Ever since I saw a drone video of the Kalanggaman island, I’ve been wanting to go there. So when Cebu Pacific had a Piso Fare Sale, I booked a flight to Cebu and see Kalanggaman.
By the time we were going to Kalanggaman, I was ecstatic. Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed. It was a surreal experience.
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Kalanggaman At A Glance
Kalanggaman is known for its turquoise blue waters, long sandbars, and white powdery sand. Unlike other islands, Kalanggaman offers a relaxing and serene experience. There are no big or fancy resorts here. If you want to experience the beach and the sea at its best, this is the island to be.
Located in Leyte, Philippines, Kalanggaman Island is every beach camper’s paradise. Yes, that’s right! Camping on the island is possible. It’s approximately 753 meters and uninhabited. The locals only allow a maximum of 500 tourists per day to avoid overcrowding on the island.
Despite being uninhabited, you can find here the Jeter Resort where you can rent Tipi Huts. There are also basic facilities around the island.
If you want to experience a perfect getaway on a virgin island, Kalanggaman island should be on your top list. Some activities you can do here are kayaking, swimming, scuba diving or snorkeling.
If you’re planning on visiting Kalanggaman, here’s a complete travel guide to help you.
When To Visit
There are two seasons in the country namely the rainy season and the summer season. The best time to visit Kalanggaman island would be during the dry months starting from February to May. Though, you can still visit from October to June.
Times to Avoid: Avoid the months of July to September since it’s the typhoon or rainy season. If you don’t like crowds, don’t go during holy week, long weekends or any national holidays.
How To Get There
From what I’ve heard so far, there are two ways to go to Kalanggaman – via Cebu and via Leyte. So first things first, book a flight to Tacloban or Cebu.
Upon arriving at the airport, ride a taxi going to the North Bus Station. From here you can either ride a Ceres Bus or a van to go to Maya port.
- Travel Time: 4-5 hours
- Fare: P180
- Travel Time: 3 hours
- Fare: P220
At the Maya port, ride a boat going to Malapascua.
- Travel Time: 30 mins to 1 hour
- Fare: P100 (during high tide) ; P120 (during low tide because you have to ride a small boat to bring you to the big boat)
At Malapascua, you can book a tour going to Kalanggaman. There are usually 3 trips per day going to the island. (see rates & fees below). It’s best to coordinate with your resort or hotel in Malapascua so they can reserve a slot for you.
- Travel Time: 1.5 hours
You can also book a tour to Kalanggaman from Klook.
Travel Tip: If you want to visit Leyte from Cebu before going to Kalanggaman, you can book a ferry or check ferry schedules with 12go.asia. Then, from Leyte, simply follow the next steps (from Tacloban or Ormoc) to get to Kalanggaman.
From Tacloban (Leyte)
Ride a van going to Palompon.
- Travel Time: 3 hours
- Fare: P170
Hire a boat going to Kalanggaman Island from the Tourism office.
- Travel Time: 1 hour
- Fare: P3,000 (good for 15 to 20 people)
From Ormoc (Leyte)
From Ormoc, ride a van going to Palompon, Leyte and rent a boat here going to Kalanggaman Island (see the rate above).
- Travel Time: 1.5 hours
- Fare: P110
Rates and Fees
- Day trip to Kalanggaman (Joiners Tour) from Malapascua – P800 per person (Inclusions: Return trip, Lunch, and Life Vest)
- Entrance Fee (Day Tour)– P150 (for locals) and P500(for foreigners)
- Entrance Fee (Overnight)– P225 (for locals) and P750(for foreigners)
- Tent Rentals – P300/night (4 person tent), and P200/night (2 person tent)
- Cottage Rentals – P250 (good for 15 persons), P500 (good for 25 persons), P750 (good for 30 persons)
- Private Boat Rentals – P3,000 (good for 15 persons), P3,500 (good for 25 persons), P4,000 (good for 30 persons)
Note: Prices may change without prior notice.
After arriving in Cebu at 3:30 am, we went to Malapascua and booked a day trip to Kalanggaman.
We rode a big boat. It was a joiners tour. Our group consisted of a lot of foreigners – Chinese, British, Dutch and so on.
From afar, Kalanggaman Island looked pristine. The waters around it were crystal clear and turquoise blue. sandbar The one word to describe its beauty is ‘paradise’. The sand was white, too. Wow.
We immediately put on our snorkeling gears after a few photos of the place and discovered the beauty of paradise underwater. There weren’t that much corals near the beach but there were tons of fishes! I saw some schools of fishes, too.
After more than 2 hours of enjoying the place, we went back to the boat to eat lunch. There was watermelon, pancit, chicken, grilled pork, rice, and soda drinks. The serving looked small but it fed all of us buffet style.
There’s a store on the island who can cook short order food. If you brought some fresh catch, you can use the wooden tables and grilling stations on the island. There are also a few people selling overpriced ice cream at P40 – P50 per piece.
I was beyond excited to see the sandbar. By 1 pm, the waters started to recede to show the much-awaited sandbar. Too bad, my camera was acting up so I was only able to take some photos and no videos. Times like these make me want to have a drone, too. There were a lot of tourists then so it was hard to take a great photo.
Tips and Reminders
- Bring some food and water before the trip to Kalanggaman especially when you’re always hungry. I know I am. I regret bringing a few snacks along. Our lunch was at 12:30 pm but I was starving at 11 am.
- Buy reef-safe sunscreen.
- Bring a few clothes with you especially when there are big waves. You’ll end up getting splashed with a lot of water on board. Better yet, use your swimming clothes.
- You can camp in Kalanggaman Island for P225.
- There are cottages around the island that you can rent for P500 per day.
- Bring your snorkeling gears, there are great snorkeling areas around the island.
- There are no ATM Machines on the island.
- There’s no electricity on the island.
What to Pack for
- Eco-friendly Reusable Water Bottle
- Light Rain Jacket (especially from June to November)
- T-shirts, a nice top, and a long-sleeved shirt
- Aqua Shoes
- Day Bag
- Power Adapter
- Universal Waterproof Phone Case
- Packing Cubes
- Microfiber Towel
- Travel Insurance
- Money Belt
- sneakers, hiking shoes (if you’re planning to hike) and some flats
- reusable straw and reusable bag (no to single-use plastic!)
Related Article: The Only Travel Packing List You’ll Ever Need (Trust Me)
Our Camera Gear
- Mirrorless Camera: Fujifilm XT3
- Lenses: Fujifilm Fujinon kit lens (18-55mm) | Fujinon 35mm f2 | Fujinon 50mm f2
- Drone: DJI Mavic Pro 2
- GoPro: GoPro Hero Black 7
- Power Bank: Romoss Powerbank
- Camera Backpack: Case Logic Camera and Laptop Backpack
- Monopod: Ifootage Cobra 2 a180
- Mic: Rode VideoMicro
- Gimbal: Zhiyun Weebill-S
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