Surigao is the capital of the province of Surigao del Norte. It serves as a economic center and a major gateway to Caraga from Visayas, but it has a more relaxed atmosphere, away from the everyday squalor and insecurity on the major cities of Mindanao. Surigao is the tourist center of Caraga, with a number of natural attractions being rediscovered.
For travellers, Surigao serves as a staging area for trips to Siargao, through the city's ferry terminal to the east. The city gives the feel of the whole region, locals are friendly and helpful, and there is no concern for Islamic insurgents scattered throughout Mindanao, but some communist rebels hide out in the forests.
By bus and van
- At the Surigao bus terminal 4 km from downtown.
- There are Bachelor Express buses and minivans to Butuan, which take around 3 hours.
- There are also Bachelor Express buses from Tandag which take 4 hours.
- Philtranco bus lines have buses travelling from Manila via Tacloban and Legazpi City.
- Cokaliong shipping lines, from Maasin and Cebu.
- Montenegro shipping lines, from Siargao island.
From Lipata port, 10 km northwest of Surigao, there are other ferries:
- Millennium Shipping lines has ferries to south Leyte.
- Multicabs and jeepneys: fares from ₱8.
- Zaragoza Rock formations.
- Mapawa Cave. Unique rock formations approximately 20 feet high stands out against a backdrop of dense coconut trees and nipa palms (Nypa fruticans) and covers an area of 1 hectare (2.5 acres). Also a known burial ground. Not too distant is another rock formation called tamulayag that resembles a giant vase with trees perched on top.
- Sukailang Waterfalls. Cascades at 50 feet high near the village of Sukailang.
- Manjagao Mangrove Forest. A vast mangrove forest around Manjagao Island is a sanctuary to various species of fish, marine life, birds and bats.
- . A three kilometer cave with three entrances located in Hikdop Island. From the main entrance in Pagkawasan, Buenavista, visitors wiggle through a collapsed boulder into a grand chamber complete with what locals call the Kings Throne. A knee-deep pool culminates the subterranean trek approximately 100 meters from the main entrance. It has an array of impressive stalactites and stalagmites and is home to some unique species of cave bats and snakes.
- Surigaonon Heritage Center. A small collection of ancient burial coffin jars and antique Chinese kitchenware are showcased in this museum. Some of the artifacts were unearthed at an archeological dig in Panhatungan, Placer. It also contains a significant collection of various rocks and minerals found in the province.
- Bitaugan Whirlpools. These maelstroms of various dimensions are almost all occurring during ebbtide. They have a characteristic behavior to pull, twirl, and suck into their vortices anything that comes near them. They are called magic whirlpools due to their peculiar behavior to appear and disappear at certain nature-designated time intervals. The appearance of Pahibongan, as they are called locally, are usually followed by almost inaudible explosions and just as quickly vanish after the explosions.
- San Pedro Cantiasay Footbridge. This wooden footbridge is among the country's longest at 391 meters, connecting Sibale and Nonoc Islands.
- Luneta Park. Host to annual events, gatherings, and concerts for over a hundred years, it is a Spanish-style park with few acacia trees fronting the Surigao Cathedral. The new Children's Park Playground is under rehabilitation in May 2018 and publicly opened in June.
Shopping malls & supermarkets
- Gaisano Capital Mall & Gaisano Supermarket, Brgy Luna, ☏ . 9AM-8PM.
- Jannex Pension and Restaurant, 1074 Capitol Road, ☏ . A/C single and double rooms with common bathroom. Cable TV. From ₱500.
- Dexter Pensionne., San nicolas street. Fan single rooms with outside bathrooms. ₱200.
- Conching Apartelle, Capitol road, ☏ . Clean double rooms with own bathroom. ₱400.
- Tavern Hotel, Borromeo Highway. Check-out: noon. Over-priced clean air-con double rooms with own bathroom. ₱1200.
- Caraga Regional Hospital. Riza Street. +63 86 2317090. (DOH Hospital).
- Bureau of Immigration Surigao Office. 2nd Floor Gaisano Capital mall. National Highway. +63 85 3100800.