Fronting the Pacific Ocean's mighty swells, the teardrop-shaped island of Siargao known as the Surfing Capital of the Philippines has become a favorite go-to tropical destination for local and international travelers. Though it's a small island, it's packed with a wide variety of activities and attractions to enjoy along with its laidback island vibe.
If you're a first-timer in Siargao who wants to make the most of your stay in this popular surfing destination in the Philippines, it is highly recommended to check out these spectacular spots and tours to experience for yourself why it has become a beloved travel destination in the world.
In the northern part of Siargao specifically in the town of Santa Monica, a short hike will bring you to a jungle sanctuary concealed by towering trees and thick forest shrubs. The streaming waters of Taktak Falls provide a wonderful prelude to experiencing the bounteous nature of Siargao.
The 15-meter high waterfall cascades into a basin whirlpooling with crystal-clear waters ideal for a therapeutic dip. After you milk the Zen-ambiance of the place, flex your adventurous spirit by jumping into the water from an adjacent cliff. If you're not sure about it, just watch the local kids how they do it.
This tour is perfect for those wanting to spend some quiet time deep in the countryside of Siargao. A relaxing side-trip here, the only waterfalls on the island, can also help you psych-up for your surfing lessons later.
Down south of Siargao situates a favorite island-hopping destination. Also known among the locals as Casolian Island, Corregidor Island dishes a double dose of great outdoor fun: swimming and hiking.
Thanks to its majestic landscape of rolling hills dotted with palm trees (likened to Batanes), white sandy shores, and glistening surrounding turquoise waters, it's a perfect tour to enjoy a secluded beach bumming experience, achieve tan-colored skin, and bond with friends while devouring a sumptuous picnic meal under the sun.
The island is also encircled by a healthy coral reef ecosystem making it an ideal snorkeling and scuba diving spot. Easy to reach via a 45-minute sea journey aboard an outrigger boat, this is one island in Siargao that you must include in your travel itinerary.
If you feel like ramping up your adventures in Siargao, then you must experience the Tayangban Cave Pool tour. Highlighted by a cave mouth leading to a dark chamber inhabited by bats, one must wade deep, canyoneering style, into an inner pool for 15 minutes before seeing daylight again and emerging into an open basin enclosed by rock formations and tree vines.
While here, you can jump into the emerald-colored water from an eight-meter cliff. Describing it already sounds fantastic but wait until you experience the actual tour. It is an experience that will guarantee heightened adrenaline, maximum thrills and satisfy everyone’s appetite for adventure.
Siargao isn't only for avid surfers, it is also for beach lovers who have no qualms of getting baked and achieving golden skin under the sun. Spread all over the islands are charming seaside towns adjacent to picturesque beaches where one can quench their thirst for a beach fix.
A beach tour in Siargao will take you to several of its must-see beaches such as Pacifico Beach. An hour away from the surfing haven of General Luna, it situates at the end of a snaking road fringed with Intagrammable palm trees. The lengthy shore of Pacifico dishes a peaceful vibe with swells that can grow to surfer-friendly breaks.
Alegria is another favorite beach destination on the island. Located on the northern part of Siargao, it is considered as a swimmer's delight because of its powdery sands, clear waters, and calm waves.
Other beaches you can visit during the tour includes Union Beach, Malinao Beach, Doot Beach and a couple of secret and not-yet-touristy beach destinations.
It's best to enjoy the beaches of Siargao with a refreshing healthy fruit shake or smoothie bowl. One highly recommended place is Shaka Cafe where you can try out their best-selling fruit shakes and smoothie bowls like the Bom Dia and Cloud 9 Kook.
Part of the Sohoton National Park, Sohoton Cove is located in Bucas Grande Island. Aptly translated from its Philippine-Spanish name as "largemouth", the island of Bucas Grande situates on the other part of Siargao in the municipality of Socorro.
An hour away by boat from Dapa Port in Siargao, a tour here will take your breath away, thanks to the scenic nature gems comprising of verdant forested islets, jagged limestone formations, and crystal-clear waters glistening under the blue sky plus a medley of wonderful spots such as hidden coves and lagoons.
Among the many highlights here include a lagoon teeming with thousands of stingless jellyfish. Visitors can kayak to the area and gently touch the adorable gelatinous residents of Bucas Grande. Other activities here include a spelunking tour of one of the caves and cliff diving. A delightful lunch consisting of a feast of the freshest seafood often caps a morning tour here.
Concealed by the stunning islets scattered off the coast of Del Carmen in Siargao, is a gem of a nature spot where one would enjoy spending a few hours of unperturbed nature-tripping. Surrounded by fine greens of trees and other shrubberies, the calm waters in Sugba Lagoon instantly projects a charming secluded setting. Activities here include stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, platform diving, snorkeling, or just lounging under the sun.
Don't leave the place without jumping into the waters from the wooden platform built beside the pontoon houses they say in Sugba Lagoon, one must take a dive of faith into the "perfectly splendid" turquoise waters of the lagoon to complete a memorable experience.
This must-do day trip in Siargao is a 40-minute drive to Del Carmen from General Luna, and another hour and a half journey by boat. The tour is also accompanied by a satisfying lunch banquet.
A red bridge at Maasin Village indicates the amazing wonders that lie secreted by the coconut forest ahead. Fringed by towering trees, the cool but swimmable Maasin River is highlighted by a slanting lone palm tree that appears to be crossing over the river. Yearning for adventure, the locals tied a rope over it and the result is a perfect spot to master that Tarzan swing before diving into the clear waters of the river.
Other than mimicking Tarzan and Jane, most visitors spend a cozy morning here paddling up and down the river by boat. There is a hidden blue lagoon down the Maasin River. A tour here will also take you deep into the coconut trees for some additional ogling at beautiful nature and of course, more instagrammable photographs.
Magpupungko Rock Pools's charm is likened to sunsets and sunrises because it only appears at a given time of the day: during low-tide. So, take note: timing is everything. By coming here coinciding when the ocean levels are at its lowest, you will be rewarded with a jaw-dropping image of crystalline waters forming a natural pool edged by the enthralling shapes of the Magpupungko's rock formation.
Sculpted by the waves of the Pacific Ocean for thousands of years, this wonder of a place exposes itself with a window of time that can last a couple of hours or more, therefore giving visitors ample time to frolic and enjoy its calming cool waters.
The tide-dependent natural pool screams of an idyllic spot to also do a sundry of activities such as swimming and cliff jumping. A morning or an afternoon dip here—depending on low-tide conditions of the season—is a guaranteed time well-spent, so make sure to include a Magpupungko rock pools tour in your Siargao travel itinerary.
A Siargao trip won't be complete without exploring the miniature island paradise dotted around it. It is best to allot one whole day for an island-hopping tour that will take you to Siargao's so-called the big three: Daku, Naked, and Guyam.
Named because it is as bare as an unclothed body, Naked Island—the tour's first stop—is a picture of oasis characterized by a powdery and blinding white sandbar surrounded by blue waters.
Daku Island, the next island stop, is the biggest of the three and like Naked Island, it has fine white sands and turquoise waters but with swaying coconut trees perfect for finding a shade to lie on and enjoy the cool breeze from the sea.
Guyam Island is a small island distinctly appearing with a patch of small forest on the middle. A fascinating coral reef ecosystem can be viewed while snorkeling near the island.
As the surfing capital of the Philippines, Siargao is home to more than 15 surfing breaks. The most popular of which is the world-renowned Cloud 9—where even the Red Hot Chili Peppers' frontman Anthony Kiedis once surfed.
Located in General Luna town, Cloud 9 is where most of the surfing action happens. If you are a newbie surfer, this is also the best place to learn as seasoned surfers double as instructors. The ideal surfing season usually starts in the latter part of August and lasts till December—but generally, surfing can be experienced on the island all year long.
Other popular surf spots include; Quicksilver which is considered as the little brother of Cloud 9, Jacking Horse, Cemetery Pesangan Right, Dako Surf Break, Pacifico Beach, Tuason Left, Tuason Right, Stimpies and Rock Island.
Local surfers though know more of several secret spots. If you befriend them well, they might take you there.
Experience the Best Tours of Siargao
There’s so much to do, see, taste, and experience in Siargao that all these tours mentioned here barely scratches the surface of what the island has to offer completely. As of this writing, a growing community of yoga, health and meditation enthusiasts where one can indulge in a meditative spiritual journey on the island, is taking shape. That adds another layer to the already many reasons to visit the island.
When it comes to holding its own when pitted against the other popular islands in the world, Siargao more than stands out on its own by the merits of its endless charms and bounteous wonderful natural landscape.
If you're planning for an island getaway soon, then let Siargao Island fulfill all your holiday checklist. Explore Siargao tours and activities now to experience this paradise like no other!