Sambawan island, Philippines

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Sambawan Island

Top choice in Eastern Visayas

This idyllic, slender island with its crescent-shaped white-sand beach and turquoise water has excellent snorkelling and some of the best scuba diving around Biliran. Agta Beach Resort and Napo Beach Resort run trips here. Reef sharks, cuttlefish, turtles and barracuda are regularly spotted on the reefs, which are part of a marine sanctuary. Hike to the viewpoint above Sambawan's beach for a bird's-eye perspective of Sambawan's tiny sister island to the south and the cone of Maripipi in the distance.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Eastern Visayas attractions

1. Agta Beach

10.99 MILES

About 4km north of Almeria is Agta Beach, with Biliran's largest concentration of resorts, although it's a fairly mediocre stretch of sand and can fill up…

2. Bagongbong Falls

12.45 MILES

From barangay Upper Looc, 500m north of Almeria, a road takes you up to Caucab, where a sealed track gets you most of the way to pretty Bagongbong Falls.

3. Ulan-Ulan Falls

15.14 MILES

Ulan-Ulan means rain in the local dialect and these 25m-high falls, surrounded by dense tropical forest, are some of the most spectacular in Biliran. A…

4. Sampao Rice Terraces

15.47 MILES

About 4km north of Naval is the turnoff to the Sampao rice terraces. They’re very photogenic with the peaks of Biliran as a backdrop.

5. Tinago Falls

21.72 MILES

Situated off the cross-country road, Tinago is the most accessible of Biliran's many waterfalls, with a paved access road and concrete bleachers that…

6. Kasabangan Falls

26.84 MILES

A few kilometres west of Cabucgayan is multitiered Kasabangan Falls, which like Tinago Falls have been fitted out with a sealed access road and bleachers,…

7. Tomalistis Falls

27.42 MILES

On the east coast, and reputed to have exceptionally sweet water, the Tomalistis Falls pour from a cliff face and are accessible only at low tide (or…

8. Casiawan Falls

27.86 MILES

A bit north of Cabucgayan, these falls can put on a good show depending on the amount of recent rainfall, and remain appealingly undeveloped. There's a…