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Cagwait Beach: Burying Our Feet in the Fine Sand of a Pretty, Humble Shore

Cagwait Beach

Filipinos are fond of associating an interesting person, place, or thing with another interesting person, place, or thing. For instance, the massive Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig is dubbed as “the Niagara Falls of the Philippines.” 2010 Lapu-Lapu City mayoralty candidate Efrain Pelaez promised to turn Mactan Island into a “little Singapore.” Sarah Geronimo was once labeled as the “Celine Dion of the Philippines.”

While researching for schedules, fares, accommodations, and other information about this Surigao trip, we came across a certain place called Cagwait Beach, also known as “the Boracay of Surigao.” Curiosity kicked in: what makes this beach similar to Boracay? Is it the clear, cool waters? Is it the vibrant nightlife? Is it the lively throngs of foreigners and local tourists?

After a bit of study, we realized that we actually have some time to spare before we call it a day and retire for the night in a resort in San Agustin. Thus, we decided to check out the Boracay of Surigao as a short side trip.

After waiting for a few minutes at the Hinatuan terminal, we were able to catch a van for hire that was bound for the municipality of Barobo where we can catch a bus to Tandag. Unlike their larger counterparts in Cebu City or Puerto Princesa, Surigao del Sur’s v-hires are really small, and it could get really stuffy and crammed inside.

Cagwait Beach

Less than an hour later, we boarded a bus bound for Tandag City, which makes a stop at Cagwait. Due to the wide highway and few vehicles, these buses ply their routes at breakneck speeds clocking to around 100 kilometers per hour! Unaccustomed to such high speeds, Sweetie and I squeezed each other’s hands until our knuckles hurt.

Cagwait Beach

Even when we’re riding at such high speed, it took us around 2 hours to reach the town of Cagwait. The place was so peaceful and quiet that we thought it was actually abandoned.

Cagwait Beach

Almost immediately after we disembarked from the bus, a young habal-habal driver approached us. We told him where we’re going, boarded his motorcycle, and off we went. Check out the town’s main street in the photo below; it’s almost empty!

Cagwait Beach

Along the way, we saw a very promising project of the local government of Cagwait, a program for the rehabilitation of mangrove forests in the area. This is one of the things that we love about far-flung towns, villages, barrios, municipalities, and provinces. They are very serious and dedicated in preserving the environment and their tourist attractions. Even if they clearly lack support from the national government, they study, plan, and implement these worthwhile projects with exemplary efficiency that is virtually unheard of in big cities.

Cagwait Beach

The mangrove reforestation project is situated just beside the main road. Check out the newly planted mangroves. Awesome, isn’t it? That’s environmental preservation and protection done right.

Cagwait Beach

After 10 minutes, we finally reached Cagwait Beach. Lo and behold, the sandy beach is situated in a small sheltered U-shaped bay. Just like Hidden Beach in Aloguinsan, the place is still relatively pristine, quiet, and peaceful. For those who want to melt their stress without the “artificial” atmosphere that is usually felt in manicured resorts, Cagwait Beach is the place to be. The famous pilot Charles Lindberg once likened the place to Waikiki Beach in Hawaii, USA.

When we arrived there, the surf was quite strong, and the waves were large. The photo below faces the southern side of the bay.

Cagwait Beach

It was the onset of the habagat (monsoon) season. Beyond the beach at the entrance of the cove, we could see the telltale silvery white lines of strong waves. No wonder Cagwait beach is also touted as a popular, affordable destination for novice surfers and skimboarders.

Cagwait Beach

When we took off our sandals and walked barefoot on the beach, we understood why this humble beach is called the Boracay of Surigao del Sur. No, it’s not the vibrant nightlife; the feeling of tranquility dominates here. No, it’s not the world-class accommodations; the resorts that line along the beach are quite modest. No, it’s not about crowds of bikini-clad swimmers; the beach was almost empty.

It’s actually the texture of the sand; it’s as fine as in Boracay! Although it’s not as white, the yellow-brownish sand in Cagwait feels like fine powder. Standing on your heel causes your foot to easily sink in the sand!

Cagwait Beach

The sand is so soft, relaxing, and comfortable that this furry pooch decided to dig a hole and catch up a snooze.

Cagwait Beach

Massive surf brought about by the habagat season crashes on the shore. The photo below shows the northern side of the bay.

Cagwait Beach

If you want, you can stay in one of the few resorts that line up the beach. Don’t expect world-class facilities; the resorts are modest at best. However, expect world-class travel experience as you commune with the sea, experience marine adventures, interact with friendly locals, sample delectable local cuisine, and celebrate local festivals such as the Kaliguan festival.

Cagwait Beach

One of the most prominent buildings in Cagwait Beach is this unusual viewing deck which is adorned by a variety of things—from traditional decorations to lifesaving apparatus to watersports equipment.

Cagwait Beach

These masks comprise some of the decors on the deck. Each is unique, and Sweetie even spotted a mask carving of Mickey Mouse’s face!

Cagwait Beach

You could rent life vests, floaters, and other watersports equipment at reasonable prices.

Cagwait Beach

Would you believe that the resort sells beautiful furniture pieces that are skillfully carved from whole tree stumps and logs? We first thought that these pieces were for guests who wish to dine here. But when the caretaker told us they were for sale, we were simply awestruck! Think about it: where can you find a beach resort that doubles as a furniture shop?

Cagwait Beach

The resort even has an “antique” shop (actually, what they sell are hand-carved decorations and utensils).

Cagwait Beach

We didn’t take a dip at Cagwait Beach since we were on a tight schedule. After spending half an hour in the beach, we headed back to the highway. There was a nearby sari-sari store where we refreshed ourselves with Sparkle, the adventurer’s favorite drink and lifesaver.

Cagwait Beach

Cagwait Beach, your beautiful fine sand, rolling surf, and serene atmosphere are worth a second visit. We will surely come back to you!

Tips

1. For suggested itinerary, estimated budget, and things to bring, check the previous post and scroll down to the Itinerary, Budget, and Tips sections.

2. If you wish to ride the v-hire to Barobo, expect to be squeezed together with other passengers like sardines in a can. The vans are quite small, and it’s compounded by the fact that each has a conductor inside. The advantage of riding a v-hire over a bus is that you get to your destination faster.

If you value comfort over time, however, then we recommend taking the bus at the terminal in Barobo. Look for one that goes to Tandag City, and tell the conductor to drop you off at the Cagwait crossing.

3. There are several resorts and accommodations lining up Cagwait Beach. Simply choose which one satisfies your budget and preference.

4. Don’t worry about transportation. There are plenty of habal-habals around to take you to places.

5. June seems to be a great time to visit Cagwait due to its annual Kaliguan festival. Check the photo below for a sample schedule of the festival.

Cagwait Beach

6. Assuming you’re planning to follow our itinerary (i.e., you want to stay in San Agustin rather than in Cagwait), to go to San Agustin from Cagwait, ride a habal-habal going back to the highway. Then hail a bus or v-hire bound for Butuan, and tell the driver or conductor to drop you off at Salvacion, San Agustin.

Upon reaching the highway, you may need to wait for quite some time before you can catch a bus or v-hire going back to San Agustin. That’s because the buses and v-hires ply the Tandag-Butuan route, which passes by Cagwait and San Agustin, are already full. If a v-hire or bus stops for you, expect to stand on the aisle.

An alternative way is to ride a habal-habal from Cagwait beach or crossing to the Aras-asan Bus Terminal. From there, you can ride a Butuan-bound v-hire or bus that passes by San Agustin.

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About Adrenaline Romance

Rock climbers. Mountaineers. Sweethearts on adventure. Adrenaline Romance is a photoblog that belongs to a loving couple who has an eternal lust for adventure. The blog contains experiences, tips, itineraries, and other useful information regarding adventuring in the Philippines and beyond.

16 comments on “Cagwait Beach: Burying Our Feet in the Fine Sand of a Pretty, Humble Shore

  1. My kind of place – clean, quiet, not cluttered with bars with karaokes, simple – did I say clean?
    Even their road and street look clean. Beautiful. Hmm… someday I’ll go visit this place and check out their wood carvings.. I have to get used to the idea of riding in a habal habal 🙂 . Thanks guys.

    • Hi meylou,

      It’s definitely a clean, peaceful, tranquil, and quiet place. The beach is modest, but that’s what makes it really nice. It’s not “manicured” like in high-end resorts.

      Hmm..you have to get used to riding the habal-habal. In many remote places in the Philippines, especially in the highlands, these motorcycles are the only mode of transportation.

    • I have been here once and will go back this 24th of May with my best travel buddy, my boyfriend. Since before I was really amazed with this place when I saw it’s pictures in my boyfriend’s mobile (Cagwait is his hometown). I have been to Boracay also but I rather go back here as many times as I like. Boracay is too crowded, but this paradise Whoah! I can’t explain the happiness when I went here. This place is so perfect for relaxation. And of course, I always dream to have our wedding here (Hihihi) This place is just so private. And I always hope that this place will not be commercialized. The natural beauty of this place is just so fantastic. Thank you for sharing your experience.

      • Hi Junnette,

        Thank you for visiting our blog. Indeed, Cagwait is the perfect place if you want serenity, peace, and quiet.

        And we believe that you can put your worries regarding commercialization of Cagwait Beach aside. The place is so secluded that it’s almost off the radar. Of course, there are a few resorts there, but the pristine beauty of the place is very well preserved.

      • Cool.Worth the read.Been there for 18 years ago it was such a lovely place I’ve ever been in my life.And still longing to get back.
        Or by any chance did you guys have an idea if the government allowed to have a private hotels or cottages around those beautiful beaches?
        I was looking for any links that could possibly bring me in but i felt hopeless.

      • Hi Winterjoy,

        Thank you for the compliment. Regarding your question, we’re not really familiar with the government policies or project there.

        Considering that the area is remote and relatively unknown (net-wise, anyway), we would recommend on physically going there to answer your concerns.

        Hope this helps. Thank you.

  2. Oh how pretty is that secluded beach! Would love to see how it looks like on a sunny day. Crossing fingers I could bury my feet in those find sands sometime soon.

    • Hi Gaye,

      Thanks for dropping by. Cagwait Beach, in its simplicity, is definitely stunning.

      It wasn’t sunny when we went there because our visit fell on the onset of the habagat season. Nevertheless, Cagwait Beach was still amazing, especially when we saw the powerful rolling surf.

  3. Your half an hour visit was all worth it. We hope we had a spare time, to visit this secluded beach.

  4. I have been here once and will go back this 24th of May with my best travel buddy, my boyfriend. Since before I was really amazed with this place when I saw it’s pictures in my boyfriend’s mobile (Cagwait is his hometown). I have been to Boracay also but I rather go back here as many times as I like. Boracay is too crowded, but this paradise Whoah! I can’t explain the happiness when I went here. This place is so perfect for relaxation. And of course, I always dream to have our wedding here (Hihihi) This place is just so private. And I always hope that this place will not be commercialized. The natural beauty of this place is just so fantastic. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  5. i have been here 3 times,,i tried boat rowing ,,,,,how i wish they can add some water activities to enjoy….is it ok to bring white sand for collection purpose?

    • Hi Edward,

      We wouldn’t be surprised if there are few water activities there due to the remoteness of the area. Hopefully though, they would add more activities, just as you want.

      Well, personally, we don’t collect sand, rocks, or anything from the area as part of our LNT advocacy. But there are no rules in collecting a bit of sand for souvenir there.

  6. whats anything thats interesting in cagwait ?

    • Hi Charmaine,

      Please check the last photo of a schedule of festivities in Cagwait. We believe there are lot of interesting things to see and do there.

      You have our permission to copy the photo and enlarge it so you can see the text.

      Hope this helps. Thanks!

  7. […] Cagwait Beach: Burying Our Feet in the Fine Sand of a Pretty, Humble Shore […]

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