DIY Travel Guide to Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte & Surigao del Sur (CARAGA Region)

brittania group of islands surigao del sur

Gone are the days that Mindanao is a place feared by backpackers to explore. I for example has been to quite a few provinces here. The more I come, the more I want to stay longer. In this post we'll share to you a fellow backpacker's DIY travel guide to Caraga Region which is composed of Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur.  He travelled with two other buddies for 5 days with a total expense of 6, 349 each (food and airfare not included).

CARAGA region or Region 13 is in northern Mindanao. It took them a total of 25 hours and 15 minutes of travelling via bus, van, multicab, car, habal-habal and Boat. It is composed of the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Dinagat Islands. There are also six cities that call CARAGE region home: Bayugan, Bislig, Butuan, Cabadbaran, Surigao and Tandag.



What to see, tourist spots, where to stay, what to do and where to go in CARAGA region


 Agusan Del Norte 
Cave Pool inside Jurassic Park Resort / Vinapor Blue Water Resort in Carmen in Agusan del Norte. Nowhere you'll find a pool located under the cave. It's a three-feet swimming pool that's not only for kids but for adults who want to experience bathing under the cave. Another alternative is Punta Diwata Cave Resort, just a few minutes away that offers a bat cave and its cottages are perched near the cliff. 


cave pool vinapor resosrt jurrasic park


Surigao Del Norte
National Park of Bucas Grande. This is an island known for pristine lagoons, sea caves, coves and lakes. jellyfish. If you can squeeze a few more destinations, Sohoton Cove National Park is on top of our list. You'll have to get through a small opening with a super low rock ceiling.  Second is Hagukan cave which is dubbed as the snoring cave because when water moves, it produces a sound inside the cave. Third is Magkukuob Cave known for its spectacular rock formations.



bucas grande surigao del norte


Other tourist spots to see: Jellyfish sanctuary (Tojoman lagoon), Iktikan Lake, Bolitas Cave, Diving Cave, and Crystal Cave  & Club Tara Resort
Surigao del Sur

Laswitan Falls and Lagoon in Cortes. It's probably the most unique looking waterfalls in the Philippines because it is like an island of its own having its own water that falls down to join a big body of water.   


laswitan falls in surigao del norte



Brittania Group of Islands in San Agustin. If you fancy hanging out in smaller islands surrounded by crystal clear waters with a fine white sand comparable to that of  Boracay, you have to go here. Some of  these islands are still uninhabited that during rainy season, you can have these islands all by yourself! Must see are Bonbon island, Hiyor or Hiyoran island, Hagonoy Island & Naked Island. Panglangagan islands are twin rocks that hold a hidden cave used by Japanese soldiers as burial ground of their comrades during the colonization days. 


Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig. Spanning 95 meters wide and 55 meters height, this falls is very famous located in Barangay Borboanan in Bislig City. It's made of three waterfalls that resemble a wavy curtain from afar. The water that falls down is also known for its whitey "froth"


tinuy-an falls surigao del norte




Enchanted River in Hinatuan.  This river surely needs no introduction as this is already famous. Though it's kind of a good and bad news because the local government unit closed the river for swimming. One can only enjoy it by taking of photo with a backdrop of it and feed fishes there.


enchanted river hinatuan surigao del norte


Sibadan Fish Cage. A cluster of nipa houses with stilts standing over the sea, one can feed fishes or buy fresh seafood ready to be cooked!


sibadan fish cage surigao del norte



 5D4N DIY Itinerary to Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Agusan del Norte


Oct 7, Saturday 
6AM - Arrival in Bancasi Airport
7AM - Breakfast
730AM - ETD in airport. Ride a bus going to CDO
815AM - Arrival in Vinapor. Ride a habal habal going to jurassic park
845AM - Arrival in jurassic park, Vinapor. Takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes ride from airport using bus or habal habal. 
12NN - Wash up
1245PM - ETD in Jurassic park. Ride a habal habal going to Carmen via multicab terminal
115PM - Arrival in Carmen multicab terminal. Ride going to Butuan bus terminal
230PM - Arrival in Butuan bus terminal
330PM - ETD in Butuan bus terminal
7PM - Arrival in Bad as rotonda. Ride a van going to Hayanggabon port. 
8PM - Arrival in Hayanggabon port. (6 hours and 15 minutes from Jurassic Park  via habal habal, multicab, bus and van) 
825PM - Checkin at Pantelo travellers inn
830PM - Dinner
1030PM - Sleep

Day 1 Expenses per head:
Php 50 Bus from Bancasi Airport to Tagkalong HS
Php 50 Habal habal going to Jurassic park
Php 30 Entrance fee - Jurassic park
Php 100 Fee - jurassic park - cave pool
Php 74 - Habal habal going to Butuan multicab terminal (total of 220 ÷ 3pax)
Php 30 Multicab going to Butuan
Php 175 Bus from Butuan to Bad as
Php 100 Van from Bad as going to Hayanggabon port
Php 600 2N1D at Pantelon Travellers Inn, Hayanggabon

Day 1 - Total expenses without food  Php 1, 209 per head

Oct 8, Sunday 
530AM - Wakeup and Breakfast
6AM - Preparation for island hopping
7AM - Buying of food for lunch
730AM - ETD in Hayanggabon port. Start of Sohoton Cove Tour (Crystal cave, Tiktikan Lake, Jellyfish Sanctuary, Sohoton Cove Lagoons, Hagukan Cave, Diving Cave, Club Tara Resort) 
130PM - ETD in Sohoton Cove
230PM - Arrival in Hayanggabon Port (1 hour from Sohoton cove - boat) 
300PM - Checkin/Washup/Rest back in Pantelon Traveller's Inn


Day 2 Expenses per head 
Php 1, 167 - Island hopping boat (Total of 3500 pesos ÷ 3pax) 
Php 50 - Crystal cave entrance 
Php 25 - Tiktikan cave entrance 
Php 50 - Sohoton permit fee 
Php 90 - Sohoton entrance and environmental fee
Php 277 - Sohoton Pump boat and 2 local guides (Total of 830 pesos ÷ 3pax) 
Php 100 - Sohoton Paddler's fee

Total expenses without food Php 1, 759 per head

October 9, Monday 
430AM - Wakeup/Preparation
5AM - ETD in Hayanggabon Port. Ride a bus going to tandag 
7AM - Arrival in Cortes junction. Ride a habal-habal from cortes junction to Laswitan.
730AM - Arrival in Laswitan (2 hours and 30 minutes from Hayanggabon port - bus/habal) 
830AM - ETD in Laswitan
9AM - Arrival in Cortes Junction. Breakfast
10AM - ETD in Cortes. Ride a bus going to tandag 
1030AM - Arrival in Tandag terminal 
11AM - ETD in tandag terminal. Ride a bus from tandag going to sam agustin
1230PM - Arrival in San Agustin terminal. Lunch
1245PM - ETD in San Agustin terminal. Free car service from San Agustin terminal to Britannia Port
1PM - Arrival in San Agustin Port. Preparation (2 hours and 45 minutes from Laswitan - Habal/bus/car) 
130PM - Start of Britania Island hopping
430PM - End of Island hopping. Preparation and Washup
5PM - ETD in Poblacion, San Agustin. Ride a bus from San agustin going to Barobo
6PM - arrival in Barobo terminal. 
630PM - ETD in Barobo terminal. Ride a van from barobo going to mangagoy
845PM - Arrival in Babano Pension house, Bislig (3 hours and 15 minutes from Britania - bus/van)

Day 3 Expenses per head 
Php 145 Bus from hayanggabon to cortes junction
Php 50 - Habal habal from Cortes junction to Laswitan
Php 100 - Habal from Laswitan to Cortes Municipal hospital
Php 40 Bus from Cortes to Tandag
Php 105 Bus from Tandag to San Agustin
Fee car service from San Agustin to Brittania
Php 400 Brittania island hopping (total of 1200 ÷ 3pax)
Php 333 - Brittania extreme watersports (total of 1000 ÷ 3pax)
Php 45 Bus from San Agustin to Barobo
Php 180 Van from Barobo to Mangagoy
Php 367 Babano Pention house (total of 1100 ÷ 3pax)

Total expenses without food Php 1,765 per head

Oct 10, Tuesday
630AM - Wakeup and breakfast
730AM - ETD in Babano Pension House. Ride a habal 
815AM - ETD in terminal. Ride a habal 
845AM - Arrival in tinuyan falls (1 hour and 15 minutes from babano - habal) 
1015AM - ETD in tinuyan falls. Ride a habal 
12NN - Arrival in Enchanted River. Watch fish feeding and pictorial (1 hour and 45 minutes from Tinuy-an - habal) 
1PM - Lunch
2PM - Start of island hopping. Ride a boat going to Sibadan fish cage.
215PM - Arrival in Sibadan fish cage. Watch Brenda. (15 minutes ride from Enchanted river) 
330PM - Arrival in Enchanted River. Swimming. 
430PM - ETD in Enchanted river 
5PM - ETD in Hinatuan Bus terminal. 
930PM - Arrival in Butuan bus terminal (5 hours from babano - habal). Ride a tricycle from butuan bus terminal to luxury hotel
945PM - Checkin at Butuan Luxury hotel, Butuan (15 minutes ride from Bus terminal)

Day 4, Expenses per head
Php 50 Entrance tinuyan 
Php 50 Habal habal
Php 40 Entrance Enchanted River 
Php 167 Boat share (total of 500 ÷ 3pax)
Php 40 Entrance fee
Php 15 Lifevest rent Enchanted River 
Php 634 Habal habal Tour of Tinuyan, Enchanted river and Sibadan (total of 1900 ÷ 3pax)
Php 250 Bus from Hinatuan to Butuan
Php 250 luxury room 
Php 20 tricycle from bus terminal to luxury hotel

Day 4 Total expenses without food Php 1, 516 per head

October 11, Wednesday
515AM - ETD in luxury hotel
530AM - Arrival in Butuan airport. Breakfast (15 minutes ride from Luxury hotel) 
720AM - ETD in Butuan airport
820AM - Arrival in Manila

Day 5, Expenses per head
Php 100 tricycle from Luxury hotel to airport

Total expenses without food Php 100 per head

Other Expenses
Total Roundtrip Airfare (via PAL): Php 2, 450 per head (Abang abang pa kayo ng mas murang airfare promo sa CebuPac at makakahanap kayo ng worth 700 pesos, roundtrip airfare na yun)
Total Expenses (without food and without airfare): Php 6, 349 per head
Total Expenses (without food and with airfare): Php 8, 799 per head


brittania islands surigao del norte



Transportation Guide to CARAGA region (Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur)


  • From Binasi airport to Jurassic park,  Vinapor  is 1 hour and 15 minutes ride via bus and habal habal
  • From Jurassic Part, Vinapor to Hayanggabon port is 6 hours and 15 minutes via habal habal, multicab, bus and van  
  • From Hayanggabon Port to Sohoton Cove  is 1 hour ride  via boat
  • From Hayanggabon Port to Laswitan  is 2 hours and 30 minutes via bus or habal habal
  • From Laswitan to San Agustin Port is 2 hours and 45 minutes  via habal habal, bus or car
  • From Brittania Group of Islands to Babano Pension house  is 3 hours and 15 minutes via bus or van
  • From Babano to Tinuy-an falls is 1 hour and 15 minutes  via habal habal 
  • From Tinuy - an to Enchanted River  is 1 hour and 45 minutes via habal habal 
  • From Enchanted river to  Sibadan fish cage is 15 minutes ride via habal habal 
  • From Babano to Butuan bus terminal is 5 hours  

Contact details of tour guides and tour operators in CARAGA region
  • Habal Habal Driver  for Jurassic Park - Cave Pool, Agusan del Norte  - 0950 336 4218
  • Sohoton Cove, Surigao del Norte - Kuya Dodong,  0948 889 1113
  • Mang Rudy,  Britania Group of Islands  - 09465737533
  • Tinuy-an Falls, Enchanted River, Sibadan Fish Cage -  Kuya Mark, 0948 975 0475 


Accommodations in Surigao del Sur & Norte and Agusan del Norte
  • Pantelon Traveller's Inn (Hayanggabon) - 0918 663 9350
  • Luxury Hotel (Butuan) - 0912 162 2816

More travel photos

hinatuan river enchanted surigao del norte



















RELATED READ


Note: This is a crowdsourced travel guide by Arman Ruiz. All information and photos are credited to him. Please research your trip itinerary responsibly. He previously contributed tips for DIY ITINERARY + TRAVEL GUIDE TO BICOL: LEGAZPI, NAGA AND CARAMOAN.  You can follow him on IG here

No comments