Siargao is a tear-drop shaped island in the Philippine Sea situated 196 kilometers southeast of Tacloban in the province of Surigao del Norte. It has a land area of approximately 437 square kilometres. The east where such Art Skyes coast is relatively straight with one deep inlet, Port Pilar. The coastline is marked by a succession of reefs, small points and white, sandy beaches. The neighboring islands and islets have similar landforms. (For more info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siargao )
So the question is: How do we spend our day around Siargao Island?
That was the questioned I had in mind when I was planning our itinerary for Siargao with my bestfriend. I was on a longer holiday stay in the Philippines while my bestfriend can’t have more than 3days leave from her work. I did some research on how to wisely enjoy those 3 full days on the island and had gotten the idea to join the tour instead for the following reasons:
- It was only the 2 of us.
- We don’t know how to ride the motorbike / moped which is the main means of transportation around the island.
- Found a tour package that can almost take us to all the places around the island for a reasonable price and without that extra hassle.
- We are there for limited days only so we need to explore the place as much as we can.
- It’s always nice meeting new friends and other people with a purpose of just enjoying those golden free days out from our/their normal DAILY routines.
- JUST CHILLAX means calming and relaxing and finding your inner peace.
So how did we really spend our full day around the Island of Siargao?
The guide picks us up at our accommodation quite early in the morning by around 6:30am as our 1st stop has a limited time for its visiting hours. We are really looking forward to this tour as we had read about many nice spots recommended almost by everyone who had visited this island.
Magpupungko Beach and Tidal Pools
It took us around 51mins by car according to (Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/2JdTcwNENy4uLCUD7 ) from General Luna going to our 1st stop of the day. You need to know the timing of the LOW TIDE! Or otherwise the visit to this place will not be very much appreciated. But in case you miss the low tide time on this place, you can still enjoy the local food in the area esp. the ^Buko^ / The Fresh Coconut Juice & the Filipino dessert ^Bukayo^, the beach and the view (we actually came back here for our lunch). This spot is very well known for its Tidal Pools.
Friendly Reminder of the LOW TIDE: https://www.tideschart.com/Philippines/Caraga/Province-of-Surigao-del-Norte/Port-Pilar-(Siargao-Island)/
Extra INFO: Bukayo is a Filipino dessert made from sweetened coconut strips. It is traditionally made by simmering strips of young, gelatinous coconut (buko) in water and sinuklob, which is sugarcane muscovado sugar melted into a chewy caramel-like consistency. From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bukayo
What I love about this place was the natural rock pools especially appreciated during LOW TIDE with varying depths where one can swim or snorkel. Given that the water is really clear and refreshing plus the sound of the tidal waves making you feel relax. So if you get lucky, you’ll be entertain by some cliff jumpers leaping into the natural pools of salt water. So TIMING is NECESSARY when planning of visiting this place. Plus, I love how the volunteers Kuya’s was there all the time and assisting everyone. I understand how they are being extra observant for us due to the tide that might easily change from LOW to HIGH TIDE. Btw, they are all friendly in offering of taking our photos.
- The waves are nice but can be dangerous as well so don’t get too far. I saw some being carried away while swimming in the pool or was just posing for some photos so it’s nothing wrong to be extra attentive of the waves. Luckily no harm had happened to her.
- Make sure to bring your shoes or wear slippers as you may, as the rocks could sometimes cut you. Just be extra careful as some parts might be slippery as well.
- Lastly because we opted for a tour package, we aren’t bother about the EXTRA FEES upon entering the area: Entrance Fees, Parking Fees (paying to access the beach is indeed a foreign concept esp. if you are not originally from the Philippines…)
Endless Sea of Palm Trees or Palm Trees Island whatever you call it because the entire island is just surrounded with it and can take your breath away. So no doubt that it got the title ^Top 5 Most Beautiful Island in Asia^, according to ^The Best Islands in the World: 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards^. https://www.cntraveler.com/galleries/2014-10-20/top-30-islands-in-the-world-readers-choice-awards-2014
So, either you rent a motorbike or go with the tour you’ll surely won’t miss this coconut roads.
This place is underrated. Siargao Island is always know for Cloud 9 as the surfing capital in the Philippines. If I haven’t join the tour and made some research about the island before planning my itinerary here, I didn’t even know that this Northern part of Siargao Island existed. It has very clean and longer white sand beaches and no entrance fees. It’s the opposite of Cloud 9 and General Luna, away from the crowded area. With very few people, you can enjoy the tranquility of the place and lounge on it’s golden soft sand the entire day. The waves are the best and love listening to it’s sound which will made you think and ponder about life. Would love to stay here longer the next time I will go to Siargao.
For those surf enthusiast this is a good area for surfing.
The Bent Palm Tree
The Insta-Famous Bent Palm Tree in Maasin River along the bright red Maasin Bridge in Siargao. Yes, I tried and climbed this tree twice but only managed to swing once everytime hajjj (a total epic fail but at least i tried my best twice…) It looks easier than doing it. But yeah, I won’t ever miss doing it bcoz ^Life Is Too Short^ of not trying everything you can. Oh yeah better luck next time to me. Sometimes we just need to get out of our shells to learn and experience great things. So for now, cheers to more adventures and maybe epic fail/s along the road…
Back story: The Kuya’s on this place was really supportive. They were there assisting and encouraging me to try again until I get that perfect swing. They even showed me the other way of getting that perfect swing but didn’t dare to do so bcoz I was already happy with my achievements for that day plus I was saving my energy for the next place… (check it on my youtube channel both my epic fail and the perfect swing…) I really did appreciate them on pushing me on achieving that goal. As they said, this is unlimited climb so try until you get that perfect swing or until you ended up losing all your energy as you may. So, CHEERS to all of them.
Maasin River and the Secret Lagoon
You won’t ever miss this place bcoz of the Bright Red Maasin Bridge. This is the location of the Insta-famous Bent Palm Tree in Siargao and all the tarzan swings. Maasin River and the Secret Lagoon runs off the nearby mountains and weaves it’s way downstream through a small village known as Maasin. Our guide asked us if we wanted to go to the secret lagoon after we will try our luck on that perfect swing. We readily said YES, and pay the necessary extra fee for that side trip for our extra small boat trip along the Maasin River and to it’s Secret Lagoon. The decision was made easily bcoz it seems everyone coming from that small side trip came back with their happy faces and of course we are curious about it.
We really loved and enjoyed it bcoz as if we were on a spa just listening to the rowing sound of the small boat while the birds was happily chirping around us with a side stories from our guide. Plus, we can’t get enough with the green lushes of the place. The guides were very friendly and very accommodating and their smiles are contagious. I love how they are sharing about different views especially about the Secret Lagoon. You can actually have some fresh coconut juice while chilling in the Secret Lagoon. And what, I personally notice they always offer to take some lovely photos of us like you are with your personal photographer, which is a big POSITIVE PLUS in this island.
Tayangban Cave Pool
I remember upon reading the name of the place as soon as we came there: Tayangban Cave Pool. My expectation was the typical cave adventure (the Darkness, all these Stalactites and Stalagmites, Rock Formation, Bats, and etc…. wait EMERALD ROCK POOLS and TWIN CENOTES hmmm???…), so I got curious and excited. Location from General Luna is at least 30mins: https://goo.gl/maps/WGRZGS51RcxgGS8s9 . Before entering the cave, we needed to sign something, inform us that it will be a wet adventure so we can left our stuffs with them and making sure if incase we are taking mobile phones & cameras that they are well protected. Our guide from the tour had lend me his waterproof camera case so I decided to bring my phone with me. We had our local guide with his torch on and oriented us we follow him inside the cave. Entering the cave might be scary as it’s a journey down a slippery natural rock staircase and the water was about waist deep, and some parts are deeper with anchored ropes and some bamboo structures to help you through if you are not good in swimming. As I rather swim, so I always asked the guide if that part is ok for me to swim or not as some part had big stones in between, which unfortunately I can’t see anything. The journey was fun as it was total darkness except for one torch from our guide and he was making sure to entertain us with his stories and funny jokes knowing my friend was really nervous as well. He showed us the bats hanging from the ceiling, showed us the stalactites plus the noises from the bats was adding to the excitement of it all.
Extra Info: A cenote is a natural pit, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cenote
After 15-20mins darkness and mostly submerged in cool water… we finally reached the end of the cave which opened into a unique cenote and found paradise. I was truly happy and proud of my friend as she took the courage of braving the adventure inside the cave and took the risk and in the end seeing her contented face in having that experienced, indeed a LOVELY ADVENTURE. The guide who accompanied us made it worthwhile and worry free for my friend and our groupmates was super encouraging as well for my friend. IT WAS WORTH THE RISK.
Reaching the end and discovering paradise was incredible. We followed the way through a small canyon, saw some fishes, the emerald green pool was surrounded by vines and lush trees and you can either swim or do some cliff jumping (2meters high rock or 5meters high cliff edge). The guide/s always asked you if you want to jump or not or it’s always good to asked where you should aim for. Chances of hitting the bottom are slim as it is 3-4meters depth. I actually ended jumping from the 2meters high rock as using my last energy for the day. Tayangban Cave Pool is one of the best inland experiences I had during my visit to Siargao Island.
Friendly Reminder & Suggestions:
- Wet shoes
- Waterproof camera/phones &
- Extra head torch to see the lovely structures in the cave (it’s really total darkness..)
- Life jacket (for those who can’t swim – it’s another struggle bcoz of the darkness already…)
ENDLESS SEA OF PALM TREES
Although, we didn’t manage to go to Sugba Lagoon as it was closed due to the jellyfish season and decided not to go to Tatak Falls and the Secret Beach as we decided that we had a great and happy whole day adventure. So, this was how we spend our entire day in Siargao Island. I would definitely treasure this day well spend with my bestfriend Yaz seeing how she showed me some courage on taking a new steps into risking a bit of having fun. Sometimes we need to get out of our shells to learn and experience great things and that what she did that day. So, CHEERS to more ADVENTURE TOGETHER.
I hope you like and enjoyed reading my own personal experienced about Siargao Island in a Day. And if you happen to have any questions or curiosity about these places please leave me a comment below. I will try my best to answer them, so until next time.
And here’s a short video of the ^Siargao Island in a Day^… Hope you enjoy it =D
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BYE! HEJDÅ! PAALAM! ANNYEONG! CIAO!