My new island crush is Kalanggaman Island Leyte and it is somewhere in the East of the Philippines. In a country with so many gorgeous islands it is hard to stand out, but from the moment I arrived it was love at first sight and I decided to write a Kalanggaman Island blog post about my new crush with all my travel tips and things to know. How to get there, where to stay, the facilities, the entrance fee and more.
Before I give you all the Kalanggaman Island travel tips I am going to show you some amazing photos I took with a drone. At that time I was still traveling with a drone and made great use of it. Have a look at the following Kalanggaman Island photos and you understand why this is one of the best places to see in Philippines.
Coming from Cebu then don't forget to see the best tourist spots in South Cebu, like whalesharks, the highest peaks and the sardine run.
12 things to know about Kalanggaman Island
1. How to get to Kalanggaman Island Leyte
From Malapascua to Kalanggaman
If you travel to Kalanggaman there is a big chance you arrive from Malapascua Island in the North of Cebu. Just like I did! From Malapascua Island there are direct boats that take about 2h and cost 700PHP ($15) for a round trip. They leave in the early morning and come back in the afternoon.
This was the boat that took us from Malapascua to Kalanggaman. The sea was calm that day and the ride was smooth.
From Cebu to Kalanggaman
The trip from Cebu to Kalanggaman Island goes through Pulangbato Port in Bogo City from where you take a boat bound for Palompon (170PHP). From the North Bus Terminal in Cebu there are frequent busses going up to Bogo City (150 PHP) and will take around 4 hours. The boat trip from Bogo City to Kalanggaman is a little over an hour but then you arrive at one of the best beaches in the Philippines.
From Tacloban to Kalanggaman
If you are coming from Leyte to Kalanggaman then it will most probably be from Tacloban as it is one of the major cities on the island. Boats to Kalanggaman leave from Palompon. So first hop on a mini van from from Tacloban to Palompon this should not cost more than 200 PHP and takes around 2 hours. Once you get to Palompon you gotta search for the boats to Kalanggaman. The trip should not cost more 200 PHP either, but be prepared to bargain. The trip only takes one hour from Palompon to Kalanggaman.
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2. Marine sanctuary
Kalanggaman Island is a pristine white sand island with waving palm trees and is seemingly untouched. This is probably because already back in 2009 it was declared a Marine Sanctuary, which helps protecting this little piece of heaven. To enjoy Kalanggaman Island Leyte foreigners pay a 500 PHP day fee. Lets hope with this money to preserve the island as much as they can.
Have a look at this drone video I created from Kalanggaman Island.
3. Best time to visit Kalanggaman
The dry season lasts from March to June and during this months you obviously have the best chance for good weather. Although I have been in July and it was a perfect day!
4. Things to do on Kalanggaman Island
There is nothing so if you are expecting anything else like hanging out on the beach you are at the wrong place. That said though the island is absolutely amazing for taking some brilliant photos. The views are spectacular, the waving palm trees almost too perfect and it is not at all too crowded. Bring your snorkel gear though and some games. And above all mingle with the locals. Kalanggaman Island is not only a favorite tourist spot in Cebu and Leyte it is also popular among locals.
5. Kalanggaman Island Resort
Have a look at the photo below, this is as close as it gets to the Kalanggaman Island resort you are looking for. There is no such thing like that. The only way to stay overnight on the island is camping!
If you are expecting a fancy place to sleep on this island you are wrong. The Kalanggaman Island resort is a camping ground. There are some operators that offer overnight camping trips in Leyte, Cebu and Malapascua. Basically you rent camping equipement and you buy a box with food and drinks to take with you. From what I heard is that you can rent a tent on arrival, but it will probably be first come first serve and I would not trust it. I did not really see anyone renting out tents, but locals told me it was possible.
All your food you have to arrange yourself as well, but for 750PHP (500 entrance fee + 250 camping fee) you sleep under a bazillion stars, have the island for yourself as the day trips leave and watch an incredible sunset and sunrise. This is if you arrange food and camping gear yourself.
6. Beach huts for rent
Through Leyte Tourism you can rent beach huts and there is even a shower kind of thing. There is no source, so I bet it is a salt water shower. More info below.
7. Kalanggaman tours
There are many day tours to Kalanggaman and you can book them pretty much anywhere where the boats leave to the island. Mostly you just pay for a return ticket for the boat and you pay the entrance fee to Kalanggaman to the boat men. There are overnight tours that can be organized by Leyte Tourism. Their land line is: (053) 555-9731. There are also some mobile numbers mentioned. See the info board below that I found on the island.
8. Toilet facilities
There is a kind of shag that is called a toilet, so yes there is an option to go to toilet. Expect the worst then it can only be ok. It is a Western toilet btw. Bringing your own toilet paper is a vital Kalanggaman travel tip.
9. Mobile signal
There is obviously no wifi on the island, but Kalanggaman receives phone signal from Leyte Island. So bring powerbanks if you are planning to stay overnight so you can charge your electronic devices. Mind you that the signal is weak and you can better just sit back and relax.
10. Little shop
They obviously only sell some snacks and drinks, but you can get beers. Some are cold, most are not. Rum is always for the grab. They don't have much of course, but can come in handy if you decide to stay overnight at Kalanggaman and you need some extra supplies.
11. Leave no trace
It is sad that I even have to mention this, but please bring back your own shit when you visit Kalanggaman. I decided to collect some garbage I found and bring it on board for my way back to Malapascua. The boat guy looked a little weird at me, but if we would all contribute a little more towards responsible tourism I am sure the world becomes a better place some day.
The sandbank looks amazing on pictures, but be aware that the sandbank moves with the tides. At high tide the sandbank was completely under water and the tide was strong. Not saying it was dangerous to be out there, but definitely be careful if you are not a good swimmer. There are signs saying you have to be careful with the tides as they can drag you out to the open sea and therefore at certain times of the day it is not allowed to swim on one side of the sand bank.
My Kalanggaman experience
The first thing I did when I arrived to Kalanggaman was grabbing my camera. I walked around capturing this picturesque island. It is hard to say but it felt like one of the best islands in Philippines that I have visited. Kalanggaman Island is approximately 1km long and has a sandbar on one side with nothing but perfect white sand. On the other side there are some rocks but the island is mainly just the most pristine white sand and palm trees. I chilled out in the shade under the palm trees and drank rum with some locals I met. They were well prepared and brought food and drinks. We only had some water! A shame, because as soon as I heard I was able to stay overnight I wanted to do so. Unfortunately my time was limited and I had to leave at the end of the afternoon.
The water of Kalanggaman Island Leyte is as clear as a pool and apart from one side of the sand bar the sea is super calm all around the island and floating around or swimming is lovely here. May be sitting in the water drinking an ice cold beer in one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines is not a bad idea either.
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Try your luck and find flights from Cebu to Palawan for just $33! I just searched on a random date in March 2019!
Traveling around Cebu? Then check out what to do in North Cebu, I included Kalanggaman Island as I fell in love with this little paradise.
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