Samar is in the top five in terms of island size in the country. However, it is also a province that doesn’t get as much tourist attention as other more popular places in Visayas such as Cebu, Bohol, Iloilo and Aklan. This isn’t exactly a bad thing, cause fewer crowds mean that its natural attractions have yet to suffer the brunt of mass tourism. The province offers adventure for those seeking it. There are eco-tourism activities that will keep your adrenaline pumping during your visit.
If you’re planning to visit Samar, here are some exciting activities and places to visit for your trip.
The hike to the entrance of this cave is already an adventure. You’ll have to walk downhill on sometimes muddy terrain before you even start caving. Once there, you’ll get to experience one of the most beautiful caves in the country. Lobo Cave has many chambers but you’ll only visit a few.
Inside, you’ll see many stalactites and stalagmites that will take on various shapes depending on your imagination. Cool off and wash off the dirt and sweat in the waters of the underground waterfalls. You’ll also have to wade through an underground river in one of the chambers.
- Wear light clothing and aqua shoes or sandals with tight straps for the trip.
- Lobo Cave is “beginner-friendly”, but prepare for a challenge.
Lulugayan is a must-see during your trip to Samar. Located in Calbiga, its beautiful cascades will make you stop and stare. Its width measures roughly 50 meters, making it one of the widest in the Philippines. Walk as close as possible to the waterfall for the perfect photo op. Alternatively, you can sit back and admire it from a distance.
Fees: You’ll have to get a permit from Calbiga Tourism Office. There’s a P50 tourism and eco fee and a P30 entrance fee for locals. A tour guide costs P300. You can hire a habal-habal driver to take you from Calbiga to the falls and back for around P300. You can board a van to Calbiga from Tacloban for approximately P120 one way.
Ulot River (Torpedo boat ride)
TORPEDO is an abbreviated term for “Tour guides and boat Operators for River Protection and Environmental Development Organization.” They offer an exciting activity using an engine-powered boat without outriggers. The ride will take you through the beautiful countryside with views of the swaying trees and some waterfalls along the way. Prepare to get wet as some parts will be bumpy!
Fees: The TORPEDO Extreme Boat Ride costs around P1,850 for up to five people.
Contact details: Make a reservation before going you can contact +639301192882, +639267020590 or +639182235586.
How to get there: From Tacloban, get on a van to Catbalogan and get down at Buray Junction. From the junction, you can hire a tricycle to take you to the TORPEDO office for around P50 one way. It is better to hire the tricycle for the two way trip for convenience. Discuss the rate with the driver.
Deni’s Point (cliff jumping)
Deni’s Point is a stop during the Ulot River boat riding experience. Your guide will swim to the other side of the river to tie a rope you’ll use for the cliff jumping activity. Here you’ll get the chance to jump into the raging river. You’ll have to reach out for the rope before the water takes you too far away.
Sohoton Caves & Natural Bridge Park
This park is simply beautiful, the rock formations, the boat ride and the cave chambers showcase nature’s artistry. Sohoton is huge and covers an entire day’s itinerary. The cave chambers have different rock formations that take on various shapes.
How to get there: There are vans from Tacloban New Transport Terminal to Basey, your jump-off point to Sohoton. Once in Basey, make your way to the Municipal Tourism Operations Office to settle the fees.
Fees: P25 entrance fee for locals and P200 for foreigners, P500 for return boat transfers (up to 5 people), P300 cave guide, P300 for cave lighting, P150 kayak guide and P50 for kayak rental
How to Get to Samar
The most convenient way to reach these parts of Samar is to book a flight to Tacloban, Leyte. Many airlines operate this route from Manila.