7 Days Itinerary to Barobo, Dinagat Island and Siargao

Small pool in Magpupungko rock pool, Siargao
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In my opinion, the most virgin places in the Philippines can be found in Mindanao. Not only that, there is rich culture and history everywhere in this region.. Here’s our guide to 7 days backpacking Barobo (Surigao del Sur), Dinagat Island and Siargao.

The route covers the following:

  • Barobo (Surigao del Sur): A quiet town in Surigao del Sur where you can discover cold springs and island hop.
  • Dinagat Island (Dinagat Islands): Dinagat Island is actually the main island in Dinagat Islands province. Again, here you can island hop to see beaches, a lagoon and a lake. There are also private resorts in the province which is worth checking out if you’re staying for 2 days or more. I personally love Dinagat Island and feel that it has a lot of potential to be the next Palawan.
  • Siargao (Surigao del Norte): Siargao is definitely one of the best places to visit in the Philippines. It has a feel-good tropical vibes. It offers surfing, island hopping, caving and other activities.

We took this trip back in 2017. I have updated this guide including rates for the current year.

7 Days Itinerary to Barobo, Dinagat Island and Siargao

Here’s our itinerary to Barobo (Surigao del Sur), Dinagat Island (Dinagat Islands) and Siargao (Surigao del Note).

Day 1 – Barobo (Surigao del Sur)
– Early-morning flight from Manila to Butuan City
– Travel via van/bus to Barobo
– Town tour (Beto Cold Spring, Bugac Cold Spring, Wakat Cave)
– Island hopping (Cabgan Island, Turtle Island, Snake or Vanishing Island)
– Travel via bus/ van to Surigao City, check in

Day 2 – Dinagat Island (Dinagat Islands)
– Catch 5AM ferry in Pantalan Dos port to San Jose (2 hours boat ride)
– Island hopping in Dinagat Island

Day 3
– Continue island hopping
– Travel back to Surigao City

Day 4 – Siargao (Surigao del Norte)
– Catch 5AM boat in the same port to Siargao
– Ride tricycle to selected accommodation, check in
– Surfing in General Luna and/or Siargao land tour

Day 5
– Sohoton Cove in Bucas Grande Island
– Island hopping (Naked Island, Daku Island, Guyam Island)

Day 6
– Sugba Lagoon, Kawhagan Island and Pamomoan Island

Day 7
– Check out / flight back home

Entrance point is Butuan Airport, exit is Siargao Airport.

Our original trip was shorter (5 days), and I revised this itinerary based on what I think is the ideal amount of stay in each place. You can consider this as an “alternative” route instead of the more common Surigao del Sur (Hinatuan, Bislig, San Agustin) and Siargao itinerary.

BAROBO (Surigao del Sur)

Barobo is a quiet town in between Butuan and San Agustin.

This day tour was a side trip before we went to Dinagat Island and Siargao. To be honest, it’s a little bit out of the way. I would suggest including it in your itinerary if you plan on staying Surigao del Sur for a few days. The reason we didn’t stay longer in Surigao del Sur is time constraint and also because my boyfriend Hali had already been there.

Barobo isn’t overly developed yet so we thought we’d check it out before it gets mainstream.

P.S. Here’s our complete Travel Guide to Barobo in Surigao del Sur.

Commute instruction

  • From Butuan, ride a bus (around P70 per person) or van to Barobo. Travel time is 2 hours.

Itinerary / Things to Do

  • Town tour. You can explore Beto Cold Spring, Bugac Cold Spring and Wakat Cave. Beto Cold Spring is the best among these. These places are close so you can just take a tricycle to get around for a minimum fare.
  • Island hopping. You can island hop to 3 islands: Cabgan Island, Turtle Island and Vanishing/Snake Island. I really enjoyed this activity and I find Cabgan Island particularly beautiful. The usual jump-off point for island hopping is at the fish port at the back of the old public market. The whole boat tour costs P1000-1500.
Beto cold spring in Barobo, Surigao del Sur
Beto cold spring in Barobo, Surigao del Sur.
Cabgan Island, Barobo
Hali and me, stranded in Cabgan Island.

Where to Stay

There are lodgings and resorts in Barobo. However, for this itinerary you should stay at Surigao City instead because it’s near the next destination.

Here are some recommended stays in Surigao City:

You can also search hotels in Surigao City here.

DINAGAT ISLAND (Dinagat Islands)

Dinagat Island boasts countless virginal islands to explore. This is a great place for backpackers, especially those who like visiting places that aren’t overly developed yet. The ideal duration for island hopping is 2 days, but it’s also possible to do a day trip.

P.S. Here’s our complete Travel Guide to Dinagat Island.

Commute instruction

  • From Surigao City, head to Surigao Port (aka Pantalan Dos Port) and then ride a passenger boat en route to San Jose (P120 per person, 1.5-2 hours). The earliest schedule is 5AM and the latest boat going back to the city is at 3PM.

Itinerary / Things to Do

Here’s a sample itinerary for 2 days island hopping.

Day 1 – Libjo Tour
– Pangabangan Tidal Pool
– Punta Villa Resort
– Punta Buena Suerte
– Isla Aga
– Kisses Islet
– (Optional) Little Hagakhak Island/Hagakhak Rock Formation

Day 2 – Basilisa Tour
– Jelmar’s Beach Resort
– Bababu Beach and Bababu Lake
– Bitaog Beach
– Duyos Beach
– Pagkawasan Beach
– (Optional) Cabacungan Cove, Biray-Biray Island

The whole boat tour for 2 days costs P5000 (good up to 2 pax) / P6000 (good up to 4 pax). You can also look for joiner tour, which is around P2000 per person. Joiner tours to Dinagat Island aren’t that many yet, so you need to research about scheduled joiner trips in advance.

Tidal pool in Pangabangan Island, Libjo
With travel buddies at Pangabangan Island.

Where to Stay

There are lodgings in San Jose. You may also stay in a resort in Libjo or Basilisa depending on your itinerary. The most popular resorts are:

  • Duyos Camping Resort: Facebook / 09090668104
  • Jelmar’s Islet Resort

SIARGAO (Surigao del Norte)

Siargao! This is one of my favorite places in the Philippines. I’d been here twice already and I would still love to come back.

Siargao is of course known for its surfing, but besides this there are lots of things to do including island hopping, caving, and more.

P.S. Here’s our Ultimate Guide to Siargao Island.

Commute directions

  • There is no direct route from Dinagat to Siargao. You will have to go back to Surigao Port in Surigao City.
  • Head to Surigao Port (same as above) and then ride a ferry to Siargao. Travel time is 2-3 hours, fare is P210-350 per person. Earliest schedule is at 5:30AM and the last at 3:30PM.

Itinerary / Things to Do

Here are the activities you can do in Siargao.

  • Surfing in General Luna. General Luna is ideal for beginner surfers. If you’re mid- or pro-level surfer, you can head to other reef breaks in Siargao. Surfing lesson is P500 including instructor and board rental. Surfboard rental is P500 for the whole day.
  • Land tour in Siargao. The cheapest way to explore the land attractions in Siargao (including the famous Magpupungko Rock Pools) is by renting a motorbike. Rate is P350-500 per day. You can also get a motorcycle tour for P1300 per day (good up to 2 people) or tricycle tour for P2000 per day (good up to 3-5 people).
  • Sugba Lagoon, Kawhagan Island and Pamomoan Island. These are fairly recent public attractions in Siargao. Sugba Lagoon is the main highlight of this tour — here you can swim, kayak or stand-up paddle and jump from the diving platforms. Head to Del Carmen Tourism Center and register. Rate is P2800 (good up to 6 pax) and you can wait for other joiners. You can also get a joiner tour offered by agencies for P1500-2000 per person.
  • Sohoton Cove (Bucas Grande) and tri-islands in Siargao. This is a convenient day tour that takes you to Sohoton Cove and Jellyfish Sanctuary in Grande Island and then the 3 islands in Siargao: Naked Island, Daku Island and Guyam Island. The whole boat tour costs P4000-5000 (good up to 10 people). You can also get a joiner tour for P1500-1600 per person.
Small pool in Magpupungko rock pool, Siargao
One of the small pools in Magpupungko Rock Pools.
Naked Island in Siargao
In Naked Island.
Sugba Lagoon in Del Carmen, Siargao
Hali and me in Sugba Lagoon.
Small paddle boat to jellyfish lagoon, Sohoton Cove
Small paddle boat to Jellyfish Lagoon in Bucas Grande.

Where to stay

General Luna is the tourist hub in Siargao, so most people stay here. We stayed at Point 303 Resort, which is an affordable resort with pool.

For other options, read our pick on the Best Resorts in Siargao.

Budget and expenses

Budget depends on how many you are in a group, where you’re staying, etc. In a group, a safe budget is P12,000-14,000 per person.

Contacts

Here are some useful links for your trip.

  • Dinagat Tourism Office: Facebook
  • Soccoro Tourism Office (Sohoton Cove): Facebook

 

Has this itinerary to Barobo (Surigao del Sur), Dinagat and Siargao been helpful to you? If you have questions or suggestions, let us know below!

Hi, reader! Please help us keep this article up-to-date. If you have new info about rates, contact details, etc, let us know in the comments section.

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29 Comments

  1. Hi! Question re Bagobo Boat Rental… Is it open for joiners? Is it like 1,500 divided by number of pax? Kindly advise. Thank you.

    1. Yep. It’s the whole cost of the boat. When we visited, there wasn’t any agency offering tours so we just asked around for a fisher with an available boat for island hopping. Not sure now if there are agencies now that offer tours that you can join.

  2. Hi Katherine and Hali. I just want to ask since we will be having our 2nd anniversary with my partner this Nov. Our main destination is in Echanted River flying from Cebu to Butuan vice versa. It’s a 4 days and 3 nights. When reading your blog, im interested of visiting Dinagat Island and Siargao.

    What can you recommend for our 4 days and 3 nights trip? Or better way of spending our trip?

    Your suggestion is higly appreciated. Please.

    Many thanks,
    Wanglee

    1. Hi! Since you have a limited time it’s not possible to visit all of these. Might be better to choose between Siargao-Dinagat or Siargao-Enchanted.

      My friend recommends staying in Enchanted Rock Island Resort, btw. 🙂

    1. Hi Kerstin. It’s just minimal fare… I think just P100 or so? Feel free to update us here for the updated rates.

    1. Hi John, we didn’t get our boatman’s number because he doesn’t speak Tagalog.

      We literally just went to the back of the market and asked around, you can do that too. If you have someone to recommend in the future, pls comment it here for others. 🙂

      1. You mean around the barobo public market? If ever I got one i’ll leave a comment of the number here. Planning to tour barobo this saturday so i’m a bit rush with the itinerary we need. Thanks I got into this post.

  3. Hi, may I know which resort or your agency did you engage for your Sohoton cove tour and the cost for it? I’ve been trying to look for one but have yet to found any. Thank you!

    1. Hello we will be in Siargao on June 3-6 you might want to join us we are only 2 on the boat to Sohoton and Bucas Grande tour. we can split up the 1,600 for the boat rental. Thanks. You can text me 0917 484 5277. Thank you.

    2. Hello. We contacted a boat operator (Kuya Mulo – number provided above) and the cost was P4000-5000 per boat minus the misc fees (also detailed above). Pls read carefully next time.

  4. Hi! I’m just wondering if it’s possible to cross Siargao from Dinagat island? Or do we really have to go back to the mainland (Surigao City)?Thanks!

  5. Hello po! May I ask if you have some travel agency who arranged your tours and reservations? Let me know please. 🙂

  6. What a fantastic guide to the Philippines! I’ve been before but never to Surigao and Dinagat Islands so would love a return visit there. I especially love jungle beaches and these places look great for that!

  7. I only went to Surigao en route to Siargao and mainly avoided spending time there because “Mindanao is dangerous for foreigners”. Your pictures and story really make me want to visit though! Would you say Surigao and Dinagat are fine for foreign travelers, or should we just stick to Siargao if we want to go to that area? Thanks!

    1. Both are fine. 🙂 Although there are areas that are “off-limits”, many places in Mindanao are actually safe. Just ask if you’re unsure.

    2. Surigao is safe as anywhere in the USA. I have been there several times and there are no problems. My wife is from Dinagat and it is a beautiful place. If you go there I’m sure you will enjoy it. Don’t expect the modern amenities of Manila or Cebu in Dinagat tho. Its a whole different type of place.

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