July 18, 2014

Surigao del Sur's Tourist Destination: Britania Group of Islands

Surigao del Sur is slowly gaining popularity in the tourism industry lately. I say, it's about time. Have you heard about Enchanted River? How about Tinuy-an Falls, the little Niagara Falls of the Philippines? Or Cagwait White Beach, the mini Boracay? All of these and some more are in Surigao del Sur, my home province :)

For this year's home vacation, I invited my siblings to go with us on a tour around Surigao del Sur's tourist destinations because sadly, we haven't been to any of our province's treasures.

From Bohol, we went to Cebu for our flight going to Tandag City. My brother and his family who were coming from Manila were already in Mactan Airport when we arrived.

When we arrived in Tandag, my two siblings were already waiting for us. Both of them are currently based in Surigao, one in Madrid and one in another town.

Our tour's first stop was Britania Group of Islands in San Agustin. Britania Group of Islands has 24 island/islets scattered around Lianga Bay. It's well known for its immaculate clear blue/green waters and fine sand.

After lunch at Tandag, we started our 2-day tour around Surigao del Sur.

San Agustin is about 60-75 minutes away from Tandag. Thankfully, the road is completely cemented making our travel smooth. But from the highway of San Agustin going inside Britania Group of Islands, it's still rough road. I hope they'll fix this soon.

It was past 4pm when we arrived and it was drizzling. Even if we wanted to check out some more inns/places to stay, we only got to check out two: La Entrada and Mac Arthur's.  Of the two, we chose to stay at Mac Arthur's. It's ocean front and the rooms were bigger. We got three rooms for our group. For P1,200/ night, you get an A/C room with three single beds, a toilet and shower, a TV and free breakfast. Sounds like a good deal, just don't expect high on the cleanliness though.

Early the next morning after being served our free breakfast of danggit, hotdog, egg and rice we rode the boat that will take us to four different small islands. The boat with two boatmen costs P1,200 for about 4 hours of island hopping.

{The whole gang from L-R: SIL, niece Sam, brother, moi, EJ, hubby, sister, niece Yufee, brother}

We left at about 8am. Our first island was called Naked Island. It's called Naked Island because there's nothing on it. It's basically a sandbank. It appears and disappears depending on the tide. 

{EJ found the sound of the motorboat too loud}

{This is the closest island called Buslon. This was our last stop.}

{The Naked Island!}

{Happy to be all here!}

{I like this part of the sandbank where the waves meet. The sand was fine but not as fine as Boracay.}

{The rock that looked like a Seal!}

{Kids and a kid at heart having fun!}

We stayed at Naked Island for about an hour. If the kids had their say, we would have stayed there the whole day. They loved the idea of having the islet all to ourselves. 

The next island we visited was called Hagonoy. It's about 5 times bigger than Naked Island and it had some trees and a nipa hut minus the nipa roof. Haha!

{Hagonoy Island}

Hagonoy had a part where the water was still, no waves at all. The kids enjoyed swimming there but they stil preferred the Naked Island. 

{Nice place for a photo. We all had a go here.}

{Hubby thought the coconut leaf can carry his weight. He though wrong. LOL!}

We also stayed here for about an hour. We did a bit of snorkelling and the kids were busy looking for purple shells.

Our third stop was called Hiyor-hiyoran. It was a big island complete with full vegetation. We only stopped here for about 5 minutes because we saw some broken glasses on the sand.

{Hiyor Hiyoran Island}

{At Hiyor Hiyoran}

Our last stop was called Buslon, the closest island from the mainland.

{Part of Britania Group of Islands}

{Buslon Island}

{Buslon Island}

This is the only island we went to with some locals selling some souvenir wood items. We stayed here for only 30 minutes swimming with the kids while some of the adults explored some parts of the island. Buslon had the finest sand among the islands we've visited. 

At 11:30am, we headed back to our inn because we were travelling to the next destination, Enchanted River. The kids wanted to stay longer. They even wanted to go back to Naked Island. Haha! The Naked Island had endeared the kids.

Hubby said he likes to go back to Britania Group of Islands. I do too. But next time we visit, I hope the road is fixed and there will be better choices for accommodation.