|Britania, Surigao del Sur|
I only knew of the "stressful" way of going to Britania, I said stressful as it would allow us at least three transfers. Upon checking with the Tourist Information staff at Butuan Bancasi Airport, they directed us to a direct van transfer going to Tandag that will pass by San Agustin. And because we thought it will be more stressful to take tons of transfers with our bags, we decided to take the van, for 350 pesos for a 4-hour trip, I thought it was still worth the price. We settled in at Mac Arthur's Place and after leaving our bags and arranging boat transfers provided by the resort, we started our island hopping experience even though rain comes from time to time.
Britania Group of Islands is composed of 24 islets scattered around Lianga Bay, locally famous for its pristine water and very fine, almost powdery sands. It's like combining Boracay Island of Aklan and Hundred Islands of Pangasinan in one province! One of Britania's "selling points" are its different hues and colors of sea water, I remember going to another island that has light green hues then to another with azure waters. It was such a feast to the eyes!
|some of the islands around Britania|
Our boatmen's itinerary encompassed a tour of four of the islets in the area. First off was Hagonoy Island as this was the farthest. This pear-shape island has its fair share of coconut trees enough to give shade from the sun, or in our case, light rain. I noticed there is also a kubo that was still not completely constructed. Hagonoy was the exact image in my head when the question "If you will be stuck in island with someone..." pops out.
|scarce vegetation around the island|
Naked Island (aka Vanishing Island)
Naked Island was probably one of the coolest places I have ever been to. Imagine being there and just having... nothing. It is just a long stretch of sand bar in the middle of the sea with only few rocks, without any vegetation available, thus the name. And nope, it's not required that you go in naked here :P Perfect for those who just want to sun bathe and play around.
|where the waves meet|
|rocks are what you can find in the island, makes a nice little touch to your landscape photos|
|it's actually raining on the other half of the Britania islands (dark part of the picture)|
My favorite out of the four we visited is Buslon Island. The entire island looks majestic and its sand, oh yes, its sand, was perfect. Some people compare it to Boracay's, but the distinction probably is that Buslon's is like milk powder while Boracay's is like sugar. There are also statues of the Virgin Mary which was put up there by the island's owner. According to our boatmen, during low tide, you can even reach the neighboring Panlangagan island by feet! The location where there are big boulders are not reached by waves so it is the best island for overnight camping. It is where we also stayed for a while when the drizzle turned into heavy rain! :(
|the sand was just so fine!|
|rainy view of Britania|
Hiyor Hiyoran Island
Last off the list is Hiyor Hiyoran island which is the most "rocky" out of the four due to the copious amounts of sea shells and rocks. We didn't get to stay long since the sun was setting already and we didn't want to be stuck there for the night since the sky is still warning us of rain. The atmosphere and the chunks of wood scattered around the area makes it perfect for a bonfire and overnight camping!
|Hiyor Hiyoran Island|
|a closer look of the island, love the green waters of Hiyor Hiyoran!|
I was really amazed with what I saw in Britania! This is probably one of Surigao del Sur's best kept secrets! I enjoyed the moment of serenity that I would probably only have in Mindanao. I am so glad how their community has been preserving the islands and I hope they would still continue to improve their services. Britania is not just meant for beach fans but also for nature lovers like me. Surigao kept on surprising me when I step on to a new location and Britania sure did set the bar high! Follow my next posts to find out more of not just Surigao but Mindanao's lovely hidden tourist spots you'll surely enjoy to visit!
|me, one of our boatmen, Z|
|even though it was raining, the twilight glow still looked lovely|
How to go to Britania group of Islands, Surigao del Sur:
From Butuan Bancasi Airport
Option 1: Take direct van from airport that will take you directly to San Agustin. (350 pesos - 3-4 hour trip)
Option 2: Transfer to Butuan Bus Terminal, Take bus going to Barobo Terminal. From there, ride another bus going to Tandag and ask the kundoktor that you want to alight at San Agustin.
From Surigao del Norte
Take a bus bound for Butuan and either take Option 1 or 2.
Ride bus going to Butuan and alight at Barobo Terminal, from there take a bus bound for Tandag and ask the driver to drop you off at San Agustin.
Option 1: There are buses headed for Butuan that also pass by Mangagoy/Bislig. Get off from there then you may take bus going to San Agustin.
Option 2: Take buses bound for Tandag and ask to be dropped off at San Agustin.
From San Agustin drop-off point, take a tricycle or habal habal to the resort or Tourism Office.
Breakdown of Travel Expenses for Day 1, Surigao del Sur (Britania Islands)
Britania Group of Islands (San Agustin)
Enchanted River (Hinatuan)
Tinuy-an Falls (Bislig)
International Doll Museum/Ocean View Park Restaurant (Bislig)
Itinerary and Expenses
2-Day Itinerary, Guide and Travel Expenses for Surigao del Sur
More of Mindanao here