Kalanggaman Island is shaped like a bird, reason why its name is derived from the local word “langgam” that means bird. This sandbar off the coast of Palompon, Leyte has gained popularity in recent years, but it has long been a local secret. Kalanggaman is hemmed in by palm-studded, cream sand and lapped by swirling, turquoise sea. It was already past summer when we visited, but this scruffy sandbar remained stunningly beautiful and blissfully devoid of luxury trappings. It’s a little crowded due to the holiday, but we still managed to snag a spot.
Unknown to many tourists, Kalanggaman Island’s real gem is hidden underneath. This famous sandbar is actually a marine sanctuary oozing with gorgeous marine life and corals. In fact, it is a famous dive spots for divers coming from Malapascua Island, which is about 2 hours away by boat. If you don’t know how to dive, you can snorkel in the reef drop-off near its shore. Here’s my Kalanggaman Island Travel Guide with itinerary and budget to help you plan your trip.
KALANGGAMAN PRE-TRIP PLANNING
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT KALANGGAMAN ISLAND : The best time to visit Kalanggaman Island is during the summer season, from March to May. You may also travel to Kalanggaman from November to February but try to avoid the months of June to October due to the rainy season and possible storms. Best to check the weather updates for your safety.
WHAT TO BRING IN KALANGGAMAN ISLAND:
Bring food and drinks. There’s no restaurant in the island, only 1 store.
Bring power bank as there is no electricity in Kalanggaman Island.
Bring coral-friendly sunblock and wear aqua shoes.
If you want to stay overnight, you can bring your tent or rent a tent forPHP 400/USD 7/EURO 6/SGD 10/MYR 30 per tent.
If you plan to snorkel, you can bring your snorkel gears or rent one from the boat operator or touts. Fee is PHP 100/USD 2/EURO 2/SGD 3/MYR 8 – PHP 150/USD 3/EURO 2/SGD 4/MYR 11.
ATMs IN KALANGGAMAN ISLAND : No ATMs in Kalanggaman Island, so stack up cash. You can withdraw cash in Palompon or Bogo.
MOBILE SIGNAL : There’s a mobile signal, however data is intermittent. If you need a pocket Wi-Fi while traveling in the Philippines, you can RESERVE HERE.
BATHROOMS and TOILETS : There are changing rooms in Kalanggaman Island and toilets but there’s no freshwater, only saline water. So, if you need to take a shower, better do it in Palompon. Anyway, soap, shampoos and detergents are strictly prohibited in Kalanggaman.
SAFETY IN KALAGGAMAN ISLAND : During our visit, there were police officers in Kalanggaman Island. Not sure if they are actually stationed there or they were stationed there because there were a lot of tourists since it’s a holiday. The island is pretty safe for tourists, however, follow the swimming protocols for your own safety. Your boatman or tour guide should instruct you as soon as you arrive in Kalanggaman. There’s also a medic station in case of untoward incidents. Just a reminder:
Do NOT swim in the sandbar area because of the dangerous rip currents. I was told there were tourists who drowned there even during our visit! There’s an area where it’s safe to swim, but not around the sandbar!
Wear life jacket when snorkeling for your safety. There’s an area where you can snorkel.
Do not leave your things unattended.
HOW TO GET TO KALANGGAMAN
MANILA to KALANGGAMAN ISLAND
Option 1 : Tacloban to Kalanggaman Island
- From Manila, fly to Tacloban, Leyte. You can SEARCH CHEAP FLIGHTS HERE.
- In Tacloban, go to Duptours or Van Vans Terminal.
You can go there by tricycle if you are already in Tacloban.
But if you are coming from Tacloban Airport since it’s quite far from the city center, you can take a tricycle to the van terminal (Duptours or Van Vans) for roughly PHP 150/USD 3/EURO 2/SGD 4/MYR 11. Alternatively, you may also take a taxi for roughly PHP 300/USD 6/EURO 5/SGD 8/MYR 23. The cheapest way to Tacloban Airport is by multi-cab to downtown Tacloban.
3. At Duptours or Van Vans Terminal, ride a van to Palompon, Leyte. Fare is aboutPHP 154/USD 3/EURO 2/SGD 4/MYR 12. Travel time is 3.5 hours.
4. Get off at Palompon, Leyte.
5. Walk or ride a pedicab to the nearby Palompon Tourism Office located in the Freedom Park beside the Palompon Municipal Town Hall.
6. Register and hire a boat to Kalanggaman Island. Boat rental from Palompon to Kalanggaman Island:
- PHP 3,000/USD 56/EURO 48/SGD 77/MYR 228 – good for 15 persons
- PHP 3,500/USD 66/EURO 56/SGD 89/MYR 266 – good for 25 persons
- PPHP 4,000/USD 75/EURO 64/SGD 102/MYR 304 – good for 30 persons
See other Kalanggaman Fees on the table below.
IMPORTANT: Last trip of vans from Palompon, Leyte is at 4:30 PM. So, if you want to stay overnight in Palompon or Tacloban, make sure you are already at the van terminal at least by 4:00 PM so you won’t miss the last trip.
Option 2: Ormoc to Kalanggaman Island
There’s no non-stop flight from Manila to Ormoc, you have to fly to Cebu City first. From Cebu City, you can fly to Ormoc, Leyte. SEARCH FOR FLIGHTS HERE.
NOTE: You can also go to Ormoc from Cebu by fast craft. See directions from Cebu to Kalanggaman via Ormoc below.
- From Ormoc Airport, go to Ormoc van and bus terminal located behind the pier in front of the Ormoc City Park.
2. Ride a van or bus to Palompon Leyte. Travel time is roughly 1.5 hours and van fare is around PHP 110/USD 2/EURO 2/SGD 3/MYR 8.
3. Get off at Palompon.
4. Walk or ride a pedicab to Palompon Tourism Office. It is located at the Freedom Park beside the Municipal Town Hall.
5. Register, rent a boat to Kalanggaman Island and pay the entrance fees at the Palompon Eco-Tourism Office. See the Kalanggaman Island fees below.
CEBU to KALANGGAMAN ISLAND
Option 1: Cebu City to Kalanggaman
1.From Cebu City, go to Pier 1 Cokaliong office and purchase a ticket to Palompon, Leyte.
2. Ride the ferry from Cebu City to Palompon, Leyte. Travel time is about 5.5 hours. Fare starts at PHP 310/USD 6/EURO 5/SGD 8/MYR 24.
Here’s the Cokaliong Ferry schedule from Cebu City Pier 1 to Palompon. You can double check the schedule HERE
|MON, TUE, THUR, SAT||8:00 PM||1:30 AM||Economy – PHP 310/USD 6/EURO 5/SGD 8/MYR 24|
Tourist – PHP 510/USD 10/EURO 8/SGD 13/MYR 39
Cabin – PHP 785/USD 15/EURO 13/SGD 20/MYR 60
Suite Room – PHP 1,995/USD 37/EURO 32/SGD 51/MYR 152 per room (good for 2 pax)
|SUNDAY||12:00 PM||06:00 PM||Economy – PHP 310/USD 6/EURO 5/SGD 8/MYR 24|
Tourist – PHP 510/USD 10/EURO 8/SGD 13/MYR 39
Cabin – PHP 785/USD 15/EURO 13/SGD 20/MYR 60
Suite Room –
PHP 1,995/USD 37/EURO 32/SGD 51/MYR 152 per room (good for 2 pax)
- At Palompon, Leyte, walk or take a pedicab to Palompon Eco-Tourism Office.
- Register, rent boat and pay entrance fees.
- Ride pump boat to Kalanggaman Island.
Total Fare (one-way): PHP 310/USD 6/EURO 5/SGD 8/MYR 24
Total travel time: Approximately 5.5 hours + 1 hour boat ride to Kalanggaman
Option 2: Bago City to Kalanggaman Island
1.At North Bus Terminal in Cebu City, take a bus bound for Bogo City. Travel time is roughly 3 hours. Fare is approximately PHP 140/USD 3/EURO 2/SGD 4/MYR 11.
- Alight at Bogo and ride a tricycle to Polambato Port. Transit time is about 25 minutes and fare is PHP 150/USD 3/EURO 2/SGD 4/MYR 11 per tricycle (good for 3-4 persons).
- In Polambato Port, take a Super Shuttle Ferry to Palompon. Here’s the schedule:
Bogo City to Palompon, Leyte – Daily at 12:00 PM
Palompon to Bogo City – Daily at 7:30 AM
Super Shuttle Ferry
Pier 8 Private Pier
North Reclamation Area, Cebu City
(032) 232-3150, (032) 231-0639, (032) 234-4121, (032) 345-5581)
- At Palompon, walk or ride a pedicab to Palompon Tourism Office.
- Register, pay fees and rent a boat to Kalanggaman Island.
- Take boat to Kalanggaman Island. See boat rental below.
Option 3: Cebu City to Kalanggaman Island via Ormoc
1. In Cebu City, go to Cebu City Pier 1.
2. Purchase a ticket to Ormoc. Fare starts at PHP 1000/USD 19/EURO 16/SGD 26/MYR 76. But you can book a discounted ticket in advance through the link below. Travel time is roughly 2 hours and 30 minutes.
3. Once you are in Ormoc Pier. Exit the gate and cross to the van and bus terminal in front of the Ormoc City Park.
4. Ride the van to Palompon, Leyte. Travel time from Ormoc to Palompon is roughly 1.5 hours and van fare is aboutPHP 110/USD 2/EURO 2/SGD 3/MYR 8.
5. Alight at Palompon. Walk or ride a pedicab to Palompon Tourism Office. It is located at the Freedom Park beside the Municipal Town Hall.
6. Register, rent a boat to Kalanggaman Island and pay the entrance fees at the Palompon Tourism Office. See the Kalanggaman Island boat rates and entrance fees below.
Total Fare (one-way): PHP 1,100/USD 21/EURO 18/SGD 28/MYR 84
Transit Time: 4 hours + 1-hour boat ride to Kalanggaman Island
Option 4: MALAPASCUA to KALANGGAMAN ISLAND
1. The cheapest way if you are alone or a small group is to join the Malapascua tour package to Kalanggaman for PHP 800/USD 15/EURO 13/SGD 20/MYR 61 per person (lunch included + roundtrip fare). Arrange this tour with a tout for the trip next day. Usually starts at 9:00 AM.
TIP: If you are large group (15 pax or up), you can rent a boat to Kalanggaman Island for PHP 7,000/USD 131/EURO 112/SGD 179/MYR 533.
- Ride the large outrigger boat to Kalanggaman Island. Travel time from Malapascua to Kalanggaman Island is about 2 hours.
- Get off at Kalanggaman Island. Pay the entrance fee. See rates below.
- Going back, make sure you listen to your boatman, tour guide about what time the boat will leave and remember the name of your boat.
Total Travel Time: 2 hours
Total Fare: PHP 800/USD 15/EURO 13/SGD 20/MYR 61
ALSO READ: MALAPASCUA ISLAND TRAVEL GUIDE
NAVAL, BILIRAN TO KALANGGAMAN ISLAND
- If you are coming from Naval, Biliran, ride a van to Ormoc. Travel time is about 1.5 hours. Fare is approximately PHP 100/USD 2/EURO 2/SGD 3/MYR 8.
2. Get off at Libungao Junction. Tell the driver to drop you off there.
3. At Libungao Junction, take another van to Palompon, Leyte. Fare is PHP 90/USD 2/EURO 1/SGD 2/MYR 7 and transit time is approximately 1 hour.
- Alight at Palompon, Leyte.
5. Walk or take a pedicab to Palompon Tourism Office.
6. Register and pay the fees + boat rental. Refer to the Kalanggaman Island fees below.
Total Fare (one-way): PHP 190/USD 4/EURO 3/SGD 5/MYR 14.
Total Travel Time: About 2.5 hours + about 1 hour boat ride to Kalanggaman
KALANGGAMAN ISLAND BOAT RENTAL
Here’s the list of boat rental rates from Palompon, Leyte to Kalanggaman Island :
|BOAT CAPACITY||KALANGGAMAN ISLAND BOAT RENTAL|
|Good for 15 persons||PHP 3,000/USD 56/EURO 48/SGD 77/MYR 228|
|Good for 25 persons||PHP 3,500/USD 66/EURO 56/SGD 89/MYR 266|
|Good for 30 persons||PHP 4,000/USD 75/EURO 64/SGD 102/MYR 304|
NOTE: If coming from Malapascua Island to Kalanggaman Island, boat rental (roundtrip) is roughly PHP 7,500/USD 140/EURO 120/SGD 192/MYR 570. Capacity is around 25 persons. The small boat for PHP 3,000 is no longer allowed due to large waves.
If you are a solo traveler , a part of two or a small group, you can join group tours in Malapascua Island to Kalanggaman Island, standard rate is PHP 800/USD 15/EURO 13/SGD 20/MYR 61 per person. A tout usually approaches tourists and offers day tours to Kalanggaman Island. This is how we got our day tour to Kalanggaman Island. A tout/tours guide approached us as soon as we arrived in Malapascua and offered us the tour package to Kalanggaman Island. You can also inquire at your hotel. The Kalanggaman tour package from Malapascua already includes lunch and roundtrip fare between the 2 islands, but entrance fee is not yet included. Refer to the table of Kalanggaman entrance fee below.
KALANGGAMAN ISLAND FEES
Here’s the entrance fee for Kalanggaman day tours:
|VISITORS||KALANGGAMAN ISLAND DAY TOUR RATES|
|Local Tourists||PHP 150/USD 3/EURO 2/SGD 4/MYR 11|
|International Tourists||PHP 500/USD 9/EURO 8/SGD 13/MYR 38|
|Senior Citizens||PHP 120/USD 2/EURO 2/SGD 3/MYR 9|
|College Students||PHP 40/USD 0.75/EURO 0.64/SGD 1/MYR 3|
|High School Students||PHP 30/USD 0.56/EURO 0.48/SGD 0.77/MYR 2.28|
|Elementary Students||PHP 20/USD 0.27/EURO 0.32/SGD 0.51/MYR 2|
And here’s the list of entrance fees for Kalanggaman Island overnight tours/camping:
|VISITORS||KALANGGAMAN ISLAND OVERNIGHT CAMPING FEES|
|International Tourists||PHP 750/USD 14/EURO 12/SGD 19/MYR 57|
|Local tourists||PHP 225/USD 4/EURO 4/SGD 6/MYR 17|
|Senior Citizens||PHP 180/USD 3/EURO 3/SGD 5/MYR 14|
|College students||PHP 60/USD 1/EURO 0.96/SGD 2/MYR 5|
|High School students||PHP 45/USD 0.84/EURO 0.72/SGD 1/MYR 3|
|Elementary Students||PHP 30/USD 0.56/EURO 0.48/SGD 0.77/MYR 2.28|
Here’s the Kalanggaman Island cottage rental fees, tent rentals as well as chairs and table rentals:
|COTTAGE CAPACITY||KALANGGAMAN COTTAGE RENTAL|
|15 persons||PHP 250/USD 5/EURO 4/SGD 6/MYR 19|
|25 persons||PHP 500/USD 9/EURO 8/SGD 13/MYR 38|
|30 persons||PHP 700/USD 13/EURO 11/SGD 18/MYR 1|
If there’s no more cottage in Kalanggaman Island (especially if you visit during holidays or weekend), or if you are on a budget, you can rent a table and some chairs instead:
PHP 30/USD 0.56/EURO 0.48/SGD 0.77/MYR 2.28 – table rental
PHP 10 – chair rental
If you want to stay overnight in Kalanggaman Island, you can bring your own tent or rent a tent.
PHP 400/USD 7/EURO 6/SGD 10/MYR 30 – tent rental
You can contact Palompon Eco-Tourism through the following contact numbers for more details:
Mobile (Smart): +63 998 5551421
Mobile (Globe): +63 926 8164007
Mobile (Globe): +63 926 8164005
Landline: (053) 555 9731
THINGS TO DO IN KALANGGAMAN
SWIMMING – Do not swim near the sandbar. Ask your boatman about the safe area for swimming.
SNORKELING – Bring your own snorkeling gear or rent one form your boatman for about PHP 100- PHP 150
BANANA BOAT –PHP 500/USD 9/EURO 8/SGD 13/MYR 38 (good for 5 persons)
KAYAKING – PHP 150/USD 3/EURO 2/SGD 4/MYR 11 per hour
DIVING – Dive Guide PHP 800/USD 15/EURO 13/SGD 20/MYR 61
Dive Gears (International Tourists) : PHP 1000/USD 19/EURO 16/SGD 26/MYR 76
(Local Tourists): PHP 800/USD 15/EURO 13/SGD 20/MYR 61
WHERE TO STAY IN KALANGGAMAN ISLAND
There are no resorts or decent rooms in Kalanggaman Island. If you plan to stay here overnight, your only option is to go camping. You can bring your own tent and pay the overnight camping fee (see rates below). Or you may rent a tent for PHP 400.
Alternatively, you may stay overnight in Palompon, Ormoc or Leyte. Here are some budget hotels in Leyte:
1. PALOMPON BUDGET HOTEL
2. ORMOC BUDGET HOTELS
Oriental Pension Plaza
Rizal Street, Ormoc City, Barangay 24, Ormoc
Ormoc Villa Hotel
Obrero corner San Pedro Street, Ormoc City, Barangay 13, Ormoc
Real cor. Solidad Streets, Ormoc, Leyte, Barangay 14, Ormoc
Hotel Don Felipe
Inaki A. Larrazabal St. cor Bonifacio St.Ormoc City, Barangay 3, Ormoc, Philippines
3. TACLOBAN BUDGET HOTELS
Duptours Compound, Santo Niño Street, Barangay 45, Tacloban City
I stay here whenever I am in Tacloban, because it is conveniently located at the back of Duptours van terminal. The rooms are pretty clean and the staff are helpful.
Z Pad Residences
Dadison St., Tacloban City, Leyte, Barangay 66-A, Tacloban City
CLN Boutique Hotel
CLN Building, Maharlika Highway, Brgy, 91, Abucay, Barangay 91, Tacloban City
# 400 Brgy.50, Cor. Real St. & Independencia St. Tacloban City, Barangay 66, Tacloban City
KALANGGAMAN ISLAND ITINERARY + BUDGET
Here’s a sample Kalanggaman day tour itinerary with budget. This sample itinerary is from Tacloban to Kalanggaman.
|07:30 AM||ETA van terminal (Duptours or Van Vans), PHP 10|
|08:00 AM||Ride Van to Palompon, Leyte, PHP 154|
|11:30 AM||ETA Palompon, Leyte.|
|11:35 AM||Go to Palompon Eco-Tourism Office. Register and pay the fees. PHP 3,000 for boat + PHP 150 for entrance fee.|
|12:35 PM||ETA Kalanggaman Island.|
|01:30 PM||Swimming, snorkeling and photo op.|
|03:00 PM||ETD for Palompon|
|04:00 PM||ETA Palompon. Shower and change clothes.|
|04:15 PM||Van terminal to Tacloban (or Ormoc).|
|04:30 PM||ETD for Tacloban, PHP 154|
|07:30 PM||ETA Tacloban.|
KALANGGAMAN ISLAND BREAKDOWN OF EXPENSES
Here’s a list of estimated expenses for a Kalanggaman day tour from Tacloban, good for a solo traveler.
|Van fare to Palompon||PHP 154/USD 3/EURO 2/SGD 4/MYR 12|
|Van fare to Tacloban||PHP 154/USD 3/EURO 2/SGD 4/MYR 12|
|Boat Rental (good for 15 pax)||PHP 3,000/USD 56/EURO 48/SGD 77/MYR 228|
|Day tour entrance fee||PHP 150/USD 3/EURO 2/SGD 4/MYR 11|
|Total Expenses||PHP 3,458/USD 65/EURO 55/SGD 88/MYR 263|
*Lunch and airfare not included in the calculation.
Budget is way lower if you are traveling with someone or you are joining a group. So, if you are a party of two, estimated expenses is around PHP 1,958/USD 37/EURO 32/SGD 50/MYR 149 per person. If 4 people, around PHP 1,208/USD 23/EURO 19/SGD 31/MYR 92 per person.
KALANGGAMAN SIDE TRIPS
You can also go island hopping in Cuatro Islas (Tres Island Tour):
- Digyo Island
- Mahaba Island
- Apid Island
- Himokilan Island
Boat rental is PHP 2,500 – PHP 3,000 + PHP 50 per person environmental fee.
2. MALAPASCUA ISLAND
From Kalaggaman Island, there are direct boats to Malapascua Island. You can approach a boatman (usually they have package tours between Malapascua and Kalanggaman Island), so you can join the boat going back to Malapascua Island for a fee. Usually, day tours for Kalanggaman Island from Malapascua is PHP 800 per person. Travel time is roughly 2 hours.
I’ll write an updated post about Biliran. In the meantime, you can check my old post here: BILIRAN TRAVEL GUIDE.
KALANGGAMAN TRAVEL TIPS + REMINDERS
Again, DO NOT SWIM IN THE SANDBAR. It is not safe because of the hazardous riptides. Many have drowned here. Follow the instruction of your tour guide or boatman on where to swim!
Wear coral-friendly sunblock.
There’s a grilling station in Kalanggaman that you can use for free.
No electricity in the island, so charge your gadgets, bring extra batteries and bring a power bank.
Mobile signal is available, but data is intermittent.
Please do. Not leave your trash! Take your trash with you and segregate! A staff of the eco-tourism of Kalanggaman provides each boat a white and black trash bag to segregate your trash into biodegradable and non-biodegradable.
Practice leave no trace, please! Do not take home sand as souvenir.
About the Blogger : Gael is a Filipina travel blogger. Her work has appeared in local and international publications.
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