Last updated on August 8th, 2022 at 06:26 pm
There are many things to do in Surigao and we will tell you one by one our favorite Surigao tourist spots in our Surigao travel guide. This post is to help other travelers and people who would go to Surigao how to go there and what are the places they should go to and see.
There is Surigao del Norte which is a province in the Philippines located in the Caraga region of Mindanao. Its capital is Surigao City. The province comprises two major islands—Siargao and Bucas Grande.
And then there’s Surigao del Sur. Its capital is Tandag City. Surigao del Sur is situated at the eastern coast of Mindanao and faces the Philippine Sea to the east.
Surigao is one of the best destination to visit in the Philippines in terms of it having many best and diverse places and attractions to go to. Aside from that, the fees are quite cheap than other places. You get to another city and there’s another beach or attraction to go to or to explore.
SURIGAO TRAVEL GUIDE
HOW TO GET TO SURIGAO
GETTING TO SURIGAO FROM MANILA
To go to Surigao faster, you can book a flight to Surigao either via Cebu Pacific Air or Philippine Airlines. They have both direct flights everyday to Surigao and it’s the fastest way to go to Surigao. You have to do a stopover in Cebu!
If you want the long but cheaper way to go to Surigao, you can take a bus from terminals in Cubao or Pasay. The trip will be 2 days or more, with ferry rides included in the fare you will be paying. It will be a bit tiring but if you are someone who’s okay with this and likes seeing scenery along the way, this can be your way.
GETTING TO SURIGAO FROM CEBU
GETTING TO SURIGAO FROM CEBU BY FERRY
From Cebu, you will have to take a ferry boat to take you to Surigao. There are daily trips from Cebu to Surigao at 7pm and it will take at least 9 hours. Ticket prices ranges from 825 PHP for economy or regular ticket, 1200 PHP for business class and for a cabin for two, the price would be at least 3,500 PHP for the whole trip.
GETTING TO SURIGAO FROM CEBU BY PLANE
From Cebu to Surigao by plane is only one hour flight and you can get great deals starting from 1,200 PHP. It’s the fastest way to reach Surigao.
GETTING TO SURIGAO FROM CAGAYAN DE ORO
You can take a bus from Cagayan de Oro going to Butuan City. The fare will be 400 PHP and will take 6 hours on the road. From Butuan City, you will ride a bus going to Surigao. The fare will be 210 PHP and will take less than 3 hours of travel time.
Read here how to get from Butuan to Surigao
GETTING TO SURIGAO FROM CAMIGUIN
From Benoni Port in Camiguin, you can ride a ferry to Balingoan Port. It will only take 1 hour and 40 minutes. The fare is 205 PHP. From Balingoan Port, you can either hire a private van to take you directly to Surigao or take a bus to Butuan, it costs 230 PHP for 3 hours journey.
From Butuan, you can ride a bus 250 PHP for 3 hours or van 170 PHP for 2 hours and a half to take you to Surigao directly. Both they will stop in the terminal 3 kilometers far from city center and there are multicabs going to the city for 10 PHP.
GETTING TO SURIGAO FROM SIARGAO
From Dapa Port in Siargao, you will take a ferry that will take you to Surigao Port. Regular ticket rate is 288 PHP while for children who are 3-7 years old are only 144 PHP. Estimated travel time is 2 and a half hours and there are a few ferries per day.
GETTING TO SURIGAO FROM DAVAO
The fastest but not cheap way to go to Surigao from Davao is to book a flight. It’ll costs at least 3,000 PHP one way but it will only take a few hours since you have to do a stopover in Cebu.
The longer but the cheapest way is to travel via bus. It’ll take 9 hours and the fare price ranges from 480 PHP to 700 PHP depending on what type of bus you are riding.
CURRENCY AND ATMS IN SURIGAO
There are a lot of ATM machines in almost every areas in Surigao, it is still advised to bring cash and use your card as a back up since local stores and shops might not accept card for payments.
WEATHER/BEST TIME TO VISIT SURIGAO
Most places in the Philippines, including the tourists spots and provinces are are most popular during the dry season, between November and April. At this time the country is fully accessible, including its many beautiful islands and more remote areas.
Temperatures are high during March and April, so it’s best time to visit Surigao during the cooler months of December to February.
TRANSPORTATION AROUND SURIGAO
Jeepneys and multicabs are the main mode of transportation around Surigao. There are also tricycles and motorbikes. There will be bus terminals for longer and farther destinations.
Of course, since Surigao is near the sea and it has a port, people can go in and out of Surigao with ferry boats with daily trips like in Camiguin Island. Prices of transportation around Surigao are affordable.
DAILY BUDGET IN SURIGAO
Accommodation, transportation and food in Surigao isn’t that expensive. But if you would be going on an island hopping trip or other activities, your daily budget might need to be bigger. If you’re going on an island hopping trip and other activities with friends, with accommodation and other daily needs, 2,500 PHP is a good budget. Since accommodation and food are cheap!
But if you’re just going around, looking at attractions and other scenery, entrance fees to the attractions is also cheap so about 1,500 PHP a day or less will be okay, and that’s only almost $30 per day!
Read more about all the places to stay in Surigao and book your staying with Agoda!
SURIGAO TOURIST SPOTS AND THINGS TO DO IN SURIGAO
Surigao is a fast rising tourist destination in the Philippines. Aside from its widely known Britania Island hopping, there are still a lot of Surigao tourist spots and activities that travelers or people who went there to explore Surigao can do.
1. DAY-ASAN FLOATING VILLAGE
7 Kilometers away from Surigao’s city proper, Day-asan Floating Village or the little Venice of Surigao is a residential area where residents thrive on their livelihood by the sea. The houses are made of woods and nipas were standing in stilts of woods or in pile of rocks. You can see small boats resting on water ways near the houses.
To be able to go there, you either ride habal-habal or rent a van at the market or in the bus terminal to take you there directly. You can hire a boatman to let you tour around the floating village and the rental fee should be negotiated between you and the boatman.
2. PUNTA BILAR
Punta Bilar is a two kilometer of pristine marine life stretch which is easily one of the best diving spots in Surigao. You can reach Punta Bilar by riding multicabs going to Lipata port or Punta Bilar. There will be resorts along the way and area. You have to ride a boat from the shore to take you to the diving site where you can see different marine life.
3. PAGKAWASAN BEACH
Pagkawasan Beach is 40 minutes away from the city proper by boat, Pagkawasan beach is located in Hikdop Island. It has a stretch of white sand and clear blue waters, perfect for swimming and having fun on the water.
Pagkawasan Beach entrance fee per person but is waived when you rent a cottage. Pagkawasan Beach entrance fee is 50 PHP per head while cottage is 500 PHP to spend the day. They also rent overnight cottages for 1000 PHP a night.
4. SONGKOY COLD SPRING
If other places are famous for their hot springs, Surigao is well known for Songkoy Cold Spring! Tourists from all over the world and even local travelers are also raving about this place. For a tropical country like Philippines, the water in Songkoy cold spring is pretty cold even in summer.
You can go to Songkoy Cold Spring by riding a bus going to Butuan and alighting in Tubod Church where you’d have to ride a ‘butterfly’ motorcycle for 20-30 PHP one way to take you to the spring itself. It doesn’t have an entrance fee but it can get pretty crowded on peak season.
5. ENCHANTED RIVER
Probably the most ‘viral’ attraction in Surigao, Enchanted River or also known as the Hinatuan Sacred River is a deep spring river on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. It flows into the Philippine Sea and the Pacific Ocean at Barangay Talisay, Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur. It’s famous for it’s different shade of color of blue as its depth differs.
The actual dept of it is unknown, which is one of the reasons why it is enchanted. A bell will ring at exactly 12 in the afternoon and a caretaker would ask the people to get out of the water.
It means that it will be ‘feeding time’ wherein he would feed the school of fish that comes to the river while the Hymn of Hinatuan is playing. Just like Songkoy Cold Spring, this place can get pretty crowded on high season. The entrance fee to Enchanted River is 30 PHP.
6. PEBBLE AND ROCK BEACHES
Surigao is home not just to sandy white beaches but also to pebbled and rocky beaches. Mabua Pebble beach and Looc Beach were well known beaches in Surigao.
It has rocky shore but very clear water. There are rock formations that are perfect for photo shoots as well. There are cottages and you can buy snacks on small stores located in the area.
7. SILOP MULTI-CAVES
Silop multi-caves is only 15 minutes away from the city proper of Surigao. It’s a well know attraction that the people from there already has a system for tourists and visitors of the caves. You have to register to the Barangay Center first to be pay the fee and to be given a helmet, gloves and headlamp.
After this process in 15 minutes more you’ll reach the caves. Silop multi-caves is composed of 6 cave systems where 2 out of that 6 is open for spelunking. You’ll be going through holes and narrow passageways throughout the experience.
The first cave isn’t open for tourists as it’s being populated by snakes and bats, also, bat dungs are everywhere and has a pungent smell.
8. BUCAS GRANDE ISLAND
Bucas Grande is an island in the province of Surigao del Norte in the Philippines. This is where you’ll see limestone deposits, pristine lagoons, sea caves and coves as well as lakes that aren’t discovered that much yet. You can have a view of the jelly fish sanctuary where you’ll see flocks of jelly fish on the clear waters while on a paddle boat.
Motorboats aren’t allowed because their top priority is the natural environment of the island. You can also pass by Sohoton cave and admire its natural features. Sohoton cave is only accessible when it is low tide as it’s not visible when high tide.
Siargao is a tear-drop shaped island in the Philippine Sea situated 800 kilometers southeast of Manila in the province of Surigao del Norte. It is called the surfing capital of the Philippines because surfers all over the world visit and go to Siargao because of its waves and beaches.
Siargao has a lot to offer aside from its marvelous waves made for surfing. It also offer a breathtaking sunrise in the morning. It’s one the most popular places for locals and foreigners in the Philippines.
10. MUSEUMS IN SURIGAO
There are a number of museums around Surigao. Rock and Mineral Museum is a place where you’ll see a family collected pieces of different types of rocks and minerals., as well as other artifacts related to the province itself.
Another museum to visit is the Battle of Surigao Strait Museum where the story of when seven Japanese warships, six of which were sunk, found themselves defeated by 81 Alled vessels including the Australian HMAS Shropshire in October 1944.
Read more about all the places to stay in Surigao and book your staying with Agoda!
MORE SURIGAO TOURIST SPOTS AND THINGS TO DO IN SURIGAO
11. TINUY-AN FALLS
Amidst the rocky, dusty and uphill road and a butt numbing trip coming from the city proper to the famous Tinuy-an Falls, everyone is still amazed at the beauty of the so-called Niagara falls of the Philippines.
It is said that a rainbow appears in between 9am to 11am as a reflection of the sunlight through the mist, and it’s one of the things you need to watch out for if you ever go there! Tinuy-an Falls Entrance fee is 50 PHP.
12. MAGKAWAS FALLS
Magkawas falls is a 40 feet high falls with a plunge pool that is as deep as 7 feet in Lanuza, Surigao del Sur. The cold water will cool you down from the 15 minute walk and climbing the stairs before you reach it. It might not look as majestic as other falls but Magkawas falls is surely one of the wonders of Surigao.
13. CANTILAN ISLANDS
Cantilan is a 2nd class municipality in the province of Surigao del Sur, Philippines. According to legend, the word Cantilan originated from the big shell of a bivalve locally called, “Tilang“.
A couple with beautiful daughters lived close to the location of the big shell. When suitors came to visit the daughters and were asked their destination, they would answer, “Can Tilang” (meaning “to Tilang’s”).
Eventually, “Can Tilang” became “Cantilan“. This is where you’ll see the Consuelo Wooden Bridge. It is a bridge with no hand-rails on each side and it stretches over a river. You can enjoy the view of birds, mangroves and the water to calm you.
They also hold a mardi-gras like parade called Sirong Festival. This event features contingents from different parts of town and sees them perform in a street dancing competition as well as a final showdown.
14. LASWITAN LAGOON AND FALLS
Laswitan Lagoon is a rock-bounded spot composing of three lagoons with varying sizes. You can have fun while welcoming the fresh splash of water from the sea when the tide is going high. Laswitan Lagoon Entrance fee is only 30 PHP and the life jacket can be used the whole day.
If you plan to stay the night, there is no nearby accommodation. You have to travel to the nearest town to do so. The lagoon is only open from 7am to 5pm, as safety is everyone’s concern that the lagoon is only open in day time.
15. CABGAN ISLAND
An hour of boat ride away from Barobo in Surigao del Sur lies the calming and serene shore of Cabgan Island. The island has fine white sand, crystal clear water and an abundant of tress. Every corner is a view to be looked at.
There is a a cliff made of limestone rocks facing the Pacific Ocean found in the western part of the island we Barobohanons called West Life. Across Badgan Island is another island called Turtle Island because of its shape. You can also island hop between the two islands.
16. BRITANIA GROUP OF ISLANDS
Britania Islands, or the hidden paradise of Surigao is a group of islets in San Agustin, Surigao del Sur. With a total of 24 serene and tropical islets, island hopping became one of the most requested activity by the tourist to reach even just a few of these islets.
They boasts of white pristine sandy shorelines and untouched beauty of nature. There are many agencies at Britania port, which are renting their boats. The prices range between 1500-2000 PHP for hiring a boat, and one boat can fit around 15 people.
17. CAGWAIT BEACH
Cagwait Beach which is located in Cagwait, Surigao del Sur is called the Boracay of CARAGA region because of their physical similarities as having fine white sands on its shoreline.
There is a Government operated resort where you’ll have to pay. Cagwait Beach entrance fee is 20 PHP environmental fee. Going to the beach and using the cottages around is free of charge. You can do a lot of activities as you can use its wide shoreline at your disposal.
WHERE TO STAY IN SURIGAO
SURIGAO TOURIST INN
As a cheap inn, it’s expected to have humble facilities available. All rooms are air conditioned and WiFi equipped. This is perfect if you’re spending most of your day outside and would like to cut down on your expenses. Despite being cheap, the service is really excellent. A room in this Inn costs about $15 USD per night.
Surigao Tourist Inn is located at Purok 7, Navalca, Barangay San Juan, San Juan, Surigao City, Philippines
ALMONT BEACH RESORT
Parkway Hotel has really good value. It’s one of those accommodations where you get greater value than what you paid for. The facilities may be decent but the staff are very courteous and welcoming.
Their Deluxe Plus King Room has a king bed, is air conditioned, has a desk and WiFi, mini-bar, coffee maker, refrigerator, seating area, and closet. A Deluxe Plus King Room in this place costs about $50 USD per night.
Parkway Hotel is located at Km 2 Barangay Luna, National Highway, Luna, Surigao City, Philippines
FIESTA SURIGAO RESORT
Having a simple clean spacious room with a pool view, this place is really worth it. Many guests love this accommodation, and in fact, it is rated very good in Agoda. The Deluxe Room A has a king sized bed, shower, are air conditioned, has blackout curtains for a good night’s rest. The service is also well loved by their guests.
A Deluxe Room A costs about $26 USD per night, but it can go up to $40 USD per night. There’s also free breakfast for two if you’ll stay there.
Fiesta Surigao Resort is located at Sitio Dacuman, Brgy.Ipil, Mabua, Surigao City, Philippines, 8400
HOTEL TAVERN SURIGAO
Hotel Tavern Surigao is most often booked because of high demand. Travelers going in Surigao City also often rebook at this place and specifically this type of room. Some of the facilities of this Hotel are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and room service, along with free WiFi.
Their highly booked Deluxe Sea View with Balcony costs about $68 USD per night, inclusive of breakfast.
Hotel Tavern Surigao is located at Borromeo Street, 8400 Surigao, Philippines
If you want to stay in Surigao City there are a few options if you go on a budget starting from $10-15 USD for a room for two people. Mid budget options start from $20-50 USD.
If you want to have a luxury experience will cost you starting from $50 USD. Read more about all the places to stay in Surigao and book your staying with Agoda!
FOOD TO TRY IN SURIGAO
Surigao has a number of delicacies that a traveler must taste to be able to complete the Surigao experience. You’ve wandered through the beaches, the falls and other attractions, you’ve had a few islands crossed out in your bucket list, now you have to taste the food made especially from Surigao.
Sayongsong is a delicacy in Surigao. It is a ‘kakanin’ or a sticky rice wrapped in a banana’s leaves with a consistency of a rice cake. It is then steamed until it’s cooked. You can buy this in public markets, pasalubong shops or food stalls around Surigao.
Dried Pijanga, also known as “white goby,” is a first class dried fish from Lake Mainit in Surigao del Norte. This delicacy has a special story because it’s produced from the efforts of the rural agrarian reform community of Surigao. Tourists and locals bring this home frequently because of its unique taste.
KINILAW NA ISDA
Travelers all over the world and within the country visit Surigao for its delicious kinilaw. This local delicacy is made of raw fish and it does not involve any form of cooking.
To prepare this native cuisine, the people of Surigao debone and wash the raw fishes and combine it with a number of condiments. The perfect mix of ginger, vinegar, onions, chili peppers, and salt makes this delicacy a haven for your taste buds.
Poot-poot is an endemic species of tiny fishes that is found only in the Philippines. It’s a fermented fish sauce sold in a jar which cost less than a hundred pesos. In other parts of the country people call it bagoong. One jar of poot poot ginamos costs less than a hundred pesos. This is a must-try for every Surigao visitor.
Hope after reading this post about Surigao tourist spots you are ready for your next trip. Let us know if we are missing places to visit in Surigao, so we can update them!
FESTIVALS IN SURIGAO
Locals of Surigao surely knows how to throw festivals. From Surigao del Sur to Surigao del Norte, let us show you a few festivals you might want to experience if you want to go to Surigao. You might time your trip to Surigao with these festivals are you will surely enjoy it there more.
Celebrated from June 21 to 25 every year in Cagwait, Surigao del Sur, this is a yearly festival celebrated to honor the patron saint St. John the Baptist.
Kaliguan Festival was first celebrated on June 24, 1996. Kaliguan means to take a bath or to get wet. The main highlights of this festival is the Perlas ng Kaliguan beauty pageant and the beach dancing.
It is an ethnic mardi-gras parade. Although some other municipalities in the province of Surigao del Sur are claiming to have this festival originated from them. As most of this coastal towns are founded during the pre-Spanish occupation and is both claiming the story of being attacked by the moros.
Sirong festival in Cantilan is the popular one than other festivals. Sirong is known to be a war dance between Muslims and Christians, reflecting the Christianization of the early Cantilangnons. The Manobos and the Mamanwas are known to be the early Cantilangnons.
Celebrated by the Municipality of Loreto, Dinagat Island, Lawigan actually means ‘voyager’ in English. It is also celebrated as their foundation day. The highlights of the celebration are the Barangay Competition, Mutya Ng Loreto, Dragon Race, Field Dance and Float Parade Competition. There are also Agro- fishing seminars and trade fair during the celebration.
Hope it’s useful our Surigao Travel guide. Let us know in the comments which one is your favorite Surigao tourist spots.
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About the Author: Ruben, co-founder of Gamintraveler.com since 2014, is a seasoned traveler from Spain who has explored over 100 countries since 2009. Known for his extensive travel adventures across South America, Europe, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and Africa, Ruben combines his passion for adventurous yet sustainable living with his love for cycling, highlighted by his remarkable 5-month bicycle journey from Spain to Norway. He currently resides in Spain, where he continues to share his travel experiences alongside his partner, Rachel, and their son, Han.