Surigao City serves as a jump off point to visitors of nearby Siargao, Dinagat and Bucas Grande islands. It is Mindanao’s closest landmass to the Visayas region. Eleven nautical miles across Surigao Strait separates the city from Panaon Island in the Visayas. Surigao is the center of politics, commerce, banking, industry and education of Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands as well as parts of neighboring provinces of Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte and Southern Leyte.
Points of interest:
Surigaonon Heritage Center/ Rock and Mineral Museum. A small collection of ancient burial coffin jars and antique Chinese kitchenwares are showcased in this museum. Some of the artifacts were unearthed at an archeological dig in Panhatungan, Placer. It also contains a significant collection of various rocks and minerals found in the province.
Luneta Park. Host to annual events, gatherings, and concerts for over a hundred years, it is a Spanish- style park with few acacia trees fronting the Surigao Cathedral
Surigao Strait. Site of the famous naval Battle of Surigao Strait which took place on October 24, 1944, between the fleet of Admiral Oldendorf of the US Seventh Fleet and that of Admiral Nishimura of the Japanese Imperial Navy.
Buenavista Cave. A three kilometer cave with three entrances located in Hikdop Island. From the main entrance in Pagkawasan, Buenavista, visitors wiggle through a collapsed boulder into a grand chamber complete with what locals call the Kings Throne. A knee- deep pool culminates the subterranean trek approximately 100 meters from the main entrance. It has an array of impressive stalactites and stalagmites and is home to some unique species of cave bats and snakes.
Zaragoza Rock Formations. Unique rock formations approximately 20 feet high stands out against a backdrop of dense coconut trees and nipa palms (Nypa fruticans) and covers an area of one hectare. Also a known burial ground. Not too distant is another rock formation called Tamulayag that resembles a giant vase with trees perched on top.
Raza Island. The island has among the world’s rarest phenomenon- a simultaneous interplay of high and low tides. The alternating tides occur roughly every six hours. Locals take advantage of this occurrence by picking sea shells on one side of the island during low tide and continue doing so on the other as the tide reverses.
Bitaugan Whirlpools. These maelstroms of various dimensions are almost all occurring during ebbtide. They have a characteristic behavior to pull, twirl, and suck into their vortices anything that comes near them. They are called magic whirlpools due to their peculiar behavior to appear and disappear at certain nature-designated time intervals. The appearance of Pahibongan, as they are called locally, are usually followed by almost inaudible explosions and just as quickly vanish after the explosions.
Day-asan Floating Villages. Dense forest of mangroves dominate a cluster of villages built along shallow water channels. Instead of tricycles, locals use wooden boats as their prime mode of transport. Two foot bridges traverse across swift moving channels.
Mapawa Cave. Accessible only by foot, approximately 30-minutes trek from Mapawa village. It is characterized by small entrances that lead to larger chambers.
Silop Cave. Stalagmites and stalactites dominate the chambers, accessible through its twelve entrances. It is approximately 7 kilometers from the city proper.
Manjagao Mangrove Forest. A vast mangrove forest around Manjagao Island is a sanctuary to various species of fish, marine life, birds and bats.
San Pedro Cantiasay Footbridge. This wooden footbridge is among the country’s longest at 391 meters, connecting Sibale and Nonoc Islands.
Sukailang Waterfalls. Cascades at 50 feet high near the village of Sukailang.
Beaches, lots of beaches. Surigao has notable beaches including Mabua and Ipil Pebble beaches– a contiguous layer gray of pebbles, Basul- a tiny island at the entrance of Hinituan Channel with fine white sand mixed with assorted shells rims, Berok- a small shell beach surrounded by vast mangroves and close to a reef, Panomboyon- a white sand beach at the southern tip of Hikdop Island, Danawan Island, Sumilom Island, Sibale Island- a mile-long strip of white sand beach 45 minutes ride by pumpboat from the city, and Sagisi Island Beach- 3- kilometer stretch of white sand beach with a fringing coral reef rich in marine life.
HOW TO GET THERE:
Cebgo and Airphil Express have regular scheduled flights from Surigao to Manila and Cebu. Or via Butuan Airport then hopping on a bus going to Surigao City.