Siargao, an island which is 45 minutes from Cebu via plane, is one of the easternmost islands of the Philippines. Long before, it used to be relatively unknown in the tourism industry, becoming popular only once it was featured by famous surfing photographer John Callahan back in the 1990s.
Since then, the island’s tourism industry has boomed due to its clear water, tidal pools, and world-renowned surfing industry. Tourists who visit this Philippine beach holidays destination can take their pick from among the island’s attractions.
For starters, you can try out Mapupungko Pool, a tidal pool separated from the Pacific Ocean by a barrier reef. The pool itself is calm and clear, and perfect for those who want to have a more mellow experience in the water. Let’s see what else Siargao has to offer.
Island Hopping in Siargao
While in the island, savor the culinary surprises, unique only in the area. The freshest seafood dishes are aplenty, and available in most restaurants but, most especially at Siargao Inn
Aside from the main island of Siargao, there are a lot of other islands scattered all over, including Naked Island. If you think that this is a nudist island, then let me tell you that it isn’t. Instead, as the name suggests, Naked Island is mostly bare, with just white sand and the sea all around – no trees whatsoever.
In contrast to Naked Island, Guyam Island offers several clumps of lush vegetation for tourists to enjoy.
Most of the island-hopping tours start out with these two islands, where tourists can opt to stay to catch a glimpse of the sunset. However, if you want to stay for the night, you need to go to Daku Island. Among the three, Daku Island is the only island that offers huts for anyone who wants to stay overnight.
Exploring Bucas Grande
To the west of Siargao is the town of Socorro. Socorro is best known for Bucas Grande, also referred to as Sohoton Cove National Park. It’s accessible via ferry from the Dapa Port in Siargao – a ride that costs about 100 pesos. From Socorro, there are boats that can take you to Bucas Grande.
Bucas Grande is composed of a network of limestone islands, some of which remain a mystery as no one has explored them yet. The landscape is framed by virgin mangrove forests and clear blue waters with white sand beaches.
What’s So Special About Siargao?
What sets Siargao from other beach islands in the Philippines is its distinction as the surfing capital of the south. Literally, it’s a surfer’s paradise, with seven-foot waves available for most of the year (namely from September to May) in the clear blue waters of the Pacific.
It can be odd to see flocks of people during October, but that’s exactly what happens in Siargao, during the last three months of the year or so. September to October actually marks the start of Siargao’s surfing season, and surfers from all parts of the Philippines head to its shores, specifically the shores of Cloud 9 beach.
You can experience the best beach holidays Philippines in Siargao. Just remember to plan your trip properly for you to avoid any disaster along the way.
Nothing defines Palawan more than the water surrounding this island paradise. With seascapes equal to any in Southeast Asia, along with terrestrial and aquatic wildlife, the Philippines’ most sparsely populated region is also the most beguiling.
Despite becoming something of a darling in travel media the last several years, hordes of tourists like those seen in Thailand have yet to reach its shores.
This has left the island’s interior – similar to that of the Amazon – practically intact. Still, El Nido and Coron, elected base camps for those exploring the Bacuit Archipelago and Calamian Islands, respectively, attract huge crowds during the peak season.
However, travelers who dare to venture outside these two hubs have many other places to choose from in their hunt for their own ideal paradise.
Considered by most as the cleanest lake in the Philippines, and by some as even the cleanest in Asia, Kayangan Lake is one of the most popular tourist destinations found in Coron. It’s a bit of a trek (a hundred steps to be exact) to get to the lake itself from the docking point, but the beautiful views more than make up for the effort.
The lake is warm and inviting; however, it can get especially crowded during the peak season. Try to drop by during the least popular hours of the day to avoid too much people. Sights below the lake’s surface are just as beautiful as those above, with striking jagged rock formations that just call to be explored.
El Nido, Palawan houses the famous Small Lagoon. This not-so-small lagoon is a wonder to explore on kayak. Be prepared to squeeze through its narrow opening between two limestone rock formations but be even more prepared for the jaw-dropping sights that await inside.
Entering the Small Lagoon will feel like entering an entirely new, almost fantasy-like world. The towering rock formations that surround the area contrast with the lagoon’s sparkling azure waters. Once inside, the real fun starts with exploring its many nooks and crannies. You can paddle away or let the water guide you. This is truly one attraction that’s magical.
This fishing village in the San Vicente municipality sits almost halfway between Puerto Princesa and El Nido. For some reason, its beautiful beaches and islets aren’t nearly as popular as both mentioned destinations. So, this is one spot in Palawan that remains quite low-key.
This is also perhaps its strongest allure – that its sand and shores are still peaceful and can still be savored without one boat docking after another and depositing a crowd of tourists onto the sand.
Aside from the pristine island-hopping stops like German Island and Exotic Island, Port Barton also has thriving reefs that are perfect for snorkeling, as well as wrecks for professional divers to explore.
Honda Bay Islands
For Palawan visitors who don’t have time to venture to the tourist hotspots, the islands of Honda Bay, near the heart of the province’s capital, are a good alternative. It’s about half-hour drive away from the city proper to the Honda Bay port, where travelers can arrange their day-long island-hopping tour.
You can stop at Starfish Island for endless encounters with – this seems rather obvious – starfish. Check out the picturesque sand bar that is Luli Island, which recedes and emerges with the tide (the name is literally derived from Filipino phrases which translates to “sinking” and “rising”).
You can also admire the flourishing reefs of Pandan Island and their schools of colorful fish swimming about, extremely close to shore.
So, there you have it. These are just some of the beach areas you can visit in Palawan. Feel free to go on and explore Palawan, as it’s indeed one amazing experience if planned correctly.