Here we go again for another solo backpacking itinerary! I am always glad to share with my readers how I travel from 1 place to another carrying only 1 backpack and fin bag with me. At some point, I believe that documenting my travels allows me to share my adventures through virtual traveling on the internet. Backpacking 4 Provinces in Mindanao for 5 Days is another one of my solo trips that you should definitely put on your backpacking list!
I’ve done this solo backpacking trip before and you may want to check my previous backpacking trip here: Backpacking 6 Provinces in Visayas.
This time, I’d like to show you my Mindanao route for this article! Mind you, this is another journey of night bus trips and cheap travels. In this backpacking itinerary, you will be able to unlock one of the many interesting tourist destination in Mindanao! For instance, the Enchanted River of Surigao and the promising island of Camiguin.
Backpacking 4 Provinces in Mindanao for 5 Days
How did I ended up with this route? The answer is simple. I am a huge fan of backpacking trips. I would always consider unlocking 2 – 3 provinces whenever I travel. And I believe that’s how every backpacker’s mind thinks. So I looked at the map and figured my way.
1. Davao del Norte Province
Davao del Norte is one of the safest provinces in the Philippines and it is part of the Davao Region in Mindanao. Why is it safe in Davao you may ask? Davao is the hometown of our current President Rodrigo Duterte and former mayor of the city as well. When you talk about Davao, it will always be about how disciplined the place is. As a result, the crime rate is very low and locals adhere to every law passed on this province. Amazing!
The region is best known for its famous fruit of durian. As a result, you can expect various food delicacies made out of durian fruit. The durian fruit is specially famous for its odor.
Samal Island is the best tourist destination in this province. You should never miss this stunning island filled with so much adventure when you get to this place. Some of its prominent list of sites includes: Monfort Bat Sanctuary, Talicud Island, Giant Clams Sanctuary and Pearl Farm Beach Resort.
2. Davao del Sur Province
Like Davao del Norte, this province is also part of the Davao Region and it’s just beside Davao del Norte. It’s capital city is Digos and the language spoken is Cebuano. Although tagalog is still widely spoken in most areas of Davao.
One of the best tourist destination in this province is Davao City itself and Eden Nature Park. This park is located high up in the mountains which is great for adventure seekers and nature lovers such as myself. I personally recommend this park as it is truly relaxing and satifying.
3. Surigao del Sur Province
The province known for its Enchanted River lies between Davao Region and Surigao del Norte. Surigao del Sur is another off the beaten path destination that you will surely enjoy. The tourist destinations in this province is truly far and isolated. However, a promising paradise awaits for the travelers who goes here.
Moreover, Surigao del Sur is a province located in the Caraga Region of Mindanao. It offers some of the best destinations like Enchanted River in Hinatuan and Tinuy-An Falls in Bislig.
4. Camiguin Province
The last province to complete this backpacking trip is the island born of fire – Camiguin. Also known as the second smallest province in the Philippines next to Batanes in the North. Camiguin province has so much to offer. From colorful festivals to rich culture and traditions, stunning beaches and breathtaking mountains, impressive cultural heritage sites and food delicacies. I am truly captivated by this island province and it’s one of the best islands I have been to in the Philippines!
Pre-Travel Guide Reminders and Tips from Joan’s Footprints
- For your flight, make sure to book flight to and from Davao and Camiguin airport or vice versa. Check flights here.
- When in Davao, I highly recommend RedDoorz for your accommodation. It is cheap and very clean place to stay.
- If you can extend for 1 more day, I suggest to spend 2 days and 1 night in Samal Island, Davao. Talicud Island is a promising place that you should not skip.
- Backpacking 4 Provinces in Mindanao for 5 Days for solo travelers can be really tricky and a bit expensive. Especially that it is more on habal-habal tours which can cost a lot if you have to pay all the fees alone.
- Surigao del Norte can be backpacked in 1 day so I suggest just staying there for a whole day is enough.
- Bring water bottle with you. This backpacking trip is not like the fancy trips in the city. So I suggest to stay hydrated all the time and don’t get sick!
- BE A RESPONSIBLE TRAVELER. Keep your garbage with you. Protect our nature and preserve it.
- For solo female travelers, I recommend to take precautions when in Surigao del Sur and Balingoan Port to Camiguin Island. Please do not walk outside the streets alone.
- Davao is a very safe place even for solo female travelers.
Itinerary + Expenses for Backpacking 4 Provinces in 5 Days
This itinerary is assuming that you are entering DVO airport (Davao) and exiting in CGM airport (Camiguin). The trip will be a total of 5 Days and 4 Nights with an estimated budget of PHP9,000.00 for a solo traveler.
Day 0: MNL – DVO
5:00PM Flight MNL-DVO
7:00PM Check in at RedDoorz in Davao City near Roxas Night Market – PHP350.00/night/room
8:00PM Dinner at Roxas Night Market – PHP100.00
Insider Tip Book rooms with RedDoors when in Davao. Aside from they are cheap, it’s accessible to Roxas Night Market too.
Day 1: Davao del Sur
6:00AM Wake up time, breakfast, prepare
8:00AM – 1:00PM Eden Nature Park
2:00PM City Tour – PHP500.00 habal-habal (excluding entrance fees)
7:00PM Dinner at Roxas Night Market – PHP100.00
How to got to Eden Park DIY Way? EDEN Nature Park Travel Guide
Day 2: Davao del Norte, Samal Island
5:00AM Wake up time, breakfast, prepare, check out and leave bags in the counter
6:00AM Head to Samal Island for day tour
7:00AM – 12:00NN Land tour – PHP750.00/head (land tour + island hopping tour)
1:00PM – 5:00PM Island Hopping
8:00PM Proceed to Ecoland bus terminal
12:00MN Ride a bus bound to Bislig – PHP402.00. From Bislig, ride a bus to Hinatuan for PHP55.00.
Helpful Travel Guide: Davao + Samal Island Travel Guide
Day 3: Surigao del Sur
6:00AM Breakfast in Hinatuan
7:00AM – 1:00PM Enchanted River + Sibadan Fish Cage
2:00PM – 5:00PM Tinuy-An Falls
6:00PM Ride a bus bound to Butuan for PHP233.00. From Butuan, ride another bus to Balingoan Port for PHP235.00.
Note: You can rent a habal-habal for Enchanted River and Tinuy-An Falls for PHP800.00. If there are 2 of you, you can split the fee. The entrance fee for Enchanted River is PHP40.00 and PHP50.00 for Tinuy-An Falls.
Helpful Travel Guide to Surigao del Sur: Enchanted River and Tinuy-An Falls Travel Guide
Day 4: Camiguin Island
5:00AM Ride a ferry from Balingoan Port to Benoni Port in Camiguin – PHP210.00
7:00AM Check in at Medano Hostel in Mambajao – PHP400.00/night/head backpackers room
9:00AM – 5:00PM Island Tour (Sunken Cemetery, Gui-Ob Ruins, Tuasan Falls, Katibawasan Falls, etc.) – PHP600.00 habal-habal
7:00PM Dinner, night swim at the resort
Insider Tip: Medano Hostel is just walking distance to the port to White Island.
Helpful Travel Guide: Camiguin DIY Travel Guide for Solo Travelers
Day 5: Camiguin Island
5:00AM Wake up time, prepare
6:00AM – 8:00AM White Island – PHP162.00/head (entrance fee and boat fee)
11:00 – 3:00PM Mantigue Island – PHP130.00/head (entrance fee and boat fee)
6:00PM Flight back to MNL
Helpful Travel Guide: Camiguin DIY Travel Guide for Solo Travelers
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