SIARGAO ISLAND

Siargao Island, Searching for the perfect waves and beautiful beaches

It was basically a toss between Islands of Bantayan and  Siargao this year. Despite our motto, never to go to the same place twice, this time we did exception to this rule. Everything was so perfect last year that we decided to re-do it. So surfer’s paradise, here we come!

We took off from Mactan Island (Cebu) and enjoyed the view way below us. On our way to Sayak Airport in Del Carmen, Siargao, we saw settlements of reefs, islands and sandbars right out in the middle of the sea.

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As the aircraft started its descent and neared Siargao, we flew over this small, tropical island called Poneas with an incredibly beautiful deep-water lagoon in the middle of it.

Starting our descent to to Siargao Island
Starting our descent to to Siargao Island
Siargao Airport, one flight in/out per day
Siargao Airport, one flight in/out per day

This year we decided to stay at Villa Maya (TA review)  which is about 3 min motorbike ride from Cloud 9. Last year we’ve been at Greenhouse resort and we had such a wonderful time there, but knowing the tidal situation on the island, this year we went for a place that has a swimming pool.

Villa Maya
Villa Maya

Villa Maya 1

We rented two motorbikes (P350/7,5 USD per motorbike/day) so we were mobile for dinners and other trips to General Luna and Cloud 9 and not always depended on habal-habal rides.

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Since we already did few things around the island last year we chose the trip to Sohoton lagoon which is part of wonderful islands of Bucas Grande Socorro. There are still isolated places, where nature is just waiting to be explored, where the scenery is breathtaking and the wildlife is abundant and awesome. And this place is one of them.

The only way to get to it is by boat. It took us more than 2 hours boat ride one way. The trip was quite expensive though. Boat rental from Siargao Island cost us P7,000/150 USD for all of us  + additional fees and charges once you arrive in Sohoton Tourism Center (P2,500/54 USD).

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The boatman dropped us off at the Sohoton Center where the tourists register and have their trip arranged.

Sohoton Registration Office
Sohoton Registration Office

After that we were transferred to a smaller boat to drive us around the caves in the lagoon. Along the way, you can see magkono, the hardest wood in the country and quite a few stalactites.

Waiting for a small boat to take us into the Lagoon
Waiting for a small boat to take us into the Lagoon

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Here comes the real adventure – Hagukan cave. You have to dive in and swim through the cave’s opening underwater. Once inside luminous water made it seem we were transported to another world.

Lunch break
Lunch break
Not the best grilled fish, to put it mildly
Not the best grilled fish, to put it mildly

After lunch that was gently said bad and more additional charges (fee for using utilities etc.), we headed back to the Tourist Center to get another boat, a smaller one good for 2 passengers that will do their best to look cool and strong, paddling with the boatman. On the way to the jellyfish sanctuary, you will pass by shallow, gushing waters where you will walk through. Aqua shoes will be very much helpful here to create traction in your steps. As you go back to the boat, your soul is at peace because even though it’s almost noon and you’re under the sun with little or no shade to run to, you realize that you don’t really get quiet moments like this all the time and just anywhere.Stingless jellyfishes teem as you go farther, some transparent like round gelatin, and most are brown.

DCIM100MEDIA

DCIM100MEDIA

Nia searching for the Jellyfish
Nia searching for the Jellyfish

At least that is what we heard from the boatman, since you can only see them in April and we only saw few of them while swimming in the lake. Truth be told if we knew that we would probably skip the whole Sohoton trip since it was really long boat ride for the kids and the most expensive thing we had to pay in our month of travel in the Philippines and Cambodia.

Soldier down on the way back
Soldier down on the way back
Svit too :)
Svit too 🙂

Island hopping:

We did it on our previous visit but it was great so we went on these three islands again. We left the General Luna port and headed to the islands. First stop is Naked Island, than Daku and you finish your trip with visiting Guyam Island.

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Naked Island
Naked Island

As you can see, there isn’t much to the “Naked” Island. But it’s still beautiful, though. Because it is naked there are no plants, no trees, no houses, and no cottages.  It’s just going to be you, the island, and the scorching heat of the sun.

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We took a dip for less than an hour, took lots of photos and then headed to Daku Island.

Daku Island on the horizont
Daku Island on the horizont
Daku Island
Daku Island

Daku Island was the highlight of our tour. It has a great beach, covered in powdery white sand, and is definitely the best place to relax on the beach or swim. If you bring fresh fish from the market, you can have it cooked here for a fee.

General Luna Market place
General Luna Market place
Mango lunch
Mango lunch

We went for mango and bananas instead. Lots of mangos:) Svit and Nia wouldn’t go out of the water for more than an hour and we really had great time here.

Bamboo huts for rent
Bamboo huts for rent
Great place for the kids
Great place for the kids

Daku means large in the local language, and it is by far the largest of the islands on the tour. There are some nipa huts available to rent to get of the sun and have a meal or drink. Svit made friends with locals and soon it was in their company listening to them singing. It was really a great moment.

Friendly locals singing with Svit
Friendly locals singing with Svit

After saying goodbye to our new friends we left for Guyam Island, our last stop. We were completely alone on this place and it felt like being stranded on the deserted island.

Guayam Island
Guyam Island
Nobody around
Nobody around
Robinson's Island
Robinson’s Island

To sum it up, this day was fun-filled and well spend!

Beside all this there’s plenty of things to do on the Island itself. It has beautiful beaches…

Cemetery Beach neart General Luna
Cemetery Beach near General Luna
...named after real cemetery at the beach
…named after real cemetery at the beach
Cooling down
Cooling down

Of course you can’t visit Siargao and don’t go to world famous Cloud 9 surf spot with it’s equally famous boardwalk.

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Cloud 9 boardwalk at low tide
Cloud 9 Boardwalk at low tide
Surf practice
Surf practice

While there you must take a break at Cafe Loka near the Boardwalk.

Cafe Loka
Cafe Loka

Cafe Loka it's a must on Cloud 9

It's all about that )
It’s all about that )
Hi there! Resident dog at the Cafe.
Hi there! Resident dog at the Cafe.

You also MUST go to Kermit Surf Resort and Restaurant and have one of the best oven baked pizza we’ve ever tried in Asia.

Best pizza on the Island...and around - Kermit Siargao!
Best pizza on the Island…and around – Kermit Siargao!

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As always in July we have to celebrate Edita’s Birthday, so here is an honorable mention for her:)

Edita's Birthday
Edita’s Birthday

Since being a teacher herself, Tina stopped by a local Elementary School near Villa Maya and had a chat with the teacher and kids and she had really wonderful time with them.

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Kids playing at School near Villa Maya
Kids playing at School near Villa Maya

This summed up our Siargao adventure. The next day we left this beautiful surfers paradise which is must see for non-surfers as well and headed to Cebu City and then via Manila to Siem Reap, Cambodia, our last stop on this year Asian adventure.

Goodbye Siargao
Goodbye Siargao

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