Few months back, I went south in the Caraga region to experience nature’s wonders in this remote corner in Mindanao. The trip actually was like shooting several birds with one stone – while on an official meeting, I visited three amazing spots. Although I was reminding myself that we have work to do and it must be first things first – I was thrilled, I have wanted to visit these spots long time ago!
Surigao del Sur although still rustic in setting and often times with threatened peace and order situation has amazing wonders tucked in the rural areas. It is dotted with islands and idyllic white beaches, has great marine life, endowed with rivers, falls and lakes. The province is actually a remarkable destination for nature lovers, most of which are unspoiled and mysterious.
I have never seen a blue river before – just this one and that’s a real wonder. It’s a remote place and the trip is long, it lies in Barangay Talisay in Hinatuan, one of the coastal towns in Surigao Sur. Getting into the spot felt like you’re transported into another world in a different dimension, it’s a surreal experience. Although the spot is now developed to cater tourist & visitors, the river is maintained in its original form.
The bluish water is caused by the white pavement stone formation slanting towards the bed just like a wall. Since it is white, the blue sky reflected just like what we see on white beaches with blue waters. It’s about 30 feet deep, the water is salty and marine life exists. There were sweetlips, snappers and rabbitfish which actually thrive in sea water! This river is connected underneath with the sea, in fact there is a cave on its head believed to be direct to the deeps. A nature’s wonder indeed!
Although diving is not allowed, a group of certified cave divers were granted to do exploratory dive, but it was too deep before they could reach its end – it was a bottomless pit! The cold blue water is great for swimming, and with active fish life it is also great for snorkeling.
The trip to Bislig City was also long, going through rough roads and getting into the forest – mountains, lush vegetations and hectares of untilled lands will meet you as you go your way. From the entrance, in between is a wide clearing
perhaps by nature is for people to watch its great splendor, a three-tiered falls dubbed as Little Niagara due to its wide span of cascading waters. It was too wonderful to behold from afar, like I was engulfed in such majesty!
It was so natural, with cool fresh air and green backdrop. Going to the topmost is allowed and you can wade in the waters in every tier or get a body massage from the gushing waters – feels so good. At the ground pool, by means of raft one can get nearer the falls but the water is too rough for swimming, but the sound of fierce fall of waters is too reviving. Discovering this magnificent falls is worth the trip!
This group of islands has been in my list to visit, it was pure blessing since our lodgings was in San Agustin town so we had good access to the islands. It has a total of 24 islets – all uninhabited, but only five are commonly visited by
tourists. These islets belong to Barangay Britania, a coastal community which maintained two marine sanctuaries. The municipality of San Agustin is a partner for MRDP projects and a GEF site, a municipality active in preservation and protection of marine resources.
Although we were advised by the boatman to have an early cruise for the high tide, we left for the islands past twelve noon under the hot blazing sun! But it was all perfect – all the three islets we hopped were with white pristine beach – Hagonoy, Naked and Buslon islands. As it was during weekdays, the islands were all to ourselves – we swam and frolic to all our hearts content. It was pure nature fun under the sun, surrounded with cool blue waters while watching the nearby islets. So serene, so beautiful, so wonderful!
How to get to San Agustin:
CdO to Butuan – Aircon bus at P 337.00
Butuan to San Francisco, Agusan del Sur – Aircon bus at P 142.00
San Francisco to Brgy. Britania, San Agustin – Non aircon bus at P 72.00 or P 80.00 by van
- Enchanted Blue River (cbartazo.wordpress.com)