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Siargao, more than just the surfing capital
Check out my Siargao gallery and find out exactly why people who traveled here fell in love with this place. I will be sharing a mini travel guide on where to stay, eat and what to do (or not to do). Siargao isn’t just for the surfing enthusiast, there are LOTS of other activities you can do on the island, or near the island. Or if you’re like me, you can spend the day just soaking up the sun and listening to the waves.
Where is Siargao?
Siargao is a small island located northeast of Mindanao region (the smallest region in the Philippines). It is mostly known as the surfing mecca and holds events for adventurers across the globe to ride the waves. Very opposite of Manila, Siargao is a simple place filled with contented, relaxed and very friendly locals. There are vast Coconut fields, magnificent coves, peaceful beaches and of course the spots where waves are seeked by people filled with adrenaline.
Where to stay?
I recommend tourists to stay in the area of General Luna where all the hustles and bustles are. A lot of the restaurants and bars are walking distance to each other. But it is quiet at night so you still get a goodnight’s sleep. You can ask your accommodation to arrange an airport transfer for you via a van. I paid PHP350 (around USD7) for one-way. The airport is located in another town and you can either rent a motorcycle or get a spot in a van.
I stayed at a 4-bed airconditioned room in Siargao Footprints (Footprints Hostel) and paid PHP800 (USD16) a night for it. According to their website, it is now PHP1,000/night (USD20) for the AC room. It was worth it because I get to have a good sleep even when it gets hot and humid outside.
Drinking, Dining and Socializing
Siargao has this thing where one hostel/hotel would host the main party for a night. You can ask your accommodation for the schedule of the week so you can try and see for yourself. But lots of other restaurants and hostels also have their own parties (some hostels host parties exclusive to their guests). You can ask your accommodation or tour guide. Since this is a little island, almost everyone in one town would know each other and would probably have the best information you need. I personally went to Kermit Siargao to try their famous pizza and availed their happy hour drinks. It was a fun relaxing night. The place is so famous that there would always be a waiting line. Other places to eat at would be Mama’s Grill, Bravo Restaurant and Harana Surf Resort – the last one offers live band and an alfresco bar.
Tours – Traveling alone or with friends?
Do not fret if you’re alone and want to make friends, tourists automatically adapt to the environment and you can expect chilled and friendly people all around. If you are comfortable being alone, it is not a problem either! I basically explored the island by myself and with a very good tour-guide and was happy that I enjoyed the experience alone (except for the island hopping, I recommend a joiners group if you’re alone to minimize the expenses) If you want to tour alone, I recommend SRT 360 because he knows his way very well, he builds rapport with his guests quickly, AND he is a good photographer so you won’t have to ask anyone else for a photo of yourself. If you are, however with a group, I recommend Wander Melon Siargao because of their unique take on exploring. You get to sit on top of a jeepney with other tourists, drink beer and have tropical fruits, make friends and enjoy the activities on the island! Kermit Siargao also arranges tours.
Things @arracaptures actually did in the island
1. Enjoy the boardwalk before sunset at the Cloud9 area. I watched the surfers while waiting for the sunset. It was the best.
2. Surf! Surf! Surf! I dont have a photo of this because no one was able to take my photo.
3. Awesome island tour with my awesome tour guide! (3rd photo)
4. Tri-island tour – Naked Island, Guyam Island and Daku Island
5. Maasin River Rope Swing – one of the best things!
6. Visit Coconut Trees View Deck and enjoy the view
7. Take a walk at the Palm Tree Road
8. Day trip to the amazing Sugba Lagoon.
Take your island trip further to Sohoton Caves and visit the amazing natural structure and go to the stingless jellyfish sanctuary. I also climbed the inside walls of a cave only to jump out of the water when I exited. My first “cliff” jump!
9. Visit the Secret Spot! It is not technically a secret, but it is a private spot which is best visited in the morning. I had this very calm, very beautiful beach to myself for two hours.
Tips and Tricks
- Stack up on cash. They only have a few ATMs in the area and most establishments don’t accept credit cards. Before leaving the Manila airport, stack up on cash already.
- Surf! Don’t miss this chance. I’m a non swimmer and I was still able to surf.
- Wear aqua shoes. You’ll never know when those sneaky sea urchins come up.
- If you have a license, rent a motorcycle to explore on your own. Make sure the owner provides you with a helmet too. It’s around PHP350 for 24 hrs.
- If you’re a solo traveler, hire my tour guide so you get really good photos. No asking strangers needed! I only paid him PHP1,500 for an all day tour (USD30) and he will give you 110% of his ability.
- Siargao rehabilitates all of its tourist spots for a few months at a time. So make sure that the thing you want to do or visit most is actually open on your schedule. The local government announces it and accommodations/tourist guides know about it. Make sure to ask. When I was there, Magpupungko Pools was closed.
That’s it! I hope you found my gallery and mini-guide pleasing and helpful. Let me know what you think in the comments section!