Leyte might be known for MacArthur’s “I Shall Return” or “I Have Returned” quote during the Battle of Leyte. Or perhaps, Southern Leyte might be known for the country’s first Christian mass in Limasawa. But there’s more to it than these historical events for it has its fair share of natural wonders too. Read more to know the tourist spots in Leyte and Southern Leyte.
Leyte is divided into 2 provinces, which is the northern Leyte (Tacloban, Biliran, Palompon) and Southern Leyte (Maasin, Padre Burgos, Bontoc). We spoke a couple of dialects here. In north, they speak Waray, particularly in Tacloban area. In Ormoc, Baybay, they speak the common Cebuano. In Southern Leyte, we speak Cebuano but with the “j” instead of the “y”. For example, ajaw for ayaw (no in English).
Now enough with the demographics. Continue reading for these awesome travel destinations.
Tourist Spots In Leyte
Listed here are few of the known and ought to be known destinations in north Leyte.
Kalanggaman Island, Palompon
The local government of Palompon is taking good care of the island. During our visit (please read our itinerary and experience at this post), there are no stores in the island, so you need to bring your own food. Grilling stations are available though. There are comfort rooms too. Cottages are available though I highly suggest bringing your own tents and hammock to save money and it’s really an awesome experience waking up in the island with your tents!
There are lots of entry points going to Kalanggaman. There are resorts in Malapascua Island in Cebu that are offering island hopping services that extend to Kalanggaman. Personally, I won’t suggest this one since you won’t be able to experience the beauty of Kalanggaman. You are in it for a short stop only and then the travel time from Malapascua Island is estimated 2 hours. Big waves will surely welcome you.
Sambawan Island, Biliran
Biliran is located at the tip of north Leyte. As far as I know, people don’t speak Waray2x here, maybe in some parts but the Biliran people I knew, they speak Cebuano.
I would like to share this comprehensive itinerary from Lakwatsero for Sambawan Island, http://www.lakwatsero.com/info/itinerary-info/biliran-affair-beach-bumming-in-sambawan-island-and-waterfall-chasing-in-biliran-3d2n-itinerary-expenses-tips/.
Quoting this from a traveler (with his Instagram post below):
Sambawan Island is nothing but just these pillars of rocks and grassy knolls jutting out of the azure eastern Visayan Sea. Its surrounding water however is a protected marine sanctuary and teeming with fish and other marine life.. . . . #latepost #marinesanctuary #scubadiving #travel #photography #beautiful #ph #nature #coralreef #island #philippines #adventure #tropicalisland #sea #igphoto
I have never been into this part of Leyte but this is definitely included in my bucket list.
Cuatro Islas, Inopacan
As the name implies, these are the four islands that are located in between Inopacan and Hindang, Leyte. These islands are Digyo, Mahaba, Himokilan and Apid. This post will show our experience at these amazing islands.
Go Leyte Campaign by the Leyte Provincial Government
Canigao Island, Matalom
This tiny island is turning to be a little Boracay minus the resorts. The island is properly maintained by the local government of Matalom. See this blog post for complete itinerary and guide for the fees.
Lake Danao, Ormoc
This guitar-shaped lake is located at the top of Ormoc. This is one of the most famous destinations in Leyte. On your way to the top, you can see the steams from the geothermal plants in Tongonan.
Southern Leyte Tourist Spots
Located at the tip of the Leyte island, there are also lots of beautiful beaches and rich marine life in Southern Leyte. Make sure to visit the following tourist spots if you found yourself exploring Southern Leyte.
Limasawa Lagoon, Limasawa
Besides the island’s historical value, Limasawa has hidden natural gems to offer. The Limasawa Lagoon has already making its wave to local and foreign tourists.
This is also a good snorkeling and cliff diving spot.
Tangkaan Beach, Padre Burgos
One of the great diving spot in Southern Leyte can be found in Padre Burgos. Tangkaan is a public beach by which you can see Limasawa Island from this spot. See complete guide at https://asaniquen.com/tangkaan-beach-padre-burgos-southern-leyte/.
Uwan-uwanan Gorge – Libagon
For adrenaline junkies, Uwan-uwanan Gorge is perfect for you! Trek about 7 rivers/streams prior to arriving at the gorge. Swim, trek, climb to reach the tip of the gorge.
See our adventure below:
Molopolo White Beach, Liloan
Liloan’s Molopolo White Beach will give you a glimpse of the pacific side of the south. The good thing about this beach is that there are lots of trees that provide shade and fresh air.
Be sure to check the islets or po for snorkeling and cliff diving.
San Pablo and San Pedro Islands, Hinunangan
Locals name it Pong Gamay and Pong Daku (meaning small and little island). San Pedro is bigger than San Pablo. San Pedro is also inhabited by people.
Travelling indeed will make you speechless then turns you into a storyteller. There’s always good experiences everywhere if you just decide to create them. Its a matter of mindset over circumstance that could turn a story upside down. I ❤️ HINUNANGAN #sanpedro #hinunangan #hinunanganpride #itsmorefuninthephilippines #philippines #sailing #southernleyte #beach #wanderlust @flypal @cebupacificair
Botong Falls – Bontoc
One of the tallest waterfalls in Southern Leyte, Botong Falls is in the remote area in Brgy. Pamigsian, in the town of Bontoc. This one is not yet spoiled due to its location.
So basically, Leyte has lots of beautiful islands and beaches to offer. However, we are also blessed to be able to have peaceful lakes and majestic waterfalls too.