Dako Island

One of the finest best beaches in the Philippines is found in Dako Island, Siargao Island. The biggest among the three popular island destinations (the other two being Naked and Guyam Islands) in Gen. Luna, Siargao, “Dako” is derived from the Visayan word for “Big”.

Inhabited by only a number of families, Dako Island is so amazing with long powdery white sand and clean and cool blue waters. No wonder visitors are enticed to swim in such resort with very clean surroundings. The cool winds can induce you to sleep on the fine sand as there are only a few guests around who just happen to be island hopping. The winds in the island are pretty cool since they are those that come from the Pacific Ocean, so you expect that to be quite strong and gentle. Overnight stay in simple native huts is enjoyable and security is guaranteed. With just the moon as your source of light, spending the night on the beach with your loved one could be as romantic. Visitors are truly impressed of the beauty and serenity of the place.

Without a doubt, Dako Island is truly spectacular that you can even see your own reflection through the crystal clear water! You can have fantastic snorkeling near the surf spot and around the southern tip of the island. Surfers racing the waves are such a sight to behold. Double kayak can be rented in Siargao at an affordable price and you can kayak as long as you wish.

Guests experience cool vibe and island culture. As you walk through the village, there’s a wondrous friendly feel that you’re like stepping back in time. The place is bereft of electricity and the hustle and bustle of city life. No commercial establishments, just full of tranquility and picturesque scenery. Seaweeds are non-existent either. And the best sweet-tasting fresh coconuts are a-plenty.

Bucas Grande Island

Bucas Grande Island, a must-see place for those seeking for perfect island getaway, white-sand beaches, coral reefs, limestone cliffs and is the home of Sohoton Cove and dubbed as best island destination in the Philippines.

Off the northeastern coast of Surigao del Norte, a two-hour boat ride south of Siargao, lies Bucas Grande Island, officially under Siargao’s aegis but often overshadowed in the latter’s favor. Its main town of Socorro is home to a population of 21,000 farmers and fisherfolk. All around are clusters of isles and islets beckoning with lovely beach strips, lustrous coves and hidden lagoons.

You can get to Bucas Grande via Brgy. Hayanggabon, Claver from where the pump boat ride to Bucas Grande takes only half an hour. Another location that offers a proximate takeoff point for the island is via Brgy. Bad-as, Placer which takes 90-minute motor boat ride.

Sohoton Cove is the island’s major attraction. An idyllic habitat with forested limestone mounds rising on all sides in a welcome embrace. Dominating the lush greenery were stands of a Mindanao variety of agoho or casuarina with curling leaf clusters that differentiate it from Luzon’s agoho or the Benguet pine. Plentiful, too, was the Philippine ironwood, locally called magkuno, which is known to defy ordinary saws. When successfully cut, it makes good, hardy furniture.

Sohoton Cove has 13 inland lakes, with three of these considered accessible. They’re all part of the Sohoton Ecotourism Park splendiferous flora meet their match in the endemic exotic fauna, which include tarsiers, two kinds of hornbills or kalaw, the serpent eagle and white-breasted eagle, green sea turtles, and 19 kinds of fruit bats!

Siargao Island

(c)Photo: backpackerbanter.com

Siargao is situated at a coordinate of 9°52′N 126°03′E. It is composed of municipalities of Burgos, Dapa, Del Carmen, General Luna, San Benito, Pilar, San Isidro, Santa Monica and Socorro.

Siargao Island contains the largest mangrove forest reserves in Mindanao, at Del Carmen. Long stretches of wetlands indicate a potential for commercial seaweed propagation. Siargao Island is greatly influenced by the winds and currents coming uninterrupted from the Pacific Ocean, intensified by the Mindanao current running westward through the Siargao Strait.

Offshore, a classic tropical island lies protected within its surrounding coral reef with dozens of coconut palms dressed in the center circle of the island. Off to the right, well within the massive coastal reef, lies a shining white sand bar, (Pansukian, or Naked island) some 200 meters long. The tide of Siargao is diurnal with tidal curves typically present, especially on the east coast of the island.

The Island’s Pacific-facing reefs are situated on the edge of the Philippine Trench, and the extremely deep offshore waters assure the ocean swells have undiluted power when they encounter the many coral and rock reefs. Siargao has excellent surfing conditions, particularly during the southwest “habagat” monsoon from August to November, when the prevailing wind is offshore.

Siargao is well known as “The Surfing Capital of the Philippines” with a reputation among surfers within the Philippines and the International scene.

One of the best known surfing waves on Siargao and the Philippines, with a worldwide reputation for thick, hollow tubes is “Cloud 9”. This right-breaking reef wave is the site of the annual Siargao Cup, a domestic and international surfing competition sponsored by the provincial government of Surigao del Norte.

The wave was discovered by travelling surfers in the late 1980s. It was named after a chocolate bar of same name, and was featured by American photographer John S. Callahan in the United States- based Surfer magazine in March 1993. Cloud 9 also has a reputation for being a relatively cheap destination for surfers with many cheap hotel and resort accommodations and restaurants and bars to choose from.

There are several other quality waves on Siargao and nearby islands, but Cloud 9 has received more publicity than any other surf spot in the Philippines. It is the only wave easily accessible without a boat, leading to overcrowding and the nickname of “Crowd 9” among surfers. Eager foreign and locally owned accommodation and tourist facilities have profited from the magazine publicity and the influx of visitors drawn by the annual Siargao Cup competition in September.

In the past, going to Siargao is by domestic flights from Manila to Surigao, and then by boat to Siargao Island. The island is now also served by Cebu Pacific flying direct to Siargao Island via Cebu.