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Eastern Visayas – Guide to Provinces, Cities and Towns

Eastern Visayas – Guide to Provinces, Cities and Towns

Explore Eastern Visayas, Philippines! Visit stunning natural attractions, historical landmarks, and try mouth-watering delicacies. Learn about the provinces, cities, and towns, and find out what makes this region unique. Photo: DOT

Eastern Visayas is a captivating region situated in the central part of the Philippines. It comprises six provinces - Biliran, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar, Samar, and Southern Leyte - and offers a delightful blend of diverse cultures, breathtaking natural wonders, and delectable cuisine.

For travelers seeking a peaceful retreat, Eastern Visayas provides several options. For instance, the Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park in Basey, Samar, offers a mesmerizing view of the park's limestone cliffs, underground rivers, and caves. Likewise, the Tongonan Hot Springs in Leyte, the serene beaches of Kalanggaman Island in Leyte, and the San Juanico Bridge, which connects Leyte and Samar, provide a relaxing escape.

Moreover, Eastern Visayas boasts a wealth of history and culture. One can visit the Santo Niño Shrine and Heritage Museum in Tacloban City, which displays various artifacts and memorabilia. Alternatively, tourists can participate in the colorful Pintados-Kasadyaan and Sangyaw Festival in the said city to celebrate the region's rich heritage.

Last but not least, Eastern Visayas offers a delectable array of delicacies that one should take advantage of. Some of the must-try dishes include binagol (a sweet coconut-based dessert), moron (a sticky rice cake wrapped in banana leaves), and kinilaw (a type of ceviche made with fresh seafood).

The region is truly a destination that is not to be missed, providing visitors with a glimpse of the Philippines' beauty. With its stunning natural attractions, rich cultural heritage, and mouth-watering cuisine, Eastern Visayas is undoubtedly worth exploring.

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  • Biliran - A small island province known for its hot springs and waterfalls, Biliran is a nature lover's paradise with several must-visit attractions. These include the Tinago Waterfalls, the Mainit Hot Springs, and the stunning Sambawan Island.
  • Eastern Samar - The easternmost province in Eastern Visayas, Eastern Samar is a treasure trove of unspoiled islands, pristine beaches, and rich cultural heritage. Top attractions in the area include the Divinubo Island, the Sulangan Church Ruins, and the breathtaking Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park.
  • Leyte - The largest province in the region, Leyte is steeped in history and culture, with several iconic landmarks and historical sites. Some of the top attractions in Leyte include the Leyte Landing Memorial, which commemorates the landing of General Douglas MacArthur and his troops during World War II, and the San Juanico Bridge, the second-longest bridge in the Philippines.
  • Northern Samar - With a rugged coastline, lush forests, and diverse marine life, Northern Samar is a haven for adventure seekers and outdoor enthusiasts. Must-visit attractions in Northern Samar include the historic Capul Island Lighthouse, the unique Biri Island Rock Formations, and the tranquil Calicoan Island.
  • Samar - As the third largest island in the country, Samar boasts a wealth of natural wonders, including stunning beaches, waterfalls, and caves. Some of the top attractions in Samar include the majestic Lulugayan Falls, the awe-inspiring Sohoton Caves, and the scenic Marabut Marine Park.
  • Southern Leyte - Home to the famous whale sharks in Sogod Bay, Southern Leyte is a dream destination for nature lovers and marine enthusiasts. Top attractions in Southern Leyte include the picturesque Sogod Bay, the stunning Tangkaan Beach, and the historic Limasawa Island, which is said to be the site of the first Christian mass in the Philippines.


  • Tacloban - Known for its rich history, culture, and cuisine, Tacloban is a vibrant city and regional capital of Eastern Visayas. Popular attractions include the Sto. Niño Shrine and Heritage Museum, the Leyte Provincial Capitol, and the San Juanico Bridge.
  • Ormoc - Located on the western coast of Leyte, Ormoc is a bustling port city and a popular destination for beach lovers, waterfall chasers, and outdoor enthusiasts. Top attractions include the Lake Danao National Park, the Sabin Resort Hotel, and the Ormoc Bay.
  • Baybay - A picturesque coastal city, Baybay is located on the western coast of Leyte and is perfect for those looking for a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere, as well as natural beauty. Visitors can enjoy the stunning Lintaon Peak and the breathtaking Hugusan Falls, among other popular spots.
  • Borongan - The charming city of Borongan is the provincial capital of Eastern Samar and boasts a rich culture, history, and natural beauty. Visitors can explore Ando Island, Borongan River, and Divinubo Island, among other popular attractions.
  • Calbayog - As the second largest city in Samar, Calbayog offers a diverse range of attractions, including cultural landmarks and outdoor adventures. Top attractions include the Bangon-Bugtong Falls, Maposo Hot Spring, and the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral.
  • Catbalogan - The provincial capital of Samar, Catbalogan is a city rich in history and culture, with numerous landmarks and historical sites to explore. Visitors can check out the Samar Archaeological Museum, the Catbalogan Church, and the white sandy beaches with resorts, among other notable attractions.
  • Maasin City - The bustling capital of Southern Leyte, Maasin City blends modern amenities with natural beauty. Top attractions include the Monte Cueva Shrine, the Maasin City Forest Park, and nearby Limasawa Island.


  • Guiuan - Situated on the southeastern tip of Samar Island, Guiuan is a picturesque town known for its laid-back atmosphere and beautiful beaches that attract visitors from all over. Apart from its beaches, Guiuan is also home to the Sulangan Church and the stunning Manicani Island, which are worth exploring.
  • Liloan - Located on the southern end of Leyte Island, Liloan is a popular destination known for its coral reefs and rich marine life, making it a perfect place for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts. Tagbak Marine Park, Wawa Bridge, and Molopolo Beach are some of the top attractions visitors can enjoy in Liloan.
  • Marabut - A small town on the western coast of Samar Island, Marabut is famous for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and unique rock formations. Visitors can explore the limestone rock formations off the coast of Marabut and the town's white sand beaches, which are stunningly beautiful.
  • Palompon - Renowned for its marine sanctuary that houses a diverse range of fish and marine species, Palompon is a charming town on Leyte's western coast. Visitors can witness the beauty of Kalanggaman Island, the Tabuk Marine Park, and the Palompon Eco-Park, some of the must-visit attractions.
  • Barugo - Offering a delightful mix of rich cultural heritage, historical landmarks, and natural attractions, Barugo is a municipality in Leyte that visitors can explore. The Barugo Church, Tutug-an Hanging Bridge, Baluarte Marker, and the Sampaw Summit offer a unique insight into the town's rich cultural and natural heritage.
  • Hinunangan - Known for its scenic beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush green forests that provide a perfect setting for relaxation and rejuvenation, Hinunangan is a coastal town in Southern Leyte. Hinunangan Baywalk, Lantawan Peak, and Pungkay Mountain Park are some of the top attractions in Hinunangan that visitors can enjoy.
  • Jaro - Showcasing the region's natural beauty and cultural heritage, Jaro is a sought-after destination in Leyte. Visitors can explore the Rubas Hot Springs, Jagusa'is Cold Spring, and Mt. Aminduen Alto Peak, some of the town's most famous natural attractions.
  • San Antonio - Situated in Northern Samar, San Antonio is a serene town known for its peaceful environment, scenic landscapes, and historical landmarks. Visitors can relax in several beachfront resorts with stunning white beaches or explore the town's historical landmarks.

These are just a few of the many towns that Eastern Visayas has to offer. Each town has its own unique charm and is definitely worth exploring when visiting the region.

How to Get There

By Air:

The Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport in Tacloban City is the primary gateway to the region. Several local airlines such as Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, and Air Asia offer daily flights to and from Manila and Cebu. 

Other regional secondary airports include the Catarman Airport, Calbayog Airport, and Ormoc Airport.

By Land:

Eastern Visayas is accessible by bus from major cities such as Manila, Cebu, and Davao. The biggest regional terminal is in Tacloban City, where buses and vans have direct connections to all cities and provincial capitals in the region. 

Additionally, the five major seaports in Silago, Bato, Palompon, and Allen serve as ferry terminals of entry to the region, with buses coming from different islands.

 Leyte, Samar, and Biliran islands are interconnected by bridges, including the San Juanico Bridge, which connects Leyte and Samar islands.

By Sea:

For those who prefer traveling by sea, Ormoc City serves as the main entry point from the province of Cebu, while the town of Bato, Leyte, is the entry port from the island of Bohol. 

The cities of Palompon and Hilongos are also entry points for passenger vessels coming from Cebu and other points of Mindanao. It is important to note that ferry schedules are subject to change, so it is best to check with the local port authorities or travel agencies for the latest information.

Getting around Eastern Visayas

The best way to explore Eastern Visayas is by hiring a car or van, a tricycle, or by taking public transportation. Buses and jeepneys are the most common modes of public transport in the region, and they are relatively cheap and convenient. However, they can be crowded and uncomfortable, especially during peak hours.

If you're planning to visit remote and less accessible destinations in Eastern Visayas, it's best to hire your preferred mode of transportation and a local driver who knows the area well. This will not only save you time and hassle but also ensure your safety and comfort. There are many car rental operators in the region that you can contact.

Where to Stay and Eat

Accommodation options in Eastern Visayas range from budget-friendly lodgings to luxury resorts. Some of the top-rated hotels in the region include The Oriental Leyte, Go Hotels Tacloban, and GV Hotel Ormoc.

For those who prefer a more laid-back atmosphere, plenty of beach resorts and cottages are available in popular destinations such as Biri Island, Calicoan Island, and Marabut. Some notable options include Biri Resort and Dive Center, Calicoan Villa Resort, and Marabut Marine Park Beach Resort.

When it comes to dining, Eastern Visayas offers a wide range of culinary delights that showcase the region's rich culture and history. Local specialties include seafood dishes like kinilaw (raw fish marinated in vinegar and spices) and hinatukan (steamed seafood cooked in coconut milk). Some of the top-rated restaurants in the region include Ocho Seafood Grill in Tacloban.

Street food vendors are also common in Eastern Visayas, offering a variety of snacks such as grilled seafood, chicken and pork skewers, and local desserts.


Eastern Visayas is a region rich in natural beauty, history, and culture, with a diverse range of attractions and experiences that will surely please any traveler. If you're looking for pristine beaches, lush forests, historical landmarks, or outdoor adventures, Eastern Visayas has something to offer for everyone. So plan your trip to Eastern Visayas now and discover the beauty of this amazing region. —iTacloban/AJ Yes

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