Earth : Asia : Southeast Asia : Philippines : Mindanao : Northern Mindanao : Siargao
Surigao del Norte
Siargao is a beautiful paradise island with nice beaches and clear blue waters. It`s a quiet non-tourist island well known for it`s surf spots, especially Cloud 9 where there`s a big international surf contest every year. Siargao is known for it's relaxed atmosphere, friendly people and inexpensive accommodations.
There are direct flights to Siargao Island from Cebu two times a week, Mondays and Fridays. Carrier is Cebu-Pacific. Prices for flights seem to vary, but expect to pay approx. $US50 one way. Flight time is approximately 45 minutes. Airport is approximately 45 minutes from the main accommodation areas at Cloud 9. Usually there are plenty of vans to transport people to their accommodation...price is not fixed, whatever you can bargain the driver down to...they have to return to the Cloud 9 area anyway. The ferries from Surigao City to Dapa (main port town on Siargao Island) leave at approx. 6am, 11.30am and 12 noon...travel time varies between 2+ hours to almost 4 hours, depending on the ferry. Tricycles, vans and habal-habals (local form of transport=motorbikes designed for carrying passengers) wait at the pier to transport people to the main tourist/accommodation areas at Cloud 9. As always, flight times and ferry schedules may change without notice. The above details are current as at September, 2010.
For the non-surf people, you can explore the island by motorbike or boat. You can go island jumping, scuba diving and snorkeling. And there's also many caves and waterfalls to explore.
If you want to hang out at night, catch a beer and some food, enjoy good music and meet new people, "Nine bar" is the place to be. "Nine bar" is located outside the small town of General Luna. Its owned by two Swedish surfers.
When you get there, look for accommodations around General Luna, where there's a number of resorts by the beach.
Violent crime is non-existent on the island, but like all poor areas, petty theft is not uncommon. There are no regional issues with insurgents etc and visitors can wander freely anywhere on the island. The primary safety concern is infection from cuts and scrapes on reefs. Thus, it is recommended to wear reef booties (locally available) and disinfect and cover (gauze) any wounds immediately.
Transportation off the island is via Cebu Pacific flights (Monday and Friday to Cebu City) or by ferry 7 days per week (Surigao City). Flight options from Surigao are available to Manila (Air Phil Express) and Cebu via Cebu Pacific.