Canigao Island is a name I grew up hearing. It is a famous island among my family and friends because Canigao is only 2 towns away from my home town. It’s not until I am 23 that I decided to finally travel there and witness what everyone keeps talking about: Canigao’s pristine beauty and well-rounded adventure.
Canigao is a P-A-R-A-D-I-S-E
Canigao Island is different. It may not be as breathtaking as the other islands in the Philippines but Canigao offers visitors more than what other islands can offer. Like what, you may ask? Well . . . .
- Its shallow waters differ from each side.
Let me explain that clearly. At the front part of the island, its shallow waters contain fine grain white sands perfect for swimming. If you want to swim in rocky waters, you just go to the right side of the island! Then, if you want to see coral reefs, you just run to the left side of the island! How cool is that? The crystal clear and cool waters are a plus. The island has everything what every swimmer wants.
- They have a local Market. Like, yes.
You do not have to worry if you brought food or not since you can just buy your way out of hunger!
- Their Marine and Forest Sanctuaries
The left part of the island is maintained as a coral and forest sanctuary. Coral reefs at this part of the island is untouched and its marine life is very healthy. The island is big enough to maintain its own forest life and it is well-protected. Good job to the management of this island. *thumbs up*
- Recreational Activities? Hell, yeah!
There are two volleyball courts available. Unlimited hours!
Walk around the island! It is a must-do when you go there. Be enchanted by the geographical makeup of the island.
Hearts are also big in this island. *laughs*
- Day Use or Overnight? No problem!
I am never a person who accommodates unpreparedness. So if I get lost in this island without anything to sleep on or anything to eat on, I will not be worried. They have everything you need!
If you are planning to go overnight, they have the perfect offers!
Tents? They are at Php 300.00 for rent per tent. Pitch it anywhere you want.
Cottages? They are at Php 500.00 per cottage. Rooms? They are at Php 1,500.00 per room. They are only present at the front part of the island under the perfect shades of the trees.
Day Use? Their tables are along the perfect views.
When we went there, we only went Day Use. Our table was in the perfect shade. ❤
If you are not in cowboy mood, they also have proper tables and chairs. Unfortunately, I was not able to get the price but maybe it is around 200-300 pesos.
- They are environment-friendly!
They have a plastic bottle campaign. Good job!
I would like to take this opportunity, to campaign for the environment. Let’s support their campaign and refrain from littering while you’re in the island.
- The island’s earth is alive.
Be careful on what you step on. There are thousands of them everywhere.
- The Island is well-managed and safe
The island is manned with coast guards. Apart from that, they provide well-documented rules and a detailed map of the island. Look:
I think that would be the end of my list.
Those are only small things that makes the island more accommodating than other islands in the Philippines. In my opinion, Canigao Island is a perfect place for a 2-3 day adventure. You can never be hungry because you can just buy food there. You can do a lot of things there. Walk the forest. Swim the sea. Snorkel. Watch the sun rise and set. It is just a perfect and well-rounded place to be if you want peace and quite in a budget.
The Travel Guide
I would not let you go there without guidance, of course. Even if I can only give you a “virtual guidance”.
How to go there?
Canigao Island is located in Matalom, Leyte, Philippines. It is not hard to find and it is quite famous, so, you would not have a hard time going there.
For those from Leyte:
- Personal Transportation is advisable since it is very near.
- By Bus: Php 30 – Php 300
- By Van: Php 50 – Php 300
- By Side Car: Php 30 – Php 50 (Applicable only to 2-3 towns away)
For those from outside Leyte:
- By Air through airports in Tacloban and Ormoc: Php 2000 – Php 5000
(This is of course depended on many factors)
- By Boat: Php 200 – Php 500 (Depending on the shipping lines)
The following are the nearest ports and shipping lines that I know of:
Hilongos Port (Roble and Gabisan Shipping Lines)
Bato Port (Medallion and Fiji Shipping Lines)
Upon arrival in Matalom?
- Buy food and water, if you haven’t bought yet.
As mentioned above, the island has its own local market but it is more expensive there. The Matalom market is near the port to Canigao, so, you can do your shopping there.
- Find the port to Canigao Island.
It is near the Matalom Municipal Hall. Ask around.
- Book your boat trip to the island.
Right away. There are usually a lot of people, so book right away.
Other tips . . . .
- Go overnight! Day Use is not worth it.
There are a lot to do in the island and Day Use is not gonna give you the time to do all those things. But if you really wanna do Day Use only, go there early to avoid the long lines of the boat trip.
- People are prohibited to go to the Sanctuary.
So, to see the corals, you need to swim a far distance. So you need to have snorkels and you need to be a professional swimmer. Don’t expect much that you’re going to see corals. Sorry.
- No bonfire allowed.
- Prices of services are per individual.
If you are planning to pay up for the whole group, good luck to you.
- Bring your own waterproof tents.
Their tents are not waterproof.
- Bring a lot of water.
- Book your cottages and rooms at the booking station in advance.
I know that this is gonna the most awaited part of those people like me: The Planners. laughs Well, below are the prices of their services as of April 2017.
Zooming in to the boat fares . . .
Let me share to you our travel expenses when we went there. We are 8 people in all. The 8th member is a kid. We were only there for Day Use.
The cost of the trip is very cheap. You can still reduce the food expenses and the gasoline. thumbs up
Overall . . .
In terms of expenses, Canigao Island is very affordable since its rates are usually per individual. Just make sure you don’t pay for the whole group. 😉 It is a very great opportunity for people nearby since it would only cost them around Php 105 to go there and enjoy.
In terms of the experience, if you want a trip that is worth it, spend a night or two there. It is not worth it if you just go there for Day Use. Also, if you want to see the corals, bring Snorkels. You cannot see corals in shallow waters. So, practice swimming in advance. laughs
I think that’s a wrap!
I’ll give this island two thumbs up. ❤
Thanks for reading!