Siargao Travel Guide.

January 29, 2020

Philippines

Asia, Philippines, Travel Guides

Siargao is quickly becoming one of the most popular islands in the Philippines and for good reason! From the white sand beaches, hidden rock pools, delicious restaurants, and epic surf, Siargao is definitely one of the best and most beautiful islands in the Philippines. And Siargao is a surfers paradise with different beaches and surf breaks for every type of surfer. It actually hosts one of the biggest surf competitions in the world every year. The entire island is also covered in coconut palm trees and literally has more palm trees than anywhere else we’ve ever seen in our lives. Siargao is the perfect island to visit if you love laid-back, surfer, tropical island vibes.

A Complete Guide to Siargao:

What to Know Before You Go:

 How to Get to Siargao:

The easiest way to get to Siargao is by plane. You can fly from Cebu or Manila to the Del Carmen airport in Siargao. Book your flights here. From the airport, you can take a shared van to your hotel for about 200 pesos ($4 USD) per person.

Best Time of Year to Visit:

The best time to visit Siargao is from March to October during the dry season. The rainy season is from November to February, but even if you’re there during the dry season, it might still rain while you’re there. The annual surf competition happens every September, so it’ll likely be very crowded during that time, but also a really fun experience if you love surfing. Also, keep in mind, the dry season in Siargao is the opposite of a lot of the other popular islands in the Philippines (like El Nido and Coron).

Where to Stay:

General Luna is the town on the island with the best food, most places to stay, and a lot of the best things to do, so it’s the perfect place to stay in our opinion.

 

How Long to Stay: 

We suggest spending 3-4 days here at least, but you could easily spend a week (or more) on the island and not get bored.
 

How to Get Around:

The best way to get around the island is by motorbike. You can rent a bike from General Luna for about 400-600 pesos (about $8-12 USD) per day. You’ll get a bit of a discount if you rent for multiple days. We rented a bike for three days and paid 350 pesos (about $6.50 USD) per day. A lot of bike rentals don’t have helmets, so make sure where you ask if they have helmets available for you before you rent. If you don’t want to rent a motorbike, you can also join tours or take tricycles around the island.

Wifi & SIM Cards:

Wifi on the island is very limited. There are a few hotels and restaurants that do have wifi, but it’s very weak and not super reliable. The best wifi we found on the island was at Kalinaw Resort where we stayed. If you want to stay connected while you’re on the island, we suggest getting a SIM card at the airport when you arrive in the Philippines.

ATMs: 

Since almost everywhere in the Philippines is cash only, you’re going to want to have cash on you at all times. There are a few ATMs in General Luna, so you can pull out cash while you’re on the island.

wHAT TO DO:

Massin River Rope Swing Bent Palm:

One of the palm trees over the Maasin River is bent and the locals have turned it into the ultimate rope swing. It’s a super fun to go swing or watch the locals jump and flip into the river. Go early in the morning to avoid the crowds and get photos in this picturesque spot.

Swing Fees: 10 pesos ($0.20 USD) entrance fee per person, 20 pesos ($0.40 USD) per person to swing, 20 pesos ($0.40 USD) per person to use the raft

Rent Bikes and Explore:

One of our favorite things to do while traveling is to just get lost and explore and Siargao is the perfect island to do that. Take a day to ride around the island and find all the hidden beaches, coconut palm forests, and secret natural swimming pools. Keep in mind, there aren’t a lot of gas stations on the island, but there are several stands on the side of the road that sell gas in old glass Coke bottles. One liter of gas costs about 60 pesos ($1.20 USD). If you’re running low on gas, fill up while you’re near a tourist spot, so you don’t run out.

Bike Rental Fee: About 400 pesos ($8 USD) per day

Famous Palm Tree Overlook:

 

If you rent a bike, you probably won’t miss this, but on your way from General Luna to the Maasin River Rope Swing, you’ll pass by this overlook with palm trees for literally as far as the eye can see. It’s so beautiful and seriously amazing to see that many palm trees all together in one place.

Fees: Free

Coconut Road:

 One of the best parts of Siargao is how many coconut palm trees are all over. There is one spot on the road a few meters down from the Maasin River Bridge that is completely lined with palm trees on both sides, and it’s amazing to drive down and take pictures of. If you have a drone, put it up for a shot here! Be careful while taking photos here, because this is a road that cars, tricycles, and trucks drive on regularly. We suggest coming early in the morning to avoid traffic and capture that morning light.
 

Fees: Free

Surf at Cloud Nine:

 Surfing at Cloud Nine is an absolute must while you’re in Siargao. Even if you’re not a surfer, this is definitely something you should try and do while you’re here. Siargao is famous for its surf, and Cloud Nine is a unique spot because there are waves for every type of surfer. Whether you’ve never surfed before or you’re an experienced surfer, there are waves for you at Cloud Nine. And even if you don’t want to surf, Cloud Nine is a fun place to go, hang out at the beach, and enjoy watching the other surfers. It’s also a great place to watch the sunset.

 

Fees: You can rent a surfboard for an hour or the entire day. There are a lot of different stands that rent surfboards, so you can negotiate the price, but it should cost you about 200-300 pesos ($4-6 USD) for an hour or 500-600 pesos ($10-12 USD) for the day. You can also pay for an hour lesson for about 1000-1200 pesos ($22-24 USD). It costs 50 pesos ($1 USD) per person to go on the watch tower. But it’s free to visit and sit on the beach.

Boat Tour to Sugba Lagoon, Kawhagan Island, and Pamomoan Beach:

 Just like all the islands in the Philippines, one of the best things to do in Siargao is to take a boat tour to the other tiny islands off the coast. There are a few different island hopping tour options, but we chose the one that takes you to Sugba Lagoon, Kawhagan Island, and Pamomoan Beach and loved it. Sugba Lagoon is absolutely beautiful and it’s also famous for its jellyfish that don’t sting! We paid 1800 pesos (about $35 USD) per person for an all day tour with lunch. Our tour ended up only having two other people in it, but honestly, it was still pretty expensive. We recommend going directly to the Del Carmen port and then booking from there for a better price.

Fees: 1800 pesos ($35 USD) per person

Boat Tour to Guyam, Daku, and Naked Islands:

Another popular boat tour is to the Guyam, Daku, and Naked Islands. They’re all pretty small with stunning white sand beaches and absolutely beautiful crystal clear blue water surrounding them. This is the perfect boat tour if you want to relax on beautiful beaches and swim in some of the prettiest waters you’ve ever seen.

Fee: 1200-1800 pesos ($28-35 USD) per person 

Pacifico Beach:

If you’re up for a little adventure, head to Pacifico Beach. It’s about an hour bike ride from General Luna, but the beach is absolutely beautiful, and there’s hardly anyone there, except maybe a few surfers. Pack a picnic lunch, and it’s a great place to hang for a few hours and relax in the sun.

Fee: Free

Magpupungko Rock Pools:

 The Magpupungko Rock Pools in Siargao are one of the most unique things we’ve ever experienced. You basically swim in these hidden tide pools that can only be reached during low tide. Be sure to check the tide before you go (or ask any of the locals), because you can only see them and swim in them during low tide. It’s a popular spot with the locals too, so it gets pretty busy (especially on weekends). If you keep walking past the first “pool,” you’ll find a lot of other pools that are less busy. We walked all the way to what we thought was the end and had a little pool and beach completely to ourselves while we were there.

Fee: 5 pesos ($0.10 USD) road toll, 20 ($0.40 USD) pesos parking fee, and 50 pesos ($1 USD) per person entrance fee

where to eat:

One of the best parts of Siargao is all of the delicious food. Siargao is growing very quickly and, as a result, there are a lot of new restaurants popping up. It has a lot of trendy restaurants with all sorts of different options no matter what kind of diet you follow. We loved trying all the different restaurants! Here are some of our favorites: 

Shaka Cafe:

 If you love smoothie bowls, you have to go to Shaka Cafe. The fresh fruit can’t be beat, and they decorate their bowls in the most beautiful way. It’s a great place to grab breakfast or a snack while before you head to Cloud Nine.

Wok:

This place is amazing. It’s a very small little shack on the side of the road, and it had just opened when we were there, but it was so busy every night that we stopped the final night and we were so glad we did. Get the fried noodles with veggies. 

Buddha’s Thai Cuisine:

This Thai restaurant is absolutely delicious and has a great vibe. There’s plenty of seating, so it’s a great place to sit back, relax, and enjoy a delicious meal.

Miguel’s Taqueria:

You might not expect to eat great Mexican food in the Philippines, but Miguels will make you think otherwise. The burritos and tacos are the perfect post-surf meal. This is one of the more affordable options in General Luna. 

Sushi Nori:

 If you’re looking for unique and delicious sushi, Sushi Nori is the perfect place to go. Ryan loved the rolls and sushi wraps from here. It’s a little pricier than your standard restaurant in the Philippines, but if you want sushi, this is a great place to eat.

Halika Gelato:

 Halika Gelato has delicious gelato. They take pride in their gelato and even have an explanation of the difference between gelato and ice cream. Halika has so many delicious flavors and my only regret is only going once the whole time we were there.

Bakeries:

Don’t skip the bakeries when you’re in Siargao (or anywhere in the Philippines for that matter)! The bakeries are so delicious and cheap. They make fresh bread and baked goods every morning, so the earlier you get there, the more options you’ll have. The coconut and chocolate breads were our favorites. 

HEADED TO THE PHILIPPINES? DON’T SKIP EL NIDO.

where to stay:

Kalinaw Resort:

 We loved absolutely everything about our stay at Kalinaw Resort. From the friendly staff to the incredible interior design, it’s a must stay during your time in the Siargao. There aren’t a lot of luxury resorts in the Philippines, but this is one of them and it’s absolutely worth it. Kalinaw has four deluxe villas with their own private infinity pools. Each villa is tucked in between lush greenery and palms making them feel very secluded and private. The entire time we were there, we kept saying we wanted a house exactly like their villas, because everything was so aesthetically pleasing. The restaurant is also delicious and has the best pizza on the island! Make sure to make reservations for dinner on the beach one night. Eating under the stars with the sand beneath your feet is definitely a moment to remember. Kalinaw is located right in General Luna, which makes it really easy to get to all of the best restaurants and shopping on the island. Kalinaw is truly the perfect place to stay on the island and was our favorite place we stayed at on all of the islands during our time in the Philippines! We truly can’t recommend it enough!

BOOK YOUR STAY AT KALINAW RESORT HERE!

PLANNING A TRIP TO THE PHILIPPINES? HERE ARE 10 THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE VISITING THE PHILIPPINES!

 What to Pack:

 

 

 

JavaScript is currently disabled in this browser. Reactivate it to view this content.

pin it:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *