Drive the beautiful 902 Surigao-Davao coastal route

If you were thinking about a road trip to the beautiful island of Mindanao and explore its hidden jewels, this post will cover a road trip journey from Butuan City to Davao and back through the scenic route highway 902 Surigao-Davao coastal road. Explore Mindanao with all its element from the beautiful open pacific coastline, magnificent mountain ranges and lush green vegetations.

This article is broken down into a two part series road trip to the beautiful eastern side and the mountain ranges of Mindanao. The road trip was tailored to driving the eastern coastal road- down to Digos where Mount Apo is a picturesque backdrop in our stay at camp Sabros, taking the ferry ride to the beautiful Samal Island for a luxurious night at the five star Pearl farm resort and soaking in all of the pacific coast before we head on our second leg of the trip to the mountain ranges of Mindanao. It continues north on to Malaybalay Bukidnon, claveria and back to Butuan City where we’ll spotlight new mountain resorts. We’ll also highlight the incredible places we have visited and stayed and the authentic food served by the locals- All in a span of ten days.

Where to begin the journey

There are two Cities you can fly in to. If you are coming from the northern part of Mindanao, Butuan City has a domestic airport that has four flights coming from Manila and Cebu everyday. West of Butuan is Cagayan de Oro City that has multiple flights from Manila as well.

We will be following the route from Butuan City that connects highway 1 or AH26 to highway 902 that bypass the faster and shorter route to Davao City via highway 1. This coastal route took us an extra 5-6 hours in total to get to the outskirt City of Davao spending our first night in the beautiful city of Mati.

left: part 1 of this journey ( Surigao-Davao coastal route) right: part 2 of the journey (The mountain resorts of Mindanao route)


First stop: San Francisco

We traveled this route using a private vehicle. We left Butuan City half hour past five in the morning. There are plenty of gas station along highway 1 before the road forks two ways. AH26 or highway 1 taking you the faster route to Davao City and the two connecting roads from AH26; Highway 903 and highway 905 connects Butuan City to the Surigao-Davao coastal route 902. We preferred the latter because we chose our first stop at the town of San Francisco for a bathroom break, a quick snack and stretch.

This town is known for the gigantic Toog Tree of Alegria, which is the most sacred tribal tree for many of the indigenous peoples of San Francisco. The protected area of the Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary can be reached in San Francisco through the Barangays Caimpugan and New Visayas.

Route 905 to Surigao-Davao coastal route

This part of Mindanao takes you to a sweeping and breathtaking view of the lush greenery hillside as you leave the town of San Francisco through the bahi-barobo road. Early morning fog penetrate deep into the quaint town of Bahi inviting you to a glorious morning retreat of a panoramic view.

Bislig Bay

Bislig Bay

We see the first sight of the coast in clear view as we snake our way down the mountain ranges of Tagbina and Hinatuan and into Bislig City and its beautiful bay. A quick stop here to buy breakfast from the locals and enjoy homemade soup in a makeshift carenderia hut along the coastal highway is surely a welcoming retreat.

Aliwagwag Falls

Aliwagwag falls

The drive further south into a more winding coastal and scenic route takes you to the town of Cateel. About 7-8 miles off the main highway from Cateel exiting to road 906 through the towns of San Alfonso, Aragon, Maglahis will take you to the multi tiered gushing and rumbling sound of the magnificent and jaw dropping Aliwagwag falls that drain into the Cateel river below with a ghost like mist from the river’s mighty forces. Bring towels and swim wear. There are safe areas for swimming.

birds eye view of the Aliwagwag falls

Baganga and the sunrise boulevard

We headed back to the coastal road at about eleven in the morning. The scenic drive takes you to a beautiful stretch of the boulevard with stoic mangrove trees stand idle against still waters and the pacific ocean break in the backdrop. The remains of this place stands still the time and remnant of Typhoon Pablo in 2012 that surged and destroyed what used to be a stretch of green mangrove trees. What’s left is an abstract picture of juxtaposed mangrove tree trunk telling of its story and resilience. A beautiful reminder to why people continue to travel this part of Mindanao and why you should to.

fifth stop and the first night stay

We made it our way to Mati City and stayed the night at the Blue bless beach resort. This is a wonderful resort catered towards young children with wonderful displays of animal status, plenty of private cabana and of course swimming pools, water parks and warm blue turqouise waters of the pacific ocean. This is a destination your young children will surely enjoy and remember.


Blue Bless Mati cottage resort

The next day we crossed pakiputan straight with our vehicle via ferry to the island of Samal the next day and stayed the second night at one nearby resort. Tickets to cross via ferry can be purchased on site or visit samal guide for much detailed guide to the island.

Pearl farm resort

Pearl farm Resort

Pearl farm is a wonderful retreat. It is in its own, a paradise- within an island paradise. The cove is engulfed in tall coconut trees, mangrove shorelines and centuries old banyan trees. The resort is five star rated. You can expect exceptional hospitality from buffet served delicacy food with its own chef on site to a peaceful dip in the infinity pool facing the peaceful waters of the Davao gulf.


The resort is accessed only through booking with them at Pearl Farm Marina in Lanang Davao Beach club. Contact Tel. no: +63 82 234 6987. The resort will take you from the marina in Lanang on a ferry boat and dock in to a facade of preserved greenery and a welcoming Filipino culture and hospitality. This resort was once a pearl farm now boast luxury and comfort that continues to signify its beauty true to its service and preserved nature all around.



We end this first part of our scenic coastal journey in this beautiful island jewel as we continue our Mindanao road trip on the next article and explore our way up the beautiful mountain ranges of Digos, Bukidnon, Claveria, Buenavista, Kitcharao and the many mountain resorts along the way. Watch a summary clip of this trip below from our youtube channel.

Click here for our continued journey to the beautiful mountain ranges of Mindanao. Thank you for supporting this website. Thank you for the coffee!

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