Sambawan Island & Ulan-Ulan Falls DIY

Sambawan Island & Ulan-Ulan Falls DIY Travel Guide (Budget & Itinerary)

Biliran is another island province in Visayas that has one of the most pristine beaches and uncrowded islands I have seen. Probably because whenever people head to Eastern Visayas, it will always be about the beautiful Kalanggaman Island. As for me, I have a number of reasons and factors why I like Biliran more. But don’t get me wrong! My heart skipped a beat upon seeing Kalanggaman Island for the first time. However if I am to choose between the 2, I would love to get the chance to explore Biliran again. Therefore, let’s explore the 2 gems in Biliran province through this Sambawan Island & Ulan-Ulan Falls DIY travel guide!

Before anything else, I’d like to point out that I traveled to these places alone and it was once one of the most memorable places I got to unlock. Biliran is a very remote place. And this is actually what really makes me fall in love with a place even more! So, if you’re up for this kind of destinations too, keep reading!

About Biliran Province

Biliran is a sleeping princess, at least that’s how i see her. In other words, Biliran for me is a place with underrated beaches and islands that deserves to be next to the famous island beaches in the Philippines. However, her beauty is hidden from most people and I honestly don’t know if I should be grateful with that because it is not being polluted by so many tourists. Hence, the unexploited beauty.

In addition, Biliran is a former sub-province of Leyte which became an independent province in 1992. Also, the island province is one of the smallest island province in the country. The province is located in the Eastern Visayas Region. As a result, the inhabitants of BIliran primarily speak Cebuano and Waray.

Phone reception/Getting around/ATM machines

Most areas in Biliran like Maripipi island has no signal and phone reception. The Maripipi island is also an undeveloped area in Biliran which will be the gateway to the famous Sambawan Island. Getting around Biliran consists of vans, trike, habal-habal, passenger boat anf multi-cabs. ATM machines are only available in the main city of Naval.

How to get there (Sambawan Island & Ulan-Ulan Falls DIY)

Step 1: Manila to Tacloban Airport

The nearest airport in Biliran province is Tacloban Airport (TAC). It will take approximately 5 hours to get to the island province of Biliran. Check out the step-by-steps below.

Step 2: Tacloban Airport to Biliran Province

Upon arriving in Tacloban Airport (TAC), proceed outside the airport where public transportation like jeepneys are available. Note that taxis outside the airport are too expensive. Therefore, the cheapest way is to ride the jeepneys stationed outside the airport. Ride a San Jose jeepney and drop off at Van Vans Terminal. And the fare is PPHP50.00 and the travel time is 30 minutes. After that, ride a van at the terminal going to Naval in Biliran. The fare is PHP140.00 and the travel time is approximately 3 hours.


Proceed to Step 3 if you will go to Sambawan Island from Naval.

Alternatively, proceed to Step 4 if you will go to Ulan-Ulan Falls from Naval.

Step 3: Naval to Sambawan Island

Upon arriving in Naval. Just walk towards Naval Port which is 5 – 10 minutes away from the van terminal. Otherwise, you may ride a pedicab for PHP10.00 going to the Naval Port. From the port, ride a passenger boat to Maripipi island. The fare is PHP100.00 and PHP10.00 terminal fee and the travel time is 1 hour.

Refer below for the boat schedule: (Naval to Maripipi)

Daily except SundayNaval10:30 amPoblacion12:30 pmBrian Claire
Daily except SundayNaval10:30 amPoblacion12:30 pmMaria Lourdes
Daily except SundayNaval11:00 amBinalayan01:00 pmViga Express

Upon arriving in Maripipi island, ride a habal-habal to Brgy. Ol-Og for PHP80.00/2 pax and advise the driver that you are going to Sambawan Island so that they will take you to the passenger boats heading to the island. Subsequently, hire a passenger boat to Sambawan Island from Brgy. Ol-og. The boat rental fee is PHP500.00 (roundtrip) for the whole boat which can accommodate 3-4 pax. But still depends on your negotiating skills if you can lower down the price. Going back to Naval in Biliran will be the same.

Just make sure to take note of the boat schedules below: (Maripipi to Naval)

Daily except SundayMaripipi04:30 amNaval06:30 amBrian Claire
Daily except SundayMaripipi04:30 amNaval06:30 amMaria Lourdes
Daily except SundayBinalayan05:00 amNaval07:00 amViga Express

Step 4: Naval to Ulan-Ulan Falls

Alternatively, you may proceed to Ulan-Ulan falls upon arriving in Naval. Ride a habal-habal going to Almeria for PHP70.00 and travel time is about 30 minutes. And don’t forget to advise the driver that you are going to Ulan-Ulan falls so that they will take you to the jump off point where you will register. After that, pay the entrance fee of PHP20.00 and guide fee of PHP100.00. Trekk down to the falls for 30 minutes. Going back to Naval will be the same way.

Sambawan Island in Biliran

Sambawan Island in Biliran is the Boracay Island of Aklan. As soon as I stepped foot in its pristine shore, I immediately recognized the same feeling of happiness the first time I stepped foot in Boracay. Of course, the sand were very different from the powdery sand of Boracay but this island has its own way to enchant its visitors with its mesmerizing unique features.

Things to do in Sambawan Island

Some of the things you can do in the islands is to trek its viewpoint where you can see a majestic view of the whole island and Maripipi Island from afar. The view on top is surreal and breathtaking. Above all, I was truly amazed by its unique beauty.

Below are the other activities you can do in the island:

  • Kayaking
  • Paddle boarding
  • Swimming
  • Snorkeling
  • Scuba diving
  • Sunrise and Sunset from the watchtower
  • Camping

Moreover, there are picnic tables available and accommodation for rent if you wish to spend an overnight camping in the island. Check out the cottage rates below:

  • Overnight: PHP1,500.00 – PHP2,500.00 (2 – 15 person)
  • Day tour: PHP500.00 – PHP1,000.00

Other Useful Information:

  • For cooking/grilling area, just make sure to bring your own cooking stuff and supplies.
  • Canteen is available as well.

Sambawan Island & Ulan-Ulan Falls DIY
The beautiful Sambawan Island overlooking Maripipi Island from afar

Ulan-Ulan Falls in Biliran

If Sambawan Island is the Boracay Island of Aklan, then Ulan-Ulan Falls in Biliran is the Kawasan Falls of Cebu. However, the only downside is that you cannot bathe in Ulan-Ulan falls due to the strong current of water falling from the gigantic one-tiered waterfalls. As a result, you can only dip into the side of the falls.

About Ulan-Ulan Falls

To give you bit of information, Ulan-Ulan means “rain” in the local dialect. If you go near the falls, you will experience rain-like droplets of water coming from the 25 meter waterfalls. Hence, the name Ulan-Ulan falls. Moreover, a short 5-10 minutes trek from Ulan-Ulan falls is anothe famed waterfalls which is the Recoletos Falls. When we were about to go to the falls, I failed to visit Recoletos falls since the trail to the falls was damaged at that time. So it was only a view from afar and didn’t get the chance to come any closer..

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Wednesday thoughts: I realized that before you can see a hidden gem in the forest – which is a waterfalls, you need to at least trek or hike to get to it. . . In life, we don’t always get what we want. We have to work hard and sweat for it keeping in mind that in the end it’s all gonna be worth it. Because when we finally achieve it, you’ll appreciate it most with all the hardwork you have put into. The ripe fruit is not always the tastiest, sometimes it’s the fruit you climbed yourself a tree just to get a taste of it. #travel #philippines #ulanulanfalls #naturephotography #waterfalls #biliran #travelblogger #travelinfluencer #travellover #naturelovers #travelphotography #motherearth

A post shared by Joana Gutierrez 🧜🏽‍♀️ (@joansfootprints_) on

In conclusion, Sambawan Island & Ulan-Ulan Falls DIY is not hard to do even if you’re traveling alone. Just remember to plan your itinerary well and always bring a humble attitude. Most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy!

Travel Vlog on Youtube

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