Travel Guide to Biri Island Rock Formations in Northern Samar, Philippines
Biri Island in Northern Samar, Philippines, is home to some of the most fascinating natural wonders in the country – the Biri Island Rock Formations. These six distinct rock islands, namely Magasang, Masapad, Macadlaw, Puhunan, Bel-at, and Caranas, were formed over 20 million years ago by the movement of tectonic plates and shaped by the forces of nature such as crashing waves, winds, and storms. The resulting rock formations are a sight to behold, with their unique shapes and sizes that are nothing short of awe-inspiring.
Each of the six rock formations has a distinct look, with some towering up to 50 feet high. Visitors can explore the different formations through guided tours or by renting a boat to take them from one island to another. The most popular formations are the Fantastic Four – Macadlaw, Puhunan, Bel-at, and Caranas Rock Formations – located on Biri Island’s northern side. However, all the formations are equally impressive and offer a unique experience for visitors.
Aside from being a popular tourist destination, the Biri Island Rock Formations also have significant geological importance. Geologists from the University of the Philippines have studied the formations and found that they are composed of sedimentary rocks deposited by ancient rivers and seas. The rocks also contain fossils of ancient marine life, providing valuable insights into the area’s geological history. Overall, the Biri Island Rock Formations are a must-see destination for anyone visiting the Philippines, as they offer a unique blend of natural beauty, geological significance, and cultural heritage.
Biri Island is situated in the San Bernardino Strait, where it meets the Pacific Ocean.
The Biri Island rock formations are composed of six distinct rock islands: Magasang, Masapad, Macadlaw, Puhunan, Bel-at, and Caranas Rock Formations. These islands were formed around 20 million years ago due to the movement of tectonic plates. The rocks were then molded by crashing waves, winds, and storms, which gave them their distinct looks.
The island is approximately 8.5 kilometers long and 4.5 kilometers wide. It is home to several small villages, including Barangays Poblacion, Progress, and San Juan. The island is also surrounded by several small islets that add charm and beauty.
Biri Island is part of Northern Samar’s municipality, located in the eastern part of the Philippines. The municipality comprises several islands, including Biri, Capul, Dalupiri, and San Antonio. Northern Samar is known for its rugged terrain, which includes mountains, hills, and valleys. The island is also home to several rivers, streams, and waterfalls.
Biri Island is located in Northern Samar, Philippines. To get to Biri Island, several modes of transportation are available depending on where you are coming from.
The nearest airport to Biri Island is Catarman Airport, which has direct flights to and from Manila. You can take a tricycle or jeepney from the airport to the Lavezares port, the jump-off point to Biri Island.
If you are coming from Manila, you can take a bus to Allen, Northern Samar, the nearest town to Biri Island. From Allen, take a tricycle or jeepney to Lavezares port.
If you are coming from Tacloban, you can take a van or bus to Calbayog City, then take another van or bus to Allen. From Allen, take a tricycle or jeepney to Lavezares port.
From Lavezares port, take a ferry to Biri Island. The ferry ride takes around 1 hour and costs around PHP 50-100 per person. Alternatively, you can hire a private boat to take you to Biri Island.
To explore Biri Island, rent a motorbike or take a tricycle tour. Tricycle tours are the most common mode of transportation on the island and are available for around PHP 500-700 for a half-day tour.
Biri Island in Northern Samar, Philippines, has seven magnificent rock formations: Magasang, Magsapad, Macadlaw, Puhunan, Bel-at, Caranas, and Pinanahawan. These rock formations were formed over 20 million years ago from the movement of tectonic plates and then molded by crashing waves, winds, and storms.
Each rock formation has a distinct look and is made of limestone. The rocks are incredibly strong and have taken on unique and interesting shapes due to the natural forces that created them. Geologists from the University of the Philippines have studied the rocks and provided explanations for their unique shapes.
Magsapad Rock Formation is one of the most popular among tourists, especially for sunrise viewing. It is a towering rock formation that offers a stunning view of the surrounding ocean. Bel-at Rock Formation, on the other hand, is best visited in the afternoon. It is a series of jagged rocks that provide a breathtaking view of the sea.
Macadlaw Rock Formation is a must-see for those who love to explore caves. It has a small cave that can be accessed during low tide. Puhunan Rock Formation is another popular destination for visitors. It is a flat rock formation that provides a great spot for taking photos.
The Biri Island Rock Formations are a testament to the power of nature. They are truly a sight to behold and are a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Northern Samar.
Biri Island Rock Formations have become a popular tourist destination in the Philippines, attracting many visitors yearly. Tourists should gather relevant information beforehand to make the most of a trip to Biri Island.
Travel Guide and Tourist Information Office
There is a tourist information office located in the town proper of Biri Island, where visitors can obtain maps, brochures, and other essential information about the island. Tourists can also hire a local tour guide to explore the rock formations and learn more about their history and geology. Tour guides are knowledgeable and can provide valuable insights into the natural wonders of Biri Island. It is recommended to book a tour guide in advance to ensure availability.
Tour Guide Fee and Travel Time
The tour guide fee varies depending on the number of tourists and the duration. It is best to negotiate the fee beforehand to avoid any misunderstandings. The travel time from the mainland to Biri Island takes approximately 2-3 hours, depending on the mode of transportation. Visitors can take a boat ride from Lavezares Port to Biri Island, the most common transportation mode.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Biri Island is during the dry months from December to May when the weather is favorable for outdoor activities. Visitors should wear comfortable and appropriate clothing and footwear, as the terrain can be rough and slippery.
If you visit in June, catch the Biri Fiesta from the 23rd to the 25th. Locals will welcome you with open arms anywhere you go on the island as they offer their homes and feed you with delicious fiesta fare. In the evening, the party rolls out in the streets as family and friends come together to eat, drink, and be merry.
Biri Island offers a few accommodation options for visitors exploring the island’s famous rock formations.
One of the popular choices is the Villa Amor Hotel, which boasts a beachfront location and a stunning view of the rock formations. The hotel features air-conditioned rooms with private bathrooms, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi. Guests can also enjoy the hotel’s restaurant, which serves local and international cuisine.
Another option is the Biri Resort and Dive Center, which offers air-conditioned rooms and cottages with private bathrooms and balconies. The resort also has a restaurant, a bar, and a dive center for guests looking to explore the underwater world around the island.
Homestays and guesthouses are available on the island for those looking for more affordable options. These accommodations offer basic amenities and a chance to experience the local culture and hospitality.
It is recommended to book accommodations in advance, especially during peak season, to ensure availability. Visitors can check the official website or contact the tourism office for more information on where to stay on the island.
Biri Island is a popular destination for outdoor activities, especially for those who love nature and adventure. Here are some of the top activities to do in Biri Island:
See the Biri Rock Formations
The most popular activity in Biri Island is to see the Biri Rock Formations. Seven rock formations dot the island’s northern coast: Magasang, Bel-at, Magsapad, Caranas, Macadlaw, Puhunan, and Pinanahawan. These rock formations were formed by the constant pounding of the waves and the wind over millions of years, resulting in unique and stunning geological formations resembling sculptures carved by nature.
Enjoy a 360-degree view at Busay.
Busay is one of the highest points on Biri Island, and it has a natural view deck that offers a 360-degree view of the island and its surroundings. Visitors can see the Biri Rock Formations, the San Bernardino Strait, and the Pacific Ocean. The view is exceptionally breathtaking during sunrise and sunset.
Biri Island is one of the best surfing spots in the Philippines, known for its consistent waves and uncrowded breaks. The best time to surf in Biri Island is from November to March when the waves are at their peak. Several surf spots on the island include Magasang, Baybay, and Sabang.
Snorkeling and Diving
The waters surrounding Biri Island are teeming with marine life, making it an excellent spot for snorkeling and diving. There are several dive sites around the island, such as the Biri Island Marine Sanctuary, where divers can see various fish species, corals, and other marine creatures.
Climb the Rock Formations
For the more adventurous visitors, climbing the rock formations is a must-try activity. However, climbing the rock formations requires a certain level of physical fitness and climbing experience, as the rocks can be slippery and dangerous. Hiring a local guide who can provide safety equipment and guide visitors to the safest routes is recommended.
Transportation on the Island
When it comes to transportation on the island, there are a few options available.
The most common mode of transportation on the island is the habal-habal. This motorcycle can carry up to three passengers at a time. It is a popular choice for tourists who want to explore the island at their own pace. The habal-habal can be rented for a reasonable price, and it is a great way to get around the island quickly.
For those who prefer to walk, the island is small enough to explore on foot. Walking is a great way to take in the natural beauty of the island and get some exercise at the same time. However, it is important to note that some of the rock formations are located quite far from each other, so walking may not be the best option for everyone.
Another option for transportation on the island is the tricycle. This motorized vehicle can carry up to four passengers at a time. Tricycles are popular for tourists who want to explore the island with a guide. They are also an excellent option for those with difficulty walking long distances.
Costs and Fees
Visiting the Biri Island Rock Formations requires some expenses that visitors must be aware of. Here are some of the costs and fees that visitors should expect:
- Environmental Fee: Visitors must pay an environmental fee of Php 50 per person before entering the Biri Island Rock Formations. This fee goes towards maintaining and preserving the island’s natural beauty.
- Boat Fare: Visitors can rent a motorboat to take them to the rock formations. The boat fare costs around Php 500 per trip, which can be divided among the passengers. Alternatively, visitors can take a habal-habal, a motorcycle taxi, which costs around Php 195 for three people.
- Tour Guide Fee: A tour guide is required when visiting Biri Island Rock Formations. The tour guide fee costs around Php 300 for a group of five people.
It is important to note that prices may vary depending on the season and the number of people in the group. Visitors are advised to bring enough cash as there are no ATMs on the island.
Despite the costs, visitors will find that the experience of seeing the magnificent rock formations up close is well worth the expense.
Other Practical Information
Biri Island is a remote destination, so it is important to know some practical information before visiting. Here are some important details to keep in mind:
Electricity is available on the island, but it is limited. Power outages are common, so bringing a power bank or extra batteries for your electronics is advisable.
Mobile phone signal is weak on the island, especially in some areas. Smart and Globe are the two major mobile networks that have coverage on the island. Buying a local SIM card is recommended if you need to stay connected.
Tips when going to the rock formation sites:
- To see some of these rock formations, wading in water is required. This is why it is advisable to schedule a trip to these areas when the tide is low; that way, it is much easier to cross to the rock formations and, at the same time, avoid stepping on corals and damaging them.
- Bring a packed lunch and other snacks. There are hardly any stores or eateries in the area, so it is best to bring your own food and enjoy a picnic as you go sightseeing.
- Bring a flashlight, especially if you plan to visit the rock formations late in the afternoon and expect to stay there until sunset.
- Wear appropriate footwear. Keep in mind that there will be wading involved, and that the rocks get slippery when wet. Choose footwear that has traction even in wet areas.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where are the rock formations located on Biri Island?
The Biri Island Rock Formations are located off the coast of northeastern Biri, where the San Benandino Straight and Pacific Ocean converge. There are seven distinct rock formations on the island: Magasang, Magsapad, Macadlaw, Puhunan, Bel-at, Caranas, and Pinanahawan.
What are some popular tourist spots on Biri Island?
Aside from the Biri Island Rock Formations, other popular tourist spots on the island include the Biri Larosa Pearl Farm, the Biri Island Lighthouse, and the Biri Island Mangrove Forest.
Can you tell me about the Magasang Rock Formation on Biri Island?
The Magasang Rock Formation is one of the seven rock formations on Biri Island. It is known for its towering height and unique shape, which resembles a giant mushroom. Visitors can climb to the top of the formation for a breathtaking view of the surrounding area.
What is the significance of the Caranas Rock Formation on Biri Island?
The Caranas Rock Formation is one of the most popular rock formations on Biri Island. It is known for its unique shape, which resembles a giant wave. The formation is significant because it is one of the most photographed rock formations on the island.
Tell me about the Bel-at Rock Formation on Biri Island?
The Bel-at Rock Formation is one of the seven rock formations on Biri Island. It is known for its unique shape, which resembles a giant mushroom. Visitors can climb to the top of the formation for a breathtaking view of the surrounding area.
What is the history of rock formation on Biri Island in Northern Samar?
The Biri Island Rock Formations were formed some 20 million years ago from the movement of tectonic plates and then molded by crashing waves, winds, and storms. The rock formations have distinct looks and are a testament to the power of nature. Today, they are a popular tourist destination and a source of pride for the people of Biri Island.
Biri Island Travel and Tour Packages
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