3D2N Sambawan-Biliran-Tacloban

Our travel to Biliran is really a “sulit” one. From their beaches and islands to waterfalls and other attractions, they have a lot here. And we have no choice but to maximize our trip on these lovely island-destinations of Leyte.

Biliran is one of the smallest provinces in the country but with overflowing natural wonders, a true gift of nature. It is the fourth smallest province after Batanes, Camiguin, and Siquijor. In fact, you can travel the whole island in a day with a motorcycle.

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From Kalanggaman we headed directly to Biliran to spend a night, we stayed at Agta Beach Resort in Almeria. There is a lot of fun on our 1st day during the island-hopping, visiting Sambawan, Maripipi, Culaba, Higatangan, and Dalutan islands. Waterfalls searching on the 2nd day is a different scenario with a satisfying and worthy experience. And we have Tacloban and Palo sidetrip on our last day to complete the trip with a smile.

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GETTING THERE

From Manila, we took an Air Asia flight to Tacloban, Leyte, the nearest entry point to Biliran. From the aiport, ride a jeepney going to the downtown area then ride Van-Vans, Duptors, or Grandtours going to Naval town proper. Travel time is about 2 and half hours. Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific also have daily flights from Manila to Tacloban.

https://www.airasia.com/en/home.page

https://www.cebupacificair.com/

https://www.philippineairlines.com/en/ph/home

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You can also reach Naval via bus from Manila. There are buses from Pasay and Cubao travelling to Naval, Biliran daily. Travel time is more than 24 hours.

From Cebu, you can take fast crafts to Ormoc City with an estimated travel time of 3 hours. From Ormoc, you can take a shuttle van directly to Naval with an estimated travel time of 1.5 hours.

By the way, AIRJUAN opens its destination Cebu to Biliran and Vice Versa last 2017. Kindly check their website for the flight schedule.

http://www.airjuan.com/

From Davao, you can go to Davao City Overland Bus Terminal. They have daily trip to Tacloban and travel time is 15 hours.

Since we availed of a tour package courtesy of sir Anthony Mecaral of biliranisland.com, after our Kalanggaman day-tour we went directly to Naval without hassle. Travel time is 2.5 hours. Had barbecue dinner at Naval then went straight to Agta Beach Resort in Almeria.

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WHERE TO STAY

Agta Beach Resort

Located in Almeria, Biliran, the first scuba diving resort in the province and the most popular beach in Biliran. We stayed here for 3 nights and it is near Talahid Beach Resort. From Naval, ride a bus to Kawayan and tell the driver to drop you in Agta Beach Resort.

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Talahid Beach Resort

A beachfront resort at the center of the famous coastal line of Brgy. Talahid in Almeria. The resort is home to the famous Nestor’s Lechon Manok. There is no restaurant in the resort but you can request their staff to cook for you. They have no credit card payment facility.

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VRC Resort

Located in Agta beach, the resort gives you everything you need to relax and enjoy. They have different room types for small to large group and they have swimming pools. Entrance fee: P25/head (adult), P15/head (children), and P100/head (overnight stay).

MayLaka Boutique Hotel

A boutique hotel and fine dining restaurant located on the main road in Brgy. Catmon, Naval, Biliran. They also have wine bar, an underground wine cellar, orchidarium, kid’s playground, an event area, and a member’s beach bar and private beach. Room rate is P3,500 plus TAX with buffet breakfast.

Biliran Island Sunrise Bed and Breakfast

Sunrise Bed and Breakfast is in uptown Naval, Biliran. It sits atop a hillside offering panoramic views of the mountains and ocean. They also have spacious rooftop terrace for your sunrise and sunset photos.

Prince Inn

Located in Brgy. Poblacion, Caibiran just minutes away from town’s business district. It offers low priced rooms with in-house restaurant operating from 7am to 5pm.

Fragoch Tourist Inn

Located in Caneja Ext., Brgy. Santo Nino, Naval. They have various room types for single to 4 guests.

Higatangan Island Beach Resort

Located in Higatangan Island, Naval, Biliran. This resort offers comfortable and modern accommodation situated near the famous Higatangan Shifting Sandbar. It is also near the historic house where the late President Marcos took refuge during World War II.

 

There are other hotels and inns in Biliran and Maripipi, Sambawan for you to choose from. Depending on your itinerary, you can choose what is suited on your trip.

 

 

ITINERARY

(from Kalanggaman)

5:30pm – at Palompon

6:10pm – at town of Villaba, going to Naval

7:30pm – at Biliran, going to Naval then to Almeria

8:00pm – at Naval

9:30pm – at Agta Beach Resort

(Day 1)

7:45am – left Talahid Resort for island hopping

8:30am – at Tingkasan Bat Cave

9:30am – at Sambawan, Maripipi

1:30pm – left Sambawan going to Higatangan Island

2:30pm – at Higatangan Island

3:00pm – at Higatangan Shifting Sandbar

4:00pm – at Dalutan Island

7:00pm – back to hotel

(Day 2)

8:00am – left hotel for waterfalls tour

9:15am – at Recoletos Waterfall

10:30am – at Ulan-Ulan waterfalls

12:00pm – Back to hotel for lunch

1:30pm – left Talahidan for the continuation of our tour

2:15pm – at Acaban cave

3:00pm –  at Tinago Falls

4:00pm – at Mainit Hotspring

5:00pm – at Naravil-Boardwalk, Sitio Naga, Brgy. Looc, Cabucgayan, Biliran

6:00pm – at Pantalan, Biliran

8:00pm – back to hotel

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(Day 3)

8:00am – left Agta Beach Resort

8:40am – at Naval Church

9:00am – at Grand Tours going to Tacloban

11:40am – at Palo, Leyte

12:00pm – lunch at Ocho Seafood and Grill

2:00pm – at Leyte Provincial Capitol

2:45pm – at MV Jocelyn Memorial

3:00pm – at San Juanico Bridge

4:00pm – at Mac Arthur Park Leyte

4:45pm – at Palo Cathedral

5:15pm – at Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport

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THINGS TO DO

Sambawan Island

Sambawan is paradise, period. Located 5km of the west coast of Maripipi, this island is fast becoming a popular tourist destination in town. The rocky islets and rock formations are postcard-perfect. A breathtaking view of the island and its stunning beauty will give you the experience you ever wanted. Will absolutely return to this island and will stay overnight to capture the milky way and lovely stars on our lens.

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How to Get There:

  1. From Naval, take the only passenger boat to Maripipi Island (leaves at 10am)
  2. From Maripipi Island, ride habal-habal to Brgy. Ol-og
  3. Rent a boat to Sambawan Island

Alternatively, from Naval you can ride a jeep, bus, or habal-habal to Kawayan and hire boat directly to Sambawan for P3,000 to P3,500. Travel time is one hour. Upon arrival, you can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and diving. Hike to the top of the hill to get the best view of two sides of the island.

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What to Bring: food, water, camping equipment, power bank, sunblock, flashlights (for overnight-camping)

Expenses:

P120-P130          –             van to Naval from Tacloban

P60                      –             passenger boat to Maripipi Island

P10                      –             Naval Port terminal fee

P100                    –             habal-habal to brgy. Ol-og

P500                    –             boat to Sambawan

 

Tingkasan Bat Cave

Our 1st destination on our way to Sambawan. The place is ideally good for spelunking, diving, and spear-fishing. It is home to a colony of bats and according to legend Japanese hid treasure chests here before Leyte Landing of General Douglas MacArthur.

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Higatangan Rock Formations

After visiting Sambawan, we went to Higatangan Rock Formations. It is a 1 hour and 20 minutes boat ride from Naval, Biliran and a famous tourist attraction in the island. The amazing rock formation is natural and crafted by nature’s own hands. It can be found at the back of Higatangan island.

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How to Get There:

  1. Hire a private boat to take you directly to Higatangan Island from Naval.
  2. Or, ride a passenger boat from Naval to Higatangan for 45 minutes. They have daily trips which usually leave at 12 noon in Naval and travel back at 7:30am the next day. There is only one boat during Sundays.

Expenses:

P5,000                 –             roundtrip private boat for 15 persons or more

P3,000                 –             roundtrip private boat for 7 passengers/small group

P50                      –             passenger boat

P600                    –             motorized banca to tour the island

 

Higatangan Island Shifting SAND BAR

It is a 200-meter white sand located at Brgy. Mabini, Naval, Biliran. This amazing sand bar is said to resemble a giant tounge and the only sandbar in Biliran. During high tide, the tip of the sandbar gets submerged underwater so please be cautious when swimming. Depending on the month and monsoon, its location varies. Amazing, right?

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Dalutan Island

This was our last destination for island-hopping tour. The island is part of the municipality of Almeria, Biliran. It can be reached via an outrigger boat from Talahid, Almeria. Basic basic huts are available for rent in the island, closing time is 5pm and overnight in the island is not allowed.

How to Get There: from Talahid Beach Resort or Agta Beach Resort hire a boat to Dalutan Island. Travel time is 10-15 minutes. Boat fee is P600 for 12 persons (roundtrip) and P1500 for 20 persons (roundtrip).

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Recoletos Falls

Our 1st destination on our 2nd day tour. The name was derived from San Jose Recoletos and located in Brgy. Sampao in Almeria which is popularly known as the land of waterfalls. It is a 5-minute walk up from Ulan-Ulan falls, the more famous waterfall. It has a wide pool with deep water perfect for cliff-jumping and swimming. My 1st cliff-jumping experience was in Recoletos! Yahoo!

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Ulan-Ulan Falls

Ulan means rain in the local dialect. It is a 25-meter-high falls surrounded by thick tropical forest and is very picturesque. This is a must to visit when you are in Almeria. We enjoyed swimming and stayed in the waterfalls while catching our breath (hahaha). There are no cottages in the area and not a place for an overnight stay.

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How to Get There:

From Naval, ride a habal-habal or rent your own ride going to Barangay Sampao. Travel time is approximately 20-30 minutes. Alight at the signage leading to the waterfalls and hire a local guide.

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Expenses:

P80                      –             Gasoline for your own ride

P80                      –             habal-habal, one-way trip

P300                    –             habal-habal, pakyaw (roundtrip)

P300                    –             motorbike rental

P100                    –             tip for local guide

 

Acaban Cave (Lover’s Cave)

Located along the national road in Brgy. Acaban, Culaba. It has an amazing view and perfect for swimming. When we went there, saw some couples dating, really a place for lovers.

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Tinago Waterfalls

The most popular falls in the province located in Brgy. Cabibihan, Caibiran, Biliran. Hidden in the forest, near the heart of the island, the falls is no longer HIDDEN (meaning of “tinago”) due to its growing popularity to tourists and travellers. A tourist destination that blends perfectly for nature lovers.

You can reach the area by any land transportation from Naval for an estimated travel time of 30 to 45 minutes.

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Mainit Hot Spring

One of the popular destination in Caibiran is the Mainit Hot Spring located in Barangay Villa Vicenta. Locally known as mainit or “warm/hot” in English is a popular venue for people who believe in its healing properties. It has a man-made pool basin with concrete seats which provide comfort to visitors.

 

Naravil Boardwalk

Located at Sitio Naga, Looc, Cabucgayan, Biliran.

 

Provincial Capitol

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M/V Eva Jocelyn

This is the actual bow of M/V Eva Jocelyn, one of the cargo vessels washed ashore during Super-Typhoon Yolanda, made into a memorial marker in honor of those who died in the area.

 

San Juanico Bridge

The longest bridge in the Philippines spanning a body of seawater and the 2nd longest bridge in the Philippines in all category. The bridge was dedicated to Ferdinand Marcos’ wife, Imelda Marcos. It is part of the Pan-Philippine Highway and stretches from Samar to Leyte across the San Juanico Strait with a total length of 2.16 kilometers.

 

MacArthur Park

Also known as MacArthur Leyte Landing Memorial National Park and Leyte Landing Memorial Park, is one of the popular tourist destination in the province. It is in the municipality of Palo, Leyte in Eastern Visayas. It commemorates the historic landing of General Douglas MacArthur in Leyte Gulf.

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Palo Cathedral

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lord’s Transfiguration, also known as Palo Cathedral.

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FEES

Sambawan Island

Entrance Fee:                   P80

Environmental Fee:        P20

Cottages:                          P500 – P2500

Tent Pitching Fee:           P100/day

Scuba Rental:                   P2,500

Bench and Table:            P300

Kayak Rental:                   P300/hr

Dalutan Island

Entrance Fee:                   P20/head (adult)

Entrance Fee:                   P10/head (minors)

Shed Rental (big):           P400

Ulan-Ulan/Recoletos Waterfalls

Environmental Fee:        P20

Acaban Cave

Entrance Fee:                   P20 for adult

Entrance Fee:                   P10 for minors

Cottage:                            P300

Big Cottage:                      P500

Tinago Falls

Entrance Fee:                   P20 for adult

Entrance Fee:                   P10 for minors

Naravil Boardwalk

Entrance Fee:                   P20 for adult

Entrance Fee:                   P10 for minors

Tacloban Sidetrip

Tricycle Fare:                   P600 plus tip

 

TIPS

  1. Cellphone signal is inconsistent. (but this is what we want, right?)
  2. Check the weather when going to Sambawan, especially when you are planning to stay overnight.
  3. Bring water during hiking and waterfall searching.
  4. Leave no trace except footprints. Be responsible in disposing your trash.
  5. The best time to visit the island is during summer months of March to May.
  6. You should not travel after 5pm especially when the weather is not good.
  7. Bring enough cash.

 

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