Siargao is a teardrop-shaped island located on the northeastern coast of Mindanao. It is best known for its reliable surfing conditions all year round, which have earned it the title of the "Surfing Capital of the Philippines." Thanks to its reliable surfing weather, it has become a great surfing spot for both veterans and beginners.
Among its various surfing spots, Cloud 9 is considered the most popular of all. It has also gained worldwide recognition due to its thick, hollow tubes and fast-barreling right-hand waves that break over a reef.
Aside from its surfing areas, Siargao Island also boasts white sand beaches, picturesque islands, azure waters perfect for snorkeling and diving, waterfalls, lagoons, and caves.
Since most of Siargao's best tourist attractions and activities are located outdoors, access to them largely depends on weather conditions. To ensure that you get the most out of your visit, it is best to plan your vacation during the dry months in the Philippines and check weather reports prior to your visit.
Cheapest time to visit Siargao
Take advantage of the off-peak season, which runs from June to August, when airfares and hotel rates are lower. However, be aware that severe weather is possible at this time.
Weather in Siargao
The dry season, which runs from March to September, is the best time to head to Siargao if you plan on visiting non-surfing spots such as Naked Island and Sugba Lagoon. For surfers, the swell and wind conditions between July to November create the best waves. The annual Siargao International Surfing Cup is also held every September.
Peak Season in Siargao
The months of March to April, and June to August, will be particularly crowded since most residents choose to visit islands and beaches during these months. If you plan on visiting during these months, it is strongly recommended to schedule your trips in advance. If you are in a large group, you may even arrange for private excursions if you want exclusivity.
Main festival/events in Siargao
As the Surfing Capital of the Philippines, one of the biggest events on the island is the annual Siargao International Surfing Cup that takes place every September.
When to avoid visiting Siargao
For non-surfers, it is better to avoid planning trips to the island during monsoon season, which generally starts in June and continues for about four months. However, surfers, on the other hand, would best avoid visiting between March to September when the surfing conditions are not yet at their peak.
You can get to Siargao by taking a flight. The Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila and Clark International Airport in Angeles City, Pampanga, are two of the most important departure points on the island of Luzon. The major departure point in Visayas is the Mactan-Cebu International airport while the Davao International Airport serves as the main departure point in Mindanao.
You can also fly to Surigao Airport from Mactan-Cebu airport and then catch a ferry heading to Siargao at the Surigao Port.
Because it is a heavily populated province, Siargao is full of crowds, especially on weekends. Keep your belongings near to you at all times, and be aware of your surroundings. Avoid wandering around unknown beaches, streets, and other areas late at night.
You will have many options for getting around Siargao. Aside from local public transportation like the habal-habal (motorcycle) and tricycle, you can also rent a mini-mulitcab or a private car.
Motorized tricycles, or simply tricycles, are open-air public utility vehicles that are usually made locally by building a sidecar affixed to a motorcycle. They can accommodate 2-4 passengers only.
Meanwhile, habal-habals are local motorcycles that you can hire for a private ride around the island. You can either hire local motorcycle drivers, or you can drive them yourself.
Another vehicle you can rent aside from the typical car or van is the mini-multicab, which is best suited for groups of three to four. You can drive this open-air vehicle on your own or hire a driver to help you get around as well.
Siargao Island's cuisine is similar to that of the greater Surigao del Norte province, as the island itself has no distinct delicacy. One of the most popular dishes common in Surigao del Norte is the Sayongsong, a type of puto (Filipino rice cake) wrapped in banana leaves.
It is made from glutinous rice, brown sugar, roasted peanuts, calamansi juice, and coconut milk. These delicacies are often sold in various stalls and public markets found all over Siargao Island.
Along with Sayongson, another well-known dish on the island and in other Philippine provinces is the Kinilaw (Filipino ceviche). This dish is made by deboning and rinsing a fish before adding vinegar, ginger, onions, salt, and chili. Afterward, the dish is immediately ready to serve and requires no heating. This dish is available in any Filipino restaurant on the island.
As a famous surfing and beach destination, there are various seaside properties on the island that offer easy access to stunning shores.
Several 4 and 5-star beach resorts and hotels can be found on the island, all of which provide world-class amenities and services. The bulk of them are in the vicinity of General Luna. Another great option is the municipality of Del Carmen, where the Sugba Lagoon and the Sayak Airport are located.
Meanwhile, the municipality of Pilar has also risen in popularity thanks to the Magpupungko Lagoons and Rock Formations you can find here. Aside from these, a less crowded surfing spot called Caridad is situated here as well.