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SURIGAO: Destination for nature & adventure lovers
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: Rachel C. Barawid
Date: 2004-03-19
This summer, instead of going to the usual crowded beaches or spending a fortune abroad, why not explore an exotic, unspoiled place in the country, one you’ve never been to before and experience an enriching vacation like no other.

Summer tour packages are now available at budget-friendly rates for travelers to the CARAGA region particularly in Surigao City located at the northernmost tip of Mindanao.

Dubbed as the "City of Island Adventures," Surigao which is composed of 17 islands, has limitless adventure activities for any type of visitor, among them diving, caving, surfing, snorkeling, gamefishing and boating.

These tour packages offer a two-day island-hopping adventure of Surigao’s islands. One can choose from a boatride along scenic and naturally-carved water channels, passing by a mangrove forest and enchanting caves. Tour participants can swim, snorkel or sunbathe at the islands’ white-sand beaches and deep-blue crystal-clear waters teeming with coral reefs.

Visitors will also be treated to a lovely day at the Zaragoza Park on Sibale island. The park is a romantic place where couples and families can have a picnic, stay overnight and enjoy nature at its best while breathing in the cool sea breeze from the Pacific Ocean.

For the more adventurous, they can go spelunking at the Buenavista Cave in Hikdop Island, Barangay Buenavista. Among the cave’s spectacular features are its interior’s stone formation depicting an illusionary image of a grand king’s court; its picturesque stalactites and stalagmites found in the inner chambers; and a knee-deep pond in a throne-like cavern. This "Spelunking at Buenavista & Silop Caves" tour package is priced only at R1,988.00 net per person for a minimum of 15 and maximum of 20 people.

Large groups can also choose from the "Summer Get-away" tour package which costs R2,500.00 net per person or the "Explore Surigao Through Scuba Diving and Gamefishing" for only R2,388.00 net per person. Packages include overnight accommodation, complete meals and snacks, boat transfer, cottage rentals and tour guide. It requires a minimum of 10 persons and a maximum of 15.

Individual packages are also available for these tours with options to stay at several comfortable hotels, lodges, apartelles, pension and guesthouses with affordable rates, whichever visitors prefer.

Travelers can also make side trips to other attractions in Surigao including the San Pedro Cantiasay Wooden Footbridge, tropical paradise of Sagisi island, Maharlika, Mabua Pebble Beach Resorts, Museo nan Surigao, landmarks such as the Lipala Ferry Terminal and City Port — site of the Battle of Surigao Strait, World War II’s fiercest naval battle and the first hoisting of the Philippine flag in Mindanao.

For a satisfying gastronomic experience, tour participants will also sample Surigao’s fresh seafood such as blue marlin, crabs, squids, seaweeds, giant clams and lobsters.

A major jump-off point of the Caraga region, Surigao City is accessible via air, land and sea. It can be reached through Butuan from Manila by plane. Philippines Airlines and Cebu Pacific has daily flights from Manila while Asian Spirit flies from Cebu to Butuan four times a week. Sea travel is also available through WG&A Superferry and Sulpicio Lines which ply direct to Surigao twice a week; and Cokaliong Shipping Lines and Sulpicio Lines thrice a week. Aircon buses also pass by the Manila-Tacloban-Davao-Cagayan de Oro and Butuan route.

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