SIBUTAD TRAVEL GUIDE: One Day Tour Itinerary, Best Destinations, Expenses, and Tips
For the first time ever, I experienced a tour loaded with lots of first time adventures all in one whole day in Sibutad, Zamboanga del Norte. The day tour includes mountain hiking, trekking, swimming, coastal tour-watching, dropping by at a mini sandbar and an island escape. I literally went on a mountain and sea tour!
The municipality of Sibutad is part of the beautiful province of Zamboanga del Norte with breathtaking mountain view landscapes and a long stretch of coastal beaches that celebrates the Kinhason Festival.
The name SIBUTAD was taken from the word ‘sibut’, a fishing paraphernalia used in catching fish and shrimps in brooks and rivers. Considering that the place is a rich fishing ground, the term sibut was giving lasting significance, thus, SIBUTAD was born.
How to get to Sibutad
The municipality is bounded on the north and west by the City of Dapitan, south by the Municipality of Rizal, and east by Murciellagos Bay. It is 47 kilometers away from the City of Dipolog. What was once a challenging place to visit is now made convenient with multiple ride options bound for Sibutad, Zamboanga del Norte.
BY BUS – If you’re coming from Dipolog City, you may go to the Dipolog Integrated Terminal and ride a Rural Transit Bus, the only bus company that operates daily to and from Sibutad. Fare is Php90.00/person in a basic riding experience. No deluxe ride available, yet. The entire trip will take a maximum of 1 hour.
Everyday Trip Schedule of Rural Bus
Dipolog Terminal to Sibutad Terminal – 6AM, 10AM, 2PM, 5PM
Sibutad Terminal to Dipolog Terminal – 6AM, 10AM, 2PM, 5PM
BY PRIVATE VEHICLE – For private transportation, Sibutad can be traveled in a coastal ride of Dapitan City reaching the southern part of Sibutad in a 40 minutes travel or traveling the main highway in approximately 1hour. To go around the most of this tour at your own pacing, having your own private vehicle will be the best option to make.
If renting a car…
- Social media is your friend. There are car rental businesses in Dipolog City on different daily rates.
- Inquire and arrange schedules before your trip.
A lot of Tuk-tuk for public transportation goes in and out of Sibutad, too. You can rent one from Dipolog for 500 per trip maximum of 3pax. You can however negotiate with the driver if you want to be taken directly in a destination spot.
Where to stay in Sibutad
No available accommodation style like breakfast in bed within the heart of the municipality just yet. But, Sibutad is best known for camping adventure. There are few resorts and shoreline beaches that is perfect for camping.
Food crawl in Sibutad
Sibutad celebrates Kinhason Festival every 11th of September. “Kinhason” is the visayan dialect of shellfish that are abundant in Murceilagos Bay.
The best shells in the province are in Sibutad, like the popular Sa-ang and more other delicious meat shells like litob, aninikad, bug-atan, amahong, abalone, bongcawel, taklobo, paypay (scallops), even sea urchins and others.
There are also other mouthwatering seafoods available for pre orders like, blue crabs, shrimps, sea grapes (lato), nokus, and fresh-caught fishes that is delicious for kilawin and sugba recipes.
Top Tourist Destinations in Sibutad
Sibutad has slowly introduces its hidden paradise of mountain hiking landscapes, beach resorts, and islands. The municipality has an alluring blaze of nature, glittering white sand and the protected marine resources amidst in a fish sanctuary.
Piñahon Island lays on the Northern hemisphere of the municipality at the center-most point of the Murcielagus Bay in the municipal waters of Sibutad. Aside from crystal-like and blue water, Pinahon Island is surrounded by grasses, coral reefs, various kinds of shells, crabs, and variety of fishes.
- Comfort Room
- Grilling Area
- Function Hall
- Rental Cottages
- Mini Sari-sari Store
FEES AND CHARGES
Entrance Fee – ₱20.00
Cottage Rentals Price Range – ₱300 to ₱1,500
You may like: Revisiting the Crystal Clear Water of Piñahon Island
Ilihan Peak (Lady of Assumption)
Ilihan Peak is a 1.3 kilometers for 40minutes in a slow pacing hike. It is known for its sea of clouds sighting. You can can either camp out to wake up to this majestic view or wake up before dawn breaks to rise in time with the best sunrise and sea of clouds. The time for the best view is around 5:30 AM to 6:30 AM.
Ligas Paka (Gold Rush Hills)
Gold Rush Hills or known by locals as Ligas Paka is Sibutad’s own version of Batanes because of its breathtaking mountain landscape views. This is an awe-inspiring natural wonder of Sibutad because of the beautiful highlands and the vast sea of Murciellagos Bay and Piñahon Island.
While the trek to Gold Rush Hills is achievable even for beginners, please wear appropriate trekking outfit to avoid injuries.
RELATED ARTICLE: Conquering Two Mountain Peaks of Sibutad In a Day On My First Hiking Trip Experience
Paradise Cove Beach Resort
Paradise Cove Beach is a semi-exclusive with a white sand and crystal clear water located at the heart of Barangay Sawang, Sibutad, Zamboanga del Norte. A clean, peaceful, safe, and very affordable place perfect for any social gatherings and family bonding.
NO WALK-INS! Call 0966 934 4295 to book your reservations.
READ For Amenities, Fees and Charges, Food & Events, and More: Paradise Cove Beach Resort, The Fastest Rising Travel Destination in Sibutad
Things to do in Sibutad
Sibutad being known for its beautiful shoreline beaches and mountain landscapes, there are pretty few of activities to do in Sibutad.
Swimming And Bay Tour
The Bay Tour can be avail in Paradise Cove Beach Resort for ₱1,200 in 15-25 pax in a maximum of 3 hours. The tour includes the following activities:
- Murciellagos Coastal and Fish Sanctuaries Watching
- Sandbar Swimming Experience
Camping in Sibutad is one of my most favorite. You can even choose wether to camp in a beach or in a mountain. And yes, it’s safe.
Sibutad Sample Itinerary (Mountains to Sea Tour)
As a local, I have tried to create and experienced a DIY itinerary based on the tourist destinations that I have visited in the Municipality of Sibutad.
Disclaimer: I’m a first time hiker and been to a few island tours in the past. I am not an expert in creating itineraries and this hasn’t been officially adapted by the Municipal Tourism Council of Sibutad. However, the Sibutad MTC was aware of this trip so, I highly suggest to consult them for your trip. You may message them at the Municipal Tourism Council of Sibutad Facebook Page.
But, if you still want to follow this DIY Sibutad Day Tour Itinerary, feel free to do so and please travel responsibly.
As mentioned on “Where to Stay”, there has no accommodation available yet in the heart of Sibutad, so we decided to stay overnight in Paradise Cove Beach Resort bringing our tents and hammocks to maximize our time.
- 4:00 PM – Arrival at Paradise Cove Beach Resort
Pack up your tents and hammocks for a cheaper stay in the resort. You’ll only have to pay an entrance fee of 20 pesos.
- 4:00 AM – Wake up time (20 minutes ride to Brgy. Calilic)
- 4:30 AM – Jump off to Ilihan Peak (40 minutes hike)
- 5:15 AM – Arrival at Ilihan Peak (1hour stay)
- 6:30 AM – Hike Down from Ilihan Peak
(10 Minutes ride from Brgy. Calilic to Brgy. Minlasag)
- 6:45 AM – Jump off to Gold Rush Hills (1 hour hike)
- 7:30 AM – Arrival at Gold Rush Hills (1 hour stay)
- 8:30 AM – Hike Down from Gold Rush
(30 minutes ride from Brgy. Minlasag to Brgy. Sawang)
optional: take photos in the long stretch of Panganuran Boulevard
- 9:30 AM – Breakfast at Paradise Cove Beach Resort
- 10:30 AM – Start of the Bay Tour (3 Hours Max)
– Coastal Tour
- 12:00 NN – Seafood Lunch at Piñahon Island (To avail, please request 5days prior to your scheduled trip. Contact Kuya Kokoy, 0926-286-4083)
Piñahon Island isn’t originally part of the bay tour package, but you can request the management of Paradise Cove Beach Resort for an alternative tour arrangement given that you’d follow the time allowed in the tour which is 3hours.
- 1:30 PM – Back to Paradise Cove Beach Resort
Tips: You can rest and stay at the resort with no additional cost. Please refer to the expenses section.
Estimated Expenses of Sibutad Day Tour
Below is the estimated expenses for 10 persons. But you may compute your own estimated expenses if you’re below or more than 10. There are available details on the above information under each of the destinations included.
- Dipolog to Sibutad Terminal Fare (One Way) – ₱90/person
- Pakyaw System Transportation
There are two available public transportation options in Sibutad for the commuters:
- Habal-habal (A single ride motorcycle)
- Bao-bao/Tuk-tuk (Tricycle) – Good for 2pax
Route: Brgy. Poblacion ⤑ Brgy. Calilic ⤑ Brgy. Minlasag ⤑ Brgy. Sawang
I highly suggest to rent a private vehicle instead. Motorcyle or 4-wheels. Kindly skip if you’re traveling in a private vehicle.
PARADISE COVE BEACH RESORT
- Day Entrance – ₱5.00 (Adult), Kids are free
- For Overnight Stay – ₱50.00 x 10pax = ₱500
- Regular Cottage (10-15pax) – ₱500.00
- Breakfast – ₱150/head, 10pax = ₱1,500
- Bay Tour – ₱1,200 (Max of 3hours)
PRO TIP: We had an overnight stay in the resort prior to the tour since the tour starts at 4:00 AM. So, we pay for the overnight stay and experienced its Beer and Barbecue Night. Also, please refer to Paradise Cove Beach Resort destination above for other costs and amenities.
- Entrance Fee – ₱25.00 x 10pax = ₱250.00
- Cottage Rental – ₱500.00
Lunch preparation in the island needs to be inquired in advance 3-5 days prior to the trip. For seafoods pre-order, you may contact Kuya Kokoy at 0926-286-4083. Please again refer to the Piñahon Island destination above for more information about the costs and amenities of the island.
Travel Reminders, Tips and Advise
To request a guide for mountain hiking and trekking, please message our local hikers. Message the Facebook page of BAKTAS – Sibutad Mountain Hikers and Friends.
- Water is important. Bring your own water bottle. Stay hydrated always!
- I suggest that you bring in some cash to avoid hassle. No ATM machines within the municipality.
- A gas station is available near the Sibutad Elementary School.
- There’s a wet market and some stores for your basic needs.
- Wear proper hiking and swimming attire.
Leave No Trace Principle
The Tourism of Sibutad is highly strict about this principle. If you’re not familiar, this is the famous outdoor ethics. Yes! ALL outdoor activities. The idea behind this principle is to leave nature as unchanged as possible, so that future generations can enjoy it too. The essence of this principle is to keep the wilderness wild. So, leave what you find.
Should you need more information about the Leave No Trace Principle, I recommend travelers to research and have basic knowledge on how to take care of our environment.
More Things To Remember
- Bring your garbage with you.
- Be careful with fire especially when you’re on the mountains. As much as possible, no smoking and throwing cigarette buts anywhere.
- Do not disturb the wildlife with excessive noise.
- Have fun but be considerate with others too.
Special thanks to Julius Mananquil Media for the aerial photos.
Amazing! I know nothing about traveling all over the country, what a wonderful looking place to explore.
The seafood lunch is heaven! One thing I like about traveling is the food. So whenever my family travels, as much as possible, our budget is for eating. Haha! Grabeeee, ang ganda sa Piñahon Island. Wishing I could also visit it in the future with mama and daddy. 🙂
gusto ko nang mag travel.. sana mag end na tong health crisis. I’ll add this to my bucket list
This is now added to the list of places I want to visit after the quarantine! Thank you so much for sharing this! Like always, your pictures are amazing!
Nicole San Miguel
Exploring Zamboanga Del Norte is one of my travel bucket list. I would like to visit their beautiful islands! This year would have been different for me if there was no pandemic. I really miss travelling!
Sooo inggit! Gusto ko na din gumala! I miss the walang tulog na itinerary and bahala nas kung san mapunta kind of experience! Super nice photos, too! Looking forward to go for a trip with you!
I’m missing the beach and the outdoors so badly because of your post! It’s so nice that there are a lot of activities you can do there. Piñahon Island looks so beautiful! Take me there nowwwww! I need some vitamin sea! Hahaha!
Danica Airelle Marasigan
The traveler/adventurer spirit in me is envious seeing these travel photos! It’s my first time to read about Sibutad and thanks for sharing the underrated charm of this place. I love the seafood. Different and unknown names but I’m curious to try them.
Did you bring a drone with you? Stay safe! 🙂 More travel photos.
This place looks like the perfect getaway! <3 My family is from Mindanao actually and I've heard about this place many times from my cousins. Now thanks to you, planning my trip is easy-peasy. Thanks and stay safe! <3 #TillWeTravelAgain
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Zambonga, in general, is part of my list of places to visit in the Philippines. Love their coastal waters! I’m not a hiker but those views sure lok lik they’re worth the effort. Unfortunately, since I’m usually a solo traveler, this would be an expensive adventure. Was it easy finding other people to share the island tour with?
Now this is a complete itenirary!!! I feel like i can just grab this and book some vacation leave already. Hahaha. Now, we just have tk get rid of this pandemic and start travelling again!!
Wow this is such a beautiful place! Will definitely add it to my list of places to visit in the Philippines.
Gusto ko gawin itong mountain to sea tour na ito. Ang ganda ng Sibutad, sana magkaroon ng chance na makapunta kami dyan. Gusto ko ulit maexperience matulog sa tent
Omg start at 2:30am! The best ang trip na yan sa masisipag talaga umagap hehe. I love to see the Piñahon island! Parang di nalalayo sa CamSur ano?
I see so they are open for tourists na pala. Hay buti pa sila diyan! What a great trip there, Khae! I’m saving this for the future!