HOW TO GET TO BASILANZamboanga City is the main gateway to Basilan Island. From Manila, take a flight to Zamboanga City. From the airport, take a jeepney bound for Canelar and walk towards Zamboanga City Port. Ride a fast craft or a ferry boat to Isabela or Lamitan city in Basilan.
There is a fast craft and conventional passenger ferries that go to Basilan island. Travel time in a fast craft is about an hour, while taking a ferry boat would be around 2 hours.
Terminal fee is 11 pesos in Zamboanga City and 4 pesos in Isabela port.
FERRY SCHEDULEWeesam Express' schedule are as follows:
Zamboanga - Isabela City
1st Trip - 06:45 AM
2nd Trip - 09:30 AM
3rd Trip - 12:45 PM
4th Trip - 03:30 PM
Isabela City - Zamboanga
1st Trip - 08:15 AM
2nd Trip - 10:45 AM
3rd Trip - 02:00 PM
4th Trip - 04:35 PM
For the trip schedules of the passenger ferries, click here.
FARESA one-way ticket to Basilan via Weesam Express' fast craft costs 140 and 170 pesos for ordinary and first class (air-conditioned) fare respectively.
On regular passenger ferry boats, fare is around 70-100 pesos.
ITINERARYHere's my suggested itinerary for a day tour in the island.
07:00 AM - ETA in Zamboanga City
08:00 AM - Breakfast
09:30 AM - ETD for Isabela City Basilan
10:30 AM - ETA in Basilan
11:30 AM - Explore Rubber Plantations
12:30 PM - Lunch
02:00 PM - Tour around Isabela City Proper
03:30 PM - Proceed Isabela City port
04:30 PM - ETD for Zamboanga City
05:30 PM - ETA in Zamboanga City
If you have more time, you can visit other tourist spots such as Kumalarang River, Tabiawan and Busay Waterfalls, Balagtasan Waterfalls, Sumagdang Beach, Malamawi Island, Bulingan Falls, Matagan beach paradise and more. If you plan to stay for a night, check out this link for the list of accommodations in Basilan.
TIPS AND REMINDERS1. Check the situation in Basilan before going there.
2. Have someone to host you so it would be easy to tour around.
3. Do not attract attention.
4. For day tours, be early in Zamboanga port to take the 1st ferry so you will have more time to explore the island.
5. Though English and Tagalog is widely spoken and understood in the island, it would be a great help if you learn a few Chavacano words before going there to easily converse with the locals.
6. Don't be afraid, be brave and enjoy the trip.
For additional travel guide such as accommodations, things to do, where to eat and other tourist spots in Basilan, click here.
TRAVEL EXPENSESFor the summary of travel expenses of this 2-day Basilan-Zamboanga City Solo Adventure, click here.
CONTACT DETAILSWeesam Express Ticketing Office: 9923986 / 9923756
My Basilan trip is one of the most "nerve-wracking" journeys I've had so far. Known as one of the most dangerous provinces in the Philippines, I bravely set foot on this island province last July 2, 2011. This series narrates the experiences I had in pursuing with my goal of setting foot in Basilan, definitely a one hell of an adventure! To date, this is my 5th solo trip and the 29th province on my list.
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