Sleeping over on Guyam Island in Siargao is a must-try activity when visiting the surfing paradise. It’s unique and fascinating. And the thing is, can you stay on an island where it’s completely different from your bed, room or your nightly accommodation? Thus, this one’s worth a try. |Updated 2018|
It looks like the image you always see on a postcard: fine sand, blue waters, bright sunny sky. You always daydream about the place, and you think you will never be able to go there. Well, come on! Make a dream come true!
Siargao sounds familiar to a lot of people. Aside from the fact that it has the same description you have pictured in your mind, it is also known as the Surfing Capital of the Philippines and is now considered the best in the southern Philippines.
Sleeping over on Guyam island. How did I get started
Usually, Guyam Island was the last stop for most travellers. Surprisingly, some of us who were about to leave the island and back to our hostel spoke that they wanted to stay and sleepover. Another surprising thing was, yes, it’s allowed!
Above all, It’s a great momentary escape from the congested city, especially when people start to leave to end their day tour.
At first, I wasn’t interested in the idea. In fact, I had to catch my flight the next day; hence I was in two minds if sleeping over on Guyam island didn’t catch my fondness.
Eventually, I gave in.
Soon, only five of us decided to stay overnight. Two guys from Switzerland and America, Two Dutch girls from the Netherlands and me. It’s insane; I could think at first because I have never experienced sleeping at a very remote place on a stranger island I have not even known.
When it was getting dark, we all sat down on a bench facing the beach, waiting to get really dark and had an awesome chat. The surrounding was tranquil and peaceful.
What to bring
As you can imagine, sleeping over on Guyam island wasn’t on my radar. That said, I only had my clothes for the island hopping. Some new-found friends were generous to leave the hammock to me. Therefore, I had something to sleep on. Additionally, the fellow travellers and the hostel owner had generously gave the leftover foods we had during the entire day of island hopping to eat and enjoy on the island.
However, if you’re already planning or had planned to venture on, make sure to bring food. Make sure to pack lots of food, plenty of water, and of course, toilet paper. ( Don’t worry, there’s a toilet )
Moreover, don’t forget your mosquito repellant lotion, either. As you can imagine, this island is surrounded by trees, so expect mosquitoes everywhere. You might be one eaten alive. ( kidding aside 😛 )
Activities and experience
Evidently, there was no internet, so we had all the time in the world to chat with one another. Indeed, nothing beats striking conversations with newfound friends.
It was not something Id’ get to experience every day. I could go camping on an island or the beach, which’s pretty typical, however, on this experience. I met strangers and made new friends. We watched the beautiful sunset and sunrise that was reflected in the crystalline water.
Before leaving us, the caretaker told us to gather dried leaves and twigs for the bonfire. We had a lot of fun that night.
- Skinny Dipping
I’ve never experienced skinny dipping before until I went sleeping over on Guyam Island. It’s a thrilling feeling. We tried skinny dipping with planktons in the dark—they were glowing!
And then we went stargazing while lying on the sand, all night long until our eyes and body grew tired and decided to call it a day. We were blessed to catch a glimpse of a shooting star!
- Admiring sunset and sunrise
Because it’s already close to the dark when we started the adventure, all we had to was admire the sunset. And the next day, we woke up with a magnificent view of the sunrise while being soothed by the lullaby of waves.
What else is there to expect
Ultimately, this is a remote island. There are no cottages to sleep on, so you will have to bring tents, or sleeping bags, or hammocks. There’s no electricity either, don’t expect a wifi for heavens’ sake. This is a good chance for you to disconnect yourself from the social media world. You will need to brush up your skills in building a bonfire if you don’t want to be engulfed by darkness. While the sun is up, collect driftwood and coconut leaves—make sure they’re enough and will last through the night.
Friendly reminders and tips
Don’t forget to ask for tips from your friends who have already gone there or some locals. A Dutch friend of mine whom I met during one of my trips told me that there was a party on the island every Wednesday, but only 20 people were allowed to join, as the the town people wanted to maintain the island’s serenity. There’s a small house built on the island but not made for sleeping.
Please don’t try to sleep there or fit yourself in. The caretaker stays the whole day on the island to take charge and watch over the tourists but leaves before it gets dark.
Please collect all your trash before leaving. Also, ensure to make arrangements with the boatman to pick you up the next morning. It’s only a 5-minute boat ride to the city which we paid for at PHP100 each.
Savor each moment that you have on the island. There are some people who don’t see the sunrise romantic. They consider it a normal phenomenon of their everyday life—the sun rises, and sets. The sunrise on Guyam Island is one of the best I’ve ever seen so far.
How to get there
Some hostels organize island hopping that includes Guyam in the itinerary. Make sure to inform the organizer that you’re interested to stay overnight. When we went there, it was already part of the package that we availed of from Sanne Sevig, the Swedish owner of Paglaom Hostel. Island hopping costs PHP750 for a three-island itinerary, activity gears such as paddle board and life saver (salbabida), foods and fruits, alcoholic and non alcoholic drink.
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Sleeping over on Guyam island in a nutshell
The memories I had on Guyam Island are greater than the number of trees that had grown in the soft sand. I wish I could plant a palm tree the next time I visit the island to leave, somehow, a sign that I had a great time when I was there. You can never go wrong on this island. It’s absolutely worth it and every spot is a picturesque view that can be put on post card.
Guyam is one of the three islands that you can hop on in Siargao. But if you’re not interested in surfing, I strongly suggest you try this special and amazingly insane fun activity!
While there are other exciting and fun things to do on Siargao islands nonetheless, sleeping on Guyam Island is just one of the few but invigorating things that make the trip to Siargao unforgettable
Have you been to Siargao Islands? How was your experience? Let me know in the comments below!