From its laid back vibe, friendly locals, and world-class waves, Siargao is a secret paradise you’d want to keep for yourself.
HOW TO GET THERE
Located 763 kilometers south of Manila, Siargao Island can be reached via flights from Cebu or a three-hour ferry ride from Surigao City’s Dapa Port. If you’re coming from Surigao, do remember that the last ferry leaves at noon and most of the Manila-Surigao connections only arrive in the afternoon, so travelers are required to stay the night before sailing the next day.
WHAT TO DO
Siargao owes much of its reputation to its year-round waves, which you can find in the town of General Luna and an area made famous by visits from rockstar Anthony Kiedis and pro-surfer Kelly Slater. Of course, there is more to Siargao than its famous swells: nature lovers can also explore neighboring uninhabited islets Naked and Guyam and their impossibly powder white sands or the mysterious Del Carmen Mangrove forest. If budget and time are on your side, the island of Bucas Grande, home to the beautiful Sohoton caves and lagoon, can also be visited by hiring private boats.
WHERE TO STAY
Great beachfront accommodations are aplenty in General Luna and Cloud 9, but for those looking for a calm respite after a day of island hopping and riding the waves, there is Bravo Beach Resort. Located on Tourism Road, this holiday spot has breathtaking views of the ocean from the resort’s infinity pool, rustic and well-equipped room, not to mention delicious Spanish tapas from its in-house restaurant.
Want to be closer to Bucas Grande? Club Tara Resort in Soccoro is a good alternative. Featuring villas on stilts right by the beach, this hidden hideaway offers luxurious amenities such as swimming pool, Jacuzzi, restaurant, and poolside bar, where you can enjoy a cocktail amidst spectacular sunset views.
WHAT TO EAT
Despite being an under-the-radar destination, Siargao surprisingly has an abundance of good dining options. Kermit Surf Resort and Restaurant is popular for its Italian dishes, while the Lux Boutique Resort boasts the island’s sole sushi bar if Japanese cuisine is more your thing. Of course, no trip to the island is complete without going to local favorite, Mama’s Grill, for its affordable skewered seafood, pork, and beef, among other delicious things.
- Beginners who want to practice their surfing skills can visit between the months of March to May, while more experienced surfers can enjoy bigger waves during the monsoon season from August until November.
- Buy ingredients at the fresh market and cook them yourself if you’re booked at a homestay. If not, you can also bring what you’ve bought to resorts or restaurants that can cook for you for a fee.
- Instead of renting a private motorbike, save more by taking the local transport habal-habal to go from one place to the other. As for island-hopping trips, it’s always cheaper to hire local boats yourself than by going on arranged boat tours.