Small pool in Magpupungko rock pool, Siargao
Surigao del Sur/Surigao del Norte,  Dinagat Islands,  Guides and Itineraries

7 Days Itinerary to Barobo, Dinagat Island and 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 and this itinerary is revised 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.

How to get here

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

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.
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:

  • One Hive Hotel and Suites | Book via Agoda
  • Hotel Tavern | Book via Agoda

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.

How to get here

  • 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.

Things to do

  • Island hopping. For day 1, you can go on a tour in Libjo and then on day 2, in Basilisa. There is a lot of beautiful beaches in Dinagat Island. Minimum stay is at least 2 days, but if you can stay longer, then go for it.
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
  • 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.

How to get here

  • 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.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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.

  • Point 303 Resort | Book via Agoda

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

Budget and expenses

Here are the current rates (Updated as of 2019):

BaroboIsland hopping:
Boat tour – P1000-1500
Dinagat IslandIsland hopping:
Private boat tour for 2 days – P5000 (2 pax) / P6000 (4 pax)
Joiner tour – About P2000 per person
SiargaoSurfing lesson – P500 (including instructor fee and board rental)
Surfboard rental – P500 (whole day)

Land tour:
Motorbike rental – P350-500 per day
Motorcycle tour – P1300 per day (2 pax) / tricycle tour – P2000 per day (3-5 pax)

Island hopping in Del Carmen:
Private boat tour – P2800 (good up to 6 pax)
Joiner tour – P1500-2000 per person

Island hopping in Sohoton Cove and tri-islands:
Private boat tour – P4000-5000 (good up to 10 pax)
Joiner tour – P1500-1600 per person

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.

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!

What to read next:

Guide to Barobo (Surigao del Sur)

Visiting Siargao soon? Check out the rest of our articles on Siargao:

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Katherine Cortes is a 30-something freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches and staycations.

29 Comments

  • Jerwin

    Hi tanong ko lng po gano po katagal yung byahe from surigao city papuntang siargao? And magkano po yung fare? Samalat peace

  • Eupee

    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.

    • Katherine Cortes

      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.

  • Wanglee Romero

    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

    • Katherine

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

    • Katherine

      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. 🙂

      • John

        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.

  • Si wei

    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!

    • Mary

      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.

    • Katherine

      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.

  • Tracy

    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!

  • jhen lozada

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

    • Katherine

      Hi Majo. No we don’t. 🙂 We blog only, but if we ever decide to establish one we’ll let you know!

  • Jenn

    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!

  • Richelle

    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!

    • Katherine

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

    • Kerry

      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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