How to Go to Dinagat Island?

Seema Hazell

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How to Go to Dinagat Island

To reach Dinagat Island, take a ferry from Surigao City’s port. Booking a flight to Surigao Airport is the first step for travelers coming by air.

Dinagat Island, a hidden gem tucked away in the Philippine archipelago, is accessible to adventurers seeking its unspoiled beauty. Located in the northeastern part of Mindanao, this island province tempts visitors with its crystal-clear waters, rich biodiversity, and captivating rock formations.

Upon landing in Surigao City, you can easily make your way to the port where ferries regularly set sail to Dinagat, allowing for a straightforward journey to this tropical haven. Tourists and locals alike appreciate the simplicity of the voyage, ensuring Dinagat Island remains a top destination for those who cherish natural wonders away from crowded tourist spots. The enchanting allure of Dinagat Island’s white sandy beaches and the warm hospitality of its residents make it an unforgettable escape.

Getting To Know Dinagat Island

Imagine an island paradise untouched by hordes of tourists, where the whispers of nature sing louder than the buzz of city life. This is Dinagat Island. It offers serene beauty and a cultural tapestry ripe for discovery. Before embarking on this adventure, let’s dive into what makes Dinagat a jewel of the Philippines.

The Allure Of A Less-traveled Gem

Dinagat Island beckons the intrepid traveler with its undisturbed charm. Unlike its tourist-packed neighbors, Dinagat provides a sanctuary for those seeking solace and genuine interaction with nature. The locals are as warm as the golden sunsets, welcoming visitors with open arms and bright smiles.

Geographic Splendors And Cultural Highlights

  • Embrace the Forests: Lush green forests cover the island, offering a haven for trekking and wildlife sighting.
  • Revel in the Beaches: Pristine white beaches fringe Dinagat, inviting the sun seeker and peace lover alike.
  • Uncover History: The island’s culture is steeped in fascinating history and folklore, a colorful tapestry for curious minds.

Initial Preparations For Your Journey

Before immersing yourself in its enchanting beauty, covering a few essential bases will ensure a smooth journey. Ready to start? Let’s dive into the preliminary steps that will pave the way for an unforgettable island adventure.

Best Time To Visit Dinagat Island

Dinagat Island’s climate sets the stage for your trip timing. It’s important to consider the weather patterns for an optimal experience. Factor in the dry and wet seasons when planning your travel dates.

  • Dry Season (March to May): Ideal for beach activities and exploration.
  • Wet Season (June to September): Expect rains, though scenery remains lush.

Align your visit with local festivals for a cultural feast. The ‘Bugkosan Fest’ in February showcases Dinagat’s rich heritage and life.

Packing Essentials For Island Exploration

Pack light but smart for Dinagat Island’s tropical terrain. Must-haves on your list should include the following:

Lightweight ClothingComfortable fabrics suited for the heat.
SwimwearBikinis, swim shorts, and rash guards for aquatic adventures.
Sun ProtectionSunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to shield from UV rays.
Sturdy FootwearWaterproof sandals or shoes for various terrains.

Bring gadgets sparingly; focus on disconnecting and embracing nature. A reliable camera and a waterproof case help preserve memories. Don’t forget your first-aid kit and medications, as on-island medical facilities are limited.

Travel Options To Reach Dinagat

With its crystal-clear waters and verdant landscapes, Dinagat Island promises an unforgettable adventure for all. But first, let’s focus on travel options to ensure you embark on a hassle-free journey to this island paradise.

Flight Routes And Nearby Airports

Fly direct to Surigao City, the gateway to Dinagat Island. Several airlines service this route from major cities. Upon arrival, a short land transfer will take you to the port.

ManilaCebu Pacific, Philippine AirlinesDaily flights
CebuCebu Pacific6 flights/week

Browse these options to book your flight depending on your location.

Sea Travel: Ferries And Boats

Travel by sea offers a scenic route to Dinagat Island. From Surigao City port, regular ferries set sail every day. The crossing offers majestic views and a breeze from the Pacific.

  • Ferries run from morning to afternoon.
  • The journey takes approximately 1.5 hours.
  • Rates vary between budget-friendly and premium services.

Pick the best ferry schedule to suit your travel plans.

Onward To The Island: Step By Step

Yet, it breaks down into simple stages. From the moment your plane touches down to the bliss of island air, let’s navigate each step together, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable adventure.

From Airport To Port: Transportation Tips

Landing at the nearest airport to Dinagat Island is just the start. You must reach the port to catch a ferry.

  • Choose your transport: taxis, vans, or local tricycles are available.
  • Plan your time: Allow enough time for the unpredictable traffic.
  • Understand the rates: Fixed-rate taxis might offer a stress-free journey.
  • Engage with locals: They can advise on the best routes and fare rates.

Navigating The Ferry System

The ferry is the gateway to Dinagat Island. Mastering the ferry system is crucial.

  1. Find the schedule: Ferry times vary, so check the latest before traveling.
  2. Arrive early: Secure your spot as some ferries don’t take reservations.
  3. Purchase tickets: Buy your tickets at the port or use reputable agents.
  4. Pack wisely: Carry essentials, like water and snacks, for the boat ride.

Accommodations And Stays

Dinagat Island beckons travelers with its enchanting beauty. Where you stay shapes your island experience. Options vary, suiting every preference and budget. From cozy inns to lavish resorts, Dinagat Island has it all. Discover your ideal island hideaway.

Finding The Perfect Island Retreat

Choosing the right spot is key. Think about what matters most to you. Do you want a beachfront view or a room in the heart of nature? Dinagat offers diverse stays. Explore options online, or ask locals for hidden gems. They often know the best spots.

  • Beachside bungalows for the ocean lovers
  • Secluded cottages for peace seekers
  • Hotels with amenities for comfort enthusiasts

Budget-friendly Lodging Vs. Luxury Resorts

Your budget decides your stay. Dinagat accommodates all. Compare your options before booking. Weigh the benefits of savings against comfort. Check for seasonal deals or package offers for additional value.

Type of StayFeaturesExpected Price Range
Budget LodgesSimple rooms, basic amenities$10-$30/night
Mid-range HotelsComfort rooms, pools$30-$60/night
Luxury ResortsDeluxe rooms, spa, fine dining$60-$200+/night

Budget-friendly lodges offer basic comfort. They are easy on the wallet. Luxury resorts offer an exquisite experience. They provide top-notch services. Investigate and choose wisely.

Island Activities And Attractions

Dinagat Island, a gem in the eastern part of the Philippine Sea, offers a treasure trove of activities and attractions. Visitors find themselves enchanted by the rich blend of natural beauty and cultural vibrancy. 

Beaches And Nature Tours: A Can’t-miss List

The island’s coastlines are a majestic display of nature’s artwork, each beach with its own story to tell. Here’s a rundown of places you must visit:

  • Bitaog Beach: Crystal clear waters and powdery white sand.
  • Kabakungan Cove: Ideal for snorkeling and witnessing marine life.
  • Lake Bababu: Dive into the underwater passage connecting to the sea.

For those who favor the lush greens, don’t miss out on these nature tours:

  1. Explore Hagakhak Mountain for a panoramic view of the island.
  2. Visit the Cabusao Wetland Sanctuary for bird watching experiences.
  3. Trek to the Pamolaklakin Forest and learn about native flora and fauna.

Cultural Experiences And Festivals

The island is not just about scenic spots but also a rich tapestry of culture and festivities. The Lubi-Lubi Festival, a dance festivity that celebrates the coconut, is one you surely don’t want to miss.

Lubi-Lubi FestivalMay 15Cultural dances and colorful costumes.
Bugkosan FestJune 19Street dancing and agricultural showcase.
Karakas FestivalDecember 10Seafood festival and boat races.

Engage with locals during the Bugkosan Fest to experience community camaraderie or witness the diverse seafood display at the Karakas Festival. Each event is a testament to the island’s vibrant culture and tradition.

Local Cuisine And Dining Spots

Discovering the rich tastes of Dinagat Island offers an adventure for the palate as well as the soul. This gem of the Philippines brims with culinary treasures that reflect its vibrant culture and history. Food enthusiasts will relish in the unique flavors and dining experiences found here.

Traditional Flavors Of Dinagat Island

The cooking on Dinagat Island is a fusion of simplicity and freshness. Expect dishes steeped in tradition, often made from homegrown spices and herbs. Rice is a staple, accompanying many meals.

  • Larang – a tangy fish stew infused with local herbs
  • Linagpang – grilled fish mixed with onions and tomatoes
  • Kinilaw – raw fish salad seasoned with vinegar and spices

Small, local eateries called “carinderias” serve these traditional dishes. They dot the island, usually near markets and transport hubs.

Seafood Delights And Where To Find Them

Dinagat Island’s seafood is as fresh as it gets. Restaurants near the shore offer the catch of the day, often cooked to order.

Seafood DishBest Places to Find
Grilled SquidSantiago Beachside Grills
Buttered ShrimpLibjo Seafood Spots
Fresh OystersSan Jose Oyster Bars

These dining spots provide not just a meal, but a view of the sunset to complete the experience. Visitors often enjoy beachside barbecues: an island specialty.

Leaving The Island: Departure Tips

As your adventure on Dinagat Island nears its end, preparing for departure is just as important as your arrival. These departure tips will ensure a smooth transition from the calm of island life back to the hustle and bustle of the mainland. Keep these steps in mind as you get ready to wave goodbye to this slice of paradise.

Checking Out Of Island Time

Planning your exit strategy is crucial. Confirm travel arrangements a day in advance. This prevents last-minute hassles. Island services may operate on a laid-back schedule so always double-check timings. Accommodation providers and locals are a good source for updates on transport schedules.

  • Settle any bills with your accommodation the night before.
  • Have a transport plan for reaching the port or airport.
  • Pack your luggage remembering weight limits on boats and planes.
  • Carry snacks and water for the journey, as departures may face delays.

Souvenirs And Memories To Take Home

Dinagat Island’s charm isn’t only in its scenic vistas but also in its unique crafts and souvenirs. Local markets offer items that capture the essence of the island. Support the local economy by purchasing authentic keepsakes.

ItemDescriptionWhy It’s Special
Hand-woven BagsArtisanal bags made by local weaversA piece of Dinagat craftsmanship to take home
Shell NecklacesJewelry crafted from sea shellsA touch of the island’s marine beauty
Coconut Oil ProductsNatural skin care from locally sourced coconutsCarry the island’s tropical essence with you

Capture final photos and videos to freeze the island moments in time. Sharing stories and highlights with friends and family provides a window into this stunning island getaway. A heartfelt goodbye to Dinagat Island, with all its souvenirs and memories, ensures that a piece of it forever lives on with you.


Dinagat Island promises adventure and tranquility. With clear steps outlined, your trip is set to be unforgettable. Remember to plan ahead, respect local customs, and savor each moment. Let Dinagat’s charm lead you to the serenity you seek.

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