Limasawa Island

Top choice in Leyte

The Philippines, Southern Leyte, Limasawa Island  Limasawa is an island in the province of Southern Leyte, Philippines with about 6 000 inhabitants.

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Tranquil Limasawa Island, a place of historical and religious significance, is well worth a visit. The island has around 6000 inhabitants and five tiny villages. This is where the Spanish first celebrated Mass on 31 March 1521, thereby starting the Christianisation of the country.

A five-minute walk to the left from the pier leads to the original Mass site. Next to it, a set of 450 steps leads up to the commemorative Magellan's cross. From here you can gaze at gorgeous views out across the ocean to Mindanao, Bohol and mainland Leyte. The island also has beautiful small coves that are ideal for swimming and snorkelling, and a few guesthouses.

Between Monday and Saturday four big bangkas make the journey to and from Burgos (P50, 45 minutes); the last trip from Burgos is at 3pm, while the last trip off the island is at 12.30pm. On Sundays there's only one boat, leaving Limasawa at 12.30pm and returning from Burgos at 3pm. Chartering a bangka will cost around P1500 return.