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Siargao Island Travel Guide: What to Do + Resorts + COVID-19 Travel Requirements
Clear waters of Guyam Island in Siargao, Philippines

Siargao Island Travel Guide: What to Do + Resorts + COVID-19 Travel Requirements

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Cloud 9 in Siargao, Philippines

Plan your trip to Siargao and find out for yourself why travelers are falling in love with this surfing spot in the Philippines. Learn about the best time to go, top things to do aside from surfing and top tourist spots to visit, best hotels and resorts to stay in. Read this travel guide to help you plan the best trip.

Siargao, a teardrop-shaped small island located at the northeastern coast of Mindanao, is known as the Surfing Capital of the Philippines. In 2019, Siargao was named by Conde Nast Traveler readers as the Best Island in the World



Cloud 9, one of the surfing spots in Siargao, is the reason why this laidback island came into the radar of international travelers. For non-surfers, Siargao can also be a good destination for a much-needed island getaway.

There are white sand beaches, picturesque islands, blue-green waters perfect for snorkeling and diving, waterfalls, lagoons, and caves. 

The island also boasts delicious local and international cuisine for every discerning palate. Travelers usually stay in General Luna for the surf spots, but Del Carmen is also getting more popular because of the Sugba Lagoon.

Bookmark this Siargao travel guide for everything you need to know when planning the ultimate getaway. 

Siargao Tourist Requirements & Guidelines | COVID-19 New Normal

Starting November 23, 2020, travelers from the Philippines can once again discover Siargao’s surfing sites, majestic beaches, and other scenic attractions. With the threat of COVID-19 pandemic, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and the Local Government Unit (LGU) has announced a set of guidelines and tourist requirements to follow before you fully enjoy your stay at the Surfing Capital of the Philippines.

1. Who are allowed to go to Siargao?

Siargao is open to residents and domestic tourists in the Philippines starting November 23, 2020 provided they have a negative RT-PCR test result taken 48 hours before arrival, a valid identification card, an e-Health pass, a confirmed booking in an accommodation duly accredited by Department of Tourism (DOT) for at least 5 days, roundtrip plane tickets, and a detailed travel itinerary.

For those coming from Surigao Del Norte, they must submit a valid ID, an e-Health pass, barangay certification indicating the tourist doesn’t have COVID-19 or is not in close contact with someone who has it, and a confirmed accommodation booking duly accredited by the DOT.

2. What are the entry points in Siargao?

Flights to Siargao will resume on December 1, 2020. Domestic tourists can enter Siargao through Sayak Airport (Siargao) and Surigao Airport. Only 1 round trip flight per day is allowed regardless of origin.

Here are the routes available starting December 1, 2020: 

  • Manila to Siargao
  • Cebu to Siargao
  • Clark to Siargao
  • Davao to Siargao
  • Cebu to Surigao
  • Manila to Surigao

Other entry points in Siargao include Eva Macapagal Passenger Terminal and Lipata Ferry Terminal.

3. What travel requirements do you need to prepare?

Here are the requirements that you need to prepare before going to Siargao: 

Secure a negative RT-PCR test result

The IATF has mandated a test-before-travel requirement. All domestic tourists must provide a negative RT-PCR test within 48 hours prior to travel to Siargao. Check out the list of accredited laboratories here.

If the RT-PCR test is taken more than 48 hours of departure from the point of origin, a negative antigen swab test result will be required upon arrival at the cost of the tourist.

Valid Identification Card and e-Health Pass

Tourists planning to visit Siargao must provide a valid identification card, along with an e-Health pass for contact tracing. The e-Health pass can be obtained through https://covid19.ssct.edu.ph/healthform.

At least 5 Days Confirmed Booking of Accommodation

Tourists must have a confirmed booking at a DOT-accredited accommodation for at least 5 days.

Transportation from the Airport/Seaport

Upon arrival at either Sayak Airport (Siargao) or Surigao Airport, tourists must present the necessary documents and be transported directly to the accommodation via duly accredited vehicles only. For guests wanting to be transported on a private vehicle, a clearance must be obtained from the Task Force to ensure compliance of the health and safety guidelines.

For those coming from the Eva Macapagal Passenger Terminal or Lipata Ferry Terminal, complete travel requirements must be presented before getting transported to the chosen accommodation via a duly accredited vehicle. A clearance must also be obtained for private vehicles.

Observe strict quarantine

Tourists must comply with the strict quarantine protocols until their arrival. Some of the mandatory guidelines include proper usage of face masks, face shields, observing proper social distancing, and regular washing of hands.

4. What are the guidelines and protocols to follow when you're in Siargao?

Once you're in Siargao, make sure you follow these safety protocols:

Minimum Health Standards: Mask and face shield

Tourists must wear face masks, face shields, wash hands frequently and observe proper social distancing especially in public areas. This is to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

No Quarantine Required

Tourists coming to Siargao are no longer required to undergo quarantine upon arrival, but they are required to undergo a Rapid Antigen Test 7 days after their RT-PCR test at their own cost.

Dining Protocols

There are restaurants in Siargao that offer dine-in facilities. Only DOT-accredited restaurants with Certifcate to Operate (CAO) can operate. Food establishments and restaurants must comply with the health and safety protocols imposed by the government while guests must wear face masks, face shields, and observe social distancing to fight the spread of COVID-19 disease.

Observe Curfew 

A curfew will be enforced from 11 PM to 4 AM

5. What activities can you do in Siargao during quarantine?

Don't miss the chance to enjoy the tourist spots of Siargao, which includes surfing spots, enchanting lagoons, powder-white beaches, and more.

Surfing and water sports - reduced capacity

Tourists are allowed to participate in popular leisure activities like surfing, kayaking, leisure swimming, and more but at a reduced capacity.

Travel health protocols

Tourists must follow the health protocols such as wearing face masks, face shields, and observing proper social distancing in these tourist attractions.

Best Time to Go to Siargao

The best time to plan your Siargao trip depends on your purpose: surfing or island or beach lounging. If surfing is your main agenda for traveling to Siargao, then plan your trip sometime between July to November.

These months are the peak surfing season in Siargao. For non-surfers, any time between March to September is ideal. It is sunny, so the waters are clearer. 

Surfing Season | July to November

The swell and wind conditions during these months will give you the best waves to ride. The annual Siargao International Surfing Cup is also held every September. It's a good event to catch for those who want to see the best in the sport compete against each other.

Girl during surfing season in Siargao, Philippines

Dry Season | March to September

Aside from great waves, Siargao also boasts beautiful beaches and islets that any beach lover can’t resist. If you prefer to go swimming or go on island-hopping trips in Siargao, March to September are the ideal months to go. These months receive the least rainfall, so you’ll be able to fully-enjoy any water activities. 

Clear waters of Alegria in Siargao, Philippines

Climate and Weather

The temperature in Siargao varies very little throughout the year. May, the hottest month of the year, has an average high of 32°C and a low of 26°C. January, on the other hand, the coldest month of the year, with an average low of 24°C and a high of 29°C.

Rain falls throughout the year in Siargao. However, May receives the least rain, while March to September has the least chance of rainfall. On the other hand, January receives the most rain, and November through January are the months with the highest chance of rainfall.

Here's an overview of the average monthly Siargao temperature and rainfall:

Siargao Island Travel Guide: What to Do + Resorts + COVID-19 Travel Requirements

Siargao Island Travel Guide: What to Do + Resorts + COVID-19 Travel Requirements

Source: Weather Sparks

What to Wear

During the hot season, it's best to wear light, comfortable clothes as the weather can get hot and humid. Additionally, bring beach necessities such as sunscreen, swimsuit, rashguard, shirts, shorts, slippers, eyewear such as shades and goggles, towels, and a hat or cap.

Regardless of the season, make sure to bring an umbrella with you. It is to protect you from the heat of the sun and the unexpected downpour of rain.

How to Get to Siargao

Daku Island in Siargao, Philippines

Traveling by plane to Siargao is the most efficient way to reach the island. You can fly to Siargao directly from the main jump-off points in Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao – three primary island groups of the Philippine archipelago. You can also choose to fly to Surigao City and then travel via ferry to Siargao Island.

By Flights

Siargao has its own airport, the Sayak Airport, located in the municipality of Del Carmen. Sayak Airport is only connected to domestic destinations.

Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air, and Skyjet have regular direct flights to Siargao from Manila, Cebu, and Davao. It's best to book months in advance, as prices can skyrocket the closer you get to your departure date.

If you’re coming from outside of the Philippines, you will have to travel to either Manila-Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Luzon, Mactan-Cebu International Airport in the Visayas, or  Surigao Airport and Davao International Airport in Mindanao.

The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Airport in Luzon would be your jumpoff point if you're connecting flight is in Manila. NAIA is connected to several international destinations in North East and Southeast Asia, Middle East, Oceania, North America, and Europe. From NAIA, you can fly directly to Sayak Airport in Siargao.

Mactan-Cebu International Airport at nightPhoto by Mactan-Cebu International Airport

You also have the choice to fly to the Mactan-Cebu International airport in the Visayas. You can then catch a flight to Siargao Island from there. Cebu is closer to Siargao than Manila so travel time is shorter and plane fares are most likely lower. Mactan-Cebu airport is connected to 21 international destinations.

Another option is to fly to Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao, commonly referred to as the Davao International Airport in Mindanao. This airport is connected to Asian destinations like Hongkong, Singapore, and Taiwan. You can ride a plane to Siargao from Davao airport.

By Flights and Ferry

Some travelers prefer to fly from Cebu to Surigao City and take the ferry to Siargao Island from Surigao Port. This is a considerably cheaper route than flying directly to Siargao from Cebu.

From Surigao City

You can fly to Surigao Airport from Mactan-Cebu airport, and then catch a ferry heading to Siargao at the Surigao Port. Cebu Pacific has direct flights from Cebu to Surigao City.

There are daily fast craft trips from Surigao Port to Dapa in Siargao Island. Evaristo & Sons Sea Transport and Atlantis Yohan Express are the primary shipping lines with ferries plying Surigao City to Siargao Island every day. 

Fast craft trips by Evaristo & SonsPhoto by Evaristo & Sons

Evaristo & Sons fast crafts have trips to Siargao at 10:00 AM and 3:30 PM, while Atlantis Yohan Express ferries leave for Siargao at 6:0 AM and 10:30 AM.  The ferry trip typically takes approximately 2 hours.

Getting Around Siargao

Scenic view of coconuts along main road of Siargao Island, Philippines

You will have many options for getting around Siargao. Aside from local public transportation like the habal-habal (motorcycle), tricycle, and jeepney, you can also rent a private car or even a tuk-tuk!

Depending on where you're staying and your budget for commuting, it's essential to take note of these following types of transportation for a more convenient getaway.

Habal-Habal (Motorcycle)

If you're traveling solo or in a small group, you can hire local motorcycle drivers to give you a lift or drive them yourself. These motorcycles for hire are locally known as habal-habal. It's a popular mode of transportation in many small islands in the Philippines, especially in the southern provinces. Riding a habal-habal around the island can be quite an adventure. You can hire or rent one to go around the island.

Mini-Multicab Rental

If you’re only traveling with a small group of three to four, a van rental may not be economical. A good alternative would be renting a mini-multicab. Binggo offers the first and only private mini multicabs for rent in Siargao.

Mini-multicabs combine the convenience and comfort of a van rental with the excitement and immersive experience of exploring the island in an open-air vehicle. You can tour the island on your own or get a driver to take you around.

Van or Car Rental

If you prefer to get around the island on a private vehicle, you can rent a car or van. There are several car and van rental companies in Siargao. You can hire a private car or van with a driver for your trip.

It is more convenient, especially when you're traveling with a group and doing an inland tour of Siargao. There are also car rentals in Siargao that allow you to drive the vehicle yourself.

If you arrived in the Siargao via plane you’ll be landing in Sayak Airport in Del Carmen. To get to General Luna you can catch a van for rent parked outside the airport. You can share the van with other travelers who are also on their way to General Luna. 

Tricycle

Tricycles for hire in the IslandMotorized tricycles, or simply tricycles, are public utility vehicles that are usually made locally by building a sidecar affixed to a motorcycle. They can accommodate 2-4 passengers only.  Riding a tricycle is a great way to explore the island. Since it’s open-air, it can be quite an immersive trip.

You can find tricycles anywhere in Siargao. You can hire a one like a taxicab, or charter to take you to Siargao’s tourist spots for the whole day. This type of arrangement is tagged as a "special trip," and so will cost you considerably more than a regular tricycle trip.

Where to Stay in Siargao

Nay Palad Resort in Siargao Island, Philippines

You have a lot of options when it comes to accommodation in Siargao. If you’re on a budget, Siargao hostels and homestay lodgings are your best bet. If you’re traveling with family or you prefer private rooms that are reasonably priced, you’ll find that mid-range Siargao hotels will fit your needs.

On the other hand, if you’re after an ultra-luxe experience, there are several luxury resorts in Siargao Island that will cater to your creature comforts.

Types of Accommodations

Depending on your budget and preference, it's essential to research Siargao beach resort and other types of accommodations before your visit. Here are some of the usual accommodations in Siargao. Be sure to check if this accommodates the number of people you are traveling with. 

Hostels and Homestays

You can find a number of great hostels in Siargao.  For budget backpackers and solo travelers, staying at a hostel is an excellent choice. Not only is it budget-friendly, but it’s also a good way to meet people and make new friends.

Mad Monkey Hostel in Siargao, PhilippinesPhoto by Mad Monkey Siargao

Siargao hostels offer budget-friendly dorm-type rooms and single rooms with shared bathrooms. They also typically have a communal area where you get to mingle with other travelers! 

Dorm-type room of Mad Monkey SiargaoPhoto by Mad Monkey Siargao

Homestay in Siargao is also very popular. As the name implies, homestay means you will be staying at the home of a local resident. It is good to note though that homestay tends to be used interchangeably with hostels in Siargao. 

Beach Resorts

Being an island, there is no shortage of beach resorts in Siargao. And being a surfing hotspot, you can bet that they aren’t just any beach resort, they’re also surf resorts. Aside from beachfront accommodations and typical resorts, Siargao beach resorts also have surfing facilities and offer surfing lessons to beginners. 

Hotels

If you're looking for a private and cozy place to stay, then it might be best to stay at a hotel in Siargao. They offer private rooms with comfortable beds and other basic amenities such as en-suite bathrooms, minibar, and wifi.

Romantic Beach Villas Resort General Luna, Siargao Island, Philippines

Although most Siargao hotels aren’t necessarily on the beachfront, some are located only a few meters away from the beach. 

Neighborhoods and Areas

Siargao Island is only 437 square kilometers, a relatively small island. Hence, it’s pretty easy to decide which area to book your accommodations.

The municipality of General Luna would be every traveler's obvious choice, and in the past, it was the only choice for travelers. Now, there are several accommodations popping up in neighboring municipalities such as Pilar and Del Carmen. 

General Luna

General Luna is where most of the excitement in Siargao happens. It is home to the island’s hottest surfing spot, Cloud 9, and boasts a lively night scene. It’s no wonder that most travelers book their accommodations here.

Cloud 9 - Siargao Island's hottest surfing spotIf you’re in Siargao for surfing, then check out the hostels, homestays, hotels, and beach resorts along Tourism Road in General Luna. Aside from a wide array of accommodations, Tourism Road also boasts many bars and restaurants.

However, if you want a more laid-back vibe with fewer travelers, you can opt for accommodations along Malinao Road in General Luna.

Del Carmen

Del Carmen is seeing a surge of travelers, thanks to the rising popularity of Sugba Lagoon. Additionally, Siargao’s Sayak Airport is located in this municipality.  As such, you can now find now several accommodation options here.

Sugba Lagoon in Del Carmen, Siargao Island, PhilippinesAlthough most of the action happens in General Luna, Del Carmen boasts a different charm and has its own attractions. Aside from Sugba Lagoon, the municipality is surrounded by many islets such as Kawhagan Island and is home to underrated attractions like their protected mangrove forest.

Pilar

The municipality of Pilar is another rising Siargao tourist destination. Pilar is famous for the Magpupungko Lagoons and Rock Formations.  The Magpupungko Pool which can only be seen during low tide offers travelers a unique swimming spot with a picturesque backdrop of limestone rock formations.

Magpupungko lagoos and Rock formations in Pilar, Siargao Island, PhilippinesPilar is also home to Caridad, a less crowded surfing spot that boasts great northeast swells. If you want an alternative to General Luna, Pilar is a good option.

Accommodation Highlights in Siargao

You’ll never run out of options when it comes to accommodations in Siargao. The island attracts travelers within the full spectrum of budget preferences. Whatever your own budget is, there is a hotel, hostel, or resort to fit your needs. Here are some recommended places to stay in Siargao.

Luxury Accommodations

If you like to travel in style and you have the resources to book premium accommodations, then you’ll love our list of luxury recommendations. These are the hotels you’ll get the VIP treatment you deserve. Most of them offer top-notch amenities not found in other hotels.

Nay Palad Hideaway

Formerly known as Dedon Island, Nay Palad Hideaway is an all-inclusive resort in General Luna. This 5-star resort offers villas and private rooms. Nay Palad particularly prides itself on its premium villas with glass walls and canopy beds. Their other rooms boast a terrace with either an ocean or a garden view. 

Deluxe Villa in Nay Palad Hideaway, Siargao, PhilippinesPhoto by Nay Palad Hideaway

Nay Palad’s premier facilities include a restaurant, a bar, a private beach, and an outdoor pool. They also offer water activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding, surfing, and island hopping in Siargao. 

Siargao Bleu Resort and Spa 

Siargao Bleu Resort and Spa is a plush beachfront resort that is just a few meters from the famous Cloud 9 Boardwalk. This upscale resort offers classy rooms with wi-fi, flat-screen TV, a coffee maker, and a patio with serene garden views. Siargao Bleu also has poolside cottages that are equipped with a whirlpool tub and a minifridge. 

Siargao Bleu’s top amenities include an outdoor pool, a fitness center, a spa, a bar, and a restaurant. They also offer diving lessons, and paddleboard and kayak rentals.

Isla Cabana Siargao

Isla Cabana is another highly-recommended luxury resort in Siargao. Located in General Luna, the resort is only a few minutes' walk to Cloud 9 and the bars and restaurants along Tourism Road.

Isla Cabana offers villas with wooden floors, a seating area, and an en-suite bathroom. Their villas are equipped with cable TV, a fridge, and a minibar. The resort even has suites with an outdoor hot tub.

Isla Cabana also boasts a beachfront infinity pool, a beachfront restaurant, a fitness center, a spa, and a pool table. They also offer water activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, fishing, and canoeing.

Mid-Range Accommodations

If you want a cozy place that is still reasonably priced, go for the mid-range hotels. You can find several accommodations that offer excellent service and facilities without burning a hole through your wallet. Check out these top-rated mid-range hotels in Siargao.

Kermit Surf Resort

Deluxe room bedroon in Kermit Surf Resort in SiargaoPhoto by Kermit Surf Resort

Kermit Surf Resort is one of the most well-loved accommodations in Siargao. Although it is only 200-meters from the surf spots and white sand beaches of General Luna, this resort flaunts a secluded tropical hideaway vibe. 

Kermit Siargao offers a wide array of rooms that cater to different budgets; from private bungalows to shared bathroom rooms. They also serve free breakfast at their restaurant. Being a surf resort, Kermit offers one of the best surf lessons and packages especially geared for beginners. 

Bravo Beach Resort

Bravo Beach Resort Siargao is a beachfront resort that overlooks the Pesangan reef and the Pacific Ocean. This resort features a beautiful garden, an outdoor pool, and rooms that are just a few steps away from their private white sand beach. 

Bravo Beach Resort has three types of accommodations you can choose from; the garden room, the double room, and the surf bunk. Their guests enjoy free wi-fi, and free continental breakfast at the Bravo Restaurant. Bravo Beach Resort also offers surfing lessons, surfboard rentals, and massage services. 

Buddha's Surf Resort

Located in front of the Hawaiian Jack surf spot, this small, 2-star resort is best known for its in-house restaurant and relaxed ambiance. It is easily accessible to bars and restaurants in General Luna, too. Buddha’s Surf Resort is ideal for surfers and travelers looking for a laid-back and zen atmosphere. 

Buddha's Surf Resort in Siargao, Philippines

Photo by Buddha's Surf Resort

They offer private rooms with flat-screen TV, free wi-fi, and a balcony. They also have suites with a seating area, as well as family rooms that can accommodate up to 6 people. Their guests enjoy breakfast in their restaurant with a stunning sea view.

Aside from surfing lessons and surfboard rentals, Buddha's Surf Resort also offers yoga classes, motorbike rentals, paddleboard, kayak, and kitesurfing rentals.

Budget Accommodations

If you’re backpacking or traveling on a tight budget, then don’t worry. Siargao has several low-cost accommodation options for you.

You can find top-rated budget-friendly accommodations that have all the basic amenities plus a warm and welcoming staff. Here are some of the top homestays and hostels in Siargao you can choose from.

Paglaom Hostel

Paglaom Hostel is a humble hostel that is a 5-minute walk to the beaches of General Luna. It is well-loved by many solo and budget travelers. The hostel features traditional wooden houses and prides itself for its homey vibe and clean accommodations. 

Paglaom Hostel’s open-air mixed dorms have bunk beds, mosquito nets, linens, electric fans, and shared bathrooms. They also offer lockers for your belongings. The hostel has a shared kitchen, a garden with hammocks, as well as a spacious common area for guests to chill at and interact with each other.

Jing’s Place Homestay

Jing’s Place Homestay is another beloved budget accommodation in Siargao.  If you want to cut on your travel expenses, Jing’s Place is an excellent choice. This family-friendly homestay features native-style cottage rooms and is walking distance to Cloud 9 Beach. 

Jing’s Place Homestay has 20 different rooms you can choose from. They dorm-type rooms, as well as air-conditioned rooms and fan rooms that can accommodate 2,4 and 6 people. Jing’s Place Homestay also offers surfing lessons. The owner himself, Jing, is a surf instructor with a license to teach.

Footprints Homestay

Footprints Homestay is a modest accommodation that is only 600 meters away from Guyam Island. This homestay/hostel features a shared lounge, a garden, and free private parking. Some of their rooms have a terrace and a garden view. 

Footprints Homestay offers three dorm-type rooms and two private rooms. You can choose from their 4-bed dorm room or the 6-bed dorm room. You also have the option between a single bed or a bunk bed. Footprints Homestay guests also enjoy free wi-fi, a shared kitchen, and an à la carte or an American breakfast

What to See and Do in Siargao

There are a number of tourist spots in Siargao that you can visit in a day or two. Here are some of the recommended things to do on the island from surfing, island-hopping, must-see attractions. 

Map of Siargao Island showing things to see and do

Surf at Cloud 9 and Other Spots

Siargao Cloud 9 Boardwalk

Cloud 9, a surf spot found in General Luna, is definitely the best-known of all Siargao tourist spots, and for good reason. It has barreling right-hand waves that break over a shallow reef, and its thick, hollow tubes make it irresistible to advanced surfers.

There are a number of stories as to where the famous Cloud 9 got its name. But the most famous one is about traveling surfers in the 1980s who discovered this spot while searching for the perfect wave.

Cloud 9 pioneer and photographer John Callahan who took photographs of the place and published it in a magazine said that he and his friends would often go there in the afternoon with a bottle of Coke and a local chocolate bar called Cloud 9. And so they called it Cloud 9. 

Cloud 9 does attract crowds as it is easily accessible and has a nice, picturesque boardwalk. Even beginners and non-surfers go there to watch the pros at work. There are surf spots for beginners to intermediate levels, too.

Aside from the waves, the area also boasts of one of the most highly commercialized spots in Siargao. You can see a lot of cool restaurants here and some good clothing brands. There’s also the famous boardwalk, which is a very photogenic place and which you can see in any Siargao travel guide.

If you’re not really a surfing aficionado and would like to start with some beginner-level waves first, head to the Jacking Horse surf spot instead. It is walking distance from Cloud 9 and easy to spot, as the wave is right in front of the Ocean 101 resort. It doesn’t have the same hype as Cloud 9, but it can definitely get you into the sport. It’s often swamped with beginners, though.



Swim at Magpupungko Rock Pools

Clear waters of Magpupungko rock poolThese pools are known to be perfect picture-taking spots, courtesy of the waters that are so blue they seem to be emanating their own light. You can dive off the nearby cliffs, or explore the caves surrounding the crystal pools.

Be careful, however, as climbing the jagged rocks can result in scratches and bruises. Magpupungko Rock Pools is best visited during low tide, as you won't be allowed to swim there otherwise.

Go Island-Hopping

Guyam Island in Siargao, Philippines

Siargao itself is already an island, but you could go further and check out the beautiful islets surrounding it. There are three that are easily accessible from General Luna; you can get to them through a half-day Siargao island-hopping boat tour.

  • Naked Island - A 200-meter long strip of sand in the middle of the Pacific. It’s completely bare (hence the name), except for a few shells ushered in by the waves. It may be scorching hot in the noonday sun, but you’re bound to enjoy the excellent contrast between the perfect white sand and blue sky.

  • Daku Island - A long strip of beach peppered with cottages and coconut trees. There are a lot more things to do here, as you can go kayaking or fishing. It’s the biggest of the three islands, and it’s great if you’re coming in as a group. You can also bring in some raw seafood from the mainland and cook them here for a seafood boodle lunch.

  • Guyam Island - This island is small enough to walk around in just a few minutes. It’s covered in palm trees, and if the great blue ocean is a desert then Guyam is pretty enough to be an oasis. The beach is lined cozily with a few huts, so you can just chill out and enjoy your solitude. 

Jump Off at Sugba Lagoon

A tourist enjoying the blue tropical lagoon view in Sugba while sitting on its famous wooden springboard.

Another tourist spot that can be easily reached from General Luna is Sugba Lagoon. This one is more of a day trip, but it’s worth it. The place boasts a 4,000-hectare expanse that isn’t as frequented by travelers as the other spots on this list. It gives you enough room to stake out your own piece of land (or water) so you can chill out in perfect isolation. 

If you don’t want to just laze around, you can rent one of the wooden rafts and test your balance out in the water. There are also diving boards and stand-up paddleboards for rent. For the hungry, there’s a cafe in the vicinity, too.

The most iconic “landmark” of Sugba Lagoon is definitely the wooden diving board that seems to be just jury-rigged from coco lumber. It looks rickety but is strong enough to support visitors. Don’t miss the chance to jump off here, and make sure to take a picture like everyone else!

Swim with Stingless Jellyfish in Sohoton Cove

The Sohoton Cove in Bucas Grande Island is another top tourist attraction in Siargao that you shouldn't miss. It's a hidden paradise that features a cluster of small islets where you can explore lagoons, limestone caves, and stunning rock formations. 

It is also known for being home to thousands of stingless jellyfish that you can swim with or interact with, following the guidelines of your tour guide. 

Dive Into the Blue Cathedral

Water is the most prominent resource in Siargao, and it offers just as much beauty underneath as its waves do above. While not as popular as other diving destinations like Palawan and Cebu, there are still places in Siargao where you can dive.

Among the most recommended dive spots are the Seeco Reef Coral formation near Naked Island (good for certified open water divers at 11 meters) and the Daku Coral Beach Staghorn Reef at 9 meters. 

The best dive spot in the area, however, is Blue Cathedral, which is on the wall of Cloud 9's rock entry. It is more for advanced divers at over 20 meters and is definitely an underwater wonder with a 20-meter wide hole complete with caverns at the north and east side.

It is not for the fainthearted (or the diving newbie), but you will get lured in by the vivid formations and the beauty of all the tropical fish swarming the area.

What’s even better is that you don’t have to go far to get there! It is located within the vicinity of Cloud 9, close enough for you to still watch the master surfers carving up the waves. Just rent a boat from Cloud 9, and you will be able to get to this underwater cathedral.

Check Out the Tayangban Cave Pools

The Tayangban Cave Pools is a destination that's for the adventurous. It’s definitely one of the most extreme of the Siargao tourist spots and not as well known among visitors.

The cave pools (a.k.a., Kantoloi Twin Cenotes) can go as deep as over 100 meters. You start off by entering a cave and stepping into chest-deep water. There are bats flying around, which may or may not be responsible for the weird echoes you hear!

Then, the cave opens up to the sunlight, and you find yourself moving toward an open pool. There’s a jump spot at the other end — a seven-meter cliff that leads you to 18-feet deep water; if you need more excitement after caving, cliff jumping will definitely provide it.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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This is a 30-minute trip from General Luna, so you can rent a habal-habal or a motorbike to go there. It’s an easy and scenic trip that's highly recommended if you want something new to do in Siargao. 

What to Eat and Drink in Siargao

Grilled food at Siargao Eateries

As one of the country’s top tourist destinations, Siargao is a great place for foodies to discover tasty, local and international dishes. If you’re craving seafood, you won’t be disappointed! Being an island, you can expect the freshest seafood in Siargao. 

Local Cuisine

Siargao Island does not really have its own distinct cuisine or delicacy, rather Siargao food is similar to that of the greater Surigao del Norte Province. One such delicacy is the popular Sayongsong. Sayongsong is a type of puto (Filipino rice cake) wrapped in banana leaves.

This tasty snack is made from glutinous rice, brown sugar, roasted peanuts, calamansi juice, and coconut milk. You can buy sayongsong at the local public markets around Siargao.

Another common dish in Siargao, and in many provinces in the Philippines is the Kinilaw (Filipino ceviche). Siargao Island’s fresh seafood makes for a great kinilaw, which is a local dish made of raw fish.

Kinilaw is prepared by deboning and washing a fish and then adding vinegar, ginger, onions, salt, and chili. No cooking required! You can find it at almost any Filipino restaurant in Siargao. 

Recommended Best Restaurants

Of course, while in Siargao, don’t miss the chance to try some of the best foodie finds there. General Luna, in particular, has a lot of places that serve good food. Here are some of the recommended ones.

Kermit Siargao

Kermit Restaurant and Pizzeria is famous for its killer pizzas made in an authentic brick oven imported from Italy. Kermit uses ingredients imported from Italy combined with fresh local ingredients to make mouth-watering authentic Italian food.

Kermit Restaurant and Pizzeria's Famous Pizza with Parma Ham

You can customize your Kermit Pizza by picking the base and toppings of your choice. We recommend going with Parma Ham!

Mama’s Grill

Inexpensive Filipino comfort food at its best, Mama’s Grill serves one of the best barbecue in Siargao. They offer a selection of grilled fresh seafood, chicken, pork and vegetables dripping in sweet, and spicy sauce.

Mama’s Grill is very popular that the place is usually always full. Call ahead for a reservation, especially if you’re with a big group. 

Shaka Cafe

Healthy food choices at Shaka Cafe, Siargao, PhilippinesShaka Cafe in Siargao is the go-to place for instagrammable healthy food choices such as fruit bowls and cold-pressed juices. It is also very vegan-friendly with its wide selection of filling smoothie bowls, fruit shakes, and other vegan snacks.

The cafe is surfer-themed and has a fantastic view of Cloud 9. Try their highly recommended Bom Dia Power Bowl with acai, berries, and other fruits. 

Bravo Restaurant

Bravo Restaurant serves delectable authentic Spanish cuisine. They also serve dishes that are vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free.  Bravo Restaurant is located in Bravo Beach Resort's beachfront, so you can enjoy your meals with a beautiful ocean view. Try their tapas, Paella de Montaña, Coconut Pork Curry, and Patatas Bravas!

Practical Information and Tips

Before you start planning your Siargao trip, take note of these essential practical travel and safety tips for a hassle-free and convenient trip to this beautiful island.

Currency

While most resorts and restaurants in Siargao accept credit cards, it is still best to bring enough Philippine Peso (PHP) with you. Be sure to withdraw cash before even flying or getting on a boat to Siargao.

Additionally, always carry loose change and bills in small denominations. They will come in handy when you are riding public transportation, or when they have to buy food and small items from vendors. 

Take note that there are only a few ATMs in Siargao Island, and most of them are in Dapa. Additionally, these ATMs only accept Philippine cards.  International travelers who can’t withdraw cash from ATMs in Siargao send themselves money instead. 

If you’re an international traveler, a good option is to use online transfer apps that provide international remittance such as WorldRemit. Install the app before getting to Siargao because the internet connection on the island can be unreliable.

You can send yourself money through the app and collect it from either M Lhuillier or Palawan Pawnshop in General Luna.

Language

The majority of Siargao locals can speak Cebuano and Tagalog. Most locals also understand and communicate in English well, so don't be afraid to ask questions or directions. Say hi/hello first when approaching them to establish a friendly tone. Who knows? You might earn a new friend in the process.

Sample Itinerary in Siargao

Girl surfing at Cloud 9, Siargao Island, Philippines While it is best to stay longer, it is possible to see the best of Siargao attractions in 4 days and 3 nights. This will already cover surfing, island-hopping, and other day trips. Here's a sample itinerary that you can take inspiration from:

Day 1: Arrival + Surfing

  • 01:00 p.m. - Arrival in Siargao from Manila or Cebu

  • 02:00 p.m. - Check-in at hotel/resort

  • 03:00 p.m. - Head to Cloud 9 for surfing 

  • 06:00 p.m. - Dinner at Kermit

Day 2: Magpupungko Rock Pools + Sugba Lagoon

Day 3: Island-Hopping in Siargao

  • 08:00 a.m. - Go island-hopping in Siargao: Guyam Island, Naked Island, Daku Island 

  • 04:00 p.m. - Back at hotel/resort

  • 06:00 p.m. - Dinner at Bravo Restaurant

Day 4: Departure

  • 09:00 a.m. - Check out and head to the airport

Discover the Idyllic Island Life in Siargao

Start packing your bags and swimsuits and head to Siargao! Whether you’re a surfer, a beach lover, or just enjoy the pristine beauty of nature in a laid back island, then Siargao will be the perfect destination for you. 

Don’t miss riding the waves or just watching surfers in Cloud 9, plunge into the turquoise waters of Sugba Lagoon, or work on your tan in island-hopping tours to Naked Island, Daku Island, and Guyam Island.

Clear waters of Guyam Island in Siargao, PhilippinesHop on a motorcycle and explore the palm-tree-lined roads of Siargao and cap off the night at the chill bars and restaurants along General Luna. This teardrop-shaped island will definitely be one of your favorite destinations in the Philippines. 

Explore the beautiful destinations in Siargao. Look for Siargao tours and activities that you can add to your itinerary for the complete experience.