Philippines · 17 hotels available
Located right next to the sea, Northern Samar is a coastal province that hosts pristine beaches and great diving spots for people who love the ocean. If you’re looking for a quieter alternative to seaside destinations that are constantly packed with tourists, this is the place for you to visit.
Cool sea breezes, colorful underwater scenes, and refreshing waterfalls are some of the best reasons to visit Northern Samar. Indeed, the province offers a laid-back paradise setting for those who are tired of the usual busy tourist spots. Meanwhile, its cities and municipalities are also home to some of the country’s oldest churches and other colonial era structures.
Once you’re done touring the countryside and the historical sites, you can stop and enjoy the local cuisine. After all, Northern Samar’s closeness to the sea also makes it one of the best places to enjoy delicious seafood. In fact, it even has its own special dishes. Aside from cooking the usual fish and crab, locals also serve a unique dish that features shark’s meat that’s cooked with vinegar. All in all, Northern Samar offers more than just an idyllic vacation destination. Its connection to history and unique cuisine makes it a must-visit for all sorts of travelers.
With its provincial capital hosting an airport, taking a plane to Northern Samar is the best way to reach it. Indeed, multiple carriers offer daily flights from Manila to Catarman National Airport and back. Once you land, you can take either a van or a jeepney to your hotel.
Jeepneys and vans are the main modes of transportation in Northern Samar. There are also bus terminals that offer rides to other municipalities within the area.
The island Capul is one of Northern Samar’s most historically significant places. If you’re the type who wants to explore ancient landmarks, there are two major attractions for tourists to see. The first one is the Saint Ignatius de Loyola Church, which was first established by the Jesuits in 1596. Aside from being a place of worship, it was also built to serve as a fortress against attacks from Moro marauders—a refuge for the townspeople at the time.
Another destination is the Capul Lighthouse, one of the best-hidden gems of Eastern Visayas. It was first lit in December 1896 and still remains as a prominent landmark even today. It stands at almost 15 meters on top of Titoog Point, allowing tourists to enjoy a panoramic view of the sea and the countryside.
Another place to visit in Northern Samar is Biri Island. This place is famous for its beautiful rock formations. All of them were naturally formed by the waves, winds, and earthquakes over millions of years. These majestic and graceful rock formations dominate the island’s landscape, offering some of the most scenic views on the island.
Beachgoers hoping to get a dip into pristine beaches will not be disappointed in Northern Samar. This is because the province has a host of seaside destinations for everyone to explore. If you’re looking for something unique, head over to Sila Island, where you can soak up the sun on the island’s pink-sand shores. The beach owes its hue to the tiny fragments of salmon-colored corals and small, red-tinted ocean creatures called foraminifera, which are scattered throughout the coast.
Travelers can also go underwater to explore the province’s diverse marine ecosystems. The waters off Biri Island and Capul Island have fantastic snorkeling and diving spots where visitors can get up close with the ocean’s resident sea creatures.
But if exploring the inland area is your thing, you’ll definitely enjoy the waterfalls you’ll come across. If you’re looking for a cool place to swim in, try visiting Busay Falls in San Isidro. This waterfall is perfect for a quick dip after trekking through the woods. Similarly, the lush Lalaguna Mangrove Forest in the town of Lavezares will let you commune with nature and see some local wildlife. Here, you can go on a paddle boat and navigate the forest waterways while observing the migratory birds and bats that inhabit the area.
Seafood joints and grill bars are common in Northern Samar. One of them is the Fishville Fishing Resort and Restaurant in the municipality of Catarman. This place is known for serving fish that’s caught and cooked fresh from the pond.
But if you’re in the mood for more Westernized cuisine, then try the Our Nest Restaurant which is also located near the resort. This place serves a mix of Italian, Asian and American cuisine. Chicken dishes and barbecues are also some of its bestsellers if you’re looking for a hearty lunch.
If you’ve got a craving for milkshakes, then head over to the municipality of Laoang and visit Clark Frosty Treats & Dine-in. Their menu also features pizzas, pasta dishes, and other fast food staples for those who need a quick snack.
If you’re looking for a fun way to spend the evening, you don’t need to stray far from the capital. The Cafeialac Restobar in Catarman is a popular café and bar that also features live band performances for its patrons.
But if you’re the type who likes to have a place to hang out with friends and share a laugh over drinks and snacks, then the Libangan Restobar over at the municipality of Laoang might be a better choice for you.
Travelers have the option to either stay in the cities or book accommodations in seaside resorts. For instance, the Diamond Hotel & Resto in Catarman is strategically located right in the city’s busiest area. This puts you within reach of its bus terminals, markets, and restaurants. The hotel also serves a free breakfast and comes with Wi-Fi and Cable TV for your entertainment. Another option in this city is the Cafe Eusebio Bed and Breakfast, a more upscale establishment that’s ideal for those taking business trips.
But if staying by the beach is your thing, then the San Antonio Island is where you should go. The Seashore Spring Beach Resort has affordable rooms and friendly staff to make your seaside trip a comfortable one.
The municipality of Catubig is known for its freshwater clams, known as “bebe.” This delicacy is a must try for those who love shellfish.
For birdwatchers, visiting the Lalaguna Mangrove Forest might offer you a chance to spot exotic bird species that you haven’t seen before. Make sure to pack your telephoto lenses and high-powered binoculars to make the best out of the opportunity.
The region is known for its use of Pili nuts in various dishes in snacks. This includes pili brittle and candied pili. But some of the best products are said to come from the municipality of Allen. Be sure to try them out for yourself if you’re in the area.