Monday, October 27, 2014

Canigao Island : Leyte's Hidden Paradise

Canigao is an islet located in the Philippines, near the municipality of Matalom, Leyte, an hour and half away from Maybog, Baybay Leyte, my barrio. Canigao is a small island of southwestern cost of Leyte. The Island is known for its white sand beach, surrounded with corals and crystal clear water. Canigao is a popular yet inexpensive weekend gateway for families and friends residing in Leyte and tourist visiting the island. Canigao Island is manage by the local tourism of Matalom Leyte.

Canigao Island, from a far.

Canigao Island, up close.

Canigao is always been in my bucket list to travel and explore when I go home in Leyte for vacation. I'd been hearing good reviews and seeing picturesque images from my friends who visited the Island. And most of them would tell me to come visit the Island, and just recently I had the chance to take a 5 days off from work and I decided to go home to Leyte and made sure that Canigao Island is in my itinerary.

Matalom Leyte's drop off point. Just follow the sign...

and you'll reach Canigao's pick up point.

October 23, 2014 Me and my bestfriend/childhood Madelyn Lumba Porcadilla and cousin/good friend Brenda Galanza decided to go to Canigao for a day chilling and exploring the Island. From our place in Maybog, we woke up early at 5:30am and took the 7:00am bus ride going to our town proper in Baybay City. From Baybay bus terminal we ride a van going to Tacloban and asked the driver to drop us off at Matalom Leyte, after an hour ride we reach Matalom and walk for 15 minutes to reach Canigao's pick-up point.

Waiting area for Tourist/Visitor going to the Island.

with my friends Madz and Brenda while waiting for our boat ride going to the Island. We had fun taking the obligatory photo opt at at the Bamboo foot bridge going to the motor banca ride to Canigao Island.

while waiting for the boat to leave chilling while looking at the open sea.

At Canigao's pick up point awaits are the local government of Matalom's tourism office. They organized the motorized banca ride going back and fort to the island. You only have to pay Php 40.00 for the entrance+environmental fee and Php 60.00 for boat ride per head. And if you are in a hurry to reach the Island, you can rent the boat for Php 1,500.00 only back and fort. Because boat usually leaves at the pick up point when passenger reach at 25 people. But if your below 25 people the local tourist officer will divide the Php 1,500.00 pesos amount depending numbers of passengers ready to board the boat.

Arriving the Island. Hello Canigao!at the Entry signage on the island.

Wow! Welcome view of Canigao Island.

Blue skies and white clouds forming as we got off the motor banca.

Canigao Island is one of the Leyte's hidden gem of paradise. It is unknown to many especially to the people from Luzon and Mindanao. When we reached the Island, the first thing we did is find a place for us to stay. In Canigao there are no Hotel establishment in the Island, but their are camping tents to rent for Php 300.00 per day, table and chair to rent for those who want to stay under the shades of trees or coconut tress just like us. Rentals for table is Php 50.00 each and chair for Php 10.00 each. Or you can rent a cottage for Php 300.00 for a day.

Our spot in the Island.

Me and my friend Madz enjoying the sun and the white sand of Canigao Island.

But if you are a big group and planning to stay overnight in the island, their are rooms for rent also for Php 1,500.00 per night inclusive of 2 double deck bed, comfort room and electric fan. As of now the island does not have electricity, the only thing that gives the island lights and power are generators. The island also has an open conference area or function hall for groups who has an indoor activities or programs. If your a small groups like us and too lazy to bring and carry foods all the way to the island, worry no more because there are available stores in Canigao Island. Local caretakers sell fresh fish and rice, and they offer cooking too for a very cheap price. Like for us we brought 2 different kind of fresh fish, one is big and the other one is small and paid it for Php 180.00 pesos plus Php 30.00 fee for cooking and cooked rice for Php 60.00 good for 3 people and we had a very delicious hassle free lunch.

Canigao's room for rent for Php 1,500.00 per night.

Canigao's open conference room/function hall

You also have an option we if you want to cook your own food. Canigao has a place for you to do so.

Canigao's cooking area.

Canigao Island is truly beautiful...I felt in love instantly, the island is spectacular. It has abundant fishing grounds and untouched coral reef in the surrounding waters making the area suitable for snorkel and diving. The beaches have fine white sand very great for beach volleyball and other outdoor beach activities. The Island can be tour for an hour and explore by foot, some parts of the island are not passable. There are also some parts of the island wherein rock formation dominates the beach but still offer a picture perfect as the white sand area of the island.

Canigao is very secluded, nature lover and adventure seeker like moi would surely love this place. And would surely have a good time chilling or simply meditating with mother nature. Canigao Island is very laid back, unspoiled and so infamous to tourist which make the island not so crowded and as for now the island is not yet exploited. I hope the local government could keep this island clean, natural and peaceful in the future.

Leyteños call Canigao as Leyte's Boracay version because of its white sand like bora itself minus crowd and bars.

the obligatory jumpshot with my friend Madz.

Canigao is truly a perfect place to communicate with nature!.

Beautiful sandbar behind us.


How to get to Canigao Island from Maybog, Baybay Leyte.
  • Canigao Island is Located in Matalom, Leyte (South of Baybay Leyte)
  • From Maybog take a bus going to Baybay time travel is 20 to 30 minutes with Php 20.00 pesos fare.
  • From Baybay bus terminal take a van bound to Tacloban or Maasin, Leyte
  • Tell the Driver to drop you in Brgy. Maitum, Matalom Leyte. Travel time is 1:00 hour with Php 80.00 pesos fare.
  • Take a tricyle going towards the jump off point of Canigao or you can take a walk for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Take a boat bound to the Island with approximate 20 to 30 minutes boat ride.
Inside the VAN going to Matalom, Leyte :) with my friend Madz, Me, Brenda and her baby Mabbie.

How to get there: If you are from the City of Ormoc, Buses and PUVans are available for your travel to Baybay City. From Baybay City you can ride a van or bus going to Matalom, Leyte, or take the PUVans that would go straight to Maasin and just asked the driver to drop you off at Matalom so you won't have to stopped at Baybay City. Travel time from Ormoc to Matalom is 3:00 hours. The island is accessible from the Barangay Itum in Matalom. On the Barangay there are local tourism officials who will assist you, you'll just have to pay for the entrance (Php 20.00) and enviromental fee (Php 20.00) and for the boat rides sailing back and forth to the island for only Php 60.00, round trip fare.

How to get there: If you are from Manila, Their are various flight flying daily from Manila to Tacloban. You can check PAL Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Zest Air and Air Asia for flight schedule bounds for Tacloban. From Tacloban City or "DownTown" as the local people called it, take a van either Duptours or Van-Vans bound for Maasin Leyte. And tell the driver to drop you off at Matalom Leyte. Fare is around Php 200.00 pesos and travel time is about 3:00 hours. 

Maybog-Canigao Expenses:

Transportation per pax

Bus from Maybog to Baybay                       25.00 
Van from Baybay to Matalom Leyte           80.00 
Entrance Fee                                                20.00 
Environmental Fee                                      20.00 
Boat Fare                                                     60.00 
TOTAL:                                                    200.00 

Lunch at Canigao for 3 pax includes 
Fresh Fish 1kilo include cooking fee         220.00
Rice                                                              60.00
Water 3 bottle                                             120.00
Cola 2 bottle 1.5                                         140.00 
Others                                                         200.00
TOTAL:                                                     740.00 

PS. Prices may subject to change without prior notice.

We had an amazing lazy afternoon at Canigao Island and called it a day!

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Tine :)


Every place has its own beauty and allure. God made us unique thus also for the places and location in Earth. - Anonymous 

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  1. What a beautiful Island. And yet I thought at first it wasn't in Leyte. Leyte's truly pride and we will see this Island blossom even more someday as more and more visitors and tourists visit and explore someday. I would love to go there too on our visit back to the Philippines. Thank you girl for sharing with us your experience and some great information.

    1. Welcome girl :) There's so many beautiful Island in Leyte soon to be discover. There is this one in Palompon called Kalanggaman so close to Isabel lang, was so supposed to go there but my vacay was so short. Hopefully next visit in could make it :)

  2. Hi. Thanks for sharing! When did you go to Canigao? I hope the prices don't increase when I decide to visit the island hahaha :D

  3. Hi Mustachio, I went there last year. October 23, 2014. Usually price would increase a little if its peak season but still affordable and the Island is worth a penny. Hope you enjoy your visit and let me know your experience too! Goodluck! :)

  4. Good website! I truly love how it is easy on my eyes it is. I am wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your RSS which may do the trick? Have a great day!
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