What’s your bird’s eye view of a trip to nature and the beach all in one day? Yes, that is possible in Siquijor Island. You see, this place holds many incredible attractions. It may seem to be just another typical trip but wait until you discover what lies beneath these blue waters and above in the green trees. Let’s take a virtual trip to the island’s Tulapos Marine Sanctuary and Mangrove Tree House.
Tulapos, Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor.
How to get there
Finding your way to this attraction is not difficult. It will be quite a long ride to get to the island first, of course. You take a plane from Manila (home to most international flights) to Dumaguete. Next, you take a ferry from Dumaguete to Siquijor. But moving forward, you can take a jeepney or motorbike to the Tulapos which approximately just one kilometre from the town proper.
It will only cost you Php50.00 to register for your visit to the sanctuary and Php10.00 to climb the tree house. All funds are directed to help conserve the place.
Tulapos itself proves its beauty with its naturally artistic terrain, evident in its hills sloping gently from west to east thereby forming uniquely stunning scenery.
To begin stunning you, we have the Tulapos Marine Sanctuary which has noted for its years of existence. In fact, it is the oldest of its kind in the island having been established way back in 1986. The sanctuary encompasses 14 hectares of coral reefs, white sand beaches and mangroves. If the Mt. Bandilaan boasts of its majestic flora and fauna, so does this sanctuary—in its marine form, of course.
And the best way to fully enjoy the visit to this marine attraction is snorkelling. And don’t be surprised at a school of batfishes (or ‘barracudas’) that you’ll meet in the way, in addition to the colourful species you encounter in the area. Cleary, heaven can be found down under.
This sanctuary does not only give physical lure. It also gives the local inhabitants a source of living. For what its worth, these locals have been a witness to how this sanctuary grew from providing shelter to a small number of fishes in the past up until today where it has really become a home of thousands of living aquatic wonder—coral reefs and fishes of various species. As of 2000, an average of 72 individual fish per square meter was recorded as the highest fish population the sanctuary has ever gained. And for as long as the residents are vigilant to protect this wonder, the numbers will also continue to rise.
Image Credits: Sexy Nomad
Evidently embellishing the splendid sanctuary are the mangroves. And closely associated with these mangroves is the famous two-storey Mangrove Tree House—that big! Getting to the tree house isn’t that easy though. Tourists, per record, say that the sand is sticky making you strive a bit to walk in it.
But it will be all worth the wait when you come inside the tree house. Its complex structure impresses many. It’s complete with rooms, a bathroom, kitchen, electric outlets, and a veranda (overlooking the Tulapos Marine Sanctuary). On the topmost room, you can see a huge bed made of bamboo and dried leaves spread all over it, just like some bed sheet. Now, isn’t that nice?
The only downside this tree house has is its vulnerability to the forces of nature, everything does. Some visitors say that you have to very careful both on your way up and down the stairs of the tree house because some steps could possibly tear off. But the local government has already been collecting funds to repair and continue to preserve this attraction. Who knows, when the day comes for you to visit, the tree house has been transformed into a regular accommodation by the sea.
In the mean time, enjoy what the endless possibilities it has to offer!
Wanna visit Tulapos Marine Sanctuary and Mangrove Tree House?
Header Image Credits: IronWulf.net