Cabacungan Cove in Basilisa, Dinagat Islands, Philippines

Found on the same island where Bitaog Beach is located, Cabacungan Cove is an enchanting cove just 5-10 minutes away by boat from Duyos Beach. It is a long stretch of fine white sand beach lined with coconut trees and surrounded by towering limestone cliffs. In the middle lies an islet. The water is very clear and calm. The cove is a habitat of hornbills and a nesting site for pawikans (sea turtles). According to the caretaker of the place, you can see the hornbills between 3:00 and 5:00 in the afternoon.

You’ll find the hornbills nesting on these rock formations

Top view of the cove with the islet in the middle (Drone shot by Princess Parubrub)

The islet in the middle of the cove

We visited this cove two years ago as a part of our island-hopping activity in Dinagat. This was our first stop and we got there pretty early. When we were there, there were no other tourists except us. There are open-air cottages available but they are not in good condition.

The open-air cottages in Cabacungan Cove

Cabacungan Cove is an ideal destination for those who are looking for a pristine white sand beach. Spend the whole day relaxing here or include it in your Dinagat island-hopping itinerary. Below are more photos to convince you to visit this place.

Drone Shots from Princess Parubrub

Related Post: Surigao City, Philippines Travel Guide

How to Get There

From Manila to Surigao City:

There used to be daily direct flights from Manila to Surigao City before the 2017 earthquake. After the earthquake, part of the runway has been damaged causing limited operations in the airport. Only flights from Cebu to Surigao resumed. But the Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced that the Surigao Airport is poised to return to full operational capability by 2020; direct flights from Manila to Surigao will resume.

As of the moment, you can fly from Manila or Clark to Cebu then Cebu to Surigao City with Cebu Pacific or Philippine Airlines. Or you can fly from Manila to Butuan with Cebu Pacific or Philippine Airlines then take a bus or van to Surigao City. Vans to Surigao City are available at the airport and the van fare is around Php 180 (US$ 3.60). If you are taking the bus, you need to ride a multicab to the bus terminal (fare is Php 20 / US$ 0.40), then take the Surigao City-bound bus. The name of the bus is Bachelor and the fare is around Php 215 (US$ 4.30). Although the van is cheaper and faster, I recommend taking the bus because it is safer and more comfortable.

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To get to Cabacungan Cove from Surigao City, you have two options:

  • Option 1: Most of the people visiting Cabacungan Cove take a passenger boat from the boulevard in Surigao City (at the back of Hotel Tavern) en route to San Jose, the capital town of Dinagat. The name of the boat bound to San Jose is News MPC. The earliest schedule to San Jose is 5:00 AM and the latest boat departs at 2:00 PM. Boat fare to San Jose is around Php 200.00 ($ 4 USD). The boat ride takes around 1.5 hours, depending on the sea condition. From there, they hire a boat for an island hopping tour.
  • Option 2: You can contact our boatman Kuya Jimmy at 09071178718 or 09177070266 and arrange an island hopping tour with him. He’ll pick you up at Punta Bilang-bilang in Surigao City.

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