Discover Naked, Guyam & Daco – 3 Classic Islands
In recent years, the classic 3 island tour has become a prime Siargao attraction. It’s obvious why. The outstanding natural beauty of each island and the activities possible on the tour make it an incredible trip for both first timers and returning visitors. In particular, Daco’s powder white sand never fails to impress even the most well-traveled visitor. Don’t miss this tour if you visit Siargao for a few days. It doesn’t cost that much and contains a host of spots perfect to share on your social media accounts.
Guyam IslandGuyam is a small, perfect tropical island with all the ingredients in place. Warm, turquoise seas for swimming, powder white sand for sitting, coconut trees for shade. If you bring food, picnic tables can be rented for a small charge. While more people visit the island these days, you can still enjoy the place alone in the early morning. Alternatively, later in the day, it’s ideal for those who want a more vibrant atmosphere.
In 1997, on my very first visit to Siargao Island, a group of Filipinos invited me to a picnic on Guyam Island. While dating in the early 2000’s, my wife and I used to paddle over to the island in a dugout canoe, bringing chilled raw fish slices and a blanket to sit on to watch the sunset. In the late 2000’s, I used to paddle board from General Luna to Guyam most days as part of my exercise programme. This year, we celebrated my son’s birthday on the island with all our Filipino neighbours. Guyam and I are like old friends; there’s a lot of history between us.
Naked IslandNaked Island doesn’t offer any shade. Hence the name: it’s almost totally naked of vegetation. While it isn’t the ideal place for a picnic, a short stay at midday or long swim late afternoon is perfect here. The setting is its real attraction. You feel stranded in the middle of the ocean, sandwiched between the distant islands of Daco, Casulian and Siargao itself. And the waters offshore are a perfect shade of blue.
I remember clearly the first time I visited Naked Island. It was August 2000. Some friends and I decided to explore some islands in the middle of a long flat spell of no waves. We chugged over to Naked Island in the late afternoon and were amazed at this incredible sand bar. At one end, birds congregated on a beach full of beautiful shells. At the other end lied a powder white sand beach which sloped into the azure waters. We just sat on the island in total awe of the setting sun, the surrounding islands, and the simplicity of it all. While some visitors get naked these days, we kept our shorts on for a long swim in paradise. In more recent years, we’ve brought many of our Airbnb visitors to the island, all of whom loved it.
Daco IslandDaco Island is the epitome of paradise. In contrast to Guyam, Daco is quite large. Hence the meaning of its name: in bisayan language daco means big. Big waves break along its north western tip, perfect for surfing. To the south, the main beach is the primary draw for non-surfing tourists. An amazing white sand beach backed by swaying palm trees with a steep enough pitch to make swimming ideal at all tides. It’s possible to rent a small cottage there for the day. Also, locals will cook fish for you and serve it on a banana leaf. Fresh fish might not always be available, so ideally bring supplies from General Luna. Behind the main beach is the main settlement on Daco Island; a great example of a traditional Filipino fishing village and well worth exploring.
I’ve been to Daco Island more times than I can remember. The main reason I’ve been so many times is to surf the break which lies just north of the main village. But Daco Island is a lot more than just a surf break. In 1997, an Australian veteran of the island brought me here for the first time. The insane beauty of the main beach quite simply blew me away. More than any place on Siargao Island, this beach showed me how the island might rise to the heights it has achieved today. We have brought many of our Airbnb guests here, to surf its gentle waves and to relax on what is the best beach in Surigao Del Norte. They too felt the appeal of the main beach and all vowed to return one day.
Follow in our footsteps– It’s easy to arrange a pump boat to the three islands. 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.
– If your budget doesn’t stretch to P1500, hire a boat to just one of the islands. Guyam is the cheapest (expect to pay at least 400 pesos) and Naked Island the furthest and most expensive (expect to pay at least 750 pesos).
– The local government impose a small fee for all tourists visiting Guyam and Daco Islands, which applies in addition to the pump boat charge. Ask your boat operator about these fees before setting off to ensure you have the right change.
– Cottages are available to rent on Guyam and Daco Islands. Expect to pay P150+ per day.
– Bring all your own supplies, especially enough chilled water. However, you might be able to buy a fresh fish and coconuts on Daco Island from the locals.
– Bring all your own equipment; the islands are perfect for SUP boards and fun for snorkeling too.