May 27, 2013
Island Hopping and Snorkeling in Cantilan, Surigao del Sur
GPS waypoint: Cantilan N9 20.089 E125 58.801
Location: Municipality of Cantilan, Province of Surigao del Surs
After arranging the island hopping trip the night before, resort owner Roger Huerta and I started our day early at Torpedo Resort Hotel with the guidance of a seasoned fisherman. Not to lay it on thick, but people in Cantilan say good things about Roger! Our first destination was Ayoke Island, about 30 minutes away. The water on the way was calm offering a comfortable ride along other islands with secret beaches along the way.
Ayoke Island Marine Sanctuary
My first glimpse of Ayoke Island was through its guard house for the marine sanctuary. Wow! Are you kidding me? A marine sanctuary! I didn't really research on Ayoke so I didn't know what to expect. I wasted no time. In an instant, I was already on my snorkeling gear to give this reef system a once over. The reef system is typical for any guarded sanctuary - the corals are stable, colorful and healthy. There was a wide assortement of coral types, mostly hard corals. I didn't see any phelagic fish (big ones like Grouper) but there were a few schools. I could not really spend too much time in the water since we had a lot more ground to cover. At best, this island hopping tour is an ocular of what Cantilan has to offer.
Cantilan, Surigao del Sur
Bus Terminal N9 20.089 E125 58.801
Chanlac Resto N9 20.200 E125 58.834
Wooden Bridge N9 22.194 E125 58.206
Hudabalda Beach Resort N9 21.054 E125 58.433
Torpedo Resort Hotel N9 21.300 E125 58.317
Ayoke Island N9 23.409 E126 02.755
Blue Lagoon N9 24.672 E126 00.119
Casarica Island N9 22.785 E125 59.651
General Island N9 24.267 E126 00.404
Ayoke Island Beach
The fine white sand beach of Ayoke is something to behold as well. The beach area is wide and long leading to the sanctuary. There is a family taking care of the beach area that rents out a day cottage for P300. Best to bring a hammock and provisions and a tent if you want to stay overnight. If it's not the surfing season, this place is entirely yours! I would like to come back here and spend a day or two exploring the island, visiting the populated barrios and getting the know the culture a little better...and yes, free-diving the sanctuary until I'm toast!
We didn't really beach the boat on General Island but we passed along its perimeter. There were many isolated and undeveloped beaches along the way. You can schedule to be brought there, spend overnight (of course with a partner!), pitch your tent, and be picked-up the following day. The coral reef surronding the island is also massive, ranging from sediment-coated to vibrant. When the boat would pass over an interesting reef system, we would stop and I would jump down and check it out.
Jelly Fish Cove
We came upon a cove beside the Blue Lagoon Cove. It was swarming with brown jelly fish. I'm not sure if they sting. In Britania, these brown jellies don't sting. Still, I wouldn't want to find out the hard way. But as a sight, it's quite interesting to see so many jelly fishes concentrated in one cove.
I've heard so much about the Blue Lagoon, even before making the trip to Cantilan. It's quite disappointing to finally arrive there and see the place abandoned and in a state of disrepair. Apparently, when the owner died, no one was left to look after the place. But from what people tell me, during its heyday, the Blue Lagoon was the place for recreational beach activity.
Casarica Island is so close to the mainland and has a very good white beach area. It's popular with the locals because it's essentially public land. There are no fees to pay, except for the pump boat rental. People bring their food and make a day picnic. Roger and I walked around the island in waist deep water. It was interesting to see the back side. Make sure you wear footwear (I didn't!).
Island Tour Packages
Island hopping tours are offered by Roger through Torpedo Resort Hotel. This would not have happened if not for Torpedo Resort Hotel owners, Dr. Analiza Huerta and Roger Huerta. Thank you!!!
ps - If you want me to objectively cover your resort for this website (beach resort, mountain resort, island resort, etc.), email me.
To make arrangements for Cantilan's Island Tour, contact:
Torpedo Resort Hotel
- Cantilan Bank has an ATM accepting BancNet cards
- lodging in Cantilan is more expensive than the national average, a fan room can cost you around P300
- take a jeep or tricycle in Surigao City for the bus termial. The sign board should say "Terminal" or "Gaisano". 10 mins, P8
- Take a bus or van going to Tandag, but tell the conductor to drop you off Cantilan
(along the Surigao coastline from Surigao City to Surigao del Sur)
- Rite of Passage on Cantrasa Shoal Jul 12, 2013
- Karma Yoga in Surigao City July 5, 2013
- The Wooden Footbridge and Waterfall of Cantiasay, Surigao City July 1, 2013
- Outdoor Adventure Tour in Nonoc Island, Surigao City Jul 1-2, 2013
- The Deadly Bitaugan Whirlpool of Surigao City Jun 26, 2013
- Beaching it at Pebble Beach and Looc Beach, Surigao City Jun 22-24, 2013
- Exploring Silop Cave of Surigao City Jun 22, 2013
- Free-Diving the Coral Reef of Birok Islet, Surigao City June 12, 2013
- Boat Ride through the Floating Village of Day-asan June 12, 2013
- Island Hopping Adventures in Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte July 23-25, 2013
- Exploring Siargao's Cloud 9 July 18-20, 2013
- Judging Del Carmen's Beauty Pagent and Street Dancing July 15-16, 2013
- Diving the Reef of Cagtinae, Surigao del Norte Jul 7, 2013
- Ayoke Island May 27, 2013
- Casarica Island May 27, 2013
- General Island May 27, 2013
- Sua Cold Spring - in Brgy Esperanza. From main highway, get off at Madrid terminal and take motorcycle ride for the spring. If coming from Lanuza, get off at crossing of Cangcaban then take habal-habal for the spring
- Hubason River May 18, 2013
- Lanuza Marine Park and Sanctuary May 17, 2013 - coral reef, snorkeling, cafe. Also a short walk to Magkawas Falls.
- Magkawas Falls in Lanuza, Surigao del Sur May 16, 2013
- Silop Spring May 16, 2013
- Campamento Cave May 16, 2013
- Herrera Ancestral Home
- Lubcon Falls - from Tandag, take jeep for Cantilan or Cortes and ask the driver to drop you off at Lubcon Falls, P25, 30 mins, 15 kms
- Burgos Togonan Falls
- Laswitan - strong waves crashing against the rocks and spilling over to fill up a rock pool (while you're dipping in it)
- Campiri Rocks - going over huge boulders, dipping in a rock pool, standing on a rock summit as waves hits and splash against it, and to cap all, you rest on the base of the light house perched on top of the rocks in full view of the magnificent Pacific Ocean
- Bakwitan Cave - a refuge by the towns folk during the Japanese occupation and during the typhoon of 2004
- Buybuyan Beach - small beach, almost like a personal beach, fine white sand (there are no commercial establishments on the beach...its undeveloped)
- Sihagan Beach - fine white sand for long walks on a beach (there are no commercial establishments on the beach...its undeveloped)
- Uba Marine Sanctuaries - scuba dive with gear from the LGU. At P250 per dive, you can't beat it!
- Capandan Marine Sanctuaries - scuba dive with gear from the LGU. At P250 per dive, you can't beat it!
- Balibadon Marine Sanctuary
- Mabahin Marine Sanctuary
- Tigao Marine Sanctuary
- Poblacion Marine Sanctuary
- Exploring Dayao Cave of Tandag, Surigao del Sur May 12, 2013
- Brgy. Bongtud - Twin Linungao Island, Mancagangi Island & MPA (Marine Protected Area - fish sanctuary)
- white sand beaches
- Britania Islets May 6-8, 2013 - small islets dotting the bay. Island tour, beach, mangrove forest.
- Enchanted River May 6, 2013
- Sibadan Fish Cage May 5, 2013
- Tinuy-an Falls
(Apr 3, 2014)Hello! Saw your blog about Cantilan. Been searching about it since last night and I hope you don't mind, do you have recommendations for Holy Week in Cantilan? Just curios if they also have a diving spot? Where to stay? and what to do? It'll be our first time in Cantilan with family and kiddies (family room) hehehe! Would love to hear from you soon. Thank you much!
Jose Nilbert Lamata
(Dec 6, 2013) Astig ng blog mo bro! Idol! I'm actually planning to visit Surigao Del Sur cause from what I've read in the internet, Surigao Del Sur has a lot to offer. And hindi lang puro beach. I love the outdoors that's why I want to visit. Any recommendations of places to visit? Yung tipong off the beaten path talaga. Thanks bro! Planning to go this weekend pala.
May 27, 2013
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