Siargao: The Philippines Ultimate Surfing Destination

In Northern Mindanao lies a small island with a big reputation. It has been dubbed as the ultimate surfing destination in the Philippines. Foreigners and out-of-town locals alike have traveled to Siargao to experience for themselves the waves that have lured many surfers to stay in this island for good. For many, what was once a weekend of surfing has become a lifelong pursuit. Many dedicated American and Australian surfers now call this island home. It is not hard to see why. Siargao has a beauty unique from all others. Its land is unspoiled by commercialism; it has no pollution, and offers a laid-back and relaxed way of life. Many visitors find it very hard to pack up and leave the island.

Surfing

Since the late 1990s, committed local and foreign surfing enthusiasts have sought out Siargao. The Cloud Nine Surf Break has literally placed Siargao on the map as one of the premiere surfing destinations. The much-anticipated event of the year is the Siargao Cup Surfing Competition. It is held in late September or early October.

Siargao does not guarantee surfing waves year-round. However, excellent surfing can be done from April to October. The best time to surf in Siargao is during the northeast monsoon, where spectacular waves appear on the ocean.

For the Non-surfers

Non-surfers can still go to Siargao and have a great time. They can simply enjoy watching surfers take on the waves. They can also learn how to surf. There are many surfing camps to choose from. Majority of these surfing camps are run by Australian surfers, who could not bear to leave Siargao and had made the island their home. Some foreign surfers as well as local ones offer surfing lessons at reasonable rates.

Those who want to enjoy the natural beauty that Siargao has to offer can go on guided day tours to the many beaches and rock pools, as well as the vast mangrove swamps, and waterfalls. Siargao also has lush inland forests where uncommon wildlife such as tarsiers, flying lemurs, and monitor lizards can be found. Trips to the islands surrounding Siargao can also be arranged from most, if not all, of the resorts. The more popular islands are: Guyam, which consists entirely of white sand and palm trees; Dako, which has a stunning beach and is great for snorkeling and diving; Bucas Grande, which has the Sohoton Cave, with an inland lake with unique marine animals such as the non-stinging jellyfish; and Kangbangyo, where you can look for crocodiles in the mangrove swamps of Caob.

The nightlife in Siargao is not as wild as in other popular destinations in the Philippines. The resorts are good enough to enjoy quiet drinks at sunset. There are many good restaurants to choose from. Most offer Filipino cuisine. Most resorts have their own in-house restaurants. These places serve delicious meals and give visitors enough reason to dine in instead of going out to eat. For surfers and non-surfers alike, Siargao is an ideal place to go on vacation.

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