHP ($1–2 USD).

A week’s worth of groceries will cost between 300-600 PHP ($6-12 USD) per person.  However, food in this country is so inexpensive, and kitchens & refrigerators are hard to come by, I don’t recommend cooking your meals here since there is plenty of delicious street food to eat at very cheap prices. You won’t make it as good as they do and the food is too delicious to miss!

Transportation

There are many modes of transportation available in the Philippines and each varies greatly. 

Public Transportation is cheap.  Bus services on the islands are inexpensive.  Local buses (called jeepneys) are the most common type of transportation in towns and cities. The fare is usually between 7-25 PHP ($.20–.50 USD).

On islands without a bus system, a taxi or tricycle is the only form of transport with fares starting at 50-500 PHP ($1-$10) USD for short trips. 

Taxis are everywhere, and they’re very cheap.  Most fares shouldn’t cost you more than 500 PHP ($10 USD) around town.  

To get between islands, you’ll need to take a boat or to fly.  There are ferries that connect the island together since they aren’t too far apart but, generally speaking, flights are the most realistic option. 

Flights between islands usually cost about 2,000-3500 PHP ($40-70 USD).  However, this isn’t the cheapest way to travel.  It’s only recommended if you have limited time. 

We recommend booking online to save money using: SkyscannermomondoKayakkiwi.com.

Attractions & Activities

Most attractions and activities in the Philippines are pretty cheap. Most attractions throughout the area are FREE to enter, though some of the more well known and popular ones cost 5-100 PHP ($.10-$2 USD) to enter. 

Depending on the activity, most day tours only cost around 1,000-1,500 PHP ($20-30 USD), oftentimes less.  You have more bargaining power if you go with a group. If you are expecting to do some climbing, remember to pack some warm layers. It gets cold at the top!  

Other activities such as Island Hopping, scuba diving, helmet diving, swimming with whale sharks, jungle trekking, canyoning, ATVs, jet skis, wakeboarding, cruises, parasailing, horseback riding, cultural experiences, and tours can cost as much as 1,250-5,000+ PHP ($25-100+ USD).

The Philippines is one of the least expensive places to learn how to scuba dive. Learning to scuba dive usually costs about 15,000-20,000 PHP ($300-400 USD), but often includes FREE accommodation for the duration of the course, which lasts three or four days.

Always book your tours and activities when you arrive.  Stick to travel agents who are selling on the ground. If a travel agent won’t negotiate with you, move on to the next until you find one that will.  Booking tours online is almost always more expensive. 

Typical Costs on Corregidor Island in 2022:

  • Hostel Dorm Bed: 250-350 PHP ($5–7 USD) night
  • Budget Hotel:  700 PHP ($14 USD) night
  • Mid-Range Hotel:  1500 PHP ($31 USD) night
  • Restaurant Meals: 200-300 PHP ($4–6 USD) meal
  • Local Beer: 50-100 PHP ($1–2 USD) bottle
  • 1.5L Bottle of Water: 38 PHP ($.75 USD) bottle
  • Public Ferry Ride: 200-300 PHP ($4–6 USD) ride

DOWNLOAD: Budget Planner Template

 

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ADVICE

The following is some of our best advice on traveling to Corregidor Island.  Learn what you need to know BEFORE you go!

Tips & Hacks

he following are our Top 10 Tips when visiting this destination in the Philippines:

  • Be aware that a tourist VISA is only 30 days. You can extend it upon arrival, or within the first 30 days, for an additional 30 days for a fee of approximately 3,000 pesos.
  • Don’t buy into the fear factor. The Philippines has an unjustified reputation of being a dangerous place. It’s true there are security guards everywhere, but that is to deter theft.
  • Manila is NOT the Philippines. Get outside of the cities to see the real Philippines.
  • Don’t over plan. Boats, buses, and even airplane schedules are notoriously unreliable. Be flexible.
  • Check the weather. The weather varies greatly throughout the Philippines daily.
  • Typhoons can have a huge impact on your plans. Account for this when planning your trip.
  • It’s not cool to raise your voice or show outward frustration in public.
  • Be polite at all times. Realize that your country’s sense of humor may be different from Filipino humor and take this into account when interacting with Filipinos and while in public places.
  • Things move at a slower pace. Accept it … don’t get frustrated … but do account for it.
  • Don’t drink the tap water… but stay hydrated! Save money by buying large bottles (6-10 liters) of water and using it to fill your water bottle or hydration bladder in your backpack.

For a complete list of our travel tips & hacks, check out the following guide and be sure to download a FREE copy for yourself.

VIEW & DOWNLOAD: The Ultimate Travel Tips & Hacks Guide for the Philippines

Money Matters

The Philippines has its own currency called the Philippine Peso. Banks, ATMs, and money-changers can be found on the island. If you are exploring the neighboring islands or provinces, make sure to bring enough cash that will last until the next time you get to an ATM or bank since most tours, transportation, and budget accommodations only accept cash.

READ MORE: Money in the Philippines: Everything You Need to Know

Health & Safety

Crime

While overall the Philippines is a safe country to visit, as is Corregidor Island, you need to use common sense just as you would in any country, especially when traveling, and in a city, town, or area you are unfamiliar with.

Consult your hotel or resort front desk as they are more likely to give you reliable information than a random stranger on the street. Be careful when approaching strangers and selective about who you approach. Always pay attention to your gut feeling and follow it.

READ MORE: How to Avoid Scams & Thieves in the Philippines

Safety

There are many things to consider when traveling in order to stay safe … things that we may not be accustomed to during our normal everyday lives. The following are articles about tips on how to stay safe while traveling in the Philippines:

TIP: The best way to avoid problems and stay safe is to travel with a local resident.

Health

Staying fit & healthy can be challenging when traveling in the Philippines. 

The tropical Philippines climate requires you to prepare for illnesses that you may not normally be accustomed to. 

The following are our Top 10 Tips for Staying Healthy while Traveling in the Philippines:

  • Maintain a Balanced Diet
  • Stay Hydrated but Only Drink Bottled Water
  • Get Plenty of Rest
  • Allow Your Body Time to Adjust 
  • Keep Active
  • Sanitize Often 
  • Be Aware of Food Safety Concerns
  • Take Your Vitamins
  • Practice Safe Sex
  • Be Prepared Should You Get Sick

READ MORE: Stay Healthy in the Philippines: How to Avoid Getting Sick

Staying Connected

You need to have a local-based SIM card in order to stay connected when in the Philippines. Network giants such as Globe and Smart have SIM cards you can use to make calls, send text messages, and also to connect to the Internet. A SIM card costs around 50 PHP ($1 USD) and usually comes with a FREE load worth 50 PHP ($1 USD). You can buy a card containing a code you can enter on your phone to replenish your load or buy an electronic load that is available almost anywhere in the city.

While you may not have problems with signal strength when in the city, it is not always the case when on islands or in remote areas of a province.  So when arranging for transportation pick up, say when renting a boat to take you to and pick you up from the island, it would be best that you make it clear what time you need to be picked up before the boatman leaves.

Apps for smartphones and tablets can be useful both before you leave and while you’re traveling.  Most are available for iPhones and Android phones.

The following are our Top 10 most useful travel apps on our smartphones when traveling in the Philippines:

  1. Grab (taxis/ride shares)
  2. Angkas (motorbike ride-hailing)
  3. WhatsApp (phone calls)
  4. Skyscanner (flights)
  5. Rome2Rio (transportation)
  6. Agoda (accomodations)
  7. Booking.com (accomodations)
  8. AirBnB (accomodations)
  9. Traveloka (flights, accomodations, activities)
  10. Klook (attractions & activities )

Be certain to download and set up apps BEFORE leaving on your trip to make certain each is installed and working properly.

For our complete list of travel apps that we use and recommend while traveling in the Philippines, checkout our checklist below.  Download a FREE copy for yourself as a PDF.

READ MORE: The Ultimate List of Travel Apps for the Philippines

Itinerary

Trying to decide what to do when traveling to a destination for the first time can be a bit overwhelming given your lack of familiarity with the place along with all of the available options. 

We’ve created the following itinerary to help simplify the process and ensure that you get the most out of your trip.  Although we provide a 7 day itinerary for this destination, it can always be adjusted to fit the length of your trip.

VIEW: Corregidor Island 7-Day Travel Itinerary

Packing Checklist

The secret to a successful and stress-free trip is to start by using a packing list.  This will reduce anxiety from the start and ensure that nothing important is forgotten when packing.   To make this process easy for you, we’ve created a detailed packing list.  Click the link below to download it for FREE now. 

Carrying your checklist with you during your travels can be useful when repacking, by helping to ensure that you do not leave anything behind.

VIEW & DOWNLOAD: Our Ultimate Packing Guide & Checklist

Things to Remember

This guide recommends to take note of the following while traveling on Corregidor Island or in the Philippines in general.

Smoking

There is a nationwide ban which prohibits smoking in public places including indoors, the streets, on sidewalks, in restaurants , and on public transportation, requiring smokers to use designated smoking areas.  Selling tobacco to and purchasing from or for minors is also prohibited. Violators are subject to fines (up to 5,000 PHP | $100 USD) and even 4 months in prison.

Alcohol

The minimum legal drinking age is 18.  Alcohol such as beer and hard drinks can easily be bought in grocery and convenience stores.  The most common alcoholic beverage is beer, generally served cold.  Local alcoholic drinks include tuba (coconut wine which is usually very strong) and potent moonshine-like clear liquors made from sugar or fruit.  Imported beer, wine, and name brand hard alcohol are available but expensive.

Drugs

Drugs are illegal in the Philippines.  Don’t use, buy, or sell any non-prescription drugs while in the Philippines … not even marijuana.  It is considered an especially heinous crime to buy from, for, or sell drugs to children.  The penalties are severe … up to and including death.

Nudity

Public nudity is illegal in the Philippines and is not tolerated.  Most locals consider it offensive.  There are laws which prohibit provocative and erotic clothing and swimwear, therefore carefully consider your clothings and swimwear choices to make certain they are not too revealing.

Foreigners & Expats

If you are not a Filipino citizen, remember that you are a guest when visiting this country … be certain to act accordingly.  Respect the people, their customs, and the environment and wlidlife. You can be deported and banned … so behave … but have fun and enjoy all that this wonderful destination has to offer.

READ MORE: Practical Information about the Philippines

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About the Author

Patrick

Patrick is an entrepreneur, digital nomad, explorer, and photographer. Patrick is always in search of fun and adventure. He is well travelled throughout the world, and although location independent, his home base is Phoenix, Arizona in the USA. Patrick loves island lifestyle which is no wonder why he is so interested in spending time in the Philippines with it’s over 7,000 islands. Patrick created this site to share his knowledge of and experiences in the Philippines with Filipinos as well as other foreigners.

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