In a country that is almost in permanent summer, taking a splash or a dip in a pool or beach is always a welcome treat especially after a tedious work week. Luckily, for a country with thousands of islands, there is an abundance of beaches to visit. One of the most underrated provinces for beach and island hopping is Surigao del Sur.
Here are the top things to do in Surigao del Sur:
Take a boat ride in Hinatuan Enchanted River.
Famous for its beautiful waters, the Hinatuan Enchanted River is one of the top tourist attractions in Surigao del Sur. The river is located between Barangay Talisay and Cambatong in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur. Some locals say that engkanto or supernatural beings inhabit the area, hence the name “Enchanted River”. Its deep blue waters flow into the Philippine Sea.
Since 2017, tourists are prohibited from swimming in the main pool. But there are still designated swimming areas several meters away.
Visitors can also opt to travel to the floating resorts on Hinatuan Bay. From the entrance, you can walk to boats that can take you to the floating restos where you can feast on fresh seafood and swim with the fishes and rays in their fish pens.
Go island hopping in San Agustin.
Of the over 7,600 islands of the country, the barangay of Britania in the municipality of San Agustin has 24 of them scattered along the blue waters of Lianga Bay.
Resorts and inns in the area offer tour packages that would take you to the four main islands namely Hagonoy, Naked, Boslon and Hiyor-Hiyoran.
Buslon island is the largest among the four. The island showcases limestone formations that are similar to those in El Nido. The Naked Island, true to its name, features only a sandbar and no shade. The islets of Hagonoy and Hiyor-hiyoran are almost similar to the Naked Island, except for a few coconut trees. You can also try the seafood in the latter.
Ride the waves in Lanuza and Cantilan.
The town of Lanuza, as well as the neighboring town of Cantilan, is noted as one of the surfing destinations in the country. The coastal town is among the locations for the Philippine Surfing Cup Tournament in search for athletes that could represent the country in the Olympics.
Known for surfing areas from reef breaks to beach breaks, local and foreign surfers flock to the town to work on their surfing skills. The town not only caters to professional surfers but also has spots for beginners. Best time to visit is between the months of November to March when there are big waves coming in constantly.
Besides surfing, you can also explore the natural wonders like Campamento Cave, Silop Spring, and Magkawas Falls.
Take a splash in Laswitan Falls and Lagoon.
Imagine massive ocean waves splashing against a rock formation, then spilling into the lagoon on the other side like a waterfall. That is what awaits you when you visit Laswitan Falls and Lagoon in Cortes.
Laswitan means ‘sea water pounding on the rocks’ in Cebuan, which perfectly captures this attraction. When the surf is high, the waves hit the 20-foot rock sea wall and spill to the main lagoon that could fit around 200 people.
The best time to visit will be between the months of September to June when the waves are stronger.
Relax in the white sands of Cagwait.
For a more relaxed vacation with friends or family, you can visit Cagwait Beach Resort. Said to be nicknamed as the Waikiki Beach of the Philippines by pilot Charles Lindberg before, the Cagwait White Beach is now called the “Boracay of Caraga”.
The beach is located in a horseshoe-shaped cove that boasts powdery white sand and sparkling clear waters.
Explore the waterfalls in Bislig.
Bislig is home to a number of falls – Sian in Santa Cruz, Mendezona in San Jose, and Kambawl in Pamanlinan, among many others. Most popular of them is the little Niagara Falls of the Philippines, Tinuy-an Falls tucked within Barangay Borboanan. At 55 meters high and 95 meters wide, the four-tiered Tinuy-an falls is said to be the widest waterfalls in the country.
You can relax on the banks or enjoy a picnic in the cottages and tables scattered throughout the area. If you want to experience ‘water massage’, rafts are available to take you closer to the cascades.
For those who want to visit the places in this list, know that Surigao del Sur is not as developed as the more popular tourist destinations. You might need to ride a motorcycle on dirt roads to get to certain locations. But if you are up for an adventure, we say, why not?