The island of Limasawa in the province of Southern Leyte is situated 1 hour boat ride away from the main land. I’ve already heard the name of the island before from my friends who’s been here. Since I have quite a good memory when it comes to suggested destinations from friends, Limasawa became a must-see place for me in Southern Leyte. And voila! Setting my footprints in the island last April 2022. Read more for Limasawa Island DIY travel guide!
The hidden gem of Limasawa lies under the ocean, its coral reef. Not only it is famous for its unspoiled beaches but Limasawa is also a historical place especially to Christians because it is where the first Easter mass was celebrated in the country back in 1521.
Table of Contents
Pre-Travel Guide to Limasawa Island DIY-way
Here is a pre-travel guide and important things you need to know before your trip. Best to prepare your itinerary, book tours ahead and contact local tricycle/habal-habal driver to tour you around the island.
How to go to Limasawa Island DIY
The closest airport to Limasawa is in Tacloban and Ormoc. From there you can ride a bus going to Sogod Bay and ride another van/bus to Padre Burgos in Southern Leyte. Upon arriving in Padre Burgos you can ride pump boats to Limasawa Island.
From Surigao City, Mindanao
If you are coming from Surigao City in Mindanao, there are ferry schedules from Lipata Port in Surigao to Liloan Port in Southern Leyte. There are a number of shipping lines like Santa Clara, Starlite and Montenegro that departs everyday. Schedule varies but most of the time the ferry leaves at 9am, 12nn, 3pm, 4pm, and 7pm and the fare is Php350.00-Php450.00. Read more about the schedules here: Surigao to Southern Leyte Ferry Schedule.
From Liloan Port, Southern Leyte
Upon arriving at Liloan Port, hire a tricycle that will take you to the bus terminal and the fare is Php15.00 per person only. From the bus terminal, ride a bus/van to Sogod Bay, fare is Php50.00 and travel time is about an hour. Subsequently, ride a bus/van from Sogod Bay to Padre Burgos, the fare is Php150.00 each for a van.
The port is just walking distance from the drop-off point. Ride a pump-boat or lancha going to Limasawa Island. The fare range from Php70.00-120.00 and there are about 2 schedules that departs on a daily basis at 9am and 3pm. If in case you miss the schedule, there are other trips that departs from the port but in smaller boats. Just ask around for pump-boat schedules.
Where to Stay in Limasawa?
Here are a few accommodations I can suggest when in Limasawa:
- Trimulco Travelers Lodge – located near the pier and airconditioned rooms are Php400.00 each.
- Evashore Resort – room rates starts at Php1,500.00 per night good for 2 person.
- Island Lagoon Resort – one of the best option for overnight is in Island Lagoon Resort. Tent pitching is allowed and the room rate starts at Php1,000.00 for 2 person.
Important Contact in Limasawa Island
Upon arriving in the port, it was nothing like the usual ports that has lotsa habal-habal drivers outside waiting for tourists and passengers. Here in Limasawa, only limited number of drivers waiting for passengers. And in our experience, there were no habal-habal or tricycle drivers available to pick us up.
I walked around the port to look for drivers but I wasn’t lucky to see one. Then my partner asked around, good thing that there is one local kind enough to call his friend who has a tricycle. We met Kuya Joel and he toured us around the island too. We paid him Php500.00 for a tour around in Limasawa. You can reach him at 09356203348. Below are the places we visited:
- First Mass Shrine
- Dakdak Beach
- Magellan’s Cross
- Limasawa Island Lagoon
- Limasawa Island Marker
Tips From Joan’s Footprints
- Bring enough cash, there are no ATM machines in the island.
- Make sure to bring packed meals, only a few karenderya in the island and most of it closes early before 7pm.
- Contact your guide prior the travel date: Kuya Joel at 09356203348
- Signal reception is good for bothe Smart and Globe users.
Places to Visit
Limasawa is a very small island. You can visit all attraction for a day tour or in less than 5 hours. But if you’re not in a hurry, I suggest to do a 2 days 1 night here so you can enjoy the beach and lagoon.
FYI, Southern Leyte was one of the places damaged by Typhoon Odette. As we toured around the island, the damage it caused to the homes of the locals, the beaches and the lagoons is still there.
First Mass Shrine
On March 31, 1521, the first Christian Mass in the Philippines was held in Limasawa Island. This is why the Mass Shrine is one of the top tourist attraction in Limasawa.
The white beach of Dakdak will surely amaze you as how the pier in Limasawa amazed me too. As soon as I arrived in Limasawa, I noticed the beautiful beach in the pier. From there I knew and expected that the beaches in the island will stun me. And so it did!
Notice the beautiful beach from an aerial shot! It is just so magical even if the destruction caused by Typhoon Odette can be seen from above.
To reach the Magellan’s Cross, there’s about 450 steps up to the hill. Jump-off point starts from the First Mass Shrine. As you reach Magellan’s Cross you will see a wide view of the island from above.
Limasawa Island Lagoon & Lighthouse
The Island Lagoon is the place to be for adventure. Here you can swim around the lagoon area and do cliff-jumping. There is an entrance fee of Php35.00 per person upon arriving at the resort. Before entering the Island Lagoon Resort, the lighthouse is just a few walks away.
Limasawa Island Marker
Sample Itinerary & Budget
Assuming that you are traveling to Limasawa for 2 days and 1 night on a limited time:
|2 Days & 1 Night Itinerary
9am Padre Burgos to Limasawa
10:00am Arrive in Limasawa pier
11:00am Check in at Trimulco Lodge
12nn-5pm Tour to First Mass Shrine,
Magellan’s Cross, Dakdak beach,
Island Lagoon and Lighthouse
|Padre Burgos to Limasawa – Php100.00 pump-boat
Environmental Fee – Php50.00 each
Trimulco Lodge – Php400.00 each
Tour – Php500.00 good for 2 person
Island Lagoon Resort – Php35.00 each
|Help me improve my Limasawa Island DIY travel guide! By commenting suggestions in the comment section below, I am very open to new ideas. Drone shots by Milo Quinantoto.
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