The Dinagat Islands, located in the Caraga region of the Philippines, are a hidden gem waiting to be explored. This island province boasts stunning natural beauty, unique flora and fauna, and a rich cultural heritage. Visitors to the Dinagat Islands will find a wealth of activities to enjoy, from exploring underwater caves to hiking through natural bonsai forests.
One of the top attractions in Dinagat Islands is the Mount Redondo Natural Bonsai Forest. This forest is home to a unique collection of bonsai magkuno trees that have been shaped by years of exposure to the elements. Visitors can take a leisurely hike through the forest and marvel at the intricate shapes and patterns of the trees. Another must-see attraction is Lake Bababu Underwater Cave System, a network of underwater caverns and caves that are popular among divers and snorkelers. The clear waters of the lake provide an unparalleled view of the underwater world, making it a great place to explore for both experienced and novice divers.
Overview of Dinagat Islands
Dinagat Islands is a province in the Philippines located in the Caraga region. It is composed of seven municipalities, namely San Jose, Libjo, Loreto, Tubajon, Cagdianao, Basilisa, and Dinagat. The province is known for its natural beauty, pristine beaches, and diverse marine life.
Dinagat Islands was formerly part of the province of Surigao del Norte until it officially became a separate province in 2006. The province is named after the word “dinagat,” which means “to be enchanted” in the local dialect. The province is surrounded by the Surigao Strait, which separates it from the Surigao Islands/Peninsulas and Butuan.
The province has a rich history dating back to the pre-colonial era. The Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association, a religious organization, established a settlement in Barangay Magsaysay in the early 1900s. The province was also a center of trade and commerce during the Spanish colonial period.
Today, Dinagat Islands is a popular destination for tourists who want to experience the natural beauty of the Philippines. Visitors can explore the province’s many attractions, including Mount Redondo Natural Bonsai Forest, Lake Bababu Underwater Cave System, and the pristine beaches of San Jose and Libjo. The province is also home to a diverse range of marine life, making it a popular destination for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Overall, Dinagat Islands is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the natural beauty and rich history of the Philippines.
Traveling to Dinagat Islands
Dinagat Islands is a group of beautiful islands located in the Caraga Region of the Philippines. Traveling to Dinagat Islands can be an exciting adventure for anyone who loves nature, adventure, and beautiful landscapes. Here’s what you need to know before you go.
The easiest way to get to the Dinagat Islands is by traveling to Surigao City, which is the nearest city to the islands. From Surigao City, there are RORO, pump boats, and fast craft that ply both routes to the Dinagat Islands. The fare starts at P120, and the travel time is approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.
The closest airport to the Dinagat Islands is Surigao Airport. From the airport, you can take a tricycle or a taxi to the port where you can catch a boat to Dinagat Islands. The travel time from the airport to the port is approximately 20-30 minutes.
Best Time to Travel
The best time to visit Dinagat Islands is during the dry season, which runs from November to May. During this time, the weather is sunny and dry, making it perfect for outdoor activities such as island hopping, swimming, and hiking.
The RORO schedule from Surigao City to Dinagat Islands is from 4:30 AM to 8:00 PM. The RORO is the most affordable way to get to Dinagat Islands, and it is also the most common mode of transportation for locals.
- Make sure to bring enough cash as there are limited ATMs on the islands.
- Pack light and bring only the essentials as the islands are quite remote.
- Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, insect repellent, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
- Respect the local culture and customs, and be mindful of your actions while on the islands.
Overall, traveling to Dinagat Islands is an experience that you won’t forget. With its beautiful landscapes, crystal-clear waters, and friendly locals, it’s no wonder that more and more tourists are flocking to this hidden gem in the Philippines.
Climate and Best Time to Visit
Dinagat Islands has a tropical climate with two distinct seasons: wet and dry. The wet season runs from June to November, while the dry season runs from December to May. The average temperature in Dinagat fluctuates from 24.6 °C (76.2 °F) in February to 26.9 °C (80.5 °F) in May. The best time to visit Dinagat Islands is during the dry season when the weather is sunny and there is less chance of rain.
Visitors can expect hot and humid weather throughout the year, with temperatures ranging from 25°C (77°F) to 29°C (84.2°F). The sea temperature also remains relatively constant, ranging from 25°C (77°F) to 29°C (84.2°F) all year round.
The dry season in Dinagat Islands is the best time to visit for those who want to enjoy outdoor activities like swimming, snorkeling, and island hopping. During this season, the weather is sunny, and the sea is calm, making it perfect for water-based activities.
The wet season in Dinagat Islands is characterized by heavy rainfall and strong winds. Although it is not the best time to visit, it is still possible to enjoy some activities like surfing and diving. Visitors should be aware that some roads and tourist spots may be inaccessible during this season due to flooding and landslides.
The best time to visit Dinagat Islands is during the dry season, which runs from December to May. Visitors can expect hot and humid weather, with little chance of rain, making it perfect for outdoor activities.
Accommodation and Dining
Dinagat Islands offers a range of accommodation options for visitors, from budget-friendly lodgings to high-end resorts. Many of the hotels and resorts are located near the coast, offering stunning views of the sea. Visitors can choose from a variety of room types, including standard rooms, suites, and villas.
One of the top-rated places to stay in Dinagat Islands is the Mt. Bagarabon Beach and Mountain Resort, located in Surigao. The resort offers comfortable rooms and suites, as well as a range of amenities, including a restaurant, bar, and swimming pool. Guests can also enjoy outdoor activities, such as hiking, snorkeling, and fishing.
When it comes to dining, visitors can find a range of options in the Dinagat Islands, from local eateries to international restaurants. Seafood is a popular choice, with fresh catches of fish, crab, and shrimp available at many restaurants. Visitors can also try local specialties, such as bao-bao, a savory meat-filled pastry.
One popular restaurant in Dinagat Islands is the Islander’s Kitchen, located in San Jose. The restaurant offers a range of dishes, including seafood, Filipino cuisine, and international favorites. Visitors can also enjoy live music and entertainment while dining.
Beaches and Water Activities
Dinagat Islands is a paradise for beach lovers and water enthusiasts. With its crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches, visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as island hopping, snorkeling, and swimming.
Island hopping is a popular activity in the Dinagat Islands. Visitors can explore the different islands and discover their unique beauty. One of the popular islands to visit is Basul Island, which is known for its stunning white sand beach and crystal clear waters. Visitors can also explore the island’s mangrove forest and see different species of birds.
Snorkeling is a great way to explore the underwater world of the Dinagat Islands. Visitors can see different species of fish and coral reefs. One of the best places to snorkel is at the Blue Lagoon, which is known for its clear waters and abundant marine life.
Dinagat Islands has some of the most beautiful beaches in the Philippines. Visitors can enjoy swimming in the clear waters of Sundayo Beach, Bitaog Beach, Hinabyan Beach, Duyos Beach, and Pangabangan Beach. These beaches offer a relaxing and peaceful environment, perfect for those who want to unwind and enjoy the beauty of nature.
Overall, Dinagat Islands is a great destination for those who love the sea and beach. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as island hopping, snorkeling, and swimming. With its natural beauty and abundance of marine life, Dinagat Islands is a must-visit destination for any beach and water enthusiast.
Natural Landmarks and Attractions
The Dinagat Islands is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers. The province boasts of several natural landmarks and attractions that are worth exploring. Here are some of the must-visit places in Dinagat Islands:
The Bonsai Forest in Loreto is a natural wonder that is unique to the Dinagat Islands. It is a protected area that is home to some of the oldest and most beautiful bonsai trees in the world. The forest is located on the highest mountain in the province, Mount Redondo. Visitors can trek to the forest and witness the beauty of the bonsai magkuno tree, which is known for its twisted and gnarled appearance. The Bonsai Forest is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and those who appreciate the beauty of the natural world.
Tidal Pool of Libjo
The Tidal Pool of Libjo is a natural wonder that is located in the municipality of Libjo. It is a picturesque pool that is formed by the ebb and flow of the tide. The pool is surrounded by towering coconut trees, which add to the beauty of the place. Visitors can swim in the pool and enjoy the crystal-clear water. The Tidal Pool of Libjo is a great place to relax and unwind.
Lake Bababu is a stunning lake that is located in the municipality of Basilisa. It is a popular destination for tourists because of its crystal-clear water and picturesque surroundings. Visitors can swim in the lake, go kayaking, or simply relax on the shore. The lake is also home to the Lake Bababu Underwater Cave System, which is a must-visit destination for scuba diving enthusiasts.
The Magkuno Tree is a rare and endangered species of tree that is native to the Dinagat Islands. It is known for its strength, durability, and beauty. The tree can grow up to 80 feet tall and has a trunk diameter of up to 6 feet. The Magkuno Tree is a protected species, and visitors are not allowed to cut or damage the tree in any way.
The Pitcher Plants are a unique and fascinating species of plant that is native to Dinagat Islands. They are carnivorous plants that trap insects in their leaves and digest them for nutrients. The Pitcher Plants are found in the mountains of Dinagat Islands, particularly in Mt. Kambinliw. Visitors can trek to the mountains and witness the beauty of these fascinating plants.
Dinagat Islands is a treasure trove of natural wonders and attractions. Visitors can explore the Bonsai Forest, Tidal Pool of Libjo, Lake Bababu, Magkuno Tree, and Pitcher Plants, among others. The province is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers who want to experience the beauty of the natural world.
Mountain and Cave Exploration
Mt. Redondo is a popular destination for mountain climbers and nature enthusiasts in Dinagat Islands. It is the highest mountain in the province, and it is known for its scenic views and natural bonsai forest. Visitors can hike to the summit and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The trek is challenging but rewarding, and it takes about 2-3 hours to reach the top.
The bonsai forest is a unique attraction on Mt. Redondo. The trees in the forest have been shaped by the strong winds and harsh weather conditions, resulting in a miniature version of the typical rainforest. Visitors can marvel at the intricate shapes and patterns of the trees and take pictures of the stunning scenery.
Kamangon Cave is a must-visit destination for cave explorers in the Dinagat Islands. It is a natural cave system that features impressive rock formations, underground streams, and a subterranean lake. Visitors can explore the cave with a guide and discover the hidden wonders of this underground world.
The cave is accessible via a short hike from the main road, and visitors need to be physically fit and have proper gear to explore the cave. Inside the cave, visitors can see various stalactites and stalagmites that have formed over thousands of years. They can also swim in the subterranean lake and admire the crystal-clear waters.
Mountain and cave exploration in the Dinagat Islands is a unique and exciting experience for visitors who want to discover the natural wonders of the region. Whether it’s hiking to the summit of Mt. Redondo or exploring the underground world of Kamangon Cave, visitors are sure to have an unforgettable adventure in the Dinagat Islands.
Waterfalls of Dinagat Islands
Dinagat Islands is home to several waterfalls that are worth visiting. These waterfalls are surrounded by lush greenery, making them a perfect spot for nature lovers. In this section, we will highlight three of the most popular waterfalls in the Dinagat Islands.
Bangkaw Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Dinagat Islands. It is located in the town of Basilisa and is surrounded by dense forests. The waterfall is about 30 feet high and the water flows into a natural pool at the bottom. Visitors can take a dip in the cool waters of the pool or just relax and enjoy the scenic beauty of the place.
Dako Falls is another popular waterfall in the Dinagat Islands. It is located in the town of San Jose and is about 20 feet high. The waterfall is surrounded by lush greenery and visitors can take a dip in the cool waters of the pool at the bottom. The pool is also a great spot for picnics and relaxation.
Paragamac Falls is located in the town of Libjo and is about 40 feet high. The waterfall is surrounded by dense forests and visitors can take a dip in the natural pool at the bottom. The pool is quite deep, so visitors should be careful while swimming. The area around the waterfall is also a great spot for picnics and relaxation.
Isla Aga and Other Points of Interest
Dinagat Islands is a beautiful destination with many points of interest. One of the most popular attractions is Isla Aga. This island boasts of different limestone rock formations covered in verdant vegetation. While atop the rocks, visitors can enjoy a breathtaking view of the neighboring islands and islets. The crystal-clear waters surrounding the island are perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
Aside from Isla Aga, there are many other points of interest in the Dinagat Islands. The Lake Bababu Underwater Cave System is a must-visit for adventurous travelers. This system of underwater caves is home to a variety of marine life, including colorful fish and sea turtles. Visitors can explore the caves by snorkeling or diving.
Another popular landmark in the Dinagat Islands is the Blue Lagoon. This stunning lagoon is surrounded by towering limestone cliffs and crystal-clear waters. Visitors can swim in the lagoon or relax on the sandy beach.
For those interested in history, the Dinagat Islands is home to several historical landmarks. The San Juan Nepomuceno Church is a beautiful Spanish-era church built in the 1800s. The church is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
Local Life and Culture
Dinagat Islands is home to a unique and vibrant local culture that visitors will find fascinating. The island’s people are warm and hospitable, and visitors are often welcomed with open arms. The island’s culture is heavily influenced by its rich fishing heritage, and visitors will find that the local cuisine is centered around seafood.
One of the best ways to experience the local culture is to visit one of the island’s traditional fishing villages. These villages offer a glimpse into the daily lives of the island’s fishermen and their families. Visitors can watch as fishermen bring in their daily catch and learn about the traditional fishing methods that have been passed down from generation to generation.
In addition to fishing, the island’s people are also known for their traditional crafts. Visitors can watch as skilled artisans weave baskets and mats from local materials or create intricate beadwork and embroidery. These crafts make excellent souvenirs and are a great way to support the local economy.
Visitors should also make sure to try the local cuisine, which is centered around seafood. Some of the island’s most popular dishes include kinilaw (raw fish marinated in vinegar and spices), sinuglaw (a combination of grilled pork and raw fish), and adobong pusit (squid cooked in vinegar and soy sauce). Visitors can also try the island’s famous coconut wine, which is made from the sap of coconut trees.
Things to Do in Dinagat Islands
Dinagat Islands is a hidden gem in the Philippines that offers a wide range of activities for travelers. From exploring pristine beaches to hiking through lush forests, there is something for everyone in the Dinagat Islands. Here are some of the top things to do in Dinagat Islands:
1. Visit Lake Bababu
Lake Bababu is a must-see destination in the Dinagat Islands. Located in Basilisa, this enchanting lake is surrounded by pristine rainforests and offers a serene atmosphere for visitors. Travelers can enjoy activities like boating, swimming, and camping while taking in the rustic view of the lake.
2. Hike Mount Redondo Natural Bonsai Forest
Mount Redondo Natural Bonsai Forest is the highest mountain in Dinagat Islands and is home to a mesmerizing bonsai magkuno tree. The forest is a popular destination for hikers and nature lovers who want to explore the lush greenery and enjoy panoramic views of the island.
3. Explore the Underwater Cave System in Lake Bababu
Lake Bababu is not just a beautiful lake, but it also has an underwater cave system that is worth exploring. Travelers can take a dip in the clear waters and explore the caverns and caves that lie beneath the surface.
4. Visit Basilisa Island
Basilisa Island is a small island located in the northern part of the Dinagat Islands. The island is known for its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, making it a popular destination for swimming, snorkeling, and diving.
5. Discover the Enchanted River
The Enchanted River is a mystical river that is believed to be home to supernatural creatures. The river is also known for its crystal-clear waters and is a popular destination for swimming and diving.
6. Visit Balatukan View Point
Balatukan View Point is a popular destination for travelers who want to enjoy panoramic views of Dinagat Islands. The viewpoint offers stunning views of the island’s lush forests, pristine beaches, and crystal-clear waters.
7. Go Island Hopping
Dinagat Islands is home to many small islands that are worth exploring. Island hopping is a popular activity among travelers who want to discover the hidden gems of the island and enjoy the stunning scenery.
8. Try Local Cuisine
Dinagat Islands is known for its delicious seafood and local delicacies. Travelers can try dishes like kinilaw (raw fish salad), grilled squid, and adobo sa gata (chicken adobo in coconut milk) at local restaurants and food stalls.
Overall, Dinagat Islands offers a wide range of activities for travelers who want to explore the natural beauty of the Philippines. From pristine beaches to lush forests, there is something for everyone in this hidden gem.