Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Limasawa Island Travel Guide 2018 (Southern Leyte)

Limasawa, aqua, ocean, leaves, breathtaking, tower, cliff, hill, hill beside the sea, limasawa travel guide

Prior to a few days ago, Limasawa wasn't really a place I knew too much of. Although I've heard about its religious and historical significance in the Philippines, I wasn't really interested because history is a part of our past. I just want to forget the past and move on. LOL. But kidding aside, it's a four-hour drive from Tacloban and I just didn't have the chance to do so. Fortunately, I got invited by a friend and with my very limited budget, I just went for it because... YOLO! 😁


Oh by the way, did you know that the name of the island is derived from the words "lima" and "asawa" which means five wives? About 497 years ago, the first king in this island, Rajah Kulambo, had five wives, hence the name Limasawa! My my... Rajah Humabon was the real hokage back in the days.πŸ˜‚ But there's actually another story here, the island was named "Le Mazaua" by the Spaniards because of its beauty, and this was later on changed to Limasawa by the locals.

breathaking, scenic ocean, panoramic view, ocean, sea, limasawa, island lagoon resort


Now about the island,  I LOVE IT! It has everything that I want to see and experience -- a beach resort for a breezy chill night, a swimming lagoon convenient enough for aspiring human mermaids like me (lol), a cliff diving spot for adventure junkies and a breathtaking ocean view from the lighthouse sitting high on a hill. It's just amazing how all these are integrated in one island. I fully understand now why Magellan decided to dock here and celebrated the first mass in the Philippines.


HOW TO GET TO LIMASAWA FROM TACLOBAN

1. From Tacloban, ride a van or bus bound for Maasin. You can do this in either New Bus Terminal, Van-vans, Duptours or Grand Tours Terminal. Earliest trip is usually at 5am. Fare is 220-240 pesos and travel time is 3-4 hours.

2. Once in Maasin, you can ride a Public Utility Vehicle (multicab) going to Padre Burgos Port. Fare is 30 pesos. Travel time is 30 minutes.

*If you are using a private car, use google maps and follow the Sogod-Padre Burgos route (as seen on the photo below).

tacloban to padre burgos port, google map

3. In Padre Burgos Port, just approach the boatmen and ask if you can still ride the passenger boat. Fare is 50 pesos per person and travel time is 45 minutes.

Take note that the passenger boat is available from Monday to Saturday only. They currently have three trips per day. The earliest trip is at 5:30AM followed by 9:30AM and 1PM (but this is still subject to change). My tip: go there as early as possible so you can take advantage of the cheapest option. Alternatively, you can charter a private boat good for 10-25 pax. Price ranges from 1,000 to 2,500 pesos per trip depending on the size of the boat. The passenger boat will dock at either Triana or Magallanes port in Limasawa (depending on the weather), but if you are in a private boat, you can have them drop you at your chosen resort.

We were a group of 7 (8 if including Justin, the dog) who went there on a Sunday and since we arrived at around 11AM, we had to charter a private boat for 2,500 pesos (this boat was good for 25 pax). There was also another group who joined us so it helped lower down our expenses. We also contacted this boat to pick us up from the resort back to Padre Burgos the next day.

limasawa island, snorkeling, green mountain, aqua ocean, boat

HOW TO GET TO LIMASAWA FROM CEBU

1. From Cebu Pier, ride a boat going to either Bato, Hilongos, Baybay or Maasin. (See tables below for the schedules, rates, etc.)
2. From Bato, Hilongos and Baybay, there are vans and buses en route to Maasin.
3. Once in Maasin, you can ride a Public Utility Vehicle (multicab) going to Padre Burgos Port. 

Then follow step 3 above (How to go to Limasawa from Tacloban).

Cebu to Leyte boat schedule, cebu to hilongos, cebu to baybay, cebu to maasin, cebu to bato

via Baybay
Cebu to Baybay
Schedule:
Monday - 9PM
Wednesday - 9PM
Friday - 9PM
Saturday - 9PM
Fare:
340 to 470 pesos
Baybay to Cebu
Schedule:
Tuesday - 10PM
Thursday - 10PM
Friday - 10PM
Sunday - 10PM
Fare:
340 to 470 pesos
 Roble Shipping Inc.
Cebu Office:
(032) 419-1190 to 95 / (032) 260-1921 to 23
Baybay:
(053) 563-7487 / (053) 335-3550


via Hilongos
Cebu to Hilongos
Schedule:
(Day Trip) 12NN Daily
(Night Trip) 9PM Daily
Duration:
5-6 hours
Fare:
320 to 470 pesos
Hilongos to Cebu
Schedule:
(Day Trip) 11AM Daily
(Night Trip) 10PM Daily
Duration:
5-6 hours
Fare:
320 to 470 pesos
 Roble Shipping Inc.
Cebu Office:
(032) 419-1190 to 95 / (032) 260-1921 to 23
Hilongos:
(053) 567-8042

via Bato Leyte
Cebu to Bato, Leyte
Schedule:
Once a day
Time:
8:30PM /
Fare:
310 to 455 pesos
Bato Leyte to Cebu
Schedule:
Once a day
Time:
9PM
Fare:
310 to 455 pesos
 Medallion Transport Inc.
Cebu Office:
(032) 416-6300 / (032) 412-1121 / 0915-536-8865 / 0942-984-9302 / 0922-413-6552
Bato Office:
 (053) 5680341 / 09321517908

via Maasin
Cebu to Maasin
Schedule:
Sunday - 12 PM
Monday - 7PM
Wednesday - 7PM
Duration:
6 hours
Fare:
350 to 550 pesos
Maasin to Cebu
Schedule:
Sunday - 10PM
Tuesday - 8AM
Thursday - 8AM
Duration:
6 hours
Fare:
350 to 550 pesos
 Cokaliong Shipping Lines
Cebu Office:
(032) 232-7211
Maasin:
(0917) 9674985 /
(053) 381-2978

HOW TO GET TO LIMASAWA FROM MANILA

1. Take a direct flight from Tacloban to Manila. 
2. Follow steps above (How to get to Limasawa from Tacloban). 

WHERE TO STAY IN LIMASAWA


Island Lagoon Resort

Entrance fee: Php20
Umbrella Cottage: Php150
Bigger open cottage: Php300
Room Accommodation (overnight stay): Php700
Contact Number: 09567903306 / or you can try to call this number --> 09359485134


Compared to the typical resorts, this one is unique as it is situated at the edge of a hill. Basically, there is no beach but only the panoramic view of the aqua blue ocean - which is nothing short of AMAZING! I'd probably come back here with my fiancΓ© or husband. I can just imagine sitting outside the room with bae, sipping our morning coffee and enjoying the spectacular view of the ocean together. Oh how romantic. 😍 The stairs going down the hill was too steep so I won't recommend you staying here if you're with children or if you have knee-related issues.


island lagoon resort, limasawa blog

island lagoon resort, limasawa blog

island lagoon resort, limasawa blog

Dakdak Beach Resort

Entrance Fee: Php50
Open cottage: Php300
Cottage/Room: Php700 (good for 4pax)
Room with AC: Php1,500
Contact Number: 09155203660 / 09175720085


It's an ordinary looking beach resort but compared to the other resorts in Limasawa, they have more cottages and a wider beach area so this is the best option to stay for the night, especially if you are with kids. There are also many trees to hang your hammock and a space to pitch a tent. A grilling area is available for barbecue lovers and you can have them cook rice for you and a kettle of hot water for your morning coffee. Everything that we needed, they seem to have it, but of course for a corresponding fee. I just don't understand why it has to be 200 pesos for a tent space - yes only the space. Compared to other islands in Visayas, that 200 is quite expensive. The owner of this resort is an old lady who seemed grumpy and unwelcoming but I just didn't mind it. I believe she is kind deep inside.

dakdak beach resort, limasawa blog


dakdak beach resort, limasawa blog
Beach life at Dakdak Beach Resort

dakdak beach resort, limasawa blog, colorful tent
Our tents were already set up but we had to dismantle if after knowing that there's a fee of  200 pesos per tent space.
dakdak beach resort, limasawa blog, grilled squid
Food prepared by Kuya Edz Plorer and friends. Yum!

Evashore Beach Resort


Evashore is the best option if you want a concrete room and probably a more comfortable overnight stay. However, it looked like it won't give you the beach vibes that you deserve when staying in an island. The beach area was small and the location in general seemed residential. However, I think it's a good venue for events or parties (I guess). We didn't actually stayed there and just saw it a few meters away while we were having our island tour so I'm just giving you my assumptions. You can contact them at 09178741302. 


ACTIVITIES


1. Island Tour

There is a standard rate of 175 pesos each for every tour in the island. One tricycle is good for 3-4 persons but if you are a solo traveller, you can get a habal-habal to tour you around with the same rate. 

limasawa history, national shrine, limasawa blog
Just sitting in front of the National Shrine where the first mass was celebrated in the Philippines dated March 31, 1521. 

limasawa history, national shrine, limaswa blog, cross, christianity

limasawa history, national shrine, limaswa blog, cross, christianity philippines
Kuya Sam is taking care of this place and it's incredible to see how passionate he is about the history of Limasawa. I'm sure if you meet kuya Sam, you will never forget him! 

limasawa history, national shrine, limaswa blog, cross, christianity, wishing well
There's a wishing well at the right side of the shrine. It felt a little creepy getting close to that well but I had to make a wish so I went there anyway.

Masaua Balanghai, limasawa history
A replica of the old houses known as "Masaua Balanghai"

first cross in the philippines
450 steps up to the first cross planted in the Philippine soil but we didn't go there due to time constraints. The next time I visit Limasawa, I'll definitely climb up there, it's a good exercise!

tower, garden
On our way to the tower - a good spot for a prenup shoot. 

limasawa tower
The tower was locked so we could't climb up but the best view in Limasawa is just at the back of this.

Limasawa, scenic view, blue ocean, aqua ocean, hill, limasawa travel blog
A moment of silence for this serene, incredible, mind-blowing view of Limasawa. 😍😍😍

2. Swimming and cliff diving at Island Lagoon Resort

The lagoon is actually the highlight of my trip. Although I know how to swim, I'm too scared to do it in deep water. Fortunately, this lagoon has a rope at the center so I was able to practice my confidence in swimming. I just had to swim near that rope so I would have something to hold on to when I was falling, when I was getting tired and feeling hopeless (naks hugot haha). In this same resort, you can also pump up your adrenaline with cliff diving. I didn't try it because I was too scared to fall,  to get hurt and/or drown with my own stupidity (lol hugot again, cge bye).

lagoon, limasawa
Look, it's my favorite lagoon in the whole wide world

cliff diving, limasawa
The diving spot

limasawa lagoon
I was just taking a picture of this life saving thingy and I just realized there were fishes in this area. Too bad I didn't notice due to my poor eyesight.

3. Snorkeling

If you take the private boat for your island transfer, you can ask them to take you to the snorkeling spot. The boatman offered it to us for free. Just bring your snorkeling gears and a bread to feed the fishes! While we were at the scene watching the fishes, there was another boat with people who seems like they were scuba diving so I think that's also possible. I just checked online and there are resorts in Padre Burgos offering scuba diving. You can look it up in google if you're interested. 

OUR ITINERARY 


Day 1
7:00 AM
Travel from Tacloban to Padre Burgos Port
11:00 AM
Boat Travel from Padre Burgos to Limasawa
12:00 PM
Arrival in Dakdak Beach Resort
1:00 PM
Lunch
3:00 PM
Island Tour Part 1 - National Shrine and its neighboring tourist spots
5:00 PM
Back to Dakdak Beach Resort
7:00 PM
Dinner / Goodnight
Day 2
7:00 AM
Island Tour Part 2 - Limasawa tower and Lagoon
8:00 AM
Arrival in Island Lagoon Resort / swimming
12:00 PM
Boat travel from resort to Padre Burgos
1:00 PM
Travel from Padre Burgos to Tacloban
5:00 PM
Arrival in Tacloban






SOME TIPS:

1. If you're not the adventurous type and/or want to have a more comfortable overnight stay, it's better to call and reserve a room first before going there.

When we were heading to the island, we had no idea which resort to go to so we just followed what the boatmen suggested which is at Dakdak Beach Resort. It was August and we were expecting fewer guests -- only to find out that all the rooms were occupied. We checked with Island Lagoon Resort and they were also fully booked. A room was available in Evashore but it was a bit pricey for us so we just decided to keep the open cottage in Dakdak, used the dismantled tent as our bedding, rented a thin foam for 100 pesos and voila -- a breezy night immediately across the strong refreshing waves of the sea. There's no mosquitos in Dakdak so it's okay to sleep outside.

2. There are no restaurants or eateries in Limasawa so bringing your own food is a necessity.

3. 4G mobile network is weak.

4. The island tour can be started late in the afternoon and be continued the next day for 175 pesos, as one time payment. This is ideal if your time is just limited (2 days and 1 night stay).

EXPENSES (estimate only)

Bus Fare (Tacloban to Maasin)
Php 220
Php 440 (back and forth)
Multicab fare from Maasin to Padre Burgos
Php 30
Php 60 (back and forth)
Boat ride from Padre Burgos to Limasawa
Php 100
Php 200 (back and forth)
Island Tour
Php 175
Php 175
Dakdak Beach Resort entrance fee
Php 50
Php 50
Island Lagoon Resort entrance fee
Php 20
Php 20
Accommodation

Php 200 (estimate if group of 4; one night only)
Food

Php 500 (estimate)
Total  
Php 1,645

Witness the beauty of Limasawa in this video below!




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Limasawa Island Travel Guide 2018 (Southern Leyte)

Prior to a few days ago, Limasawa wasn't really a place I knew too much of. Although I've heard about its religious and hist...