SAMBAWAN ISLAND Travel Guide 2019: Itinerary, Things to do + How to get There and more

Sambawan Island Travel Guide photo by Rodel Bontes via Flickr CC

2019 Budget Travel Guide to Sambawan Island

If fairytales are true then Maria Benita, the good fairy of Biliran where Sambawan Island is located definitely did a good job in shaping what Sambawan is today. It’s a beach paradise that isn’t easy to reach but you would still go to anyway because of its beauty.

Sambawan Island Travel Guide photo by Rodel Bontes via Flickr CC
Sambawan Island Travel Guide photo by Rodel Bontes via Flickr CC

The beach is still in its pristine condition and it’s one of the many islands in the Philippines that people can enjoy without bumping into many tourists. The island has a 4G/LTE signal. The electricity is available from 12NN until 2:00 am and medical assistance is about 2-3 hours away from the island.

What makes Sambawan Island unique are its islets linked to each other. Sambawan has 2 main islands. It features a rocky landscape with green and light brown grass. The water is calm especially during summer so it’s perfect for activities like scuba diving and swimming.

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In this DIY Sambawan Island Travel Guide, our goal is to provide tips on how to get there, where to stay, and other DIY traveler tips for first-time visitors to Sambawan Island.

Sambawan Island Photos by Bong Fahigal via Facebook
Sambawan Island Photos by Bong Fahigal via Facebook

The Best Time to Visit Sambawan Island

You should plan your trip during the summer months from April until July when the water is peaceful and trekking is more enjoyable.

Important Reminders:

You should do these things before you go:

  • Contact the local tourism to check on weather (0915 796 2324)
  • Contact Sambawan Dive Camp & Marine Sanctuary at 09189102141 or 09264104866 for reservations

Things to Bring 

  • Medications (if you have any)
  • Food and water
  • Camping equipment
  • Power bank
  • Sunblock
  • Toiletries
  • Cash
Sambawan Beach by Rodel Bontes via Flickr CC
Sambawan Beach by Rodel Bontes via Flickr CC

How to Get to Sambawan Island

From Manila

Book a flight to Tacloban and from there, ride a van going to Naval (Php130). It will take about 3 hours to arrive in Naval. There’s a terminal fee of Php10 at Naval Port. Ride the boat going to Marpipi Island (about Php80) then go on a motorcycle ride to Brgy. Ol-og. It will cost about Php30 per person. Ride an outrigger boat from Brgy. Ol-og (15-20 minutes) to Sambawan Island which will cost Php600 for 6 persons round trip.

From Cebu

Ride the fast craft going to Ormoc City (Php740) then ride the van going to Tacloban. Follow the same procedure as above once you reach Tacloban.

From Palompon, Leyte

You can ride a van going to Lemon Junction from Palompon which can take about 1 ½ hour for Php90. Ride another van going to Naval (45 minutes) for Php50 and follow the procedure above once you reached Tacloban.

From Kawayan Municipality

A boat can be rented for Php3000 for 10 persons to travel to the island. It will cost you Php3500 for overnight rent of the boat. The boat ride will take 30 minutes to one hour.

Via Private Boat Ride:

A roundtrip private boat ride to Sambawan, Maripipi, and Biliran from Naval Port can cost Php10,000 for 10-15 persons and Php12,000 to Php14,000 for 30-60 persons.

Travel Sambawan photo by Mel Dumagdag via FB
Travel Sambawan photo by Mel Dumagdag via FB

How Much is Transportation to Sambawan Island

From Manila:

  • Php370/pax from Tacloban (airplane fare from Manila is not included)
  • Php1110/pax from Cebu via Supercat by 2Go
  • Php510/pax from Palompon
  • Php300-350/pax from Kawayan Municipality

*Transportation rates are based on a group of six people.

Sambawan Island Travel by Rodel Bontes via Flickr CC
Sambawan Island Travel by Rodel Bontes via Flickr CC

Where to Stay in Sambawan Island

There’s only one place to stay on the island and that’s in Sambawan Dive Camp & Marine Sanctuary. 

Overnight Camping Rates

  • The rate for tent pitching is Php100 per day.

Cottage Rental

  • Cottage 1 – Php500/D (up to 8 pax)
  • Cottage 2 – Php2500/D (up to 15 pax)
  • Cottage 3 – Php1500/D (up to 6 pax)
  • Big Cottage – Php1000


  • Mooring Fee – Php50 – Php300
  • Entrance Fee – Php80 per person
  • Environmental Fee – Php20 per person
  • Scuba Rental- Php2500

You can contact them at their Facebook page Sambawan Dive Camp & Marine Sanctuary.

Things to do in the Island

  • Snorkeling
  • Scuba diving
  • Trekking
  • Sunrise and sunset watching
  • Taking lots of pictures
  • Beach bumming
  • Going on a paddle boat ride
  • Visiting the Watch Tower

Where to Eat 

You won’t find any restaurants in Sambawan Island; however, you can bring foods with you. You can buy seafood from the nearest market before heading to your destination.

Travel Tips

  • There is no ATM machine on the island so make sure you bring enough cash with you
  • The electricity runs from 12NN to 2:00 am daily; charge your gadgets during those times
  • Don’t travel after 5:00 pm especially if it’s raining
  • Travel in a group to save money
  • Consider staying the night in the island so you can beach bum and go trekking the next day
Sambawan Island photo by Rodel Bontes via Flickr CC
Sambawan Island photo by Rodel Bontes via Flickr CC

Photography Tips

Sambawan Island offers one of the most picturesque sunrise and sunset so don’t miss that. The place also offers scuba diving and snorkeling activities where you can take photos of corals and other sea creatures if you have a waterproof/underwater camera.

*Rates listed above may change without prior notice.

Do you have anything to add or suggest in this Budget Travel Guide to Sambawan Island? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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