I can’t describe how much I missed doing backpacking trips in Mindanao and Visayas! So this is exactly why this trip is more exciting for me because it’s a Mindanao – Visayas backpacking trip. In this guide I will show you the exact itinerary we did and the expenses accumulated during this travel.
We were able to cover 4 provinces in this trip namely (1) Agusan del Norte, (2) Agusan del Sur, (3) Dinagat Islands, and (4) Southern Leyte.
Table of Contents
7-Day Backpacking Trip (Mindanao – Visayas Backpacking)
This is assuming that your entry and exit airport will be in Butuan (BXU) arriving the earliest flight and leaving the most late flight on the last day.
Day 1: Agusan del Norte
Our first itinerary was in Agusan del Norte’s Vinapor Cave Pool. Situated 2.5 hours away from Butuan airport is a beautiful man-made cave pool better knows as Jurassic Blue Water Resort or Vinapor Cave Pool.
How to get there? From Butuan Airport, ride a multicab just outside the airport going to the terminal. Fare is Php50.00 each and travel time is 15 minutes. From the bus terminal, walk a short distance to the terminal of multicabs. After that ride a multicab bound to Carmen Integrated Bus Terminal. The fare is Php55.00 and travel time is 1 hour and 15 minutes. Then from Carmen bus terminal, charter a tricycle going to Vinapor or better knows as Jurassic Resort by the locals. Travel time is 45 minutes and the fare is Php60.00 each.
We spent about 3 hours here and departed by 12:30pm to go back to Butuan. From Butuan we rode a van going to Surigao City to catch the last ferry trip to Dinagat Islands at 6pm. The fare from Butuan to Surigao City is Php400.00 and the travel time is 2-2.5 hours. And the fare from Surigao Port to Dinagat is Php190.00.
Day 2: Libjo, Dinagat Islands
The island hopping trip to Libjo in Dinagat started early in the morning at 7am and the jump-off point was in San Jose, Dinagat Islands.. We rented a boat for 2 days to tour us around Libjo and Basilisa. The boat rental for 2 days is Php6,500.00 good for 8 person.
The islands included were Hagakhak Rock Formation, Pangabangan Tidal Pool, Kisses Island. Each island has Php20.00 entrance fee.
Moreover, during our 2 days island hopping we spent our overnight at Jelmar’s Resort in Basilisa. You can bring food and buy from the public wet market in San Jose before your island hopping trip, or you can buy food at Jelmar’s. The cottage fee is Php1,000.00 overnight and you can rent tent too for Php250.00.
Day 3: Basilisa, Dinagat Islands
Our 2nd day island hopping in Dinagat is in Basilisa which includes: Jelmar’s Resort, Lake Bababu, Bababu Beach, Duyos Beach and Pagkawasan Beach. Each island has Php20.00 entrance fee except for Lake Bababu the entrance fee is Php50.00 and another Php300.00 guide fee to Lake Bababu (optional). I highly recommend to visit Lake Bababu which is 30-45 minutes trek from Bababu beach.
Day 4: Napantao Marine Sanctuary, Southern Leyte
We took the earliest trip from Dinagat Islands back to Surigao Port for our Southern Leyte trip. From Surigao Port, we rode a tricycle to Lipata Port and paid Php150.00 for 2. Then from Lipata we booked a ferry going to Liloan Port in Southern Leyte. The fare was Php350.00 and the travel time is 3 hours. We arrived at Liloan Port and met with a local friend we met online (hi Kyle!) and headed to Napantao Marine Sanctuary.
Read more about the Napantao Marine Sanctuary here. Unfortunately, as beautiful as the house reef is, we were unlucky to have seen a devastated house reef due to the Typhoon Odette. Sad news is that coral reef take years to recover. But we still enjoyed freediving here!
After our trip to Napantao Marine Sanctuary, we headed to Sogod and spent the night there at GV Hotel near the bus and van terminal. The room is Php800.00 airconditioned and good for 2. Thank you so much to a good friend we met, Kyle, for assisting us all through the day! See you in Pangasinan soon!
Day 5 & 6: Limasawa Island, Southern Leyte
We decided to go to Limasawa Island which is located in the Southern-most part of Southern Leyte even after seeing the serious destruction made by Typhoon Odette in the province. So we took the earliest van trip to Padre Burgos which is the jump-off point to Limasawa. The fare is Php150.00 and the travel time is about an hour and a half.
Limasawa Island is a historical site because it is where the first Christian mass was held in the Philippines. It is also famous for its underwater coral reef, lagoons, and stunning beach.
We spent the night here and went back to the mainland the next day. From the mainland we rode a van to Sogod Bay, and from Sogod Bay to Liloan Port. Then from Liloan Port we booked a ferry back to Surigao in Mindanao.
Day 7: Agusan del Sur
The next morning, our itinerary should be in Agusan del Sur’s Bega Falls. However, the weather did not permit us to go so we decided to just call it a day and went back to Butuan Airport and waited for our flight at 7pm. For more information about Bega Falls, you can read Riley.ph DIY itinerary here – Bega Falls, Agusan del Sur.
Where To Stay
- Agusan del Norte – Vinapor Blue Water Resort
- Dinagat Islands – Along D Road Homestay, Rose Pink Lodge (San Jose)
- Southern Leyte – GV Hotel in Sogod (landmark: walking distance from terminal)
- Limasawa Island – Trimulco Travel Lodge
|Help me improve my Mindanao – Visayas Backpacking travel guide! By commenting suggestions in the comment section below, I am very open to new ideas. Drone shots by Milo Quinantoto.
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