Lovin‚Äô the mesmerizing colors of Surigao del Sur, Philippines

You might not have heard of Surigao del Sur but not for much longer. It is situated in the eastern coast of Mindanao that faces the Philippine Sea. It is blessed with magnificent and pristine natural wonders. Personally, I love its stunning and mesmerizing colors – my dream holiday get-away.

Enjoying the scenery ūüôā

Tinuy-an Falls

Tinuy-an Falls

The Tinuy-an Falls in Burboanan, Bislig is known as the water flowing curtains of Surigao del Sur and it is dubbed as the Little Niagara Falls of the Philippines. My family and I enjoyed the falls by riding the bamboo raft, experiencing the one-of-a-kind waterfall back massage, and by climbing up a steep stairway up to the top to witness the magnificence of the falls. The panoramic view is breathtaking. I love this place – the natural charm is maintained, cool and the water is clean.

Enchanted River

Enchanted River

Our family’s experience with the Enchanted River in Hinatuan was great. I love the majestic and enchanting view with its emerald bluish water and I enjoyed the enchanting swim.

Britannia Group of Islands

The Naked Island in the Britania Group of Islands

The island hopping in Britania group of islands (a group of 24 islands and islets) was fun and exciting. The breathtaking views, the awesome white fine sand, the lovely sunny day, plus we almost had the islands to ourselves as we visited on a slow day ‚Äď all these made a wonderful experience and was just so perfect for photographs! Definitely, one of the best island hopping adventures we‚Äôve ever had.

Cagwait White Beach

Cagwait White Beach

Cagwait White Beach is a C-shaped long stretch white sand beach in the laid-back town of Cagwait. Some travelers named it as a Little Waikiki Beach of the Philippines. It was a beautiful sunny day when I went there and the water was crystal clear but I noticed that the sand was not that white, it was something like reddish brown and very fine. Indeed, it was such a relaxing day out.

Mabua Beach

Beautiful sunrise at Mabua Beach

The Mabua Beach in Tandag is a very special place to me because this is where I grew up and spent my childhood. Mabua Beach has fine black sand, clean and blue water, easy to walk around, and the gentle whisper of the wind will surely enthrall you. I love the environment there as it is lengthy enough to find your own space to be alone, read a book, laze throughout the day, sunbath, and just simply enjoy the beautiful nature.

Green Falls

Green Falls

The 30 minutes-drive from Tandag City to the Green Falls in Cagpangi, Tago was worth a trip. It is a 7-tiered falls, wide and deep especially in the center. The falls are fantastic and beautiful to see. Indeed, it was such a great day out with my family as we really felt at awe when we saw this wonderful creation!

Villa Azarcon Mountain Resort

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Cagpangi Falls in Villa Azarcon Mountain Resort

Villa Azarcon Mountain Resort is a good place for family getaway. It has great ambiance, refreshing falls that are surrounded by green trees, swimming pools looking over a beautiful garden and offers some activities to do. I had a relaxing time there ‚Äď read a book, took a nap, and strolled around the place.

Laswitan Lagoon

Laswitan Lagoon

The Laswitan Lagoon in Barangay Uba, Cortes is simply beautiful especially with the gushing of surfs of the pacific sea that vigorously fall into the incredible rock formation creating a waterfall-like effect. Even though it was not the best time when I went there in July as I could not see any belching of waves from the ocean but I was still fascinated with its beautiful ebony rock formations, enjoyed the tranquil breezy views and bewitched by its rich in nature ‚Äď shrubs, ferns, trees while going along the unpaved winding roads. I was told that the best time to visit there is between October to February.

Lanuza Marine Park and Fish Sanctuary

Lanuza Marine Park and Fish Sanctuary

The Lanuza Marine Park and Fish Sanctuary is a protected area in Lanuza that hosts various aquatic species. It also serves as the spawning ground for fish within Lanuza Bay. We stayed there for a while before we went to Magkawas Falls. We really enjoyed collecting sea shells at the shore and of course the breeze and the breathtaking the views.

Magkawas Falls

Magkawas Falls

My family and I have always been captivated about nature and its unfolding scenery. To us, Magkawas Falls in Lanuza is certainly a place of relaxation and mind freshening. We enjoyed swimming there from the fresh and cold water flowing from the heart of the jungle. We were also fascinated by just cheerfully gazing the falls because it keeps our mind relaxed and it has a soothing quality of silence.

Blue Lagoon

The diving platform in Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon is an astonishing charm and a hidden paradise gem in Libtong, Cantillan. It‚Äôs so pristine. I love the place ‚Äď the rock formations, the green trees, the blue skies, the clean water, and the variety of colorful species underwater. Certainly, we were thrilled to see the beauty of Blue Lagoon especially since we were the only visitors in this wonderland when we went there.

Have you explored the Province of Surigao del Sur? What did you like best in Surigao del Sur?

 

 

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Off-the-beaten-path Adventure – Magkawas Falls in Lanuza, Surigao del Sur, Philippines

We are not only fond of visiting places which are famously known around the world, but we also believe that there’s nothing like better than to travel to a little-known destinations. It feels like we‚Äôre making a new discovery that no one else knows about.

Magkawas Falls

Since my family and I have always been fascinated and delighted about nature and its unfolding sceneries, we decided to go to Magkawas Falls. It is one of the many local gems of the province of Surigao del Sur and it is particularly located in the municipality of Lanuza. I went there with my family except mum as she was busy looking after her small shop.

Magkawas Falls

 

Magkawas Falls

From the National Highway, Magkawas Falls is enfolded about a 430 meter into a lush and green paradise full of interesting and delightful species of plants and animals. We hiked for about 10 minutes on a wet terrain and even though the field was not so rough yet, it was still beyond the bounds of possibility for any form of transportation to negotiate. We crossed the stream and walked under the vegetation that was quite thick. It was very inspiring as we felt like we were inside a cocoon. Plus, the gentle flow of the water and the wonderful sounds of the cascades coupled with the chirping of the birds and the whispering sound of the wind made us feel that we were once again in a paradise.

Magkawas Falls

When we went there, the weather was quite good and there was no other visitors at the time. The irresistible gushing of cascading water made all of us to take an exhilarating dip. All of us including my son enjoyed the clean, fresh and cold water which was coming from the heart of the jungle and downpour to its falls. The water was both cold and refreshing. Indeed, we had a good swim and had a very relaxing time. By enthusiastically experiencing Magkawas Falls, it relaxed and refreshed our minds, and lifted our imagination infinitely.

Magkawas Falls

We brought some food for our lunch as there was no restaurants or small shops there. We had lunch near the falls. We sat on the rocks while we were enjoying our lunch. The ambiance and the excellent view that Magkawas Falls created was just brilliant.

Little Lilly Travel Tip:

  • The road distance from Tandag City, the capital city of Surigao del Sur is approximately 28 km.
  • The surfing season in Lanuza is from November to March, during these months the big waves are in constant motion.
  • Other activities in Lanuza include: caving at several caves such as Carpamento Cave, Surfing, snorkelling at Lanuza Marine Park Sanctuary and many more.

 

 

 

 

Philippines: Tinuy-an Falls in Surigao del Sur – A Gem in the Jungle

Another natural¬†wonder in¬†the province of¬†Surigao¬†del Sur is the majestic white¬†Tinuy-an Waterfalls.¬†It is¬†considered as¬†the ‚ÄúNiagara Falls‚ÄĚ of the¬†Philippines¬†since it¬†is 95 meters wide and 55 meters high.¬†It is¬†located in Mindanao Island¬†where it nestles¬†in¬†the¬†middle¬†of the¬†chunky¬†jungle of¬†Barangay¬†Burboanan,¬†Bislig¬†City.

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Tinuy-an Falls

Papa first time to use a camera and he took this photo when they went to the falls.

From a distance of 30 meters, my family and I marveled at this heavenly wonder of nature. It looks like a white curtain of water flowing from up above. When we looked up the falls it was just simply hair-raising. The cascades glimmered spectacularly under the sun as the lucent clear drops of water were carried by the breeze. The uninterrupted, bubbling and roaring splashing waters create a steady pattern of ceaseless rhythm. It was just like a wall trying to block out the sounds of the world and behind the waterfall it roared louder and louder. And when the waters crashed on the rocks, it was just like the heartbeat of the world. It was awesomely photogenic!

Tinuy-an Falls

 

Tinuy-an Falls

It was my second time to visit the Tinuy an Falls, but it was my first time at the breathtaking falls with my family. My family and I were so impressed by the magnificent sight of Tinuy an Falls. Indeed, we had a cracking time there since the weather was fabulous.

Tinuy-an Falls

Tinuy-an Falls

We went there by private car. It was quite a long drive on a rough road through rustic scenery of tall old trees. We also saw some coconut farms in the mountains and lowlands of the province when we were on our way. We passed a road close by the sea and the cool waves seemed to entice us on a hot sunny day. When we arrived the place, we were welcomed by the charming staff of the resort. It was wonderful!

Tinuy-an Falls

Tinuy-an Falls

When we arrived there, we couldn’t stop ourselves from getting closer to the falls. So, we rented a bamboo raft to get under the waterfalls. It was so awesome to feel the cold mist of the falls while we were getting closer to it. Getting in the water from the raft was just superb. When we were under the falls, we experienced the impact of the waterfall falling 55 meters and gave us the one of a once in a lifetime waterfall back massage. It was fantastic! We all jumped in the water for a while. My son and my nephew were so happily brave that they could stay under the very cold waterfall for a few hours. Even when they looked gray and their body were shaking because the water was so cold, they didn’t want to go back to the shore. In fact, they were also very keen on jumping into the water.  At the same time, while we were enjoying swimming, my mum and dad climbed up approximately 100 steps uphill to see the beautiful view from the top of the waterfalls, and they took awesome pictures of the waterfalls.

That’s us on the raft ūüôā

Awesome

I’m very sure, I will feel the same excitement again if I visit this place once more.

Little Lilly travel tip:

  • The entrance fee¬†is¬†Php¬†50.00 per person, but children below 7 years old can get in for free.
  • There are available cottages if you wish to have some picnic. The rent ranges from¬†Php300 to¬†Php¬†500.
  • The rent of the bamboo raft is¬†Php¬†100.00 regardless of how many people are aboard.
  • There are available life vests for¬†Php¬†30.00.
  • If you wish to stay night over, there are available air-conditioned rooms for¬†Php¬†600.00
  • They have underwater camera for rent for¬†Php¬†300.00.
  • There’s no restaurant inside the vicinity so be sure to bring your own food.¬†However, there’s a small shop inside the resort¬†which sometimes offer some native food and delicacies. They also offer some drinks.
  • It can¬†be reached both by public and private vehicles. If you are travelling by public buses such as¬†Bachelor¬†Express,¬†you take Davao-Bislig¬†Route if you are from Davao City or¬†Butuan-Bislig¬†Route if you are from¬†Butuan¬†City. Then, you can hire a private vehicle or ‚Äúhabal-habal‚Ä̬†at the Bislig terminal to go to the¬†Tinuy-an¬†Falls.¬†It is about 8 hours from Davao City and 6 hours from¬†Butuan¬†City.

 

Philippines: The Enchanted River in Surigao del Sur

The Enchanted River is a must-see destination, a mystical wonder of beauty. It is one of the major tourist spots in the province of Surigao del Sur. It is also considered as one of the most beautiful tourist attractions in the Philippines. This truly magnificent Enchanted River is a very short salt water river which flows into the ocean on the island of Mindanao more precisely in Barangay Talisay, of the municipality of Hinatuan.

Enchanted River

The Enchanted River is very tidy, so refreshing and ultimately crystal: a clear combination of different shades of blue and green which gives an astonishing eye popping color. It is so vibrant that looks photoshopped, but it is real. It was more heart-stopping and breathtaking when I saw it with my two naked eyes. This 50 feet deep river flows magically even without a source meandering like a snake in the grass. And, what makes it more enchanting is it has an impressive school of fish which are fed daily by the resort staff.

Enchanted River

We spent our weekend with my family in the river of enchantment which flows from a very deep pool approximately 50 feet deep or more. I loved it! We brought our own food such as lechon  paksiw, grilled fish, beef afritada, pancit, pork adobo, papaya pickles, rice, chocolate cake for our dessert and drinks such as red horse beer, rhum and Coca Cola. We had a great lunch by the river.

Enchanted River

Even though the travel to the Enchanted River was quite long on an unpaved bumpy road, when I saw the place I was stunned by the mysterious mesmerizing charm of the Enchanted River. As soon as we got off the car, my son Beboy and my nephew Euanne ran immediately to the amazingly enthralling Enchanted River and couldn’t wait to jump into the crystal turquoise blue water of the river. But, they were disappointed and really unhappy because my mum didn’t allow them to swim.

Enchanted River

Remarkably, at 12 noon, we heard a cheerful melodious bell ring which meant all visitors should stay out of the water because the staff was going to feed the flashing silver-scaled fish in the river. At the same time this signals the people to gather, especially those who wish to witness the feeding. The staff from the resort then played the soft recorded music to gather the dazzling fish in one particular area in the river and began feeding them enthusiastically by shrimps, fish, bread, etc.

Feeding time

We enjoyed swimming in the beautifully awe-inspiring cold river because the water made us relaxed. Indeed, I conquered my fears of deep waters and I loved swimming in a place as magical as this. Undeniably, my experience in the Enchanted River with my family was surreal and it was another memorable family weekend we had.

Enchanted River

How to get there:

If you wish to visit the enchanting Enchanted River, it can be reached by private vehicles, vans, public buses such as Bachelor Express either from Davao City or Butuan City. If you wish to take Bachelor Express, you take Davao-Bislig Route if you are from Davao City and Butuan-Bislig Route if you are from Butuan City. It is about 6 hours from Davao City and 4 hours from Butuan City.

Little Lilly travel tip:

  • There are available picnic cottages, life vests, and goggles for rent.
  • There’s also a boat for rent per hour for 5 people in a boat.
  • The place will close at 5 PM because many locals think that it is enchanted by spirits.
  • Be prepared for the huge crowd especially during the weekends since it is popular to tourists now.
  • The management¬†implements a strict¬†segregation of wastes.¬†In other words, you cannot throw your garbage anywhere especially plastics.