Siargao Island Philippines – Siargao Island was a quiet unassuming paradise island, complete with secluded beaches, hidden coves, swaying palm trees and azure blue waters. However, in recent years it’s been placed definitively on the map by those chasing waves around the world. That’s right, Siargao Island is a tropical island paradise that’s home to (arguably) some of the world’s greatest waves, and you truly haven’t witnessed a wild surfing adventure in south east Asia until you’ve been to Siargao Islands.
In saying that, if you’re not into the surf, there’s actually plenty of activities to do whilst visiting this small island, as well as plenty of places to not to do much at all, if you know what I mean (i.e. if you’re looking to simply relax on an island that’s far away from civilization where you can sleep and sip on coconut all day).
For travelers who don’t want to be surprised by a sudden monsoon, traveling between March and November is the best time to head there. Otherwise, it gets pretty wet outside of this period. For surfers, the waves are generally pretty decent all year around, but September until November gets particularly hectic on the island due to the surfing events that happen.
How to get there
The quickest way to get to Siargao Islands is by plane. You can book a flight from Cebu City (1 hour) or Manila (2 hours). The flights can begin anywhere around 3000 PHP. Otherwise, you can hop on a ferry from Surigao to Siargao (3.5 hours). It costs approximately 250 PHP/person one-way.
Where to stay
Guesthouse – Katmon House
This quaint guesthouse is stunning in every aspect, so much so that you’d be forgiven if you forgot that you’re actually paying a fraction of the cost of a resort to stay at this equally amazing accommodation. The theme is very natural here, with bamboo and wood playing a central part in the exterior and interior of the home. Location wise, it’s only a 10-minute walk to the Cloud 9 Surfing Area (a popular surfing hot spot on the island). It provides Wi-Fi to all guests in the room, and all guests have free access to the family rooms, kitchenette, and all resting areas.
Why Guests Love It: Turns out that even at this budget price, you’re definitely not getting a budget experience, with the hosts always putting in 110% to make sure your stay is as comfortable as possible. The natural light filtering into the house is a much-loved feature, as is the (super) large comfortable rooms of the guesthouse.
Book It Now: Katmon House
Villa – Bulan Villas Siargao
As one of the new kids on the block (as of March 2019), Bulan Villas Siargao has landed on the tropical island accommodation scene with a massive splash. It’s located in the ever-popular General Luna area, within close distance to a number of popular attractions. The rooms are furnished as though you were on your own island home, and all provide stunning garden views. The best thing about this villa? The gorgeous outdoor pool that lights up at night.
Why Guests Love It: Described as a “green oasis” in the busy and populated General Luna area, guests love the fact that you can instantly escape the crowds and noise the moment you come home to Bulan Villas. It is beautiful to stay at, and incredibly comfortable, helped along by the warm nature and attitude of the staff members.
Book It Now: Bulan Villas Siargao
Resort – Retreat Siargao Resort
Gorgeous spacious rooms, a stunning outdoor pool, onsite restaurant and bar, and free Wi-Fi included with all rooms – that’s the real deal with Retreat Siargao Resort. If you want a bit of privacy whilst sunbaking, take advantage of the private beach on the resort grounds itself. The rooms offer expansive views of the resort, and breakfast is served right on the beach…the best way to start your day.
Why Guests Love It: If you’re seriously looking for an island resort to simply relax to the sound of the ocean waves, then stop booking because Retreat Siargao Resort is the one you’re looking for. Breakfast by the beach was the highlight of many guests, as was the stunning pool.
Book It Now: Retreat Siargao Resort
Siargao Island Philippines – GO SURFING!
What would this list be if it didn’t include surfing? As the number one activity to do on this island, you can imagine that there are lessons and surfing areas which cater to all sorts of surfers, from beginners to those who are keen to smash the waves for days on end. Siargao even hosts an annual pro surfing event, Cloud 9 Surfing Cup.
Jacking Horse: For beginners, this is the most popular and least threatening beach on the island to try and learn how to catch some waves. However, be mindful that it does get crowded with surfing lessons.
Cloud 9: This is the most popular surf spot on the island. If you’re even on the Cloud 9 boardwalk, you’ll have a ball simply leaning against the rail, watching the experts become one with the waves.
Pacifico: A great surfing spot that’s located a bit further away, hence the smaller crowds. However, some of the biggest surfs happen here.
Guyan Beach (Secret Beach): Located just 30-minutes away from General Luna, this surf spot is a little in the middle of nowhere, but is a great place to catch some smaller (but still entertaining) waves without the pressure of the crowds.
Siargao Island Philippines – Visit Cloud 9 Pier
It’s one of the most picturesque places to take photos on the island, and for that fact alone, you will be sharing your experience with quite the crowd. However, don’t let that deter you from paying this boardwalk a visit, because the views that you get of the surrounding ocean, the surfers as they catch the monstrous waves, and the island as you look backwards on the boardwalk is stunning.
If you’re truly after a spectacular sight, wake up early and head there before the break of dawn, because watching the first rays of the sun hit the sky and the ombre colours of red and orange and yellow highlight everything around you is simply magical. People watching is a fun activitiy to do here.
Price: 50 PHP
Siargao Island Philippines – Magpupungko Rock Pools
Most of the super popular tourist attractions in other cities often get a bad rep for the crowd and noise pollution, however Magpungko Rock Pools is one of those places that could be swarming with people during the day and you’d still be inclined to smile the moment you lay your eyes on the stunning blue waters and rock pools surrounding this playful attraction.
When you’re not jumping into the waters from various cliffs and rocks, you can go out and explore the smaller coves surrounding the area. Pro tip: wear rock shoes (if you can) because climbing back up the rocks from the water might be a tad difficult and painful with your bare feet.
Book a private tour here: Sugba Lagoon and Magpupungko Rock Pools
Access: If you hire a moped, riding from General Luna to the rock pools will take 45-minutes.
Siargao Island Philippines – Sugba Lagoon
Sugba Lagoon is actually a small little paradise located off the coast of Siargao Island, however traveling there is a cinch. Here, you can expect to swim in gorgeous crystal clear waters surrounded by epic mountains. There are also multiple water activities to do here; you can choose between stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking and snorkelling amongst other things. A unique activity might be that you rent a big wooden raft and head out into the calm, still waters for some sunbaking and photos.
Book a private tour here: Sugba Lagoon and Magpupungko Rock Pools
Access: You can either travel to Del Carmen port and rent a boat across to Sugba Lagoon (the entire trip will take roughly 2 hours one-way), otherwise you can take a boat directly from General Luna to Sugba Lagoon via a tour, in which the boat ride will take roughly 90 minutes.
Siargao Island Philippines – Island Hopping
Island hopping when you’ve just hopped onto an island…sounds a bit ironic but if you’re truly after the best sights of Siargao Island, then maybe a trip to visit Guyam, Daku, and Naked Island is on the books for you. Located only a few short boat trips away, you can easily book a tour to hop on and off these three islands within one day. Most tours will include pick up, drop off, and a delicious lunch.
Guyam Island is a tiny, circular island where one side is rocky with turbulent waves, and the other side is peaceful and quiet. It’s so small that you can literally walk around the entire island easily. Daku Island is the largest of the three islands, and is usually where you’d settle in for some lunch. It’s actually got a small fishing community, and there are quaint huts built along the beach, making for great photo opportunities. Naked Island is a mere sliver of an island that could be easily mistaken as a sandbar. Most people head here for a quick photo opportunity before finishing off their tour.
If you’re keen to participate in this 3 island tour, book a secure tour through Klook here.
Siargao Island Philippines – Discover the Coconut Palm Trees
Nothing says ‘tropical island adventure’ more than a picture of coconut palm trees with the sunset in the distance, and you can capture this image perfectly on Siargao Island. The road heading into Massin is not quite an attraction, but it definitely draws enough attention for it to actually be one.
Here, you’ll find one of the biggest concentrations of coconut trees on the island, and you’ll be able to take some pretty sweet pictures here, especially during sunrise or sunset. Many people stop at the red Massin Bridge to take a photo of the now-famous bent palm tree as well.
Relax at Alegria Beach
Alegria Beach is definitely one of the best beaches in the Philippines. It’s uncrowded, it’s expansive, the sand is white, the water is all shades of blue, and time is incredibly slow here. If you have the time, we recommend hiring bikes or mopeds and taking yourself up here for the day, laying on the beach and simply relaxing – unclutter your mind, listen to the sound of the ocean, take in the sights of swaying palm trees, and maybe start planning your annual trip back to this almost-wellness retreat. If you’re pressed for time, there are other attractions along the way such as the Magpupungko Rock Pools that you can drop into either before or after to try and make the most of your day.
Access: From General Luna on a moped, it will take you approximately 90 minutes to get to Algeria Beach.
Siargao Island is almost too perfect to be real. It’s got activities for the adventure seekers, the naturalists, the sunbakers, the island hoppers, the surfers and the wannabe-surfers, the ocean-lovers and those chasing summer. If you’re not one for exploring cities, then maybe you can skip the main tourist areas the Philippines altogether and head straight here because all you need for a fun, relaxing, and memorable holiday is right here on this incredible island.
For more info about other places to visit in the Philippines, check out these blog posts: Philippines Travel Blog.