Samar is an island in the Philippines located in Eastern Visayas. The “Caving Capital of the Philippines” has numerous explored and unexplored underworlds are hidden in its undisturbed lands. These makeup Samar’s best tourist spots.
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Samar is the third-largest and seventh-most populous island in the Philippines with a total population of 1,909,537. The island is divided into three provinces: Mainland Samar, Northern Samar, and Eastern Samar. These three provinces, along with the provinces of the nearby islands of Leyte and Biliran, make up the Eastern Visayas region. A small fraction of the island of Samar is protected as a natural park, known as the Samar Island Natural Park.
On June 19, 1965, Republic Act No. 4221 was signed into law, dividing Samar into three provinces: Northern Samar, Western Samar, and Eastern Samar. The capitals of the provinces are, respectively, Catarman, Catbalogan City, and Borongan City. In commemoration of the establishment of these provinces, June 19 is celebrated as an annual holiday.
Samar has been a setting of many historical occurrences in the Philippines, like the arrival of Magellan, the Philippine-American War, and World War 2. Right now, Samar is a prospective eco-tourism destination in the Eastern Visayas Region due to activities like spelunking, canyoning, waterfalls chasing, and kayaking, to name a few, that are popular on this island.
10 Must-Visit Samar Tourist Spots
These Samar tourist spots are the adventure that awaits you should you decide to tour the island.
1. Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park
Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park is one of the best tourist spots in Samar which spans 841 hectares of protected area. It is considered the best eco-tourism destination in the province featuring caves, subterranean rivers, waterfalls, limestone formations, thick forest, and a natural stone bridge
Sohoton Caves and Natural Bridge Park is just a small part of Samar Island Natural Park spanning 455,700 hectares of caves, rivers, and wildlife, encompassing all three Samar provinces.
You can get here by going to Barangay Guirang, Basey to ride a pump boat that takes you directly to the park.
2. Pinipisakan Falls
Hidden behind in the green mountains of Samar is a magical secret paradise called Pinipisakan Falls. The beautiful 4-tier waterfalls coupled with green trees, wild ferns, and mossy boulders make for a picturesque ecological setting.
Despite being clandestinely situated, it is still one of the most iconic Samar tourist spots as visitors recognize it as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Philippines.
You can find Pinipisakan Falls beginning at Barangay Bai-ang, San Jorge with a two-hour trekking time.
3. Langun-Gobingob Caves
Langun-Gobingob Caves, also known as Calbiga Caves, are the most popular spelunking destination in Samar.
It is the biggest cave system in the Philippines and the second largest in Asia. To add further, it boasts the world’s third largest karst formation being 7 kilometers long and encompassing an area of 900 square kilometers.
Inside the cave are huge chambers bigger than a basketball stadium, dimmed natural light, and an underground that looks like the Underworld.
Calbiga caves can be found at Brgy Panayuran, Calbiga with tours costing three thousand a day.
4. Canjuway Nature Park
Canjuway Nature Park is the perfect getaway from the city’s hustle and bustle as the scenery provides peace and tranquility to one viewing and appreciating it.
Located at Canjuway, Borongan, this secret nature park will make you seem like the world and time stopped moving because the clear sky, tall rocks, and blue water collaborate to make the perfect, ecological scenery.
Being fairly hidden but still flocked by a lot makes this one of the best Samar tourist spots.
5. Pink Beach
As the name suggests, the sand of this beach is neither grey or white, but literally pink. With such a unique display, you would fall in love with this beach so much you might just stand and stare. Or you can bring a jar, put sand in it, and display it around your house and lot.
Enhancing the sights seen around the beach are crystal clear blue water, rock formations around the beach, and mountain ranges seen at a distance.
When you do enter the clear water, you will find marine life filled with unique species.
6. Saint Michael the Archangel Church
Saint Michael the Archangel Church or commonly recognized as Basey Church is the Samar tourist spot filled with rich history. Build in the 17th century, it is one of the oldest churches still very well-maintained.
It was built on an elevated land with a huge bell tower on the left side. Inside the church are the artistic stained glass, murals of biblical characters on the ceiling, and a beautiful altar where the image of Saint Michael the Archangel, the town’s patron saint, is rested.
September 29 of every year marks the celebration in honor of the patron saint of the town.
7. Bangon Falls
Bangon-Bugtong Falls is located in Barangay San Joaquin, Calbayog City, Samar. Calbayog City is also called the “City of Waterfalls” because there are more than 20 waterfalls in the area.
Bangon Falls is one of the favorite destinations of local and foreign adventurous tourists in Samar. The estimated high of 60-meter waterfalls crash down the wide and deep plunge pool which is very suitable for swimming and cliff diving.
Bangon Falls features a system of cascades wherein a descent trek following an established trail will lead you to the main waterfalls.
Traveling to this waterfall from Calbayog entails a 1-hour and 15-minute ride to Barangay Tinaplacan, and then a 3-kilometer walk from the highway. You can also opt to ride a habal-habal, a motorcycle with extended seats, and an extra shock absorber for passing through rougher terrains and steep mountain roads.
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8. Lulugayan Falls and Rapids
Lulugayan Falls and Rapids markets itself as the “Mini Niagara of the Philippines” where you truly get the vibe that you are in a different country just looking at the water.
Located around 14 km from the main town, it is a series of waterfalls that cascades down a height of 30 meters and a width of 50 meters, making it one of the widest waterfalls in the country.
The water that flows at the falls starts at Lake Kalidongan, which has more than 100 waterfall cascades on its 14-kilometer rapids before it reaches Lulugayan and drains in the Calbiga River. The site is about 740 meters away from the jump-off point which may require a 30-minute trek on an established trail.
Not in the mood to swim, just hang out in the land area near the base of the waterfalls to just appreciate the scene.
9. Bel-at Natural Pool
Located at Biri, Bel-at Natural Pool is known for its clear water, marine life, and rock formation surrounding the pool.
What makes it a pool is its structure. The area surrounded by the rock formation serves as the water basin. Where the natural side comes in is how it is able to maintain clarity and cleanliness.
Since there is no sand around the area, it cannot qualify as a beach. Hence, this Samar tourist spot is one of the only pools you will see that is not inside some private establishment or house and lot.
10. Sulpan Cave
Sulpan Pinipisakan Cave is one of the most aesthetic caves in Samar. Among all of the caves in the province, this one has the nicest entrance because there is a waterfall near the mouth of the cave, making it an extraordinary sight to behold.
The cave is a 2 km mountain tunnel with another 2 km of branched passageways. It contains grand galleries and impressive formations and feeds the spectacular Pinipisakan Falls.
Visiting this area can help you achieve two things at once: sight the Sulpan Cave and Pinipisakan Falls.
Written by Cholo Hermoso