From General Santos and our South Cotabato trip, an 8-hour overnight ferry brought me and Regine to the Sarangani Islands, one of the Philippines’ most remote island groups.

As expected, these parts were very much offbeat. In fact, we were the only tourists for almost the entire time we were there.

After arrival in Balut Island, we trekked our way to the forest-topped summit of Balut Volcano, the highest peak on the Island.

The cloudy weather did not stop us from seeing faint views of east Indonesia. We even saw what could be remote northern islands of Sulawesi or Maluku.

On our island hopping tour, we found a pink-sand beach at tiny Olanivan Island!

As well as many scenic beach coves in Sarangani Island.

Before heading back to General Santos, we made a final stop at Sabang Hot Springs and enjoyed a lazy afternoon at the town proper while waiting for the return ferry to the mainland.


Route Map


Trip Itinerary

Balut Island & Balut Volcano Trek

Day 0

Places General Santos

5PM — Arrive at Lion’s Beach Port & reserve tickets for Balut Island ferry.

10PM — General Santos to Balut Island ferry — P600 per person.

Day 1

Places — General Santos » Mabila Port, Balut Island (Sarangani Islands, Davao Occidental, Davao Region)  » Balut Volcano » Mabila.

5:30AM — Arrival at Mabila Port

8AM — Sarangani Municipal Hall / tourism office courtesy call — Since we didn’t have contacts for the guide prior to our arrival. We had to wait for the offices at the municipal hall to open, and ask assistance on how we could go about the trek. They were so helpful and assigned us a guide for the day.

Check-in at “The Pink” Guest House — P600 triple fan room.

10AM — Balut Volcano summit trek — Trekked the whole way to the summit. Then, went back to the town proper mostly by habal-habal (motorcycle taxi). P500 per guide.

2:40AM — Arrival at Balut Volcano summit.

Trek back down to Brgy. Gomtago Proper

4PM —Arrival at Brgy. Gomtago Proper

Transport to Mabila poblacion on habal-habal (very rough rocky road) — P500 per habal-habal.

5:30PM — Rest at Mabila, Balut Island.

The area surrounding Mabila Port in Balut Island is the town proper or poblacion of Sarangani Islands. It is part of the Municipality of Sarangani in Davao Occidental Province. It gets confusing because there is also the similarly named Sarangani Province found in mainland Mindanao. Sarangani Island (singular) is a separate island located beside Balut Island.

Sarangani Island Hopping

Day 2

Places — Balut Island » Olanivan Island  » Sarangani Island

7AM — Start Sarangani Islands boat tour — P1,900 per boat (including next day return journey, back to Mabila).

8:30AM — Olanivan Island sightseeing.

11AM — Bulae Cove, Sarangani Island sightseeing.

11:30AM — Rest at Tuke Maklang Beach Resort.

2PM — Paras Beach sightseeing.

3PM — Isla Pabrosis Resort sightseeing.

4:30PM — Tuke Maklang Beach Resort sightseeing.

Rest at Tuke Maklang Beach Resort.

Balut Island & Sabang Hot Spring

Day 3

Places — Sarangani Island » Balut Island » General Santos.

Tuke Maklang Beach to Balut Island ferry (charter).

12NN — Arrival in Mabila, Balut Island

1PM — Start Balut inland tour by habal-habal — P600 round-trip per motorcycle.

2PM — Sabang Hot Spring sightseeing.

4PM — Rest in Mabila

11PM — Balut Island to General Santos ferry — P600 per person.

This trip is part of Marcos’ 12 Days Southcentral Mindanao Highlands & Islands & 2016 Detours travel series.


5:30AM — Arrival in Puting Bato Port.



This trip is part of Marcos’ 12 Days Southcentral Mindanao Highlands & Islands & 2016 Detours series.

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IN PHOTOS: Marcos journeys to Balut Islands, one of the Philippines’ most remote islands, in Sarangani, Davao Occidental.

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