Monday, June 6, 2016

Sambawan Island Travel Guide 2016

Sambawan Island Travel Guide 2016

sambawan island travel guide blog

Six hours on boat, two hours on van, thirty minutes on tricycle and finally - we arrived in Kawayan (with our growling empty stomachs). We were then approached by one of the boat drivers, Kuya Oca. He initially quoted us Php3k but we were able to haggle it down to Php2.5k since we were only 4 in our group. Luckily, Kuya Oca invited us to eat breakfast in his brother's house nearby because it was their Fiesta. We said yes right away without any reservations! Maybe it was already our hungry stomachs talking shamelessly haha. We spent probably an hour eating, petting their pigs, talking with the locals and just silently thinking about how thick your skin can get for survival.

After 30 minutes of boat ride, we arrived in the beautiful island of Sambawan. It's just a small island but I love how you can climb uphill to experience a breathtaking view. When I browsed through the internet for photos, I thought it was just ordinary but it's different when you’re actually there. Also, the seawater was so clear and inviting. It wasn't very salty or itchy, best for the self proclaimed mermaids out there.

How to get to Sambawan Island from Cebu:

  1. Ride a Roble boat going to Ormoc (stationed in Pier 3). They have daily trips every 10PM. Arrival in Ormoc is after 6 hours. I chose this route because I want to arrive in Naval early in the morning. The ticket is for a bed space inside the big boat so you can sleep comfortably during the 6-hour travel time. Roble also has a direct trip to Naval but only every Saturday and Monday at 8:30PM. You can also take a fast craft boat early in the morning (Weesam, Oceanjet and Supercat) that should just take 2-3 hours.

  1. Ride a van from Ormoc to Naval. Try to get out from the boat ahead of others so you can ride the van waiting outside the port. This will take 2 hours travel time.

  1. From Naval, ride a motorbike (habal-habal) going to Kawayan. Php150 for 2 passengers and Php200 for 3. We took a tricycle which was for Php300.

  1. From Kawayan, take a boat going to Sambawan. Price ranges from 2.5k to 3.5k. Usually the boat is good for 10 persons. You can contact Kuya Oca 09464009575 to reserve a boat.

Alternatively, if you want a cheaper longer way, you can do the local way. Copied from site --> "Catch a ride at one of the ferry boats going to the Maripipi Island via Naval Port, fare per head is Php 60. Travel time is 1.5 hours. Once you reached the town of Maripipi, hire a habal-habal, fare is Php 30 per head to Brgy. Ol-og. From there hire a boat for Php 600. Travel time to Sambawan is 15 minutes. The ferry departs at 10:30 Am from Mon- Sat and leaves the following day for Naval at 4:30 Am"

We didn't take this route because we wanted to stay overnight at Sambawan island. The boats from Naval to Maripipi are operating from Monday to Saturday only and the return is at 4:30AM and 5AM from Maripipi back to Naval the next day. That means we have to go back to Maripipi on the same day afternoon (and stay there in Maripipi for the night) so we can catch a boat going back to Naval so early in the morning. Yes, It's a bit complicated lol.

You can also take the risk of going there via Maripipi and go back via Kawayan since there would be boat drivers who can let you tag along on their way back to Kawayan (especially those who go there just to unload their customers). It's not a guarantee but if you pray hard, you'll find a way. I'll actually use this route the next time I go there.

How to get to Sambawan Island from Manila:


  1. Take a plane going to Tacloban.  
  2. From Tacloban Airport, ride a jeepney going to downtown area. All the jeepneys coming from the airport have the same route so just ride any public jeepney that you will see (it should just be 8 or 10 pesos)
  3. Get off at SM Hypermarket or Gaisano store and ride a motorcyle going to "Duptours" or "Van-Vans". These are trusted van terminals that can take you to Naval (7pesos). Van fare is Php120.
  1. Then follow number 3 and 4 above. 

Activities include island hopping, snorkeling and scuba diving. If you have a license, the price would be 2.5k for an intense scuba diving experience. For non-licensed aspiring divers, you can pay only 1.8k but it would not be at the actual diving site.

I suggest you bring your own food. They have a canteen at the island but is only selling noodles, eggs, junk-foods, beverages (no liquors), shampoo, etc. They're selling it twice the original price. Bring your own tent as well. Space fee is 25 per square meter. A 2-person tent will only cost you Php50. They also have tent for rent (I think it was Php200) and lodging house for Php2,800 per night good for 10 persons. Contact 09157962324.

The water coming out from the faucet in their public bathroom is also seawater but you can buy a jag of clean water for 25 pesos. Battery charge fee for your digital devices is Php10 but only available at night time. Bring your powerbank and a bluetooth speaker for some cool music while inhaling the fresh sea breeze.

Sambawan Island travel Expenses

Roble boat going to Ormoc PHP 400.00
Ormoc to Naval van PHP 120.00
Naval to Kawayan PHP 75.00 Php300 / 4pax
Kawayan to Sambawan PHP 625.00 Php2500 / 4pax
Sambawan Island Entrance fee PHP 100.00
Tent space fee PHP 50.00
Kawayan back to Naval PHP 75.00
Naval to Ormoc van PHP 120.00
Roble boat going to Ormoc PHP 400.00
Food / misc PHP 200.00
Total PHP 2,165.00

Sambawan Island Pictures

Selfie after a strenuous climb

With the Sambawan kuyas

Just the four of us

inside their small canteen

nice beaches in the philippines
Enduring the heat. The sacrifices you do to get a better photo, whew

nice beach in the philippines

Feels like summer graduation!

instagram nice pathway picture philippines
Pathway to paradise

The kuyas of sambawan in their small information/reception area

New found friends! Amazing, they don't have that typical piggy smell. I wanna kiss them lol

One with the locals - talking about pigs, chickens, goat and just anything that we can think of! kasi nakikain kami haha

This is Ate. I'm bad, I forgot her name but she's the perfect wife material. She cooked the food and it was good!

picture perfect sambawan island
Hello  .

Hello again . .

boat nice beach philippines
Our ride

sambawan island travel 2016, rock formations, little pinay explorer, when in PH, travel PH, PH travel destinations, leyte adventures
Rock formations at the other side

how to get to sambawan island
This is inside a nipa hut at the top of the hill. The heat of the sun is making the island look really nice.

Sambawan Island 2016
Expectation versus . .

 . . versus reality haha

how to go to sambawan Island
Sambawan Island

~ FIN ~


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  1. Good job on this. Thanks for the tips. Looking forward on your next entry.

  2. Nice one little pinay explorer.I find it very informative. :) keep it up.

  3. How did you found a boatman in Kawayan? You just randomly ask at the port?

    1. Sorry ian. Now ko lang nakita to. But for those who have the same question, oo ask lang kami ng ask tapos ung tricycle driver, dinala lang kami sa kawayan port tapos dun sa port, madaming boat. May sasalubong din sa inyo na mga bangkero.

    2. Thanks, we had a successful trip na in Sambawan.

  4. Hi Fathema yung 2.5k round trip na po ba yun kawayan to sambawan? Thanks

    1. Yes po. Roundtrip na :) usually 3.5k talaga singil nila pero nag.haggle lang kami kasi apat lang kami.


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