This place is no secret. Surfing has put Siargao in travel map many years ago. And despite that, five years later, not much has changed in the island. Which is good. With fares that hardly go on sale, the island remains unscathed from tourists. If I had to choose an island, Siargao will be my Shangri-La in the Philippines (defined as paradise or beautiful place in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by James Hilton). It’s not about luxury. Rather it’s naturalness, simplicity and plain beauty.
I’m glad to be back and the timing could not have been more perfect — Beautiful sunny days all throughout our stay, good surfing condition (it is surfing season!) and hardly any tourists. It felt it was just us and the locals, both Filipinos and Foreigners (Australians, Spanish, etc). With only four days to spare, the trip didn’t feel rushed but definitely leaves longing to stay here for more days or even weeks.
The place to stay plays a part in making the most of the trip. I’m happy with our stay at Turtle Surf Camp and we’re able to meet the owner, Enrique on our last day. Definitely no frills but the property is charming. There are only four rooms and they’re spacious. The common area is our favorite place to hang out after the day’s activities. I actually prefer smaller resort so it’s intimate and homey. The bar and fridge is open for consumption, we just needed to list what we got and settle this after check out. The camp is situated in General Luna, a habal-habal away to Cloud 9 and is near to places to eat. I think it’s a perfect base for the trip.
Other notable properties which I may find myself staying in case Turtle Surf is booked are Harana, Arka Hayahay and Kermit. The latter is tucked inside a side street in General Luna though (but not a problem!) as the rest are along the main road. Turtle Surf Camp does not come with a breakfast. And it’s actually better because I have explored four places to eat for breakfast, my favorite part and meal of any day.
Tip: I suggest booking thru booking.com instead of going directly for faster confirmation. The site only books for the room and payment is cash and paid directly to the hotel. The camp has amenities like coffee maker, blender, oven and stove if you wish to prepare your own meal.
Buddha Resort and La Luna Resort are open for breakfast as early as 7am and these two places are walking distance from Turtle Surf Camp. They offer the same menu of toast, eggs, bacon, rice and coffee but the latter tops by its home-made hash brown and take on scramble eggs! But what I find more endearing at Buddha Resort is their resident dog, Reef. He greets us as soon as we come in and since our place is next door, he accompanies us back to our resort every time. Hatid talaga 🙂
But my two most favorite will be Café Loka and Shaka Siargao in Cloud 9. The latter can be found before you turn right to Cloud 9 while Café Loka is situated on the inner left side of the beach (when facing the Boardwalk). Café Loka serves the usual toast, eggs, bacon and beans. But they also serve power bowls like berries, banana and mango in yoghurt which I had.
For raw vegans and health nuts, they will love Shaka Siargao. They only serve power smoothies, fresh juices and power bowls like BOM DIA which I had on our last day. Live enzymes on my tummeh! I wish I had eaten here many times!
I would have loved to eat breakfast at Pleasure Point Café but they open at 8am, an hour late than our usual time so we went here after lunch for coffee and for their famous cheesecake. They also serve parfaits, smoothies and juices. Would love to come back here! This is my kind of café.
Other top places to eat are Kalinaw Resort for their pizza! Very pricey though. And this is best visited in the evening for a lovely dinner setting outside. Kermit also serves fantastic food from pizza to fresh mahi-mahi. For cheap food, Mamma’s BBQ will not fail. Even vegetarian and pescetarian can dine here with vegetable kebabs and seafood being offered. Meat lovers will love the grilled chop and chicken (as I was told because I don’t eat chicken anymore). Thanks to Elaine Abonal of Surfista Travels for these recommendations!