Hailed as the surfing mecca of Mindanao, Siargao, though unknown to many, is home to pristine white sand beaches ideal for swimming. While most tourists visit Cloud 9 to conquer the island’s waves, the not-so-adventurous ones can go island hopping to simply soak up the wonderful views at Naked Island, literally make a splash at Daku Island, and enjoy a refreshing swim at Guyam Island.
These three islands are the usual spots included in a Siargao island hopping tour. Here’s what you can expect from each of them.
Entrance fee: none
This is usually the first stop since it’s nearest to General Luna, the jump-off point to the three islands. General Luna, a municipality on Siargao Island, is where most resorts and other establishments are located. It’s also home to a public white sand beach with vibrant waters, which could also be ideal for swimming if only it wasn’t the docking area of boats.
True to its name, Naked Island is indeed “naked” as it is devoid of facilities – no stores, no picnic huts, no cottages. All you can find there is a lone tent with two long chairs (I think).
However, what it lacks in facilities, it makes up for in scenery – the island is breathtaking. It’s actually my favorite among the three islands because of its long stretch of sandbar with soft, fine white sand and combination of sky blue and turquoise waters. I can probably compare it with the beaches in Coron such as Malcapuya.
Joseph and I practically had the beach to ourselves during our visit. Obviously, the sandbar divides the beach into two areas, and the back part (the side not facing General Luna) had stronger waves. When we swam in the water, we found a school of small fishes, which was interesting (though kinda icky at first glance), but we don’t know what they’re called. 😀
After swimming and taking loads of pics, we then headed to our next destination.
Entrance fee: Php50 per person
Cottage: Php300 (good for around 8 persons)
Among the three islands, Daku Island, sometimes also referred to as Dako Island, has the most facilities because it’s actually a residential area. On the island is Brgy. Daku where some locals live, so you get to interact with them while you’re there.
Daku Island has several cottages which are huge enough to accommodate big groups. This is where tourists usually eat lunch since it has the most facilities. There’s also a store there where you can buy snacks (no sodas though :(), and there are also souvenir items such as necklaces, though they’re pricey (I got mine for Php300).
Though still ideal for swimming, Daku is more of a surfing beach, although the waves here are smaller than those in Cloud 9. It was kind of cloudy when we got there.
On the farther side of the beach where the waves are stronger were locals surfing. After we got tired of swimming, we just watched them as they tried to ride the angry waves.
The sand here is not that white and fine, but the beach was still beautiful. It’s also the biggest among the three islands.
Entrance fee: Php10 per person
Our last island hopping destination, Guyam Island, also has nice, soft and white sand, though the water’s color is more of green than blue.
On the other side and all the way to the back of the island are various rocks. It’s as if that part of the island dried up, and it seems the area was devastated by something (an earthquake or typhoon), though I’m not really sure why it’s that way.
The rocks are sharp but they’re nice for photo ops, and in between some rocks are little pools of water where you’ll see small fishes.
How to Go Island Hopping, Expenses & Other Notes
Our island hopping tour cost Php1200. The boat is the usual small one used by fishermen, which can probably accommodate a maximum of 6 persons. Again, the rate could go higher or lower, depending on your haggling skills with the boatman.
Some of the resorts in General Luna and Cloud 9 offer island hopping tours. Alternatively, you can head straight to General Luna beach, where you’ll find a lot of boatmen, some of whom will be willing to take you to an island hopping tour.
If you need a contact person though, you can contact Kuya Bebot, our habal-habal driver (09309749974). He’s the one who arranged our island hopping tour since his cousin is a boatman.
Remember to buy lunch first in General Luna before heading out to the islands. Only Daku Island has a store, but only snacks (chips) are available there. If you’re on a budget, you can simply buy meals at a carinderia in General Luna. Buy spoon and fork too. Alternatively, you can buy fresh seafood and others in General Luna, and you can have them cooked at Daku Island. Your boatman and the caretaker of the island can assist you.
After island hopping, once you’re back at General Luna beach, you can simply hail a habal-habal by the roadside to take you back to your resort. Our ride cost Php60; our resort was located in Cloud 9, which is farther than General Luna.
Travel Date: May 2015
**Next post: Bucas Grande (Sohoton Cove and Stingless Jellyfish Sanctuary)