Traveling to Hinunangan will require a lot of time and patience since it really is off the beaten path. However, its promise of serenity and tranquility will surely make up for the arduous journey.
By Air, Sea, and Land
There are no direct flights to Hinunangan, but you need to fly to Cebu City instead. From Manila, flights to Cebu last for about an hour and 20 minutes. Once you’ve arrived in Cebu City, find your way to Pier 4, where you’ll take a ferry headed for Ormoc, Leyte. The travel time is about four hours. Once you’ve reached Ormoc, you will then have to ride a bus to Hinunangan, which takes another four hours.
How to Get Around
Tricycle and Habal-Habal
Just like any other rural town in the country, the main mode of transportation around Hinunangan is the tricycle. Habal-habal rides can also be arranged.
What to See
Hinunangan is a quiet town perfect for travelers who like to go off the beaten path. The town has a great potential for tourism, given its pristine beaches that have barely been touched. With only a few man-made establishments in town, you have nothing but pure nature when in Hinunangan.
Mount Nacolod is the highest mountain in all of Southern Leyte, rising more than 3,000 feet above sea level. The mountain occupies 14,000 hectares of land in the province, which covers the towns of Silago, Saint Bernard, Libagon, and Hinunangan. Mount Nacolod has great biodiversity, making it one of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ conservation areas.
Tahusan Beach is one of Hinunangan’s highlights: a plain and expansive beach where all you have are the glorious wonders of the sun, sand, and sea. Though not white like most beaches in the Philippines, the sand is just perfect for a leisurely stroll along the shore. The water is also clean and inviting for a refreshing swim and shallow enough for children to enjoy.
Cabugan Grande, also known as the San Pedro Island, is yet another natural wonder that will take your breath away. The island’s beauty is said to be comparable to that of Maldives, given the presence of white coral sands and crystal clear waters. Its twin, the Cabugan Chico, is also another sight behold. Also known as San Pablo Island, Cabugan Chico is smaller compared to Cabugan Grande. However, the island has gorgeous shores that make it a lovely tropical paradise.
Both Cabugayn Grande and Cabugan Chico have such arresting beauty that even notable Italian historian, Antonio Pigafetta, was said to have noted these islands on his journals when he traveled to this side of the world with Ferdinand Magellan.
If you wish to enjoy a panoramic view of Hinunangan, the newly-built View Deck at Barangay Catublian is where you should be headed. Once there, you’ll be greeted with a sweeping view of the town: the distant mountains, green trees interspersed with houses and structures, and the blue skies all make for a photo op that look like a postcard.
Events and Festivals
Every November, Tahuasan Beach plays host to the Sand Sculpture Festival. It is that time of the year when the beach takes center stage as sand sculptors all over the country compete in creating masterpieces out of the beach’s fine sands. Various pieces ranging from two to five feet line the shores of Tahusan for everyone to see.
Where to Eat
Relajarse Foodhauz & Coffee Shop is located in downtown Hinunangan. It is one of the town’s dining hotspots that serve an array of Filipino, Asian, and American dishes. They have chicken dishes, pancakes, burgers, and a deliciously sinful chocolate cake.
Also located downtown in Poblacon is Magata Seafood Restaurant if you want to have a fresh seafood meal. They also offer set meals like lechon kawali with rice, fish and fries combos, and even chicken meals all at pocket-friendly prices!
Bars and Clubs
You can also experience the nightlife of Hinunangan by heading over to Sunset Boulevard. Party the night away with booze, food, and live performances from bands.
Fare: PHP 3,000.00++
The roundtrip airfare from Manila to Cebu starts at PHP 2,500.00, but you can score better deals with promos. The ferry ride from Cebu to Ormoc will cost you PHP 360.00, while the bus fare to Hinunangan is roughly around PHP 200.00 per head.
A tricycle or habal-habal ride around town will cost you PHP 20.00 to PHP 50.00 at the minimum.
Food: PHP 150.00 to PHP 250.00
On average, the price of a meal in Hinunangan is around PHP 150.00 to PHP 200.00. An order of orange lemon chicken for two to three persons from Relajarse Foodhauz & Coffee Shop is around PHP 250.00. A slice of their chocolate cake is around PHP 80.00 to PHP 100.00.
Shopping: PHP 20.00 to PHP 250.00
Key chains and ref magnets range from PHP 20.00 to PHP 50.00 apiece. You can also buy souvenir shirts for only PHP 200.00.
Accommodation: PHP 500.00 to PHP 2,000.00
Basic rooms with no electricity are priced at PHP 500.00. An additional fee will be charged if you want to use the hotel’s generator system. For hotels, the average overnight stay costs around PHP 2,000.00.
Activities: PHP 1,200.00
A trip to the twin islands of San Pablo and San Pedro will require a boat rental of about PHP 1,200.00. Most of the attractions in Hinunangan have no entrance fees.
Other Fees and Taxes: PHP 20.00 to PHP 50.00
You can choose to leave a tip or not when dining since a 10% service charge is most likely included in your bill. But if you insist, you can leave a small amount of PHP 20.00 to PHP 50.00.