Where is Siargao?
Siargao island is becoming an increasingly popular tourist attraction and surfing destination in the Philippines. The teardrop island is located in the North-eastern coast of Mindanao. It is around 196 kilometers away from Tacloban and Surigao del Norte. It is made up of nine municipalities which are: Burgos, Dapa, Del Carmen, General Luna, San Benito, Pilar, San Isidro, Santa Monica, and Socorro.
What to Do in Siargao?
Surf in Cloud 9:
f there is anywhere, you should learn how to surf, it is in one of the most well-known places in the Island, Cloud 9. The waves are perfect for surfers for every level, whether you are a beginner or not. The instructors are very patient and great at teaching. For a fee of around P1000 for 2 hours, you will not only be riding waves like a semi-pro, but they can also take photos of you to document your experience.
After surfing, the Cloud 9 Boardwalk and Tower is a landmark worth exploring and having a photo op in. The famous three-story wooden structure gives you a closer view of the picturesque waves and sunset. The entrance fee is P50.
Along the beach, you can also have a drink or hearty meal in the bars and restaurants in the area.
Another way to discover Siargao is by touring around its beaches. The three most popular ones are Guyam, Daku Island, and Naked Island. Close to General Luna, these islands are accessible through either a private tour or group tour by boat. It takes around 4-10 hours to see all three attractions. The rates vary on how many people are joining the trip, although chartering a private boat usually costs P1500-2000 pesos. This rate is for the rental of the whole water vehicle and not a per person charge. Each Island has an entrance fee:
Guyam Island- P30 per person
Daku Island- P100 per boat
Naked Island- free of charge
You can explore most of the island tourist sites by van or by renting a motorcycle. A typical tour package around the Island takes 6-9 hours and includes these destinations:
Magpupungko Rock Pool:
Known as nature’s made swimming pools, you can swim in the crystal clear waters at Magpupungko during high tide or walk among its rock beds and formations during low tide.
Siargao’s notable landmark that coined the island province as the surfing capital of the Philippines. You can surf in jacking horse or cloud 9 itself and get a closer look at the waves from the boardwalk.
Coconut Mountain View:
A viewing point overlooking the Island’s abundant and lush coconut trees. It is a great place to take photos and buy eco-friendly souvenirs.
Maasin Coconut Road:
If you cannot get enough of coconut trees, this picturesque road looks like something straight out of a postcard. This is a great spot to take great photos and content for your Facebook and Instagram.
Surrounded by palm trees, this is a fun attraction where you can go canoe riding or channel your inner “Tarzan,” and swing from a rope. There is even a hidden pool along the river where you can take a refreshing dip.
It only takes a short day trip to get to this lagoon surrounded by mountains. It is known to be one of the bluest waters people have seen. You can leave your belongings in a floating pontoon house for 50 pesos while you explore the area. Some activities to do there include jumping off the wooden diving board or stand-up paddleboarding.
If you are looking for peace and a place to destress, then this is the ideal tourist site for you. Panghuwagan means “releasing” in the local dialect. You can surely release all your worries and frustrations here or marvel at the scenery in the viewing deck.
Aside from General Luna, Pacifico also has many resorts and hotels to stay in. It is considered to be the mini Hawaii of the Philippines because of its laidback vibe. You can surf, visit the lighthouse, have your photo taken with the Pacific Ocean as your backdrop, or chill out in its long stretch of white sand beach.
This beach is located in the Northern part of the Island, and it does not have too many tourists. You can rent a cottage to keep your belongings in while you swim, sunbathe, and enjoy the pristine waters and white sand in this part of the Island.
A new water attraction in Siargao, you can swim, bathe and take photos here. For people who are a bit of daredevil, you can climb the rocks and dive from there or simply shower under the waterfalls.
1 Million Dollar View:
No, this view does not cost 1 million dollars, but something this beautiful is practically priceless. The name originates from an Airbnb homestay in the area called the1 Million Dollar View. Overlooking the entire Island, it is a great place to appreciate the beauty of Siargao and its surrounding scenery.
General Luna Boulevard:
This is where the main public beach is located, and it is free for all! It is clad with tourists, and there are many activities to do here from day tonight. Most of the best restaurants and bars are situated here.
Where to Stay in Siargao?
It is easy to find beautiful places to visit in Siargao, but the question is, where will you stay? Booking accommodations on the Island is relatively easy, and you will not have a problem choosing from various hotels and Airbnb around the area. Most people recommend staying in an establishment in General Luna because it is near most of the main beaches, hotels, resorts, bars, and restaurants. You may also remain in Malinao for a more relaxing experience or in Pacifico if you want to view the southern part of the Island. There many different places to choose from depending on your preference. Here is a list of recommended resorts in Siargao:
- Isla Cabana Resort- This resort is simple, elegant, and it has an attractive minimalist Asian design. It has a lot of amenities to enjoy such as its infinity pool, spa, and beach bar. Isla Cabana is also known for its in-house restaurant that serves a mix of Asian and Western dishes.
- Siargao Bleu Resort and Spa- For an affordable luxury experience, this resort provides personalized butler services in its floating cottages. They have an exceptional seafood dining service, and you can also enjoy other water activities such as Sunset Zumba or Water aerobics.
- Romantic Beach Villas- Not just a romantic getaway for you and your significant other, but you can try out adventurous activities such as scuba-diving, wakeboarding, island-hopping, or even seeing whale sharks in Leyte. For a more relaxing experience, you can chill in one of their many hammocks or swim in their lit-up infinity pool that changes colors at night.
- Bravo Beach Resort- Known for having one of the best cuisines in the Island, this resort provides an authentic surfer paradise experience with its structure overlooking the Pesangan reef and the Pacific Ocean. Its in-house restaurant serves tapas, paella, and other delicious Spanish dishes. At night, it is a crucial hangout space to have a cocktail while having an impressive view of the sunset.
- Nay Palad Hideaway Resort- If you are looking for a hidden, barefoot, sanctuary resort, then this is the one for you. Nay Palad has a home away from home feel, wherein you can have an enjoyable beach-side experience in your private villa. It is pet-friendly, environmentally conscious, silent, and peaceful. You can also enjoy several activities here, such as kayaking, yoga, and they have a speed boat that you can rent.
- Sandy Feet Siargao- The beautiful villas in this resort have fantastic ocean and garden views, as well as access to a private beach. Its family loft villa can fit 3-4 guests comfortably, and it comes with its dining and balcony area. All rooms have private bathrooms, free toiletries, and a hairdryer.
- High Tide Eco Villas- Situated in San Isidro, this resort has a bar, barbeque facilities, and a terrace. Its villas have a garden view as well as private parking. The villa has air-conditioning, a private bathroom, and free toiletries. A car rental service is also provided.
- Big Wish Beach Resort- This resort is right on the beach, and it even has a surf break in front of it. Its in-house restaurant has delicious food, and it is ideal for surfers, families, and adventurers. It is nestled in the southern part of Siargao and is surrounded by a natural landscape of coconut plantations and rocky cliffs.
How to get Siargao?
Now that you know what to do and where to stay in Siargao, the final question is: How do I get there? There are several ways to travel to this Island.
If you are coming from Manila, you can take a direct flight, which has a duration of around 1.5 to 2.5 hours. You may also take a ferry ride, and this involves 1.5 days as well as three transfers. Flights cost around 4,000-10,000+ pesos round-trip, while a ferry ride is around 2,000+ pesos. Three airlines have direct flights from Manila to Siargao. These are Skyjet, Philippine Airlines, and Cebu Pacific. SkyJet is the cheapest flight to Manila and also the fastest at 1.5 hours. Flights usually only operate from April onwards. Philippine Airlines has flight options that leave from either NAIA or Clark Airport. Finally, Cebu Pacific has daily, regular flights and several promotions for a budget-friendly trip.
You can also opt to fly directly from Cebu or fly from Manila with a stopover here. It takes 1 hour to fly from Cebu to Siargao. Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific have daily flights from Cebu to Surigao City. From there, you can take a tricycle, multi-cab, van, or ro-ro ferry to go to Siargao port.
If you are coming from Davao, you can go to Siargao by flight or land. From Davao City, you can go to Butuan and take a bus from the Ecoland bus terminal that goes to Siargao City. The travel time can take 9-10 hours. There are also direct flights that take you from Davao City to Del Carmen in Siargao.