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Travel Guide Budget and Itinerary for Leyte

Leyte is a beautiful province with plenty to offer. I visited a couple of times en route to somewhere else and as a travel destination. This province is also where my relatives on my father's side live. That's why it is a special place for me. It is home to historic and natural attractions which make it a noteworthy destination in the region.

Read my travel guide budget and itinerary for Leyte

Guide to Leyte

The province used to be called Tandaya by the Spanish explorers centuries ago. Population grew exponentially in the 1900s when more and more people settled on the island. Experts believe that the first mass to take place in the Philippines occurred in Limasawa, Leyte. Another historical event also took place on the island, the return of General Douglas MacArthur. The province has an interesting mix of historic and natural attractions for all types of visitors.

Things to Do in Leyte

MacArthur Memorial

Gen. MacArthur fulfilled his promise of returning to the Philippines to liberate the country from the Japanese. His return was immortalized with the construction of statues in Palo.

How to go: Board a jeep with the sign "St. Paul/Campetic" and get down at Campetic crossing. Fare is around P10 one way. You can hire a pedicab to take you to the monument for P10.

Lake Danao
This scenic lake located in Ormoc's district is a good day trip from Tacloban City. The area provides beautiful views of the rolling, verdant hills. Go boating or go on a leisurely hike along the trails. Row boat rental costs P150 while renting a house boat costs P500.

How to go: From Tacloban, get on a van bound for Ormoc. In Ormoc, make your way to the jeep terminal and board one going to Lake Danao. You can also hire a motorcycle taxi to take you.

San Juanico Bridge

This architectural wonder is one of the longest bridges in the country that spanned the sea. It connects the province of Leyte with Samar. Construction began in 1969 and concluded in 1973 during Marcos' term. 

How to go: Board any public transportation bound for Samar (Catbalogan, Basey or Calbayog). fare is around P15-P20 one way. If you want to spend some time on the bridge, you have to alight at the start or at the end because buses and jeeps can't stop while crossing the bridge.

Palo Cathedral

The history of this church spans centuries and is an interesting landmark while exploring this part of Leyte. The American forces in the Philippines used it as a hospital during World War II.

How to go: There are several jeeps and multi-cabs bound for Palo from Tacloban. Board any of these and tell the driver you'll alight near the cathedral.

Yolanda Memorial Monument

Typhoon Yolanda devastated the region; it killed thousands of people and displaced many more. Years after the tragedy government officials and the private sector had memorials built, one of them is this unique monument located in Sagkahan District near the Tacloban Convention Center.

Kalanggaman Island
This tropical destination is a popular day trip spot for those traveling to Leyte. The fine, white sand and the azure waters are perfect. Walk along the shore, sunbathe, do some activities or just lounge around for a few relaxing hours.

Other places of interest:
  • Capitol Building of Leyte
  • Madonna of Japan Park and Kanhuraw Hill
  • Tulaan Falls
  • Cuatro Islas
  • Canigao Island
Day Trip

It is also possible to go on a day trip to Sohoton National Park from Leyte. Read my post here: Sohoton National Park guide.

Getting Around Leyte

There are taxis, tricycles, jeeps and vans to get around Leyte and the tourist attractions inside or just outside the province. Jeeps are convenient and cheap. They normally pass through or at least within walking distance of the places of interest in the province.  

How to Go to Leyte

The most convenient way to reach Leyte is by airplane. Cebu Pacific, Air Asia and Philippine Airlines have frequent flights to this province via Tacloban from Manila. Book your flights weeks or months before your trip to save money. There are also buses traveling from Metro Manila to Tacloban, but this option can take up to 24 hours one way.

Other Places You Might Want to Visit

Leyte is a good jump-off point to other destinations such as:

Where to Stay in Leyte

You have more accommodation options in either Tacloban or Ormoc. However, most tourists use Tacloban City as their base for exploring the province since it is the transportation hub of the province. It is easy to go anywhere as a day trip from the city.

Budget for Leyte

A safe amount to bring for your trip is between P5000 to P7000 for 3 days and 2 nights excluding flights. Your budget will depend on your spending habits such as chartering a whole tricycle to take you somewhere, renting an entire boat or sharing it with a bigger group, your accommodation and where you eat. 

Sample Itinerary for Leyte

Day 1

Arrival in Tacloban
Check-in accommodation
MacArthur Monument
Capitol Building of Leyte
Yolanda Monument
Palo Cathedral
Other places in the city or nearby

Day 2

Day trip to Kalanggaman Island

Day 3

Check out accommodation
Depart for Manila or Cebu

This is just a rough itinerary, you can add or remove places depending on your pace and what you want to see.

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