Friday, July 28, 2017

Biliran: Sambawan Island

Sambawan Island is a small island west of the island of Maripipi. From afar, it looks like a hiding alligator watching over Maripipi. In reality, it is a series of interconnecting hills covered with grasses and is surrounded by the turquoise water.

I have been to a number of islands in the Philippines but Sambawan Island was definitely one of the best.

How to get there

From Mainland Biliran, you have three options to get to Sambawan Island:
1. Direct trip from Naval Port to to Sambawan Island. This is through a charted boat for P7,000 good for 10-15 persons
2. From Naval, take a jeepney (P35) or hire a habal-habal (P300 RT good for 2 persons) to Kawayan Port. Travel time is 45 minutes. From the port, hire a boat to Sambawan Island (P3,000 RT good for 8-10 persons). Travel time is 1 hour.
3. From Naval, travel to Maripipi island via ferry boats (P75). From Maripipi port, hire a habal-habal (P30) to Brgy Ol-og. Then charter a boat to Sambawan Island (P600 for 4 pax). Total travel time is approx. 3 hours.

To know how to get to Biliran, click here.

Tips and Basic Information
  • Boat from Naval to Maripipi Island leaves at 10:00 AM daily except Sunday. The same boat leaves Maripipi to Naval the next day.
  • If you are travelling by a big group (6 or more persons), choice 2 is the best  option. But if you're on a budget and travelling alone or with smaller groups, you can consider item 3. 
  • Another good point is that your choice of means to get to Sambawan Island depends on your available time. For option 1 & 2, you may be able to have a control of your time and tour unlike for item 3 where you need to consider the ferry schedule.
  • We were supposed to take choice 3 since my friend and I were on a budget and cannot afford to charter a private boat. However, thanks to Ate Malou, she arranged a cheaper boat fare :) We got our boat for P1,500 RT. 
  • Entrance fee is P100 that includes Entrance & Environmental Fee
  • There is no store in the island neither at Kawayan Port. It would better if you buy food and water at Naval.
  • During our stay, we had the whole island to ourselves. I loved the island because it is not crowded. By the way, we went on a Friday :)
  • There are cottages in the Island. Since there were few people, just me and my friend, we were able to occupy one cottage for free.
  • There's a view deck on top of the hill that gives you 360 view of the island. Warning: there are 100 plus steps to get there. Keep yourself hydrated!
  • You can stay in the island for camping.
  • The marine life surrounding the island is so abundant! There are snorkelling and diving areas for enthusiast. You can also rent your gears from the Island's office.
  • Fresh water is not ready available in the Island but I think the caretaker offered us one but we decided to wash off at our accommodation, TJ Pensionne. 
  • The boat ride was rough going to and from the island. We had the waves splashing at us. So no point in washing off at the island and then getting soaked with sea water. haha
  • We left our things at TJ Pensionne's reception area and just brought necessary things to the island. After out tour, we were able to wash off free of charge. :) More info about TJ Pensionne here.

Contact Persons
Kuya Fernando - Habal Habal Service to and from Kawayan Port - 09464369851
Ate Malou - For Sambawan Island reservation - 09212628154

This trip is part of our 4 days and 3 nights Biliran, Leyte and Southern Leyte Tour. For itinerary and expenses, please click here.

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