By ERWIN MASCARIÑAS
THE relatively small island of Siargao in Surigao del Norte has transformed from a sought-after get-away for professional surfers into one of the most popular tourist destinations over the past few years — it has been named Best island in Asia by the Condé Nast Traveler.
Condé Nast Traveler readers ranked the 30 best islands in the world outside the United States in the 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards survey, covering from far-flung stunners in Southeast Asia to volcanic outcrops in the Mediterranean.
The luxury travel publication revealed the results of its 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards this Oct. 9, breaking down the top islands in the world by region instead of doing a 30-spot worldwide list as it has done in previous years.
CN Traveler said surfers are the vanguards of travelers, scoping out some of the more remote parts of the world for surf breaks before the rest of us get there.
“Siargao, the teardrop-shaped Philippine island home to more than 15 separate surf breaks, including the legendary Cloud 9, which counts surfing superstar Kelly Slater and Red Hot Chili Peppers Anthony Kedis among its fans has been popular for a few years, but our readers, an adventurous sort, have caught on. There’s enough white sand to go around,” said CN Traveler.
Ana Nuguid, director of the Department of Tourism (DOT) in Caraga said Siargao deserves the accolade.
“Siargao Island is a unique tourist destination as it has so much to offer than just the world-class surfing breaks and white sand beaches. What you get in Siargao is a melting pot of great white sand beaches, crystal clear blue waters, amazing selection of island hoping spots, tranquil turquoise lagoons, vast mangrove forest and all of these can be reached within a few hours from where you are staying in your resort,” said Nuguid.
Nuguid said the recognition garnered by Siargao is a huge help in promoting the island destination to the rest of the world.
Together with Siargao, two other island destinations from the Philippines took the second and third spots: Boracay and Palawan. Others on Asia’s Top Five list are Malaysia’s Langkawi and Indonesia’s Bali.