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Siargao – the Surfing Capital of the Philippines

Siargao also known as the Surfing Capital of the Philippines is a small and modest island off the coast of Surigao del Norte which is situated at the easternmost part of the Philippines, just about 45 minutes away from Cebu by plane. Siargao Island has the biggest land area in the whole Siargao group of islands. The group of islands consists of nine towns; including Socorro, where the world famous Bucas Grande Islands and Sohoton Cove are found, the other eight towns are located in the mainland.

Siargao gained its ‘world-class’ status after famous surfing photographer John Callahan featured Siargao Island back in the 90’s. This brought a surge of tourists who undoubtedly fell in love with its charming laid-back tropical island vibe. Captured by Siargao attractions; clear waters, great diving spots, tidal pools – and of course it world famous surfing spots, the island continually becoming more and more popular to local and foreign tourists, surfers and non-surfers alike.

It is already given that surfing is the most famous attraction or activity in Siargao but little do many people know there are tons of other things tourists would enjoy while in Siargao. Go island hopping to nearby islands like Naked Island, Guyam Island, and Daku Island; head to Socorro and have a one of a kind experience while swimming with thousands of stingless jellyfish in Sohoton Cove and visit the breathtaking Bucas Grande Islands. Dive in the Pacific’s astoundingly diverse and colorful marine life. Another great geographical feature of Siargao is its proximity to the deepest part of the Philippine Deep which is approximately 11, 000 meters below sea level, making big game fishing a popular thing in the area.  Another fact about Siargao is that it is also called the Game Fishing Capital of the Philippines and it is where the International Game Fishing Tournament of the Philippines is held annually.

magpupungko-beachThere are natural infinity pools and inland bodies of freshwater which remain, up to this day, pure and untouched. For starters and for those who are not-so-adventurous, Magpupungko Beach and Infinity Pools in Pilar is a fine pick. Magpupungko is a tidal pool formed by a huge reef barrier which shields the waves from the Pacific Ocean. Water in these parts is clear and calm, perfect for those who want to take a break from the big waves of Siargao. Another water destination you can check out (that is not directly in the sea) is Taktak Waterfalls. This waterfall is situated in Santa Monica and offers an inviting flow of cool refreshing water from the mountain. It’s a good alternative if you are tired of saltwater and it is also a great spot for those who are interested to watch different species of birds that usually hang out in the area.  

Tired of all the water activities of Siargao? Do something different and explore the mainland. Rent motorcycles, vans or habal-habal to discover the villages and to experience native island life. The main island is dominated by lush green rice plantations, a fascinating contrast to the seemingly endless coastline. Head to Union in the town of Consuelo where a huge cave can be found. It has amazing stalagmite and stalactites formations and it is home to thousands of fruit-eating bats that simultaneously take-off just before sunset, another amazing view to behold.

siargao-beachTo top off your tropical paradise island experience, go on a food trip around General Luna. Diverse nationalities in the island brought multi-cultural influences to cuisine. The restaurants offer a wide array of selection from local to foreign cuisines that are perfect for your gastronomical adventure. Eat dishes made from freshly caught fish and seafood with fresh and natural ingredients grown from local farms. Fresh tropical fruits are also served and blended in drinks and desserts.

Siargao’s booming popularity as a top tourist destination in the Philippines brought businesses and establishments that cater all your needs. Although it is still not as developed as other popular beaches like Boracay yet, convenience and comfort are never compromised during your stay. There are several quality Siargao beach resorts (mostly located at General Luna) available to achieve a complete relaxing experience. But if you are travelling Siargao on a budget, worry not, as there is a lot of budget friendly accommodations that are all set to welcome you.

Check also our post about how to get so Siargao

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