Kalanggaman Island, off the larger island of Leyte in the Philippines, is the picture-perfect postcard of a paradise island: it’s got fine, white sand and turquoise, clear water. And, because accessing the island is regulated, you won’t have to deal with hordes of visitors.
Accessing Kalanggaman isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. You’ll have to get to Palompon, on the island of Leyte, by bus or van, and take a one-hour boat ride from there. It’s mandatory for visitors to register at the Palompon Ecotours Office (located in front of Liberty Park near the Municipal Hall of Palompon) prior to making their way to the island. There’s a fee of around nine dollars for international tourists to enter the island and hiring a boat will cost a minimum of $55.
While the hallmark of any beach vacation is finding a cozy spot on the the sand, setting up shop for the afternoon, and basking in the sun, you’ll probably want to do more than just sunbathe on Kalanggaman. And there’s plenty to do here, it’ll just require a bit of extra effort. One of the most unique aspects of the island is that it doesn’t have a sophisticated tourist infrastructure, so if you want to go kayaking, SUPing, snorkelling or diving, you’ll have to make arrangements at Palompon, on the main island of Leyte, to bring the necessary equipment on your boat ride over.
Kalanggaman’s long, white sandbar stretching into the ocean is one of the island’s most attractive features. But remember that at high tide, it gets entirely covered by the water.
You can stay on Kalanggaman overnight in one of the few accommodation options (wooden tipi houses are available on Airbnb) or tent on the beach for the night for about $13. For more information, call the Palompon Ecotours Office.