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The word most often associated with Samar is 'rugged'. It has a heavily forested, virtually impenetrable interior, around which runs a beautiful coastline of turquoise bays, secret surf breaks, towering cliffs and sandy beaches. Not surprisingly, Samar tends to draw a more adventurous tourist – the spelunker; the canyoner; the diehard surfer looking for an undiscovered break. Transport connections are quite good between the main towns, but to really explore Samar, a motorbike and lack of time pressure are ideal. The main language of Samar is Waray-Waray.

Parts of northern Samar have long been a refuge for small groups of the New People's Army (NPA). The conflict has died down in recent years, and any action tends to occur in the remote hinterlands and does not affect tourists.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Samar.