While living in Asia I constantly find myself in search of somewhere new to travel to. Living in the US I didn’t have the luxury of hopping on an airplane and within 2-7 hours I was surrounded by a completely different culture, people, food, and all sorts of unfamiliarities. Instead, I saved, and waited all year to travel for a period of 3-4 weeks to seek new and exciting places and it still took me around 24-30 hours to get to.
Now I feel sooo lucky to not only have the means to travel, and to visit places within such a short reach! Last week I had the great pleasure of finally visiting the island of Siargao (say it with me Shure-a-gao). Apparently, I had been pronouncing it wrong for years, and to be quite honest I still don’t know if I’m getting it right! Pronunciation police step aside! This tear drop shaped island is located on the most western side of the Philippines. The island is known for its wetlands, mangroves, surfing, and off shore coral reefs.
When To Go?
I had my doubts about visiting here in the month of July. SEA tends to be very wet in the months of July, August, and September. But as we to found out one of the directors at Nay Palad Hideaway said that April and August were their driest months, and that due to the location of the island it didn’t see the type of weather the rest of the Philippines does. But as with any island in SEA it’s best to keep in mind that you should experience some rain on your getaway. Don’t worry though, the rain usually passes, and it’s just as beautiful when it rains!!
On Siargao; January is their wettest month of the year. The low season is November- January and into February is considered low season because it experiences the most amount of rain fall.
How To Get There?
This is the toughest part. Since there are so few flights from destinations to get here finding flights to fit your needs may be tough. The main hubs that they receive flights from are Cebu (1 Hour flight away), and Manila (2 hour flight away). I was able to pull an arrival directory of flights that come to Siargao. I’m not sure how accurate this information is, but it gives you a good idea of the schedule that arrives here on most days.
Two airlines fly to Siargao for now; Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. If you’re coming from far away it’s probably best to fly into Manila, or Cebu first; then purchase a separate flight to the island via these two airlines. Prices can vary greatly doing this and can save you hundreds to thousands of dollars rather than buying your ticket directly there. Just give yourself at least 4 hours between flights.
Where To Stay?
Like I said I’ve been wanting to travel to Siargao for some time now. Years ago when I was first researching there weren’t many places to stay. The most desirable place to stay was Nay Palad Hideaway, however, aside from the ultra luxury resort, the rest of Siargao was greatly lacking. Fast forward, things have changed! There is more of a range of options, although you still won’t find your hiltons, Hyatts, shangri-las (thank god actually, because you know that the island is no longer a hidden gem), there are plenty of nicer boutique resorts and villas to choose from. It’s also growing. There were construction sites everywhere.
We had the pleasure of checking out two options; a small boutique resort called Bulan Villas Siargao, which had just opened 3 months prior to our arrival. The second place was the islands coveted, ultra luxury; Nay Palad Hideaway. Both were amazing in their own respect, and we got to see so much of Siargao this way.
Bulan Villas Siargao – is a newly opened eco friendly villa hotel located in the heart of General Luna almost across from the ever popular Mama’s Grill. It’s set right along the main road. The Property consists of 6 villas with a private bathroom, air con, and wrap around balcony. The property also has several more economic rooms private rooms, but these rooms share a main bathroom facility. (Rooms $40-120 USD)
Nay Palad Hideaway– is one of a kind in Siargao, boasting barefoot luxury and sans wallet kind of place. This all inclusive resort is really all inclusive! From food, to drinks, to snacks, spa treatments and activities; everything is tailored and curated to your specific needs. (Rates begin at $630 USD Per person/night)
What To Do?
Siargao has a lot to offer and so much to see on and off the island. Since I was only there for 5 days I barely scratched the surface. Here’s a list of the top highlights and things to do in Siargao:
- Three Island Hopping Tour– (Click Here to learn how to book a tour!)
- Surfing at Cloud 9 Beach
- Have a smoothie Bowl at Shaka Cafe, breakfast of champions!
- Surf Watching at Cloud 9 Peir– (Click Here my surfing video.)
- Visit Magpungko Rock Pools
- SUP at the mangroves labyrinth– (Visit the Instagram @sup_siargao for tours, the owner is super friendly!)
- Watch the sunset at Isla Cabana Resort– (300PHP min. per table good towards food and drinks)
- Sugba Lagoon
- White Banana Beach Club– (Chill out to the music vibes here)
- Sohoton Cove– (Visit Journey Era blog post about how to get here and many more awesome things to do in Siargao!)
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