What to do in Siargao Island: full guide
Siargao, also known as the “Surfing Capital of the Philippines” is a small island near the coast of Surigao del Norte, in the easternmost part of the Philippines, just 45 minutes by plane from Cebu.
It immediately presents itself as one of those islands where you would like to stay forever.
An intense blue sky that is the backdrop to the incredible tropical vegetation, surfboards on every corner of the street and that perfect relaxing atmosphere.
Siargao became world famous after the famous surfer photographer John Callahan mentioned this island in the 90s.
This led to an increase in tourists who fell in love with the fascinating atmosphere of this tropical island.
How to get there
The fastest way to get to Siargao is by air, taking a flight from Manila or Cebu, arriving directly in Siargao at the Sayak airport.
Alternatively, you can reach Siargao by sea from Cebu (12 hours of travel) or from Manila (30 hours of travel).
Ferries with frequent departures will take you to Surigao, from there you will have to take one of the many boats that will take you to Siargao.
What to see and what to do in Siargao Island
The most “visitable” part of the island is certainly the east coast, because this is where all the beaches and areas for surfing are concentrated.
On the west coast, however, there are only small villages and mangroves.
There is no beach and it is therefore more complicated to swim or to be comfortable sunbathing.
That said, here is a list of the must-see places in Siargao:
Cloud 9 and the surf
Cloud 9 is one of the favorite areas for surfers, one of the biggest waves develops here, perfect for professional surfers.
It is not a suitable area for first-time surfers, but there are other spots where beginners can practice.
The nearby Quicksilver point is indeed perfect for those who want to try surfing for the first time, as well as Jacking Horse or Cementary (however known mainly by the locals and more difficult to reach because it is necessary to take a boat).
You can choose to rent just the surfboard (the cost varies from 250 to 350 pesos for a day) or take part in a lesson with the instructor (the cost goes up a bit and varies from 400 to 500 pesos and usually you stay with the instructor for an hour or two).
The Cloud 9/Quicksilver area is quite crowded and you will find dozens of Filipino surfer boys who will propose you to take a surfing lesson with them.
However, it should be remembered that you cannot surf at all times of the day.
It all depends on the high or low tide: if there is low tide it is not easy because, first of all, there are no waves, and moreover, the water level is so low that you risk hitting rocks or corals if you fall off the board (and for a beginner this is easy to do), it all depends on the tide.
Tayangban Cave Pool
It is a quarry that can be covered in about 20/30 minutes, but the interesting thing is that you go through it completely in the dark.
With a guide you enter the quarry and cross it with the help of torches and ropes.
Once out of the quarry, you will find yourself in front of a natural pool where you can swim and where you can dive from a rock 2/3 meters high.
The entrance fee is 100 pesos and this point is located near the Pilar area/village.
Pacifico beach and Bay Bay beach
Going north you reach the beaches of Pacifico and Bay Bay.
They are areas where you can surf (there are areas suitable for experienced surfers and areas for beginners) and where you can enjoy a beautiful sunny day lying on the white sand.
The beaches are practically deserted and Filipino children and dogs will always keep you company, who seem to be the guardians of the beach, it is a very quiet place to spend a nice day.
For lunch, you can stop for a meal at one of the local restaurants along the way.
Tak Tak falls
To the north, not far from Alegria, are the Tak Tak Falls, a point of interest very popular with Filipinos and tourists.
You can also get there by motorbike and just walk 5 minutes from the parking lot to reach this natural swimming pool where you can dive near the main waterfall.
It is the perfect place to escape the explosive heat of the sun at midday and take a refreshing bath in the water of the waterfall.
Siargao tours and excursions
The tours and excursions of Siargao can be booked in any tourist agency, there are many so you will not have difficulty finding them.
Here is a small guide to the main tours and excursions:
Sugba Lagoon is a small lagoon located on the island of Caob off the northwest side of Siargao.
The water of the lagoon is an incredible shade of blue-green and the surrounding hills make it a paradise for photography, it can be reached from General Luna by first taking a bus and then a boat to Caob Island.
There is a 2 storey restaurant where you can relax in the shade and have lunch, a small trampoline and facilities where you can rent a raft, kayak, paddleboard or a small boat.
You can also take part in a day trip with the help of a local agency, or you can rent a private boat.
The excursion also includes some stops in other small islands and beaches: Kawhagan Island, Pamomoan Beach and the Mangrove forest.
The lagoon can get crowded at times and the staff may stop allowing boats to leave, so if you can,arrive early! Be told the best order for making stops during the day to avoid crowds.
Naked, Daku and Guyam Islands
Three paradisiacal islands where you can swim, sunbathe, and take snorkeling.
They can be reached by boat from General Luna (1500 php the private boat, if there are more people on board the cost is divided).
Naked Island is a tiny island where there is only sand and nothing else, it seems to be on the set of Lost.
Get off the boat, you can travel the whole island on foot in 10 minutes, take a dip in the crystal clear water and get back on the boat.
Daku and Guyam Island are larger, there are numerous palm trees where you can protect yourself from the scorching sun.
Here you can have lunch with fresh fish and excellent mango under one of the many famous cottages.
If you take the excursion by private boat, ask the guide to stop at the point called the Secret Garden, here you can jump off the boat, snorkel and see beautiful fish and coral.
Here there are some activities that you can do in Siargao Island, click the images below and check your best one
Where to sleep in Siargao Island
General Luna is the largest and most touristic town on the island, it is located in the southeastern tip of the island and is the one most frequented by tourists because right here is the most famous point of Siargao: Cloud 9, which is one of the favorite areas for surfers.
We recommend booking a hotel in the General Luna area, here you can choose between a beach resort or a quiet hotel in the town.
Here there is a list of the best accommodations you can find in Siargao Island acoording to Agoda users, thanks also to our experience. Click the images below and check the best rates and availanility
Info and utility
Here are some important tips if you want to go on a trip to Siargao:
Currency exchange: we recommend that you exchange money at the various exchange offices located in the city so that you can compare them and choose the most convenient one.
Remember that changing them at the airport is always less convenient, so as soon as you arrive, change only the necessary ones for the first day.
Tourist visa: the tourist visa for the Philippines depends on where you come from, for example, for European citizens for the first 30 days of stay in the country, they do not need a visa.
For more information, visit the Philippine government’s official website HERE.
Medical insurance: medical insurance is absolutely recommended, since private healthcare in the Philippines is very expensive.
We are partners with World Nomads, leader for the international travel insurance, get a free quote by clicking HERE.
Telephone Card: it is possible to buy a telephone card (50 pesos only) as soon as you arrive at the airport, with these cards you have to check for the best internet promo between Globe or Smart.
Transport rental: we recommend renting a bicycle or a scooter in order to be able to move independently.
Let’s start here to discover our tours to Palawan and other amazing islands of the Philippines!