Situated in the province of Surigao del Norte, this small teardrop shaped island has become a hub for tourists from abroad, as well as adventure-seekers from the Philippines, just like us. Also known as the “Surfing Capital of the Philippines,” surfers from different parts of the world fly in yearly to join the competitions held during the surfing season.
However, the island doesn’t only boast of its surfing waves. There’s a lot more to it.
Let me take you around and show you the places to see and things to do when in Siargao. Brace yourselves. A long post is coming.
Of course, we tried surfing (or longboarding) during our stay. It was top priority. We signed up for surfing lessons at Hippies for Php 500/hour.
NEW UPDATE: There’s a new surf board rental shop named Oh Wow Surf and it’s just beside Cafe Loka. Their locally made boards are so much better! 😉
If you opt to surf without an instructor, you can also just rent a board. I’m not sure about the rate, but I know it’s way cheaper.
Did I learn anything? Maybe. I could stand up and ride the board towards the shallowest part of the beach, but the big waves still scare the crap out of me. I got multiple bruises because of them.
It was fun (and very exhausting) while it lasted. But it’s one of those things that would make you want to come back. So, yes, we’re definitely going back.
WATCH OTHER PEOPLE SURF
What’s a better way to learn than by observing the pros, right? During our longboarding lessons, I kept on getting distracted by the pro surfers.
I just wanted to watch them do their thing the whole time. But of course, I paid for my hourly lessons, so I had to do my own thing too. Haha.
The Cloud 9 Boardwalk tower is the best spot to watch the surfers, and even the sunset!
Make the most out of your stay in Siargao by going on an island hopping trip! The three islands – Naked Island, Daku Island, and Guyam Island – each have their different beauty and atmosphere.
The islands aren’t that far away from each other, so hopping from one island to another doesn’t take very long. And because of that, you can maximize your time in each miniature paradise.
Find out which island is my favorite by checking out my Siargao island hopping guide here.
MAGPUPUNGKO ROCK POOLS
Magpupungko Beach is situated in Pilar, which is about an hour away from Cloud 9, where most resorts, hostels, and B&Bs are. It is famous for its natural rock pools.
We actually went here twice because during the first time, the tide was already high when we arrived. And people are not allowed to swim in the rock pools during high tide, except for the locals who know what they’re doing, because of the strong current. I know, we should’ve checked the tide schedule first. We meant to, but we forgot.
NEW UPDATE: Check out my newer post about Magpupungko Rock Pools here. It has more photos of the whole place because the weather was finally clear during our third visit!
The photo above was taken during high tide. You can hardly spot the rock pools.
If you opt to visit Magpupungko on a guided tour or on a habal-habal, it would cost you up to P800-P1000 per person. However, there is a cheaper option! Rent your own motorcycle for only P350-P500 per day. This was very convenient for us since we had to make the same trip twice.
GO ON A ROAD TRIP
Since it was a long drive back (from Magpupungko to Cloud 9), we decided to make a few stopovers and bask in the beauty of the province.
Somewhere along the road, we passed by an area with mangroves. Surigao, in general, is very abundant in mangroves. If you’re traveling to Siargao by plane, you’ll see this:
This is what I love about province life – no heavy traffic! Can I live here instead? lol
What’s great about renting your own motorcycle in Siargao is that you can go anywhere, and stop for pictures whenever you want to.
The island is so beautiful, and there are still a lot that we haven’t seen.
THE PAGHUNGAWAN MARSH
In the middle of our road trip, we also dropped by Paghungawan Marsh. It is very easy to spot since it is located along the road. If you’re heading to Magpupungko, you’ll see it.
The place kinda looked deserted, but it still had a nice view. It is a Philippine Crocodile Habitat, as per the signage, but we didn’t see any crocs when we were there.
I’m not sure if they still have the adventure tour, which I saw on the Facebook page, because the page seems quiet. But I would love to try it next time if they’re still offering it!
Siargao has a lot of foodie spots! Whether you’re vegan or a full-fledged carnivore, you’ll surely find your new island favorite. Check out my short list of where to eat here.
WATCH THE SUNSET
Some of the good spots to watch the sunset that I know of are in Daku Island, Guyam Island, and Cloud 9.
The boyfriend and I love sunsets, as well as sunrises. When working on our itinerary, I always include “watch the sunrise/sunset” like it’s a mandatory activity. Haha!
The thing I like most about being away from the city is the minimal light pollution, and sometimes, even the lack of it. Looking up and seeing a blanket of stars above me gives me such a magical feeling.
We were only able to do this during our last night. We stayed in Arka Hayahay and since they still had lights on at 3AM, we weren’t able to really get the results we wanted.
However, it was still a nice experience to see that many stars again! Haha.
Tip: A waaaay better spot for stargazing is in Cloud 9. You can even play with time lapse and capture the milky way!
So, that ends my Siargao travel diary. The beautiful island has definitely become my favorite among the places that we’ve been to. I miss it every day. And I can’t wait to hop on a plane and go there again. I even want to live there. GOD. HELP.
NEW UPDATES [July 2017]
TAKE A DAY TRIP TO SUGBA LAGOON
Sugba Lagoon, also known as Caob Lagoon, is located in the municipality of Del Carmen, particularly in the middle of the Philippines’ second largest mangrove system. You can explore the lagoon on a stand up paddle board, snorkel and marvel at the beautiful corals, swim with stingless jellyfishes, jump from a platform, and enjoy a feast at the two-storey house.
Read more about it here.
DRIVE UP TO PACIFICO BEACH
Aside from the long strip of white sand shore, Pacifico is also one of Siargao’s surf spots. It’s located in the municipality of San Isidro, which is more than an hour away from General Luna, but the long trip will be worth it when you see how beautiful and serene the place is compared to the crowded Cloud 9. Plus, you can have a good hearty meals at Pacifico Beach Resort!
Have you been to Siargao? Tell me about your experience! 🙂
Just a girl in her late twenties trying to find her way through life. She loves to write, eat, take photos, and freedive. She used to travel a lot and hopes she could do that again when this global pandemic is over.