Paradise on earth DOES exist and it’s Kalanggaman Island, Philippines. It is definitely one of the most beautiful islands we have seen in Southeast Asia.
We spent 1 month in the Philippines and we explored many wonderful islands like Bohol, Panglao or Siargao. However, today we want to let you know about this very special place called Kalanggaman Island, Philippines. Once you are travelling to Cebu, we highly recommend you to visit this beautiful island.
Watch our short video from this paradise!
Among the 7.107 islands you won’t find islet as eye catching as Kalanggaman Island, Philippines. The island is fully covered with coconut trees (bako tree). We love this island as it is a secluded slice of paradise without many touristic attractions. It is simply perfect to enjoy the island vibe and taking photos. You have also the possibility to snorkel, scuba dive and even stay overnight.
If you are looking for perfect vacation with one of the best beaches in the world, then make sure you to reserve a few days for Kalanggaman Island, Philippines.
THE ISLAND’S NAME
It took us a couple of times to learn the name of this island. Writing Kalanggaman can be also a struggle. The island is named after the local term for birds called “langgam”. If you take pictures from above with the drone you will see why. The island resembles the shape of a so-called Langgam and that is why the island is called Kalanggaman. Okay, to me it looks like a dinosaur or ice hockey stick. What do you think?
And why do we love this island so much? Because of its sandbar! Kalanggaman Island has one of the longest sandbars in the Philippines and if you know us well, we love sand bars.
We also took one of our best drone photos in Southeast Asia exactly on Kalanggaman Island, Philippines.
CLEAR AND TURQUISE WATERS
The perfect post card pictures from holiday magazines could have been taken here. If you are searching for perfect powdery white sand with most stunning views on crystal clear blue waters then Kalanggaman island, Philippines is the THE PLACE.
PLEASE NOTE: Kalanggaman Island has a few designated swimming areas. You shouldn’t swim near the eastern and western tips of the sandbar as the currents can be strong.
HOW TO GET TO KALANGGAMAN ISLAND
Kalanggaman Island is a tiny island located between the bigger islands Cebu and Leyte. The nearest city is Palompon on Leyte. However, we recommend combining a visit to Kalanggaman with a visit to Cebu. Since there are so many other things to see in Cebu (as compared to Leyte).
If you want to come straight from Manila (which we don’t recommend). You can fly into Ormoc. From here you will need to take a bus/mini van to Palompon. A trip of approx. 1.5 hours and a financial set back of P120. Then you can take a pump boat (also called bangka) which depart regularly and will take 1 hour.
Alternatively, fly to Tacloban. Take a 3 hrs bus ride from Tacloban to Palompon and then continue by boat ride to Kalanggaman.
The better option in our opinion. All you have to do is to get to the Cebu North Bus Terminal. Wherever you stay in Cebu City make sure to use GRAB. Read more why it’s the best app in Southeast Asia. Look for a company called Ceres (buses should be yellow) that goes to a place called Maya. The ride usually takes 4.5 hours and will set you back around P180.
There is an Old and a New Maya Port. You should try to get directly to New Maya Port or take a tricycle there. Look for boat operators that go to Kalanggaman. Usually they find you first and ass soon as the boat is full, it will depart. The journey will take around 2hrs. If there are at least 20 people going it should cost P3.500 for all passengers.
You could also take a fastcraft from Cebu (for instance with Oceanjet) to Ormoc (Leyte) and continue as outlined above. The boat ride should take 2.5 hours and cost somewhere between P600-700.
Traveling in the Philippines can be fun as they use these cool traditional boats (called pump boat or bangkas) and you can also get to Kalanggaman Island sharing a pump boat. We combined our visit with a trip to Malapascua. From Malapascua Island it takes around 2.5 hours to reach Kalanggaman Island. More on the day tours in the next paragraph.
Most of the people visit Kalanggaman Island on a day trip. It is pretty easy once you are staying in Malapascua or in Palompon. We stayed 4 days on Malapascua and joined a day boat tour to Kalanggaman Island. The one disadvantage is that it can get incredibly busy.
That is to sayYour boat might not be the first one to come ashore and it might have to wait if boats are queuing. It happened to us and we were literally the last boat on the island. Our captain had to argue with someone in charge to even get us on land, but In the end it was all fine and we had more than enough time to enjoy the island.
FEES AND ENTRANCE RATES
In order to get to Kalanggaman you need to pay an entrance fee. Fees depend on your nationality and that means you will pay a higher fee if you are a foreigner. These are the current fees taken from the official site of Kalanggaman Island in the Philippines.
Honestly, we paid much more and in fact we got completely scammed. We organised a tour from Malapascua and that might explain the price difference to some extent. Every tourist on our boat paid P2.500 per person to enter the island. But that is still a quite a difference. So be careful or let’s say negotiate hard.
Tour guides told us that the money is used to preserve the island, protect the marine life and also to take care of the island, cleaning the island, toilets and so on. We didn’t mind paying (if it is actually used for a good cause) but knowing the fact that people in Philippines are still dynamite fishing made this whole “environment tax” rather suspicious . We also never got any receipt for the entrance ticket. Meaning, no one pays taxes and God knows where the money really goes.
If you call the Palompon Eco-Tourism office they might charge you the “correct fee” of P500
- Landline: (053) 555 9731
- Mobile (Globe): +63 926 8164005
- Tel. Mobile (Globe): +63 926 8164007
- Mobile (Smart): +63 998 5551421
Most of the local tourists go there for weekends and have small parties. We were surprised to see so many Filipino families. We had no idea about the possibility of staying on Kalanggaman Island overnight. Otherwise we would have definitely slept in this paradise for at least 1 night.
This is the other end of Kalanggaman where the small accommodation cabins are. Great view huh?
KALANGGAMAN ISLAND ACCOMMODATION
There are only few options when it comes down toKalanggaman Island accommodation. Which is good! There are no private resorts but you can do overnight camping.
You can stay in one of the wooden cottages shaped like an Indian tent . One cabin should be around P500/night for an international visitor. However, it’s only a cottage and you will need to rent a mattress, pillows and sheets.
That is why, bringing a tent and camping gear might be the best option.
There are cottages that you can also rent, and they starts at P250 for the smallest (max 15 people) and P700 for the biggest which can accommodate max 30 people.
BRING YOUR TENT
The best way how you can beat the price for Kalanggaman island accommodation is to camp! If you don’t have a big budget, you are allowed to bring your own tent and sleep on Kalanggaman for free.
Can you imagine waking up to a view like this?
STAY ON MALAPASCUA ISLAND OR IN PALOMPON
If you don’t want to camp or if you don’t have a tent, you can stay on beautiful Malapascua Island or in Palompon village. We really love Malapascua Island as it has great beaches, awesome diving and many hotels and restaurants to choose from.
You can use booking.com for Malapascua and in Palompon (get $ 15 off on your entire booking ). In Palompon there are even few Airbnbs.
Did you know that you can get $30 off on your first time booking with Airbnb?
Here you go! Kalanggaman Island accommodation sorted for you already. Have a look at some of the examples of great and affordable places we like.
AMENITIES ON KALANGGAMAN ISLAND
ONE TINY SHOP
Because Kalanggaman is a small island there is not much, which is good! We hope that the government will keep it that way. There is only 1 small shop, where you can get water and small things. Please be aware that the prices are higher compared to the mainland and it makes sense to bring your own food and enough water.
You can also rent a kayak, snorkling gear, a board for stand up paddle and even a volleyball at the shop. For instance, you can rent snorkel gear for P300 per day.
TOILETS AND SHOWERS
There are couple of working toilets and showers on the island. If you would like to take a shower you can, but there is no fresh water. But for 1 day, who cares.
If you like, you can also cook your own meals on the island. There are two designated areas for cooking. One is at the front of the island and the second at the back.
The only chapel on the island with a scenic view. Who would like to get married there? To be honest I thought about it so maybe next time.
There is a small tent with medical care, but we still advice you to take all your personal medications, just in case.
You don’t have to be scared to stay overnight. The local government built basic facilities and made the island secure by police. However, just follow common sense and behave like in your country and you won’t need any police.
You can rent the cottages for a day and also sleep in them too. However, day tour cottages aren’t free. They cost about P500/day which comes with a table and four chairs. If you are staying overnight, bring a tent and camping (sleeping) gears.
WHEN TO VISIT KALANGGAMAN ISLAND
The best time to visit Kalanggaman Island is from December to May when it’s dry season. Wet season lasts from July to December and remember that the boats won’t go if the weather is bad, so don’t go in wet season.
USEFUL INFORMATION WHEN VISITING KALANGGAMAN ISLAND
- There is no electricity on the island. Make sure all your gear is charged, plus don’t forget to bring extra batteries and a battery pack.
- If you are staying over night, bring some torches.
- Given circumstances, the best option how to sleep on Kalanggaman is bring your tent, it’s free.
- There are no supermarketsso bring enough food and drinks.You can buy basics at the little store but its usually overpriced.
- If you would like to cook, you need to bring your cooking gear as well (cooking pots and also a cooker).
- When the weather is bad, boats won’t go to Kalanggaman Island, so check the forecast before.
- There is no fresh water on the island, so forget the shower. Connect with nature instead!
- Bring your own snorkeling gear to save up on renting fees.
- Reserve your spot. Book a tour a few days before, as only (apparently) limited number of visitors can come to Kalanggaman Island per day.
- Try to avoid getting scammed with the entrance fee, it is supposed to be P750 for international tourist.
I am sure you will a great time on a beautiful Kalanggaman Island in the Philippines. Please let us know how your trip went and also update us on current fees.
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