Words & Photos by Nathan Allen
Siargao is a world-famous surfing paradise in the Philippines, but there is much more to the island than just surfing! In my opinion, island-hopping in Siargao is highly underrated. The common package includes Naked Island, Daku Island, and Guyam Island, though you can make a pretty epic day out of it by including the long trip to Sohoton Cave as well. Arranging a tour is easy, because you will receive many offers as you walk around the main town of General Luna.
If you do surf, don't forget you can bring your board and enjoy some reef breaks during your trip! Just let your tour guide know that you would like to surf beforehand. This tour is great for taking photos...though it's probably better if you bring an underwater camera. As a photographer, I prefer the Olympus TG4 over the Go Pro. I used it to take most of these island photos.
Naked Island - First Stop on the Tour
As you can see, there isn't much to "Naked" Island. It's still beautiful, though. You probably won't spend too much time here, but It is a nice spot to swim. If you want to snorkel, there are some decent corals the tour guide can bring you to nearby.
Daku Island (My Favorite)
There are many reasons that Daku Island was the highlight of my tour...mainly, it's because of the quality of the beach. Covered in powdery white sand, this is definitely the best place to relax on the beach or swim. If you bring fresh fish from the market, you can have it cooked for a fee here. Don't forget to order a fresh coconut, too!
Daku Island in photos: 1. Beach huts & coconut trees 2. Local dogs playing in the sand 3. Small waves splashing the shore
4. Local man carrying nipa on the beach 5. View of the beach and huts from out at sea 6. Beach bungalow provides shade in the hot sun
"Daku" means large in the local language, and it is by far the largest of the islands on the tour. There are some nipa huts available to rent overnight, so if you're adventurous, you can arrange to be picked up in the morning. The huts are about $7.50USD from what I remember, and face the beach and sunset. Next time!
This was the final stop on my tour. I love how this tiny island looks as you approach it by boat - the quintessential "island in the sun". However, I did not enjoy actually being on the island as much as I did Daku. The sand is more course, and the beach is not quite as nice. If possible, I might ask if your tour guide is willing to go to Guyam island first, then Naked, then finish up at Daku for sunset.
Guyam Island in photos: 1. Perfect tiny island view from boat 2. German tourists & our guide in the boat
3. My feet - Relaxing in the sun on the boat 4. Strip of brilliant turquoise water out at sea 5. Circular beach of Guyam Island
I did enjoy putting my hammock up on Daku island - there are plenty of coconut trees if you want to bring yours. Half the island is a beach, and the other half is covered in rock, as you can see below. There are no facilities or residences on this island, but I think there might be a caretaker.
More Siargao Island-Hopping Tips
Your hotel probably offers tours, but the best place to arrange a cheap tour is in General Luna. There will be many touts offering as you walk around. I think it should cost about 1,500 pesos ($35USD) for 2-8 people. Your tour will depart from General Luna early in the morning, and that is also the best place to buy supplies for lunch at the market. Your guide can help with that.
If you want to snorkel, make sure you arrange the rental with the guide before you leave. Don't forget plenty of water, and reef-safe sunblock!
Hope you Enjoy it as much as I did!
Check out my full Siargao post HERE
- Nathan Allen
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Goodbye, Gopro... I Finally Review the TG-4 Underwater Camera
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