This story on Siargao is part of our Asia’s Best Beaches’ series that appears in the latest issue of Dot Property Magazine. Click here to read it!
Surfers need no introduction to Siargao. The island is known as the ‘Surfing Capital of the Philippines’ and the famed Cloud 9 waves wash up on the beaches here. Of course, there is more to Siargao than catching waves. Both international and local celebrities have frequented the island in recent times, but tourism still lags behind some of the country’s more popular destinations.
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However, with Boracay closed and facing an uncertain future, some are predicting Siargao could see an influx of visitors. Located in the Caraga Region of Mindanao, it is easy to see why people want to visit the island. The beaches are stunning. Even if you don’t surf, you can’t help but be impressed by the hypnotising waters of this tropical paradise.
Even with an uptick in visitors, a lot of the beaches around Siargao remain fairly quiet and free of crowds. Most of the sandy shores are also hawker free, something of a rarity these days.
The island doesn’t have much in the way of facilities beyond the basics. You’ll find quaint seafood shacks serving freshly caught fish and plenty of convenience stores, but don’t expect much in the way of international chains or large hypermarkets.
The same goes for accommodations. While Siargao is starting to be built up, it still lags behind Southeast Asia’s more popular beach locations in terms of both rooms and five-star resorts.
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Speaking of building, the local government has put a masterplan in place to ensure tourism and development on the island is done sustainably. This is extremely important in the aftermath of the Boracay shutdown decision. Siargao is keeping a close eye on sewage and waste management, urban planning and tourism regulation in order to keep the island open.
What to know about Siargao
Sayak Airport is the aviation hub for Siargao, but it is currently only served by domestic carriers. There are direct flights from Manila, Cebu and Clark but service isn’t as frequent as you might expect. The closest major cities to Siargao are Cebu and Davao City.
If you are simply going to Siargao for the beaches, the best time to visit is between March and October when the weather is calm. Surfers usually head to the beaches here from August to November when the waves are primed for riding. This is also a good time for other watersports.
December and January are by far and away the wettest and windiest months in Siargao. It is probably best to avoid the island during these times if you’re going to checkout the beaches.