Sunday Special – Siargao, Philippines

If a destination has the title of “Best Island in the World” would you want to visit? I say yes, especially if it is the tear-drop shaped Philippine island of Siargao, which has been on my radar for a couple years, after viewing several videos about it. It looks ridiculously beautiful and I have wanted to visit ever since. And it would seem that Condé Nast readers thought so too as they are the ones that chose it as the best island around in 2019 and the best island in Asia in 2021! Now that the Philippines has begun re-opening, a visit in the near future could be a good idea.

What makes this island so special that readers and travellers think so highly of it? That would be a variety of components, many of those which are associated with warm and sunny island goodness.

Boats on a Siargao Beach, Phlippines – Photo credit: ChaasPrimeSiargao 21CC BY-SA 4.0
  • SURFING
    • For decades, the island has been a haven for surfers with Cloud 9 surf break being a world renown spot for lovers of this sport
    • Best surfing months are from August – November with the Cloud 9 Surfing Cup usually on in September
    • The island has surf spots that offer waves for all skill levels, from novice to expert
    • Kite surfing is also a growing past time
  • Rock & Cave Pools
    • The waves are not the only way to spend time in the water – an abundance of lagoons, tide pools, and islets let you sneak off to swim, jump, and explore all over the island
      • Magpupungko Rock Pools – a tidal pool that is very popular for swimming and jumping. Just know that it is only open during low tide, for safety
      • Sugba Lagoon – a large lagoon worthy of a day trip in order to jump off its famed diving board, go kayaking and paddle boarding and of course take a swim
      • Tayangban Cave Pools – combines canyoneering and cliff jumping into double cenotes
  • Island Hopping
    • With smaller islands within eye’s view you can mix up your days exploring them
      • Bucas Grande Island – home to Sohoton Cove National Park, it a haven full of limestone karsts, caves for exploring or cliff jumping, and a sanctuary for jellyfish
      • Daku Island – a stunning island to worship the sun on sandy beaches, stuff your face with fresh seafood, and wandering about the palm-filled island
      • Guyam Island – walk across the this tiny yet mesmerizing island in about 50 steps. Then relax on the beach or swim in the blue blue waters surrounding this tiny spot of relaxation
      • Naked Island – Yes, the island is naked – it is nothing but sand and a great spot to suntan and swim
  • Visit the Towns
    • Explore the island and visit the towns dotting it
      • Del Carmen – located in the northeast of the island, the airport is located in this municipality. This region is where you will find the mangrove forest and you can make your way to Sugba Lagoon
      • General Luna – in the southwest of the island, this is likely where you will stay as it is the hub of the island and filled with various accommodations, eateries, nightlife, and more
      • Santa Monica – a wonderful spot to see a sunset on the pier on the north of the island or make your way to nearby Taktak Falls
  • Beach Bum
    • There is no lack of beaches to bum around and/or surf some waves. Here are just a few.
      • Algeria Beach – on the north shore, this lesser visited beach is a tranquil sunny getaway
      • Cloud 9 Beach – not far from General Luna, this beach is close to Cloud 9 surf break
      • Pacifico Beach – considered by many as the best beach in Siargao, this palm-lined length of sand is found on the northwest of the island and is less busier for surfers and sun-worshippers alike
      • Secret Beach – a not-so-secret beach on the south west near Dapa (where the ferry terminal is)

From everything that I have researched, this list seems quite short in regards to all the activities available on this small Philippine island. Many of the above activities are available via organized day tours. Alternately you can make your way around on your own. Renting scooters or cars is common as is hiring a “tricycle” and driver. In regards to accommodations, there is a mix of types available, not just in General Luna but around the island as well. You can make your trip either relaxing or filled with adventures. Maybe even a bit of both.

Diving board at Sugba Lagoon. Photo credit: Lucky Ambago Purok OtsoSUGBA LAGOON (MAY 2019)CC BY-SA 4.0

Siargao was affected by Typhoon Odette in December of 2021 though it has re-opened now.
Do expect that there still may be damage that has not been repaired and that they are re-building.
(Information is correct at time of publishing.)

Please check the Philippines official government website regarding Covid-19
related protocols and entry requirements.

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