The Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said Fort Santiago and Baluarte de San Diego would be open to limited capacity and shortened operating hours under strict health and safety guidelines starting today (May 17).
Following the easing of quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila and its neighboring provinces, the historic Walled City of Intramuros will open two of its most popular sites, Fort Santiago and Baluarte de San Diego, to visitors.
However, the dungeons, Museo ni Rizal, ASEAN Gardens, and other sites are still off-limits to guests.
“The re-opening of Fort Santiago and Baluarte San Diego will allow visitors to again experience the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction as recognized by the prestigious World Tourism Awards,” said Puyat.
Based on the guidelines of the Interagency Taskforce on Emerging Infectious Diseases ( IATF), tourist attractions can now operate at 30 percent of the venue capacity, subject to strict compliance to health and safety protocols.
200 visitors at a time is the maximum amount of persons allowed in Fort Santiago. At the same time, Baluarte de San Diego will accommodate only 100 tourists. Both attractions are below the 30 percent threshold but are deemed essential to ensure monitoring of proper protocols.
Fort Santiago will be open daily from 9:00 AM, with the last entry for visitors at 6:30 PM. The Baluarte de San Diego garden will be available to the general public from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
In compliance with the age restrictions imposed by the IATF, only aged 18 to 65 is allowed to visit the two tourists attraction.
The entrance fee is Php 75 for both the Fort Santiago and Baluarte de San Diego garden while, seniors, students, and persons with disabilities may pay the discounted price of Php 50. Tourists may pay in cash or via Beepcard or PayMaya.
Intramuros visitors must observe the minimum public health standards. There will also be a mandatory screening of temperature and symptoms and sanitizing practices. All guests must register their visit thru a QR code system for contact tracing before entry.
Fort Santiago is one of the country’s most visited tourist destinations. The historical park houses well-preserved legacies from the Spanish colonial period, including memorabilia of José Rizal, its most famous prisoner, at the Rizal Shrine and a replica of his ancestral house in Laguna province.
Baluarte de San Diego also dates back to the end of the 16th century. The sturdy structure was constructed as part of the fortifications of the walled city and was primarily designed to repel invasions. It is also among the most visited sites in Intramuros.
The Intramuros Administration (IA), an attached agency of the DOT, manages the restoration and orderly development of the Walled City, which was visited by 3.3 million people in 2019.