Paradise doesn’t need to be expensive – that much we know in island-speckled Philippines. In Mindanao, specifically, you can experience a piece of paradise for only P110 in a municipality in Misamis Oriental called Initao.
Oft-overlooked by travelers eyeing on Cagayan de Oro’s rapids, Initao remains a secret mostly enjoyed by locals. Those who take the road less traveled are welcomed by immaculate beaches surrounded by mangroves and an awesome sunset view.
Initao’s extensive beachfront is dotted with choice resorts, from backpacker-style to mid-budget, to luxury ones. One notable resort is Isidro’s Beach, a serene, camper-friendly resort a kilometer away from the lush Initao-Libertad Protected Landscape mangroves. If you’re in the mood, walk your way to the mangroves, passing by a local community with stores, houses, and fishing boats.
For those who love quiet retreats, Isidro’s no-videoke policy and no-loud shenanigans policy will prove to be a delight. There are no fancy restaurants or rooms here, just some for-rent thatched huts and a long, soft, and cream shoreline – one of the longest in the area – fringed with tall coconut trees. Camping is often done on this spot, and at night, it’s incredibly quiet, with just sea breeze and the sound of waves lapping up the shore to keep you company – and all for just P110.
- If you’re staying for just a few hours, it’s perfectly alright to pay just the entrance fee of P110 and just park your stuff anywhere on the beach.
- Because of its clear and gentle waters, Initao tends to be specially popular with families on weekends. If you prefer solitude, come on a weekday.
How to get there
From Manila or Clark, airlines fly several times daily to Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental. At the airport, take a van to Laguindingan bus terminal. At the terminal, take a bus going to Iligan and ask to be dropped off in Initao (15 to 20 minutes).
- Business name: Isidro’s Beach
- Address: Initao, Misamis Oriental
- Mobile: 0917 728 8822
- Google Maps Link: https://goo.gl/maps/RawJsoETfcy5SZnu6
- Entrance fee: P110 for adults; P55 for children below 7
Other fees (optional)
- Nipa cottage: P1,200 to P1,500
- Overnight fee: P60/head
- Picnic table with tent: P700 or P100/pax
- Camping fee (6pm to 6am): P160/head. Bring your own tent. From 6 am to 6 pm, same rate applies.
- Public showers and change rooms are available free of charge.