Panoan Island Travel Guide

Panaon Island sits off the coast of Leyte Island in the Philippines, at the far end of Sogod Bay. Connected to Leyte by bridge, the island boasts an assortment of dive sites.

Crossing the bridge to Panaon, the first city you reach is Liloan. Beneath the bridge is a particularly turbulent stretch of water that commands a strong following of experienced divers. The surrounding area has a number of marine sanctuaries and outlying dive sites with calmer waters.

The greatest celebrity of Panaon Island is the whale shark. They arrive in great numbers during the winter season, though there aren’t as many here as in Donsol. This keeps crowds to a comparative minimum, giving divers the chance to enjoy more freedom when admiring these animals.

These days the best place to book a whale-shark watching adventure is south of Liloan in the town of Pintuyan. Local government officials have worked hard to protect the whale sharks so tourists are obliged to hire a guide and follow a few protective guidelines.

Getting There & Away

Access is via Wawa Bridge at Liloan. Across the strait in southern Leyte is Tacloban, an important transport hub with myriad connections to the rest of the archipelago. From Tacloban it is only an hour-long flight to Manila, where tourists have extensive international options. It is also possible to take a ferry or bus to Manila, though travel times are between 25 and 30 hours.

Onward Travel

Explore More