The Biri Island Experience: Getting There



      When I told my friends that we were going to Biri Island for a few days to do some photography, I got those funny stares from them. Where in the world is Biri Island?


      Biri Island belongs to a cluster of about 18 islands off the northern tip of the main Samar Island, collectively known as the Balicuartro Islands.  Biri Island is located at the most northernly part, in the body of water which divides the main Island of Luzon and the Island of Samar. San Bernardino Straight is responsible for moving nearly 70% of the water that flows in and out of the Visayas, so you can imagine the ferociousness of the tidal current in that part of the islands.



      So how do you get to Biri Island?


      We flew from Manila going to Catarman in Samar Province.  We left at 5:30 am, saw the sunrise along the way and landed at the Catarman Airport at 6:50 am.  It took us more than thirty minutes of waiting to claim our luggage since there was only ONE airport personnel responsible with the baggage handling - and he had to load the luggage of the outgoing passengers before he could off-load ours! Welcome to Catarman Airport.


      Our friends from Tacloban left Leyte at 1:30 am and were at the airport’s parking lot waiting for us at around 6:30 am.  We rode the van and off we went to Biri Island, getting to Lavezares port after an hour of land trip.  We got off the bridge that leads to the Lavezares port and here, our boat was waiting for us …




      We traversed the San Bernardino Straight quite smoothly, passing by this huge concrete statue in the middle of the sea.  It appears like the Virgin Mary pulling out of the water a human being … while on top of a ship. Hmmmm … strange actually.




      After about thirty minutes out in the sea, we come to a point where the San Bernardino Straight meets the Pacific Ocean.  This is the part that gets exciting – a rough ride in the open sea.  But in no time, we were in Biri Island.



      We did not dock in the main port of Biri Island because the waves were too strong.  Instead, we docked in one of the small coves of the island near the port.



      There by the shore, our “hotel transport” was already waiting for us – the “habal-habal” or a converted motorcycle that can accommodate 2-3 back-riders.  This is the main mode of transportation in this island – and we would be using them often to and from the resort where we stayed.



      It took some ten minutes of “habal-habal” ride to reach our base here in the island – the Biri Resort, a relatively new establishment having some birth pains.  There are not too many choices of accommodation in Biri Island since tourism has not been fully developed yet.  But give them time – people will soon discover the natural beauty of this island.



      We are now ready to explore what Biri Island has to offer  …



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16 responses to The Biri Island Experience: Getting There

  1. Minda

    its been quite a while i begun dreaming of going to this island “BIRI” perhaps i was mesmerized by the its photos.Just wonder, do i need to call for reservation or what regarding the boar transfer & the habal ride, how can i do that, where?
    planning to visit the place nxt mo.

    hope for a reply.

  2. Administrator

    Biri Island is not for the faint-hearted. You can email your inquiries to

  3. foo

    hi! this is really awesome… i woulk just like to ask. how much did everything cost?

  4. Administrator

    Hi Brian. If you do it on your own, you would probably spend less than P1,000, excluding the airfare. It is best to go there during summer as the waves may be too strong during the rainy season.

  5. Elsie

    We’re to Biri Island this Saturday. so excited.

  6. Administrator

    Have fun! I hope the waves would not be too much of a problem. :)

  7. Claudine

    Hi, do you have to have an initial contact person for the boat ride from lavezares to biri or are they all just gonna be found there and we don’t have to do an initial booking/reservation for the boat anymore?

  8. rhona

    hello! We just went to Biri Island last August, the beach and rock formations were really amazing. Our group is currently making a business plan under our Entrepreneurship class to give photographers a convenient tour to Biri . Were you the ones who directly paid the habal-habal drivers for each ride? If it were you, may I know how much did it cost?
    thank you! :)

  9. MTV

    Elsie kwento naman! please send iti and total cost per person. Thank you!

  10. Administrator

    Hi Claudine. I hope this reply is not too late (had some technical problems accessing my website). There are regular boat trip plying the route, so no need to reserve. But if you are a big group, it would be better to reserve. Sorry, I do not have the contact number of our boatman. Hope you enjoy Biri as much as we did.

  11. Administrator

    Yes, we paid the habal-habal directly. I do not remember now the exact fare but they have the regulated fares posted in a big billboard in the plaza. I think it’s P20 minimum fare, but I am not sure.

  12. Lisa M.

    Me and my cousin are planning to go here tomorrow using Matnog-Allen-Lavezares-Biri Route. How many hours do you think it would take us to travel? We are also hoping for a good weather. Do you think 1 day is enough to travel to-and-from and sight-see the rock formation, provided that we leave Matnog around 3-5 in the morning?

  13. Steven Lalidis

    you may be able to help me. im looking for San Antonio Biri Northern Samar
    6410 , my mail get there but i can not find on any map.
    i’ve had many mixed message,its seems to be 45mins by boat from San Jose,
    then i’m told the islands has had a few name changes Tingiao island or maybe Dalupiri. the near island is San Pedro.
    can you help me with your locial knowledge

  14. Administrator

    Sorry for this late reply. I had issues with our webpage. Anyway, I hope you have much fun in Biri Island.

  15. Administrator

    Sorry for this late post. I had issues with my webpage. Anyway, I am not from Biri so I cannot help you with this. But I will try and ask around.

  16. hi steve , san antonio , biri , is part of the biri islands . the islands go something like this biri – cagnipa – san pedro – san antonio . the postcode is 6410 and can be accessed from san jose or laverzares .
    now the confusion comes from san antonio , dalupiri island . which is on the west coast of northern samar , just 20 mins boatride from the town of san isidro , a bit longer from allen .
    if visiting northern samar , always say san antonio , biri .

    regards peter montgomery

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