Samar and Leyte
The protected landscapes and seascapes of Kalanggaman Island offer adventurous activities and nature-based activities such as hiking, birding and glamping.
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Tourism in this region is highly valued by environmentalists due to the numerous initiatives introduced to preserve its biosystem - resources that together make this a perfect natural playground for tourists who enjoy wildlife encounters, Stunning scenery includes volcanic lakes and reforested mangroves, as well as water sports and walking trails. Approximately a third of Samar Island is protected by Samar Island Natural Park, and Leyte is filled with pristine islands and remote landscapes.
Culture & Food
Periods of Spanish and American colonisation mean there is so much culture to be enjoyed – from architecture to traditional regional dances seen at local celebrations, bringing together Roman Catholicism with Hindu-Buddhist-Animist folklore. Tacloban, the educational, cultural and commercial centre of the Eastern Visayas, is a hub for local festivities. But small festivals take place in every town annually. Don’t miss Tacloban’s Santo Niño Shrine and Heritage Museum with its bas-relief of the legend of Malakas and Maganda (the first Filipino man and woman) and its painting of the 14 stations of the cross by Filipino artists.
Many people in Samar and eastern Leyte are Waray, a largely rural people who have retained many beliefs and much of their folklore from pre-Christian times, and who are famed for their strong and very beautiful women.
Don’t miss a taste of the local delicacy of binagol (a half-coconut shell filled with mashed taro with condensed milk, coconut milk and egg yolks, sold at pavement stalls), Abuyog’s moron (ground sticky rice cooked in coconut milk flavoured with cocoa) and tuba (coconut wine). Local seafood, fresh or salted, features highly on menus. The culinary tradition of Leyte and Samar blends the local with Chinese, Continental European and American flavours.
things to do in Leyte & Samar
Where to go in Tacloban and Leyte? Achieve your travel goals with this list of beautiful destinations, things to do, best places to visit, Tacloban tourist spots, attractions & more.
Drive the scenic coastal highways of Leyte and Samar
Discover Kalanggaman Island in Palompon, a remote model of sustainability, or head off to the tiny tropical Cuatro Islas
Head to Mahagnao Volcano Natural Park in Burauen and La Paz, Leyte, with craters, hot springs and lakes
Take a dip in the violin-shaped lake in Lake Danao Natural Park in Ormoc City and simply laze in the lush rainforest
Go diving/snorkeling on the coral reefs around Southern Leyte’s Sogod Bay dive sites and interact with whale sharks in Pintuyan with a bonus trip to historic Limasawa Island
Panhulugan show cave
Explore Samar Island Natural Park, the Philippines’ biggest protected terrestrial wonder, which includes the Panhulugan show cave in Sohoton Caves and Natural Bridge and the Calbiga Caves, world’s 4th biggest karst cave system
Canoe the rapids
Shoot the rapids of Ulot River in Paranas, Samar via a motorised dugout canoe
See the magnificent rock formations on the island of Biri, Northern Samar
Catch some waves in Calicoan Island, Guiuan, Eastern Samar with its surf camps
How to get there
There are 3 ways to get from Leyte to Samar.
In Leyte, Tacloban City, the regional hub, has daily flights from Manila (1hr), Clark (1hr 20mins) and Cebu City (30mins).
From Manila, Clark and Cebu City you can hire a car or van to explore Leyte, Biliran and Samar, or you can get between the islands’ major cities and towns by bus, mini- vans, jeepneys and tricycle taxis.
Take a fast craft to Ormoc City from Cebu City (3hrs).
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