A 3-Day Guide to Siargao
This is the main place to surf (or at least try to) in the Philippines!
I just got back from a trip to the beautiful Siargao Island! I already want to go back and stay for much longer. Add Siargao to your must-see list now while in the Philippines! You can definitely do all that I did in 2 days but you will be on a serious time crunch.
How I (we) got there: Driving with my family from Gingoog City to Surigao City (a long 205KM drive) then taking a 2.5/3 hour long and bumpy boat ride to Siargao Island from Surigao City to Dapa Port. The boat is not the most comfortable ride that you’ll ever take but it’s definitely worth it if you’re on a budget. You can actually take a Bachelor Express bus from any major city in Mindanao to Surigao City but that is obviously the longer route with more stops than driving!
From Dapa you would then take a tricycle or habal-habal to General Luna, Siargao about a 20 minute ride away.
Where to stay:
We stayed at Romantic Beach Villas, which yes I guess it is a weird place to stay with family but hey… it’s what was available and on our budget when I booked last minute. We really only used it for a place to shower and sleep anyway. There was too much to explore on the island to really worry about that and we were tight on time. We also visited another place to stay called Kermit Surf Resort to eat at there as it was just across the road from RBV. Kermit seemed like the ultimate place to stay for surf/yoga bums! It had an awesome “chill-out” lounge zone and their food was delicious.
Another accommodation option?
I loved Isla Cabana and Siargao Bleu. Isla Cabana Resort was right next door to Romantic Beach Villas and it’s definitely luxurious at a higher rate. Siargao Bleu is touted as the top resort in all of Siargao and it’s tough to disagree, if you are looking to spend a lot of $$$ and relax. Views from both are great but pretty much all the beachfront resorts are on the same beach so you aren’t missing much if you can’t stay at a higher priced place. There are plenty of other options as well check them out on agoda.com or booking.com
So let’s get started on the fun stuff:
Where to go and how to get around:
Rent a motorbike or scooter for 250PHP for the whole day and ride it around the island! You can also ride in a tricycle or a habal-habal for very cheap as well.
Magpupunko Pool: We took our motorbikes to Magpupunko Pool (say that 3 times fast!) about an easy 30-40 minute drive from General Luna. It was amazing, I’ve never seen anything like it before, especially something that occurs naturally.
During low tide, Magpupunko is revealed with all the sea creatures that are trapped from the tide in it. This is a “living aquarium” as the signage says, but aren’t all aquariums living? Anyway, don’t forget to bring a snorkel when you visit so you can see it all! Go early in the day or later in the afternoon before high tide comes back to cover it up and to avoid the strong sun.
You can speak to any local fisherman along the beach and see if they offer island hopping with their personal boat. It shouldn’t cost you more than 1500 PHP for your group. They usually will take you to the 3 islands right off General Luna’s coast for the whole day or however long you wish to stay on each island.
They will be able to take you pretty much anywhere, but the typical three islands to visit are Naked Island, Daku Island, and Guyam Island. Naked Island is actually really bare and has no shade so bring that sunblock! The water surrounding all three is a clear blue and is gorgeous to snorkel and swim around.
Cloud 9: I’m really not a surfer but I am so, so glad I tried it again after 2 actual-flop attempts in South Africa. This time it cost total 500 PHP per person for surfboard rental & 1 hour of instruction (honestly a steal). My instructor was encouraging and hilarious! I was actually able to stand up on my 2nd try and beyond that! Now I can say I surfed in Cloud 9, the premier spot to surf in the Philippines. This is definitely a must-do, even if you’re scared the local instructors really know what they’re doing.
Beach time: Feel free to just zone out on the long beachfront in General Luna with fresh buko juice straight from a coconut. You can always rent a stand-up paddleboard or even ride a jetski if you get bored, which I doubt you will!
Siargao felt like an almost untouched paradise. It was not at all like my experience in Boracay, a few years ago. I’m worried that when I get the chance to come back someday, it’ll be overly commercialized and insanely touristy, but so far it looks like Siargao is still an uncommon and stunning place to visit!
Thanks for reading!