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Visiting Laswitan of Surigao del Sur May 23, 2013

Visiting Laswitan of Surigao del Sur

GPS waypoint: N9 18.702 E126 11.462
Location: Brgy. Madreleneo, Municipality of Cortes, Province of Surigao del Sur

Attraction Recall
In Cortes, Laswitan is the most recognized tourist attraction. It's the one thing in Cortes people from along the coastal area of Surigao del Sur, say I should visit. Interestingly though, many of them haven't been to Cortes yet.

After securing my stay in Cortes, through the courtesy of LGU officer Vincent Duenas, I was taken on a habal-habal ride to Laswitan by Archie, an LGU staff. From Cortes town proper, it was still a good 6 kms of dirt riding away. When the road ends, there is a 5 minute hike down to sea level where you see the majestic Pacific Ocean and Laswitan, fronting it.

map location Cortes, Surigao del Sur
Laswitan Laswitan | Bakwitan Cave Bakwitan Cave | Buybuyan Beach Buybuyan Beach | Capandan Sanctuary Capandan Sanctuary | Light House Light House | Marine Sanctuary Uba Marine Sanctuary guard house | Sihagan Beach Sihagan Beach | Campiri Rocks Campiri Rocks

Sea Water Shower
Laswitan comes from the Visaya word, laswit, meaning the sea water pounding on the rocks. Laswitan is unique because of the strong waves crashing on a 20-foot rocky sea wall and spilling over the other side to fill up a rock pool. Guests can dip on the 2 rock pools as they are showered by sea water splashing from the other side. Best time to see Laswitan is from October to mid-March. There is one sizeable sheltered hut for day use with a nominal rental fee.

Buybuyan Beach
A short walk away from Laswitan is the Buybuyan Beach. I see this as a personal-type of beach. It's only about 60 feet long, flanked on both ends with boulders, so it provides privacy. There is also a graded stream beside it that can be tweaked to serve as a jacuzzi. Again, possibilities abound.

Ending Thoughts
It's too bad I came at the wrong time for Laswitan. The waves are gentle...hardly the stuff that can breach a formidable rock wall. But I've viewed YouTube videos of Laswitan. It is truly a majestic spectacle to see that thunderous smashing of Pacific Ocean's massive waves to spill beyond a 20-foot rock wall to fill up a rock pool on the other side. A must-see!

--- TheLoneRider

ps - If you want me to objectively cover the features of your city or municipality or barangay for this website (fiesta, waterfall, mountain trail, lake, river, cave, food, islands, beach, etc.), email me.

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Laswitan Travel Tips

  1. there is no bank in Laswitan. Bring cash.
  2. as of this writing, the only lodging in Cortes, Kamalig at P600/head. Contact the LGU for reservation
  3. best time to see Laswitan is during Amihan from October to mid-March when strong waves pound heavily on the rocks
  4. there is no lodging in Laswitan, but there is a wooden hut for day-use shelter
  5. you can do this yourself, but you can also go to the LGU office for assistance and for overall Cortes adventure guide
  6. Laswitan is sometimes referred to as "Salt Lake Pacific"

Laswitan Fees

  1. entrance fee: 5-15 years old, P10
  2. entrance fee: 16 years old snf sbovr, P20
  3. cottage rental: P200
  4. mask (for rock pool) rental: P10

How to Get to Laswitan from Surigao City

  1. take a jeep or tricycle in Surigao City for the bus termial. The sign board should say "Terminal" or "Gaisano". 10 mins, P8
  2. Take a bus or van going to Tandag, but tell the conductor to drop you off Cortes junction
  3. at the highway junction, take a motorcycle (aka habal-habal) for Laswitan. The motorcycle will pass through the town proper of Cortes on its way to Laswitan, 9 kms, 20 mins, P30/person

Cortes Travel Tips and FYI:

  1. bring lotsa cash. There is no bank here. Others had to go to the next big city (no joking matter) just to replenish on cash
  2. there is no internet here

How to Get to Cortes

  1. from Tandag - take any northbound bus or jeep heading to Surigao City and ask to be dropped off at Cortes, 1 hour. If you take a jeep that specifically says "Cortes", take it. It will take you all the way to Cortes proper and to some of its barangays (and not just at the junction). If you take a bus, ask to be dropped off at Cortes, 1 hour. Then take a habal-habal for Cortes proper, 15 mins, P20.
  2. from Surigao City - take any southbound bus for Tandag and ask to be dropped off at the Cortes junction, 4 hours. Then take a habal-habal for Cortes proper, 15 mins, P20.

Attractions in Cortes and nearby area

  • Lubcon Falls - from Tandag, take jeep for Cantillan or Cortes and ask the driver to drop you off at Lubcon Falls, P25, 30 mins, 15 kms
  • 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)
  • Burgos Togonan Falls
  • 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

Lodging in Cortes

  • Kamalig - this is the only lodging in Cortes, P600/head. Best to make arrangements with Cortes LGU before coming over

Cortes LGU

  • for more information on anything and everything about Cortes, you can get in touch with Vincent Duenas of the Cortes LGU: 0907.444.6551 or email

(along the Surigao coastline from Surigao City to Surigao del Sur)

The following people like this:

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May 23, 2013

»» next Traveling story: Trekking on the Campiri Rocks of Cortes, Surigao del Sur
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