Surigao del Norte | Lapsay Lagoon, a Paradise in Tagana-an

A newly-introduced destination is now becoming a rising tourism gem in the province of Surigao del Norte, the Lapsay Lagoon located in Tinago Island of Tagana-an.

Lapsay Lagoon in Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte

Surigao del Norte never fails to amaze me! I had good memories of this province during my stay in 2012. And yep, definitely lots of good memories, the amazing, serene beaches, the fresh and delicious sea food, and the wonderful people who never fails to make any tourist accommodated and welcomed. During my stay in this province, I’ve realized that 1-year is actually not enough to explore and be familiar with this beautiful haven. I really thought I’ve seen and experienced everything Surigao Del Norte can offer – but I was so wrong! 

And so my wandering feet took me back again to Surigao Del Norte last September 2016 - and this time I had the chance to explore its newest gem, the beautiful Lapsay Lagoon located in Tinago island in the municipality of Tagana-an.

Lapsay Lagoon in Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte

Lapsay Lagoon

Together with islets, caves, and coves, Lapsay Lagoon is part of a large protected marine sanctuary in a group of islands of Barangay Tinago in the Municipality of Tagana-an. Tinago Holiday Resort, a private resort under the management of 3 accredited and licensed tour guides called AJJM Brotherhood, developed the place as the province’s newest tourism destination. 

Lapsay Lagoon in Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte

The resort offers activities you can do in the lagoon and the rest of Tinago Island’s other interesting spots like: snorkeling, canoeing, island hopping, mountain trekking, adventure/burial caving, mangroves tour, swimming, boating, rafting, cliff hanging, surf/body boarding.

I don’t have any idea on how the place was developed and got its permit from the DENR but I salute the management of the said resort for ensuring protection of its rich marine life and surrounding flora and fauna. I’m pretty sure that Lapsay Lagoon and Tinago Island’s other interesting spots are soon to be the province’s next big thing on its ecotourism map.

Lapsay Lagoon in Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte

According to Kuya Mahal, one of the tour guides, the lagoon is just ¼ part of the whole Tinago Island’s cove area. 

Turquoise, crystal-clear water! I don’t want to compare but the lagoon is similar to the Kayangan Lake in Coron or in Sohoton of Bucas Grande (located also in Surigao del Norte), it definitely resembles the rest but Lapsay has its own beauty and distinction. I couldn’t find the best adjective and words to describe the place but it’s a paradise on earth!

By the way, we’re so lucky on our visit, 3 suspected giant pearls were found in one of the caves in the area.

Lapsay Lagoon in Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte

Lapsay Lagoon in Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte


There are no accommodations (for overnight stay) in the island resort. Considering that this place is a protected marine sanctuary, overnight stay is not allowed. They are accepting visitors up to 5:00PM only. But no worries, array of accommodation options are available in Surigao City, a 30-minute ride from Tagana-an.

When visiting the resort/lagoon, there are guidelines/rules that are strictly implemented. You have to attend a 5-minute safety briefing before enjoying the lagoon and other interesting spots in Tinago Holiday Resort. This 5-minute orientation highlights the following reminders:

  • Hunting wild animals and birds is not allowed
  • No picking of flowers and plants specially wild orchids
  • No stepping and collecting of corals
  • Fishing/taking of oysters, shells, urchins and other sea creatures is not allowed
  • Littering or throwing of any garbage is strictly prohibited.

Lapsay Lagoon in Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte

Lapsay Lagoon in Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte

Lapsay Lagoon in Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte

Lapsay Lagoon in Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte


Fly from Manila to Surigao City. Getting there involves a 30-minute multicab/habal-habal ride from the capital city Surigao then a more or less 10-minute boat ride from the wharf area in Tagana-an proper.

From Surigao City, ride in a multicab bound to Tagana-an. To save time on waiting for other passengers, you can also hire a habal-habal from the city proper but this can be a bit expensive. Once you arrive the town proper, look for the wharf area located just in front of the public market (a few walk from the Municipal Hall). From there, you have to ride in a motorboat going to Tinago Holiday Resort- travel time is less than 10 minutes. Fare is 100 back and forth regardless of how many passengers but please make arrangement in advance.

Other Options : 

From Butuan City, ride in a bus bound to Surigao City. Travel time is more or less 3hours. Tell the driver to drop you in crossing Tagana-an. From crossing, hire a habal habal that will take you to the wharf area just in front of Tagana-an Public Market.

From Davao City, at Davao Ecoland Terminal, ride in a bus bound to Surigao City. Travel time is more or less 10 hours. Then follow the instructions above.

Entrance Fee (inclusive of all the activities you can do in the resort): Php150.00
For groups, there are 2 cottages for rent in the area. Each one costs Php1500.00.
Boat Fare is Php100.00 (back and forth) and will be arranged by the caretaker of the resort- best to book with them for your visit in advance so they can also arrange the boat ahead.

Tinago Island, Tagana-an,Surigao del Norte
Contact Person: Kuya Mahal(Mahalie B. Robantes)
Contact Numbers: +639487972358, +639487972356

Visiting Surigao Del Norte is definitely another memorable experience for me, and I can’t wait what the province has to offer on my next visit! 


Photographs taken using Huawei P9. Yep, clear, crisp and sharp travel photos are now possible with this phone! And it’s not just a phone, a camera phone with all the amazing features of a DSLR camera – it’s Huawei P9 with Leica’s dual camera technology.

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  1. The resolution of the photos coming from Huawei P9 is impressive. The lagoon looks really beautiful. I would sure love to visit Surigao del norte.

  2. Woah!! Awesome place.. I just love such places. Thank you so much for sharing this. Clarity of the pic is also too good.

  3. Surigao del norte should be next on my bucket list. It such a scenic place to explore plus the lake is just so mystical.

  4. Gosh! Surigao looks beautiful. I've only been in that place once. I so missed going to the beach. Philippines indeed is a country of paradise. Hope to visit the Philippines by the end of this year.

  5. I could totally live here! Looks like a perfect, quiet spot just for me!

  6. Wow, seem like a real adventure. I hope there ain't crocodiles in

  7. Hi! I would like to ask if it is okay if we will not rent a cottage? Or it is compulsory for us to get one before we pay for the entrance fee?Thank You.

  8. Boatfare back and forth 100,000? See above details Pls confirm


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