Roads flanked by dense palm trees, swinging on a rope across riverbanks, turquoise waters, surfing with a beautiful sunset as backdrop, a laidback atmosphere, and a kindred community.
These are some of the reasons people love Siargao.
The French edition of Vogue magazine has recognized this gem of an island as well, as it has included it in its recent list of “10 islands to go on holiday this summer.”
Siargao joins some of the world’s best islands in the rankings, including Ponza island in Italy; Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands; Vis in Croatia; Sao Tome and Principe on the west African Coast; Isla Holbox in Mexico; Manshausen Island in Norway; Fourni island in Greece; Canggu in Bali, Indonesia; and Spain’s volcanic island Lanzarote.
Vogue describes Siargao as being off the radar and a favorite surf spot in the Philippines. “A small island in the southeast of the country, this destination offers soaring face-to-face experience with wild nature. Jacking Horse or Pacifico beaches are ideal for surfing the waves. And for the less athletic, the natural pools allow you to splash around in turquoise water.”
Located within the jurisdiction of Surigao del Norte, Siargao is the country’s surfing capital and its coastline is marked by sandy beaches, reefs and small points.
Siargao is roughly 437 sq.km. in size and its name originates from the Visayan word sarliagaw, a mangrove species that grows on the island (one of the largest mangrove forest reserves in Mindanao is located in Del Carmen town).
Saying that Siargao is “populated more by guest houses with their feet in the sand rather than five-star palaces,” the Vogue list cites Kermit Hotel, which has native arhitecture and design, and is located 200 meters from General Luna town’s major surf spot.
Accommodation prices for its cottage with AC and de luxe room are both at P1,800 per night on its website (as of today, July 5). Kermit is also known for its Italian pizza made in its brick oven imported from Italy.
Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said, “The inclusion of Siargao in the magazine’s list is a testament that the natural beauty of the Philippines remains enticing and top-of-mind among leisure travelers abroad, despite the restricted inbound travel for tourism due to the pandemic.”
The tourism chief hopes that “with more tourism workers completing their vaccination against COVID-19, inbound travel restrictions for foreign travelers—particularly those who are fully vaccinated—will soon be eased.”
While the country is still closed to foreign tourists, Siargao and other destinations are open to local travelers including those coming from the National Capital Region (NCR).
Siargao has yet to update its travel guidelines from June 17, which requires visitors to have a COVID test taken 48 hours before their flight.
But Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced July 4 that those who are fully vaccinated may skip COVID testing and instead present their vaccination card for domestic travel.