Once you got bitten by the travel bug, there’s no cure. After my first solo backpacking in Cebu, I went for another adventure and this time it was in Mindanao. I was excited and scared at the same time but somehow it feels good to travel alone.
I wanted to check out the Enchanted River to see if it really is enchanting. I booked the flight to Butuan since it’s the cheapest and nearest airport. I got it for P 815 which is way cheaper than my Cebu flight.
Again, I researched for itineraries and travel guides then I discovered Tinuy-an Falls and Britania group of Islands. Just like my Cebu trip I planned for a budget of P 5,000.
It’s just me, my backpack and my neck pillow.
We arrived at Butuan Airport at around 9AM. I immediately look for a van going to Mangagoy. Good thing, there were lots of them in the airport. I paid P 350 for the fare.
I got the middle row all to myself.
I also met my travel buddies for 3 days in the van since we were going to the same place. Shout out to Mam Eloisa, Ate Che, Jeremy and Kuya Prime. I missed you!
After 4 hours, we reached Hinatuan Terminal and the van took some passengers to Mangagoy.
The driver offered to take the 5 of us directly to Tinuy-an Falls for additional P 400 plus he will also drop us in our hostel. We took the offer since the habal-habal ride and the fare going back to Hinatuan is almost the same. After all the passenger dropped off at Mangagoy, we went to Brgy, Burboanan. It took us 45 minutes to reached the place.
Rough road to Tinuy-an Falls
Entrance of Tinuy-an Falls
At the 3rd and 4th tier with my new travel buddies.
We just explored and took photos in Tinuy-an falls. We went back at 5PM to Hinatuan where we stayed our 1st night. I shared the room with Mam Eloisa, Ate Che and Jeremy since the room can accommodate 5 people. We got it for P 250 per person.
Nanay Lumen and Tatay Toto, the owners of Marky’s Hostel.
We had our dinner at this eatery.
We got our satisfying meal around P 75 per person. After dinner, we took a shower and watched some TV programs as we planned our trip the next day and our accommodation at Britania.
We slept at 9PM, however, we had a hard time sleeping since the room’s wall was made of wood. You can hear every sound outside the room. There was a commotion in the other room because one of the occupants had an allergy and was having a hard time breathing. Good thing, it was not fatal and every thing went fine.
I woke up around 3AM due to the heavy rain but that’s the usual weather in the area.We went to Enchanted River at 5:30AM. We rented two habal-habal for the five of us for P 600. It took us 30 minutes to reached the place.
The enchanting Enchanted River.
Island hopping with my travel buddies.
After taking some photos, we rented a boat for P150/hour for the island hopping.
Houses near the sea.
Yours truly with the owner.
We went to Sibadan Floating Restaurant and ordered our brunch. We also learned how to catch some fish.
I caught a fish!
I pet a sting-ray!
She’s a sting ray but she acts like a dog especially during feeding time. Good girl, Brenda!
Not so clear photo in Ponta Cave.
We didn’t go inside the cave and just took photos at the entrance.
Pacific View Resort
Blurry photo of our brunch.
After 2 hours of island hopping, we went back to the floating restaurant for brunch and was welcomed with the savory and delicious food. We went back to Enchanted River around 10AM to swim, play and wait for the fish feeding.
We went back at the hostel at 1PM, took our shower, checked out and ate our late lunch at Dwayne’s restaurant.
Kuya Prime didn’t join us in our Britania island hopping and went back to Butuan. We waited at Hinatuan Terminal for the bus going to Barobo Terminal. There were a lot of habal-habal offering us a ride to Britania group of Island. The four of us haggled for the fare and got the two habal-habal for P 1,000.
Mam Eloisa and Ate Che’s habal-habal ride to Britania.
The habal-habal ride was literally a pain in the ass. Our motorbike had a flat-tire and it rained around 6PM. There were only few houses near the road and they only have gas lamp which made it more creepy since there are no street lamps. After an excruciating 3-hour ride, we arrived at Brgy. Salvacion.
We stayed at Mac Arthur’s Place for P 1,200 for an aircon room ensuite with bathroom and free breakfast. We had our dinner at around 7:30PM at the resort. We slept early around 9PM to prepare for the next day’s activity.
We woke up at 5AM for the island hopping and we rented the resort’s boat for P 1,300 for 4 hours. As usual, it rained in the morning but the sun was blazing after.
Mac Arthur’s Place
Some of the islands.
Your truly’s ready for another island hopping.
Hagonoy Island after the rain.
Headstand at Hiyor-hiyoran Island.
Shop for souvenir items at Boslon Island.
Or eat some sea urchin.
We went back to the resort around 10AM, took a shower and packed our bags. After our brunch, we left the resort around 12PM to go back to Butuan City.
We took a habal-habal to the main road for P 20 each person then we waited for a bus coming from Tandag to Butuan. It was a 4-hour drive to Butuan City.
Off to Butuan City.
We went to Delta Discovery Park to try the longest zipline, however, we missed the operating hours until 5PM. We decided to go to the airport and have our dinner.
I was an early bird this time.
After we got our boarding pass, we went outside to have our dinner and buy some souvenirs.
The best eatery across the airport and their accommodating staff.
I was 1 hour earlier!
I don’t want to repeat the amazing race I did at Cebu so I arrived at the airport 1 hour earlier, however, the flight was delayed for 30 minutes. Hahaha!
I hope you were inspired by my solo backpacking in Surigao del Sur. My expenses didn’t exceed P 5,000 since I split the bills with my travel buddies.
For more info on how to get there, check out these travel guides by yours truly:
For complete itineraries and budget planning, click here.