Siargao Surprises: Magpupungko Tidal Flats, Pacifico Beach & Taktak Falls
|Taktak Falls in Santa Monica|
While most travelers gravitate to the southeastern coasts of General Luna and Cloud Nine for surfing and island-hopping, northern Siargao’s rough roads lead to surprising finds: uncrowded surf breaks, turquoise tidal pools and lush waterfalls.
Low tide reveals a turquoise tidal pool at Magpupungko Tidal Flats in Pilar
At one end of the beach are tidal flats. At low tide, the receding waters reveal a “lagoon” – actually a tidal pool – guarded by a large boulder teetering off a small cliff, as if defying gravity. This imposing rock formation gave the place its name, rooted in the Visayan, pungko, meaning “to squat”. I suppose the name may very well also refer to waders sitting on the rocky ledges surrounding the crystal pool before taking a swim.
Because of its long stretch of clean sand, Pacifico can both be enjoyed by surfers and non-surfers alike, compared to the rocky coastline of Cloud Nine and other surfing spots on Siargao. A few resorts offering rental surfing gear and lessons can be found in the area. This is definitely a beach I’ve love to revisit.
|Pacifico Beach in San Isidro can be enjoyed by surfers and landlubbers alike|
Eventually, we reached Taktak Falls in Santa Monica, located some 400 meters from the highway. While Taktak make not be as grand as other waterfalls I’ve seen before, it provided a refreshing change of scenery. Fed by the incessant rains, whitewater pummeled down a large concrete pool. Chased down by strong afternoon rains, we made the long haul back down the southern part of the island back to the town of Dapa. The tourist attractions of northern Siargao are few and far between, but what I enjoyed most was drinking in the bucolic countryside scenery aboard a motorbike as it negotiated muddy roads and braved the temperamental local weather.
|A canopied habal-habal|