10 Amazing Lighthouses In The Philippines

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Having been occupied by Spain for more than 300 years and the US by nearly 50 years, the Philippine Islands became home to a number of lighthouses which helped ships navigate through our waters for centuries.

Some of them, despite their old age, still work up to this day while others have been replaced by new, mostly solar-powered ones. But aside from serving as guideposts to vessels entering our narrow straits or setting out to the open sea, these lighthouses are also tourist attractions to travelers who wish to marvel at their classic architecture.

Most of the time, these beacons also function as perfect spots to enjoy the view of our islands amidst the sparkling seas. Or as nice places to watch the sunrise or sunset.

Not only are these lighthouses a feast to the eyes, they also tell a bit of our history. They highlight the value of maritime travel to an archipelagic nation like ours while at the same time stressing the importance of safe marine transportation.

So if you’re interested in seeing some of these incredible lighthouses around the Philippines, here’s a list of 10 to get you started:

1.Tayid LighthouseMahatao, Batanes

Tayid Lighthouse, Mahatao, Batanes, Philippines

Tayid Lighthouse of Mahatao

Batanes is home to some of the country’s most scenic lighthouses. And the reason behind it is the breathtaking backdrop to which these wonderful structures stand. Located at the southeastern portion of Batan Island, Tayid Lighthouse ushers a melodramatic panorama of the surrounding grassy hills of Mahatao slithering towards the direction of the soaring Mt. Iraya. The lighthouse itself which was built in 2000, is characterized by a white tower capped with red-painted lantern room and roof all supported by a grayish to black-colored stone base. Colorful flowers decorate a pocket of garden on the side while on a distance one may observe herds of cattle foraging along the hillslopes.

Garden beside Tayid Lighthouse, Mahatao, Batanes

Colorful garden beside Tayid Lighthouse

How To Get There

PAL Express flies daily from Manila (MNL) to Basco (BSO), the capital of Batanes.

You may grab a map of Batan Island and from Basco rent a bike to the lighthouse. If you wish to avail of organized tours, you may contact +63 919 279 5963 or +63 915 803 4582.

2. Sabtang LighthouseSabtang, Batanes

Sabtang Lighthouse, Sabtang, Batanes, Philippines

Sabtang Lighthouse as seen from Sinakan Port

On the neighboring island of Sabtang, still in Batanes, a rounded gray-colored lighthouse towers mightily on a cliff just beside Sinakan Port. Similar to Tayid Lighthouse, its tower is also capped with red lantern room and roof. Located only a few meters from the sea, it is the first structure you’ll notice when crossing the treacherous strait separating the islands of Batan and Sabtang. The decade-old lighthouse composes a rugged scenery highlighted by the sharp rocks to which it is perched and the savage waves consistently battering the coast.

Sabtang Lighthouse, Sabtang, Batanes, Philippines

Sabtang Lighthouse up close from Of Palates and Walking

How To Get There

PAL Express flies daily from Manila (MNL) to Basco (BSO), the capital of Batanes.

From the airport ride a tricycle to Ivana Port which should cost around ₱250 per way. From Ivana Port, ride the faluwa to Sinakan Port in Sabtang Island. The boat crossing takes between 30 minutes to an hour depending on the weather. From Sinakan Port, Sabtang Lighthouse is just a quick 15-minute walk away. If you wish to avail of organized tours, you may contact +63 919 279 5963 or +63 915 803 4582.

3. Cape Engaño LighthousePalaui Island, Cagayan

Cape Engaño Lighthouse in Palaui Island, Cagayan

Cape Engaño Lighthouse in Palaui Island by Neil Alvin Nicerio

Built in 1892, Faro de Cabo Engaño or Cape Engaño Lighthouse is a Spanish lighthouse constructed on a hilltop in the island of Palaui in Cagayan Province. Its eminent structure is the light gray octagonal-shaped tower which stands nearly 50 feet in height. The area provides a commanding vista of Dos Hermanas Islands, Siwangag Cove, the rugged cliffs of Palaui, and the crashing waves of the Babuyan Channel. The original edifice now rests a ruin — a charismatic one with wide-open windows capturing picture perfect images of nature.

Cape Engaño Lighthouse, Palaui Island, Cagayan, Philippines

View of Dos Hermanas Islands from Cape Engaño Lighthouse by Neil Alvin Nicerio

How To Get There

Take the plane or bus from Manila (MNL)  to Tuguegarao (TUG), the capital of Cagayan Province.

Ride the van from Tuguegarao to the town of Sta. Ana (₱200, takes approximately 3 hours). Once in Sta. Ana, hire a tricycle to San Vicente Port and look for the visitor’s center (+63 905 497 8379 or +63 999 758 7079) to rent a boat to the lighthouse.

4. Guinahoan Island LighthouseGuinahoan Island, Caramoan

Guinahoan Island Lighthouse, Guinahoan, Caramoan, Philippines

Guinahoan Lighthouse in Caramoan

Proudly facing the moody waves of the Philippine Sea, the dazzling white solar-powered lighthouse of Guinahoan Island is rapidly gaining popularity among visitors to Caramoan. The modern beacon is erected on a grassy hill where various cattle graze under the bright sunny sky, complete with a 360-degree view of the expansive sea and nearby beaches embraced by crystal clear, warm turquoise waters. Also if you wish to reward yourself with a flawless view of the sunrise, this lighthouse is the best place to go as it directly faces the east. On the opposite side is a mangrove forest which points in the direction of Lahuy and Cotivas, two equally marvelous islands which are only a short boat ride from Guinahoan.

Guinahoan Island Lighthouse, Guinahoan, Caramoan, Philippines

Incredible view from Guinahoan Island Lighthouse

How To Get There

Guinahoan Island can be found in the town of Caramoan in Camarines Sur.

Please see this post on Caramoan for more details on how to get there. Guinahoan Island is not usually part of the island hopping itinerary offered by local boat operators in Caramoan, but you may easily request for it to be included.

5. Guisi LighthouseNueva Valencia, Guimaras

Guisi Lighthouse, Guimaras, Philippines

The ruins of Guisi Lighthouse in Guimaras

Aside from its world-famous sweet mangoes, another popular attraction in the province of Guimaras is the lighthouse ruin located in the town of Nueva Valencia. Constructed during the Spanish colonial period and arguably one of the oldest in the country, what remains of Guisi Lighthouse today is a rusty metal tower which seemingly straddles through the test of time. Beside it are the crumbling vine-invaded gray walls of the principal building. But despite the disrepair, the place doesn’t fail to amaze its visitors, because the physical composition of the ruin fondled by crawling vines and grooving trees give the age-old beacon a magical appeal. The hill to which it was erected also serves a nice spot to enjoy a commanding view of Guisi Beach, the running cliffs, and the relaxing sea that hugs the coast of Guimaras Island.

View from the Guisi Lighthouse Guimaras Philippines

Spectacular view of the sea from Guisi Lighthouse

How To Get There

Take the plane from Manila (MNL) to Iloilo City (ILO).

From Iloilo International Airport, ride the van to the city center then take a cab to Ortiz Port. From Ortiz Port, take the 15-minute ferry ride to Jordan Port in Guimaras. From Jordan Port, ride the passenger jeepney to the town of Nueva Valencia (takes about 45mins, ₱50 per way). Tell the driver that you are heading to Guisi Lighthouse so he could drop you at the right intersection in Nueva Valencia. From the intersection, hire a habal-habal to the lighthouse.

6. Cape Bojeador LighthouseBurgos, Ilocos Norte

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse in Burgos, Ilocos Norte, Philippines

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse in Ilocos Norte by Storm Crypt on flickr

Ilocos Region is famous for its delicious empanada, the windmills of Bangui, Kapurpurawan rock formation, the sand dunes, the beaches of Pagudpud, and the old city of Vigan. But aside from the delectable local treats and interesting attractions, it is also home to one of the most popular lighthouses in the country. Located in the town of Burgos in Ilocos Norte, Cape Bojeador Lighthouse was first lit in 1892 during the Spanish Colonial Period. It stands on a hill that overlooks Cape Bojeador and functioned as a guide to galleons which used to pass by the northwestern edge of Luzon. Its overall structure has been nicely preserved so paying a visit to the lighthouse won’t only provide a refreshing view of the sea, it will also let you appreciate the wonderful architecture of the building.

View from Cape Bojeador Lighthouse in Ilocos Norte, Philippines

View from Cape Bojeador Lighthouse by Neil Alvin Nicerio

How To Get There

From Manila, take the bus or plane to Laoag, the capital of Ilocos Norte.

From Laoag, take a jeepney or bus to the town of Burgos (1 hour) and from here, hire a tricycle to the lighthouse which should cost less than 200 pesos.

7. Melville LighthouseBalabac, Palawan

Melville Lighthouse, Balabac, Palawan, Philippines

Melville Lighthouse in Balabac, Palawan

Erected along the southern corner of Balabac Island in Palawan, the 120-year old Melville Lighthouse is certainly one of the most difficult to reach in the archipelago. Starting from a small beachside community of people belonging to the Molbog tribe, and after a 30-minute hike, you’ll set foot on the old beacon. Its construction began in 1818, and when it was finished 74 years later in 1892, its 90-foot tall granite tower has since become among the tallest in the country. The Spanish lighthouse no longer functions, giving way to the construction of a white modern solar-powered one as a replacement.

View of the Balabac Strait from Melville Lighthouse Tower, Balabac, Palawan, Philippines

View of the Balabac Strait from Melville Lighthouse Tower

How To Get There

From Manila (MNL) or other major Philippine cities, fly directly to Puerto Princesa (PPS).

Ride a tricycle to San Jose Bus Terminal and board a bus bound for Rio Tuba. The ride from Puerto Princesa to Rio Tuba takes approximately 6 hours. Once in Rio Tuba, hire a tricycle to bring you to the port and tell the driver you are heading to Balabac. The passenger boat to Balabac Island leaves between 10:00am to 2:00pm or as soon as the boat is full. The boat ride takes about 4 hours and costs ₱450 per way. At Balabac town proper, coordinate with the local officials in the municipal hall and rent a boat to Melville Lighthouse.

8. Capul LighthouseCapul Island, Northern Samar

Capul Lighthouse in Northern Samar, Philippines

Capul Lighthouse in Northern Samar

Situated in the island of Capul in Northern Samar, Capul Lighthouse stands at the corner of a grassy slope. With a height of nearly 15 meters, the time-torn beacon was first lit on December 1896 to guide the vessels that cross the narrow San Bernardino Strait. On a clear day, the grounds surrounding the historic landmark provides a wide panorama of Bicol Peninsula and the nearby Samar Island. And if the weather is even fairer, a nice view of Bulusan Volcano in Sorsogon can be seen.

View from the Capul Lighthouse in Northern Samar, Philippines

Breathtaking view of the San Bernardino Strait and Bicol Peninsula from the Capul Lighthouse

How To Get There

From Manila, RoRo (roll on, roll off) buses bound for Tacloban and the rest of Mindanao will pass by the town of Allen in Northern Samar. Travel time from Manila to Allen takes around 14 hours.

PAL flies daily from Manila (MNL) to Catarman (CRM), the capital of Northern Samar. From Catarman, there are vans and jeepneys going to the town of Allen. From Looc Port in Allen, there are two passenger boats bound for Capul leaving at around 12:00 noon everyday. Travel time is 1 hour and fare costs ₱50 one-way. From the town center of Capul, hire a habal-habal to the lighthouse for less than₱200.

9. Capones LighthouseCapones Island, Zambales

Capones Lighthouse in Zambales, Philippines

Capones Lighthouse in Zambales by Erick Dantoc

Off the coast of the famous camping site Pundaquit in San Antonio, Zambales, the island of Capones is known for its rocky beach which ushers a melodramatic vista of the Zambales mountain range. It is also home to a 123-year old Spanish colonial lighthouse which functions as a guide to ships coming from the north moving towards the direction of Subic Bay and Manila Bay. The original lamp was first lit on the 1st of August 1890 but is now replaced with a solar-powered one by the Philippine Coast Guard. The white renovated tower now looks modern while the adjacent earth-toned walls of the station remain untouched — leaving visitors to appreciate their classical brick design and structure.

View from Capones Lighthouse, Zambales, Philippines

View from Capones Lighthouse from wanderfultogether.com

How To Get There

From Manila, ride a bus bound to Iba or Sta. Cruz in Zambales as this will pass by the town of San Antonio. Travel time is between 3 to 4 hours. From San Antonio proper, rent a tricycle to Brgy. Pundaquit then from here, rent a boat to Capones Island for less than₱1000 two-way.

10. Saluag LighthouseSaluag Island, Tawi-Tawi

Saluag Lighthouse in Tawi-Tawi, Philippines

Saluag Lighthouse at the southern tip of the Philippines

At the southernmost tip of the Philippine Archipelago, an old rusty lighthouse stands on a pocket of fine sandy ground. Beside it is a newly constructed white beacon which guides vessels which pass along the waters separating the Philippines and Malaysia. The old cylindrical lighthouse supported by a steel framework is capped with a rounded lantern room. Given its remote location, reliable information about this lighthouse in Saluag Island was difficult to find. But according to the locals whose majority belong to the Tausug tribe, it’s been around since the American Period.

View from the Saluag Lighthouse in Tawi-Tawi, Philippines

View from the Saluag Lighthouse in Tawi-Tawi

How To Get There

From Manila (MNL) or Cebu (CEB), fly to Zamboanga (ZAM) then take another flight to Bongao (TWT), the capital of Tawi-Tawi. From Sanga-Sanga Airport in Bongao, hire a tricycle to Chinese Pier and look for the ferry going to Barangay Tandubanak in Sibutu Island. The ferry ride takes 3 hours and costs ₱200 one-way. Alternatively, look for the ferry that goes to Sibutu town proper (4 hours ₱250 one-way) and from here, hire a motorcycle to bring you to Tandubanak (30mins).

Ferries going to Tandubanak and Sibutu proper don’t have definite schedules so it is important to confirm trips at Chinese Pier. From Barangay Tandubanak, a 30-minute motorcycle ride brings you to Barangay Tandu-owak. From here, Saluag is just a short 40-minute boat ride away.

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About Author

Harly Limlingan Marcuap

A young Filipino geologist and travel enthusiast, he is the writer behind Akrosdayunibers. He likes diving, mountain climbing and exploring remote islands across the Philippine Archipelago. His passion is to discover new places and share it with everyone!

  • Nora del Rosario

    You haven’t been to Malabrigo Lighthouse in Lobo, Batangas?

    • Jo Tomas

      Malabrigo Lighthouse should be on this list

  • Menchai Dirige Ouano

    There are beautiful lighthouses in Visayas and Mindanao, too.