Thrifty Summer Travel: Marvelling Surigao del Sur

Summer is always fun and memorable when you are out of town; to places you have never set a foot on, to somewhere you just heard of or seen on the web, to a new environment where you meet the locals and discover the town’s awesomeness. When you say travelling for summer, it does not have to be an expensive one always. You just have to be resourceful in finding what they call a packaged travel. A 2D1N Surigao del Sur adventure for Php2,000 is not that bad, right?

Surigao is approximately a six-hour drive from Cagayan de Oro City. Man, that long drive is all worth it when Hinatuan Enchanted River welcomes you. The turquoise water, the school of fish with different species; big and small swimming with you, the immeasurable depth of the river, it is beyond enchanting. At 12 NN, the caretakers feed these fishes. You will be awed and amazed as every fish in the river shows up.

Hinatuan Enchanted River

Another one-hour of sitting in the van and you will be once again awed on the Philippine’s version of Niagara Falls, the Tinuy-an Falls of Bislig. The three cascading falls is comparable to a white curtain of froth. It is captivating like that.


From rivers and falls, the next stop is not connected with waters anymore. After taking almost 300 steps up, you may be a little girl no more but the child in you might want to go out if you happen to see a room full of unique dolls from different parts of the globe inside glass cabinets at International Doll House. For boys, if you are not fond of Barbie and Ken, worry not because there are toy cars collections for you there.

International Doll House

It must have been a great long day and a good rest at La Entrada Resort and Restaurant might fuel up everyone for an island hopping itinerary the next day. It is the beauty of how seldom you get to a room with an attic, it leaves you wanting to have one at home. In the morning, you will probably notice the mangroves. They are just everywhere and amazingly lined up.


The resorts at Britania got passageway to the boat docks, boats that will take you to the 24 islets of Britania. It will take you forever to visit those 24 islets so, for this travel, you are still lucky to set a foot on their four beautiful islands.







Purely powdery white sand bar, deep blue water with green coconuts in the middle, Hagonoy Island simply spells paradise. The little patch of trees provide just enough shade before you will get roasted under the hot sun.


The second island is famous for its rock formations and the grotto in the middle. Boslon Island has crystal clear waters too and if you were hundred times luckier that you get there at low tide, you can just walk in the sand bar to be at the Panlangagan’s Twin Island.


Just like the other islands, Hiroy-Hiroyan Island has pristine waters conducive for swimming too. Its fine white sand is merely marvellous.

It is safe to say that from Surigao’s made of limestone river, to majestic falls, to a gallery of collections from almost around the world and, to its jaw-dropping islands, you will forget the hassle of travelling there. Experience it for yourself next summer!

If you are coming from Manila, you might take a flight to Butuan or Cagayan de Oro City. And if by any chance, you can’t find a packaged travel, here is a breakdown of the expenses you will probably get:

  • Air-conditioned bus from Cagayan de Oro to Butuan – Php350
  • Bus from Butuan to Hinatuan – Php200
  • Habal-habal (single motorcycle) to Enchanted River and back – Php200/person
  • Entrance fee – Php50
  • Picnic Huts starting fee – Php100
  • Renting a boat for island hopping – Php100/person (max of five person)
  • Jeepney fare to Bislig – Php40
  • Habal-habal to Tinuy-an Falls – Php250/person
  • Entrance fee – Php50
  • Balsa rent – Php150
  • Entrance fee at International Doll House– Php30
  • Habal-habal to La Entrada – Php20
  • Environmental Fee – Php25
  • Deluxe room with maximum of 5 persons – Php2,200
  • Boat transfer for island hopping – Php2,000 (good for 18 person)

This list is far way too expensive than the packaged deal. The inclusion for Php2,000 are entrance fees, transportation via van, overnight stay and the boat transfers. It is only the food that you will need to worry. If you and 13 other of your family or friends are up for a summer getaway to Surigao del Sur, and you are close to Misamis Oriental, you may contact this number +639175709663. They require half of the payment for early reservations though but surely they are not bogus.