Dinagat Islands: The Surigao Del Norte Island Hopping Experience

Joshua: I didn’t have any expectations for Dinagat Islands, I just wanted to experience the place and all that it had to offer. I went straight to the pier as soon as I arrived in Surigao City and boarded the ferry to San Jose, Dinagat Islands for 3 days and 2 nights.

Day 1 // Getting There

The houses lining the pier trickled up the hill. There was no sign of accommodation nearby. I asked a local motorbike driver Kuya Jojo to take me to an accommodation that suits my budget. I ended up staying 2 nights in Pink Lodge. San Jose was an unassuming town, shy, demure, like the Maria Clara of old. There were no restaurants or large hotels that befit most towns close to the beach. But little did I know this demure little town had beautiful and pristine shores just off its coast.


Day 2, 9am // Cab-Ilan Island

I hired Kuya Jojo and his dad to take me to the islands nearby they took their son along with us. I assumed his little boy would be traveling to the nearby islands for the first time. The rumbling sound of the motor contrasted the tranquil, mirror-like waters that surrounded San Jose. There were no other tourists on the stretch of sea before we made it to the island of Cab-Ilan. The residents of Dinagat were mostly fishermen I saw quite a few boats slowly trickling out of the islands to catch fish.

From a distance, I began to see the emerald waters that bordered the island of Cab-Ilan. As we inched closer, I could see the white sand, untouched, pristine, with no tourists. I couldn’t believe that there was still a place like this. My feet touched the sand, it was soft, like powder. The waves ebbed softly and slowly. Kuya Jojo’s son played with another child, from one of the locals eating on the island; his and her small hands creating something out of the fine, white sand.


Day 2, 12pm // Biray-Biray Island

Time stood still for a moment, before we left for Biray-Biray Island. Biray-Biray Island was another deserted fine, white sand beach near San Jose. We had the beach to ourselves, something I have yet to experience while traveling around popular places like Bohol and Palawan. The azure waters were placid and the sand seeped into the spaces between my toes. Father and son walked around the island, memorizing the beach with their footsteps.

Day 2, 3pm // Bita-og Island

Bita-og Island was the last beach on the trip. The island’s beach was small in size but did was just as alluring as the first two islands. The fine, white sand and coconut trees were idyllic and serve as an ideal background for kicking back and relaxing.


Have you been to a destination worth featuring lately? Email your story and high resolution photos with subject: “Submissions” to editorial@stark-publishing.com for a chance to get published on livetoexplore.projectdemosite.com or Explore Philippines Magazine




stark publishing

View all posts


Our journey began with an idea to discover what it means to travel the Philippines, beyond the alluring images of sparkling blue waters and powder white sand. We seek to share travel stories to inspire the wide-eyed traveler, moving them deeper into the destination with stunning images and narratives about its sights, tastes, textures, smells, and local life.

We Are Living To Explore

Follow Explore Philippines’ social media accounts for more content and exciting promos!

Explore Philippines back issues for SALE!

Grab a copy of your favorite explorers' issues before stock runs out! Each copy at Php 190 only. Place your orders now!

Order Now!