Amazingly beautiful Siargao island is located in the Philippine Sea situated 800 kilometers southeast of Manila in the province of Surigao del Norte. The total land area is 437 square kilometers. The round almost tear drop shaped island has one deep inlet to the east of the island called Port Pilar. The coastline is marked by a succession of amazing reefs, small points or jetties and powdery white, sandy beaches. Most of the neighboring islands and islets have similar characteristics.
The first recorded sighting of Siargao Island was by a Spanish navigator Bernardo de la Torre on board of the vessel San Juan de Letrán in 1543, when attempting to return from Sarangani to New Spain. It was also recorded as Isla de las Palmas (Palm Island in English).
Siargao is mainly influenced by the winds and currents coming uninterrupted from the Pacific Ocean, intensified by the Mindanao current running westward through the Siargao Strait.
Offshore, there’s a wonderful tropical island that lies protected by its surrounding coral reefs, with a shimmering white sand bar situated there. Pansukian, or Naked island some 200 plus meters long. The tide of Siargao is typically diurnal with tidal curves, most strong on the east coast of the island.
The island’s Pacific-facing reefs are perfectly placed on the edge of the Philippine Trench, making for some excellent diving and deep snorkeling. Siargao Island has excellent surfing conditions, particularly during the southwest “habagat” monsoon from August to November, when the wind is stronger and the waves much bigger.
The Guyam Island, a small island near Siargao is uninhabited and has become a popular stop for tourists doing island-hopping tours. The most popular tour includes a stop at Guyam, Naked Island (an exposed sandbar with not much else), and Dako Island.
There is an extensive mangrove forests on the western coast in the Del Carmen area, home to the Indo-Pacific saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus). A large specimen measuring 14 feet, 9 inches (4.5 meters) was found dead in 2016. It was reported to be the largest crocodile ever recorded.
“Cloud 9”, a world renowned surfers paradise has thick hollow tubes of water called pipelines. This right-breaking reef wave is world class and the site of the annual Siargao Cup, an international surfing competition sponsored by the provincial government of Surigao del Norte and Billabong surf wear. This is a must see if you are in the area.