What’s more in Siargao than just surfing (Part 1)

Ever wondered why Siargao has become so popular lately? We chanced upon a cheap flight via Philippine Airlines for only Php3,000+ roundtrip so we didn’t let it passed to see what this island in Mindanao is all about. We boarded at the Clark International Airport which is now easier to go to if you’re from the north rather than beating the traffic going to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

This destination in the southern part of the country is known for being the “Surfing Capital of the Philippines” but it boasts more than just being a surfing island. Apart from General Luna’s Cloud 9 surfing spot, there are more to see. A good five days is enough to go around the teardrop-shaped island.

We found an Airbnb near the beachfront right smacked in the middle of the laidback General Luna town, where all the cafes, restaurants, bars and shops are littered along the streets.

Even though the beachfront isn’t too ideal for swimming since it’s a bit rocky and low tide, it’s nice to get a glimpse of the sunrise and the peacefulness of the area – perfect for a morning walk before touring what the Siargao has to offer.

The ocean is abundant of animal life with birds flying across the blue sky and dogs swimming or playing along the shores. It’s a refreshing ambiance, a far cry from city life in Manila.

I contacted my friend’s recommended local guide, Kuya Ronnie Evite, who helped us with our itineraries around Surigao Del Norte, the province where Siargao is. We packaged it for a two day worth of tours for Php15,000 for three persons.

On our first day, he hooked us up to a tour of Sohoton and the three known islands of Daku, Guyam and Naked Islands. We were picked up by a tricycle and dropped us off to ride the boat going to Bucas Grande at Socorro in Surigao Del Norte. It’s a two hour boat ride to see the Sohoton Cove and the Stingless Jellyfish Sanctuary. Tours here usually costs around Php3,000 to Php4,000 per boat.

The long boat ride is worth the ride when we arrived at Bucas Grande. The crystal clear blue water welcomed us as we docked to the Sohoton Cove Tourist Registration Center where you’re required to register and pay environmental fees. Once you’re there, you’ll transfer to a smaller boat to take you around the lagoon to see the tranquil surroundings. It’s a well protected area where the locals and the government preserve the natural habitat.

You’ll see an odd-shaped rock formation along the way called Ti-il sa Kabayo, the name derived from the horse shoe. The small outrigger will then take you to a wide tunnel cave with a very low ceiling, which you can enter when it’s low tide by swimming. There’s also small cliff diving site if you’re up for an adventure.

Afterwards, the boat will bring you to the best part of Bucas Grande, the Stingless Jellyfish Sanctuary. It’s the only place in the world where you can find stingless jellyfish. They are translucent and brown in color. You can touch or swim with them as long as you don’t take them out of the water.

After Sohoton Cove, we proceeded to island hopping after lunch. The islands are nearer to Siargao. First stop was Naked Island which is a beautiful white sand bar right smacked in the middle of one of the bluest waters in the Philippines.

Next stop is Guyam Island which has a rockier shoreline that’s perfect for a picturesque back drop. There’s a minimal entrance fee at this island. You can walk around it as it’s quite small like the Naked Island. Last stop is Daku Island which has a longer shoreline and has cottages you can rent if you’re going to stay longer. Out of the three islands, the most beautiful is the Naked Island.

Afterwards, we headed back to Siargao to rest at our rented Airbnb in General Luna. It’s only a three bungalow cozy cottage that’s owned by the lovely couple who also owns Luna Cafe.

We rented one of their rooms for Php3,000 per night. It’s location is quite good as its beside all the local bars, restaurants and stores. It’s also just behind the tranquil shores of General Luna.

Come back again next time for the second part of our trip to Siargao at The HodgePodge Lifestyle.

Siargao local guide:

Ronnie Evite – +63948 379 2229