Omangon Island in Marihatag Surigao del Sur

When tourists hear the word "Surigao", they easily think of "Siargao" in Surigao del Norte, but there's another Surigao province that's also gifted with spectacular white beaches and breathtaking ocean scenery. 

Surigao del Sur

Unlike in Siargao, beaches in Surigao del Sur are not yet brimmed with tourists so guests will have the best moment exploring the scenery without too much destruction from the crowd. 

Some of these beaches remain untouched by tourism and not yet highly commercialized so guests have plenty of options for affordable accommodation, and the comfort of privacy chilling in the beachside. 

Omangon Island in Marihatag Surigao del Sur 15
Omangon Island in Marihatag, Surigao del Sur 

Surigao del Sur is home to some of the country's jaw-dropping natural wonders such as the Enchanted River in Hinatuan, Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig, and Britania Group of Islands in San Agustin, but other municipalities in the province are quickly catching up, with their emerging tourist attractions. 

Omangon Island in Marihatag Surigao del Sur
Omangon Island as viewed from the Marihatag Tree Park 

One of these municipalities that's blessed with exotic beaches, relaxing views of the Pacific Ocean, and yes, supply of seafood, is Marihatag, roughly thirty minutes away from the municipality of San Agustin. 

Marihatag is where I grew up, it's a small seaside town nestled between the sea and the mountains and dotted by rivers, caves, hills, rice lands, and coconut plantation. 

What's great about Marihatag's beaches is that it is nearer to the provincial road, tourists won't be stressed out reaching the resorts on a long commute. It's just a short tricycle ride. Most of these beaches are still unspoiled retaining its natural charm.

Omangon Island in Marihatag Surigao del Sur 15
Omangon Island in the morning 

Omangon Island in Marihatag Surigao del Sur 15
White beach and clear waters of Omangon Island

One of Marihatag's natural treasures is Omangon Island, just a 3-minute boat ride from the Marihatag Tree Park (a public beach resort), and less than 15 minutes away from the provincial road.

It is teemed with lush tropical plants and coconut trees hinged through the long stretches of pristine ivory beaches and clear turquoise waters. 

Unlike other popular islands in the country, Omangon Island is not all about rugged adventures and water activities, but more about experiencing the stillness of the environment, enjoying the tropical atmosphere, walking along the sun-kissed beach line, waking up to the sound of crashing waves, and basking in the sunshine. As if you are on a retreat in a remote island with nothing but blue ocean and the white sands. 

Omangon Island in Marihatag
Bonding with cousins and siblings in Omangon Island

Marihatag is facing the mighty Pacific Ocean, thus, Omangon Island is gifted with breathtaking scenery of the blue ocean, irresistible turquoise water that turns emerald when hugged by the bright sun, and long stretches of powdery beaches.

Omangon Island in Marihatag Surigao del Sur 15
Relaxing view of the ocean

Omangon Island in Marihatag Surigao del Sur 15

It is a privately-owned island but there's a portion of the beach that is now open to the public. And it has an ideal location facing the open sea, so big waves can sometimes be intimidating, especially to non-swimmers, but the sight of the rushing waves crashing on the rugged seashore is enough to give visitors a moment of wonder.

Omangon Island is an off-the-grid destination - only powered by the generator (at nighttime), and without any store to buy basic necessities, so guests are advised to bring all their needs (food, toiletries, medicines) before whisking off to the island. You may charge your cellphone and other gadgets at night time.

Frolicking in the white beach

Omangon Island in Marihatag Surigao del sur
Sugary beach in Omangon Island

But the good news is, Omangon Island has a strong phone and internet signal because it is closer to the Marihatag Poblacion, so you're still not totally isolated from the world, you can still get in touch with your loved ones. The island has no wifi, so guests need to use their mobile data. 

The resort has several cottages designed in a tropical structure, more like a nipa hut. The sleeping area however is a bare floor for the mean time, without any bed so guests are expected to bring their own towels, bedding, and blankets.

Omangon Island in Marihatag Surigao del Sur
Omangon Island nipa hut cottages 

Omangon Island in Marihatag Surigao del Sur
Sleeping area upstairs 

These Nipa hut cottages are practically designed for backpackers, adventurers, DIY trippers, and off-the-beaten-track explorers, so do not expect much of the comfort of a normal guest house. 

It's home far away from home and right in the middle of a remote island. I've a chance to talk to the resort's operator (Iyo Irig Corvera), he shared that it's still a work-in-progress, they continue to work on the improvement of the place so everything you see right now is just temporary. They just opened recently anyway. 

But the whole area is so breathtakingly stunning! With its rugged shoreline, powdery white beaches, idyllic tropical atmosphere facing the open sea, and crystal clear water, it has a potential of attracting island lovers and adventurers who love exploring off-the-beaten track destinations. 

If your goal is to be on a retreat in a place where you could relax in silence and chill on the beachside away from noises, Omangon Island is a perfect destination to explore.

Omangon Island in Marihatag Surigao del Sur 15
A nipa hut cottage in Omangon Island. The sleeping area is upstairs. You will love it if you have an adventurous spirit.

The structure of the bench of each nipa hut cottage is made of bamboo and wider than the normal cottage benches so it can be doubled as a sleeping area. Some guests pitch a tent beside the cottage for a more exciting experience, however, you need to bring your own tent.

This island is a peaceful oasis, allowing guests to sway back to the basic, just you and the island, without the elements of modernity.  So all you have to do is relax on the beach side, breath the fresh air, and watch the world go by.   

Staying overnight on Omangon Island is an incredible experience, life there is fit for travelers who want to de-stress and get off from the noises of the crazy world, and experience a simpler life on a tropical island without the usual amenities offered by most beach resorts. On Omangon Island, you will experience real islander life where time is slow. 

Our experience visiting this island

On Easter Sunday, April 9, my siblings and I joined our cousins (kids of Uncle Esper Corvera, one of the closest cousins of my father) for an overnight stay in Omangon island. It's been more than a decade since we last saw each other so it was a moment of reconnecting our common roots. 

Omangon Island in Marihatag Surigao
Bonding with cousins in Omangon Island 

We brought our own food and drinks (including water), and had the best bonding time lounging on the beachside at night, sharing conversation and laughter, and basking in the crisp sunshine in the morning. Only us, the island, and the peaceful world.

Omangon Island in Marihatag Surigao
Bonding with cousins on Omangon Island 

Such a relaxing feeling having surrounded by the sea and breathing the fresh air coming from the ocean. As darkness fell, only the bellowing sounds of the waves cracked up through the calm night.   

We woke up early, and by 5:30 in the morning, we were chasing waves, running through the long beach line, combing the pristine sands, waiting for the sunrise, and having a cup of coffee facing the ocean. 

Apart from the family operating the lone resort, the larger part of the island is uninhabited. And since it's still not known to tourists, this destination offers the best moment of tranquility, as if the world stands still. It has a sprawling beachfront for fun activities such as volleyball or team building.  
Bonding with cousins in Omangon Island
Lounging on the sandy beach in Omangon island

Omangon Island is ideal for beach lovers who want to soak in silence and experience something new,  something unchartered, and something off-the-grid. Travelers who want to discover what it feels like to be on a remote island where time is slow and moments are precious.    

Omangon Island in Marihatag Surigao del sur

Omangon Island in Marihatag Surigao del sur

What to expect from this island:

  • Long stretches of pristine beaches with ivory-powdery sand
  • Sprawling beachfront for fun activities 
  • Clear turquoise waters
  • Crashing waves, ideal for surfer beginners 
  • Silence and peace.
  • You'll see nothing but ocean, waves, coconut trees, and tropical plants.   
  • There's a volleyball court in front of the cottages
  • Tropical nipa hut cottages equipped with sleeping floors and grilling/cooking areas.
  • Common comfort rooms    
  • Strong mobile and internet signal but guests need to use their mobile data as the resort doesn't have a wifi connection for guests.                     
The island doesn't have: 

  • Water activities
  • Restaurants or stores
  • Food packages 
  • Sleeping beds, towels, or bedding. You have to bring your own things. 
  • Electricity. But at night time there's a power generator.

  • Boat ride from Marihatag Tree Park (Three minutes) Php50.00. The pump boat's maximum capacity is 8 persons. 
  • Nipa hut cottage (Overnight stay) Php2,000.00. Each cottage can accommodate up to 20 people. For day trippers, the nipa hut cottage rate is Php1,000.00
Visitors need to bring their own food, toiletries, and other needs. You can order food from the restaurants in Marihatag Poblacion. There is also a 7-11 convenience store branch in Marihatag. 

You can bring food to be cooked. It has no corkage fee of course. Each cottage has a fire log kitchen. You also need to bring your own utensils. 

You have to bring water also to drink, the resort doesn't have potable water. However, there's a water pump for washing and taking a bath. 

Omangon Island in Marihatag Surigao
The pump boat that will ferry guests to Omangon Island 

How to get there?

Omangon Island is located in Marihatag, Surigao del Sur, just a three-minute boat ride from the Marihatag Tree Park. 

But make sure you already make an arrangement with the family operating the resort ahead of your visit so that they can fetch you using their own pump boat. Contact Poking Corvera through this mobile phone number 09121935702.

There's no regular boat ferrying between the island and the coastline of Marihatag, it is always through an arrangement before the scheduled trip. 

To reach the Municipality of Marihatag, if you're coming from Butuan or Davao City, catch a public utility bus or a van bound for Tandag, alight in the Marihatag Public Terminal, and ride a tricycle going to Marihatag Tree Park. Then proceed to the shoreline to meet the boat operators. 

Omangon Island in Marihatag Surigao del Sur
Omangon Island in Marihatag 

Island Trip in Surigao del Sur

If you want to experience the best of island adventure in Surigao del Sur, you may visit Britania Group of Islands in San Agustin and Omangon Island in Marihatag, these destinations are just roughly thirty minutes away from each other. They're both accessible from the provincial road, so you're free from the burden of taking the long commute reaching these islands.

But for guests outside the CARAGA region, it can be a long road trip as Surigao del Sur is quite far from international airports. The province's capital, Tandag, has an airport but no regular flight schedule.

Boslon Island in Britania Group of islands 

The nearest airport is Butuan City. Travel time (on a public utility bus) from Butuan to Marihatag is approximately five hours and the fare is less than Php500.00. Surigao del Sur has no traffic congestion as vehicles passing the provincial road are rare. 

If you're coming from Butuan City or Davao City, you may disembark first in Brgy. Salvacion in the Municipality of San Agustin, to visit Britania Group of Islands. Check our Britania Group of Islands guide trip for details where to stay.

Then proceed to Omangon Island in Marihatag the next day, for another island excursion. I'll recommend to spend one night in this beautiful island to make the most of your tropical island adventure.

Just make sure to bring your own food, water/beverages, and other needs before coming to the island as it doesn't have any store there.  

Britania Group of islands 

Marihatag's common means of transportation is tricyle.

If you are in Marihatag and want to visit Enchanted River in Hinatuan and Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig. catch a bus ride bound for Mangagoy and disembark at the Hinatuan crossing, from there you can hire a single motor that would take you to Enchanted River. Once you are in Hinatuan, Tinuy-an Falls is just an hour away.