April 13, 2015

18 Exciting Things to Do in Leyte

Foreword: This blog post was first drafted a month before super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) came and devastated many parts of Central Philippines particularly my home province, Leyte. That's the main reason why this post was not completed. After almost two years, I had the courage to write again to promote my province's tourism gems.

. . . .

Maybe you are wondering why this blog is focusing more on the province of Leyte. The answer is: Leyte is my home province and I want to share to you the beauty of its people, history, nature attractions, culture, and food.

Leyte is a province in the Eastern Visayas region. Tacloban City is its capital city, which is also known as the "Gateway to Eastern Visayas." Whereas, Ormoc City, my hometown, is a component city of the province and is also fondly called as the "Beauty by the Bay."

Historically, the province was divided into Leyte and Southern Leyte in 1959. And Biliran became a separate province in 1992. Leyte became a part of world history during World War II when one of the largest and fiercest naval battles was fought at the Leyte Gulf. The Battle of the Leyte Gulf culminated during the landing of Gen. Douglas MacArthur with American and Filipino soldiers at the shores of Palo.

Leyte is indeed a beautiful province, full of wonderful people and delightful attractions. And now, I'd like to share to you 18 exciting things that you can experience in this province!

1. Walk or run across the San Juanico Bridge. 
The San Juanico Bridge is considered as one of the very famous landmarks of Leyte and the whole region. One reason for that is its inclusion in our history books. It is the longest bridge in the Philippines with its length of 2.16 kilometers and it connects the islands of Leyte and Samar. You can simply walk across and see the wonderful view of the islands and islets or you can run across the bridge. I have found out that many people were doing their exercises- running and walking across the bridge in the early part of the morning at the bridge.

View a photo of San Juanico bridge here: Travel Photo: The San Juanico Bridge.

2. Visit the Provincial Capitol in Tacloban.
In Tacloban, I recommend that you visit the Capitol building. The Leyte Provincial Capitol served as the Capitol Building of the Philippines from October 23, 1944 to February 27, 1945-- the time of the Philippine Commonwealth Government. Now, it is the seat of the provincial government of Leyte. It is a neoclassical edifice which was built in 1907 and is located along Senator Enage St. and Magsaysay Boulevard in Tacloban City.

Read my post about the Capitol here: Leyte Travel Series: The Capitol in Tacloban.

3. Try wall climbing at Bukid Outdoor Shop and Climbing Gym in Tacloban.
One of the most exciting things to do in the Tacloban is wall climbing or bouldering at the now famous Bukid Outdoor Shop. Make a visit to their gym which is located at 206 Padre Burgos Street, Tacloban City. I recommend that you should not miss this too!

Read my wall climbing experience here: A Wall Climbing Reunion in Tacloban City, Leyte.

4. Take time to relax at Paruparong Bukid in Babatngon.
Located in the small town of Babatngon in the northern part of Leyte is the Paruparong Bukid Nature Conservation Center. It is truly an amazing place- a haven for those people who loves nature in its simple, peaceful, and beautiful state. It is a great place for wellness enthusiasts too!

5. See for yourself the Leyte Landing Memorial in Palo. 
One should not miss to visit the place where the great Gen. Douglas MacArthur landed in Leyte. The Leyte Landing Memorial also known as the MacArthur Park is located at Brgy. Candahug in Palo. Nearby is the Red Beach, so named after the color-coding scheme of the U.S. military and the blood that was shed on the seas during the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

Read my quick and easy to read guide here: The Adventurer's Guide to Palo, Leyte.

6. Try skimboarding in Tanauan.
The town of Tanauan, which is located a few kilometers south of Tacloban, is the place where skimboarding first started in the Philippines. Right now, it hosts many national and international skimboarding competitions.

7. Chase the three verdant lakes in Ormoc.
Ormoc offers three beautiful lakes that are located on the city's mountain barangays. They are Lake Kasudsuran (also known as "The Little Lake Danao), Lake Janagdan, and the very famous Lake Danao. These lakes are ideal for boating, kayaking, fishing, swimming, and sight-seeing.

Read my quick and easy to read guide here: The Adventurer's Guide to Ormoc City, Leyte.

8. Climb Alto Peak in Ormoc.
Alto Peak is the highest mountain in Eastern Visayas. It is a favorite mountain to climb in Leyte and is a famous spot for training climbs among the various outdoor clubs of the region. It stands at 1,332 meters above sea level. The jump-off point is Brgy. Cabingtan.

Photo by: Nick Jed Donaire

9. Watch a colorful sunset at Ormoc Bay.
Ormoc Bay is one of the best spots to see a sunset in Leyte. One can witness the sunset with a majestic view of Mt. Magsanga and the islands of Camotes.

View photographs of the sunsets here:
A Collection of Ormoc's Sunsets
Photo Essay: Ormoc's Sunsets and Magsanga Peak.

10. Explore the seven-level Masaba Falls in Matag-ob.
Matag-ob is a municipality on the western part of Leyte. It is a small town where can explore the engaging seven-level Masaba Falls. You can reach the falls by foot after a 30-minute to 1-hour river trek.

11. Go swimming and snorkeling at Kalanggaman Island in Palompon.
Kalanggaman Island is now fast becoming a well known tourist destination in Leyte. The island is located off the coast of Palompon, which is on the western side of Leyte. The island is famous for its vast stretch of sandbars, white beach, clear sea waters, and tranquil surroundings.

Read my comprehensive guide here: Travel Guide: Kalanggaman Island in Leyte.
Read the full post of Wander Shugah here: Kalanggaman Island, Palompon, Leyte.

12. Swim on a beach in Merida.
Still at the western part of Leyte is the quiet town of Merida, where you can find beautiful beaches to dip into.

View a photo here: Travel Colors: A Fisherman at the Bay.

13. Go beach bumming in Albuera.
Albuera is a town which is about 15 kilometers south of Ormoc City. It is also famous for its beaches and resorts. Personally, I love the beaches here because of its wonderful view of Ormoc Bay.

14. Climb Mt. Pangasugan in Baybay.
This mountain is a famous one for mountaineers. Mt. Pangasugan is also called as "the last forest frontier in Eastern Visayas." It stands at 1,150 meters above sea level. In 2005, the 2nd Visayas Mountain Festival was held here.

15. Discover the Cuatro Islas in Inopacan and Hindang.
These are beautiful islands off the coast of the municipalities of Inopacan and Hindang. These are literally four islands namely: Apid, Digyo, Mahaba, and Himokilan.

View a photo here: Photo of the Week: Digyo Island.

View this "Go Leyte" video: 

16. Go beach bumming in Canigao Island in Matalom.
Canigao island is also a must-visit destination when in Leyte. It is a 15-20 minute boat ride from mainland Matalom and it is indeed a stunning island paradise.

Read my travel guide here: Quick Guide to Canigao Island in Leyte.

17. Explore Bito Falls in Javier.
If you like river trekking and waterfalls, you can also explore the majestic Bito Falls in Javier. You will enjoy nature and the cold waters after a 2-hour river trek from its drop-off point in Brgy. Tambis.

Read my experience here: Leyte Travel Series: Bito Falls in Javier.

18. Go on a food trip!
Yes, you have read it right! Put some delectable delicacies and recipes on your stomach as you travel around the province of Leyte. Taste the binagol and moron in Tacloban, pastillas in Carigara, cassava cakes in Ormoc, and roscas in Barugo.

Where are those destinations on the map?
Map by: Wikipedia

So, what are you waiting for? Visit Leyte today and indulge on those experiences!

Read my previous posts:
>> 8 Exciting Things to Do in Ormoc City, Leyte
>> 8 Exciting Things to Do in Tacloban City, Leyte

If you have inquiries, comment below or e-mail me at ephraim.arriesgado@gmail.com.

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Thank you! :)

Published on: April 13, 2015
Updated on: February 19, 2017


  1. Please also include Hindang Caves and Wild Monkeys. I had an incredible experience there. Read it at http://www.mobomu.net/hindang-caves-wild-monkeys-hindang-leyte/.

    1. Oooh yeah, I did not include Hindang Caves and Monkeys. I will do it once I will update this post, soon. Thanks for the reminder! I've never been there as well. hehe

  2. Hi Eph! Thanks for including my link on the list! Received quite a number of click these past few weeks :D

    See you on the road!

    1. Hello Shugz, yeah, what are friends are for! And besides, until now, I've never been to Kalanggaman Island. Sad life, hahaha. See you soon! :)

  3. Wow. Lots of beautiful places to visit in Tacloban. We will have our Tacloban tour on october and Kalanggaman Island is number one in our itinerary. Good to know that there are other places there worth visiting. Will definitely check it out. Thanks for posting this. ^_^ I have a travel blog too, please check it out if you have time www.travelersluggage.blogspot.com thanks.

    1. Yeah, there are many places to explore and discover in Leyte! I hope you had a great and enjoyable time here!

  4. How many days and nights should I be in Leyte to explore all of the above?

    1. Oh, I think you've got to have at least a week or more if you want to visit all of the places mentioned on the blogpost. Leyte is a big island so these places are quite far from each other.

  5. Leyte is an underrated tourist destination. I hope to visit there this year.

    1. That's nice! Visit Leyte soon and I hope that you'll have an awesome experience here!