Contributed by Laag ni Josh
Just in case you don’t know yet, there’s a hidden treasure near Dumaguete. In fact, I only found out about this unfrequented destination recently, and the place is located just an hour from my hometown.
Behold Turtle Island!
Turtle Island is in front of the Siit Bay in Barangay Siit in Siaton, about an hour away from the city of Dumaguete. Also known as Polo, locals dubbed it as their mini-Boracay for its not so fine but white sand.
Why the name, you ask? I spoke with a local here and she said that, in the early years, turtles used to lay eggs in the area. But she also mentioned that these lovely creatures seldom can be spotted anymore. You will be lucky enough if you will spot one on your visit.
Just yet! There are no resorts, bars, or any commercial establishments built in the area. We only spotted a handful of small houses here; some belong to fishermen, where you can buy fresh fish for a very cheap price. But I did a quick research, and reports state that the local government of Siaton is planning to develop this hidden gem into a tourist destination.
One fine sunny day at this beautiful spot. But did you know that I was stranded days after I visiting this spot owing to typhoon Vinta? Kindly spare some time in reading my new blog post, link in my bio, about how I was able to rebook my flight for free. Yes, FREE! Trust me, it is worth your time to read the piece. . . . . . . . #thediscoverer #nowdiscovering #wheninmanila #discovermnl #gopro #goproph #goprophotography #theglobewanderer #thetravelpro #discoverph #discoverasia #discoverglobe
This, for sure, will generate revenue. Its neighbouring municipality, Zamboangita, also claimed ownership of this spot.
What’s in store here
On your visit, have your eyes ready to be welcomed by a stretch of white sand. Yes, white but not powdery sand. Didn’t I mention that locals dubbed this place as their mini-Boracay? You should come here early for its mini sandbar.
The area is not so humid due to the trees that naturally grow in the area. These trees make for great sheds on broad daylight, just perfect to relax and unwind. Bring your hammock with you, if you have any, and set it up right under these trees. Imagine yourself with beach vibes music, fresh cool air, a few bottles of beer, and on a hammock. Aaaahh! Isn’t that perfect?
There’s a mini-store in the area but prices are steep. So, better bring all you need.
Be extra cautious of the sea urchins though. I spotted several of them when I walked to the middle of the beach, which is only knee deep.
Overnight? No problem. You can also set up your camping tents here for FREE. Yes, free. If nature calls, you may always knock on the nearby houses and ask for a favour. If you’re generous enough, you are always welcome to hand them some cash/good as a token for the sh*t you deposited. Haha!
Glad was able to visit this wonderful, hidden destination before Typhoon Vinta made landfall in the province. . . . . . . . . . . . . #thediscoverer #nowdiscovering #gopro #goprohero5 #goprophotography #idiscoverto #theglobewanderer #thetravelpro #discovermnl #wheinmanila #uniladadventure #discoverearth #discoverglobe #discoverasia #discoverph
On the other side of the area is a beach where you can snorkel to see some fish and even spot some turtles. Good luck though! The current in the area was pretty strong when we visited, perhaps because it was around noon. Try snorkelling early then. Who knows, you’d be lucky enough to spot some turtles. Apparently, despite its name, we weren’t able to find one on our visit.
Always bring your own trash bag and dispose your garbage properly. This spot isn’t littered and let’s keep it that way.
How to get there
Allot an hour to get here from Dumaguete. This spot is roughly an hour bus ride from the city of Dumaguete. Board a Ceres bus headed to Siaton and tell the driver/conductor to drop you off at the first stopover where motorcycles for Antulang are found.
Remember this, don’t get off at the municipality proper as that’s a little far already. Once you get off, board a habal-habal (motorcycle) and ask the driver to take you to this spot through barangay Lutuban. Again, reiterate to the driver to take the road to this barangay as you won’t need a boat anymore. And since you won’t take a boat ride, you’ll save extra.
Turtle Island, an unrevealed, beautiful and relaxing destination located an hour from my hometown. . . . . . . . . #thediscoverer #nowdiscovering #wheninmanila #idiscoverto #discovermnl #theglobewanderer #thetravelpro #travelexploring #discoverph #discoverasia #discoverglobe #discoverearth #goprohero5 #goproph #goprovideo
Pardon me, we visited this spot by car (I hitched!) so I don’t have any info about the habal-habal fare. A ride to Antulang Beach Resort, located after Siit, is around ₱100.00 each though, so the fare is probably around that as well. Bus fares from Dumaguete, meanwhile are at ₱65.00 and ₱55.00, for aircon and non-aircon, respectively.
Stranded days after visiting this island. Don’t forget to check out my new blog post, link in my bio, to find out how I was able to rebook my #AirAsia flight for free. 😂 . . . . . . . . . . . #thediscoverer #nowdiscovering #discovermnl #wheninmanila #goprooftheday #goproph #goprohero5 #goprophotography #thetravelpro #theglobewanderer #discoverglobe #discoverearth #discoverph #discoverasia
If you visit this on a motorbike, just take the National Highway from Dumaguete and turn left to the road where there’s a sign “To Antulang.” After turning left at that sign, straight ahead and ask some locals the direction to Turtle Island through Lutuban. Again, Lutuban as this option won’t require you to ride a boat.
You need to visit this hidden spot before the government’s plans become a reality. Enjoy!