Mabuhay! And welcome to another amazing island of the Philippines.
This tropical island in the Southern Philippines, also known as the “Surfing Capital” of the country, is surrounded by a far-famed dense jungle of coconut palm trees, world class waves, beautiful endless beaches, hidden lagoons and tidal rock pools. Discover this small oasis located in the province of Surigao del Norte. Composed of 8 municipalities, such as Burgos, Dapa, Del Carmen, General Luna, San Benito, Pilar, San Isidro, and Santa Monica.
This is one of my top destinations in the country, and after a few times of planning and for some reasons it didn’t pan out.
But, fortunately, this time, Yay! So happy and stoked to see the island.
Siargao is gaining more popularity not only for its great surfing spots but also for its natural charm of landscape. Explore and be amazed by the enchanting Sohoton Cove National Park. Whether you are a laid back traveller or an adrenaline junkie, there are so many fun things to do on the island.
If you are looking for an epic adventure, then you should not miss visiting Siargao.
THINGS TO DO IN SIARGAO
We know that Siargao is the top surfing spot in the Philippines, not only for locals but also for international tourists. They come to enjoy these majestic waves.
Seriously, I was not a fan of surfing, and I am not a good swimmer either haha! But after my surfing lesson I found myself loving the waves.
If you want to experience or learn a new skill, then it’s a good opportunity to give it a try.
For an hour lesson it cost 500 pesos including board rental. At the entrance of cloud 9 you have to pay 50 pesos and its valid for a day. There are many local guys offering surf lesson. Also for video or photo coverage during your lesson, you can hire them for 300 to 500 pesos. Another thing is, they also offer a locker to put all your stuff in, if you want to make sure it’s safe and secured. , and it costs 50 pesos.
With Kuya Tata (surfing instructor)
There are many great surfing spots for different levels.
I had no idea which one was the best for a beginner like me. The moment I arrived on the island I was just too excited, and after I dropped my stuff off at my hotel I immediately went straight to cloud 9. Then arranged my first lesson the next day.
I had my first lesson at cloud 9. haha! So damn brave girl! You don’t even know how to swim.
But before heading to the water, there’s a quick session on how to do the right position or balancing on the board.
I felt down in the dumps at the beginning after having a nosedive many times. It was not as easy as I thought, haha! And yes it can be embarrassing, but a fun way to have a good laugh when being wiped out.
But everybody falls. It’s just part of a wave riding game. But my instructors were good and cheered me up, so I just kept going…..And I can tell you, before my lesson finishes I found myself enjoying it, especially when I had a long ride. Wooohooo!
In most cases during morning and late afternoon it’s crowded in Crowd 9 lol I mean Cloud 9.
CLOUD 9 BOARDWALK
Another ideal spot if you are not a fan of surfing, you can enjoy this cloud 9 boardwalk to watch the surfers chasing the waves. Also a great spot to watch the sunset.
Plus on the other side of cloud 9 area, there is the perfect spot for relaxing and swimming.
ISLAND HOPPING (TRI ISLAND DAY TOUR)
To book your island hopping adventure, you can arrange thru your hotel, trusted locals or book it online via klook app. Prices are almost the same.
Siargao`s most popular island tour. Enjoy the beauty of these 3 islands (Naked, Daku, Guyam Island). This tour cost around $26 or around 1500 Php per person. It is a join in tour type, perfect way to get along with people and meet new friends, foreign and locals. Chow down with a delish Filipino boodle-style lunch buffet. This tour also includes pick up and drop off from/to your hotel.
You can opt for a private tour for a more relaxing island adventure.
NAKED ISLAND. Sounds interesting! This bare little island that is truly marvellous because of its nakedness. Literally just sand. A fine white sand and clear turquoise water. Soak yourself up in the sun and be brown as a berry.
DAKU ISLAND. Derived from the Visayan name Dako means big. This island is the biggest amongst these 3 islands. This tropical island paradise is perfect for swimming or chilling under the shades of coconut trees.
This was where we had our appetising traditional Filipino style lunch buffet. I really enjoyed the food.
GUYAM ISLAND. Is a small island, located around 2 km. away from General Luna. The island is surrounded by clear waters, a fine white sand beach. A cluster of trees came into view when you approached the island. There are few nipa hut with seats and hammocks available. You can also buy fruit shakes and enjoy sipping on a hot sunny day.
You have few options when getting around Siargao. The best way to wander around is by renting a motorbike. This way you can have the freedom to go on your own and explore hidden gems on the island. Renting a motorbike costs around 350 pesos to 500 per day.
Another option is by tricycle. Getting around in General Luna to nearby places just simply wait for a trike along the road and will take you to your destination. From GL (Poblacion) to Cloud 9 only cost 20 pesos. But during night time the price may change.
Another way is by car/van, this is the most convenient and kind of expensive option. But if you are travelling with family or big groups this will do.
After my surfing lesson in the morning, I talked to local guys at cloud 9 and recommended the land tour. It cost 1500, a motorbike with a driver. Kuya Allan picked me up from my hotel at 11am and we headed to our first destination. On our way to Maasin River we stopped by for a few minutes to take some photos of this beautiful coconut mountain view. But because of the devastation that happened last year on the island, the views were not the same as beautiful as before. But still a good sight.
MAASIN BRIDGE RIVER SWING
From general Luna to Maasin River takes about 30 minutes. Another popular spot in Siargao, headed towards the town of Dapa. Once you see the red bridge and the signage. Beneath the bridge is the entrance and some souvenir stalls. Entrance fee is 20 pesos. If you are opting to traverse the beauty of Maasin river, pay 550 pesos then head to the crystalline water of Secret Lagoon, about 15 mins by canoe.
Get ready to immerse yourself in this irresistible swimming spot in the wild. We had a fresh buko (young coconut) first while waiting for our turn to get into the water.
I really appreciate the effort of our boatman, taking photos of me in different positions or angles. He even climbed up the tree to get me a nice shot. Thanks Kuya, you’re the best.
BUGAK COLD SPRING
Located in barangay Santa Cruz, around 15 to 20 minutes drive from the town centre of General Luna. Entrance fee is only 10 pesos.
I met a new friends and took me to this nice and quiet spot. It was not so busy when we got there. Quiet and peaceful, enough to enjoy a relaxing swim and have a fish spa haha!
MAGPUPUNGKO BEACH and ROCK POOLS
One of my favorite attractions and one of the most popular tourist spots to visit in Siargao. Located in the town of Pilar. It’s famous for its unique lagoons that can be seen only during low tide. Gazed with wonder with these picturesque limestone rock formations, plus the breathtaking views of the ocean, the white sand beach, the waves crashing on the rocks. This tropical vibe is an ultimate relaxation for your holiday
This indescribable beauty of sundown.. After some tiring and busy day on the island, time for some relaxation. Who doesn’t love watching the sunset? My soul’s fuel. As I sat on the white sand and the sun smiled upon me. My kind of holiday on the island.
HOW TO GET TO SIARGAO ISLAND
The fastest and easiest way to get to the island is by plane. Pal Express has a direct flight from Manila, Clark, Cebu, and Davao. Cebgo has direct flights from Manila and Cebu only. For more info about booking your ticket, you may check their official websites.
Sayak Airport (IAO) or also known as Siargao Airport, is the main airport serving the general area of Siargao Island located in the municipality of Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte. Around 45 minutes drive to General Luna, airport shuttle van cost 300 pesos per person.
Home to Annual International and National Surfing Competitions because of the cloud 9 waves.
WHERE TO STAY IN SIARGAO
An idyllic island destination for different types of travellers, whether you are a surfer, backpacker, soul searcher or even a luxurious traveller.
A wide selection of accommodations available on the island, from homestay/ hostel, hotels, and beach resorts. General Luna is where you can find most of the hotels, restaurants, bars, shops, atm’s and other establishments on the island.
Located in barangay Catangnan, there are two entrances of this property, and because there is no signage along the road, once you see Banakod Homestay, only a few steps across you will see a small alley. I stayed here foe a few nights and I love the place. The accommodation offers different types of rooms for a reasonable price. It has a shared lounging area for guests, a nice terrace and garden, shared kitchen, gym available with fee and bistro. You could also rent a motorbike here. Guests will be able to enjoy activities around General Luna for a 10 minutes drive. And 3 to 5 minutes to Cloud 9 surfing area.
SUYOG LIFE SIARGAO
Located in General Luna, walking distance to restaurants, shops and other establishments. Offer nice and fully air-conditioned rooms, with a veranda and a small garden.
It has free wifi and can also arrange a shuttle or van going to the airport.
RESTAURANTS/ CAFES/ BARS
It was my first night on the island, and I found this restaurant located in the heart of General Luna. I had this scrumptious smoked salmon crostini, and Thai curry. One of the decent restaurants on the island, known for its tasty pizza. Also try their delicious dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Located along the tourism road in the heart of General Luna. A perfect place to sit while sipping your drinks and watching people pass by. Been here a few times and I really enjoyed the food. Love the French toast and panini sandwich. During night time they have good music with good local performers. Don’t miss the amazing and dynamic performers of street fire dancing.
Kawayan Gourmand French Bakery
An authentic French bakery, located along tourism road, a few distance to cloud 9 area.
Located in the town of General Luna, a short distance to Cloud 9 surfing area. Offers a healthy substitute on the island. Known for its artful smoothie bowls and other healthy or vegan delights. Get your instagrammable healthy bowls decorated with colourful fresh fruits.
Siargao Corner Cafe
Your all day breakfast cafe, located along the tourism road in the heart of GL. They serve decent coffee to start your day. Been here a few times and tried some on their menus, and most especially had this gratifying Vietnamese coffee. Love it.
Another good restobar located in GL, beside Malayah Souvenir Shop.
It has outdoor seats and a wide selection on the menu. Serves good quality pizza.
NIGHT LIFE ON THE ISLAND
Siargao has a vibrant nightlife scene engaged in different bars on various schedules.
I’ve been to different bars on the island. On my last night in the town, it was inconceivably crazy. I was invited by new friends, I met them at Harana Surf. Plenty of motorbikes were parked along the road. The bar was filled to the rafters. The moment I enter, and hear a blasting music competing with hundreds of voices in a conversation. No one could see the dance floor, its wall to wall of people. Everyone was a ball of fire, dancing and enjoying as the loud music fed off the crowd’s enthusiasm.
At the end of the night I got quite drunk. But it was fun.
I hope you enjoy reading this blog and would help you a little to plan your trip to the island.
Thanks and cheers!