Summer at Siargao

May 27, 2016


Last April 23, two of my aunts from the USA came home for vacation. It’s been a year since I last saw Aunt Sheree who introduced me to her sister Aunt Vicky, which was my first time to meet her in person. Their vacation was scheduled on April 23 until May 6. As they arrived in Manila, they hit the clubs to experience the Manila nightlife. The next morning, we immediately flew to Cebu for a connecting cruise to Surigao. After arriving at Surigao we then took a small ferry to Siargao Islands where our adventure begins!

Siargao is a teardrop shaped island situated 800 kilometers southeast of Manila in the province of Surigao del Norte, which is also at the northeastern tip of Mindanao. It’s approximately 437 square kilometres where it is home to a vast area of coral reefs, small points, and white sandy beaches.


How to get to Siargao?

There are no direct flights from Manila, you have to fly via Cebu. Cebu Pacific Air is the only airline servicing flights to Siargao. There are two ways to get yourself in Siargao. You may take the following routes:

  • Manila > Cebu > Siargao (via air)
  • Manila > Cebu (via air) > Surigao (via cruise) > Siargao (via small ferry)

If you’re a traveller who would like to make the most out of your trip, I suggest taking the latter route. You can take a day tour in Cebu and wander around Magellan’s Park or swim with the Whale Sharks in Oslob or go canyoneering in Kawasan falls. As per my auntie’s itinerary, we took the latter route and made the most out of our one-day day tour in Cebu.

Should I do a side-trip?

In a decade, Cebu has become one of the most developed provinces in the Philippines. It has transformed to be the main hub of commerce, trade, education, tourism, BPOs and other industries in the Visayan region. In addition, the island of Cebu is home to a diverse marine life and lush beaches which makes it worth exploring.

Although there may be limited tourist spots in Cebu, I recommend that you see them all as it is really worth your time. You can either swim along with the whale sharks in Oslob or take a dip in the clear waters of Kawasan falls. Do take note that prices are different for locals and foreigners as some implement a higher price for tourists.

Towards the end of the day, we prepared for our cruise to Surigao the next day. Take note that there is only one cruise (Cokaliong) per day taking you from Cebu to Surigao Del Norte. Upon arriving at Surigao, we immediately purchased a ferry ticket going to Siargao, the surfing capital of the Philippines. It will take you around 2 hours to arrive there. Upon arriving, we took a Habal-habal (motorcycle ride) to our hotel. We initially stayed at Kawili Resort but decided to transfer to Romantic Villas due to their poor service and safety reasons.

What to do in Siargao?

White sand beaches, crystal clear water, pristine underground river, bizarre rock formations, lush native bars, vast coral reefs, stingless jellyfish and the list goes on, on what can be done in the surfing capital. There won’t be a day you won’t enjoy your stay in Siargao. You can go island hopping and I tell you IT’S PERFECT! The noise pollution is minimal and people know how to segregate their trash. The folks in the island are very friendly and accommodating, they will be glad to answer all your questions.

Where to stay in Siargao?

Whether you’re in a tight budget or not, there’s a perfect resort waiting for you. Accommodation is not a problem in Siargao. The island is surrounded with affordable luxurious resorts that are Instagram worthy.

If you’re looking for a nice place to stay that is worth your money, I highly suggest booking Romantic Villas. They have all the amenities a 5 star hotel will offer. Private beach, infinity pool, massage, spa, in-house dining and free wifi, these are just a few of what’s in store for you at Romantic Villas. An Ocean View Villa will cost you US$65 during low-peak season and may escalate to US$100 per night during peak season. I forgot to take pictures of the resort during our stay, however, you may take a look at their hotel page in Agoda.



Looking for other choices?

No problem! As I said, there are a lot of resorts surrounding the island! My aunties and I spent enough time looking at other extravagant hotels. The following hotels and resorts are definitely worth the check:

Isla CabanaIf you’re generous enough to treat yourself to a luxurious stay at one of the island’s triple A resorts, then this resort (pictures above) is for you. Rates are from US$100 for a double room with A/C and can go all the way to US$181 for a beach front villa. Their beach front villa is adjacent to the resort’s swimming pool. The amazing view of their infinity pool will take your breath away. The resort is exceptionally beautiful and exceptionally world class.

Siargao BleuThe biggest and only spa resort in Siargao Island brings you to the grandest of experiences. Experience Siargao fishing, Siargao surfing and more. This is another resort you should take into consideration if you’re on a bigger budget. Rates are from US$140 for a deluxe room with A/C and can go all the way to US$260 for a floating villa. The rooms are adjacent to their swimming pool. The resort is not exactly budget friendly, but the resort is stunningly breathtaking with floating cottages around the swimming pool, perfectly located on the white sandy beach of General Luna.


Should I go to Siargao?

Definitely! There is more in the island than what it’s known for. Surfing is just a gist of it, with all the crystal clear beaches it has, Siargao deserves a slot in your bucket list. Whether you’re a surfer or not, a slice of paradise is worth the mile. The island is your key to experience heaven while living. What are you waiting for, when are you going to Siargao?


** thank you to Patrick and Simon!

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