Surigao City: Exploring the City of Island Adventures
Gateway to Mindanao: Surigao City
As one of the cities of the Caraga Region in Northern Mindanao, the Surigao is the main gateway to the island of Mindanao. With its airport located within the city center, this first-class city can now be easily accessed from Manila or Cebu and its ambiance is welcoming once you step into the province. The bustling city of Surigao is also near some of the most iconic destinations in the Philippines such as Siargao Island and the City of Butuan in Agusan del Norte. The city can be best explored in 2-3 days, with a side trip to Dinagat Islands or to Siargao Island.
Read also: Surigao City Travel Guide
Touring in and around Surigao City
Since Surigao City is strategically located near the Surigao Strait, it is easy to roam around the city and its neighboring provinces as well. For this trip, I had a day tour within the city proper only as we are bound for San Jose, Dinagat Islands the next day. So here are some of the attractions we visited during our short-but-sweet stay in Surigao City:
Surigao Airport (SUG)
Since I started traveling, I always include airports in the “touristy” places I have visited. In my personal quest for #Project82, Surigao del Norte welcomed me for the second time (the first time was in Siargao) at Surigao Airport. SUG services routes to and from Manila and Cebu. Cebu Pacific and Philippines AirAsia service the airport.
Surigao Integrated Bus and Jeepney Terminal
Surigao Integrated Bus and Jeepney Terminal is the main transport hub of Surigao City that connects with other major cities and municipalities in Mindanao. If you are Butuan-bound, there are regular bus trips to Butuan from Surigao City. Travel time usually takes 3 to 4 hours, and the fare is ₱ 284. The first trip going to Butuan is at 0300 H, and the last trip is at 2200 H with 15-30-minute intervals.
Surigao del Norte Provincial Capitol
The Surigao del Norte Provincial Capitol is the seat of government in the province of Surigao del Norte. Located right at the center of Surigao City, this neoclassical building is one of the uniquely designed capitols in the Philippines and is actually situated on top of a hill.
San Nicolas de Tolentino (Surigao) Cathedral
This is the biggest Augustinian cathedral in Surigao. The San Nicolas de Tolentino Cathedral traces its roots to the mid-17th century. Its modern-day design was a product of the bombings that happened during World War II and the reconstruction of the building was initiated in 1988.
The Luneta Park in downtown Surigao City is one of the main parks within the area. Situated just across the San Nicolas de Tolentino Cathedral, it showcases a statue of Dr. Jose Rizal, a central gazebo perfect for relaxation, and an OTOP (One Town, One Product) Shop where they sell different souvenirs and food items.
Surigao City Hall
The Surigao City Hall, personally, is also an iconic structure for me. Its white facade and simple foreground amidst the busy city streets in front of it make the building stand out even better. This is the seat of the government of Surigao City and is only a few steps away from the public market, Rizal Park, and Surigao Boulevard.
Lovely Pasalubong Center and Souvenir Shop
If you are a souvenir addict (like me), Lovely Pasalubong Center and Souvenir Shop is the place to be. Be it from local products such as weaved bags, baskets, and banig, it showcases the rich culture and heritage of the province, through symbolic souvenir items. Keychains, ref magnets, bracelets, and even local delicacies are sold here at an affordable price. They are open from 0830 H – 1800 H, Monday to Saturday.
If I were to describe the Philippines’ coastal cities and municipalities, they turn their coastal areas into beautiful and scenic boulevards that add beauty to the place. In Surigao City, Surigao Boulevard transforms into a “night market” as well where you can buy food, clothes, and some souvenirs, too!
Surigao Port is the major waterway to and from Surigao City. This port services several routes in the Visayas (Cebu, Leyte, Southern Leyte) and neighboring provinces in Mindanao (Dinagat Islands, Zamboanga, Davao) among others. Some of the boats are located on the boulevard, especially those bound for Dinagat Islands and Siargao.
*To Dinagat Islands (San Jose Port), the schedule of boats from Surigao City is from 0700 H (first trip) to 1730 H (last trip). Travel time is usually around 1 hour and boat fare is ₱ 200. Seating is on a first-come-first-served basis.
Places you can also visit in Surigao City:
– Battle of Surigao Strait Memorial
– Looc Pebble Beach (sunset)
– Mabua Pebble Beach (sunset)
– Lake Mainit Boulevard
– Basul Island
– Hikdop Island + Buenavista Cave
Where to Eat in Surigao City
Since Surigao City is a major city in the island of Mindanao, you can find diverse local, fusion, and international cuisine in and around! Here are some of them:
PV Grill House
PV Grill House (near Surigao Airport) has an iconic interior design and you can enjoy dining al fresco. They offer different Filipino dishes and they also offer ready-to-grill food for additional experience, which is very common in Visayas and Mindanao. Their price range is from ₱ 20 to ₱ 100. They are open from 0900 H – 2100 H daily.
Feed Me Restaurant and Bar
Tipsy Cow (near Surigao Boulevard)
Harborside Resto and Grill
EJ’s Garden by the Bay
Bastie Coffee Shop
Lyn’s Lechon House
Where to Stay in Surigao City
Several local hotels also sprawl within Surigao City, here are some of them:
Le Chard Place
Located some 750 meters from the Surigao Airport, Le Chard Place is a simple hotel right in front of Saint Paul University. This boutique hotel is ideal for transiting travelers who wish to have a day or two in Surigao City because of its proximity to the airport and to the Surigao City Integrated Bus and Jeepney Terminal. It is also one of the cheaper hotels in the city with a price range of ₱ 1,100 – ₱ 3,000 per night. You can contact them on their Facebook Page for more information, inquiries, and requests.
Centrotel Citi Suites
Surigao Tourist Inn
Almont Beach Resort
Hotel Tavern Surigao
Philippine Gateway Hotel
Bay View Inn
Sample Surigao City Itinerary
Here is my personal take on how you can enjoy the different sights of Surigao City:
|0940 – 1200 H||Manila – Surigao|
|1230 – 1330 H||Check-in / Freshen Up|
|1340 – 1430 H||Lunch|
|1440 – 1500 H||Surigao del Norte Capitol|
|1515 – 1545 H||Surigao Cathedral + Rizal Park|
|1600 – 1630 H||Snacks|
|1645 – 1715 H||Souvenir-buying|
|1730 – 1800 H||Surigao City Hall|
|1815 – 2000 H||Surigao Boulevard|
|2000 – 2045 H||Dinner|
|0700 – 0800 H||Breakfast|
|0800 – 1200 H||Basul Island|
|1300 – 1600 H||Hikdop Island + Buenavista Cave|
|1630 – 1730 H||Battle of Surigao Strait Memorial|
|1800 – 1830 H||Looc Pebble Beach or Mabua Pebble Beach (sunset)|
|1900 – 2000 H||Return to Hotel / Freshen Up|
|2000 – 2100 H||Dinner|
|*Prepare for either (1) Siargao, (2) Dinagat Islands, or (3) Butuan City|
*Note that prices indicated and status of establishments in this blog may change without prior notice. If you notice some changes, you can e-mail me here so I can dish things out! Thank you!*
We’re born to travel!