AdVIENtures in Surigao del Sur 2015

December 22, 2015

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.


boarding pass to butuan

Boarding pass

Yours truly

It’s just me, my backpack and my neck pillow.

touch down butuan


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.

git the middle row all by myself

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.

hinatuan terminal

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

Rough road to Tinuy-an Falls

yours truly

Entrance of Tinuy-an Falls

tinuy-an falls 01

Tinuy-an Falls

the 3rd and 4th tier

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.

Marky's hostel

Nanay Lumen and Tatay Toto, the owners of Marky’s Hostel.

Dwayde's Kamayan

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.

enchanted river

The entrance.

Enchanted River 001

The enchanting Enchanted River

Island hopping

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.

caught some fish

I caught a fish!

pet a sting-ray

I pet a sting-ray! 

She’s a sting ray but she acts like a dog especially during feeding time. Good girl, Brenda!

ponta cave

Not so clear photo in Ponta Cave.

We didn’t go inside the cave and just took photos at the entrance.

pacific view 0001

Pacific View Resort

pacific view 0002

pacific view 0003

brunch at sibadan

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.

enchanted river 0008
Feeding time

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.

The resorts’ are around 5-minute ride from the main road and we paid a P 25 environmental fee per person at the Tourism office along the way.

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.

britania 04

Mac Arthur’s Place

britania group of island 02

Some of the islands.

britania group of island 03

Your truly’s ready for another island hopping.

hagonoy island

Hagonoy Island after the rain.

naked island

Naked Island

hiyor-hiyoran island

Headstand at Hiyor-hiyoran Island.

boslon island

Boslon Island

boslon island 03

Shop for souvenir items at Boslon Island.

sea urchin food trip 02

Or eat some sea urchin.

britania islands 004

Britania group of Islands

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

Off to Butuan City.

Bus to Butuan


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.

butuan airport

I was an early bird this time.

After we got our boarding pass, we went outside to have our dinner and buy some souvenirs.

eatery outside Butuan airport
The best eatery across the airport and their accommodating staff.

boarding pass

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:

Travel Guides

Day 1: Tinuy-an Falls

1st tier

Day 2: Enchanted River

enchanted river 0005

Day 3: Britania Group of Islands

Panlangagan Island 01

For complete itineraries and budget planning, click here.