Heyo it’s Léah with an H!

So do you plan to go to the Philippines, and think about visiting the island of Siargao ?

Here is a mini guide to Siargao! There I experienced one my most beautiful discoveries and memorable adventures so I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I did!

 

Don’t forget to follow me on Youtube to see my travel Vlogs and Instagram to follow my #LeahTravels adventures! To book your plane tickets, just click here! And if you have any questions, leave a comment at the bottom of the article!

Cultural intro! 

Ranked as the number #1 island in the world, Siargao is the PARADISE for surfers and non-surfers! Yes, this island offers much more than surfing!

Siargao was once known as a surf hotspot where thrill seekers from around the world came together to surf what is ranked the 8th best wave in the world. But in recent years, people have really opened their eyes – not just to surfing – but to the magnificent 48 islands and islets that make up Siargao. It is quite simply an adventure zone waiting to be discovered. Between the magnificent lagoons, the white sand beaches, the tropical landscapes with its thousands of palm trees, the enchanted rivers and especially the locals, you will understand why this island is the best in Asia.

How to get there? 

Getting to Siargao is simple #eazybreezy! From Manila, many local companies will take you to the island in less than 3 hours (direct flights)! Info: Siargao airport being small, the planes are narrow so for those who fear this kind of plane like my father and I .. take a sleeping pill before take off!

  • By plane: The best known airlines offer direct flights to Siargao such as SkyJet, Cebu Pacific, Philippines Airlines, Air Asia.

From Manila: direct flights in 2hours and 30minutes or with stopover 3h30

From Cebu City: During my first trip, I had just explored the island of Cebu so I took my plane to Siargao from Cebu City; I took a domestic flight with CebGo – Low cost airline partner branch of Cebu Pacific

From Clark: On my second trip, I was already in Manila. However, we couldn’t find affordable place tickets from Manila to Siargao – too last minute and too expensive – so we opted for a plan B! Take a flight from Clark, Pampanga! For this, we took the road from Manila to Clark by car (2 hours from Manila without traffic). You can either book a private van as we did or a cheaper way, a Premium Point to Point bus.

  • By ferry: From Cebu then Surigao and finally Dapa (Siargao).

Once you land at Siargao Airport, many vans will be waiting to take you to your destination. It is 300 pesos per person – fixed price for all established by the cooperative of Siargao. Once in the van, you’ll get on a pretty long ride and will realize that Siargao is actually a huge island.  Most visitors stay at General Luna. I strongly recommend that you book your accommodation there because everything happens there! In addition, G. Otherwise if you want a little more peace, towards Malinao or Pacifico.

Siargao is a big island on which General Luna is the liveliest city because everything happens there! The city of General Luna is quite large and getting from point A to point B can be time consuming if you are walking. You can take a tricycle (20 to 100 pesos depending on the distance) in town but I strongly recommend that you rent a motorbike for your entire stay. (between 300 and 400pesos the rental for 24 hours).

 

Where to go?

 

To explore the whole island, it would take at least 1 whole month! But this is because I know that many of you stay in the Philippines for a short period of 14-15 days maximum, I have prepared a list of essential activities and places to do during your visit! Doable in 4 to 7 days!

How long should I stay there? To maximize your stay, I recommend staying for 4 days, I have selected the must-go-to-visit places in red!

Island tour

#1 – The Sea and Road of Coconuts 

#2 – The Maasin River and its famous swing 

#3 – Magpupungko Rocks

#4 – Visit Pacifico

#5 – Visit the abandoned LightHouse (not yet visited)

#6 – Visit Malinao and its Secret beach

#7 – Visit the Tak Tak Falls (not yet visited)

 

Boat Island Hopping tour

#8 – Naked Island 

#9 – Daku Island 

#10 – Guyam Island 

#11 – Corregidor Island (not yet visited)

#12 – Mamon Island (not yet visited)

#13 – Sugba Lagoon 

#14 – Sohoton Cove

 

Other & Nightlife

#15 – Surf & sunsets Cloud 9 

#16- Day pool & night party

 

Where to stay in Siargao? (coming soon)

FOOD GUIDE à Siargao – The best restaurants/café of the island (coming soon)

 

Go on a Road trip!

@heyoleah facing the Seas of Coconuts

One of the most beautiful experiences to live in Siargao is to go on a road trip! Besides, it was there that I learned to drive a scooter! And this feeling of freedom and independence is great!

You can either join so-called land tours or simply set off on your own. Personally I did both and there are positive and negative points

Pros of land tours: +++ small family groups – accompanied guide, itinerary, saving time, possibility of resting and even taking naps during insured transfers, lunch included BUT — less independence, you can not stop when you want on the road spontaneously because there is a schedule program;

Pros of DIY tour on a scooter: +++ for the adventurous! free of your time, admire the landscapes on your way and possibility of stopping at the edge of secret beaches, take a photo with your motorbike, pigs or other spots and economical because 300-400 pesos rental per day (price negotiable). Refueling is your responsibility, you can find across the island bottles of coconut gasoline sold in small stores “sari-sari” or houses by the road. Prices vary between 30 and 60 pesos per liter. BUT — you will be exhausted at the end of this long day on the road! be vigilant night falls quickly so do not delay too much and especially WEAR A HELMET! It is mandatory. Otherwise you can be fined 13,000pesos. Safety first. You will remove it for the photos;

MY TIP? If you are traveling with your family, book a PRIVATE land tour! You will not only be able to visit all the spots but in addition the guide being very friendly, he will be able to make you stop on the road spontaneously (as long as you get back on time) to take photos or even buy PAN DE COCO – local coconut bread on the go!

Pan de Coco – Siargao @heyoleah

Road trip Recommendation # 1
Spend an entire day driving North, stopping at these must-see places: The Sea and Road of Coconuts, the famous swing at the Maasin River, Magpupunko Rock Pools and Pacifico.

Road trip Recommendation # 2
This road trip will take you to lesser known corners. There you will live an authentic experience and discover how the locals live on a daily basis

More info on the different places below:

#1 & 2 The Sea and Road of Coconuts

The Sea of Coconuts @heyoleah

Basically .. apart from seeing thousands of coconut trees on the horizon and taking souvenir photos #instagramgoals, there’s nothing …more! But it’s pretty and quite impressive to look at! And it’s one of the most popular viewpoints in Siargao! On the other hand, what really struck us was as soon as we arrived, we met local children who were trying to sell sustainable bamboo straws ((100 pesos the set of 10) to cover the minimum of their needs for the day ! Even if you do not really need these bamboos, I assure you that you will not regret making this little gesture because the smiles on their faces will definitely make you the day! And that is priceless!

On the coconut road @heyoleah 

#2 Visit the famous palm tree swing at the Maasin River

Maasin River Drone shot @markdavidacoba
On the bamboo boat – Maasin River @heyoleah
Swinging at the Maasin River @heyoleah

It is probably the most famous palm tree in the whole world, and I understand perfectly why! Some might find it quite simple and be a tourist trap but take the time to go there because this place is unique! The location and the landscape simply cannot be beat. This particular palm tree leans over the river, making it something out of a dream. Attached to the palm tree is a rope which serves as a large swing.

To all our adventurers, it’s time to show your skills! Climb the palm tree with the help of the locals who are happy to help you in any way, hang on to the rope and jump! Let yourself swing and then dive into the clear water of the river! It is also possible to hire a small boat to go down the river. A cool boat that looks good in the photos too. It’s the perfect place to have a good time, or if you want cool photos.

Like every hotspot, there are a lot of people during the day, so I recommend you get up early if you want to avoid the crowds. The Palmier swing is about 30 minutes’ drive from General Luna.

Leah’s tip: If you are on a tour, the guide may follow the same program as the others and therefore some hotspots may be crowded … at my first visit, we first visited the Maasin River before the Magpupungko Rocks! 😉

#3 – Magpupungko Rocks

@journeyera
@journeyera

This white sand beach hides a secret place that only appears during low tide: natural pools are formed between the rocks! If you arrive at the right time, you will witness one of the natural beauties of Siargao Island!

It is one of the most famous corners on Siargao Island! There you can also enjoy the white sand, relax, have a snack – banana Q, fish balls, kamote Q – and buy souvenirs! (significantly cheaper than General Luna)

Leah’s Tips – Plan your trip to the rock pools of Magpupunko! Be sure to check the tide calendar as the pools are not accessible at high tide. The area is completely closed at high tide, you won’t even be able to see the big rock next to the pools. The tide changes every day, so be sure to plan ahead before setting out. For this, ask the inhabitants of the island for more information! Also, there may be a lot of tourists who take photos, do not hesitate to go past the first pools towards the big rock in order to have a better view!

The entry price is 50 pesos, which represents around 1 euro, plus 20 pesos for parking if you come with a motorbike.

#4 – Visit Pacifico

If you are looking for a piece of paradise on Siargao Island away from the crowds, Pacifico is the place to go. Located in the north of the island of Siargao 1 hour from General Luna is one of the best known surf spots. There, you will find only a small amount of resorts and host families. This is where you will relax and escape.

During my first visit, I unfortunately could not go to Pacifico for lack of time … and all my local friends told me that I had missed something and that was all the more reason to return to Siargao! .

And indeed, during my second visit, just after our lunch break at Magpupungko Rocks, which was then full of tourists, we stopped at Pacifico where the beach was literally empty! The waves are quiet big & impressive, the water is clear, the sand is fine and warm. It was the perfect spot to digest and relax!

What to do there?

  • If you’re feeling hungry, I highly recommend going to Pacifico Beach Resort. There, you can relax in hammocks and taste their organic and fresh dishes on their farm located on the island!
  • Pacifico also has one of the best surf spots on the island. I was told that it is a place reserved for experts because the tides are strong on the shallow reef. But if you’re just a beginner like me, no problem, it’s still a peaceful place to stay.
  • Friends have told me that you can climb the cliff for an overview of Pacifico and further up visit the abandoned Lighthouse located north of Pacifico Beach.
  • Personally, we went there spontaneously to chill! It is the perfect place to relax under the coconut trees, sunbathe and meditate for an entire afternoon.

#5 – Visit the abandoned LightHouse (not yet visited) 

coming soon

#6 – Visit Malinao

Malinao is a small place just 10 minutes by car from General Luna.

On a small strip of road, this is where you will find some of the most luxurious hotels on the island. During my second visit, we stayed at Bayud Boutique Resort, one of the island’s isolated and chic hotels! Unlike General Luna, this place is still very quiet and underdeveloped. If you are for a picnic, a sunset or just a nice walk on the beach by yourself, this is the ideal place.

The best place is at the end of the road. When the road stops, you can head to the so-called Secret Beach (not so much secret btw ;)) and pass by the big luxury hotels.
Instead of going straight to the beach, keep going straight until it stops. Here you will find a small lagoon, an unfinished bridge and a magnificent beach overlooking the mangrove on the other side of the river. This area is simply beautiful. The ground is covered with pleasant grass, so it’s perfect for a picnic right by the beach.

Info: Be respectful of the environment and properly dispose of waste in the bins provided!

#7 – Visit the Tak Tak Falls (not yet visited)

coming soon

GO ON A BOAT TRIP – ISLAND HOPPING!

The islands surrounding Siargao are just as beautiful as the main island. Going on a boat trip called Island Hopping is a favorite among all who visit.

The most popular tour is the Tree Islands Tour or Tri-Island Island Hopping Tour as it is often called. On this tour, you will stop at the three neighboring islands, Naked, Daku and Guyam Island. During these tours, the boat normally makes a longer stop on Daku Island for lunch.
Another favorite is to visit the island of Corregidor.

Organizing your favorite visit is very easy. Most hostels tour the three islands as part of their weekly schedule. If you are staying elsewhere, simply get off at General Luna’s pier and you will be approached by boatmen who offer to take you wherever you want. A boat can normally accommodate 6-8 people and the price is around 1500 pesos to 1700 pesos depending on the organizer for the whole day.

More information on the different locations below.

#8 – Naked Island

Naked Island – Drone shot by @markdavidacoba

This island is located 20 minutes by boat from the port of Siargao, General Luna. The name of the island comes from the fact that there is nothing on it. The island is literally … naked! It is basically a little sandbar in the middle of the ocean.
Since there is nothing on the island, the only thing you do here is relax in the hot water, go around and go to each end of the island to see the waves crashing together . The waves can be quite strong so be careful. That being said, it is a cool site that is worth a visit.

#9 – Daku Island

Daku Island by @Laagan007

The next stop on the tour of the three islands is Daku Island. Daku means big and it is the largest of the three. This island is one of the most beautiful islands I have ever visited. When visiting the three islands, this is the place where they prepare lunch while you explore the island or just relax in the incredibly clear and blue water. The waves are also strong but it’s still very fun because you feel like you’re at a water park jumping over the waves and getting carried away! The beach is one of the best I have ever seen. What makes it so good is not only the perfect beach, but also the small hut located along the beach, supported by a huge palm forest.

Léah’s Tip: If you are not on an organized tour including lunch, bring fresh food from the General Luna market and the local population will prepare it for a small sum while you enjoy the beach. They also sell refreshing coconuts, water and soda on the island.

#10 – Guyam Island

@heyoleah in front of the Guyam Island

Guyam Island is the last stop on the three island tour. Guyam means small and it is the smallest of the islands. This island is what you see in magazines. It is so small that you can walk in a few minutes with coconut palms in the middle. It’s hard to explain how cute this island is.

The locals have installed several swings and photo corners to allow you to keep beautiful memories! Tropical paradise are appropriate words. Take a look at the photos below.

# 11 -Corregidor Island (not yet visited)

I have heard a lot about this island! Unfortunately due to lack of time I could not visit it. According to my research and my local friends, this island located 45 minutes from the port of General Luna, offers a totally different landscape! First, know that this island is much less developed than the others, and therefore you will not find anything to buy there.

Yet, there is so much to do! Explore & be adventurous!

You will find small beaches on each corner of the island, a large meadow and a hill with a unique palm tree #instagramgoals! Go there for a hike of 25-30 minutes, which will take you into the most unique landscape with long grasses and palm trees spread over a large area

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA – DO NOT OWN THIS PHOTO

#12 – Mamon Island (not yet visited)

#13- Visit Sugba Lagoon

One of the coolest things you can do during your stay in Siargao is to visit certainly Sugba Lagoon. This day trip or half day to your preference you really leads through unique landscapes, different from anything you’ve ever seen before. It is the one of the most popular circuits the Siargao. I recommend you to go there. If you have a drone, make it fly and you’ll see how beautiful the place is .

There are several ways to organize your visit to the Sugba lagoon. :

  • Option 1: Book your visit with a travel agency in partnership with expert excursion services. This is what I did with my family during my second visit. If need of contacts, leave a comment!
  • Option 2: Sugba lagoon is located just outside of another town called Del Carmen. This second option is the one I made on my first visit, and it requires you to drive your motorcycle to Del Carmen by yourself. The journey takes 1 to 2 hours depending on your speed. (Ps: to be honest, it was the most exhausting day.) Once in Del Carmen, head to the pier where the ticket office is located. Each boat can accommodate up to 6 people and the price is set at 1,500 pesos for the standard visit. The ticket office opens at 8:00 am, so I recommend being there in good time beforehand as there will be a queue.

Tip Léah: the boat that takes you to Sugba Lagoon is very noisy! I advise you to take cotton, buddy or your noise-canceling earphones with you so as not to come deaf!

WHAT TO DO:

Once at Sugba Lagoon, a house was built on the water where you can rent tables for 50 pesos. This is the place where you can leave your things to go and enjoy the lagoon. There are lots of activities to try! You can rent kayaks, paddle boards and bamboo rafts between 300 and 500 pesos. You will also find the epic diving board with the most beautiful bottom of all time. (ps: on the photos, one has the impression that the diving board is high and that the lagoon is gigantic but the photo is taken in height from, thus  this optical effect)

If you are a little adventurous, I also recommend exploring the nearby lagoon. Here you will find an even higher diving board 10 meters high embedded in a tree. Personally, because it is not for me! I prefer to relax on a paddle board and take nice pictures;)

 

 

@heyoleah on a paddle board – Sugba Lagoon Siargao

#14 – Sohoton Cove

This is one of the unique and isolated places on the island of Siargao that I loved visiting Siargao!

Visiting Sohoton Cove National Park in Surigao Del Norte is a must on your list of things to do in Siargao! Sohoton Cove presents natural wonders such as caves, lagoons and cliff jumping, making it a fun day trip from Siargao. This natural site is one of the most preserved places on the island of Siargao and is worth a visit if you have time during your stay in Siargao.

Indeed, this natural park is located 2 hours by boat from General Luna. If you want to take a tour, you can combine the visit to Sohoton Cove and the tri-island in the afternoon with lunch at Sohoton Cove.

Tip Léah – As at Sugba Lagoon, the boat’s engine is very noisy! So plan to bring cotton and / or noise-canceling headphones because the journey is long!

ON THE ARRIVAL

From your first steps in Sohoton Cove, you arrive at the pier of the national park. And there, you will be surrounded by purely green and blue landscapes! The water was bluer than I had imagined – and I mean seriously blue !! We waited a few moments while waiting for our turn. With Mark, we took the opportunity to fly our Mavic Pro drone to discover the overview of the national park .. and wow!

WHAT TO DO?

When your turn arrives, you will board a small boat with yellow helmets to protect yourself! My friends literally looked like MINIONS haha

The Minions – Travel Squad at Sohoton Cove

The program was in 3 stages:

  1. Hagukan cave. This cave was incredibly epic, to say the least. WARNING! So it is not a simple cave to visit in a boat. To enter the Hagukan cave, we had to jump from the boat and dive for three meters, swim under a rocky ledge, then swim in the cave pool on the other side. To access it I had to access my breath for about 5 to 10 seconds and the local guides pulled us to open the way into the cave. Once inside, it was quite dark and difficult to see, but then our guides told us to start wading and the water started to shine in an electric blue color … beautiful! It was scary but frankly to do once!
  2. Magkukuob cave. This place was super cool to visit, you have to enter the cave through a small entrance, walk and climb through the cave and exit at the top of the cliff. And there a diving board of 5 meters awaits you! This is the main attraction;)
  3. The jellyfish sanctuary. After visiting both Hagukan Cave and Magkukob Cave inside Sohoton National Park, our private boat returned to the pier from where we left. So to be honest, my companions were hungry! We then waited for lunch and we no longer had time to visit the jellyfish sanctuary. priorities hahaha! But from what the guide explained to me, there is a corner where dozens of small jellyfish swim freely. And their peculiarity is that these jellyfish do not bite! You can then take some in your hands .. for the most courageous;) Here is our half-day visit to Sohoton Cove! If you have time, I strongly recommend you spend a whole day there because there are so many other sites even more impressive to visit 🙂

#15 – Surf and sunset Cloud 9

MANDATORY STOP! Dear friend, it is time to live the Siargao experience to the FULLEST! Go to the Cloud 9 station at General Luna to take your first surf lessons (for those who have never done it)! There you will come across very easily recognizable surf instructors = they are very tanned and often have long / blond hair hehe

It’s 500pesos an hour with rental of the surfboard (all the same price). Choose the Kuya with whom you have a good vibes hehe Personally it was the young Angel who taught me to surf!

Surfboards at Station Cloud 9

 

Cloud 9 is an iconic corner in Siargao. You can surf there because the waves are perfect for beginners. In addition, it is not very deep. By cons beware there are small rocks so be careful when you fall

 

Healthy breakfast at Shaka Café, Cloud 9

Finally, watch one of the most beautiful sunsets on the island of Siargao. We never get tired of them..!

Sunset at Cloud 9 @heyoleah
Sunset at Cloud 9 @laagan007

#16 – Party! Day pool party & Night out

Siargao in particular the town of General Luna is one of the most popular meeting places on the island for partying, dancing, socializing, watching live bands and drinking.

Indeed, you have about twenty restaurants, bars and hotels / resorts that enliven the city! Some would even compare Siargao to Bali or Boracay, but the local government is taking steps to avoid excess. For example, following very wild parties, it’s been several months since- the local mayor imposed a curfew at midnight for security reasons. But the evening starts early because it is early night, around 17-18H in the Philippines;)

As soon as night falls, General Luna has a completely different face! I recommend that you take a tour of the stores (open until 10 p.m. – very pricey! European prices) to buy yourself – t-shirts, caps, little grigris. Dine locally either in a relaxing atmosphere like at Emelia’s, Mama’s Grill, Isla Mercato or if you want a more classy European touch in restaurants / resorts like Isla Cabana, Kanilaw, Bravo and Kermit! (More info on another article to come)

And then go to one of the club bars / resorts to party! Rumbar, Baile, Harana, Lampara etc. Indeed, Siargao is also known for its many Full Moon Party evenings, pool parties, Live Band, Night parties mixing reggae, electro, techno, Brazilian funk, old school hip hop which welcome both Local and international DJs! It is an experience to live in Siargao in order to have a complete experience!

WHERE TO GO?

There is a week calendar which indicates where the evening will take place! So ask your receptionist where the evening will take place and don’t miss this opportunity!

 

So has this article made you want to visit the island of Siargao ?!

Check out my other articles to complete your trip and above all book your tickets in advance for preferential rates with your Visit-Philippines travel agency!

 

Rédigé par

@heyoleah

Suivez moi sur Facebook, Instagram et Youtube – @heyoleah

xx

Léah with an H

 

Heyo it’s Léah with an H!

So do you plan to go to the Philippines, and think about visiting the island of Siargao ?

I am writing a full complete travel guide about Siargao! In the meanwhile, here is the part 1 with the essentials! Hope you’ll enjoy it! Also, follow me on Youtube, Instagram and Facebook  to support and for more good vibes #LeahTravels! To book your plane tickets, just click here! And if you have any questions, leave a comment at the bottom of the article!

 

What to know about Siargao? 

Ranked as the number #1 island in the world, Siargao is the PARADISE for surfers and non-surfers! Yes, this island offers much more than surfing!

Siargao was once known as a surf hotspot where thrill seekers from around the world came together to surf what is ranked the 8th best wave in the world. But in recent years, people have really opened their eyes – not just to surfing – but to the magnificent 48 islands and islets that make up Siargao. It is quite simply an adventure zone waiting to be discovered. Between the magnificent lagoons, the white sand beaches, the tropical landscapes with its thousands of palm trees, the enchanted rivers and especially the locals, you will understand why this island is the best in Asia.

How to get there? 

Getting to Siargao is simple #eazybreezy! From Manila, many local companies will take you to the island in less than 3 hours (direct flights)! Info: Siargao airport being small, the planes are narrow so for those who fear this kind of plane like my father and I .. take a sleeping pill before take off!

  • ✈️ By plane: The best known airlines offer direct flights to Siargao such as SkyJet, Cebu Pacific, Philippines Airlines, Air Asia.

From Manila: direct flights in 2hours and 30minutes or with stopover 3h30

From Cebu City: During my first trip, I had just explored the island of Cebu so I took my plane to Siargao from Cebu City; I took a domestic flight with CebGo – Low cost airline partner branch of Cebu Pacific

From Clark: On my second trip, I was already in Manila. However, we couldn’t find affordable place tickets from Manila to Siargao – too last minute and too expensive – so we opted for a plan B! Take a flight from Clark, Pampanga! For this, we took the road from Manila to Clark by car (2 hours from Manila without traffic). You can either book a private van as we did or a cheaper way, a Premium Point to Point bus.

  • 🛥️ By ferry: From Cebu then Surigao and finally Dapa (Siargao).

Once you land at Siargao Airport, many vans will be waiting to take you to your destination. It is 300 pesos per person – fixed price for all established by the cooperative of Siargao. Once in the van, you’ll get on a pretty long ride and will realize that Siargao is actually a huge island.  Most visitors stay at General Luna. I strongly recommend that you book your accommodation there because everything happens there! In addition, G. Otherwise if you want a little more peace, towards Malinao or Pacifico.

Siargao is a big island on which General Luna is the liveliest city because everything happens there! The city of General Luna is quite large and getting from point A to point B can be time consuming if you are walking. You can take a tricycle (20 to 100 pesos depending on the distance) in town but I strongly recommend that you rent a motorbike for your entire stay. (between 300 and 400pesos the rental for 24 hours).

 

Where to go?

 

To explore the whole island, it would take at least 1 whole month! But this is because I know that many of you stay in the Philippines for a short period of 14-15 days maximum, I have prepared a list of essential activities and places to do during your visit! Doable in 4 to 7 days!

How long should I stay there?

To maximize your stay, I recommend staying for 4 days, I have selected the must-go-to-visit places in red!

Island tour

#1 – The Sea and Road of Coconuts 

#2 – The Maasin River and its famous swing 

#3 – Magpupungko Rocks

#4 – Visit Pacifico

#5 – Visit the abandoned LightHouse (not yet visited)

#6 – Visit Malinao and its Secret beach

#7 – Visit the Tak Tak Falls (not yet visited)

 

Boat Island Hopping tour

#8 – Naked Island 

#9 – Daku Island 

#10 – Guyam Island 

#11 – Corregidor Island (not yet visited)

#12 – Mamon Island (not yet visited)

#13 – Sugba Lagoon 

#14 – Sohoton Cove

 

Other & Nightlife

#15 – Surf & sunsets Cloud 9 

#16- Day pool & night party

 

What to bring?

  • Cream against mosquitoes – OFF lotion, patch
  • Emergency SOS pharmacy – band aids, alcohol, pills (flu, diarrhea)
  • Cameras, with charger
  • Powerbank (that are charged!)
  • Water bottle reusable (no plastic is allowed)
  • Sunscreen (you don’t want to get sunburnt)
  • Go Pro with waterproof protection
  • Good vibes!!

Upcoming articles  – Stay tuned!

  1. Where to stay in Siargao? (coming soon)
  2. FOOD GUIDE à Siargao – The best restaurants/café of the island (coming soon)Thanks for reading!

 

🍍 Léah with an H

 

Heyo it’s Léah! And in this article, let’s chase some waterfalls in Cebu, Philippines!

Cebu is one of the most popular islands in the Philippines. It has a vast array of activities like hikes (Osmena Peak), free-diving with sardines (Moalboal), swimming with Whale Sharks (Oslob) and island hopping. However, the island of Cebu is waterfall heaven.

There are over 100 waterfalls on the island of Cebu. So here’s a list of my favorite waterfalls on Cebu! It will be progressively updated as I visit more. I didn’t list them chronologically but really from my favorites to my least favorites ones.

TRAVEL TIP – SOLO TRAVELLER I mostly visited the waterfalls.. ALONE. And all the photos I am sharing are mine. So how did I take them? Well whenever you visit a waterfall, a local guide or “kuya” accompanies you and makes sure that you are safe, and shares some little stories. And thhey’ll kindly become your personal photographer! I was lucky to be alone during all my visits to take as many photos as I wanted haha of course, don’t forget to TIP them 😉

1. Dao Falls & Trek

To get to the epic Dao Waterfalls, you’ll have to go on a 30 minute trek that will amaze you and leave an unforgettable souvenir in your mind. And this adventure starts by crossing this astounding bridge!

 

During your trek, you’ll walk across vibrant green forest,  wallow into deep blue waters in the middle of canyon walls, and hear nothing but the sound of nature.

For the non-hikers, don’t worry the trek to Dao Falls itself isn’t hard but it does require you to walk through the water and navigate your way around stones and rocks. You can even jump and swim in the clear blue waters in the It is a moderate journey with incredible scenery, which is far away from the crowds at Kawasan Falls.

At the end of the trek, there is a staircase that gives you a glimpse of the epic finale: the Dao Falls! I loved the view from there and actually had fun taking some cool shots and feeling adventurous being in the middle of the jungle.

Here it is! The outstanding Dao Falls that looks like a rainbow falling down on a wide wall of canyon boulders. Dao Waterfall is about 40-50m high and pours down into a large pool. You can swim safely in the pool and near the falls when the flow isn’t too crazy but of course be careful depending on the conditions. The water is naturally cold but very refreshing especially after the hike. Just take some breath to admire the impressive view.

My trek to Dao Falls was my favorite one as I explored the unique beauty of Cebu’s nature far from tourists and definitely felt in osmosis with nature.

2. Cambais Falls

First time I explored the Cambais Falls, it was all spontaneous. On our way back from Osmena Peak, my friend LostJuan and I stopped at the entrance of the Cambais falls.

I’m happy we did because it was such an amazing discovery.

Cambais Falls is an amazing waterhole in the hills of Alegria, Cebu. From Moalboal, it takes less than an hour drive to n get there. And there are several amazing waterfalls right next to it to make an epic waterfall adventure day!

As all many unique and authentic places on Earth, you’ll have to make a little effort to get there. You’ll start with a 15-20 minute super easy hiking to discover this first scenery!

Best part is… it doesn’t end there! Cambais has 3 distinct levels and different cliff jumping levels and great spots for swimming. For safety reasons, I wasn’t able to take any photos but LostJuan took some cool video shots! So here’s how it goes…

Do you see the water slide on the right side? Well it is the “door” to enter the next levels of the waterfalls . You’ll have to use a rope that is set up to help you climb and explore the Cambais Falls right behind the big stone green leaves…!

PS: Make sure to have tight waterproof slippers or be barefoot as it can be very slippery
Cambais Falls

I never felt so adventurous! We had to climb, jump, navigate through the waters to finally end on an hidden waterfalls on a huge stone! We jumped and enjoyed it to the fullest until we realise that there was no-one and the sun was falling down.. so we quickly came back and luckily we got to the scooter before the sunset goes down haha so here is my advice, don’t do like us, go there before 3PM with a local guide!

3. Inambakan Falls

Inambakan Falls is known for having a beautiful 100-ft waterfall that pours into a wide pool of blue water. Once there, you’ll witness an amazing scene in the middle of a lush jungle greenery. And I was lucky enough to explore it at the end of the day and see the sunset above the trees.

Inambakan Falls is a solid four-hour journey from Cebu City. But when I visited, I was based in Fantasy Lodge at Samboan which is 20 minutes away by motorbike or tricycle.

A kind Kuya brought me there by scooter, it takes 15-20minutes to get to the entrance. Then a 5 minute walk to see the epic waterfalls.

As I went there at the end of the day, I was pretty exhausted and the sun was going down.. Thus, I was just able to enjoy the first scenery on the huge stone and take my “Tarzan & Jane” kind of photo!

Because it was late and sun goes down in the Philippines early around 5pm, I wasn’t able to explore all the levels of the Inambakan Falls. But after some research I read that there are five levels at Inambakan, and it takes a full-day adventure there!

According to “Journeyera”, “The third level was such an incredible spot. A crystal clear pool, deep enough for cliff jumping, sits in front of a backdrop of idyllic palm trees. It is a slice of paradise right in the middle of the jungle.”

I would definitely go back there and take time to explore all the corners of the Inambakan Falls! What about you?!

4. Aguinid Falls

The Aguinid waterfalls is one of the most popular ones in Cebu but still hasn’t surpassed the popularity of the Kawasan Falls. The Aguinid trek is very fun, easy and perfect if you are looking for a big adventure and yet avoid too many tourists.

Aguinid Falls is split up into multiple levels. Before, it used to have eight levels. However, since there were a few accidents and fatalities on the higher levels, you must be accompanied by a local guide and you will only reach level five. Don’t worry this is more than enough adventure!

Let the adventure begins! Here is level 1 to 2!

The whole attraction is going up and up the different levels. You’ll have to navigate on the big boulders, use a strong rope (don’t be surprise by the odor haha) to get to the next level. Don’t worry the cliff isn’t vertical it is 45degrees and you can go up safely.

Always be careful as some parts or slippery, but the Kuya is always there to guide you.

Level by level, you can enjoy the views, jump off the cliff and swim! And finally you’ll reach to the final epic 5th level where the waterfalls pours down a rounded big stone. You can go explore inside the cave and jump in the private pool and refresh up! One of the coolest waterfalls if you are looking for a big adventure!

5. Kawasan falls Canyoneering

The most popular waterfalls of Cebu are the Kawasan Falls! And what makes it popular is that there are 14 levels to explore and that you can do “Canyoneering”, the most popular tourist activities on the island.

Thousands of tourists participate in the adventure every day.

They usually want to experience the canyoneering! A full tour is worth $20-30 but my friends and I went to a half tour – only the first 7 levels and that was way enough!

It can be very tiring to get up on all the levels and you may feel like it’s the biggest adventure you can do on Cebu but it’s not. Indeed, trekking to Dao Falls or Cambais Falls even feels more adventurous because you will be the only ones there. However, I do encourage you to do the canyoneering at Kawasan Falls!

TIPS: To enjoy the whole scenery, go to the Kawasan Falls at the earliest at 6AM (opening time) to avoid the wave of tourists.
Kawasan Falls

The canyoneering starts in the jungle where you’ll first meet many food vendors selling local fruits, delicacies (chocolate donut, corn etc) and canyoneering tours services. Once you pick one, you will wear a helmet and a life vest. For aesthetic reasons, I removed them for the photos haha

You’ll be accompanied by a guide who you will go up the different levels with you and you’ll have fun scaling up the cliffs, jumping into the water and begin floating down the canyon.

PS: Too scared to jump off a cliff? Jumping from a cliff can be more impressive than you think… and things can get quickly scary … But here’s a tip! Take a deep breath and when you jump, make sure to stay straight! If not, you’ll end like me : on your BUTT! And you’ll get a huge bruise haha Now if you don’t feel like it, don’t force yourself and just watch the people instead. It can be very entertaining 😉

My favorite part was the rope swinging and the natural slides haha after my first incident, I kept it safe and I just enjoyed watching people. The canyoneering ends with the highest jump cliff is 20ft – the tradition is to jumped off of it . I didn’t but my friends Mark & Joseph did! BRAVO! It was definilety a fun experience!

But again, don’t be surprise to meet a lot of tourists because everyone wants to experience a full big adventure of chasing waterfalls in Cebu 🙂

 

Hope you enjoyed the little guide!
Don’t forget to comment and share your thoughts!

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Summer is finally out and you can’t wait to be on vacation!

  • Picking your summer destination. DONE !
  • Booking your airplane ticket – at your favorite travel agency 😉. DONE !

Now it’s time to get ready for the airport!  Despite the excitement, you cannot hide your worry about the crowd, the luggage to check in, the long line to get your boarding pass..!

Well, I, Léah with an H, will share with you my travel tips to make your pre-summer vacation peaceful! My secret? Preparation and new tools: the Internet!

In this article, in collaboration with Cathay Pacific, we will guide you on How To Check-In Online ! It is FREE, EASY & FAST.

Why Check-in Online? The benefits are multiple and here are the main ones

  • avoid the long lines at the check-in office
  • gain time
  • choose your favorite seat in advance
  • eco-friendly: no more paper boarding pass, just a QR code with your smartphone!

When to Check-in Online?

48 hours to 90 minutes before your departure (for free)

STEP 1 : LOG IN ON THE AIRLINE COMPANY

Open your browser (ex: Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari..) and get on your airline company’s website (ex: www.cathaypacific.com). If you already have a member account, log in by clicking on Log In. If not, just click on the button “Check-In Oline” or “Find a booking”

STEP 2 – LOG IN / IDENTIFY / CHECK-IN

If you are logged in: Click on “REGISTRATION ONLINE” and in the “Find My Booking” section, enter your personal information

– Last name and first names (please double check the spelling! No error)

– Reservation Reference Number or E-TICKET Number

If not, click on “Check-In Online” and enter the same credentials to connect and identify your booking

 

STEP 3 – SELECT YOUR FLIGHT AND CHOOSE YOUR SEAT

 

This is my favorite part! We all have our favorite seats or at least, a seat that we don’t want… No more surprise! The advantage of check-in online is that you can choose in advance your favorite seat!

However, notice that there are different options: free seats and preferential seats with additional fees.

  • Choose your seat according to the availability (see plan of plane) or you must choose to buy your seat, or to be given a free seat at random (if your flight takes place within 4 days)
  • Once you have selected an option, you will see your avatar on the selected select, select continue to pay your seats or retrieve your boarding pass.

    STEP 4 – SECURITY & CONFIRM BOARDING PASS

Next, follow the steps (security, luggage restrictions …) and confirm your online registration. Your boarding ticket will be sent to you either by phone (QR code) or by mail (document to print)

 

If you don’t plan to print, make sure to have enough battery on your smartphone (take a powerbank with you) when you’ll present your online boarding pass at the gate.

If you have not had the time to register online at home, you can always head to one of the automatic check-in machines at the airport. These terminals are free and make you avoid queuing. Bring your passport and / or reference number / e-ticket number and follow the steps. Please note that online check-in is possible 90 minutes before your flight.

Finally, once check-in online is finalised, once at the airport, instead of going at the check-in line you can directly go to the luggage line to drop yours!

Thank you for reading.

Good luck & bon voyage!

Here is a sum up to share to your family and friends!

Written by HeyoLeah

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In collaboration with Cathay Pacific

Heyo! This is Léah with an H and I am so happy that you are reading this article because it means that you are considering to visit soon my motherland.. the Philippines!

But you are lost between the opposing opinions: one advises you to travel this month but the other one doesn’t for meteorological reasons – So here you are, confused and perplexed, very hesitant to buy your tickets on those dates because above all it is a long journey (+10 000km from Paris), a budget and of course you want to enjoy your first trip to the Philippines in the best possible conditions!

No worries you are at the right place because not only I am half Filipino/Algerian born in Paris, France but I’ve travelled in the Philippines every single year since I am 5 years old and I lived there for almost a year, so let’s say that I really know the Philippines and that you can trust me, my friend!

Now, in order to help you prepare your next vacation, I am going to share with you all my travel tips and all the basic information about the best time to visit the Philippines!

I will talk about the weather, the hotel rates depending on the seasons and when to book cheap flights with our travel agency Visit-Philippines. So basically everything you need to know to make your first travel in the Philippines worth it and memorable!

Okay now let’s go!

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Perfect weather in Dumaguete – Manjuyod Sand Bar on March 2019!

How’s the weather in the Philippines?

 

First of all, weather in the Philippines is not that simple!

4 climate zones & 2 seasons: The Philippines has four distinct climate zone. Globally, it is a tropical climate that is for the most part hot and humid year-round, but can be roughly divided into a dry season and rainy season.

And, depending on which area you are, the climate will be drastically different! For instance, in Baguio City in North Luzon, the coldest city of the Philippines (10° to 20°)  –  you need to wear a jacket or even gloves whereas in Siargao, few kilometres away, it is warm and hot (25° to +30°)!

So in overall, the weather in the Philippines is not the same everywhere and throughout the year! 

Now, because I care about you and your next vacation, I made a personalised calendar for each destination I visited throughout the year. You are welcome! You can check them out when you click on the destinations 🙂 For example: For Cebu City, on the weather section, you’ll the weather forecast below

Cebu Weather Estimation

Best times to travel in the Philippines?

 

From my experience, here are the best seasons to visit the Philippines from the best to less good:

December 🎄💝: It is the month of celebrations with Christmas & New Year! Not only, the weather is great – not too hot or too cold and unlikely to rain – but you will experience & feel the Christmas spirit of the Philippines! As soon as you’ll step out of the airplane, you will be greeted by smiles, welcoming Filipinos, festive songs, and Christmas lights – the parols – and decorations! However, it is a high peak season. Many OFWs (= Overseas Filipino Workers) from the world come back home to visit their families they haven’t visited for years. So be prepared to see traffic, crowded malls (need to buy Christmas gifts) and higher hotel & local plane rates.

 

MANILA, PHILIPPINES: A vendor sits beside for sale colorful Christmas lanterns as church goers pass by to attend a traditional dawn mass in Manila 22 December 2003. AFP PHOTO ROMEO GACAD (Photo credit should read ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images)

 

January,February & March ❤️❤️❤️: In 2019, I travelled for the first time in the Philippines during those 3 months and… I LOVED IT! The weather was PER-FECT for travelling! Plus, there are less local & international tourists than usual so it is easier to take #instagram photos & videos! On February, I highly advice you to visit the rice terraces and mountains of North Luzon. You will be able to see high green rice fields! Plus, the weather was sunny & chill.
February is the “coldest” season of the year with temperatures around 20° to max 30°. Plus, the best thing is that in general people are either working or in school, thus touristic places are not THAT crowded comparing to the rest of the year.  And hello… February is Valentine’s Day, so best time to spend some quality time with your love one!

 

Green rice terraces in Banaue, Ifugao

April☀️☀️☀️: It is SUMMER VACATION in the Philippines & IT IS VERY (TOO?) HOT & DRY ! I think I’ve never felt this hot in my life… and I can tell because 1)  I couldn’t walk around without sweating 2) I kept staying inside malls to be in the AC and as an half-European I usually can’t bear AC! To give you an idea, temperates reach +35° in the city of Manila! Imagine that temperature + the pollution: hella hot. So my advice, take the plane, go to the beach and put sunscreen! PS: It is Holy Week from April 5 to 11, so many Filipinos either go back to their province (hello traffic) or travel around the country! So be ready for higher hotel & place fares and crowded beaches. Actually, I think Manila is the best place to be during Holy Week! There is less people and no traffic. On May and June, the temperatures stay high and it is mostly dry season.

© Mark David Acoba Productions

July/August/September ☀️🌧️🌈: It is officially the rainy season of the year! And at the same time, not really? I think the weather during those months are the less predictable ones of the year. I know that most of you may only have July & August to go on a summer vacation and you should definitely go! As I said in the intro, the weather in the Philippines can be different everywhere at the same time! It can rain in Manila but sunny in Palawan. True story: we were lucky to have sunny or worst case scenario – cloudy – weather during all our group excursions on August! (El Nido, Cebu, Bohol). It is so unpredictable! To be honest, despite the rainy season in the Philippines, I still advice to give it a shot! I mean, if you want  Plus, a rainbow may appear in the horizon 🙂

On November, the rainy season gets less intense and the temperatures are pretty good too.

 

Why not travel during summer (Europe)?

 

1.it’s the most touristic season of the year! As July and August are the summer vacation, French people will be travelling there but also everyone else!

2. usually airplane tickets are more expensive.

3. rates of hotels and resorts are more expensive during this time.

 

Travel Tip: Always keep a raincoat or sweater in case of some rain!  Keep an eye on typhoon, weather forecasts websites!

When to book & get the cheapest airplane tickets with VISIT-PHILIPPINES?

 

Now that you know when to travel to the Philippines, the question that follows is when to book and buy your airplane tickets to get cheap rates?

NOW! 

But more seriously, we highly advice to book your tickets one year earlier! But I know it can be hard to commit in advance because you don’t know when you’ll be on vacation and also how’s your budget going..

No worries! The travel agency Visit-Philippines has negotiated exclusive and preferential prices with their Airline partners throuhgout all the year! And even if it is a last minute purchase, they offer an instalment payment solution, you can pay in multiple time don’t waste your time!

Book your tickets today! FLY NOW. PAY LATER

With its endless stunning islands, the Philippines offers a variety of beautiful natural spots from white sand beaches, crystal blue water to spectacular mountains landscapes, waterfalls, rice terraces and more!

After travelling for 4 months around my motherland the Philippines , let me share with you the 10 must-go-NEW-places to visit in the Philippines in 2019!

If you are not a reader lover, you can watch my travel series videos #VISITPHILIPPINESWITHLEAH on my Youtube channel & Facebook page!

1. Ifugao Province: magnificent mountains & terraces 

If you like hiking, bonding with nature and you are ready to disconnect from the Internet to immerse yourself into an authentic experience to learn about the origins of the native Filipino culture, you should explore the Cordillera of Ifugao! Go on a 2 to 5 days hiking to Banaue, Cambulo, Batad, Patpat, Mayoyao, Bangaan.

And in case if you were wondering, the rice terraces of Batad are the 8th wonder of the world and a UNESCO site. For those who are familiar with the rice terraces from Vietnam or China, these ones are far more impressive as they are perfectly built symmetrically into an amphitheater of rice fields with endless stairs (sensitive knees abstain). They have existed since 2000 despite the many challenges and natural disasters (typhoons, earthquakes, torrential rains …).

Magnificent, incredible, WOW these are the words that came to my mind.

ifugao

2. Diving at Apo Island in Dumaguete & Maldives of the Philippines: Manjuyod

Dumaguete Island, the capital of Negros Oriental, in the province of VISAYAS, is famous for its diving spots. There you can go on a day trip snorkelling or scuba diving and get your license, and explore the rick marine life of the area: corals, fish of all kinds & sea turtles in Apo Island.

But Dumaguete has more to offer: it is a multicultural island that offers various hidden food gems: Chicken Jo’s Inasal, Sans Rival, Boulevard Street Food – to eat squid balls, tempura. And at night, locals and students coming from all around the world dance, sing and enjoy their time at the various bars and clubs such as Tiki Club or Hayahay Bar for live music bands.

The second highlight of my stay was watching Dolphins and chilling at the Maldives of the Philippines: Manjuyod. You can rent a private boat for the day to go see watching dolphins in the nature and then enjoy the sand bar beach in Manjuyod ! There, you can have fun and do water activities: banana boat, have some fresh grilled lunch, have some drinks a la pinoy and just enjoy! Oh and if you are craving for snacks, No worries, there are SARI-SARI boats floating around! Also, little tip: you can rent a cottage for 3k-3,5K only and stay over one night with your family and friends! It can welcome +15 people!

3. Fall under the spell of Siquijor

If you visit the VISAYAS, you should definitely stop by the mystical island of SIQUIJOR! Locals believe that there are witches, ghosts and mystical creatures that will either hurt you or put a magic love spell called the GAYUMA on you…But those are just stories and legends that gives the island a little bit of charm! Siquijor has a lot to offer to adventure-seekers such as waterfalls such as Cambugahay Falls where you can swim in natural water, jump from swings and cliffs, relax on white sand beaches such as Pilaton beach and have a taste of freedom as you ride your scooter around the island.

HEYOLEAH’s TIP: The nightlife is very little developed so enjoy your stop in Siquijor to relax! Stay 1 night and 2 days, for 1 day of rest and 1 day of exploration. If you want to avoid the crowds at Cambugahay Falls, wake up early, leave at 6am to arrive at the opening at 7am.

4. Sardines Run in Moalboal, South of Cebu

From Manila or Clark airport, the most sensible way to continue is by taking a flight to Cebu. Cebu City is the 2nd largest city in the Philippines and has a lot of resemblance with Manila – an urban city growing into the center trade, commerce and tourism of the Philippines with many old historic & religious monuments. Click here for more info!

While there’s a lot to do in Cebu island – whale shark watching, waterfalls, canyoneering and more – the one attraction which stands out as the most unique is undoubtedly Moalboal’s Sardine Run.

HEYOLEAH’s TIP: Great news! As the sardines at Moalboal don’t migrate, it’s available all year long.

 

5. The Chocolate Hills, Bohol vs Osmena Peak, Cebu

The Cholocate hills are one of the most famous places in the Philippines located in Bohol because of its homogenous shapes.

But Cebu, also has its own Chocolate Hills called the Osmena Peak! Indeed Cebu is a total package: you don’t only have beaches, waterfalls to jump and swim in but also mountains to climb and hike! 

Locals often compare the view to Bohol’s Chocolate Hills. But instead of rolling curved mounds, the hills have salient peaks.

Along the way, you can see farmers carrying large baskets of freshly harvested vegetables. The Mantalongan & Dalaguete Vegetable Market is the wholesaling station for cabbages, carrots, peppers and other vegetables. This is also the most popular starting point for hikes, if you do not want to hire a Habal-Habal driver to get to base camp.

HEYOLEAH’S TIP: Rent a scooter for the day to be free of your movements!

6. Malapascua Island, New Boracay North Cebu

 

From South Cebu to Cebu City, we highly hesitated to visit Bohol and explore the famous Chocolate Hills, but instead, we decided to have a complete tour of the Cebu Island by going up north to Malapascua Island.

From the North Bus Terminal in Cebu City, we took a 4hour bus to the Port in the North then a 30minutes boat ride to Malapascua Island. (TIP: there is a boat ride every 30minutes from 6am to 6PM)

And there, we found the most underrated island and beach in the Philippines! My first impression was that IT WAS VERY HOT! But right after, I thought that Malapascua looks like Boracay but 15 years ago: white sand beach, not crowded, yet enough developed to offer basic structures & amenities (resorts, hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs) to let tourists enjoy their stay.

Our program was simple: rest & chill by the beach for few hours then island hopping tour at 4PM to 1) dive near wrecked ship  2) jump off a cliff of +15meters (I didn’t jump) and watch the sunset on the boat.

HEYOLEAH’s TRIP: Being a small island, supermarkets and restaurants are very few and prices more or less high; so before heading to the island, buy basic products: water, fruits, snacks!

7. Kalanggaman Sand Bar in Leyte

One of my dreams was to go on a heavenly sand bar, and I finally realized it in the Philippines on Kalanggaman Island! The water there is crystal clear, clean and fresh – the beach is beautiful and breathtaking! You can either take a half-day tour from Malapascua or stay overnight in a tent and enjoy an unforgettable experience under the sparkling stars.

Do not worry, the island is not that empty! There are small shops called “sari-sari”, the municipal police, cabins, a medical team and even a resort!

9. Siargao or the island of Surfers

Time to get adventurous and live the surfing beach lifestyle! Siargao is one of the best surfing spots of the Philippines and in the world! You will enjoy surfing or watching the seasoned surfers tearing up the bigger waves out at Cloud 9 and in Pacifico.The waves are perfect for both pros and amateurs ! Many will compare Siargao as Bali but the main difference is that you will fall in love with the island but more especially with the locals who are warm and very welcoming. As visitors, let’s respect the environment and avoid plastic use as locals want to prevent any consequences of mass tourism.

There are different also various places to explore in Siargao Island! Click hERE to see the different activities to do!

HEYOLEAH’s TIP: The best way to go around? If you are an adventurer, by bike or motorcycle! But there are also private tours by vans or jeepneys!

9. Above the clouds in Sagada

Located in the mountains of North Luzon, Sagada doesn’t offer what most of you are used to hear of the Philippines- no crystal clear blue water nor white sand beaches – but instead – natural waterfalls, high pine trees forest, caves, hanging coffins… So take a break in the fresh air of nature and go on a hike to the Marlboro Hills to watch the sunrise above the clouds. Experience this unforgettable trip that awaits you.

Sagada is a touristic spot that attracts many local people and international ones especially adventure-seekers. FYI: it is expensive and you cannot visit the place on your own – DIY travel – you must be accompanied by a local guide – I recommend you to contact my friend Reynald, a young and professional local guide (09 954 177 696).

TRAVEL TIP: Visit Sagada as a group to have lower prices on activities and get a jeepney to tour you around! If you travel solo, you may easily join other groups at the Tourism Center.

10. Old & Modern Manila

Give Manila a chance!

Unbelievably known for its appalling traffic jams, polluted air and overcrowding, Manila may well be the most underrated capital of Southeast Asia. But Manila has proven to be one of the places you would really like to go. Why do you think there is traffic in the first place? It is growing, evolving and has a lot to offer tourists.

Staying in Manila can be an intense experience. But the beauty of this historic city, formerly known as the “Pearl of the Orient” in the 1950s, is based on its paradox: Manila is large but vibrant, dirty but full of historic, noisy and cumbersome places, but filled with life, music and music. entertainment.

So, despite the chaos, there is still something about Manila that will bring you back to the Philippines.

Written by HeyoLeah

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The Philippines are one of the most popular and easy destinations of South-East Asia as English is widely spoken and locals are known for their warm hospitality & their “more fun” vibes.

But the unpredictable climate, natural disasters, constant traffic in cities and the 7,000 plus islands can make it hard to pick and create the best itinerary. 

So for any first-timers travelling in the Philippines, here are some misconceptions to get rid of and tips to make your trip smoother and more enjoyable!

#1  – Are the Philippines really dangerous? 

Lately, a friend of mine asked me if the Philippines was safe because she has heard many rumours about people being kidnapped, robbed or even worse, especially for a foreigner. 

As any other countries, there are always risks and dangers. But those occur to very little cases.  As a half Filipino-French, my Filipino family has always been worried about my safety when I travel around the country. They keep saying it is « dangerous especially for a foreigner and a girl » – but those thoughts are being typically built up by conservative Filipinos, Western media and embassy news or anxious Filipino expatriates. 

But since I took a step out, I discovered that the Philippines is as safe as anywhere in Southeast Asia – even safer than in France with the « Gilets Jaunes » taking on the streets nowadays… So while there has been violence in a few provinces in the southern region of Mindanao, it rarely spreads into other parts of the country or affects tourists. Of course, always check the travel advisory and latest news to be safe but from my experience, relax and enjoy! 

# 2 – Taxis drivers try to scam me over few more pesos!

The Philippines is one of the cheapest places in the world to travel, especially compared to Europe and the US. And when foreigners travel around, accommodations and transport services will be highly tempted to add few pesos in the final rates.. Actually, in some touristic activities, you will notice a price differences between « International tourists » and « local » ones. BTW, if you are a student, bring your ID student to have a discount! But, don’t let your anxiety come over you especially if the taxi driver is driving you through rush hour of Manila and asks for 1.00€ to 2.00€ as surcharges, just make sure that the meter is on, ask locals if the price is the average and don’t lose your temper, simply keep it cool.

# 3 How is the food and what can I eat there? 

Filipinos love pork! One of their favorites the famous lechon, Pork BBQ, Chicharon and many more. But the Filipino cuisine has so much more to offer. Often described as “the original fusion cuisine”, Filipino cuisine is inspired by Spanish, Malaysian, Chinese, Japanese, Indian and American cultures. 

It bridges the gap between the world’s favorite flavors: you’ll find typically sweet, savory and sour ingredients which will please almost every palate. For non-meat eaters, you can definitely fill your tummy with delicious sea food, vegetables and tropical fruits! Kain na*! 

*let’s eat!

 

#4 The weather can be your best friend or worst enemy …

The weather in the Philippines is not that simple: across the country there are variations in the climate and because of its location on the volcanic area, it is prone to typhoons and strong rains.

But in general, the best months to visit are from December to April where the weather is warm and dry. I love December because our family gathers for the Holidays but Beware of the busiest holiday periods over Christmas and Easter when the resort and hotel rates will skyrocket.

#5 There are more than 7,000 islands…Where to start?

Many of my friends have been asking me that they plan to travel in the Philippines and they want to see everything in a record time of 10 to 15 day!

+7,000 islands in 10-15 days? IT IS IMPOSSIBLE!

Even I, who travel in the Philippines every year, have not seen all parts of the country yet…. Creating or choosing an itinerary can give headaches even for regular travellers. So, it all depends on you

  • what type of traveller you are
  • with you who travel with
  • on your personal interests
  • are you a beach or mountain person?
  • are you looking for adventure or relaxation?

 

credits: Mark David Acoba Productions

But the Philippines has plenty to offer and satisfy everyone! Whether at the beach, on an island, surfing, scuba diving, canyoneering or in the mountains, exploring caves and undiscovered places or just in the city, learning about history, culture and party!

I invite you to check our destinations page to learn more about the gems of the Philippines!

 

Author: HeyoLeah

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“Don’t go chase the waterfalls…🎵”

This is the music lyrics that describes the perfect hunting day of waterfalls, right?! So in this article, I will bring you to the South of Cebu, an island of unique and beautiful waterfalls & natural pools.

One of the most beautiful and famous are the KAWASAN FALLS!

Although it is very touristic, it is a must-see! To fully enjoy it, I advise you to get up very early to be around 6:00 am; that way you will avoid the arrival of the mass of people and therefore be able to take your  #INSTAGRAMGOALS photos

The particularity of the waterfalls of Cebu is that there are many waterfalls in one in a place! For example, the Kawasan falls have 13 floors and you can explore them 1 by 1 by doing  the Canyoneering! The flagship activity of Kawasan Falls!

What is Canyoneering? In small groups, you will climb and jump into different levels of waterfalls! No worries, lifejackets and helmets are mandatory to wear because SAFETY IS FASHION you (PS: do not take your go-pro AT RISK of losing it)

After spending the morning in the Kawasan Falls, you still have the whole afternoon to explore the rest of the island and chase all the other and hidden wild waterfalls that are as beautiful as the Kawasan Falls.

The best way? Rent a scooter and feel free to stop whenever you pass by a waterfall entrance!
Here is a quick list! Will update it once I will visit them!

  • Tumalog Falls
  • Cambais Falls (my personal favorite discovery ❤️)
  • Dao Falls

Written by Léah with an H
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“It is dangerous”, “Girls shouldn’t travel alone”, “You act like a boy”, “Why don’t you stay home”

But why?

I’ve always heard those words growing up from my family – mostly because they simply care. And I love them for that and appreciate their concerns but somehow,  it is not helping me to grow as a human being. My instinct has always pushed to leave and explore the world and one of the best experiences was when I first travelled alone in New Orleans, USA. Here are 5 reasons why you should travel alone and some tips!

#1 – You discover yourself

When you travel alone, you face yourself. You have to make your own decisions, follow your instinct and learn what you actually love or not. When you are in a viewpoint, ^ut your phone away or cut your network, sit down, enjoy the view and meditate.

#2 – You learn to be responsible & confident

The key to a safe and successful alone trip is PREPARATION. Before leaving your safe house, make a list of the essential medical kits, don’t forget the MUST-TRAVEL ITEMS (chargers, power band, passport, money). Bye bye papa, mama, now you can only count on yourself. So always be aware and focus. Little by little,
you will become more confident on your decisions making. My father tip: separate your money in different places in your backpack or luggage just in case someone steal from you, at least you still have some money!

#3 – Get out of your comfort zone and grow!

Well the title says it all fellas 😉

#4 – Scared of being alone? No! You’ll make tons of new friends!

Paradoxically, you won’t feel alone AT ALL. Actually, I’ve met more people and made more friends by travelling alone than with my family or group of friends. As you travel alone, you have to develop some social skills to ask for directions, to socialize and meet locals; And the best way to visit a city is with locals! So my tip is to pick hostels as accommodations because there you will meet young travellers and maybe solo ones with whom you can travel with for a day or two! And who knows… meet a special someone? HA HA

# 5 – More freedom & independence

Obviously! However, if you come from a Filipino family, I know it’s not that easyAs a single child and a girl, I had a hard time convincing my parents to let me travel. One of their secret concerns was – I think – that I would abandon them if they gave me too much “freedom”. But over time and using the right words, I managed to make them understand that traveling and taking a little distance with the family was not a way to escape them permanently but rather a better way to get back to them.

 

So what you are waiting for? Plan your solo travel and enjoy the ride!

 

Author: Léah with an H

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One of the most famous attractions of Cebu Island is swimming with whale sharks at Oslob!

Where is Oslob? How to get there?

Oslob is located at the south point of Cebu Island, so if you are in Cebu City it takes 6 hours of bus ride from the South station of Cebu City without hazards. Or if you are from Moalboal (if you follow my route) 2h30 by bus. From Moalboal, take the bus at 4AM (be patient). Stop at Samboan and take a second bus to Oslob.

So I’m sure you’ve seen these incredible pictures on Instagram of super good girls and boys swimming a whale shark? And of course, when you see this kind of photos, the magic of Instagram + egocentrism of the human being that YOU WANT this photo too.

Well, know that these instagram photos hide a lot of truth ..

1. The mass of tourists 

2.It’s a real business

In reality, Whale sharks are in a “net fish cage” so that they cannot espace the shore. As you can see from this drone shot, it is very well organized! Boats are lined up while whale sharks are being fed on each side of the boats so that tourists can see them, swim next to them (snorkelling or scuba diving).

Tourism is not a bad thing, actually locals need it to support financially themselves. But it would be better if it was ethical and in respect with the wildlife and environment.

3. Photos are hard to take!

From my experience, I remember the water being so salty, the waves kind of strong that it was actually very really difficult to swim down and take #instagramworthy photos! Plus, I was pretty nervous to swim by the whale sharks as their were enormous! I could have been easily swallowed by one of them! And even though you are not allow to touch them, they were still very close to you and their long tale could accidentally touch your feet if you don’t pay attention! It was hard to navigate around them but at least…thanks to my friend I have my photo..! Do you like it?! haha #kungfukick

Now the question is, Is it really worth it?

To be honest, no. It’s not ethical for the environment and the whale sharks natural behaviour and habitat are being jeopardised.
As a visitor, I’d rather explore a place in respect with the environment.

However, there are other places than Oslob where you can ethically swim with wild whale sharks that are actually protected! The spots are, Donsol, in the south of Leyte and the Tubbataha Reef.

 

Comment below to share your thoughts! Would you swim with whale sharks or not?

 

Author: Léah with an H

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