Tucked into the curves of the beautiful coastline of Kiamba, Sarangani is Tuka Marine Park, a marine sanctuary made of 4 protected coves. Only one of the beaches (Tuka 3) is open to the public and the local government ensures visitors are regulated so that the area retains its pristine condition. Surrounded by thickly-forested cliffs, there are no roads that lead to the inlet. Instead, a 20-minute boat ride amidst a calm lull of waves will lead you to this peaceful paradise of white sand, rich flora and clear turquoise waters.
Material/Type: White Sand
Nearest Airport: General Santos International Airport
How to get there: Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines have flights to General Santos City daily from Cebu, Iloilo and Manila. In Gensan, head to Ablog’s Trasnport Terminal in North Osmena St., and ride a van to Kiamba (P150, around 1-2 hours). In Kiamba, take a tricycle to Lourdes Park and look for the Tourism Office which provides access to the cove (Contact 0910 280 5600). Entrance fee to Tuka Marine Park is P50 (day trip) or P75 (overnight) with P100/head fee for the boat ride.
Where to stay: Pitch your tents at the beach or rent a hut (P500 overnight) or fan room (P1500, 6-8 guests) or air-conditioned one (P2500, 4-6 guests).
Where to eat: Bring your own food to grill or you can also ask the Tourism Office to arrange packed meals. Also, bring a trash bag to collect your wastes as leaving garbage on the beach is prohibited.
Don’t miss: Snorkel or dive to see the vibrant landscape of corals below. It’s not a marine sanctuary for nothing!
If you have more time: Hang out with the locals and take a romantic walk on the charming bridge at the Baywalk located just beside Lourdes Park at Kiamba’s Town Plaza.