Introducing Siargao, the Maldives of The Philippines.
Hot on the hit list for desirable travel destinations in 2018 is without a doubt the ‘untouched’ islands of the Philippines but after all the wanderlust hype of the last few years have you ever wondered if the rumours of the breathtaking beauty are true? Well if my opinion counts for anything, I’m happy to tell you first hand, they absolutely are!
Having just travelled through the amazing country for a few weeks covering four different dreamy destinations, Siargao Island, Cebu, El Nido and Coron I’m absolutley sold! After hearing countless compliments about the destination before travelling out to the most talked about islands of 2017 I wasn’t disappointed by the reality of The Philippines. If, however, you are looking for unique location inspiration, (perhaps you already have a trip planed to the amazing country) then allow me to introduce you to my personal favourite island, Siargao. The picture perfect white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters completely stole my heart.
As you may already know by now I have a complete love affair with the Maldives and last year and last year I discovered the Maldives of the Caribbean in the gorgeous resort (and private island) of palm island. It seems in Siargao island I have now discovered the Maldives of the Philippines!
The island itself is really small and it can luckily be reached by air. We flew from London to the international airport of Cebu with Cathay Pacific. The flight was amazing, it was my first flight with the airline and I was really impressed by the space, service and inflight entertainment. With just a short stop over in Hong Kong between the two countries and after arriving in Cebu we took the first flight out to Siargo with a local airline, arriving in paradise with the hour.
The island may be small but to witness the true beauty of the beaches it really is all about the ‘location, location, location.’ Whilst the north of the island is famed for surfing, the tranquil calm waters and postcard perfect beaches are located in the South East. We explored the island by push bike during our stay and whilst all the beaches have their own unique charm the best, by far, was the area of untouched sand in front of The Isla Cabana Resort. It absolutely took our breath away!
From sunrise to sunset this public beach is a dream, we stayed at the resort for a few days and every single morning the beach was completely clear of people for Mems and I to watch the sunset, we were never alone though as the islands pups and four legged pals would be there to greet us as soon as we step foot on the beach.
One thing that will bring a tear to your eye in The Philippines is the amount of stray dogs on the streets and beaches. It’s so sad to see so many pups without a home but we took it upon ourselves to try and feed, cuddle and stroke as many as possible. I’m not someone to shy away from petting strays as you’ll probably know by now but if that’s not something you feel comfortable with at least give the cuties some of your brekkie!
We spent our days completely relaxed in this area of Siargao, working our way through literature and sipping our way though the resort cocktail menu 😉 Even midday the beach wasn’t ever populated with more than 5 or 6 people, we felt totally secluded and the glistening water rippling in the sunshine was utterly mesmerising.
Isla Cabbana was pretty perfect due to it’s incredible location and as we were ‘splashing out’ at the start of our two week adventure we had opted for one of the beach villas with a private pool which was amazing. The room was super large with grand high ceilings, a huge bed with draping mosquito net and a neatly tucked away big bathroom with double sinks, a large shower and separate toilet. There was also an outdoor shower and enclosed balcony for drying clothes.
The hotel is definitely not a luxury stay when it comes to service standards as the food is quite limited and the staff are few but the security was excellent and the communal areas (as well as the rooms) were utterly gorgeous. We felt as though we were staying at a prestigious and super expensive hotel because of the uninterrupted views of paradise. The hotel features two large infinity pools with enough plush sun loungers to cater for hotel guests without looking too cluttered . The pools were always perfectly clean and the beach raked every morning.
We travelled to the Philippines over Christmas arriving just a few days after the December devastation that was bought on by two typhoons that swept through the islands so considering this, we were blown away with how pristine everything was in the resort and how gorgeous the beaches were. I imagine they are even more dreamy after a week’s worth of great weather.
The hotel was pricey for Philippines standards but for the location and resort aesthetics the cost per night is amazingly good value for money in Western terms. We paid £398.00 for a two night stay over Christmas eve and Christmas day (peak season).
From pictures and traveller tales I was expecting Siargao island to be beautiful but I was honestly taken back with just how gorgeous it was! When you think of the Philippines most minds will wander to the tower green cliffs of El Nido or the turquoise lagoons of Coron and whilst I loved visiting both those locations (I’ll be writing about them soon) it will be Siargao that beckons me back within my lifetime!
I hope that the ease of our journey and the beauty I managed to capture in these photos will entice you there yourselves but for one final influential push you can watch it come to life in this week’s travel vlog:
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