Philippines · 68 hotels available
Move over, Boracay Island. Leyte's pristine beaches are here to take the spotlight. So if you’re itching for a new adventure to fine beaches, put Leyte next on your list.
The city of Leyte is more than just the San Juanico Bridge and the McArthur Shrine. It is one of the country’s most historic provinces in the country. For one, during the world war II, General McArthur, accompanied by former president of the Philippines, Sergio Osmena and Gen. Carlos Garcia, landed at Palo, Leyte to recover the country from the Japanese. At the present time, it is now quickly becoming a lovely haven and a postcard-perfect island that you should visit and explore.
If you're going in Leyte for a limited time, traveling by air is the most practical. Major airlines like Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines offer flights to the province every day via the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport in Tacloban.
It is much easier to go to Leyte by sea, unlike other destinations, because major ports are located on both north (Tacloban City) and south (Ormoc City) of the province. Small ports are also located in Palompon, San Isidro, Bato, Hilongos and Baybay City.
Leading bus companies like Philtranco and Victory Liner in Cubao and Pasay City offers daily trips to Leyte. Travel time would take up to 27 hours. Bus fare is around P1,600. Make sure to visit their websites to check the seat availability or to see if there are any fare changes so you wouldn’t have any troubles at the terminal.
Leyte's main attractions are the beautiful islands and white sand beaches, and to get there you'll need to get in a van (just ask for directions to the van terminal) and ride one of those habal-habal (a modified tricycle for rent).
There are a lot of underrated tourist attractions in Leyte, so you'll not run out of places to go to on your visit. Remember the iconic words, “I shall return” by General MacArthur? Well, you could find the lagoon where his life-size statue is built at the MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park in Red Beach, Palo. You should also pass through San Juanico Bridge, which connects the provinces of Samar and Leyte. It is considered the longest bridge in the Philippines so you should definitely try that experience.
The province of Leyte is an impeccable choice for nature and adventure lovers. As such, visit Kalanggaman Island and Tinago Falls when you plan your trip. Kalanggaman Island's fine white sand will leave you in awe and will remind you of a virgin Boracay Island. Do things you never get to do every day like kayaking, snorkeling, aqua-biking, camping, and even just plain old swimming.
The Tinago Falls, on the other hand, is a clear picture of tranquility. If you're not really into extreme activities, you could go here and watch as the water falls to the natural pool and listen to the sound of the birds and the splashing water.
Keep in mind that if you're heading to one of Leyte's breathtaking beaches, you are supposed to bring your own food because there are no restaurants on the island. However, if you are on the mainland and have some time to treat yourself, then you're in for a treat.
Mexican Restaurant Sunzibar is known to serve the best ribs in town, the Rum Ribs. The dish comes with two glasses of iced tea, salad, and rice, and serves up to four people. You could also try their Beef Nachos, Tuna Pesto Pasta, and Bangus with Hummus. They sure know how to keep their customers satisfied.
Of course, there's always room for dessert. For luscious specialty cakes, great coffee, free wi-fi and cool ambiance, visit Jose Karlo Coffee along Juan Luna Street. Their Carrot Cake is definitely a must-try.
In an island this serene, it is almost impossible to ask for more. Since it is advisable to bring your own tent while staying on the island, you and your friends could try to spend the night huddled around a bonfire, drink and talk about life with the sound of the waves and the stars in the sky keeping you company.
If you're staying the night on the island, you would have to bring your own tent since there's no hotel in there. The Hinablayan Outdoor Shop (located right in front of Palompon Tourism Office) rents two-person tents for P250/night, and four-person tents for P300/night. You only have to deposit P200 and a valid ID first then you're good to go.
Do not leave the mainland without buying any food, water, and drinking supplies. There are no restaurants on the island.
The best time to visit Kalanggaman Island is anytime from October to June, for there are fewer chances of rainfall and typhoons during these months.
There are different overnight camping rates and day tour rates for different people. For example, as of February 20, 2016, day tour rates for international tourists is P500, while local tourists only pay for P150, and college tourists only shell out P40. In this case, it is advisable to get in touch with the province's tourism office for the updated prices.