When it comes to recommending the best diving spots in the Philippines, our brains automatically jump to Anilao in Batangas, Malapascua in Cebu or Tubbataha Reef in Palawan. But do you know that there’s a gem of a diving spot in a town called Padre Burgos in Southern Leyte?
Padre Burgos is already famous for its white sand beaches including Tangkaan Beach, Likay-Likay Beach and Bukana Beach. On top of that, the group of colorful corals found in the area make the underwater scenery a must-see.
One of the best places to go diving is at Barangay Santa Sofia. What makes this a great underwater adventure are the clear waters, the coral reefs, the deep wall dives and of course, the amazing marine life which include anemone, lion fish and sea snakes. Although whale sharks have been spotted in the area, you’re more likely to see sea turtles.
But other than diving, what other adventures await someone who wants to see Padre Burgos?
Things to See and Do in Padre Burgos
- Snorkeling. The island of Limasawa is known for its history as the location where the first Philippine Christian mass was held. Surrounded by water, underwater activities are the top tourist draws on the island. Snorkeling in the waters of San Agustin and Lugsongan are quite popular. Limasawa Island is a 45-minute boat ride from Padre Burgos.
- Caving. The Cambaro Caves in Barangay Cambaro offer an alternative adventure for those who want a break from the sea. Cambaro is described as the Cave Capital of Southern Leyte as it is said to have at least a hundred caves – some of which have yet to be explored. Don’t worry about exploring the cave as a capable guide will lead you through it.
- Trekking. While some of the most popular falls in the country take minutes to reach, getting to Uwan-Uwan Waterfalls in Barangay Kawayan takes about two hours of really hard work. Well, that’s if you want to get to the top of the falls. To do so, you have to endure a trek, rappel and climb ladders (made of bamboo) – very testing, isn’t it?
- Eating. Rice cakes or kakanin are particularly popular in Southern Leyte. Two of those you should try are pintos which is made with corn, butter and condensed milk and tostados which is made from sticky rice and sugar (similar to biko). Being close to the sea, you can’t escape seafood which you can ask the locals to prepare for you.
Getting to Padre Burgos
You can get to Leyte from either Manila or Cebu. Book a flight bound for Tacloban and from there, board a bus headed for the southern portion of Leyte. Ask the driver or conductor to let you off at Padre Burgos. The total trip time is around three hours – again, depending on various conditions.
Padre Burgos might not have the allure of other top diving spots in the Philippines, but it is a wonder of its own.