Philippines · 27 hotels available
J.D. Avelino St., Brgy. Central infront of Shell gasoline station & Asia United Bank, Calbayog City, Samar, Calbayog City, Philippines, 6710
Endowed with pristine seaside landscapes, numerous cave systems, and beautiful historical locations, the island of Samar is sure to leave visitors with a sense of wonder. Explore the charm and beauty of the Philippines’ third-largest island, and enjoy a holiday that is truly worth remembering.
Located in the Eastern Visayas Region, the island of Samar is bordered by the Samar Sea to the west, the Leyte Gulf to the south, and the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean to the west. Along the coasts, the island beguiles with its many beautiful beaches and majestic seascapes. Inland, its collection of cave systems, underground rivers, waterfalls, and lush, expansive forests are also major tourist draws. Additionally, there are a number of smaller islands and islets around the main island, which also offer their own unique, must-see attractions. Samar is likewise the epicenter of the Philippines’ Spanish heritage, as it was the first location in the country to have been visited by Magellan, the Portuguese explorer who circumnavigated the world in the name if the King of Spain.
PAL Express offers flights from Manila to Calbayog Airport in the province of Samar, and to Catarman National Airport in the province of Northern Samar. Beginning in November 2016, Cebgo will also be offering flights from Cebu to Calbayog.
The most common modes of transportation visitors can take when traveling between towns and cities in Samar are vans and buses. Within towns and cities, travelers can take any of the numerous tricycles and jeepneys that traverse the roads.
The Island of Samar is divided into three provinces, each of which has unique attractions that will delight all types of visitors. A good place to start one’s vacation is Biri Island in Northern Samar, where spectacular rock formations dominate the landscape. These natural wonders were created by the forces of nature for many millions of years, with earthquakes, high winds, and ocean waves all doing their share to sculpt the topography into its present otherworldly state.
Another Northern Samar island that is worth visiting is Capul Island, the location of the historic Capul Island Lighthouse. Built on Titoog Point, the lighthouse has stood guard on the island since 1896. The island is also home to the ancient fortress-church of Saint Ignatius de Loyola, which is more than 400 years old. In the past, the church served as the local population’s refuge from the fearsome Moro marauders, who wreaked havoc in the Visayas between the 17th and 18th centuries.
Samar is also famous for its waterfalls, which become true crowd-pleasers during the summer months. Western Samar is home to the Lulugayan Falls, which is known for its wall-like cataract that has been likened to a little Niagara Falls. Also in Western Samar is the Tarangban Falls, whose waters gracefully cascade over huge rock formations. In Lawaan, Eastern Samar, one can also find the Amandaraga Falls, whose willowy cascades have been likened to the hair of a maiden.
Caving and spelunking enthusiasts will be happy to know that the Province of Samar is the caving capital of the Philippines. The Sohoton National Park near the town of Basey has a natural rock bridge, a lagoon, an underground river system, and a cave with stunning geological formations. Further up north, near the town of Calbiga, one can visit the Langun-Gabingub Cave, a spectacular cave system with an expansive, awe-inspiring main cavern. In 2015, a group of speleologists found what appeared to be a fossilized tooth of an ancient giant shark called megalodon inside this cave.
Thrill-seekers who feel the need to answer the call of the waves can also visit Colicoan Island, which is a known surfing spot in Eastern Samar. Aside from the surf, the island’s beautiful beaches and verdant forests also attract visitors from far and wide.
In addition to the many natural wonders that Samar offers, the island is also a place of historic significance. Homonhon Island, for example, was the first place in the country to be visited by the explorer Magellan.
The Misty Blue Boathouse Resort Restaurant in Guiuan, Eastern Samar, is a lovely dining destination where one can enjoy romantic meals under oceanfront palapas. They serve comfort food items like pizzas and burgers, but the main attraction of the place are the fantastic sunset views that it provides visitors.
Also make sure to check out Our Nest Restaurant, which is found in Barangay Mabolo, Catarman, Northern Samar. The restaurant serves a variety of Filipino, Asian, and Western options in a cozy space that is perfect for dinners with family and friends.
When in Samar, also don’t miss the many roadside food stalls that sell the island’s most popular delicacies. Have a taste of the buttery torta cake, the delectable corioso biscuits, and the.salukara, a type of crepe that is infused with coconut wine.
In Catbalogan, Samar Province, the most popular nightspot is the Pier One Disco Bar, where mostly young people gather to drink and dance. In Catarman, one can also find the Lucas Wharf Restaurant and Bar, which offers a great selection of food and drinks, plus live performances from local musicians.
Samar is home to many lodging facilities that can serve as visitors’ home away from home while they are on vacation.
One must-visit resort is Marabut Extreme Experience Resort, which offers spacious lodging facilities in front of a secluded cove. Visitors can go kayaking around rocky islets covered in lush greenery. Also in Marabut, the Caluwayan Palm Island Resort and Restaurant can be found. The place has an expansive infinity pool, an open air bistro-bar facing the ocean, and beachside cottages that offer breathtaking views of the sea.
If an affordable facility is more up your alley, consider S&R Bed and Breakfast in Calbayog City. It offers comfortable lodging, and guests can enjoy their breakfast in a beautiful veranda overlooking a garden.
Divers and other travelers who are planning a trip to Biri Island can check out Biri Resort and Dive Center, which offers air conditioned rooms, a function room with a pool table, and a bar. They also rent out diving and snorkeling gear for those who want to explore the island’s marine environments.
Consider staying either in Calbayog or Catarman, where the island’s main airports are located. These cities are good jump-off points into the most popular destinations in the north.
Get yourself a ticog. A ticog is an intricately woven mat made out of dyed reed. You can use it as a beach mat when you visit the province’s beaches, and it also makes for a great souvenir.
Take the road less traveled – One relatively unknown destination in Samar is the town of San Antonio in Dalupiri Island, Northern Samar. Reachable via boats departing from the town of Victoria, San Antonio is known for its laidback atmosphere and its white-sand coastline that is gently caressed by the crystal-clear waters of the ocean.