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Free-Diving Lanuza Marine Park and Sanctuary May 17, 2013

Free-Diving Lanuza Marine Park and Sanctuary

GPS waypoint: N 09 15.279 E 126 06.753
Location: Barrio Cagmino, Brgy. Sibahay, Municipality of Lanuza, Province of Surigao del Sur

Marine Conservation Program
Lanuza prides itself in having a marine conservation program and a tourist offering as well - the Lanuza Marine Park and Sanctuary, just 9km south from town. It's right along the highway between Lanuza and Cortes municipalities. The sanctuary covers an area 111 hectares and serves as the spawning ground for fish within Lanuza Bay.

Coral Reef
Wtih my snorkeling gear, I explored the reef system. The water was ideal - no current and sun was out. It was initially spooky being all by myself quite far out from the shore. Having a buddy would have been reassuring. The reef seems to be one massive rock formation with gullies and undersea caverns. From the top, with the sunlight piercing its rays through the openings in the gully, I could see a big enough area under the rocky formation that can be explored. It was tempting to squeeze myself into an opening and see what's inside those caverns. But it would have been foolish to do so - not on one breath.

map location Lanuza Marine Park and Sanctuary

Fish Population
At my average depth of about 20 feet, I didn't really see a lot of fish. There were schools of one-off fish, maybe a few big ones (a foot long) but not what I would call "raining fish". Maybe there were in the deeper section - at scuba depth. Maybe they were somewhere else - the sanctuary is a huge area.

Surprisingly, this rocky shore keeps a little beach with lots of shade from the nearby coconut trees. The sand is fine and snorkeling can be done on the shallow part. It's like a little slice of paradise.

As I was entering the sanctuary, I noticed a group of 5 high schoolers from the neighboring barrio wanting to get in but didn't have the P5/pax fee. Luckily, I had enough to treat them. It felt good to see how P25 can make them so happy. We got acquainted and they gave me other interesting spots I could visit while here in Lanuza. In fact, I went to one of them the following day - Hubason River. They've friended me in Facebook and would text every once in a while just to say Hi. That's sweet.

Walk Home
It was scorchingly hot but I somehow felt the need to walk it back. Perhaps I wanted the time to reflect on what's been happening. After my sedentary 3-month stay in Cagayan de Oro, I'm now on high gear with all the fun adventures along this coastal scenic route. My walk also allowed me to explore other spots I wouldn't get to see while on a bus. One such was a pool fed by a stream. It was like finding an oasis in the middle of the desert. I also took the time to enter a beach resort in Habag Beach. Finally, after 2 hours, I reached Mani's Surf Haus where I was staying.

Ending Thoughts
It's too bad there is no scuba dive shop in Lanuza. With the size of the sanctuary, there is much to do and explore on. From what I hear, there isn't one along the Surigao coast. It's quite intense. That's too bad at many levels. Bad because divers would like to see what's underneath these waters (like me), and bad again because I believe that to sustain this eco-tourism project it needs to be profitable by generating its own revenue (through divers paying for the dive). If left entirely to LGU budget, it will languish when funds dry up.

--- TheLoneRider

ps - If you want me to objectively review a diving gear or cover a dive for your dive shop for this website (scuba gear, party boat dive, wreck dive, snorkeling, etc.), email me.

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How to Get to Lanuza Marine Park and Sanctuary from Lanuza Town Proper

  1. take a jeep or bus bound for Tandag (south) and ask to be dropped off at the Sanctuary. It's along the highway, P10, 20 mins
  2. P5 entrance fee

Travel Tip:

  1. bring lotsa cash. There is no bank here. Others had to go to the next big city (no joking matter) just to replenish on cash
  2. fyi, internet is slow and only 3 commercial establishments have wifi - Priz Cafe, Surf Camp and 'Tagalog'

How to Get to Lanuza

  1. from Tandag - at the Balilahan Terminal in Tandag, board any jeep or bus bound for Surigao or Cantilan. Get off at Lanuza (market), P50 jeep, 1 hour 20 mins.
  2. from Surigao City - take any Bachelor Bus going to Tandag, vans can go straight to Lanuza
  3. from Butuan City - go to the bus terminal and board any bus bound for Tandag. From Butuan airport, there is a van going to Lanuza
  4. from Davao City - take a bus going to Tandag and from Tandag, take bus or jeep going to Cantilan (or Surigao) but get off at Lanuza

Attractions in Lanuza and nearby area

  1. surfing - beach break, reef breaks, great for hard core surfers, great for beginners too, surf competition mid-November
  2. Campamento Cave and Silop Spring (N9 13.033 E126 02.756)* - N9 12.978 E126 02.743, stalactites and interesting rock formation, P500/3pax tour package
  3. Magkawas Falls and Green Paradise* - N9 14.995 E126 06.936, great for taking a dip, photo op and just communing with nature, P450/pax, max of 5 pax for guided tour
  4. River Cruise and Firefly Watching* - P650/4 pax, includes boat, guide and dinner
  5. Lanuza Marine Park and Sanctuary - N 09 15.279 E 126 06.753, fish spawning area, view deck overlooking Lanuza Bay, coffee at the Sanctuary Cafe
  6. Mangrove Forest - protected habitat for fish breeding
  7. Lanuza Ancestral Home - built in 1898, the structure is well preserved and still functional
  8. Lanuza Boulevard - take a stroll at sundown and catch the breathtaking sunset
  9. Punta Beach - taller waves for more experienced surfers
  10. Hubason River - located in Carmen, but only 15 mins away from Lanuza

* contact Ms. Glenda Joy DC. Felix, the Tourism Operations Officer at 0939.916.9512 or email at

Homestay Sites in Lanuza
(in May 23, 2013, a request has been made to Ms. Glenda Joy DC. Felix, the Tourism Operations Officer, for the individual telephone numbers of these homestays)

  • Babac Bungalows - accommodation, surfing and yoga
  • Mami's Surf Haus - N9 13.932 E126 03.475, aka Avelina Rosil, P200/pax dormitory, 0919.923.9007
  • Ma. Karissa Julve - N9 14.004 E126 03.492
  • Offshore - fronting beach
  • Valspeak - fronting beach
  • Bamboo Homestay -
  • Twain Homestay - N9 14.009 E126 03.468
  • Elizalde Homestay -
  • Raymond Cubero -
  • Susa Orozco -
  • Fedila Ariate -
  • Poktoy Palm Haven -
  • Lanuza Pastoral Center -
  • Inday Dina - N9 13.954 E126 03.541, cell 0949.673.2121
  • 3E Lodge -
  • Priz Babak Beach Resort -
  • Surf Lanuza Training -
  • Surf Camp - N9 14.126 E126 03.674, fronting beach, P150/pax non a/c, P1200/room/2pax a/c

(along the Surigao coastline from Surigao City to Surigao del Sur)

The following people like this:

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Reader Comments:

Cindy AriateCindy Ariate
(May 19, 2013) Hi sir, si Cindy po ito, from the Sanctuary. Buti pa kayo naka Hubason na. Ako, hindi pa.

Jessan EspinedoJessan Espinedo
(May 17, 2013) Good eve sir...this is Jessan...from the Sanctuary. Maraming maraming salamat po talaga! I hope you enjoy Hubason. May hanging bridge po doon...maganda. Enjoy po kayo. Sa Carascal naman, malapit sa Cantilan, maraming magagandang tanawin doon. May Ave Maria Falls at Blue Water...pero hindi ako sigurado.

May 17, 2013

»» next story: Swimming at Hubason River in Carmen, Surigao del Sur
»» next Free-Diving story: Island Hopping and Snorkeling in Cantilan, Surigao del Sur
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