Siargao is synonymous with surfing as this island is dubbed as “The Surfing Capital of the the Philippines” but this blog will guide you on how to enjoy this island—surfers and non-surfers alike. Siargao is a tear-drop shaped island in the Philippine sea situated 800 kilometers southeast of Manila in the province of Surigao del Norte. It is famous among foreign and local surfers alike. Surfing season starts from August to November.
Sharing with you 16 exciting ways to enjoy the island:
1.Surf or people-watch at Cloud 9 Boardwalk.
This is where surfing competitions are held. Known for its thick, hollow tubes and right-breaking reef, Cloud 9 is the site of the annual Siargao Cup which is scheduled September every year. Expect plenty of tourists, foreign and locals and the place is crowded on these months. When we went there, it was March but there are still a lot of surfers and tourists. We went to Cloud 9 not to surf, but to enjoy a breezy afternoon enjoying the sight of the waves and the surfers.
For Php 500.00 per hour, you get to learn how to surf. There are plenty of local surfers who are available to teach you. We contacted our hotel, Kermit, to schedule the surf lesson. Ask around to be able to get a good instructor. This makes a big difference in your learning curve. There are other There are several surf spots in Siargao aside from Cloud 9. These are Caridad, Cemetery, Guyam Island, La Janoza, Pacifico, Pansukian Reef, Pilar, Rock Island, Stimpy’s, Tuason’s Point and Jacking Horse where we took our lessons. We still have to ride a habal habal which is not yet included in the lesson fee. We paid Php 200.00 per habal habal to get to Jacking Horse plus we have to walk in a grassy and some parts muddy areas since it was raining the previous night for around 20 minutes to get to the water.
3.Jump at the Magkuku-ob Cave or the Jumping Cave.
We passed by this cave which you have to go up with a very steep path and there is no other way to go down but to jump from the top. If you are afraid of heights, let the guide know because this is just a one way path.
4.Swim inside Hagukan Cave
Named Hagukan or Snoring Cave as it produces snoring sound during high tide. To go inside the cave, one must swim and pass through the small opening. There are sharp edges, you need to be careful especially during high tide as the opening of the cave gets flooded and most of all, ask for assistance from the boat man or guide. I suggest you should wear life vest especially for those who do not know how to swim. It was a bit scary at first because the light inside was provided only by the opening of the cave but the water is so luminous and we enjoyed swimming inside the cave and took underwater photos!
Our boat man took us to the registration site of Sohoton Cove National Park. All tourists must pass here. After we registered and paid fees, they gave us life vests and head gears, rode a much smaller outrigger and started our tour around the scenic, clean and very clean Sohoton Cove National Park. The boat man was very knowledgeable and was very pleasant. They were very engaging to the tourists. You can never find any garbage in the surroundings. The park was very well maintained and i hope that this will continue to be clean and green to preserve this beautiful gem. There are numerous stalactites, limestone cliffs and many wonders of nature that you can witness. It is like entering into a different realm and you’d get lost with the beauty of this place.
6. Swim with the stingless jellyfishes at Tojoman Lagoon.
Tojoman Lagoon is home of stingless and friendly jellyfish. Common name is Spotted Jelly have a lifespan of approximately 4 months and are active primarily in the months of May to August. You can swim with them as long as you do not take them out of the water as they will die.
7.Capture a wave-perfect picture at Magpupungko Beach and Tidal Pool
Going to Magpupungko Beach and Tidal Pool took us 2 hours of habal habal ride. That was the longest habal habal ride of our lives but the place did not disappoint us. We enjoyed capturing wave-perfect picture just be very careful as the waves are a bit strong that on an instant we were wiped out by a large wave. It was a scary experience but it made the experience memorable. We also took our time enjoying the rock pools.
8.Lunch at Dako Island.
We bought fresh fish here and asked the boat man to grill it for us. Took our lunch here together with the food that we bought at the town. We were the only people who were at Dako Island at that time, so we were able to to enjoy the island by ourselves.
9.Bask under the sun at Naked Island.
In its truest naked form, there is no shade in this island. We only found shade inside the banca or outrigger that we rented but nevertheless, the island is enchanting with its creamy white sand and clear waters.
10.Ride habal-habal around the island.
There is no taxi nor jeepney on this island, when you want to go around the island, their means of transportation is either through “habal habal” or public tricycle which rarely pass by. You may also contact a “suki” or a driver which you will rent the whole day but when we were only at the town, there are several drivers available. We only made arrangements on days that we need to travel the whole day. We also made arrangements from our hotel to make sure that we are safe on choosing our drivers. But since it is a small town, drivers know each other very well and it is good to note that this town is safe from hold-ups or any other crime as the government officials here are vigilant knowing that tourism is one of the rising livelihood in this island.
11.Buy fresh fish at the Dapa Public Market.
If you fancy fresh and affordable fish, you can find it at Dapa Public Market. In fact, we bought home fresh tangigue going back to Cebu.
12.Enjoy Pan de Surf with a cup of coffee.
Pan de Surf is very famous at Siargao. It can only be bought in the morning since it is sold fast. We asked our habal habal driver to buy for us one morning and had our Pan de Surf experience. It was a bread shaped like a surfing board. We heard there are different varieties but our driverbought us the plain bread and it was good paired with a cup of coffee.
13.Have dinner at the alfresco restaurants at the boulevard.
Fresh fish, by-the-sea dining and affordable food at the boulevard.
14.Bring home unique pasalubong items.
Before heading to the airport, we dropped by at this little corner just along the street to see and buy some unique pasalubong for friends and family. I am a self-confessed dream catcher junkie, so i really enjoyed the items inside this shop.There are some available artworks and shell crafts inside this store.
15.Pitstop at Dapa
Two grueling hours to Mangpupungko and another two hours going back, we decided to have a pitstop in one of the towns we passed by which was recommended by our habal habal driver and we were surprised to have relaxing view and cheap food nearby. Everything is affordable in Siargao!
16. Eat, Relax and Drink at the Kermit Surf Resort and Camp
We stayed at Kermit and booked the K House which is a two-storey house with two spacious rooms, a common area and a cozy terrace. They also offer Surf Camp packages to tourists. Big breakfast is included in the room accommodation that we paid which can be served at the convenience of your room or at the restaurant which has a very good vibe.
How to get there:
- Fly direct to Siargao via Cebu. Cebu to Siargao is approximately 50 minutes plane ride.
- Fly to Surigao City then take a ferry to Siargao which will take about 2-3 hours.
- Ferry from Surigao to Siargao Island.
- Fly to Butuan then take a bus to Surigao City then ferry to Siargao.
- Ferry from Cebu or Manila to Siargao island via Surigao City.
- By land from Davao or Cagayan de Oro via Butuan and Surigao City.
There are so many beautiful islands to explore in the Philippines and Siargao is definitely one of the best because of the variety of things to do here. This was a truly an exciting, fun and one of the most affordable trip that i ever had, from the food, accommodation, tours and transportation. This trip showed me that a simple, laid back island life is also enjoyable. Truly different from our stressful city life. It was a pause-button from the life that i left behind and i was recharged after. I took home fun filled and beautiful memories with me. Salamat Karajaw Siargao!
Let me know your thoughts about this travel blog, please comment below or send me a message. I would love to hear from you! 🙂