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Traveling

Island Hopping Adventures in Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte July 23-25, 2013

Island Hopping Adventures in Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte

GPS waypoint: N9.697593 E125.583508
Location: Municipality of Tagana-an, Province of Surigao del Norte

Adventure Packages
Being well-traveled around the country and well-acclimatized to outdoor adventures, resort owners and outdoor outfitters sometimes invite me to dry-run or assess or even develop a tour package for them. Indeed, I realized that what seems second nature to me now, may be totally new ground for someone not too familiar with tourism, adventure, travel and the web. I've already seen what works and what doesn't. We're not reinventing the wheel. I simply tailor-fit a program that I've seen work in some places. For example, Coron's business model for its island hopping tour can be emulated in Britania Islets and the surrounding islands in Surigao City. Anawangin Cove's model for beach camping can be applied to a lot of undeveloped beaches across the country. In some cases, I blaze new trails and GPS tracks and waypoints to establish viable mountain bike trails.

map location Municipality of Tagana-an, Province of Surigao del Norte

Tagana-an Project
One enterprising tour guide, Jun Ramirez, commissioned me to do such a thing for him in Tagana-an (Surigao del Norte) - the place he takes his clients for tours and adventure. By going thru all his tour offerings, I have the first-hand experience on how it all comes in as an 'experience package'. I like such projects - that's what I live for! Waterfalls, springs, caves, coral reefs, free-diving, hiking, mountain biking, etc. - I'm like Dracula employed by a blood bank.

Best of both Worlds
The 35-min jeep ride to Tagana-an from Surigao City gives Tagana-an the best of both worlds - a universe unto itself but still within stone's throw from a bustling and vibrant city. Tagana-an has its own laid-back charm and warmth. It doesn't have the infrastructure yet for tourism traffic (no internet, no lodging, no restaurants except for roadside carinderias, etc.), but the place seems to be positioning itself to accommodate these changes. Its main ingredients are the mangrove forest, islands, the reefs and beaches. The question is, how do we come up with a mouth-watering dish for the traveler using those ingredients?

Island Hopping
With a boatman assigned to me, we went through the series of tour packages already setup for me. I would make changes as I saw fit. What caught my attention was the clear water and the reef system lying underneath. Some islands have a coral reef perimeter with an overhang. It was tempting to dive down and see what lurks beneath those waters. We went around several islands assessing the place for current, depth, marine life and overall health of the coral reef.

Sagisi Beach
Further out, we stopped by Sagisi Beach, already part of Surigao City. What makes this beach special are its white sand, the nipa hut shelter and best of all, just a few feet from the shore, the sand turns into a reef drop-off that goes down deep with corals and marine life lining up its slope! It was a fun free-dive and snorkeling with shore entry...no boat, no long walks on coral surface and no long swim to reach the reef! This area is truly special.

Punta Baluarte
Another island is San Jose where Punta Baluarte can be seen - it has a mock castle on top of a hill overlooking the sea. It's a historical landmark used by Spanish friars as observation posts. Later on during WWII, the occupying Japanese forces used it for the same purpose. Within the town of Baluarte is an old wooly tree, said to be over a hundred years old. Its vines are used by kids to play Tarzan. This place is also charming.

Ending Thoughts
Overall, Tagana-an can offer many things to the traveler - island hopping, snorkeling, caves, beaches, sun and fun. Better yet, the traveler doesn't have to worry about weaving all these together and talking to a lot of people. Jun Ramirez puts all of these together into one neat package. I thoroughly discussed with him what worked and what needed to be modified or even scrapped. Hopefully, the infrastructure keeps pace with all these emerging changes for Tagana-an.

--- TheLoneRider

ps - If you want me to objectively cover the features of your city or municipality or barangay for this website (fiesta, waterfall, mountain trail, lake, river, cave, food, islands, beach, etc.), email me.

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Jun Ramirez To make arrangements for Tagana-an's Island Adventure Tour, contact:

Jun Ramirez
Tagana-an Tour Guide
phone: 0919.724.2055 | email: joselitomonzonramirezjr@gmail.com
Rate: to follow

FYI / Tips

  1. lodging is under construction at Tagana-an's terminal, but as of this writing, there is no completion date yet - for multi-day stay, the nearest lodging is still in Surigao City (35 mins away)
  2. there is no internet or bank yet in Tagana-an

How to Get to Tagana-an from Surigao City

  1. take a jeep in Surigao City bound for "Terminal", P9/pax, 10 mins
  2. take the Tagana-an jeep, P40/pax, 40 mins, get off at the Municipal Building
Surigao Travel Information

Surigao del Norte Blogs by TheLoneRider


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July 23-25, 2013

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