Exploring CARAGA Part 2 : Discovering the Wonders of Surigao del Sur

After our Bucas Grande adventure, the boatmen dropped us at Hayanggabon Port. We took our lunch at a small eatery along the highway. We were supposed to eat at the nearby restaurant at the port but the owners were so unfriendly, they even lied to us and told us that their restroom was locked and the key was taken by the guest so we cannot use it. Instead of arguing, we left the place and head to the eatery along the highway. The owner was friendly and allowed us to take a bath. While waiting for the bus, we also took our lunch. After about an hour, the bus arrived and we hopped in on our way to Tandag City.

Tandag City

Tandag City is about 3-4 hours bus ride from Hayanggabon. It was already a little dark when we arrived in Tandag so we decided to spend the night in the city. We do not know of a specific place to stay so we started asking the locals where to stay on a budget. They pointed us to a lodge near the boulevard but unfortunately they are already fully booked. We were already hungry so we decided to eat first before scouting another place to spend the night. We went to the boulevard and had barbecue for dinner.

Tandag City Boulevard

Where to Stay in Tandag?

We were lucky to find Shacene Hotel which was referred to us by the lady we asked for a place to stay. We scored a really good deal. The receptionist has allowed us to stay in a family room which was ideally good for 4 people but we managed to squeeze ourselves. It was a decent hotel. It was clean and just a short distance from the main road.

Shacene Hotel Rates

The Surigao del Sur Adventure Begins

We woke up early and left Tandag City on our way to the town of San Agustin, home to the famous Britania Group of Islands. We took a van instead of a bus to reduce the travel time. We were lucky to have a nice van driver who offered his services for the later tours and also referred us to his relative in San Agustin for our breakfast and Britania Island Hopping tour. We arrived in Salvacion, San Agustin and took a short habal-habal ride going to the jump-off point of our island hopping. We took our breakfast and started exploring the islands of Britania.

@traveladik @scherzelle @jayrezzy_gimpao @aldeready @artisticavan @urbrataleks @jepepips

Island Hopping at Britania Group of Islands
We rented a boat for P1,500 to explore the four major Islands of Britania. We first visited Hagonoy Island. It was the farthest among the four major islands. There were coconut trees in the island and a large area for swimming. It was low tide when we arrived so we had to go farther to swim as the water was too shallow near the shore.

Hagonoy Island

The second island we visited was Naked Island. Actually it is more of a sand bar than an island. It looks really good. I think it is one of the most picturesque among the major islands.

Naked Island

The third Island we explored was Buslon and the nearby islets. The beach in this island is not as good as the previous two so we decided to just roam around instead of swimming. There were a number of locals selling sea urchin in the island and we managed to buy some and taste it for the first time. The meat looks like a miniature tongue. It tastes bland and it’s something I would not try again. It’s definitely not my cup of tea.

Buslon Island
The last island we visited was Hiyor-Hiyoran. We were kinda tired already and the island looks boring so we just took a photo of it and did not leave the boat. We headed back to the mainland and prepped ourselves for another awesome adventure.

The Road to Hinatuan and Bislig
We chartered a van to pick us up in San Agustin, tour us around Hinatuan and Bislig and then drop us to Butuan. We paid P6,500 for the whole trip plus some tip for a very good service the van driver provided us. We had a sumptuous lunch at Anne’s relative in the town of Tagbina. Her relatives cooked native chicken adobo which we ate with gusto. Her relatives also offered us some fresh buko after lunch. It was indeed a satisfying meal.

Hinatuan Enchanted River
We didn’t have much time so we immediately left Tagbina after having our lunch and proceeded to Hinatuan to visit the Enchanted River. It was my second time to visit the place and I must say I was quite disappointed when I saw the crowd. The last time I was there was amazing as there were no other people aside from the Travel Mindanao team. There were just too many people the second time around so I decided not to dip in the water. It still looked enchanting though.

Aleks, Scher, Van, Anne, Jay-R, Jep, Alde, Moi

Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig
After spending an hour at the Enchanted River, we moved our way to Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig. It was already late in the afternoon so we made sure we maximize our time in taking photographs and just enjoy the beauty of the clear water as it cascades from above. It’s good to see Tinuy-an falls on another perspective. The last time I was there was rainy season so the water was overflowing, the second time around, there was less water so we were also able to climb up to see the view from above. A different level of experience but the same zest. 

Goodbye Surigao del Sur, Hello Butuan
It was already dark when we left Tinuy-an Falls. We went straight to the city proper to take our dinner. We ordered the city’s specialty called “Mutya ng Bislig” – a creamy seafood chowder.

After satisfying our gastronomic cravings, we left Bislig and headed to Butuan where we spent the night full of fun.

Where to Eat and Stay in Britania
J-Francess Homestay
Britania, San Agustin, Surigao del Sur
Manager: Francisca Acero (Ate Francing)
Mobile Number: 0939-5930677
Dorm type accommodation good for 8/10pax is only for P2,000/night and Good for 4pax is at P1,500/night. You may also ask Ate Francing to cook for your meal at an extra charge.

For van rental you may call Kuya Roel or Pawi at 0910 806 7280

Read more from CARAGA Series…
Exploring CARAGA Region Part 1 : Island Hopping in Bucas Grande
Exploring CARAGA Region Part 3 : Itinerary & Expenses
Exploring CARAGA Region Part 4 : Bucas Grande Travel Guide
Travel Mindanao : Bislig and Hinatuan Travel Guide

*Pardon me with the quality of the photos. All photos are taken using my phone only as I did not bring a DSLR during the trip.

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