Siargao, dream island of the Philippines
We are not fans of surfing, but we can already tell you that Siargao is our favorite place of this trip to the Philippines. The two main reasons ? A special atmosphere, with a lot of young people with a surfing spirit / good vibes and beautiful landscapes. Even before touching the ground, you will realize the beauty of the island. Indeed, from the air, you will see hundreds of thousands of palm trees, as far as the eye can see. There are many things to do in Siargao, that is what we will detail in this article!
How to get to Siargao?
If you arrive in Siargao by plane like us (flight found here), arrange with your hotel to order a shuttle. To go to General Luna, the central district of the island, the price is the same for all: 300 pesos (5€) per person. You can also come to Siargao by boat.
To find the complete itinerary of our 3 weeks in the Philippines, click here.
What to do in Siargao?
There are many activities to do in Siargao, both on land and at sea. The ideal to visit the island is to stay 4 to 6 days. Well, we liked this place so much that we could have stayed there much more !
Update 2023: Dive into Siargao’s incredible waves, explore the island’s hidden paths, taste the delicious local cuisine and be enchanted by the natural beauty of this tropical paradise. Siargao offers you an unforgettable experience combining adventure, relaxation and discovery in the heart of the Philippines. 😁
1. Island Hopping in Siargao
As on all the islands in the Philippines, it is possible to make island hopping, that is to say boat trips. The most known of Siargao is the one which passes by :
Siargao : boat trip
- Guyam Island : a very small island covered with palm trees
- Daku Island : well known spot for surfers and very nice to have lunch on the beach
- Naked Island : as its name indicates, this island is a completely naked sand bank
Island Hopping in Siargao, off the beaten track
We had the chance to meet a Filipino man thanks to our Airbnb who invited us to a private tour with his family and friends, on his new boat that he had just finished. During this tour, we went to Mam On island, to discover a beautiful and preserved island far from the tourists. It is located further offshore than the traditional island hopping.
Mam On, deserted island near Siargao
Count 1h30 of journey to go to the island of Mam On. The barbecue prepared and tasted on the boat was delicious! Moreover, the comfort on board is much better than on other boats. Dom has provided space to move around and hammocks over the water. Dom’s contact: +63 928 912 1301 (he will be able to offer you a tailor-made tour).
Edit March 2023: WARNING, following a bad experience with Dom reported by a reader, which you can read in the comments to this article, we can no longer give a 100% guarantee of his reliability.
2. Magpupungko, natural pools of Siargao
The best way to discover the island is to rent a scooter and go for an adventure. One of the must-see spots to do in Siargao is the natural pool: Magpupungko. Good luck pronouncing this name.
How to get to Magpupungko ?
It will take you 1 hour to get there from General Luna. The road is really beautiful and it’s nice to meet the locals with a smile on their face.
⏰ Advice: Important thing, inquire about the tide schedule ! Indeed, the pool is only formed at low tide. Plan to go there 1 to 2 hours before low tide if you want to enjoy the place alone. Just at the time of low tide, it is the municipal swimming pool: you have been warned. Be careful not to go there when the tide is rising, otherwise you will have to wait 6 hours. Tide times here
Price:Parking 20 pesos (0,35€) + entrance 50 pesos per person (0,85€) or 120 pesos (2€) for two.
3. Pacifico, for a lunch break
If, like us, you stop at Magpupungko Pool in the late morning, we suggest you to continue to the north of Siargao to have lunch at Pacifico Resort. The prices are reasonable, the food is good and the place is very peaceful. Take the time to have a cocktail in one of the hammocks by the water before leaving.
The surrounding beaches are deserted, so take the opportunity to rest for a while if you are looking for peace and quiet. Be careful with the very strong currents. ⚠️
4. Maasin River
Halfway between General Luna and Magpupungko Pool is the Maasin River. There is a beautiful spot with a rope hanging from a palm tree over the river. To find this spot, just type Maasin Bridge on your gps app.
Price: Access to the palm tree is not free, 20 pesos (0,35€) each, but you can do rope jumps as much as you want.
⏰ Tips : We preferred a stop on the way back in the evening in order to have a nice light on the river, less people and the possibility to shower at home soon after. Yes, because the water of the river does not look very clean!
5. Palm Forest
Whether you are heading to Magpupungko pool, Pacifico or Maasin River, you are bound to pass by the Coconut Trees View Deck, an unmissable spot 25 minutes from General Luna. Many scooters stop along the road to contemplate these palm trees as far as the eye can see! It is ideal to contemplate the sunset in Siargao.
6. Secret beaches of Siargao
Our friends who live on Siargao have told us their favourite place to relax on deserted beaches. You will find beautiful beaches, without any tourists, for miles! The waters are crystal clear on one side, and the palm trees are as far as the eye can see on the other… Paradise! Here is the GPS location of this place. You can walk to find your favourite spot.
7. Cloud 9
Cloud 9 is the HQ of the surfers of Siargao. It is the most typical and representative place of the island. It is a pontoon that allows surfers to go directly into the waves. Cloud 9 is also very popular for sunsets and sunrises. So, if you want to surf, meet beautiful surfers, or simply enjoy the scenery, go for it! ❤️
→ Update June 2023: Access to Cloud9 is now chargeable, 100 pesos per person.
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8. Sugba Lagoon
Yes, we told you, there are so many things to do in Siargao!
Unfortunately, we did not have the time to go to Sugba Lagoon but if you can, do not hesitate. It is our biggest regret. We will have to go back there, can you imagine?
Excursion to Sugba Lagoon
It is located quite far, it takes a good half day to explore this lagoon. You will find boats from General Luna for 1500 pesos (25€) per person.
When we left Siargao by plane, we could see the beauty of the place, seen from the sky. It is really a nugget, not yet too invaded by tourists.
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9. Enjoy the lively nightlife of Siargao
You cannot leave the island without experiencing a night out in Siargao. New places open regularly, but we will give you the current list of places to be. Every night a different bar comes to life and everyone gathers in the same place to party. The atmosphere is crazy!
Where to party in Siargao?
- Tuesday: LooseKeys before, then Rumbar (outdoor nightclub) until the end of the night
- Thursday: Skama Party at Baile
- Friday: LooseKeys before, then Viento Del Mar
- Saturday: Harana
- Sunday: Bravo and Kytias
Note that there is a great atmosphere every night at the Rumbar! Please do not take your scooters if you drink. Go out in tuktuk, it does not cost much and it will keep you alive. And of course: alcohol abuse is dangerous for your health.
Where to eat in Siargao?
In General Luna, there are many addresses for all styles.
Our favorite addresses in Siargao
- Shaka Café: if you like bowls, smoothies, banana bread or healthy food, you must stop at Shaka. Whether it is for breakfast, lunch or a snack, you’ll find what you’re looking for. This place is really nice! You will have your feet in the sand, a view on Cloud 9 and swings at your disposal. For the quality, the quantity and the beauty of the place, the bowls are not expensive: count 250 pesos (4,30€).
- Mama’s Grill: for a local and economical barbecue, this is the place to be. You select your food when you arrive among the fresh products of the moment and you go to your table with a number. The food is really good, the prices are very low but the service is slow and not very friendly. Be careful, plan to arrive early because it is crowded every night and it can get very long.
- Bulan Villas: this quality Italian restaurant offers excellent pizzas with fresh products. The prices are high, but the setting is nice and the service excellent. Expect to pay about 10€ for a pizza.
- Miguel’s Taqueria: probably the best tacos and burritos on the island! The prices are reasonable and the beer is served very cold.
For really local and cheap addresses, go to the port, right here. You will find small unpretentious restaurants, but the atmosphere is great. It is very good but be tolerant with the service which can be long and disorganized. The best restaurant is Lalay’s Grill (word from a local). After eating, you can try karaoke, a favorite activity in the Philippines. Small tips: rum and coke is 50 cents.
Where to sleep in Siargao?
The ideal area to stay in Siargao
If you want to be in the heart of the entertainment, enjoy island hopping, restaurants and shops, we recommend you to stay at General Luna. You will find many offers on Booking.
A small detail: Siargao Island is booming. This is great for the local economy, which means that prices are increasing year by year. In general, the price/quality ratio is not very good on the island. If you can afford it, do not hesitate to increase your budget per night to avoid bad surprises.
Good plan for accommodation in Siargao
We stayed in a quality Airbnb for 50€ per night. For the little story, we met the manager by chance who is none other than my former roommate in Austria! The world is really small. For your comfort, we highly recommend this en-right for its good value for money. We were really happy to find this more upscale accommodation for a few nights.
We remind you that you can take advantage of -34€ on Airbnb: information here
In addition to the warm welcome, Melrose Place’s rooms are equipped with air conditioning, wifi and a shared kitchen with fridge.
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