Contributed by Jundy’s Place
About Cuatro Islas
Cuatro Islas (Spanish, meaning “Four Islands”) is a group of islands belonging to the municipalities of Inopacan and Hindang, in the province of Leyte, Philippines. This group of islands is composed of Apid, Digyo and Mahaba, which belongs to the administrative jurisdiction of the municipality of Inopacan, while Himokilan island belongs to the administrative jurisdiction of the municipality of Hindang.
Also Read: Biliran Island Destinations: Higatangan and Sambawan Islands
How to get there?
Via Tacloban City, Leyte
From Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport, Tacloban City, ride a jeepney (fare is only ₱13) and ask the driver to drop you near Van-vans, Duptours or Grand tours. These shuttle providers have hourly trips to Inopacan, Leyte. Fare from Tacloban to Inopacan is ₱200. In Inopacan, ask the driver to drop you near the Municipal hall. The “bay walk”, as the local calls it, is located just right behind the Municipal Hall. The Local Government Unit (LGU) of Inopacan is now managing the dispatching of the boats to Cuatros Islas.
Additional things to know
1. They don’t accept reservations.
2. Visitors are entertained on a first come, first-served basis.
3. The first trip is at 6am.
4. During peak season, your boat might not stay on the island as they will try to accommodate as many tourists as possible. TIP: Go there during weekdays!
5. Boat Rates:
|Number of Passengers||Price||Inclusions|
|10 and below||₱2,500|
|₱2,000||One island only|
|₱3,000||One island only|
|23 and above||₱5,000||Island Hopping/Overnight|
|₱4,500||One island only|
6. Maintenance fee is ₱50 per person which must be paid during registration at the Inopacan LGU Office.
7. Contact Numbers (LGU Tourism Office):
- Landline – 565-0200/565-0311
- Mobile – 09989864865/09103649464/0926803113/09486231860
Now that you know how to get there, the next question is…
Where to stay?
Cuatro Islas offers several types of accommodation, especially in Digyo Island. There are multiple cottages you can choose from with the following rates:
|Portable Tent||₱200 (+ ₱50 space rent)|
|Camping Tent||₱150 (+ ₱50 space rent)|
In addition, you may also rent tables (₱50) and chairs (₱10). There are no fancy 3 or 5-star hotels or resorts on the island. Yet this simple, serene ambience will certainly keep your stressors at bay. And isn’t that exactly the reason why we travel?
Where to eat?
There are stores at Digyo that sell basic grocery items. But if you are an on-budget traveller, bring your own food.
Luckily, Digyo Island has decent comfort rooms and bathrooms. So after a long day of island hopping and swimming, you can take a bath and change your clothes comfortably. However, water is not yet included in the accommodations for it is transported all the way from the Inopacan mainland. You have to pay ₱40 for a 20-25 L of water, or ₱60 to have 30-40 L of water for you to use in your room. If you are travelling with your family, or just want to cut on cost, you might consider bringing your own supply of water.
At Digyo Island, there are solar-powered street lights on the other side of the island that light the place at night. The street lights are positioned near the cottages that will shed light on your night festivities and games.
But you might ask, how much will it cost if you go to Cuatro Islas with your “plus one”?
Sample itinerary and budget for two
|Date and Time||Activities||Budget||Remarks|
|6:00AM||Tacloban to Inopacan||₱400||Fare @ ₱200 each|
|10:00AM||Registration||₱100||Cuatro Islas Maintenance Fee @ ₱50 each|
|10:30AM||Inopacan to Mahaba Island||₱2,500||Island hopping and overnight stay for 10 persion and below|
|11:00AM||Preparation for Lunch|
|12:00PM||Lunch||Bring your own food.|
|1:00PM||Swimming and roaming around the island|
|3:00PM||Pack up and go to Digyo Island|
|3:30PM||Set up of Tent||₱200||₱150 for tent and ₱50 for space.|
|4:00PM||Swimming and rinse.||₱60||For the water.|
|6:00PM||Preparation for Supper||Bring your own food.|
|7:00PM||Supper and night activities.|
|6:00AM||Wake up and breakfast|
|8:00AM||Swimming again and rinse||₱60||For the water.|
|10:00AM||Preparation for departure|
|11:00AM||Depart from Digyo to Himokilan||₱500||Additional fee if you opt to go to Himokilan|
|12:30PM||Lunch at Inopacan||₱200||Food @ ₱100 each|
|1:30PM||Inopacan to Tacloban||₱400||Fare @ ₱200 each|
It is a fact that these “undiscovered” beaches and islands are gaining popularity through social media, the internet, or even with the word of mouth. Concomitant to that is the risk of environmental problems such as water pollution and waste disposal. At the Mahaba Island for one, there is this fly infestation happening in the cottages and on the tree lines which I think is possibly caused by the poor sanitation practices of the travelling community. Garbage, leftover food, and feces attract flies because it provides them with food and serves as their breeding grounds.
Also Read: A Simple Travel Guide to Leyte: What You Need to Know Before Your Trip
Although the government has proclaimed Cuatro Islas as a Protected Landscape and Seascape, it is still not enough to prevent tourists from damaging the tourist spot and eventually killing marine species like starfishes that abound in all four islands.