Sambawan Island has remained in the shadows of popular destinations for years, but as more and more people visit this island, this place is getting the attention it deserve. Sambawan is Biliran’s crown jewel, with its white sand, idyllic atmosphere, and cerulean waters. It also has a picturesque view of the island, which is probably the photo you’ll see once you make a quick online search. Most visitors visit Sambawan along with Maripipi because of their proximity to each other.
How to Get There
Nearest Airport: Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport, also known as Tacloban City Airport (Leyte)
- The fastest way to get to Sambawan Island is to book a flight bound for Tacloban. There are regular flights from major airlines such as Cebu Pacific Air and Philippine Airlines. Wait for promo fares to get the lowest possible price for your tickets.
- Once in Tacloban, board a van bound for Naval, the provincial capital of Biliran; this costs around P130 and may take two hours.
- Upon arriving at Naval, look for boats travelling to Maripipi and board one, the fare is approximately P75 and travel time is around 1 hour.
- Once in Maripipi, you can charter a boat to take your group to Sambawan Island for P500, the trip takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
Entrance Fee and Other Charges
Entrance Fee: P80 + P20 (Environmental Fee)
Camping Fee: P100/day (small tent)
Cottage Rental Fee: P300 (bench/table); P500 – P1000 (open cottage); P1500 – P2500 (cottage)
Docking Fee: P50
Others: P300/hr (Kayak Rental); P2500 (Scuba Rental)
- Go up the hill to get a bird’s eye view of the island with its beach jutting out to the sea and the blue waters surrounding it.
- Go swimming and relaxing on the beach, and catch the sunrise.
- There are snorkeling spots for those who want to see the underwater ecosystem of the island.
- Bring food and drinks if you plan to have a picnic and day trip on Sambawan Island. Leave nothing but footprints.
- There are no ATMs on Sambawan; bring enough cash to cover your expenses.
- If you don’t want to rent, bring your own snorkeling or scuba diving gear. There are bathroom facilities on the island for rinsing.
- If you want to go camping, bring your own tent and other camping essentials. Also, bring a power bank or extra batteries for your gadgets just in case you won’t be able to charge them during your trip.
If You Have More Time and Budget
- After exploring Sambawan, spend the day exploring the attractions of Maripipi and Naval such as the waterfalls (Ulan-Ulan and Tinago), canyoneering in Sampao River, Viga Spring and Candol Beach just to name a few.
- After exploring the island of Sambawan, return to Leyte and go to Kalanggaman Island to go beach bumming and swimming.
- Cross the San Juanico Bridge and go to Northern Samar to see Biri’s rock formations or head to other parts of Samar to discover its attractions.
- You can also explore the historical monuments of Tacloban before your return trip to Manila.
Where to Stay
There are overnight cottages on the island or you may opt to camp out, but if you are planning to visit other places in Biliran, here are some of the recommended accommodations according to Agoda users (as of August 2017).
Marvin’s Seaside Inn
Agta Beach Resort