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11 Best Things To Do In Leyte Island, Philippines(With Pictures) - Updated 2020

things to do in leyte island philippines
Paolo
Paolo
Updated

Leyte Island is part of the Eastern Visayas region, and it saw some of the most important events in the history of the Philippines. The most notable event was the landing of General Douglas McArthur, which led to one of the world’s largest naval battles. Fast forward to the present, the province continues to attract locals and tourists with not only its historical attractions, but also its religious and scenic sites. So, if you want an unforgettable sightseeing experience in the province, then this list is for you. Come to Leyte Island and try out these 11 best activities.

1. Cross the San Juanico Bridge

San Juanico Bridge
Source: Photo by user byron alcantara used under CC BY 2.0

Over 2.16 kilometers (1.2 mi) in length, San Juanico is considered the longest bridge in the whole country. It connects Leyte and Samar, and it’s a good place to jog or go for a walk and take photos. Even if you’re driving through, you will surely love the view of the islands and islets. Just keep in mind that vehicles are not allowed to stop. So if you have a driver, you can tell him or her to drop you off at the end of the bridge.

San Juanico Bridge

Address: Pan-Philippine Hwy, Santa Rita, Leyte

2. Swim or go kayaking at Lake Danao

Lake Danao
Source: Photo by user Brenda Bonjoc used under CC BY-SA 2.0

The guitar-shaped Lake Danao in Ormoc remains to be one of the island’s most popular natural sites. It is located 700 meters (2,296 feet) above sea level, offering a climate cooler than most of the province. You can go for a refreshing swim in the tranquil water or rent a kayak and explore the rest of the area. Kayaks are available for rent at around 6 USD per hour. The same rate applies to the floating cottages, which include a grill. Get ready to be enthralled by the sight of the surrounding mountains and volcanic rocks.

Lake Danao

Address: Ormoc, Leyte

Price: from 0.20 USD

3. Enjoy the sunset view from Ormoc Bay

Ormoc bay
Source: Photo by user Jordz used under CC BY-SA 3.0

It was the location of one of the most significant events in World War II, but now, it’s a spot where you can unwind and enjoy the sights. Make your way to Ormoc Bay at around 6:00 pm for a marvelous view of the sunset. The sights of the Camotes Islands and Mount Magsanga also promise to leave you in awe. Indeed, a visit to Ormoc Bay is the best way to end the day.

Ormoc Bay

Address: Ormoc, Leyte

4. Visit the MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park

MacArtuhur Landing Memorial National Park
Source: Photo by user

Learn more about Leyte’s history at the MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park in Palo. The park honors General Douglas MacArthur and his return to the Philippines to help defeat the Japanese forces on the 20th of October 1944. On your visit here, you will see the bronze statues of the heroic general and his comrades on a shallow pool. There’s a marble wall near the sculptures that contains the proclamation of MacArthur upon his arrival to the country. Without a doubt, this park will make you appreciate the courage of the soldiers who fought for the nation’s independence.

Visit the MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park

Address: Brgy. Candahug, Palo, Leyte

Price: Free

Opening Hours: 24 hours

5. Explore the Santo Nino Shrine and Heritage Museum

Santo Nino Shrine and Heritage Museum
Source: Wikipedia

The Santo Nino Shrine and Heritage Museum in Tacloban City is one of the 20 rest houses built by former President Ferdinand Marcos. Take a trip to this beloved heritage site and see its wide collection of antiques and artworks not only from the Philippines, but also from Germany, Italy, and France. At the shrine, you will see the image of the Santo Nino, which is the Catholic’s title for the baby Jesus. The bedrooms will also enthrall you with their fusion of Filipino and European design. Other highlights include the paintings of the Stations of the Cross by local artists, the wood carvings of Filipino mythological figures, and the replica of the Malacanang Palace ballroom.

Santo Nino Shrine and Heritage Museum

Address: Real St, Downtown, Tacloban City, Leyte

Price: from 4 USD

Opening Hours: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (closed on weekends)

Phone:: +63 533219775 or +63 534018172

6. See the Our Lady of the Assumption Shrine

a quick visit to Her! Thank you Mama Mary for all the Blessings and Guidance!😘👆

Posted by Mona Liza Ochavillo Marquez on Tuesday, 20 December 2016

The privately owned Our Lady of the Assumption Shrine in Maasin City is one of the most well-known religious sites on the island, and it features a 3 meter (10 foot) statue of Mother Mary. It can only be reached by climbing over 300 steps, but once you arrive, the tall sculpture and the chapel’s colorful architecture will make you say that it’s worth it. According to believers, if you recite the Stations of the Cross while climbing the stairs, your prayers will be answered. The shrine is lit up at night, making it look even more spectacular.

Our Lady of the Assumption Shrine

Address: Maasin City, Southern Leyte

Opening Hours: 4:30 am to 7:00 pm

7. Trek to Masaba Falls

Posted by Heracleo on Friday, 19 August 2016

If trekking is your thing, then you’re definitely going to enjoy Masaba Falls in Palompon. The only way to reach the site is by river trekking, and it usually takes 30 to 60 minutes before you reach the site. Along the way, you will pass through the forest, giving you a chance to become closer with nature. When you arrive at the seven-tiered waterfalls, you can go for a swim or just sit on one of the rocks and admire the scenery.

Masaba Falls

Address: Brgy. Masaba, Palompon, Leyte

Facebook: Masaba Falls

8. Enjoy Kalanggaman Island

Kalanggaman Island, Palompon, LEYTE: Approaching
Source: Photo by user Debbie Tingzon used under CC BY 2.0

Another natural attraction worth checking out in Palompon is the uninhabited Kalanggaman Island. With no commercial establishments around, you can expect a tranquil atmosphere from day to night. The island is famous for its clear blue water, soft white sand, lush scenery, and sandbars that stretch on both sides. You can bring your own tents if you want to stay overnight. Camping rates are around 15 USD. Apart from swimming and sunbathing, Kalanggaman is also the best place for snorkeling, diving, and kayaking.

Kalanggaman Island

Address: Kalanggaman Island, Palompon, 6300 Leyte

Price: from 3 USD

Phone: +63 535559731

Website: Kalanggaman Island

9. Have a fun time at Canigao Island

Sunset at Canigao island - panoramio - Gonchang (1)
Source: Photo by user Gonchang used under CC BY 3.0

If Palompon has Kalanggaman, then Matalom has Canigao Island. It’s just five minutes away from the town center, and it has turquoise waters, white sand, and beautiful coconut trees. You can swim as long as you want or go for a walk and take photos of the lovely scenery. Sunbathing is highly recommended as well. If you want a more adventurous experience, then bring out your snorkeling gear and see the tropical sea creatures and coral gardens up-close. You may also have a chance to meet the friendly local fishermen and go fishing with them. As for the sunset view, prepare to be totally mesmerized. Cottages are available for 10 USD per night while camping rates cost around 2 USD. The pier in Matalom, which is just walking distance from the municipal plaza, offers boat rides to the island for about 1.21 USD. Entrance fee to the island is included in the price.

Canigao Island

Address: Matalom, Leyte

Price: from 0.80 (adults); 0.40 (child)

10. Witness the beauty of corals and colorful fish at Napantao Fish Sanctuary

Napantao Marine Life

If you’re a sucker for marine life and water adventures, a visit to the Napantao Fish Sanctuary is the perfect day trip for you. There have been endless issues with the Philippine waters being affected by climate change and poor waste management, marine life is continuously being threatened, thus more effort from local environmental organizations to help preserve marine life and promote it as a diverse and fundamental part of Philippine tourism. Specifically, in Leyte, the Napantao FishSanctuary is a Marine Protected Area (MPA) which has been so since 1996, continues to house and care for several stunning coral reefs, fishes, and sea creatures that make up the rather diverse marine life Leyte boasts. Diving in these parts is allowed but requires a fee to pay to local barangays in order to continue the enforcement, monitoring, and maintenance of the sanctuary. There are also snorkeling and diving tours around the area and is best to book in groups and during low tide in order to get a great close up underwater tour of Napantao’s rich marine biodiversity.

Napantao Dive Sanctuary

Address: Brgy Lungsodaan, Padre Burgos, 6602 Southern Leyte, Philippines

11. Feed bananas to wild monkeys at the Hindang Cave and Wild Monkeys Sanctuary

Wild Monkeys at Hindang Cave

When in the southern part of the Philippine Islands, travelers should be keen to explore the greenery that surrounds the rural province. Southern Leyte is filled with beautiful trees and greenery, as well as undiscovered natural spots like waterfalls, springs, caves, and structures. Hindang, the fifth class municipality of Leyte is a quiet little town below Mount Bontok where the most stunning caves are found. Wild monkeys take refuge in the Hindang Cave which tourists and first-time travelers to Leyte should note, as these monkeys can sometimes just steal your belongings and even food, thus the need to take caution. The Hindang Cave gained notoriety for being a place of refuge for Filipino rebels hiding from Japanese invaders during the Second World War. Apart from the stunning stalagmites and stalactites, Hindang Cave is a rather relaxing natural attraction and continues to be one of Leyte’s most beloved caves.

Hindang Cave and Wild Monkeys Sanctuary

Address: Hindang, Leyte Province 6523, Philippines

Website: Hindang Cave and Wild Monkeys Sanctuary

Price: 0.20 USD

Leyte Island is simply marvelous

Leyte Island also promises to satisfy your taste buds with its beloved dishes. Don’t forget to try out the local delicacy known as “Binagol”. It’s the taro vegetable mixed with sugar, milk, and peanuts. If that’s not enough, you should also have a taste of glutinous rice mixed with coconut milk and cocoa. This dish is better known as Choco Moron. Now that you’ve read about the best things in the province, it’s time for you to experience it. Pack your bags and appreciate the many wonders of Leyte. You won’t be disappointed.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Freelance writer by day, rap artist by night. When he's not making music or joining rap battles, Paolo writes about anything under the sun. Throughout his eight-year experience as a copywriter, he...Read more

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