Surigao del Sur is in the CARAGA Region on the island on Mindanao. Before it was known as a tourist destination, the province was known for the Mindanao Deep, one of the deepest trenches in the world. Today, many tourists enjoy its close proximity to Siargao, the newest island-to-be, and natural wonders it has to offer.
There are no direct flights to Surigao del Sur. From Manila or Cebu, take a flight to Butuan City. From there, tourists can take bus rides to Surigao del Sur. You may also fly from Cebu to Tandag City, Surigao del Sur’s capital city, using Cebu Pacific.
2Go Travel offers rides from Manila or Cebu to Butuan City. Prices vary depending on when you get the tickets, but it may be the cheapest option. From the port, take a taxi and head for the bus terminal.
Bachelor and Grandland Buses travel from Butuan, Davao, and Surigao City. Buses leave every hour.
Like many provinces in the Philippines, the main mode of transportation is the tricycle. There are also vans for rent around Tandag City. There are boat rides to different islands from the beaches of Surigao del Sur to various islands around.
Surigao del Sur has so many must-visit tourist spots, most of them are truly sights to behold. The first place to head to is the Enchanted River—a mysterious river claimed to be the home of many supernatural beings. Best to take a photo as swimming has been prohibited in the river.
Tinuy-an Falls is well-known for being the most beautiful multi-tier waterfalls in the Philippines. You can take a dip at the base; in fact, rent a bamboo raft to get closer, and possibly get drenched by, the falls.
The Philippines is known to have thousands of islands, and Surigao del Sur is home to 24 of them. The Britania Group of Islands consists of these small islands and are known for Boracay-like features, only more pristine. Some popular islands are Hagonoy Island, Hiyor Island, and Naked Island.
Island-hopping is probably the number-one activity to do while in Surigao del Sur. Take a boat ride to the Britania Group of Islands for the day. Take a day-long island tour or do a little sunbathing by the sea (be sure to bring some sunscreen with high SPF). If you’re not into the open seas, go further inland and discover the Enchanted River and Tinuy-an Falls.
If you’re out trying to soak in some history and culture, it’s best to head to Cantilan, known to be a heritage village because of well-preserved ancestral homes from the Spanish colonial era.
There are many small eateries around Surigao del Sur, but there are some restaurants worth visiting. Ocean View Restaurant is an affordable dining destination on top of a hill that—as the name suggests—faces the ocean. Located in the town of Bislig, Ocean View Restaurant, you have to take 270 flights of steps before sampling their best dishes such as picatta with spaghetti, Hawaiian burger, and fish fillet with rice.
Zams Food and Fudge is another restaurant with affordable eats. Also located in Bislig, this Asian-Filipino fusion resto boasts sumptuous local favorites like palabok, some western comfort food like burgers, and a fine selection of pastries and cakes.
There are many bars to choose from in Surigao del Sur. Many locals claim that KLUB Safari in Tagbina is the best in the province. This is followed by Dans Grill, Shiela’s Sky Garden, and James Resto Bar and Pensionne.
From budget pension homes to slightly classier accommodations, there’s a place to stay for anyone at any price. Many travelers say that Sibadan Fish Cage is the best because you can sleep right above the waters of the province. For those who prefer more homey abodes, Paper Country Inn is worth booking for a weekend stay. Tourists who would like to have the full hotel accommodation can book a stay at Villa Maria Luisa Hotel, better for big families.
• Because there’s so much to explore in Surigao del Sur, it’s best to make an itinerary based on your preference.
• It’s best to bring food with you when taking the Enchanted River tour if you’re on a budget.
• While a budget of PHP 5,000-6,000 can get you going for a 3D2N trip, manage your cash wisely as some establishments may charge more than what they advertise.