Discover Casulian – Siargao’s Golf Course Island

Would you like to visit a tropical island without a resort in sight? Do you want to hike across grassy fields that resemble an overgrown golf course? Can you handle a few hours on an island without a real store or a cold coke? If so, take a trip to Casulian Island, nicknamed the “golf course island” by early expatriate residents of Siargao. While many Siargao tourists take the classic three island tour of Daco, Guyam and Naked Islands, few venture as far out as Casulian. This amazing island really should be on everyone’s must-see Siargao itinerary and only takes forty five minutes to reach by pump boat from General Luna.

The Casulian Glide

Every year, at least once, we take a family glide over to Casulian. This year, our ever reliable brother Bebet, dropped my wife Mirasol, our son Rafael, our niece Abbie, and I at the top end of the island. Here we waded ashore to a deserted beach and gathered plant cuttings for our Siargao garden. Raf and Abbie loved exploring the edge of the thick vegetation. Raf wondered whether pirates had left their treasure behind in the jungle. Without appropriate tools for a dig, we promised to return next time more prepared. Instead, I lifted Raf up on my shoulders and we all hiked up the mountain behind the beach.

Sweeping Tropical Views

Thick, dry vegetation gave way to short, grassy fields, where we ascended to the highest point of the island. From here we reveled in sweeping tropical scenery and could easily see Bucas Grande and mainland Mindanao. The descent took a further twenty minutes to reach the edge of the only settlement on the island. A large water buffalo wallowing in mud and the freely roaming pigs occupied our ever inquisitive son, before we made our way down to the beach.

The beach in front of Casulian’s settlement is part sand, part reef, so we didn’t pause for a swim and just pressed on. Just visible from the shoreline, an Iglesia Ni Cristo Church seemingly too large for the largely Catholic population. Soon after, Bebet’s pump boat came into view and we knew we had reached our favourite picnic spot. The beach at this end of the island is pure white sand with some submerged coral outcrops way offshore. It used to be a marine sanctuary but, like many environmental projects in the Philippines, it wasn’t protected appropriately. Without anywhere to buy anything, our icebox full of drinks, fruit, fish and rice saved ever-hungry Raf from starvation.

Leaving Casulian

Before leaving Casulian, we took turns on a SUP board, swam in the perfect turquoise sea, and snorkeled over the mostly dead coral. Raf and Abbie particularly enjoyed being paddled around by Mirasol, and who can blame them on a hot, sunny day. Bebet called us all in and steered his pump boat towards the open seas. We looked back. From afar it’s so clear why it was nicknamed golf course island: those grassy hills look ripe for development. Perhaps one day a rich investor will change the place forever. Thankfully, today is not that day and it remains the perfect island it’s been since time began.

Follow in our footsteps

– It’s easy to arrange a pump boat to Casulian. The price is approximately P1500 for a half-day trip, depending on your negotiation skills and number of people. Our brother Bebet is usually available for private boat tours. Just call him to reserve your tour (09216970363 or +0063 9216970363), ideally the day before you want to go. Or go to the fish market and negotiate with a boat operator there.

– Bring all your own supplies, especially enough chilled water.

– Bring all your own equipment; Casulian is perfect for SUP boards and fun for snorkeling too.

– Alternatively, for those who appreciate a group vibe, book a Casulian tour with Bravo Resort


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