Stand Up Paddle at Malinao Mangrove Siargao

Sunday, September 15, 2013

What happens when there’s not enough waves and way too many surfers at the lineup in the Surfer’s Paradise of Siargao?

We can’t just wallow, right? Great thing that we were staying at TurtleSurf Camp Siargao. They always had some activity planned for the guests to make our stay awesome! Kitya, the co-owner asked me, “Have you tried Stand Up Paddle before?”

I had to say, I haven’t. I never had the chance to try. It looked complicated.

But Kitya was insistent. “It’s a lot easier than surfing, just as fun and it’s a great exercise for your abs! You''ll love it! ”

Did she just say abs? Count me in, then!

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We took about a half hour ride on a motorbike and the rest of our crew took a van. We represented, Korea, Russia, France, Spain and the Philippines with our motley crew. We arrived at Malinao in the municipality of Del Carmen around 2 PM, it was the perfect time to explore this forest mangrove until sunset.

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Enrique, co-owner of Turtle Surf Camp gave us an SUP crash course. The rest, we had to figure out ourselves. It was easier than I thought. It was no surprise that an SUP is much more buoyant than the short board that I’m used to. The key was to find balance on this bigger board and get used to paddling around.

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I have to admit, I fell quite a few times and got laughed at before I got the hang of it. But who didn’t?

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Paddling through the mangroves was a great way to enjoy our time in Siargao. We couldn’t help but take photos every few minutes. Not only that, it was a great combination of fun and exercise!

I found out later that these mangroves are not a very popular tourist destination. You can say it’s still kept hidden, for now. This place is also a habitat of rare and endangered species of flora and fauna both in marine, wetland and terrestrial areas. So if you’re a fan of nature, you have to make this part of your itinerary.

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Another great thing about this tour is that our hosts, Kitya and Enrique knew the area very well. I would have felt very lost in a maze of mangroves had it not been for them! They also told us exactly how to paddle and showed us exactly where to go. It was very important because they knew the tides and the current. It was easy enough going around, but the challenge was that we were paddling against the current getting back.

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Another thing I enjoyed was that we could paddle at our own pace. No racing or showing off necessary. You could paddle slow and take in the sights in a leisurely manner. Or you can also paddle til your arms hurt! There were 4 people in our group so we had a guide for every 2 persons.

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The paddle back was the most fun part. The sun had already began to set. The orange light was glorious and the reflecting pool of water acted as a magic mirror that made everything look ethereal.

Want in on the action? Watch this video:

How to Make This Trip Happen:

-Turtle Surf Camp Siargao offers the Malinao Mangrove Tour which includes: half day trip with transport (car/motorbike), SUP or kayak with guide for 1,500 PHP per head.

-Don’t forget to bring sunblock lotion, hat, waterproof bags and camera

- Malinao is the perfect location for doing SUP as well as kayaking. You’ll be in for an adventure into the lush tropical mangrove forest and discover the island’s finest and most secluded beaches.

-The tour also includes visiting a rustic village, experiencing an amazing sunset while on a kayak, or SUP. If you’re lucky and you chance upon a full moon night, you can starting the journey at sunset to see planktons glow at night.

- As always, all Turtle Surf Camp trips have the fun and craziness guaranty! Book your tour with them through +63 939 569 2498. Look for Kitya or Enrique.

Special thanks to Kitya and Enrique of Turtle Surf Camp Siargao!

Stand Up Paddlin',
Sole Sister Lois

Lois has traveled extensively and has called the USA, Germany, Switzerland and the Philippines home in various stages of her life. When she's not having adventures around the globe, she can be found surfing, surfing someone's couch or giving talks, workshops and retreats. She is a certified Passion Test facilitator who believes that people can find what they love and make a living from their passions. She is the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of

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1 sole trails

  1. This is interesting I want to try stand-up paddle boarding. Thanks for sharing your great experience in Malinao.


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