Limasawa Island Travel Guide: Things to Do, Where to Stay & Sample Itinerary

This is a DIY travel guide to the historic island municipality of Limasawa in Southern Leyte, Philippines.

Limasawa Island is a small island municipality in the province of Southern Leyte in Eastern Visayas. It is the place where the first Christian mass was celebrated in the Philippines on March 31, 1521. [Check out our list of top tourist spots in Southern Leyte]

Limasawa Island Travel Guide

Today, Limasawa Island has become a tourist spot for both locals and foreigners not just because of its religious and historical importance but also for its natural attractions like beaches and lagoons.

Top Tourist Spots and Attractions in Limasawa Island

First Mass Shrine

The First Mass Shrine in Limasawa is one of the top tourist spots in the island because of its religious and historical importance. On March 31, 1521, the first Christian mass was celebrated in the Philippine soil in Limasawa. The mass was officiated by Spanish priest Fr. Pedro de Valderrama on Easter Sunday.

First Mass Shrine in Limasawa Island
First Mass Shrine in Limasawa Island

A marker by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) is mounted on the wall of the shrine.

Inside the shrine are paintings that depicts what transpired during the time where Ferdinand Magellan and his crew landed in Limasawa Island.

Magellan’s Cross

Within the vicinity of the First Mass Shrine, atop a hill, is a replica of Magellan’s Cross that was planted by Magellan’s men when they arrived at the island.

A replica of Magellan's Cross in Limasawa Island
A replica of Magellan’s Cross in Limasawa Island

In order to reach the Magellan’s cross, a visitor needs to climb 450 steps to get to the top. There are rest stops along the way so you can rest at some point during the climb. It was an easy climb for most people but unfortunately, not to me. I had to do a couple of stops before reaching the cross. The view from the hill makes the climb more worthwhile.

A replica of Magellan’s Cross in Limasawa Island
View from the top of the hill

Dakdak Beach

If you want the beach, then Dakdak Beach is one of your best options when you visit Limasawa Island. It’s located about 10 minutes away from the docking port. It offers cream sand beach, an accommodation both airconditioned and open-air huts, as well as a small restaurant.

Dakdak Beach Resort
Dakdak Beach Resort

Limasawa Island Lagoon

Limasawa Island Lagoon is one of the must-visit tourist attractions in Limasawa Island. It’s about 30 minutes away from the town proper and it offers breathtaking views.

Limasawa Island Lagoon

The entrance fee is only Php25 for adults, Php20 for senior citizens and Php10 for kids. Since the road leading to the lagoon is a private property, the land owner is collecting Php5 access fee.

Limasawa Island Lagoon

Limasawa Island Lighthouse (Parola)

Just few steps away from the jump-off point to Limasawa Island Lagoon is the the Limasawa Island Lighthouse. You can have a great view of the island lagoon from the lighthouse area. Just make sure to be very careful in the cliff as there are no safety barriers.

Limasawa Island Lighthouse
Limasawa Island Lighthouse
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Where to stay in Limasawa Island

Dakdak Beach Resort

Dakdak Beach Resort is where I stayed overnight. I paid Php1,500 for an airconditioned room. The non-airconditioned room is Php1,000 so I opted the airconditioned room.

Dakdak Beach Resort

You may call them in advance to make a reservation at 0975-967-5063.

The room is pretty basic but spacious. The CR is shared so I feel like Php1,500 is a bit much. I think they do not have fixed pricing. I read somewhere that the non-air is only Php700 but I do not know if they actually increased the price. So, I highly recommend to call in advance and negotiate.

Dakdak Beach Resort

As for food, you do not have to worry as they have a small eatery within the resort that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Surprisingly, their food was good. Lutong-bahay feels. 🙂

By the way, I was ready to give them 6.5 out of 10 rating, but I had a bad experience just as I was about to check out. There were two foreigners who arrived around 10 AM. The staff (3 of them) were so apologetic to them because the room is not ready yet. They were trying to get the room I occupied because they were informed that it should have been the room that the foreigners will be occupying. I told them I am still there and will be checking out by 11 AM.

They were talking in Bisaya not knowing that I also speak Bisaya. They were talking behind my back that I should I have left. I told them that they can give the other room since it was vacated. Then, I asked what is the check out time and the girl said 10:00 AM because check-in time is 11:00 AM. I asked again, are you sure? She said yes, in a condescending manner. I told her, I travel a lot and I never encountered a resort/hotel in the Philippines with 10 AM check out and 11:00 AM check-in. I said, ano ‘to Japan?! Then I went to the room and pack. I left before 11AM.

I was pissed, so I give them 3/10 rating. Bad customer service. It’s as if I paid less than the foreigners.

Evashore Beach Hotel And Resort

Evashore Beach Hotel and Resort is a relatively new property in Limasawa Island. It is a walking distance from the pier. The room rates start at Php1,500. You may call them at 0917-874-1302.

Island Lagoon Resort

Island Lagoon Resort is located in Brgy. San Agustin, Limasawa Island. They offer non-airconditioned basic accommodation for less than Php1,000. You can also pitch your tent in the area. You may call them at 0956-790-3306

Island Lagoon Resort
Island Lagoon Resort

Trimulco Travelers Lodge

Trimulco Travelers Lodge is your best option if you travel on a budget. It is located near the pier and their room rates start at only Php500. You may call them at 0916-521-6846 or 0926-130-4887.

How to Get to Limasawa Island

The jump-off point to Limasawa Island is the town of Padre Burgos in Southern Leyte. The closest airports are in Ormoc City and Tacloban City.

From Tacloban City or Ormoc City, take a bus or van to either Sogod or Maasin City. If you decide to go to Maasin, you can take a jeep/multicab to the town of Padre Burgos and inform the driver that you are going to the port. The fare is Php30 and the travel time is around an hour.

If you are coming from Sogod, you can take a bus bound to Maasin via Malitbog. Do not ride the bus via Bato as it will not pass by Padre Burgos. Inform the driver or conductor to drop you off near the port. Travel time is around 1.5 hours and the fare is Php50.

Coming from Mindanao? Take the ferry to Liloan Port and take a bus or jeep to Sogod. The fare is Php50 and the travel time is around an hour.

When you are in Padre Burgos, proceed to the port which is just a walking distance from the main road/bus stop.

The boat (lancha) schedule is at 3:00PM going to Limasawa from Padre Burgos depending on the weather. The fare is Php70 and the travel time is less than an hour. If younarrive at the port earlier, you can take an outrigger boat (pump boat) like I did. I departed around 12:00 NN. The fare is Php100 and travel time is around 45 minutes. You can also charter a boat if you want to.

From Limasawa Island, the lancha departs at 6:00AM and 1:00 PM. On Sundays, it only departs once at 1:00 PM. Again, there are outrigger boats available.

Travel Tips and Reminders

  • Bring cash, there’s no ATM on the island and establishments only accepts cash.
  • Both leading mobile networks have signal on the island.
  • Electricity is 24/7 so no need to worry.
  • Charter a habalhabal to visit the tourist attractions in Limasawa Island. I got mine for Php300 and I visited all the five tourist spots mentioned above.

Sample Limasawa Island Itinerary

Day 1: Off to Limasawa Island

10:00 AM – Depart Sogod
11:30 AM – Arrive in Padre Burgos
12:00 NN – Ride outrigger boat to Limasawa Island (Php100)
12:45 PM – Arrive in Limasawa Island
12:55 PM – Ride habal-habal to Dakdak Beach Resort (Php15)
1:15 PM – Check in at Dakdak Beach Resort
1:30 PM – Habal-Habal Tour around the island (Php300) – Started in First Mass Shrine, Magellan’s Cross, Limasawa Island Lagoon, Lighhouse, town and back to resort.
5:00 PM – End of tour
6:00 PM – Early dinner at Dakdak Beach Resort
8:30 PM – Lights Off

Day 2: Back to mainland

7:00 AM – Breakfast
7:30 AM – Beach, beach, beach
11:00 AM – Hotel Checkout
11:30 AM – Off to the Pier
1:00 PM – Lancha to Padre Burgos (Php70). Due to bad weather, we ended docking in Macrohon.

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