There’s no need to travel far for a world wonder.
If you’ve ever dreamt of flying over the impossible rock formations of Cappadocia in a hot air balloon or hiking through the sweeping, wavelike stone of Antelope Canyon, there’s another rocky natural wonder to add to your bucket list. And it won’t take you thousands of miles away from home. Located around 57 kilometers away from Northern Samar, Eastern Visayas, at the crossroads of the Pacific Ocean and Bernardino Strait, sit the Biri Rock Formations, seven majestic limestone.
Seemingly emerging directly from the shore are the sharp, stunning rocks dating back 23 million years to the Early Miocene Period. This makes sense, as the large boulders seem layered with years of the island’s long history. Local lore even explained the rocks’ ruthless magnificence as the result of a godly clash. Ask anyone who’s ever been, the area feels otherworldly, attracting both local and international explorers.
There are climbable sections where visitors can appreciate the contours of the rock that seem to be sculpted by unknown forces of the earth. Perched by these behemoths, it’s almost easy to imagine you have been transported to a distant alien land, or a time before or after humans industrialized the world. If you’re interested in heading to the Biri Rock Formations, here’s everything to know.
Getting to Biri
The Biri Rock Formations are actually surrounded by pristine white sand beaches and mangrove forests teeming with ocean life. One wonders why this has not yet become a prime tourist destination—that is until learning how to get there. Unfortunately, it’s no straightforward journey. After an hour-long flight to Catarman airport, make your way to the main transport terminal on foot or by tricycle, then take a jeepney to Lavezares’ town proper in order to get to Lavezares port. A pump boat to Biri island will mark the end of the journey. Once docked, a line of tricycles will be available to take you to your accommodation.
It’s also possible to skip the air travel, for those who don’t mind a longer but more affordable expedition. From Manila, take a bus to Matnog, Sorsogon and board the ferry to Allen. From there you can find a jeep that will take you to Lavezares port.
How To Enjoy the Island
Though there are seven main rock formations on the island—Magasang, Magsapad, Macadlaw, Puhunan, Bel-at, Caranas, and Pinanahawan—it is possible to explore each of them up close over two days. If skint for time, travelers can make their way up Busay, one of the highest points on Biri island that offers a perfect view of the entire island landscape and ocean view.
Those looking to enjoy the rest of what the island has to offer can partake in its eco-tourism activities. Divers have a choice of over 20 dive sites chockablock with undamaged coral reefs and incredible marine wildlife. While those looking to ride the waves should travel to Biri from June to December.
Getting around the island is mostly limited to habal-habal, or catching a ride with motorcycle riders. Make sure to pay a small tourism fee which is mandatory to help contribute to the island’s efforts. Whichever way you might want to enjoy your stay at Biri, pause and take in the immense lifespan of this space, and the great wonders and horrors it has seen and surpassed.