|Highlights of our trip to Surigao del Sur|
We were restricted to have only two-days for Surigao del Sur so we weren't able to visit Surigao del Norte, even have a quick run through of the tourist spots in Butuan! We would have had at least three days in the province but my companions are leaving earlier and they wanted to squeeze all the highlights of Surigao before moving on to the next one and then leaving for Manila. So I was only able to plan for places that we shouldn't miss for this trip. There are actually other interesting places such as below that you could check out while in the Southern Surigao aside from the places that we visited:
Cagwait Beach Resort
Cansilad Beach Resort
Malinawa Cool Spring
|map of where we went at Surigao del Sur (credits to: denrcaraga.site90.com)|
How to go to Surigao del Sur:
From Manila - easiest way is to either take a plane or ferry going to Butuan. From there, there are buses that could take you to different parts of the province.
From Davao - there are buses that go directly to Bislig or you could also hop on buses that head for Butuan and alight at your planned city.
Where to stay at Britania:
There are actually few options of resorts in Britania such as Oasis Resort and the more famous La Entrada, but we opted for Mac Arthur's place. I am glad we decided to stay here since the staff were very accomodating and friendly. The rooms are basic but has air conditioner, though I think the bathroom was pretty small. The staff also gave us discount for the boat rental as there were only three of us, she offered the tour for 1,200 pesos (normally it is 1,500 but can accommodate 15 persons). Just be mindful of your stuff since my friend lost his cellphone here. :( For a room rate of 1,200 for three, it also comes with free breakfast.
Mac Arthur's Place Contact Number:
Facebook Page: Mac Arthur's Place
|a picture of our 3 bed room at Mac Arthur's Place, enough to accommodate 3-6 persons|
Where to stay at Hinatuan:
Though we didn't stay at Hinatuan for the night, here are some contacts I gathered before while constructing our itinerary:
Marky's Hostel: 09284397785
Maryland Lodging House along Espana St. in Hinatuan: 09078689808 firstname.lastname@example.org
Koa and Bea's Hometel: 09286809417, 09066698088
Where to stay at Bislig:
Tifanny's was recommended by our habal habal driver since I didn't know any cheap hostels around the area. We were given a discount since we will only be staying for a few hours (only to sleep) and we won't be availing their "free" breakfast anyway since they only serve it from 7 AM to 10 AM. The room was pretty nice, though the restroom was also quite small. We were given the veranda room and what I liked about it was that they had cable TV! Their wi-fi connection is only accessible at the lobby. It was a pretty good steal for the price.
Tifanny's Inn Room Rates:
1,200 3 beds for 5
1,000 2 beds for 4
800 2 beds for 3
650 1 double bed/2 single beds
09194708998, 09122008159, 09307958703
|room for three at Tifanny's Inn, Bislig|
TOURIST SPOTS INFORMATION
Entrance Fees as of Dec 2013
Enchanted River: 30 pesos for adults, 5 pesos for children
Tinuy-An Falls: 50 pesos, Free for children
Ocean View Park: Free
International Doll House: 20 pesos for adults, 15 for students, Free for children
Directions (for more detailed info, you may read up on each post)
Britania: San Agustin
Enchanted River: Hinatuan
Tinuy-an Falls and Ocean View Park: Bislig
HABAL HABAL CONTACTS
Kuya Rene (recommended! no cellphone though, look for him around crossing/Hinatuan terminal) Rate from crossing to river; one way is 50 pesos. He resides at Hinatuan.)
Kuya Loloy (09485750496 resides at Bislig, rate from crossing to Tinuyan round trip incl. waiting time is 250 pesos)
* Drivers also accept tours combining Enchanted River + Tinuy-an Falls for a standard rate of 1,500 pesos (rate as of Dec 2013, please note that rates will change appropriately)
|habal habal rides at Surigao!|
Day 1 Butuan to San Agustin
Britania Group of Islands
Our flight arrived at Butuan by half past 9 AM and we wanted to take the easiest way to Britania, San Agustin and hoping to still have time to explore when we get there. The estimated three-hour van ride turned into four because of the frequent stopovers on getting more passengers. By two in the afternoon, we got settled and started with our tour. The Britania Group of Islands is Surigao's own version of Hundred Islands that is very famous around Luzon. What I especially loved about it is the white fine powdery sand and the amazing color of the water that surround it.
|Britania Group of Islands|
Day 2 Hinatuan and Bislig
We woke up early only to be disappointed with a late habal habal driver who was supposed to pick us up an hour earlier. By 6 in the morning, buses were already very crowded. After another bus transfer heading for Hinatuan, we finally arrived at the Enchanted River. I was glad that we were able to enjoy its unexplainable beauty by ourselves.
Ocean View Park: Restaurant and International Doll House
OVP wasn't really in our itinerary, but since we were already in Bislig, I figured why not take a quick look on why the place is so popular. Cheap but good food and amazing collection of toys, top it off with an amazing view of Bislig Bay. I am sure kids and kids at heart would love it here!
|dolls at Ocean View International Doll House|
After 18 kilometers of habal habal travel and I stood in awe in front of one of the most picturesque waterfalls I have ever seen in the country. Its grandeur, power and wide berth are some of the reasons it was given the title of being "The Little Niagra Falls" of the country. Playing around the falls was a memorable ending for our tour of Surigao del Sur.
ITINERARY AND EXPENSES
For two days, me and my two companions were able to spend 3031 pesos for transportation, food, lodging, tour fees, and tips. Below is a breakdown of how much we spent.
You may download a copy of our itinerary and a detailed sheet of our expense sheet by going to this link.
|Breakdown of our expenses for our 2-day stay at Surigao del Sur|
The rain didn't stop us from exploring the province! I am glad the Surigao's government officials are doing a good job of developing these tourists spots to better cater to travelers like me. Surigao del Sur used to be one of the off-the-beaten paths in the country and is now slowly gaining popularity. The place is perfect for those who have maximum of two-three days, perfect for a weekend get-away. I really enjoyed my time here and it's that place I can never get tired off with lovely gifts of nature and smiles from friendly locals.
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