Siit Bay is the relaxing view from your veranda, and what has recently been christened ‘Turtle Island’ is the long thin peninsula protecting it. It may have no resident turtles, nor is it an island, but it is worth a visit by foot or by motorcycle with great swimming off the sandbar. At the very start of the peninsula, facing the open sea and Apo Island, is our large beach-front property, with my cousins spacious solar powered bamboo house (Robinson Crusoe style), which is also for rent, and guarantees total quiet, privacy, and lots of birds.
Kookoos Nest is the premier resort in the area (we created it 26 years ago). Just follow the road another 6km and look for the signs. Now run by British owners, with friendly staff, excellent food and all kinds of diving at reasonable rates.
Antulang Beach Resort
Antulang Beach Resort (Filipino/Chinese owned), is worth a look for curiosity’s sake. A contrasting style to Kookoos Nest, however the spectacular cliff walk there is a must do and see. Snorkeling at either resort is the best in the entire area.
Just 3km down the road take the right fork where the sign says ‘Tambobo Bay 5kms’. Halfway along you can see a sign that reads AB Cafe (Arlene and Boy). An enticing long and winding bamboo pier thru the mangroves takes you out to their simple native restaurant in the middle of the yacht harbor.
Tongo Sail Inn
In Tambobo village, 300m past the far end of the boulevard you will find Tongo Sail Inn… a simple Aussie owned resort with a friendly atmosphere, nice views, cold beer, and the best burger for 50kms.
Around 2km further along the coast is Paradise Cove Resort (German owned)…. with a beautiful beach and sunset views.
About 1hr drive from here, the other side of Siaton town and up a bumpy mountain road is one of my favorite spots….Lake Balanan. Make sure you swim in the lake (despite the ‘no swimming signs’ and objections from the restaurant staff), hire the canoe to bring you over to the waterfalls, walk around to the tree-house, and swim in the chain of man-made pools under the gigantic ficus tree. Lunch up there is very basic. Allow a minimum of 5 hrs including the drive.
Further afield (3.5 hrs drive from here) is Sugar Beach in Sipalay area. One of the best isolated swimming beaches in the Philippines with many great native resorts (mainly Swiss owned). A perfect next destination, on the southwest of the island.
If you like to eat at home then you need to do some shopping. Easiest for us is at Hypermart in Dumaguete. To top up your pantry mid-week you can make a trip to Zamboanguita town and market, or on Wednesday mornings, just 3kms further, is the famous Malatapay market (also the jumping off point for the famous dive spot Apo Island).
For dining out there are some great options around Tambobo.
- Friday night is buffet night with all the yachties at AB Cafe
- Wednesday night it’s buffet at Emmas (just 200m further on, also out on the water)
- Sunday at Rowenas (south side of bay).
All are great value at around P250 per head, kicking off around 6.30pm, and they prefer if you call the day before to advise them of numbers.
Kookoos Nest has delicious creative ‘western’ food from 7.30am to 8pm.
Decent meals can also be had in Zamboanguita at several beach resorts.
In order of proximity they are: