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How We Did Surigao + Siargao in 4 Days

As a group of four friends, we wanted to do visit the Enchanted River in Surigao del Sur and find out what’s in the water over at Siargao Island, which is part of Surigao del Norte. And we did — in 4 days! Instead of only documenting through Snapchat, I thought I’d be more intentional in properly filming this trip. So here it is: 4 friends on a 4-day trip squeezed in 4 minutes. We also dubbed this adventure #TeamGaoGao for fun!

See photos and a detailed map of our itinerary after the jump:

Falling in love with Siargao

Before anything else, let me just say that we fell madly in love with Siargao! It happened to be the 22nd International Surfing Cup when we went, and though it may be an island renowned for its world-class surfing spots, the truth is there’s plenty of other things to do as a non-surfer (although I would have liked to have taken my first surfing lesson there but alas, our time was limited). Siargao exudes a vibe that I’ve never experienced anywhere else… perhaps because it’s a surftown and the people are consequently more laid-back; or maybe it’s because you won’t find a Jollibee or McDonald’s anywhere — and instead you’ll discover “indie” cafés, terrific restaurants, and a global village where foreigners seem to outnumber the locals (look who came and never wanted to leave!). I sincerely hope that mainstream tourism in the future won’t kill the soul of Siargao.

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Music: “Surfing in the Sun” by Soul Catalyst
Shot on iPhone 5s. Edited in iMovie.

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Our Itinerary in a nutshell

Day 1:

> Take an early flight from Manila (#PlaneToButuan, lol)
> Arrive at Butuan Airport
> Take a van to Hinatuan, Surigao Del Sur (3 hrs)
> Spend the rest of the day swimming at Enchanted River and island-hopping around the area
> Get local barbecue for dinner
> Sleep at Marky’s Hostel

2016-09-24-13-37-20-1 enchanted river upstream


Day 2:

> Take the earliest van to Surigao Ferry Port (5 hrs)
> Ride the boat to Siargao Island before noon (2.5 hrs)
> Check-in at Kokai Resort
> Explore the neighbourhood
> Have a late lunch at Lunares Café
> Kayak and chill at the beach
> Eat at Ocean 101 for dinner
> Have drinks & cap the night at Boulevard.

2016-09-25-15-55-48-1 paddle


Day 3:

> Take a dip at Magpupungko Rock Pools
> Have lunch at Kitya’s Place
> Go island-hopping (Naked/Dako/Guyam Island)
> Have a tasty barbecue dinner at Mama’s Grill
> Night cap at Kitya’s Place.

float-away2016-09-26-10-14-30-hdr-2kityas


Day 4:

> Visit the famous Cloud 9
> Pack up & check-out
> Have breakfast at Lunares Café
> Head to Dapa Port for the boat back to Surigao Port (2 hrs)
> Take a van to Butuan Airport (3 hrs)
> Fly back to Manila.

photo-27-09-2016-6-56-08-am


A map of our itinerary for the visual people

Surigao Siargao Itinerary
Our Budget

Overall, my friends and I each pocketed Php 7,000 for the whole trip (accommodations, transportation, food, etc) and our flights were:
• Manila to Butuan (w/ Philippine Airlines) – Php 1,300
• Butuan to Manila (w/ Cebu Pacific) – Php 499

Final tips

• Should you plan on visiting the Enchanted River, be sure to time it early morning on a weekday. It’s beautiful and deep and surprisingly salty, but I feel we couldn’t enjoy it to its fullest because of the huge crowd on a Saturday afternoon.
• 3 days for Siargao was simply not enough! I highly encourage you to stay at least a week. If we stayed longer we could’ve gone swimming with sting-less jellyfish in Sugba Lagoon or Bucas Grande!

Lastly, what did you think of the video? Let me know if you want me to do more of it!
Click here to explore more of Mindanao with me.

Hannah is a visual creative and aspiring digital nomad based in Manila. When she's not pushing pixels, she can be found cuddling with her cat, chilling in cafés, adventuring with her amigas, or finding her next flight out. She enjoys tea lattes and making alliterations.

5 Comments

  1. Awesome video! Your blog is awesome I really love it and will be following you from now on. I was born in Isabela and haven’t been back to the Philippines since I was 3 it is on my list of places I want to travel to and spend some time there! We definitely need to hook up if I do and you can show me and my husband around! Thanks for sharing the pictures are beautiful!

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