This is the road less traveled. The province of Southern Leyte is blessed with natural wonders overland and underwater. This province has it all whether you are a pilgrim, a history buff, a diver, a hiker or just another weary traveler in search of the next off-the-beaten path destination.
Here ‘s our list of top ten places to visit in Southern Leyte:
1. Sogod Bay – There is no diving season in Sogod Bay. Due to its strategic location, it’s an open season all year round. The bay is just outside the typhoon belt. Situated amidst high mountains that protect it from strong winds and storms. It has rich and diverse water wonders. Whale Sharks are frequently spotted on months of January through March. Other seasonal marine visitors are also spotted time to time like pilot whales, manta rays and dolphins. This is also a haven for underwater photographers. Among the various species includes Frog Fish, Pygmy Seashorse, Mandarin Fish, Harlequin Shrimps and more. Out of the world’s 500 coral species, 350 can be found here.
2. Agas-Agas Adventure Park – It is situated in Sogod Town. This is where the tallest bridge constructed in the Philippines. And what better way to enjoy the dizzying height of the bridge than, say, doing an extreme sport in it like a zipline. The take off pad is at 1,236 ft and spans for almost a kilometer. It takes an approximate of 30 seconds for the drop and speed pegs at around 110kph. Definitely, it’s not for the faint-hearted.
3. Limasawa Island – It is considered as the birthplace of Catholicism in the country. The first Christian mass was held here on the Easter Sunday of 1521. This island town is also known as Saranggani Island. It is a tiny island. It measures 10 kilometers form North to South. This is for religious and history buff.
4. Monte Cueva – This quaint chapel is inside a cave. The Monte Cueva de la Virgen Shrine is located in Barangay Rizal in Maasin City. It is very picturesque and unique.
5. Panaon Island – It’s a small island south of Leyte and adjacent to Dinagat Island of Mindanao. In it’s shores are amazing dive spots. It is a part of Mindanao Deep, which is the second deepest body of water in the world, only next to Marianas Trench
6. Sulphur Spring – Located in Anahawan, 128 kilometers outside of Maasin. A dip in the waters is said to be therapeutic especially for rheumatisms and skin allergies.
7. Patag Daku – It means Big Plain in English. It is indeed big but it’s not a plain, but a valley. A climb to this valley is for hikers, for seasoned hikers. It is an arduous trek at 6-hours of traversing a maze of ferns, big trees and ravines.
8. Cagnituan Cave – There is subterranean river that runs through it. Spelunking in this place requires guide from the tourism office/barangay hall.
9. Tangkaan Beach – It is a white sand beach in southern Leyte. There is watchtower offers view of the Limasawa Island and Sogon Bay.
10. Kuting Reef – It is fine pebble beach. Situated in a cove at the bay of Asuncion in Macrohon.
Have you been to Southern Leyte? Feel free to share your tips and recommendations.