Leyte is considered to be one of the country’s most historical provinces with a land area of 571,280 hectares and a population of 1.72 million. It is known for having the longest bridge in the country – The San Juanico Bridge. For a long time, it has been a famous tourist destination here in Leyte. A lot of tourists and visitors would like to be taken their picture with the bridge. However, not only is it the only tourist destination in Leyte. With the rich and green environment of Leyte, it is safe to say that there are already a lot of places in minute towns that are catching the attention of both the locals and the tourists.

The Mahagnao Volcano National Park is a perfect proof of how splendid Leyte is. It is already recognized as a national park for almost  75 years. A vast number of tourists endure the bumpy long rides just to stroll in the calming surrounding. Only half an hour of travel from the province’s capital, Tacloban City to the town of Burauen, another 3-4 hours’ worth of riding a motorcycle then you can finally arrive at the Mahagnao park. If you are the together-with-nature type of traveler, then you can surely enjoy the tranquil mood of sailing in the lake while watching century-old trees that will lead you to Mahagnao Lake. Another pleasurable activity to do is to take a dip in their springs – either cold or hot. With only total of not more that ₱150.00, you can already experience and capture the beautiful and calming place of Mahagnao Volcano National Park.

Mahagnao Lake

Moving a little bit farther from the city, only 64 kilometers away from Tacloban is where the town of Abuyog is located. In this town, a cold spring resort is very famous among the locals and is know by the name Castañas Cold Spring Resort. Just like every other resorts, it started out as a common venue for family outings during weekends with having only one vast pool of cold running mountain water. Fortunately, the business started to progress so the owners started renovating the place. Now, it has more facilities like a portion for the kids in wide pool, a mini slide with running water, a small bridge and their newest addition is the zip line. The visitors keep on coming to this place because they find the water refreshing and awakening. The coldness from the water would really make you shiver with delight and excitement. From Tacloban, you just have to ride on a bus heading towards Abuyog. Arriving at the town, you need to ride on a tricycle and you can already reach the spring resort for no more than 30 minutes. With only ₱50.00 for the bus ride and ₱20.00 for the tricycle ride to Brgy. Balinsasayao, it is surely worth every penny to visit Castañas Cold Spring Resort.

A view of the wide overflowing pool from Castanas Cold Spring Resort

Another new tourist spot in Leyte is the ever famous Agas-Agas Bridge. It is known to be the Philippines’ tallest bridge situated at the town of Maasin in Southern part of Leyte. Just like the San Juanico bridge, a lot of people would take off the bus and actually go to the bridge and take some photos. However, the provincial government of Southern Leyte had its soft opening for not more than 2 years ago. The zip line is known to be the longest, highest and fastest zip line in the Visayas accoriding to the So. Leyte Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s President, Engr. Robert Castañares. With only a two-hour ride from the city and a regular fair of not more than ₱200.00, you can already reach Maasin City. So if you are looking for a bold and devil-may-care experience, the Zip Southern Leyte is a must try!

Photo taken from the end point of the zip line.

Lastly and the farthest among above-mentioned famous tourist destinations is the mini-Boracay of Leyte called the Canigao. Located in an islet across the municipality of Matalom, the place is famous to be surrounded by white sand and invigorating beach. You can reach the place by taking a van to Sogod Suothern Leyte and get off at the municipality of Matalom and upon arriving at Matalom, only one boat ride for not more than 20 minutes will take you to Canigao. During the day, a lot of activities like scuba diving, swimming, sports (like volleyball and Frisbee) can be done. At night time, if you decide to camp, you can just rent a tent at the island if you weren’t able to bring one. A very famous activity at night is making a bonfire. However, there are already bars in the island wherein one can already party the night away – just like in Boracay.

View of the beautiful islet’s shore from the boat.

Yes, it is only the month of November but there is nothing wrong with planning ahead of time. These famous tourist destinations are major must tried and will surely bring a very memorable experience in your breakAnother important thing to always remember, the new bus terminal of Tacloban is located at Brgy. Abucay. You can look for buses traveling to Burauen, Abuyog, Mahaplag and Sogod here. However, if you do not want to ride the public vehicles, then you can hire a cab at the airport with a little bit higher price range than the usual fare – depending on how good you haggle.  So, prepare your calendar and plan your weekend getaway as early as now.