CUATRO ISLAS | Leyte’s Hidden Island Paradise

Cuatro Islas in Leyte, Philippines - These islands are the hidden island paradise of Leyte: Digyo island, Apid island, Mahaba island and Himokilan island.

There is more to Leyte than Kalanggaman island and Canigao Island. Unknown to travellers, there are 4 other island paradise that can be found in Leyte. They call it Cuatro Islas. It is a group of 4 islands located in the southwestern part of Leyte. You can expect pristine white sand beaches, sandbars and clear blue waters of these islands. Unlike Kalanggaman Island, the island of Cuatro Islas promised a less crowded retreat. This hidden paradise will definitely be your next destination after reading this post.

We visited this paradise just this August. From Ormoc City, we travelled 1-hour and a half to Inopacan town where the boats for the island hoppings are docked. Ideally we should do island hopping to 4 islands. But when we arrived at the registration desk, the staff informed us that the NEW packaged island hopping only includes 3 islands. If you opt to go to the 4th island, you need to add another 500 pesos for it. Since we didn’t have enough time, we just settled for the 3 islands.

Digyo Island

Digyo Island was our first stop. It was almost lunch time when we docked at the island. So we decided to rent an open cottage [300pesos] and have our lunch there. I saw a house on the island. Those people living there are the ones maintaining the island. We learned that they can cook for us for a fee of 50pesos. I also saw some fisherman who just arrived from fishing and offered to sell some of their catch. We bought a couple of large fish and ask the caretaker to cook for us while we went around and explore the island.

Of the 3 islands, this one is my favorite. Compared to other islands of Cuatro Islas, Digyo is the smallest with fine white sand, and a pretty sandbar in the corner. You can just literally roam around in barefoot. Not that long compared to Kalanggaman island, but it was beautiful nonetheless. 

It was Sunday when we visited the place, but I only saw one group in the other cottage. I was expecting the island to be crowded because it fell on a weekend, but it was the absolute opposite. Made me happy all the more.

Apid Island

Apid Island as seen from Digyo Island
Further to the right is Apid Island

Our 2nd stop should be Apid Island. From where I sat, I could see the white sand lurking in one part of the island. But the other part of the island is mostly reefs. We planned to stop and explore the island, but then the wind started to blow harder, creating a bit bigger waves than usual. My cousin started to feel anxious about the idea of going to the island. So the boatman suggested we’ll just have a quick turn (on our boat) around the island, and proceed to our next stop.

Mahaba Island

Mahaba Island was our last stop. It was named that way most probably because, the shape of the island is elongated. Like Digyo island, this island has fine white sand and a long sandbar. This is my 2nd most favorite after Digyo. 

We planned to stay longer in this island, but dark cloud started to form on the horizon when we docked in. We stayed enough to enjoy the water, and take a few snaps for Instagram.  A few minutes later I could feel the cool air blowing on my skin, and dark clouds forming above me. Further, I could see rain coming towards us. I told everyone to look at the direction I was looking. By the time they notice what I saw, everyone agreed that it was time to go.  

Himokilan Island

Himokilan island, the island that we missed to visit. Although we never step foot on the island, I could see its beauty from where I sat on our way back to the mainland. I learned from our boatmen that Himokilan island is a community island. True as they say, I saw a few houses in one corner of the island.

Now that you have learned about this hidden island paradise, I bet you want to know how to get there. Read on. I’ll tell you how to get there, as well as our itinerary and expenses of our trip.

How to get to Cuatro Islas?

Cuatro Islas in Leyte, Philippines - These islands are the hidden island paradise of Leyte: Digyo island, Apid island, Mahaba island and Himokilan island.

The town of Inopacan is where the boats to the island hopping are docked. So this will be the starting point of your island hopping.

 

If your FLYING, chances are you’ll arrive in Tacloban Airport. From Tacloban City, ride a van (Tacloban-Maasin) to Inopacan town. Remind the driver to drop you off near Inopacan Municipal Hall. Travel time from Tacloban to Inopacan is approximately 2.5-hours. The trip will cost you 200-250pesos/pax.

 

If you’re travelling by SEA, there is a several ferry terminal you can choose from. You can either take a ferry boat to Hilongos, Baybay City or Ormoc City. Hilongos to Inopacan is approximately 15-minute land travel. Ormoc to Inopacan is around 1.5-hours. Just remind the driver to drop you off the Inopacan Municipal Hall. Behind the Inopacan Municipal Hall are where the boats for island hopping are docked.

Itinerary and Expenses

**rates above are subject to change without prior notice.

Notes

  • Bring your own food. There is a market beside Inopacan Municipal Hall, you can buy your food for the island hopping there.
  • Don’t forget to bring your own drinking water.
  • For those who plan to have an overnight, Digyo island and Mahaba island are the recommended islands to spend your overnight stay.
  • They use seawater in the toilet. There is fresh water available in the island, but you have to pay Php 40 (20-25 L of water), or Php 60 (30-40 L of water).  If you want to save, you can ask your boatmen to bring fresh water from town.

 


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