Surigao Del Sur is one of the provinces in the CARAGA Region together with its Norte counterpart, the Agusans, and Dinagat Islands. The province boasts various natural attractions that are indeed perfect for some thrilling adventures. With its geographical location, Surigao Del Sur is previously considered as an off-the-beaten from the commercial tourism due to unavailability of transportation means. On my visit, I saw how the government tries to address this issue by installing transport terminals on every town.
On my four-day stay in the Surigao del Sur, as much as I wanted to cover and visit all attractions, the limited days to spend in Surigao Del Sur weren’t enough. However, I was able to appreciate the undemanding yet exquisite glory of famous destinations in the province. The province, situated on the east coast of Mindanao, has a total of 19 cities and municipalities and I was lucky to visit and explore five of them (six including Tandag City where the airport is located).
Cagwait White Beach is tagged as the Boracay of CARAGA Region. The stretch of beach covers a cove that resembles the shape of a clam. Sunrise is scenic on this part of the town as it faces the Pacific. Sand is not that white and powdery like Boracay but a serene place for some morning walk. The destination is still under the radar of foreign and local tourists because, on my visit, most of the groups come from the region.
The shoreline was dotted by several accommodations and day trip resorts that are aloof for solo travelers. I planned to spend the night in the area and finding a place to stay that’s within my budget was a tough one. Cagwait Beach Resort, owned and being managed by the local government, has dorm beds but eventually will charge you all beds inside the room if you’re alone.
Forty minutes from Cagwait Junction via bus is the town of San Agustin, known for the kisses islets of Britania Group of Islands with twenty plus islands to hop on. On a standard tour, a Php1500 boat rate will allow you to visit 4 islands: Hiyor-hiyoran, Naked, Hagonoy, and Boslon. The boat can accommodate up to 15 pax and is being regulated by the tourism office.
Usual first stop is Hiyor-hiyoran Island with a small portion of sand, followed by the bare Naked Island, and the long sandbar of Hagonoy Island. Last stop is the Boslon Island that serves as the place where most groups have their lunch. During low tide, a sandbar connects Boslon to the nearby islets of Panglangalan.
Barobo is not part of the usual Surigao Del Sur itinerary but since we have a spare time to spend before heading back to Butuan City, we decided to drop by the municipality. Turtle and Cabgan Islands are options for island hopping but if the Php1000 boat rent is far way off your budget, you can just visit some cold springs.
Located on a barangay near the center are two springs blessed with clear waters. Beto Cold Spring is comparable to the water of Enchanted River, blue and clear waters. Unlike the famous river, Beto Cold Spring only serves as a fun place for people living nearby. Bogac Cold Spring, on the other hand, is more developed with bolsters on the sides and some cottages.
Clear waters of Barobo don’t end there as a cave, located just along the highway, has super clear water that will trick your eyes. Locals have their usual bathes in Wakat Cave so on your visit, you might chance upon some people taking a bath. I hope the local tourism develop the cave as it has the potential for tourism. The locals also mentioned that the cave is actually a subterranean river, not sure how true is this though.
If you’re visiting Hinatuan, Surigao Del Sur only for the Enchanted River, you’re a loser. Hinatuan is known for the enchanting river with water that varies from being cobalt blue to different hues, and also the innumerable fishes that swarm its lagoon around noon.
Apart from the river, island hopping is an added activity by availing tours from small outrigger boats to destinations like C-Fish Cage and Sandbars Resort, Margaret Peak Resort, Sibadan Fish Cage and Resort, Pacific View Resort, Tinago River, and Sand and Pebble Beaded Vanishing Island.
Mangangoy, the largest barangay unit in the Philippines is located in Bislig City, also home of the mighty Tinuy-an Falls. The waterfall is located 15 kilometers from the highway and the road was really rough. You can witness Tinuy-an’s grandeur when it’s meek and you can ride a raft to get a close encounter. Rainbows are ubiquitous on the raft ride as the spray of water from the falls disperses the light for a colorful spectrum of light. If you’re unlucky, a raging Tinuy-an Falls will welcome you with its intense spray and raging waters.
International Doll House and Ocean View Park can serve as a side trip after visiting Tinuy-an. The dollhouse contains varieties of dolls grouped into Barbie’s International, European, Russia, Asian, Collections and Fairy Tales, Classical, and some Clowns and Stuff Toy. The nearby restaurant offers a sweeping view of the Mangangoy and also serves affordable snacks.
Flight Details: Cebu to Tandag City, Butuan City to Cebu
DAY 1 0230PM – 0330PM Cebu to Tandag via Cebu Pacific Air 0330PM – 0500PM Tandag City to Cagwait Beach Resort 0500PM Overnight Stay in Monica Del Sol Beach Resort DAY 2 0830AM – 1000AM Cagwait Beach Resort to Britania, San Agustin 1000AM – 0100PM Britania Island Hopping 0100PM – 0230PM Late lunch 0230PM – 0430PM Britania to Hinatuan 0430PM Overnight Stay in Marky’s Hostel DAY 3 0700AM – 0800AM Enchanted River 0800AM – 0945AM Sibadan Fish Cage and Pangasinan Island 0945AM – 1200NN Wait for Fish Feeding 1200NN – 0100PM Back to Hinatuan Proper / Lunch 0100PM – 0300PM Hinatuan to Tinuy-an Falls, Bislig City 0300PM – 0400PM Tinuy-An Falls 0400PM – 0445PM Travel back to Highway 0445PM – 0530PM International Doll House 0530PM – 0600PM Snack at Ocean View Restaurant 0600PM – 0715PM Travel back to Hinatuan 0715PM Overnight Stay in Marky’s Hostel DAY 4 0700AM – 0800AM Hinatuan to Barobo 0800AM – 0900AM Barobo Tour 0900AM – 0930AM Back to Barobo Terminal 0930AM – 1230PM Barobo, Surigao Del Sur to Butuan City
DAY 1 Tandag Airport to Bus Terminal 20 Jeep Tandag to Cagwait 30 Trike Cagwait Junction to Beach 15 Monica Del Sol Room 400 Total 465 DAY 2 Trike Beach to Cagwait Junction 10 Bus Cagwait to San Agustin 40 Habal-habal to Britania 20 Tourism Fee Britania 25 Britania Island Hopping(shared) 500 Van to Hinatuan* 170 Trike to Marky’s Place 10 Marky’s Place 250 Total 1025 DAY 3 Entrance Enchanted River 30 Hinatuan Island Hopping 225 Entrance Sibadan Fish Cage 10 Entrance Pacific View Resort 10 Lifevest Rental / hour 15 Entrance Tinuy-an Falls 50 Entrance Int’l Doll House 20 Hinatuan + Bislig Tour (shared) 900 Marky’s Place 250 Total 1510 DAY 4 Van Hinatuan to Barobo 50 Trike to Beto/Bogac 16 Trike to Wakat Cave 30 Bus Barobo to Butuan 170 Total 266 Food 700 TOTAL 3966
WHERE TO STAY
MONICA DEL SOL RESORT
Cagwait White Beach, Cagwait Surigao Del Sur
Contact No.: 0928-402-8974 / 0916-101-7861
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/monicadelsolresort
Brgy Maharlika, Hinatuan, Surigao Del Sur
Contact No.: 0928-439-7785
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Markys-Hostel-239605802747282/
Surigao Del Sur is just a click away! Book discounted hotel rates on the search box below.
HOW TO GET THERE
Five airports in Mindanao can be your entry point in going to Surigao Del Sur: Laguindingan Airport (Cagayan De Oro City), Surigao Airport (Surigao City), Bancasi Airport (Butuan City), Tandag Airport (Tandag City), and Francisco Bangoy International Airport (Davao City). From Surigao City or Cagayan De Oro City, make your way to Butuan City.
On my visit to Surigao Del Sur, my entry point was Tandag Airport and Bancasi Airport as my exit. Cebu Pacific has MWF flights from Cebu to Tandag. From Tandag Airport, get out of the airport and take a tricycle ride to Tandag City Bus Terminal, Php20. From the bus terminal, you can avail a ride bound to Barobo or Bislig City.
For a more detailed guide on how to get to Surigao Del Sur and its tourist attractions, visit Senyor Lakwatsero’s post here.