🇵🇭 Siargao Island, Philippines | The Essentials

Sarah Warsaw blogger, traveller and book hoarder over on Warsaw's World
Meet Sarah - blogger, traveller and avid book reader over at Warsaw's World. With global travel shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we're not travelling far right now but it hasn't stopped us from planning. Last year Sarah took 8 months out to explore the more remote and less travelled parts of South East Asia. We caught up with Sarah to get travel ideas for anyone dreaming of exploring the Philippines. We're excited to share the first of our guest travel blogs below with you.

TELL US MORE ABOUR SIARGAO ISLAND?

It's the most beautiful island in Asia! Siargao can be found at the most North - Eastern tip of Mindanao, Philippines; a hidden paradise boasting some of the most impressive coconut tree landscapes you’ll ever see. This guide takes you away from the typical, bucket list adventures of the island and into the forest of coconut trees, exploration and no internet.

1. WHERE TO STAY? 💤

If you’re visiting this beautiful little island, I fully recommend at least 3 or 4 nights, and it’s worth staying in two different locations. Most popular with tourists is General Luna which is home to plenty of accommodation options to suit all traveller’s budgets. However, if you’re looking for an escape from the tourists who have started to crowd up the area, I suggest heading 90 mins North to Pacifico. A remote, internet free pocket of the island with an impressive coastline and a reef break experienced surfers lust after. Stay at Pacifico Big Wish Beach Resort in their beach hut accommodation for 2000 php (around £30) per night. Soak up the quiet lap of waves just by your bedroom, listen to surfers exclaim excitedly and find yourself within easy access of Common Ground, a gorgeous morning yoga studio / breakfast spot. The perfect way to start the day, internet free and zen.

2. WHAT TO DO/ SEE? 🗺

Many guides for this area recommend tours, boat trips and explorations off the coast of Siargao, but for me, the most exciting part of this island lies inland. Rent scooters and explore the full island, with the main road tracking through endless coconut trees, impressive views and coastal scenery. There’s plenty of little sneaky turns and chances to go deeper into the island, however if you follow the main road north from General Luna towards Pacifico you can visit the Magpupungko rock pools and then keep going for the beautiful, and pretty much deserted Algeria beach on the most North East coast.

If you scoot around the top of the island and down the West coast, visit Tuk Tuk falls and then Santa Monica pier for sunset. Locals are so friendly and pleased to see you and there’s plenty of places to grab a drink or a bite to eat along the way.

3. WHERE TO EAT? 🍽 

Speaking of eating, you can find most of the variety down in General Luna, where there’s cafes, beachside resorts and restaurants aplenty. But of course, we’re not visiting the places everyone else does haha! LOKAL, in Burgos is a small independent, business with a focus on a sustainable future. Given the increasing popularity of the island with tourists and travellers, LOKAL is working to ensure there are measures in place to for sustainable tourism, access to affordable ecological alternatives and the fostering of local Filipino culture. We ate at their small restaurant but it wasn’t until afterwards that I researched the brand and saw that they were so much more - a fantastic local business to support.

4. WHERE TO DRINK? ☕ 

With nightlife, a few parties and lots of beach bars down in General Luna you might be tempted to stay there for drinks. Of course, I urge you again to head North to Burgos, about 15 mins from Pacifico and out of the internet gap if you’re feeling the Instagram urge. Check out Isda Market, this modern built bar / eatery has views over the water and coconut trees, an open kitchen area, fresh fish and is popular with both tourists and locals. Hang out with a beer and a plate of fries and make friends with locals, who will genuinely be interested in who are and where you come from. Due to the American influence in the Philippines many younger Filipinos speak great English which means it’s much easier to communicate compared to some other South East Asian countries.

5. WHERE TO TAKE THAT INSTAGRAM WORTHY PHOTO? 📸

This is a hard choice to make, but given my love for the green coconut and palm trees of Siargao it has to be Palm Viewpoint. In your journey between General Luna and the more Northern areas of the island, you’ll approach a bend in the road, noticeable by the small stalls on the side of the road (left side if you’re travelling North), and many people stopping for photos. This spot has the most gorgeous view over the coconut trees, rolling over and over in the Siargao countryside. A gorgeous visual, especially after rainy season as the trees, plants and scrubs are shooting up in vibrant shades of green - just stunning.

If this has inspired you to get planning your own adventure off the beaten track, be sure to check out the rest of Sarah's travel blogs here.

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