Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur: Island Hopping Respite at Portlamon Bay
|Vanishing Island, Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur|
I was surprised to discover that there were other sights to see beyond the Enchanted River in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur. The popular sapphire abyss overflows into a bay where some offshore attractions in the barangay of Portlamon offer respite when the Enchanted River gets too crowded with tourists.
|Pangasinan Island – a good spot to watch the sunset|
Following the river, I hired a bangka to take me around the bay. We passed by some idyllic floating villages and some rock island formations… The three hour tour included a variety of sights. We stopped first at Vanishing Island, a sandbar which reminded me of Puting Balas in Pagadian City. After, we passed by Sarsoza Ponta, a small seaside cave with an image of Virgin Mary, before proceeding to Sibadan Fishcage, a guesthouse built around fish pens, where you can practically snorkel with your dinner. (An unappealing proposal for some.) We ended the tour at Pangasinan Island, where I took a swim in the white-sand shallows while watching the sunset.
Portlamon may not be as picturesque as other island-hopping destinations in the Philippines, but it offers a quick and affordable getaway from the Enchanted River when the place thickens with tourists and weekenders.
|Snorkel with your dinner at Sibadan Fishcage|
HOW TO GET THERE: For transportation details to Enchanted River, check out my previous post. Boat rentals are only PHP 160 per hour (good for up to four persons). The island hopping sights have minimal entrance fees (PHP 5 to 10).
WHERE TO STAY: For a unique experience, why not spend it in the middle of the sea? Sibadan Fishcage offers decent rooms starting at PHP 500 (good for up to five persons). Mobile number: +63 9263401695 or +63 9273936207. They can arrange bangka pick-ups for you.