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Siargao Travel Guide: Things to Do, Where to Stay

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Planning a trip to Siargao, the Philippines? You’ve come to the right place. This Siargao Travel Guide will walk you through the essentials, from the top things to do on Siargao Island to where to stay and how to plan a trip to this tropical paradise. Whether you’re a thrill-seeking surfer, a nature lover, or simply in search of a serene beach escape, Siargao offers a diverse range of experiences that cater to all kinds of travelers. Discover the must-visit attractions, the ideal time to visit, and the best ways to get around this enchanting island.

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Siargao Overview

Siargao, a teardrop-shaped gem in the Philippines, is renowned as the nation’s ultimate surfing haven. This island boasts top-notch surf spots, pristine sandy shores, enchanting islets, crystal-clear waters, cascading waterfalls, tranquil lagoons, and mysterious caves. Siargao beckons to surf enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike, offering an array of natural wonders to explore.

Here’s why you should consider visiting Siargao:

  • Surfing Excellence: Siargao boasts world-class surf breaks, including the famous Cloud 9, which magnetizes surfers from every corner of the globe. Whether you’re seeking the exhilaration of riding the waves or simply observing skilled surfers in action, this place has something for everyone.
  • Coastal Paradise: Siargao features a stunning array of beaches and islands ideal for relaxation, swimming, snorkeling, and diving. Explore the powdery white sands of Daku, Guyam, and Naked Island, or immerse yourself in the emerald allure of Sugba Lagoon and Sohoton Cove.
  • Natural Wonders: Siargao is teeming with a diverse range of natural attractions that will captivate your senses. Pay a visit to the mesmerizing Magpupungko Rock Pools, formed by nature’s own hand, or paddle through the tranquil waters of the stingless jellyfish lagoon, where you can peacefully kayak among countless harmless jellyfish.
  • Welcoming Vibes: Siargao exudes a warm and communal ambiance, making you feel right at home. Here, you’ll encounter friendly locals and fellow travelers, partake in vibrant festivals and lively gatherings, or simply bask in the island’s easygoing atmosphere.
Philippines Siargao
Philippines Siargao

Top Things to Do in Siargao

Discover the best activities to make the most of your Siargao experience, as gathered from online searches:

1. Surfing: Siargao proudly holds the title of the Philippines’ surfing hub and the iconic Cloud 9 stands as a prime spot for catching waves. It’s not just about surfing; you can also savor the scenic boardwalk and view deck. Additional surf havens around the island include Quicksilver, Jacking Horse, and Stimpy’s.

2. Island Hopping: Siargao offers delightful island-hopping opportunities, with nearby gems like Naked Island, Daku Island, and Guyam Island awaiting your exploration. Each island possesses its unique allure, from the white sandbar of Naked Island to the fishing village charm of Daku Island and the palm-fringed serenity of Guyam Island. Extend your voyage to other destinations like Corregidor Island, Mam-on Island, and Kauhagan Island.

3. Magpupungko Rock Pools: Natural pools emerge during low tide, creating a haven for swimming and snorkeling amidst colorful fish and corals. These pools are surrounded by striking rock formations that frame an exquisite backdrop.

4. Sugba Lagoon: Hidden in a remote corner of Siargao, this turquoise lagoon beckons adventurers with opportunities for kayaking, paddleboarding, and thrilling dives from diving boards. The lagoon is also home to a variety of marine life, including stingrays, crabs, and jellyfish.

5. Sohoton Cove: Venture to the awe-inspiring Bucas Grande Islands, reachable by a two-hour boat ride from Siargao. The cove harbors numerous caves, lagoons, and cliffs that beckon exploration via kayak or boat. A visit to the jellyfish sanctuary offers a unique chance to swim with these gentle creatures.

6. Maasin River: Embark on a serene river cruise, fringed with coconut trees, or enjoy the thrill of swinging from a bent palm tree into the refreshing waters. Maasin River also doubles as a picturesque backdrop for Instagram-worthy photos.

7. Tayangban Cave Pool: Embark on an adventure through a dimly lit tunnel with a flashlight to reach this mesmerizing cave pool. Crystal-clear waters and stalactites create an otherworldly atmosphere, and the bravest can take the leap from a ledge into the pool.

8. Coconut Mountain View: Ascend to this scenic viewpoint, which offers a panoramic vista of Siargao’s extensive coconut plantations, the vast ocean, and neighboring islands. Reach this point by motorcycle or bicycle.

9. Culinary Exploration: Satisfy your taste buds with Siargao’s array of dining options, from local delicacies like kinilaw (raw fish salad) and pancit (noodle dish) to international flavors like pizza and burgers. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor fresh seafood, tropical fruits, and coconut-based products.

Philippines Siargao Surfing
Surfing in Siargao

Where to Stay in Siargao

Discover some of the prime regions and accommodations in Siargao for a memorable stay:

General Luna: 

The bustling heart of Siargao, General Luna, is a vibrant hub boasting an array of restaurants, bars, shops, and coveted surf spots. It’s home to the world-famous Cloud 9, a surfer’s paradise. If you seek a lively atmosphere and opportunities to connect with fellow travelers, this is the place to be. Consider staying at Kaimana Resort Siargao, Casa Basa Siargao, or Lampara Siargao for a comfortable and central experience.

Malinao:

For a more serene escape within proximity to the amenities of General Luna, Malinao offers a peaceful retreat. Its long, sandy beach is perfect for swimming and snorkeling, and you can relish breathtaking sunsets and panoramic island views. Opt for a stay at Pore’s Homestay, Sandy Feet Siargao, or Siargao Bleu Resort & Spa to embrace tranquility.

Pacifico Beach:

Ideal for surf enthusiasts, Pacifico Beach features consistent and powerful waves breaking over a reef. This area is less crowded and exudes a laid-back charm distinct from General Luna. You’ll find a variety of beachfront bungalows and cottages for a cozy stay, and you can explore nearby villages and coconut plantations. Unwind at Bamboo Surf Beach, Pacifico Bigwish Beach Resort, or Apsaras Tribe – Siargao for an authentic beachfront experience.

Casa Basa Siargao in General Luna

How Many Days to Stay in Siargao

The amount of time you’ll want to spend in Siargao depends on your interests and what you’d like to experience. Here are some recommendations for the duration of your trip to Siargao:

Surf’s Up (5 days): For surf enthusiasts looking to catch the best waves, plan your visit between September and November. Allot at least 5 days to explore various surf spots and even take part in the annual September surfing competition.

Non-Surf Adventures (3-5 days): If you’re not into surfing, the ideal time to visit Siargao is during the dry season from February to June. A 3 to 5-day trip allows you to indulge in island hopping and explore attractions like Sugba Lagoon, Magpupungko Rock Pools, Sohoton Cove, and Tayangban Caves.

Extensive Exploration (7+ days): Those seeking a comprehensive Siargao experience, including its neighboring islands, should set aside 7 days or more. This extended stay provides the opportunity for a jeepney land tour, a visit to Pacifico in the northern part of the island, or a day trip to Bucas Grande Island.

Remember, these are general recommendations, and you can always tailor your itinerary to match your unique preferences and budget.

Philippines Siargao Magpupungko Rock Pools
Magpupungko Rock Pools

Siargao Weather & Best Time to Visit Siargao

Siargao enjoys a tropical rainforest climate, characterized by year-round hot and humid conditions.

For the best weather and ideal beach days, consider planning your Siargao trip in April, May, August, or September. During these months, you can expect ample sunshine, making it perfect for sunbathing and swimming. Rainfall is minimal, ensuring the most favorable conditions. The average temperature hovers around 85°F (29°C).

Surfers, on the other hand, might prefer to time their visit during the surfing season, which stretches from July to November. This period offers larger and more consistent waves, especially at the renowned Cloud 9 surf break. Keep in mind that these months also tend to be rainier and attract larger crowds.

Siargao Transportation: How to Get to and Travel around

How to Get to

By Air: The quickest and most straightforward way to reach Siargao is by air. Siargao Airport welcomes direct flights from Manila and Cebu, with airlines like Cebu Pacific, Cebgo, Sunlight Air, and Philippine Airlines operating these routes. The flight takes approximately 2 hours from Manila and just 1 hour from Cebu. If you’re coming from a different city or country, you’ll likely need to make a connecting flight through Manila or Cebu.

By Land and Sea: An alternative route involves traveling overland and taking a ferry, a more cost-effective but time-consuming choice. Your journey will commence with a bus or van ride to Surigao City, the nearest port to Siargao. You can reach Surigao City from various Mindanao locations, including Davao, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, and General Santos City. Travel duration varies from 4 to 10 hours, contingent on the distance and traffic. From Surigao City, you’ll catch a ferry to Siargao Island, with several ferry companies such as Montenegro Lines, Fortune Angel, and Evaristo & Sons offering daily trips. The ferry ride takes around 3 hours and costs about 300 PHP.

By Sea Only: If your journey commences in Cebu or Manila, you have the option of taking a ferry directly to Siargao Island without passing through Surigao City. However, this route is less frequent and more expensive. You’ll need to board a ferry from Cebu or Manila to Surigao City initially, which can take up to 24 hours and cost around 1,000 PHP. Afterward, you’ll transfer to another ferry heading to Siargao Island.

Philippines Siargao Airport
Siargao Airport

How to Travel Around

Habal-Habal: The local term for a motorcycle capable of carrying one or two passengers. It stands as the most common and cost-effective means of navigating Siargao, particularly if you desire the freedom to explore the island at your own pace. Renting a habal-habal typically costs around 300-500 pesos per day, or you can opt for a driver at approximately 800-1000 pesos per day. Habal-habals can efficiently take you to many of Siargao’s tourist attractions, including Cloud 9, Magpupungko Rock Pools, Sugba Lagoon, and more.

Tricycle: Another local term, this refers to a three-wheeled vehicle capable of accommodating up to four passengers. While it offers greater comfort and space compared to habal-habals, it is also more expensive. Expect to pay around 1000-1500 pesos per day for a tricycle rental, or hire a driver at approximately 1500-2000 pesos per day. Tricycles are particularly convenient for shorter trips within General Luna, the primary town in Siargao, where most hotels and restaurants are situated.

Mini-Multicab: These small vans can transport up to eight passengers, making them an ideal choice for larger groups or families traveling together. Renting a mini-multicab typically costs around 2000-3000 pesos per day, or you can hire a driver for about 2500-3500 pesos per day. Mini-multicabs can navigate most of Siargao’s roads, with some exceptions for rough and narrow routes.

Private Car: For the utmost in luxury and convenience, consider a private car, though it is also the most expensive option. Renting a private car is priced at around 4000-6000 pesos per day, while hiring a driver may cost roughly 4500-6500 pesos per day. Private cars provide a level of comfort, safety, and flexibility that other modes of transportation may not match.

Philippines Siargao Habal-Haba
Habal-Haba in Siargao

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