After eight months into the country’s strict community quarantines due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Siargao Island, the surfing capital of the Philippines, is finally open for local tourists. Flights to the island will resume on Dec. 1.
Conde Nast Traveller recently named Siargao as one of the “Best Holiday Destinations for 2021” and No. 5 in the “Best Islands in Asia” category of its Readers’ Choice Awards 2020 (alongside Cebu and Visayan Islands, No. 1; Palawan, No. 4; and Boracay, No. 6).
As with the new realities of travel, strict guidelines and protocols are in place to keep travelers and the locals safe, including a curfew implemented on the island from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.
According to a STAR report, those who arrive from Sayak Airport in Surigao City will be required to present an e–health pass with valid ID card; a negative COVID-19 result taken within 48 hours; a five-day confirmed booking at an authorized establishment and a round-trip ticket or travel details.
Before you head out to the tear-drop shaped tropical paradise, make sure to check which accommodations are certified by the Department of Tourism (click here for the complete list).
PhilSTAR L!fe rounded up the Top 5 places to stay in Siargao (all DOT-certified) for that long-overdue date with the sun, sea and sand.
Barangay Tawin-Tawin in General Luna has been called by locals and tourists the “Ubud of Siargao” because of its lush, hilly surroundings replete with palm trees and rice fields.
These inviting surroundings cradle Mango Tree, a modern, luxurious and eco-friendly hideaway resort for those who seek peace and quiet while in the middle of serene nature.
It boasts two private accommodations that have spacious, airy interiors: the Family Villa, which sleeps eight; and the Garden Villa, which sleeps five. Both of the villas have an infinity pool and a patio overlooking the property, which are a great combo for sundowners and barbecue with family and friends.
This resort is not far from the happenings of the heart of General Luna, which is just about a 10-minute drive. Surf spots, restaurants and organic farms are also just a few minutes away. The Mango Tree is perfect for those who would like to retreat to a private, peaceful sanctuary after a full day of activities.
Naya Palad Hideaway
Naya Palad Hideaway (formerly Dedon Island Resort) is an ultra-luxurious, all-inclusive resort located on the southeastern tip of Siargao that allows its guests to discover the essence of “barefoot luxury.”
The resort, apart from offering activities tailor-fit for its guests, features architecturally inspired spaces by celebrated designers Daniel Pouzet and Jean-Marie Massaud like the Boathouse (a multifunctional area that could serve as a gym or an indoor yoga facility), and the almost 3,000-sq.-ft. Perlah Villa (which starts at around P300,000 per night).
Guests can choose from accommodations that overlook the Pacific Ocean, just behind a private white-sand beach that stretches to the property’s private bay; or one that has a view of the mangrove forest.
Aside from free airport shuttle and shuttle service, Nay Palad Hideaway also offers private air charter from Cebu to Siargao airport or a private helicopter from Cebu direct to the resort.
Soul Tribe Beach Retreat
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Soul Tribe Beach Retreat has everything an ocean lover and sunworshipper could ask for. This beachfront property has a chill vibe to take your mind away from the tangles of the daily grind.
This eco-friendly resort is a favorite among world travelers for its friendly atmosphere and its accommodations. Its beach cabanas have spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and are great if you prefer to wake up to the sound of the ocean, or maybe read a book while on a hammock in the veranda.
Soul Tribe is also known for its luxury jungle glamping, where each beautiful bell tent has its own traditional nipa canopy and wood deck. Each tent has a queen-sized bed, mosquito nets, a fan and the luxuries of a hotel.
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Harana Surf is located on Tuason Point at the heart of General Luna, less than one kilometer away from the famous Cloud 9 where most of the action in the area is.
The cool and young atmosphere in the resort is what pulls local and foreign tourists toward this beachfront property. It offers accommodations that are fit for families and groups of friends or for solo travelers who would like to commune with fellow tourists.
It is also known for its surf school where you can learn from the best surfers and instructors that are born and raised on the island. The resort also supports surf events held at Cloud 9, and even has its own surf team that includes surfing champions Philmar and PJ Alipayo.
The resort, which has been welcoming guests since 2016, is serious in its efforts to minimize its ecological impact on the island with its anti-plastic waste initiative, and energy and water conservation. It has also given importance on volunteering that it gives a special discount to guests who volunteer in the resort’s chosen organizations like Gawad Kalinga and Nature Kids of Siargao.
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Those who are pumped to get their adrenaline going as soon as they set foot on the island are in for a treat at Bravo Siargao as it is located in action-packed General Luna.
Its surroundings echo the beachfront resort’s vibrant and friendly atmosphere, yet you can still find some quiet time as you laze on the white-sand beach or have a cocktail or two by the pool with a view of the Pacific Ocean. Cloud 9 is also a five-minute drive from the resort.
Bravo’s villas combine traditional Filipino construction with contemporary architecture as seen in its rooms, which are neat and functional. Aside from the family and group villas, the resort also offers surf bunks that are made especially for guests who are open to connect with other travelers while on the island.