Maasin, the capital of the Province of Southern Leyte in Eastern Visayas Region, is as rich in history as it is in natural wonders. Located on the southwestern part of the island of Leyte, this city of more than 85,000 carries the role of being one of the island’s most important commercial hubs. Discover why booking a hotel in Maasin should be your next travel goal.
Little is known of Maasin’s pre-colonial history, but it enjoys a deep connection with the Philippines’ Spanish heritage, being very close to the island of Limasawa, where the first Spanish Catholic mass was held by the party of explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. Today, Maasin is home to an 18th-century cathedral, a legacy of the Spanish colonial rule. Hemmed by the sea to the west and by forested hills in the east, the city is also popular for its nature attractions, which include caves, lagoons, beaches, waterfalls, and forest trails among others.
Visitors from outside the region can take one of the commercial flights going into Tacloban.
Buses going into Maasin are available from bigger cities in the region, including Tacloban and Ormoc in the Province of Leyte. People coming from Metro Manila can also take a bus from one of the bus companies that offer direct trips to the island of Leyte. They are stationed in Cubao in Quezon City, as well as in Pasay City,
Maasin is a fairly small city and can be easily explored using a hired van. Tourists can also take one of the many tricycles and jeepneys plying the city’s roads.
Maasin may be the bustling capital of Southern Leyte, but it is also a wonderful place to spend one’s holiday in, what with the numerous attractions that it offers. Chief among these is the old Maasin Cathedral, which was consecrated in 1771. It is the oldest and biggest church in the province, a place where people go to for solace and prayer, as well as to admire its beautiful ceiling and elaborate altar.
For beautiful views of the city and the surrounding landscape, climb the 300-step stair to the top of the Jalleca Hills, where a private shrine to the Our Lady of the Assumption can also be found.
You can also enjoy a dip into one of the popular beaches near the city, which include Mercado Beach and Talisay Beach. Better yet, head over to Little Denmark, where you can cross a bridge to an island-like outcrop where you can enjoy views of the surrounding sea.
Many travelers come to Maasin to enjoy caving and swimming at the Guinsohotan Cave. This sizeable subterranean cave has imposing rock formations and inner waterfalls. Nearby is Cagnituan Lagoon, which tempts waders with its cool, blue waters.
In Maasin, you can also stop by to contemplate in a cave called Monte Cueva. Accessible through a 550-step staircase across a mountainside, the Monte Cueva is home to a remarkable cathedral, a development made possible by the generosity of local philanthropists.
If you simply want to relax or unwind, the Don Anatalio Gaviola Plaza provides the perfect spot for whiling the day away. The city’s main square, it is dedicated to Maasin’s former mayor.
Kinamot sa Agbao is one of the most-visited restaurants in Maasin. This semi-ope- air restaurant is known for its generous servings of Filipino favorites like chicken inasal and seafood dishes, as well as Chinese-inspired options. It provides great views of the sea, which is good if you want to enjoy a quiet meal and feel close to nature.
Another dining venue that provides fantastic views of the sea is the Azotea de Maasin, which also overlooks the Maasin cityscape. This place is a popular place for parties and wedding receptions. In addition to these restaurants, Maasin also has numerous roadside vendors that sells street food and local snacks.
Maasin doesn’t have many nightlife spots, but you can enjoy a drink or two in places like Nicoll’s Restobar and Racz Café while filling your tummy with basic Filipino restobar fare.
Maasin offers many options for visitors when it comes to accommodations. Those looking for a retreat with pool amenities can try the Cacao Mountain Resort and the Caimito Beach Hotel, while those hoping to stay in a Spanish Colonial era-inspired lodging will find the Villa Romana the perfect place to spend their holidays. There are also many homestays and bed and breakfast places in the city.