Short but Sweet Escape: Kalanggaman and Sambawan Islands | Leyte + Biliran
The breathtaking view of Sambawan Island in Biliran
It was a short 3 days and 2 nights vacation in the provinces of Leyte and Biliran but it's one of the best trips I've had this year. I was able to experience 2 of the most beautiful islands and a majestic waterfall in this region in a short but well-planned vacation, thanks to my friends who stitched everything altogether and made sure no fun part was missed.
Don't worry, you'll find at the end of this post our itinerary, including a budget breakdown so you too can maximize your stay if you plan on visiting these islands soon.
Okay, let me get through one by one the highlights of this trip.
Probably one of the best sandbars I've been to, Kalanggaman Island in Leyte features a long stretch of beautiful sandbar with a majestic view where the sky and the white sand beach meet.
The fun part of my stay was the overnight camp. Although we've experienced a not-so friendly weather during the night, the bonding as one group -- take turns in preparing meals, stories over alcohol, group games -- all of these made up our memorable stay in the island.
Shout out to our squad, y'all! Check them out on Facebook, they have a group called Heliopaths. :)
Me, being one with nature at the famous sandbar of Kalanggaman Island.
The beautiful sunset on the rocky side of the island.
Getting there: From Tacloban City, land travel takes about 3 hours going to Palompon, Leyte. And about an hour boat ride from Polompon to this beautiful island. Remember that the island is uninhabitated so don't expect hotels, restaurants or even electricity. It's all camping in here.
Don't worry, the island offers basic facilities such as bathroom and toilet, tents and cottages for rent and a couple of mini sari sari stores where you can buy alcoholic drinks, soda, chips, toiletries, etc. There are tourism police on duty 24/7, by the way!
Roughly about 6 hours from Kalanggaman Island is another chunk of paradise with a million dollar view. Sambawan Island in Biliran boasts of its mountainous coastline with an easy trail going up the view deck.
On the other side of the island you will see a gentle giant - a dormant volcano called Mount Maripipi.
How can you not fall in love with this view?
ULAN ULAN FALLS
On our last day, we did a side trip to Biliran's Ulan Ulan Falls. It has quite a challenging trail going to the waterfall but who gives a shit when at the end of this all is a rewarding cold dip and a jaw-dropping view of Biliran's Ulan Ulan Falls?
1800 Arrival in Tacloban from Manila
1900 Check in Welcome Home Pensione
0500 Check out
0800 ETA Palompon Leyte - buy supplies, etc
0900 Palompon Eco Tourism Offic for registration
1000 ETA Kalanggaman Island
1100 onwards - Enjoy the beautiful Kalanggaman Island
1000 Kalanggaman to Palompon
1100 Early lunch at Palompon Market
1700 ETA Naval Port (Buffer time while waiting for the boat)
2000 ETD Naval Port to Sambawan Island
2100 ETA Sambawan Island
2130 Set up tent, socials, etc.
0600 Start trek to Sambawan view deck
0900 Prepare to leave island
1300 ETD Palompon to Tacloban Airport
1600 ETA Tacloban Airport
BUDGET BREAKDOWN PER HEAD (19 pax Total)
Welcome Home Pensione (P6,650 for 19 pax) = P350/head
Grocery - P514/head
Day 1 Total = P864/head
Boat (P3,500)- P185/head
Bus (Palompon to Tacloban) - P150/head
Bus (Tacloban to Palompon) - P150/head
Day 2 Total = P485/head
Coaster (P12,000)- P632/head
Entrance Fee - P100/head
Boat (P3,000) - 158/head
Guide Fee (P300 for a group of 19) - P16/head
Day 3 Total = P905/head
TOTAL BUDGET: P2,254 (Excluding airfare and Manila transport)