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Friday, June 7, 2013

Britania Group of Islands, El Nido of Mindanao

The beach of Naked Island of Surigao del Sur
For my Tri-Aqua Surigao del Sur Adventure series, I included the Britania Group of Islands as part of the must see places in the Province of Surigao del Sur, Mindanao. Located in Brgy. Salvacion/Britania in the Municipality of San Agustin, this tourist destination is 2-3 hours drive away from Hinatuan's Enchanted River. Just like any town in Surigao del Sur, the place is home to  humble farmers and fishermen of our nation.

Our target destination was in fact not recognizable from the national highway with only painted boards of advertisement of some resorts clinging before the road leading to the Barangay Britania will remind that you are  not too far  from this hidden paradise.

No Pain, No Gain in Britania

The marker leading to Britania
Habal-habal is the only mean of transportation going to Barangay Britania and motorized bikes are available beside the waiting shed  of the drop-off point. If found none, just wait until one arrives every 20 minutes. Each passenger pays Php20.00 for an  approximately 20 minutes  bumpy ride.

At first the roads in Barangay Salvacion were paved but after a few minutes we felt that we were already jumping on the back seat of the motorcycle. Half of the road is still under construction and dusts filled up our faces. At the end of the trip, a lush healthy mangrove vegetation  shall welcome you once you reached the shore.

Arriving at  our destination, our driver asked us to which private resort  we are going to check in. Since we were there for a day tour trip, I told him to take us to the LGU –tourism office that offers an island tour also.  We asked our driver to fetch us back before 2:00 pm.

Footbridge/boarwalk of Britania
I met the Britania LGU tourism officers and we chatted for a moment, and inquired on the availability of the motorized banca that shall bring us to the island.  The price for the whole day island tour under the Britania LGU was Php1500.00 regardless of number of passengers . (Maximum of 10-15).

Since we were only few, I worked on my charm and bargaining power with the Surigaonons.  Well, guess what? After telling them that I am an environmental specialist  in Surigao del Sur and doing an advocacy to promote and boost the province's tourism, they gave us some lovely discount. Clap clap clap for all of us.

On our way to our banca, we were welcomed by this long beautiful wooden boardwalk. Our boatman informed us that we will be visiting four islets, Hagonoy, Buslon, Idioran and the infamous Naked Island. There are at least more than 20 islands and islets of the coast of Britania.

You got me by SURPRISE!

From where we were standing, we can already see the almost aggregated islands of Britania. I thought it would be just like the other ordinary giant rocks standing in the middle of the sea with little vegetation and some regular white sand beaches. But when we reached the first islet of Hagonoy, my heart jumped to excitement and happiness witnessing a place I felt I'd never been before. No time was wasted, as all of us immediately hit the beach and work on with our various acrobatic beach bumming positions in this not so common place to see in Mindanao or even in the entire Philippines.

Hagonoy Island
After we savored the splendor of Hagonoy Island, we sailed next to the adjacent islet, known as Naked Island. It is actually a small atoll with sand similar to a white cake confectioneries and with water so crystal clear, only a crazy man wouldn't try to get their clothes off and soak in this cool tropical water.

Ghost Crab of Britania
Our boatman told us that all islets were deserted with only some kind of a white creepy creatures camouflaging on the ground lives there.

What we have thought seen on the sands was a moving 'white rock', was actually a WHITE CRAB in camouflage that inhabit the island just like the crabs that carried the ship known as Black Pearl of Jack Sparrow in the movie Pirates of the Carribean.

I roamed the whole area curious if I could still find same specimen. Then one revealed itself after another  and another until I got tired chasing them all. So in conclusion, the island wasn't deserted at all. We wished not to leave the beautiful place, but we have to see the remaining two other islets.

Idioran Island
Idioran Island is something little different from the last two islets. There’s a group of coconut trees that resembled to a fortress that made it look like a tropical beach of Hawaii or Cuba. But why travel too far when we already have it here . The beach wasn't long as the first two but still it has fine white sand you will surely enjoy.

Buslon Island
On our last islet, Buslon, we were introduced to the three identical islets. I coined them as the islets of “Tres Marias”. Actually these islets are  connected by land bridges that can be traversed during low tide (now I believe in “ice age” and ‘tulay na bato’). There are no structures that can be found in the island except for the Image of Virgin Mary standing on one of the rocky side of the island.

We had our bountiful lunch under the shadow of huge cliff above us. After an hour of rest, we sailed back to the shore of Brgy. Britania. We took a shower in one of the houses in the barangay and fetched back by our friendly Habal habal driver right after. From the highway we waited for a public bus heading back to  Butuan City.    

Getting there:

How to get to Britania Group of Islands is an easy breeze:
  • From Davao City bus stations, take the bus bound for Tandag City. There are only two trips heading to Tandag City in Davao, (a) 12 midnight and (b) 6 in the morning, the fare is approximately Php400 for 6 hour bus ride.
  • From Butuan City, trips are available every hour, and the fare is approximately Php200 for 4 hour bus ride. Just inform the bus conductor to drop you at Brgy. Salvacion in San Agustin. 
  • From the drop-off point, take a habal-habal to shore of Britania to your choice of island tour facilitator.

There are few resorts in the shore of Britania if you wish to prolong your stay. Each resort also provides island tours. For a complete Surigao del Sur  itinerary click it here.

What’s next?

Check my next blog for  an aggregated budget-friendly itinerary for the best of Surigao del Sur Adventure including Tinuy-an Falls, Enchanted River and Britania Group of Islands I will call it the Tri-Aqua-Mindanao Adventure (Falls,Rivers and Beach). 


Excited in Buslon island

The only human made structure in Hagonoy Island

The beach of Hagonoy Island

Rocky part of Buslon Island

On the background is the land bridge connecting the islets of Buslon

Naked Island

LGU Tourism officer of Brgy. Britania Mr. Nelson Pascual


  1. hahahaha anjan kami hehehehe wooowkies

    1. pakita mo kela madam chiqui at kay sol ... sana matuwa sila ...:D

  2. galing galing galing naman!! congrats

  3. it is sometimes dubbed as Mindanao's version of The Hundred Islands in Luzon. been there twice and stayed at La Entrada Resort, nice place and accomodation.

  4. Wow;) i should also do island hopping in Brittania to compare alin ang mas Pop, yung sa Siargao o ito jejeje.Luv this post dennis;)

  5. Ding | The Pinoy ExplorerSeptember 22, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    kailangang mag leave ka pag pumunta ako dito ha! LOL!

  6. itaon mo namang holiday or weekend ... hihihihi sabihan mo lang ako ahead of time Ding ... lol

  7. Whoa - another paradise island in our archipelago! And you're right, it's really paradise. I think the unpaved road helped maintain its near-pristine state. Naked Island sure looks lovely, as does the Pirates of the Caribbean crap. :) Again, I hope people will not just set up restos and resorts without any regard to the environment and scenery.

  8. Wow the place looks sa pristine and really amazing. The white crab looks really cool. There's so many places that I want to visit in Mindanao. Thanks for letting us know of these places.

  9. Great photos! Kainggit!

  10. These are amazing pictures. It is also my first time to see a picture of the "ghost crab". Amazing.

  11. Every time I read your posts, mas naeenganyo ako bumalik ng Mindanao -- your discoveries and your curiosity to find new things keeps me in awe. :) I should really visit Britania someday.. I'm putting it in my bucket list na. :)

  12. Ganda ng travel niyo po. May ghost crab pala. Nice read.

  13. The pictures are amazing. I love the skies and the beach. The wooden plank is a winner, too. But the real champions are those three identical islets. Your blog is testament to the fact that there are so many places to love in Mindanao.

  14. Is whitecrab edible? hehe. :p This is really a beautiful place! Lumulubog po ba lahat ng islands na yan during high tide? :P

  15. I've been here last August and yes it was really beautiful. Hope the LGU will preserve the beauty of Britania Islands by not allowing any structures to be constructed in those islands =)

  16. Great pics, esp. the one of the crab. ;) I hope our local govts would prioritize infrastructure to make it easier for tourists to reach these beautiful destinations.

  17. Thanks so much for sharing about this. Never knew about this as well until now. Looks like you've definitely found paradise, Dennis! So stunning.

  18. love the photos, bro or should I say, Sir.. The Tres Marias islet have a distinct resemblance to one of those islets in my dad's hometown in Leyte only that ours' are just twin. White crabs..first time to see it.. Thanks for the online tour.

  19. Is that you holding the crab? Great guts brother. Haven't heard of this Britania place before until I read your article and saw your photos. Great shots.

  20. Waaaaa I've heard a lot about Britania!!! Very nice jud daw dira. Gonna explore this part of Mindanao. Believe it or not, wala pa ko kaadto dira!

  21. Ang ganda ng tabing dagat! Parang sarap maglangoy! :D

  22. Britania Group Of Islands are such enchanting and inviting destinations. The photos just proved that these beaches are naked paradise that should be embraced with a lot of tourists.

  23. It's nice to see how rich the natural resources on Surigao is. I hope that the Government together with DOT, DILG and DPWH give priority on the infrastructure therefore many tourist will be able to visit this wonderful place that will benefit the locals.

  24. I like how the place as is. Huwag lang sana mapunta sa mga kurakot na opisyal ang pamamahala sa Britania Group of Islands.

  25. beautiful capture of nature! a perfect place to relax and unwind....the beach...I've heard of the beauty of hagonoy island but i haven't got the chance to really see it.. hhhhhmmm perhaps next year.

  26. The Britania group of islands are so beautiful. It's a must visit when in that area of Mindanao.

  27. I love the crab pic, its like a snowstache! hahahahah! Thjis just makes you proud to be a Filipino, we beat other countries with our numerous beaches - which are by the way stunning!

  28. Hi! For some other options, you can come and stay overnight at Oasis Rest House at Britannia, San Agustin, Surigao del Sur. We offer you air-conditioned room accommodation, island hopping, and catering. Visit and like our page in facebook, Oasis Rest House. Contact no. 09107529319.

  29. Wow, that beach is stunning! I am so excited to do more traveling in Mindanao once we've settled down maybe next year. And will definitely come back to these posts to use as guide.

  30. A good read about Britannia Islands and nice photos, too!


About The Author

Love Mindanao finished his graduate degree in Environmental Science and Ecosystem Management in Manila. He left his lucrative job from the city and worked humbly in the forested area of Mindanao as an Environmental Specialist in Surigao del Sur His love for Mindanao flourished when he saw the untold truth about the once feared island. His blog provides budget friendly travel guide in visiting marvelous and enchanting destinations in Mindanao and also other remarkable places in the Philippines.He also disseminates environmental awareness and features some of the unique flora and fauna encountered along his journey and share some interesting facts about its ecological importance. He is married to his work and to his passion to travel.. ...Read More