Viento Del Mar guests always asks our staff for recommendations where to go in the evening. So we decided to prepare our guide to night life of Siargao. All the events mentioned below happen on regular basis and usually assigned specific day of the week.
Sunset sessions and happy hours:
Hanigad Beach Bar situated straight in front of Cloud 9 break, offers great views of the surfers, sunset, happy hour 4-6 pm and live music.
Kawayan Restaurant has great happy hours of 2-for-1 cocktails and cheap beers from 4 till 6 every day, they also have a pool table and low lounge with Japanese style seating.
For those who is looking for parties, Siargao Island has a lot to offer:
Monday:Rum Bar with live music 9:30 till 11:30 then DJ’s till past midnight.
Tuesday:Art Night at Viento Del Mar, with trivia 6-8 pm then at 8 pm 3 bands come in and have a jam session till 11 pm. There are also Artists doing live installs during the night. Then after 11 there’s the Jungle party at Tattoo.
Wednesday: Sunset session at Bravo with their Pintxo-Pote Wednesdays (free tapas with drinks). After theirs a Reggae Party at Rum Bar, live music 9:30 till 11:30 then DJs till late.
Thursday:Usually every second Thursday is Acoustic Night at Buddha’s Surf Resort but this moves around a bit. Kitya’s Place also Has Acoustic Nights but not every week. After warming up with Acoustics you can head to Hotspot for some late night partying.
Friday:Viento Fridays with happy hour from 7 till 9PM and Djs from around the world. Viento Del Mar is situated on the beach and its party is the perfect way to warm up for the weekend. Then after that there is the Jungle Party again at Tattoo.
Saturday:Harana Resort has Espresso Martini party from 4 pm at Fili Beans then sometimes Acoustic Sessions. Also Rum Bar has DJs from 10 pm till late.
Sunday:Bravo holds After Surf Sundays starting around 4 pm, lounge around the pool and wait for the DJ to start playing some nice chill music. After That Hotspot brings the goods with DJs till late.
After all that partying you can head to Barrel, which is open 24/7 they sell drinks and food to hit the spot. Not to mention they have a pool table and show a lot of live sport events
Sunscreen. This should go without saying. However, I just watched an Irish guy cut his trip short because he failed to bring sunscreen. This guy has been covered in giant blisters for days. His head, his face, his shoulders. Maybe he did bring sunscreen, and failed to apply it. Sunscreen is one of those items that simply having it isn’t enough. Please apply it also. The sun here is hot. Hot like you’ve never experienced before, unless you’ve previously been this close to the equator. Even if you think you can handle the heat, your skin surely can’t. Bring sunscreen. Apply it. Have the best trip of your life.
A reusable water bottle. Plastic disposal is a worldwide problem. Plastic disposal in Siargao is a more acute problem. There currently isn’t an elegant solution to trash reception and disposal on the island. Some plastics are burned, some are tossed in the sea, and some go to a dump that grows larger every day. A reusable water bottle will prevent you from needing to purchase and dispose of plastic water bottles. Most resorts and many restaurants have large water dispensers where you can fill your water bottle for free or a small fee. In addition to saving the planet, you also get to save money. Use your savings to buy a beer for that beautiful person you saw in the surf.
A first-aid kit. You thought this list was going to be fun, huh? Instead here I am, sounding exactly like your mom. Wear sunscreen! Save the planet! Bring a first-aid kit! Allergic reactions to bug bites, reef cuts, exhaust pipe burns; these things can and do happen. While medical supplies are available on the island, the last thing you want to be doing is wasting your time going from place to place trying to figure out which shop has what in stock. At the very least, try to carry: anti-inflammatory, anti-histamine, anti-diarrheal (I know, I know), disinfectant, antibacterial ointment, gauze, and medical tape.
A backpack or beach bag. Life in Siargao is fun, and the best plans often happen last minute. Invited on a two day camping trip? Taking a road trip up north to check out some pristine beaches? Don’t miss out because you can’t toss together a bag in time. You’ll want something big enough for a towel, change of clothes, sunscreen (!), and various other sundries. Dry bags are waterproof and ideal if you plan on spending much time in a boat or participating in water sports. Find them at Fat Lips Surf Shop. Otherwise, show off that handmade beach bag you got in Cambodia, you world-traveller, you.
Swimwear that stays put. By now you’ve probably gotten the idea that Siargao is an adventurous place. Whether you’re jumping off the rock at Magpupungko Rock Pools, or holding your breath through your best wipe-out yet, you aren’t going to want to worry about whether or not the world can see your bum. Swimwear that is adjustable is good, Swimwear that does not attach firmly to your body is bad. There is swimwear available for purchase in Siargao, but the selection is limited.
A back-up credit/debit card. Getting cash on the island is surprisingly difficult for a place that is basically cash only. There are two ATMs on the island. One is about a twenty minute drive from General Luna, and one is more than an hour. There are some international cards that the ATMS reject, for no apparent reason. Bring a second card in case your normal one is rejected. Otherwise you’ll be doing a whole lot of sitting in your room.
Mosquito repellant. Spend your evenings chatting instead of scratching. Off lotion for bugs and various natural insect repellants are available on the island. If you’re the kind of person that mosquitoes can’t get enough of, these may not be enough. Nothing seems to be as effective as good ol-fashioned DEET filled bug spray. Thankfully, malaria is not a concern on Siargao. It’s still not nice to be covered in itchy red bumps. When you go out for the evening put your bug spray on along with your party pants.
Chocolate. Don’t get me wrong, Cloud 9 bars and Choco Mucho are fantastic snacks. Delicious though they might be, good chocolate they are not. Chocolate didn’t make the list because I think you can’t live without a tasty little morsel to finish off your dinner (though that is a perfectly valid reason to pack it.) Chocolate helps build relationships. Locals and long term visitors in Siargao are friendly. They’ll happily talk to you about the island, direct you to a good place to surf, and possibly even invite you over for a meal. Want to show your appreciation? Share some of that delicious chocolate that you so thoughtfully packed.
A sarong. Sorry dudes, this one is for the girls. As a not really fashionable lady, I never knew what I was missing out on until someone gifted me a sarong. They are seriously one of the most versatile island life items you can bring. Want to have a cute bikini cover up? Shade your head on a long motorbike ride? Wrap something around your neck for warmth? Cover your sunburned shoulders? Lay on something comfy on the beach? Your sarong has got your back.
Earplugs. The traditional boats are pretty to look at, but boy are they loud. Noise sensitive people should bring earplugs for boat trips. If you aren’t one of those people who sleeps through absolutely everything, there’s a good chance you’ll want earplugs at some point during your stay. This especially applies if you’re going to be staying in backpacker accommodation. If you’ve traveled long enough, then surely you know the danger of being stuck with a loudly snoring roommate. In the Philippines, roosters and the sun wake everyone up early. If you’d like to sleep in then bring earplugs. Come to think of it, you may want an eye mask as well.
on December 28, 2015 Comments Off on Happy Christmas and New Year from Viento
Christmas kicked off at Viento del Mar in style with the arrival of our two live turkeys. A big thanks for the turkeys goes to Liam from the Drunken Carabao tour, a unique tour to Siargao where you ride through the beautiful countryside on a Carabao (water buffalo) after drinking unlimited quantities of rum and coke, beer or moonshine. Our turkeys enjoyed their last night in the Viento garden, overlooking the amazing oceanview, before becoming part of our Christmas dinner. During dinner, the turkeys were joined by stuffing, apple compot, vegetables and potatoes. Everyone claimed it a great success and the turkey dinners sold out immediately.
This November 27-29, we are lucky enough to play host to the first annual Siargao stop on the Philippines Kiteboarding Association (P.K.A) international kiteboarding tour. The P.K.A. organisation was formed to advance and promote the adrenaline fueled extreme sport throughout the Philippines. The P.K.A. was established 2 years ago. In it’s few years of existence, it has already accomplished many things to unify and promote the sport of kite-surfing. Viento del Mar is pleased to be the host of this year’s competition held on Siargao Island. In the previous season 2014-2015, the latest tour was wildly successful. More than 200 adrenaline-chasing extreme athletes from more than 20 countries joined. The impressive men and women came from destinations ranging from across Europe, as far as the Americas and of course throughout Asia.
South of Surigao del Norte, and 800 kilometers from Manila, Siargao is one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines.
Above all things, Siargao is mostly known for being the Surfing Capital of the country. This island region, which is made up of 48 islands and islets and composed of nine municipalities, is home to one of the most popular and challenging surfing waves that is known to surfers all over the world. There are many surf spots in Siargao, but the first and the most popular is “Cloud 9”, where the annual Siargao Surfing Cup – one of the largest international sporting events in the country – is held.
Siargao is also widely known and frequently visited for many other reasons. It is a place for those who like adventure spots and to spend lots of time surrounded by the beautiful wonders of nature. The islands are blessed with an abundance of offshore marine life, making it both a wonderful diving spot and fishing spot. Scuba diving is a popular pastime here and, although the reefs are not in the best condition, the topography is second to none with huge expanses of crevasses and the famous Blue Cathedral dive spot. Game fishing here is excellent. Siargao Island is the game fishing capital of the Philippines and hosts the annual Game Fishing Competition in April. Blue Marlin and the Yellow Fin Tuna are among the most prized game fish here.
Siargao also has the largest mangrove forests in the Philippines. What makes the mangroves so special here is that they form water roads that are ideal for kayaking or boating. Other water activities include wind surfing and sailing.
It’s also more fun in Siargao to get tanned or simply hang around the most beautiful, postcard perfect spots on the island. The views around the Naked Island, Daku Island and Gayam Island, along with so many other natural spots, are breathtaking. There are also many caves and lagoons to explore.
Of course, the list of reasons why it’s more fun in Siargao can’t be complete without the mention of its people. The locals live quite the laid back lifestyle, with a unique culture and set of traditions. But more importantly, the people here are very hospitable and welcoming to visitors. Tourism, after all, is their biggest industry, along with seaweed propagation and copra farming. It’s more fun in Siargao to relax because not only are you surrounded by the most beautiful nature, but you’re also among the friendliest of people.
on April 24, 2015 Comments Off on Launching the boat … or not
Last week we decided it was about time to take our little banka boat for a ride, after a few months of being out of action. Our group included our British neighbour, two of his guests (a couple from Australia) David & Fleur.
On the first day we missed the tide. The beach in front of Viento Del Mar is quite shallow, so it is impossible to maneuver a boat from shore during low tide. This gave our worker time to extend the shade on the boat. It gives the passengers a welcome break from the intense sun.
The next day it rained. A lot! By the time it stopped in the afternoon we were busy doing other things. We dug a hole, buried our food inside with some hot stones, and then preceeded to drink San Miguel beer for the next 6 hours. Unfortunately our neighbour stood on some glass and had to get stitches in his foot. He was fine thankfully. The dinner was fantastic.
On the third day we had some success…. to begin with. We managed to get the boat in the water before low tide. The bacon and egg roll we all ate for breakfast definitely helped our progress. It was a drunken promise from the night before. Chef David cooked the sandwich and we topped it with HP brown sauce, courtesy of our neighbour. Lush! After one more cup of tea we headed to the beach.
With 4 men at the back and two girls at the back we lifted the boat into the water.
Our worker walked the boat over to a location where we can still take it out at low tide. While he did this we went to gather supplies – a few beers, 2 bottles of tequila, fuel, ice and antibiotics for yesterday’s acccident. Everything we could need for a trip to Dako island.
We drank the beer before we left. Then we walked along the beach and out to the boat. Released the anchor and wound the cord around the engine. Our neighbour was the one who attempted first. To start the engine you must pull the cord as hard as you can. This proved somewhat tricky to someone who just had 5+ stitches in their foot. After a few more failed attempts by the boys we concluded that the spark plug was wet. A local boatman approached us on his boat to give us a hand. Still no luck. Defeated, with no tools but 2 bottles of tequila we just sat on the water, floating peacefully as the sun started to descend.
We were disappointed that we did not manage to start the boat and go island hopping. Not that it mattered. We like to make the best of a bad situation here in the Philippines.