Calbayog City Travel Guide: Tour Itinerary, Things to do + How to get there and more

Tarangban Falls
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The Ultimate Calbayog City Budget Travel Guide

An alternative summer destination, Calbayog City is the up and coming tourist destination in the Visayas.

Where is Calbayog City?

The City of Calbayog in Samar province is becoming a growing tourist destination in the Visayas region. As the first crowned city of Samar, it is the center of arts and culture in the province and is fast rising in terms of economic progress.

Aerial view of Calbayog
Aerial view of Calbayog – by Itsme hope19 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Common

The city is located along the coastal part of Samar, making it abundant in aquatic sceneries. Calbayog City is rich in natural sights that are prime tourist attractions.

How to get there

Calbayog City Airport
Calbayog City Airport

By Air

The city of Calbayog is known as the gateway to Samar province. From Manila, there are flights directly to the city, which takes about an hour and a half.

By Land

There are also buses plying to Calbayog from Manila. The bus trip takes close to a full day and will board a roll-on roll-off (RoRo) ship.

If traveling from other parts of Visayas, like Tacloban City, there are van or bus trips that go directly to Calbayog. This trip takes about three hours. Alternatively, there are overnight boat trips that travel from Cebu to Calbayog. This trip takes roughly eight hours.

By Ferry

  • Cokaliong Shipping Lines has an overnight ferry to/from Cebu City three times a week.
  • Lite Shipping lines has a ferry to/from Bogo Cebu island four times a week at 10pm. 610 pesos per person.

Where to go

Dubbed the “City of Falls,” Calbayog boasts of an array of falls and caves that should not be missed when visiting the city.

Bangon Falls
Bangon Falls

Bangon Falls is a must-see when visiting the city. It has four layers of a spectacular curtain of water cascading into a stream below. For adventure-seekers, hike to the top and enjoy the circular pond, where you can go swimming and even diving.

How to get there: To get to Bangon Falls (also known to locals as Bugtong Falls), take a motorcycle ride of about 15 minutes. Visitors can also choose to hike to the center of Tinaplacan, where the falls is located. The hike takes about 45 minutes to an hour depending on your fitness capacity.

Tarangban Falls
Tarangban Falls

Tarangban Falls is another majestic body of water you should see in Calbayog. Located near Bangon Falls, Tinaplacan is famous for crystal clear waters cascading from an interesting rock formation.

How to get there: From Barangay Tinaplacan, Tarangban falls is a one-hour hike. Or make a day out of it and hike there from Bangon falls – that will take 30 minutes.

Guinogo-an Cave is a natural tunnel famous among thrill-seekers. Its uneven ceiling makes the spelunking journey an adventure, as some points of the tunnel become narrower and is just enough for a single person to pass through. Not recommended for the claustrophobic!

How to get there: Ride a tricycle from Barangay Cabugawan, which takes 30 minutes.

For beach lovers, visit Malajog Beach, which draws both locals and tourists alike. It’s different from the many famous beaches in the country (its sand is gray, unlike the typically sought-after white sand beaches), but the must-see here is Daraga islet. Here, you can go snorkeling, diving, and kayaking.

Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral - Calbayog City Travel Guide
Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral – Calbayog City Travel Guide

Isla Pawikan is another place for snorkeling and diving, with its clear waters housing beautiful sea corals and white pebbles. Located in Tinambacan, its tagged Turtle Island because of its turtle-shaped island.

Where to stay

There are several hotels in the city that offer an affordable and relaxing break from the hustle and bustle.

Ciriaco Hotel

Ciriaco Hotel in Calbayog City
Ciriaco Hotel in Calbayog City

[Check Rates and Availability]

Maharlika Highway, Barangay Bagacay, Calbayog City

One of the oldest hotels in Calbayog, Ciriaco Hotel is located at the center of most tourist destinations in the city. It offers spacious rooms, 24-hour security, and an in-house café. For optimal relaxation, stay in one of the poolside villas, where you can just hop into the large swimming pool outside. A room costs anywhere between P2,491 to P3,500 per night.

S&R Bed and Breakfast

S and R Bed and Breakfast
S and R Bed and Breakfast

Barangay San Policarpio, Calbayog City

[Check Rates and Availability]

For a more affordable and cozier stay, choose S&R Bed and Breakfast. A family-owned business, it’s a quaint 5-room B&B located near Calbayog Airport and is 15 minutes away from the city center. Rooms are air-conditioned and there is free wi-fi. Expect to spend an average of P1,200 per night.

For more hotels in Calbayog City with discounted rates, visit Agoda.

What to eat

A trip is not complete without sampling the local fare. Calbayog City definitely has some things to offer for the traveling foodie!

tinapa or smoked fish
tinapa or smoked fish

Sample its local tinapa or smoked fish. The secret to their tinapa is in its freshness, having come from the daily catch from the Samar seas. Most shops and markets in Calbayog also offer vacuum-packed tinapa, which is best-brought home as pasalubong.

Seafood is another popular fare in Calbayog, and the best place to dine here is at Kamayan sa Carayman. An al fresco restaurant where, as the name suggests, people dine using their hands (or kamay), Kamayan sa Carayman is famous for its chili crabs and shrimp dishes. Fresh seafood are also grilled here, best enjoyed with a bowl of steaming clam soup!

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Originally Published on May 12, 2015, this Calbayog City Budget Travel Guide was last updated in August 2018.

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