In June 2016, my husband and I visited an old Peace Corps friend, Casey, during his Peace Corps Response service in Eastern Samar, Philippines. Casey showed us as many gems as he could pack into our 13 days and we are so thankful to him for this.
Since Casey’s service centered on efforts to sustainably rebuild the tourism industry in this region after Yolanda/Haiyan in 2013, it seems very fitting to introduce to you the kind of off-the-beaten-path, eco-friendly, local-supporting trip you could plan for yourself.
Below is the overview of our itinerary:
DAY 1: TACLOBAN
Fly into Tacloban airport; reunite with Casey; get settled into hotel; celebrate with mangarritas and beers at a local feria.
DAY 2: TACLOBAN
Jetlag recovery; massages; city exploring; transport-arrangement-making
DAY 3: KALANGAMANN ISLAND
Leave Tacloban super early; private-van across island to Palompon; catamaran to Kalangamann Island; overnight camping on the island.
DAY 4: SAMBAWAN ISLAND
Catamaran back to Palompon; private van to Kawayan; catamaran to Sambawan Island; overnight camping on the island
DAY 5: SAMBAWAN ISLAND
Bask & snorkel in the awesomeness of this island paradise.
DAY 6: SAMBAWAN ISLAND
More basking & snorkeling.
DAY 7: SAMBBAWAN ISLAND TO MAYDOLONG
Early catamaran from Sambawan Island to Kawayan; long private van ride across the island to Maydolong; overnight in Maydolong
DAY 8: MAYDOLONG – OMAWAS BEACH
Relaxing; laundry; enjoying AC, showers, electricity and small-town shops and cafes; venture up the road to Omawas Beach for surfing lessons.
DAY 9: MAYDOLONG – BORONGAN CITY
More relaxing; venture up to big city Borongan for banking, massages, cafes and transport-arranging.
DAY 10: GUIUAN
Private van ride to La Luna Resort in Guiuan; pool-lounging; Italian food surprise dinner; night-swimming; overnight at La Luna.
DAY 11: GUIUAN
Cave-swimming; surfing; pool-lounging; watched a photo shoot of beautiful people with designer bags made in Philippines and sold in Santa Monica; overnight at La Luna.
DAY 12: GUIUAN
Snorkeling with giant clams; pool-lounging; overnight at La Luna.
DAY 13: GUIUAN – TACLOBAN + DEPART HOME
Wave good-bye to paradise; private van ride to Tacloban airport and depart for flight back to LAX.
Total Trip Cost for 2 people, including round-trip airfare from LAX to Tacloban and everything along the way:
* The top image was created with Google Maps awesome “My Custom Maps” tool. You can view the map here.