Call it a cave, call it a pool, to me this spot is a freaking goldmine. If it wasn’t for a little sign on the side of the road, I would probably pass by without even considering the possibility that there would be a hidden gem behind a fence, some trees and bushes.
There is something mystical about this place that makes me feel like I’m in the middle of the jungle. Maybe it’s the fresh cold cave water. Maybe it’s the swing that brought out the Tarzan in me. Probably the coolest cave I’ve been to so far, but then again the amount of times I visited a cave can be counted on probably one hand.
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.
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.
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.