Canigao Island is definitely my favorite place in Leyte, first because the island is beautiful and second because it’s super easy and super cheap to go there. Canigao truly is a virgin island. The island is just perfect, white sand, clear water, super clean. Not many people live on it, mostly the staff. You can easily walk around the island in about 15 minutes. On the other side, you can have the beach all to yourself as most people stay around the boat drop off.
Part of the island is a marine sanctuary which makes it the best place to do snorkeling. The corals are amazing and there’s a lot of colorful fishes to observe. Bring your own equipment as there’s none on the island for rent.
Contrary to most municipalities, Matalom doesn’t ask you to rent the whole boat, they just wait for the boat to be full or almost and they make the trip to the island. It only cost 105 pesos for the boat and the entrance fee. You can go to Canigao Island as a day trip from Batos, Hilongos or Ormoc. The last trip is at 5 pm.
Canigao island overnight
You can spend the night on Canigao Island. Pitch a tent for 100 pesos or stay in a family bungalow for 700 pesos and up. To book a bungalow, you can contact the tourist office via their facebook page, they’re not really reactive so plan well ahead. You can also just get there in the morning and book it directly at their office.
Bring your own food and water, there are not many options there. Sometimes, fishermen stop by the island to sell fresh seafood.
If you have a hammock bring it, there’s plenty of trees to set it up. It’s the best way to enjoy some beach relaxation time. The CR are free of use and you can shower there. Electricity is limited and you’ll have to pay 20 pesos to charge your phone.
Be careful, the departure point is no longer in Matalom city but in Itum.
Entrance fee: 40 pesos – Boat fare back and forth: 65 pesos
Near Matalom you can also explore Hitoog Cave and Karap-Agan falls. You’ll need to hire a habal-habal or find a motorbike to rent. You can do this as a half-day-trip and then go to Canigao in the afternoon.
There are no accommodations in Matalom but you can stay in Bato or Hilongos, less than 30 minutes away and just do a day-trip from there. Be careful, the vans tend to overcharge you. I paid 20 on the way to Matalom from Hilongos, but on my way back the driver charged me 40.
Visiting Leyte? Check out the best places to visit during your trip to Leyte.
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