Philippines has a total of 7,641 islands. With this given, it’s not impossible to stumble into another stunning island as you travel around the country. Kalanggaman Island in Leyte is one of the most beautiful sandbars you will ever see in the Philippines. I can still remember the excitement I felt as our boat slowly approached the island. Traveling to Kalanggaman island DIY-way will surely meet every budget travelers’ expectations. In this article, I will show you how!
To give you a bit of information, Kalanggaman Island is shaped like a bird from above. And the word “kalanggaman” means bird in waray language – official language in Leyte. Hence the name Kalanggaman Island.
Some of its neighboring islands includes Malapascua in Cebu where the Thresher Sharks are famous to every freedivers and scuba divers in the province. This is why Kalanggaman is a famous side-trip to marine enthusiasts as the island contains a rich marine biodiversity that only few people know about. Most tourists only see Kalanggaman Island as an island destination. Little do they know that the real gem of the island lies beneath its stunning white sand beach and long sandbar. The marine sanctuary will definitely surprise every snorkeler and diver visiting this place.
About Leyte Province
Leyte is a province situated in Visayas and west of Samar. Tacloban is its capital city where the airport is also located. Furthermore, Leyte is the 7th largest island in terms of land area. The official language spoken in this province is the waray language. However, tagalog is still widely spoken in the area.
How to go to Kalanggaman Island DIY way
Tacloban Airport to Palompon, Leyte
- Fly from Manila to Tacloban Airport
- 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 Palompon, Leyte. Fare is PHP155.00 and the travel time is 3 – 4 hours.
Where to stay/Where to eat
There are lots of hotels and hostels around Palompon’s Tourism Office. I highly recommend to get accommodation near the port or the Tourism Office so it would be more convenient. For instance, I stayed in Grants Building Traveller’s Lodge. They have an air-conditioned dormitory room available for PHP300.00 per night. Moreover, it’s easy to locate this lodge just ask around the locals upon arriving in the terminal.
As for food and water, there are lots of cheap eateries around the area too. You can also buy food or pack your lunch and snack if you will go to Kalanggaman Island.
- For DIY travelers, go to the Tourism Office as early as 7:00 in the morning to reserve your slot.
- Pay the entrance fee of PHP150.00 and the round-trip boat fare of PHP225.00 per person.
- For overnight in Kalanggaman Island, you have an option to bring your tent or rent a tent for PHP400.00.
- Bring shawl of picnic blanket to lessen fees for cottage rentals in the island.
- You may bring your packed lunch too. Otherwise, cooked food and snacks are available in the island. But if you want to lessen the expenses, packing your lunch will be the best option.
- BE A RESPONSIBLE TRAVELER. Cary your trash with you. No littering please.
- Snorkeling is also available in the island. You may bring your snorkeling gears or freediving fins. Otherwise, snorkeling gears are available for rent in the island too.
- Toilets are available in the island where you can change.
- ATM machines are not available in the island. Make sure to withdraw enough cash in Palompon before heading to the island especially if you plan to stay overnight.
- Phone reception is weak in the island too.
Kalanggaman Island in Palompon, Leyte
Backpacking Kalanggaman island DIY-way is very easy peasy! Did it as a solo-backpacker which is why I am confident enough that you can do it too. Since this is one of the best sandbars I’ve seen with a cheap budget, I highly recommend this destination. Please do not let this slip on your travel bucket list!
Kalanggaman Island boasts off its majestic long stretch of white sand beach, majestic end to end sandbar, crystal clear water and capped with a stunning view of the horizon. I can still remember walking around the beach and under the sun with only my bikini and salty hair. Feeling the heat of the sun over my tanned skin while my footprints cover the distance as I explore the island with my bare feet. It was truly another magical day at the beach. And definitely one for the books.
Aside from scuba diving, snorkeling and freediving, other activities includes Banana boat and Kayaking. I tried banana boat here with the 3 lovely girls I met in the island. As I’ve mentioned earlier, I traveled to this paradise alone. But I ended up making good friends with the 3 ladies.
On the other side of the island, opposite to where the passenger boats docks, is the famous Kalanggaman Island tree-house. This is the tree-house that you will see on Instagram! So never let this flop for your IG feed goals! Lol.
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The places I’ve been, the people I meet, the signature food I eat, makes me crave for more and more adventures. I love you life! 😍💙 I wish to never stop creating and making more beautiful memories. 😍 #life #islandgirl #islandlife #adventure #travel #travelblogger #philippines #kalanggamanisland #leyte #bloggerlife #beach
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