Where to go in Mindanao?
Siargao is located at the northeastern tip of Mindanao and a haven for surfers around the world.
We took a ferry from Surigao City to Dapa. (200 per person/ 3hr & 30 minutes). From there, it took us another 45 minutes to our resort cottage-- Cherinicole Beach Resort. We were lucky to be traveling with the whole Bauson clan because they arranged everything for us-- from the pick up to reservations.
But like many touristy places in the country, you can always find any means of transportation to get to your destination: tricycles, minivans, habal-habal, and bangkas.
Siargao is so pristine and beautiful! And not too commercialized (hopefully, not ever) like Boracay.
A few hours after we settled, we went to a tiny island across our beach resort, called Guyam-- a circular clump of sand and palm trees ideal for picnics, swimming or sunbathing.
We rented a bangka for Php 1,200 for 5 hours.
And once there, we went swimming all the way!
The kiddos tried to build sand castles...
And I helped them find some hermit crabs. Until they went back swimming again...
And eventually, called it a day!
We also went to Magpungko Beach in Pilar, about 35km north from General Luna (GL). The sandy beach is one of the island’s best.
The highlight is the giant natural swimming pool (basically a huge rock pool) that forms to the far left of the beach at low tide.
Unfortunately, we came in too late for the low tide to swim here.
It is said that the water is beautifully clear and inviting, when the weather is at your side.
There’s an entrance fee of Php 50 per person and you can bring outside foods and drinks.
They have a small restaurant and sari-sari store but it’s better to bring your own food, especially if you’re traveling in big group, just like us.
To get to the place, you can rent motorcycles (Php 500/ a day) or ask a habal-habal driver to take you there (Php 300).
Island hopping is the best in Siargao.
According to Rough Guide, Siargao is littered with unspoiled and rarely visited islands, but you’d need your own boat if you’d like to explore them all.
Worry not though, because most resorts can fix you up with local bangka operators.
If only we’re staying longer, I would have visited them all.
Here are the suggested islands of Rough Guide:
Naked Island is a little more than a giant sand bar and perfect for lounging in the sun.
Dako Island, means big, is smothered in coconut palms and home to a small fishing community. The villagers will happily serve you fresh coconut.
La Janoza and Mamon, where a powdery white sand beach and a quaint fishing village between these islands is a pellucid lagoon, that’s wonderful for swimming and snorkeling. Both islands are also surfing hot spots.