Kalanggaman Island: A Trip to Palompon’s Crown Jewel

Kalanggaman Island has recently been a sought-after destination among tourists and travelers. It is renowned for its clear blue water and a long stretch of sandbars. The island started to gain exposure not just in the Philippines but also internationally when MS Europa Cruise stopped on the island. The German luxury ship has brought almost 400 tourists and around 300 crew members on the island and stayed for a couple of hours. Thus, it is called as the crown jewel of Northwest Leyte.

I booked a roundtrip ticket from AirAsia during their promo last June 2016 for Php 1200 (2 pax). After almost a year of waiting, a much-awaiting vacation will finally take place.

How to get to Kalanggaman Island?

From Manila:

There are daily flights from Manila to Tacloban or Ormoc City. Travel time is about one hour and fifteen minutes. It is better to choose a seat on the left side of the plane to catch sight of the majestic Mayon Volcano from above.

From Tacloban, ride a van going to Palompon, Leyte which will take about three hours. Prepare yourself for a long and winding road.

Palompon, Leyte

Get off at Palompon Ecotours office where you can take a boat going to Kalanggaman island. Travel time is about one hour depending on sea condition.

Boat rentals:

Php 3000 – for a maximum of 15 pax
Php 3500 – for a maximum of 25 pax
Php 4000 – for a maximum of 30 pax

If you are traveling in a large group like us, you may contact Kuya Tony for van rentals (+63928 7761517).

From Cebu:

You may board a fast craft from Cebu City to Ormoc City or board a Super Shuttle Ferry going to Palompon. You may visit or call Pier 8 at North Reclamation Area for schedule. Telephone: (032) 232-3150, (032) 231-0639

Where to Stay in Kalanggaman

If you’re planning to stay overnight, you may bring all the camping equipment that you may need. You can bring your own tent or rent from the Tourism office in Palompon. There are also cottages and huts for rent on the island.

Read: Complete itinerary and travel reminders

Exploring the Crown Jewel of Leyte

After months of waiting, finally Kalanggaman here we come!

Upon setting my foot on the island, I noticed that the sand is not that fine, white and powdery as what others claim to be. The sands are mixed with crushed corals. You cannot walk around the island bare footed.

While the sand is not what I expected to be, it is good to know that despite the isolation of the island, it is equipped with necessary facilities. There are clean comfort rooms on the island which makes our trip more comfortable. There are also lifeguards who keep an eye to the swimmers. I also admire how the LGU protect and take care of the entire island. They provide trash bags for the visitors so we don’t have any reason to leave our trash anywhere.

Since we arrived a little late, what we do after pitching our tents is to prepare our food for dinner. Yes, we prepared early since there is no electricity on the island.

We proceed to the sandbar to catch the sunset and took various photos. Nothing can be more romantic than watching the sun dip lower on the horizon with your special someone.

It is getting darker, so we head back to our place and set our dinner. We had our simple dinner under the five billion stars. Because the island is surrounded by palms and tropical plants, bonfires are not allowed.

Good morning Kalanggaman Island!

The next day, we woke up just in time to witness the beautiful sunrise. Walking through the sandbar, we saw how the day magnificently unfolded. The view is uplifting and can turn your worries into hope.

Beautiful sandbar

We continued a delightful walk and went to the other side of the island. The island is beautiful with its greenish shades, palms and other tropical plants bowing over it. We saw an open chapel and a few solar powered light post. There is also a tree house on the other side of the island. The sandbar on the Northern part of the island disappeared after Typhoon Haiyan devastated the region.

Many water activities can be done in Kalanggaman aside from camping, swimming, and snorkeling. Kayaks and paddle boards are available for rent. You can also experience a banana boat ride with your friends and family. We wanted to try the activities but everything was already reserved by some groups of visitors.

Kalanggaman is a perfect getaway for just a day or couple of days for camping. The island is flock with visitors during weekends and holidays. You should plan your visit during weekdays to void the crowd. If you’re lucky enough, you will get a chance to see the dolphins on your way to and from Kalanggaman Island.

Happy travels!

Read: Complete itinerary and travel reminders

Gail

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