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Canigao Island is a small island located in the province of Leyte, in the Eastern Visayas region of the Philippines. It is situated in the municipality of Matalom and is approximately 3.5 kilometers from the mainland. The island is known for its beautiful white sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant marine life, making it a popular destination for snorkeling, diving, and beach camping.

How to Get to Canigao Island

To get to Canigao Island, you must first travel to Leyte by air or sea. The nearest airport is the Ormoc Airport, of which you will take the route of the baybay-inopacan road, which is about 2 hours and 35 minutes drive. Next is Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport in Tacloban City, about a 3-hour drive from Matalom. Alternatively, you can take a ferry from Cebu City to Ormoc City, about a 3-hour drive from Matalom.

Note: As far as I know, Ormoc Airport only caters to minor domestic flights. And it only has three flights per week from Cebu. 

boat in canigao island matalom leyte

From Matalom, you can rent a boat or join a guided tour to take you to Canigao Island. There are several boat rental services available in the area, and the cost will depend on the size of the boat and the number of people in your group. The boat ride usually takes around 20-30 minutes, depending on the weather conditions.

It is recommended to book your boat rental in advance, especially during peak season, to avoid any delays or inconvenience. Also, make sure to check the weather conditions before your trip, as boat rides may be canceled due to strong winds and waves.

Entrance Fees in Canigao Island

When visiting Canigao Island, visitors should expect to pay:

  • Entrance fee of Php 20 for children aged 6-12 years old and Php 40 for adults. 
  • The boat fare is Php 65 per person for a round trip to the island. 
  • For those who want to rent open cottages for the day, the rental fee is Php 500, and for overnight stays, it is Php 700. 
  • There are also rooms available for rent at Php 1,500 per night. 
  • Camping and tent pitching is available at Php 100 per night.
  • There is no Corkage fee on the island.

Best Island Activities in Canigao Island Philippines

boat in canigao island
Photo from Ina Carolina

Canigao Island in the Philippines offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. Some of the best island activities include:

Beach bumming

Canigao Island has a beautiful white sand beach and crystal-clear waters, making it a perfect place to relax and enjoy the sun, sea, and sand.

Snorkeling and diving

The island is surrounded by a vibrant coral reef, making it an ideal spot for snorkeling and diving. Visitors can rent snorkeling and diving equipment on the island or join a guided tour.

Island hopping

Visitors can explore nearby islands, such as Cuatro Islas, by renting a boat or joining an island hopping tour.

Related reading: Discovering the Beauty of Camotes Island Philippines – Travel Guide


For a unique island experience, visitors can rent a tent and camp overnight on the beach. There are also open cottages available for rent for those who prefer a more comfortable stay.

Kayaking or Riding a Jet Ski

Kayaking is a popular activity on Canigao Island, with rentals available on the beach. It’s a great way to explore the island’s coastline and nearby areas.

Fishing and Catching Sea Urchins 

Fishing is another popular activity on the island, with visitors able to rent a fishing boat and try their luck at catching various fish species.

Overall, Canigao Island offers a variety of activities for visitors of all ages and interests.

Where to Stay in Canigao

As of my knowledge, there are no hotels or resorts on Canigao Island itself. However, visitors can stay in open cottages, tents, or rooms for rent on the island.

Open cottages can be rented for day use or overnight stays. The rental fee for open cottages for the day is around Php 500, and for overnight stays, it’s around Php 700. The cottages usually have basic amenities such as tables, chairs, and electricity.

For those who prefer camping, tents can be rented for around Php 100 per night. Visitors can bring their own tents if they prefer.

There are also rooms available for rent on the island, which usually cost around Php 1,500 per night. These rooms come with basic amenities such as a bed, a fan, and a private bathroom.

Best Time to Visit Canigao Island

visit canigao island in Matalom Leyte

The best time to visit Canigao Island in the Philippines is during the dry season, which is from December to May. The weather is generally sunny and dry during this time, making it perfect for beach activities and island hopping. The water is also calmer, which is ideal for snorkeling and diving.

However, please note that the island can get crowded during peak season, especially during Christmas, New Year, and Holy Week holidays. It’s best to avoid visiting during these times if you prefer a quieter and more peaceful atmosphere.

The rainy season in the Philippines runs from June to November, and during this time, the island can experience heavy rainfall and strong winds, which may affect boat rides and other outdoor activities. If you plan to visit during the rainy season, it’s recommended to check the weather forecast before your trip and prepare accordingly.

Travel Notes and Tips for Going to The Island

aerial shot of canigao island
Photo from Now in PH

If you’re planning to visit Canigao Island in the Philippines, here are some travel notes and tips to keep in mind:

Bring cash – No ATMs or establishments accept credit or debit cards on the island, so bringing cash for your expenses is recommended.

Book in advance – Accommodations on the island are limited, so booking in advance is advisable, especially during peak season.

Pack wisely – Pack light and bring only essential items. The island is small, and you’ll be spending most of your time on the beach, so you don’t need to bring a lot of things. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, insect repellent, and other beach essentials.

Be mindful of the environment – Canigao Island is a protected marine sanctuary, so it’s important to be responsible and not leave any trash behind. Bring reusable water bottles and bags to minimize waste.

Respect the locals – The island is home to a small community of locals, so it’s important to respect their culture and way of life. Be polite and courteous, and avoid loud and disruptive behavior.

Be cautious with the water – While the waters around the island are generally safe for swimming and snorkeling, it’s still important to be cautious and avoid going too far out to sea. Always follow safety instructions and listen to local guides.

Final Thoughts

Canigao Island is a beautiful and secluded destination that offers visitors a chance to relax and unwind in a pristine natural environment. With its powdery white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and abundant marine life, it’s the perfect destination for beach lovers and nature enthusiasts.

However, it’s important to note that the island is relatively remote, and amenities are limited. Visitors should be prepared to rough it out a bit, but the rewards are well worth it. By following the travel notes and tips above, visitors can have a safe and enjoyable trip to Canigao Island.

Overall, if you’re looking for a peaceful and relaxing getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life, Canigao Island is definitely worth a visit. Just be sure to plan, pack smart, and respect the local environment and culture.

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