There is more to Siargao than surfing. But who can resist its fabled waves? So we do island hopping, swimming with jellyfish, spelunking, kayaking, cliff diving and surfing when we visit Siargao islands.
Siargao is the ultimate place to be for surfers visiting the Philippines. It’s extremely good waves can get any enthusiast stoked.
Beyond its surfing spots, more natural wonders await for visitors to discover and enjoy – from secret coves and lagoons to still lakes and natural pools to pristine white sand beaches that are never crowded. These hidden gems make non-surfers enjoy the Siargao islands, too.
Enjoy Siargao islands!
Photos courtesy of my travel buddies (Ely, Gin, Joann).
No sun outlasts its sunset, but will rise again and bring the dawn. – Maya Angelou
This guidebook below from Favoroute can help you plan to get to this surfing paradise in the Philippines.
It’s called Siargao beyond Surfing because there is more to Siargao than surfing. But then again, who can resist its fabled waves? So we include itineraries, daily budget, tips, and photos to and of these must-visit sites on the island.
For only $6.99 you get a 3-day, 2-night itinerary to visit its hidden gems in addition to Cloud 9, the ultimate surfing destination in Siargao and the Philippines.
Like what I stated on my home page, I won’t ask for a donation. Using my guidebook as your offline guide is already a great support.
Come visit Siargao, the surfing capital of the Philippines. Get stoked to ride its fabled waves and discover other gems that make Conde Nast Traveler named it as one of the world’s under-the-radar tourist destinations.
Meanwhile, below are some teaser images for my Siargao beyond Surfing guidebook. It is available in the App Store via Favoroute, an app developer dedicated to guiding you to unexpected places around the world.
In a popular island destination like Siargao, it’s a wonderful thing to know that locals still have their space for recreations. That is the island community in General Luna, the gateway to several tourist sites in Surigao del Norte such as Cloud 9.
Other nearby destinations that can be accessed through General Luna are Bucas Grande Island in Socorro, and the trio islands – Naked, Guyam, and Dako – in Siargao as well as Magpupungko tide pools and a secluded lagoon. Tourists also stop here to eat, sing, or rent a motorcycle or a bicycle.
Once those necessities have been fulfilled, tourists moved on with their itineraries and leave the island community which to the delight of locals, I believe.
Folks living on this remote island are lucky to have a pristine island for their home, recreations and training sites for surfing, and a good place for sunset watching. Not to mention that business is thriving here, giving locals income opportunities other than fishing.
photo credits to travel buddies Gin Riobuya and Ely Cuela.
To visit Bucas Grande Island in Surigao del Norte is to discover a world hidden in a labyrinthine terrain. A world where hilly and rounded islets, each covered in thick evergreen, dominate the landscape.
Bucas Grande Island is located in Socorro, Surigao del Norte. It is usually accessed via Hayanggabon Port, though some take an approximately three-hour boat ride from Genenral Luna in Siargao to get there. Visiting the island gives non-surfers other ways of experiencing Siargao than surfing.
Photo credits to my travel buddies Ely, Joann, and Ginny.
Muffin-shaped mountains are scattered all over the island of Bucas Grande, providing a beautiful background against the paddle boats sailing to their first destination: the Jellyfish Sanctuary.
Sailing forward, more details of this part of the island are revealed. The mountains are limestone formations abundantly covered in untrimmed and thick vegetation.
In between mountains are tunnel-like passageways covered in canopies of protruding branches of wild plants and trees.
At the entrance the water is clear and shallow, making some marine species visible from the bottom such as “tajum” (sea urchin) that used to dominate the area when it was not yet known as the Jellyfish Sanctuary.
With only the sound of the flowing water and the rowing boat can be heard in the area, one could easily tell where this is heading to – a lagoon that is set in blissful seclusion.
Indeed, the lagoon is a wide expanse of flat turquoise calm, making the tableau of corals visible underneath. Seeing the corals from the bottom makes one feel like being able to touch them without having to dive down.
It’s amazing how everything remains unspoiled and the tranquility that envelops the area undisturbed. It is as if a thin sheet of blanket is blocking the outside noise, allowing only the chorus of various chirping birds to penetrate the invisible shield.
During off seasons, the different species of non-stinging jellyfish are nowhere to be seen. That was exactly the scenario when we visited Bucas Grande last November.
I admit it was a little disappointing. Thankfully, the lagoon is itself a thrill to see. Not to mention that passing through the maze-like waterways make the journey to the sanctuary quite like otherworldly.
For me, that part of Tojoman Lagoon, now called the Jellyfish Sanctuary, makes it an entirely unique natural gem in Surigao del Norte.
*The local government of Socorro – one of the 9 municipalities of Siargao – and the DENR must have done a good job in keeping the islands of Bucas Grande in Surigao del Norte well preserved and protected.
*According to tour guides swimming with millions of jellyfish can be experienced in the months of March until May, where they start to spring, and in the months of July until August, where they bloom into full grandeur.