Travel Guide: Sambawan Island

Camping in Sambawan Island √ 


I’ve been planning this trip since last year but it’s always the time and the limited transportation that hinders me from visiting this place. Also, I waited for my drawing friends to become available. =D But I’m glad I made it this year without planning too much. In fact, I bought some of my camping essentials and a ferry ticket on the spot.  Thanks to my spontaneous boyfriend who made this trip possible. He knows I won’t go camping without him. 🙂 Lol

Joemar and I  bought a last minute ticket to Naval. But sadly, there were no scheduled trips going there on that day. We left no choice but booked Cebu-Ormoc that eats a huge portion of our budget because we still have to travel from Ormoc to Naval. We left Cebu port around 10pm and arrived after 5-6 hours. It was dawn when our tummies are begging for food, so we grabbed a light snack to prepare for another 1.5 hours travel to Naval, the capital of Biliran.

OceanJet, Supercat, and Roble operate daily from Cebu-Ormoc and vice-versa.



When we reached the town of Kawayan, we asked one of the LGU staff if we can hitch a boat ride going to the island or if we can join with other tourists. One boatman offered us a cheaper price as he will also pick up a group of travelers from there. Along the way, we were able to see some dolphins.

After an hour, we arrived at Sambawan Island. The island is small, yet it offers a lot of things to do for campers. Swimming, hiking, snorkeling, jetskiing and a lot more. I love its laid-back vibe and how it becomes so quiet and relaxing at night.





Even with the scorching heat, we still went on a trek and waited until sunset. Sambawan island’s landscape features scenic hills, towering rocks, and a white sand beach. This is truly an escape from reality I was looking for.



Matchy-matchy with the rock. =D How dark is too dark?



Imagine waking up to this view with nothing to do but to explore.


View from the other side of the island.


And for the record, this is the best camping trip I had so far because our phone both died out. We don’t have power bank ( for some reasons, I did not buy until now) and the generator is only available at night but we also did not bother to charge. So if we were not swimming, we were eating and having a meaningful and intimate conversation “you know” future plans. Haha! From this trip, I realized that, Joemar and I can still be happy without the material things in the world and that we can live a simple and humble life together. I mean, there’s never a dull moment with this guy. Though movies and smartphone games are fun, nothing really beats the company of the person you love the most. Charaught! Before I get carried away with the cheesiness, here are some important travel tips you might like to know.


My love, lemme take you everywhere and kiss you in every beautiful place.:)



Three options on how to get to Sambawan island:

  1. From Naval terminal, there are jeepneys and motorcycles going to Kawayan town. This is where the outrigger boats are located going directly to Sambawan island. Habal-habal fare is 150 pesos for 2 pax and travel time is 40mins.- 1 hour. Boat rental ranges from 1,500-3,000 with a travel time of  1.5 hours. If you’re traveling in a small group, you can wait and join with other travelers.
  2. From Naval port, there are ferry boats going to Maripipi island. The fare is 75 pesos and travel time is 1 and a half hours. From Maripipi, hire another small boat going to Sambawan island for 500 pesos good for 1-3 person with a travel time of 20-30 minutes. I did not try this option though.
  3. Lastly, the most convenient way is going there by seaplane. Just this year, Airjuan offers direct flights from Cebu-Biliran. For an updated schedule and seat availability. Visit their website →


The first time we went camping was in Kalanggaman, I bought a tent and borrowed a portable butane stove. But this time, I want to make camping a career, so I bought my own butane stove and other camping utensils. It’s actually very light and only consumes a little space inside my backpack. By the way, these are now available for rent. Seriously people, just contact me. Haha! =D



TTB Tips:

  1. Bring a lot of food and water. There’s a sari-sari store on the island but is a little pricey. Like 1 egg costs 10 pesos.
  2. Only globe sim card has a signal.

Other nearby attractions:

  1. Tinago Falls
  2. Ulan-Ulan Falls
  3. Recoletos Falls
  4. Tomalistis Falls


Travel Budget

Roundtrip fare to Ormoc 1500
Roundtrip van fare to Biliran 480
RT Habal-Habal to Kawayan 150
Boat fare Kawayan Port to Sambawan 1000
Entrance in Sambawan 200
Groceries 300
Miscellaneous(Food, terminal fees) 200
Total 3830
Per Person 1,915 PHP

More photos:


If you think this guide is useful, don’t forget to hit like and share. Happy Travels!

2 thoughts on “Travel Guide: Sambawan Island

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