Sitangkai Island

Sitangkai Island in Tawi-Tawi Province


Sitangkai Island, though boasting a compact land area of just 0.3 square kilometers, is the heart of a much larger municipality encompassing numerous surrounding islands. This core island is where Sitangkai Town thrives, the center of population for the entire region.

Historically, Sitangkai was known as “Saluru,” a Malay term signifying its strategic position. During high tide, strong currents converge from all directions around the island. Legends claim the island was named after a beautiful Sama teenager, the daughter of a chief, who was buried there.

Sitangkai earns its nickname, “The Venice of the South,” because of its heavy reliance on boats for transportation. While footbridges connect houses built on stilts, navigating the waterways is a primary way of life.

Sitangkai is known for the lively buzz of the Floating Market, where vendors in their boats offer fresh seafood, fruits, vegetables, and other local produce.

Adventurers will find plenty to explore in Sitangkai. Embark on an island hopping adventure to discover nearby islands like Sibutu and Sikulan. Some boast vibrant coral reefs, perfect for snorkeling or diving enthusiasts. Dive deeper into the local culture with a cultural immersion experience. Immerse yourself in the rich traditions of the Tausug people through their captivating dances, music, and delectable cuisine. Learn about the island’s sustainable practices with a seaweed farm tour. This eco-friendly industry plays a vital role in the local economy. If you seek a unique and secluded escape in the Philippines, then look no further than Sitangkai Island. Remember to be respectful of the local customs and traditions to fully appreciate the beauty of this island paradise.

Sitangkai Island Location

Sitangkai Island is a small island located in the southernmost tip of the Philippines, part of the Tawi-Tawi province. It’s nestled within the vast Sulu Archipelago, a chain of islands between Borneo and Mindanao. It holds the title for the southernmost municipality in the country.

There are regular public ferry services that ply the route between Bongao, the capital of Tawi-Tawi Province and Sitangkai Island. The trip usually takes around 3 to 3.5 hours. Keep in mind that the ferries only run on specific days – Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Another option is to hire a private speedboat, especially if you’re traveling in a group. This will significantly reduce travel time to around 1.5 to 2 hours, but of course will cost more than the ferry.

Sitangkai Island Map

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Additional Information

Read more about the Tawi-Tawi and other locations in the BARMM Region . Check out the links below to discover more!


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