Cuatro Islas: The 4 Gems of Inopacan and Hindang You Should Explore
Belle Piccio | Jul 06, 2018
These gems boast of its pristine white beaches with crystal clear waters and thriving coral reefs.
The Municipality of Inopacan is on the southwestern portion of Leyte Province. Located along the coast from Tacloban City, the provincial capital. The town is bounded by Baybay at the north, Camotes Sea at the west, Hindang at the south and the municipalities of Sogod and Mahaplag at the east. While the Municipality of Hindang is bordered by Inopacan at the north and bounded by Hilongos at the south.
Cuatro Islas is composed of four islands:
Himokilan belongs to the municipality of Hindang and the three islets: Apid, Mahaba and Digyo is under the jurisdiction of the municipality of Inopacan.
The islet has a total area of about 48 hectares. It is the largest and the eldest among the group. Himokilan is the only islet separated from the known “Cuatro” as it is in the boundary of Hindang Municipality.
Himokilan is popular for its mountain-trekking and trail spots. You can also explore a cave filled with bats. It offers the following activities:
- Nature trekking and cave adventure
- Vertical wall and reef diving
- Swimming and snorkeling
- “Takobo” nursery viewing
- Biodiversity education
- Tourism building (overnight stay)
After Himokilan, Apid is the second largest island with the a total land area of 35.6 hectares.
Apid is popular for its mat weaving community. You’ll find women weaving mats under the cool shade of breadfruit trees. Giant jars are found almost every house, it is used by the village as a rainwater catchment device. Other activities or features offered in the island:
- Nature trekking and marine sanctuary viewing deck
- “Pandan” stripping, handicraft and mat weaving
Mahaba has a total area of 20.8 hectares. It is the second youngest island among the “Cuatro.” You can find the “Bantolinao,” an endangered mangrove species, along its rugged and rocky coastline.
If you’re lucky, you may find playful dolphins when you go kayaking or boating. Snorkeling and diving is also best in the island as you’ll see colorful reefs and a shoal of squids. The island also offers the following activities:
- Red shrimp “pasayan” spa tour
- Reef slope diving (wonderful overhang caves)
- Sea turtle sightings
- White beach picnic/camping area
- VSU marine laboratory (educational use)
Digyo is considered to be Inopacan’s Little “Boracay.” The youngest and also the smallest among the four islands, it only has a total land area of 4.5 hectares.
Being a delicate island and may not withstand human activities, it only offers a minimal land base activities such as the following:
- Flimsy islet (5-10 minutes walk around the island)
- White beach area (sea turtle nesting sites)
- Oases reef diving, swimming and snorkeling
- Biodiversity education
- Kiosk (overnight stay)
Because of the flock of tourists visiting Cuatro Islas, it is required that you make reservations at their Municipal Tourism Office to ensure a slot for your trip. Note that Cuatro Islas has a limited carrying capacity of 500 pax per day only.
Here’s a list of the authorized personnel for reservations boat rides arrangement:
- Jun Paul Dacera or “Ippoy”: (+63) 995-524-5057
- Deo Danolko: (+63) 935-303-4722
- Blax de los Santos: (+63) 926-684-9473
How to Get There
From Manila, you can easily fly to "The Gateway to Eastern Visayas," Tacloban, as all major airlines service the city. (Estimated cost: Php 4,000++, round trip, 1 hour and 15 minutes).
By ferry, it will take approximately 36 hours. And it will take almost a day if by bus.
From Tacloban, ride a shuttle plying to Inopacan (estimated Php200++, one-way, 3 hours). Tell the driver to drop you off in front of the Municipal Plaza. From the highway, go to the port (15 minutes walking distance) situated at the back of the Municipal Hall.