Surigao City- The City of Island Adventures

Last Updated on April 17, 2020 by Tina

Surigao City located in Mindanao, Philippines is the capital and only city of the province of Surigao del Norte. It is tagged as The City of Island Adventures because of its many islands.

When I was still working for Clariden Holdings Inc., there was a time when I was assigned at the mine site in Nonoc Island, Surigao City to help supervise the drilling operation. My work schedule back then was 21 days at the mine site then I earn 7 days field break. When I was there, I made a goal to visit all the islands of Surigao City. I tried looking for a list of the islands of the city but couldn’t find any so I used Google Maps and a 1974 Namria Map that I found in my files to identify the islands/islets and used the topographic map of Surigao City to check the boundaries of the city.

Screenshot of the map of Surigao City. I edited it to put the names of the other islands/islets. Lamagon, Maanoc, Panag, Talavera, Banog-banog and Hinatuan Island are not part of Surigao City. (Source: Google Maps 2020)
This is the Namria Map that I used during the planning stage of my island hopping adventure

I’ve read one article online that says Surigao City has 17 islands and islets. But Wikipedia says it has more than two dozens. I was able to identify 17 on the map if I was to include the mainland. Of the 17, the only islands that I was not able to visit are Load and Kabo Island. And what can I say, the islands have nice beaches. So nice that when I did the famous tri-island hopping tour in Siargao, I found it a bit meh (please don’t hate me, this is just my personal opinion).

The Islands/Islets of Surigao City


The largest island of the city, it has a large nickel deposit. A nickel mine and refinery used to operate here for more than 10 years. This is where I have been assigned for more than a year and was the jump-off point of the island adventures I did in Surigao. Barangays Nonoc, Talisay and Cantiasay are on this island. Places of interest on this island are the Cantiasay-San Pedro Bridge in Brgy. Cantiasay and Dinayugan Beach in Brgy. Nonoc.


Doot is an islet that is now connected with Nonoc Island. This is where the airstrip of the mining company is located.


Hanigad is linked to Nonoc Island by a wooden footbridge, the Cantiasay-San Pedro Bridge. At the southern tip of the island is the fishing community of Brgy. San Pedro.


Awasan is an uninhabited island. It can be reached by a light pump boat by crossing the Gaboc Channel from Nonoc Island. I’ve been to this island once, to help the Environment Department of the company in their tree planting activity there.


Rasa is a small island that has among the world’s rarest phenomenon- a simultaneous interplay of high and low tides. The alternating tides occur roughly every six hours. Locals take advantage of this occurrence by picking sea shells on one side of the island during low tide and continue doing so on the other as the tide reverses. To know more about this island, click here.


Basul is a small island very close to the city proper. It is characterized by a long stretch of fine white sand with assorted shell fragments and lined with coconut trees. For this reason, it is one of the most recommended spots to visit in the city. Click on this link for more information about this island.


Sumilom has a long stretch of white sand beach with huge rocks in between and is lined with trees, a majority of which are coconut trees. It also has a sandbar. I found this to be the best island among all the islands in Surigao. To read more about this island and to see more photos, check this link.



Danawan Island is a fishing village blessed with varied shapes and sizes of marine life and it is where one could see fresh seafood catch on the beach. It takes about 10-15 minutes of boat ride from Sumilom Island. Click on this link to know more about this island.



Hikdop Island is where Buenavista Cave is located. It is a 3 km cave and one of the recommended places to visit in Surigao City. I didn’t visit this cave though because I’m not really into caves and someone told me there are snakes inside the cave. I’m afraid of snakes.

On this island are two nice beaches, Pagkawasan Beach and the other one in Baybay. Pagkawasan Beach is a strip of fine white sand and lined with coconut trees and has cottages. There is no electricity in the area but the mobile phone signal is good. To know more about Pagkawasan Beach, read this post.

The beach in Baybay is also a white sand beach with crystal clear water but has no cottages.


An island lined with coconut trees and with beautiful white-sand beaches. On this island you can find Sea Breeze Paradiso Resort, a private resort with fine, white sand and crystal clear azure water. It also has open-air cottages and rooms that you can rent if you plan on staying there overnight. To know more about this resort, click on this link.


Bilabid is where Brgy. Manjagao is located. A popular tourist attraction here is the Manjagao Mangrove Forest, a sanctuary of various species of fish.


Bayagnan is where Barangays San Jose, Sugbay and Bitaugan are located. A popular tourist attraction located in Brgy. San Jose is the Punta Baluarte Watchtower. It is a historical landmark that was used as an observatory point by the Spanish friars and later on by the guerillas during the Japanese invasion in the Philippines.

The Punta Baluarte Watch Tower


Sugbo is a small island behind Bayagnan Island. Lined with coconut trees, the beach is a combination of white and black sand. The black sand is probably from the ultramafic rocks from one side of the island.


Sagisi Island is an island across Brgy. San Jose in Bayagnan Island. It has deep blue waters and white sand beaches lined with coconut trees. Its coral reef is teeming with marine life making it a perfect place for snorkeling.

Kabo Island

This is one of the islands I was not able to visit. On this island is Birok Beach, a secluded beach reachable by a short boat ride, with white sands & clear waters for snorkeling.

Load Island

Another island that I wasn’t able to visit. On this island are Daniz Cottages and Resort, and Kan Dokie Floating Cottage.

Mainland Surigao

Looc Beach

The mainland is where you can find hotels, restaurants and government offices of the city. Places of interest on the mainland are the Day-asan Floating Village, Mabua and Looc Pebble Beach, Almont Beach Resort and Punta Bilar Dive Site.

Related Post: My Siargao, Philippines 4-Day Solo Trip Itinerary (For Non-Surfers)

Hope you liked this post. If you know any island that I may have missed, please let me know in the comments sections. Subscribe to my blog to get notifications of new posts. And please follow my Facebook page @iwentanyways and like my Instagram accounts @iwentanyways and @tnadeperalta for updates.

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