Siargao. Located just 800 kilometers south of the Philippines, this teardrop-shaped island of coconuts is truly a hidden gem. It’s a surfer’s paradise, an adventurer’s heaven, and a destination with so much to do.
Filled with serene, dancing tropical palm trees, sky blue waters, emerald lagoons, stalagmite caves, and powdery white sandy beaches. It’s the utopia for escape into the lush jungles and under the warmth of the sun.
We’ve created a list of the best things to do in Siargao to help you get the ultimate experience on this coconut island.
Top Things To Do In Siargao
Here are a handful of our favorite picks for the top things to do in Siargao, from island hopping to cliff jumping, so you don’t miss a thing.
Your trip to Siargao won’t be complete without the most popular tri-island hopping tour. The Siargao island hopping experience to the Naked Island, Gayum, and Daku Island.
Guyam Island is a tiny island sheltered in palm trees. Daku Island is the largest island out of the three and offers a great place to swim and try out different cuisines – there are small huts on the beach ideal for taking shade after a long day in the sun. Naked Island is a small sandbar, where it gets its name from being literally just sand, surrounded by sky blue waters.
A half-day or a full-day trip will leave you with an unforgettable experience and a taste of what the Philippines is truly about.
2.Enjoy The Best Surf Spots In The Philippines
Siargao is the surfing capital of the Philippines. This gorgeous island hosts the Surfing Cup at Cloud 9 each September, an official World Surf League Pro event. The best thing about surfing in Siargao is that it offers different surf breaks for all levels. From beginner waves at Jacking Horse to gnarly barrels at Cloud 9.
If you want to learn to surf, you should take a look at Kermit Surf School, they are splendid. Otherwise, you can rent a board yourself, most boards cost around $9 USD (for three hours).
If the waves aren’t breaking the way you want them to onshore, you can pay around $4-5 USD to hop on a boat ride to one of the islands and spend your afternoon surfing in the middle of the ocean.
Another popular Siargao tourist spot is the Magpupungko Rock Pools. Remember, the Magpupungko rock pools are tidal, therefore to get to experience the crystal clear waters of the lakes, you need to go at low tide.
Discover Siargao on a private land tour that will take you to the caves and coves around the pools. It’s around a 45-minute motorbike ride from General Luna. Along the way, you will come across magnificent viewpoints such as the Sea of Palms, Siargao Rope Swing, and Tayangban Cave Pool.
The entrance for the whole day is $1(50 PHP) per person. There are also divine restaurants and places to relax and recharge your energy.
4.Float In Darkness And Explore Tayangban Cave Pools
The Tayangan Cave Pools offer one of the best experiences around. For 15 minutes, you swim, float, and walk (chest deep) around in complete darkness – aided by torches, of course!
You are surrounded by bats flying around until you finally come to an open, clear blue cave pool – offering a seven-meter cliff jump.
If you’re brave enough, try out the cliff jump into 18ft deep water. This experience is super fun and brings out your inner child!
Sohoton Cove offers a variety of things to do and attractions to see. Explore the magical caverns, dazzling lagoons, exposing rock formations, and umpteen little islands.
There is a range of things to do at Sohoton Cove and its surrounds. Explore Tiktikan Lagoon, Crystal Cave, Hagukan Cave, Magkuku-ob Cave, and others.
If you visit around March, you can swim with the stingless jellyfish. You can visit just Sohoton Cove or join a full-day trip to see three other islands.
Those adrenaline junkies undoubtedly enjoy the unique aqua experience at the wake park. Feel the fresh air through your hair as you glide over the waters.
Pre-book a wakeboarding session and enjoy a day at the man-made lake shooting across the water.
There are professional instructors to guide you through your thrilling 90-minute experience. Enjoy the aquatic sports on the 100-meter-long lake or relax at the peaceful lakefront while you wait your turn.
Unusual Things to Do in Siargao
Looking for something a little extra, a little more outlandish. Here are some unique things to do in Siargao.
Siargao is a small island, and at first glance, you would not guess there would be much room for cliff jumping.
There are, however, some fantastic cliffs to jump off into those magical jewel-like waters, like the 8 meter jump at Sugba Lagoon and the 3-6 meter jumps at Tak Tak Falls.
Sugba Lagoon offers some magical cliff jumps from up high, down low, and in between, for anyone wanting to do it all at once. When you’re done screaming your lungs out and running off cliffs, hire a bamboo raft or SUP boards and explore around the lagoons.
An island tour will take you to Sugba Lagoon for this bucket-list activity and other favorite places.
8. Do A Good Deed And Clean-up the Beach
An unusual yet rewarding activity to do is join an organization and 40+ registered kids and help clean up the beaches. The Sun Crew is an organization in Pacifico that organizes beach clean-ups at 9 am every Saturday.
After the beach clean-up, you can enjoy surfing and lunch with the kids and crew.
It’s a great way to experience the local culture and give back to this beautiful area.
Safety in Siargao
Siargao is considered safe by most travelers. It’s a peaceful little island, and there isn’t much crime here compared to the bustling mainland city Manila.
For safety precautions, don’t risk the small stuff: wear life vests on speed boats, don’t leave your gadgets plugged in when you leave accommodations, don’t leave your full wallet out on the beach. You should wear aqua shoes on the beaches and rocky coral shores, too.
Keep in mind there is only one ATM in General Luna, and two in Dapa. We advise you to take enough cash with you.
Taking safety measures and ensuring you have everything on your Philippines packing list can ensure you enjoy your time in paradise. Check out our roundup of the best travel insurance.
Things To Do In Siargao At Night
One of the popular things to do in Siargao is to surf during the day and party at night. Here are a few activities that will keep you entertained until the early hours.
10. Hit One Of The Island Parties: Siargao Nightlife
Siargao has a system that works well for everyone on the island. Every night, a party is happening in a different venue, and the bars share the nights of the week.
If you’re keen for a party, simply ask a restaurant or bar and you will be given the pre-pre location, pre-location, and the party. Rum Bar, Viento, and Bravo are some of the more popular watering holes throughout the weekdays. You cannot leave Siargao until you have had the ‘Jungle disco experience.’
Every Friday, there’s a wooden open-plan shed with transparent walls. It fills to the maximum capacity and becomes one wild party experience.
11. Mellow Out At Acoustic Night At Buddha’s Surf Resort
If a party isn’t your scene, try out the acoustic night at Buddha’s Surf Resort. Enjoy some tasty foods while you listen to chilled music. It’s the ideal place to relax and talk.
Buddha’s Surf Resort gives you the authentic feel of what Siargao is all about: enjoying the moment.
12. Taste The World Famous Yeah Yeah Tacos
If you have a zest for delicious cuisines, try out the most delectable Tacos and Burritos at Yeah Yeah Tacos. They’re situated on the corner next to one of the best surf shops in Siargao, Fat Lips (who also offer surf lessons and surf photography).
At Yeah Yeah Tacos, you will have a range of different Mexican foods to choose from.
If you stay long enough, you’ll get the chance to enjoy the festivity and crowds of surfers in flip flops and boardies looking for a fun time after a long day in the sun.
Where To Stay In Siargao
General Luna town is the best spot on Siargao Island. The area not only boasts the best surfing spots but also offers a variety of homestays, hostels, beach resorts, bars, and restaurants.
- Kermit Surf Resort and Restaurant
- Cloud 9
- Rum Bar
Best Hostel in Siargao – Ilakai Hostel
Ilikai Hostel has the perfect charm for anyone looking for the laid back island experience. It’s a 10-minute walk to Cloud 9 and provides various services such as private boat tours.
The hostel has common areas where you can drink, eat, and hang out with your new-found friends. There is a stunning garden area for guests to sunbathe, relax on hammocks, or practice yoga.View on Hostelworld
Best Airbnb in Siargao – Kar•Ma Garden Villa
Find this gem of a villa hidden in a tropical lush garden setting. It’s a 3-5 minute motorbike ride away from Cloud 9 surfing area. This villa offers the ideal experience when it comes to comfort, relaxation, and location, and you’ll have the entire thing to yourself.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Siargao – Nay Palad Hideaway
Nay Palad Hideaway offers stunning accommodations the Philippines has to offer. With its gorgeous outdoor pool and strikingly beautiful views from the terrace. You can choose from either ocean or garden views.
Guests have access to the private beach area to enjoy a range of activities such as paddle boarding, island hopping, and surfing. This hotel oozes perfection.
Romantic Things to Do in Siargao
If you’re visiting Siargao with your better half, here are our favorite things to light up some romance.
Enjoy a memorable photoshoot with your significant other. What better way to get your perfect picture than to snap moments on a stunning exotic island?
Arrange a full photoshoot alongside dazzling Siargao beaches, glittering waters, and waving palm trees. Collaborate with a professional photographer and get sizzling pictures with a tropical background.
14. Stroll Along The Boardwalk And Watch The Sunset Cloud 9
One of the most perfect spots to watch the sunset is at the Cloud 9 pier in General Luna. At the end of the long boardwalk reaching out into the ocean, there’s a hut that is a three-story platform overlooking the sea.
Here, you’ll want to get the best seat in the house and watch the stunning sunset. Also joining in are surfers, riding the waves with a backdrop of a honey-hued sky.
Always Be Insured
Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favorite travel insurance provider.
To find out why I recommend World Nomads, check out my World Nomads Insurance review.
Best Free Things To Do In Siargao
If you’re on a budget and looking for the most affordable things to do in Siargao, here are a few ideas that won’t cost an arm and leg.
15. Cycle Around The Island
While you can ride around the island by motorbike, doing it by bicycle allows you to enjoy the less ‘rushed’ side of things.
One can take a cycle around the island by renting a bike from your accommodation, giving you an epic sight of the island from up close. The Greenhouse in General Luna offers bicycle rentals, too.
16. Drive To Coconut Palm Forest Viewpoint
At sunset, sunrise, or anytime between this viewpoint is like no other, with lush palm trees as far as the eye can see. On either side of the road lies a sea of swaying palms as far as the eye can see.
You’ll get the most epic panoramic view of the center of the island. Without the beaches and the people, it’s a little slice of lush green heaven. It’s becoming popular over the years, especially on Instagram.
17. Explore The Tropical Alegria Beach
The ultimate soft white sandy beach with serene, clear blue waters, the Alegria Beach is the spot for you.
The palm trees lie along the trimmings of this beautiful coastline, giving it the picture-perfect setting. It’s an hour’s drive from General Luna, but once you get there, you will not be sorry.
The beach is surrounded by a reef, and there are rock pools deep enough to swim around and wallow in.
Siargao Packing List
1. Travel Water Bottle: Always travel with a water bottle – it’ll save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. AR bottles are tough, lightweight, and maintain the temperature of your beverage – so you can enjoy a cold red bull, or a hot coffee, no matter where you are. For every AR bottle sold, we donate 10% to PlasticOceans.org – an initiative to reduce plastic in our oceans!
2. Microfibre Towel: It’s always worth packing a proper towel. Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.
3. Security Belt with Hidden Pocket: I never hit the road without my security belt. This is a regular looking belt with a concealed pocket on the inside – you can hide up to twenty notes inside and wear it through airport scanners without it setting them off. This is hands down the best way to hide your cash.
4. Camera or Cell Phone Camera Accessories: One thing’s for sure – Japan is a picturesque destination! Get perfect shots from your phone using clip-on-lenses with wide-angle, close-up and optical zoom. With the ability to turn travel pictures from basic to professional, this universal lens sits neatly over any phone camera and comes with a durable, travel-friendly case!
5. International Adapter: Japanese outlets accommodate typical US two-pronged plugs, but for electronics that have three prongs, or if your plugs are of a different variety, you’ll need an adapter. Save yourself the hassle of trying to track down an adapter at your destination and paying twice as much than planning ahead by buying one online.
Books to Read in Siargao
The Backpacker Bible – Get it for free! Learn how to ditch your desk and travel the world on just $10 a day whilst building a life of long-term travel with an online income. To inspire and help the next generation of Broke Backpackers, you can now grab ‘How to Travel the World on $10 a Day’ for free! Get your copy here.
Playing with Water: Passion and Solitude on a Philippine Island: Ever wondered what life on a deserted island would be like? Well, James experiments with this, spending months on uninhabited islands in the Philippines, going back to the basics of survival and diving into the ‘real Philippines’.
History of the Philippines: From Indios Bravos to Filipinos: For the history nerds, this is an awesome background of The Philippines, the culture and what went into making it the incredible country it is today. Seriously, well worth a read!
Things to Do with Kids in Siargao
Siargao is one of the most kid-friendly and enjoyable places on Earth. Besides the apparent aquatic beach activities on this spectacular island, there are plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy.
Take an epic fun-filled day around Siargao Island, drive amongst the coconut trees, and find your way to Magpupungko Rockpool and Tayangban Caves.
A ride on a Jeepney will give you and your kids an authentic Filipino transportation experience. These busses are unique to the Philippines, and kids will love the open-air sides and kitsch decor.
Jeepney tours offer days exploring caves, playing in tidepools, swinging from palm-trees, and trying out the rope swings.
Drive through Siargao’s off-the-beaten tracks and discover hidden treasures like Little Hawaii, Coco Rope Swing, and the Sea of Palm Trees. Be surrounded by the most extensive mangrove systems in the whole of the country. You can also hire a SUP or kayak that’s available on-site, or explore the pristine beaches.
19. Explore Daku Island
Daku Island is an paradise for those wanting the ultimate beach experience, and it offers fun activities for the kids. This island is filled with activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming, beach volleyball, fishing, and surfing.
Eat fresh seafood or rent a nipa hut and catch the sunset after a fun-filled day. The island is filled with places to uncover and rock pools to explore.
Other Unmissable Things to Do in Siargao
During your trip to Siargao, you should certainly make sure your trip was well worth it. Here are a few more things to add to your to-do list.
20. Devour a Shaka Cafe Smoothie Bowl
One thing you will not want to miss is a delicious fresh smoothie bowl at Shaka. A little cafe found nearby Cloud 9 surf break is Cafe Shaka.
There’s a variety of different smoothie bowls to choose from, and coffee included. For a magical breakfast to start your day will cost you just $5 USD – you can’t go wrong with that!
Sit and enjoy the fun environment of morning happy chatters and some delicious works of art in a bowl.
21. Discover Pacifico Beach And Its Secret Breaks
Pacifico Beach is considered one of the “pro” surfer spots. It’s ideal for those looking for a less crowded beach to bask in the sun and surf some of the most beautiful waves. There are some bars and restaurants along the shores for when you’ve worked up an appetite.
The drive to and from Pacifico offers stunning winding roads along the coast and through dense palm tree forests. A few resorts and homestays are found nestled amongst the ever-growing palm trees.
22. Find Your Inner Tarzan On The Maasin River Rope Swing
Being an island filled with palms, you will find many growing sidewards and skew (they can’t all be perfect). Though the entire sea of palms, there is one that found it’s fame on Instagram.
“The Bent Palm” is one that is a little more ‘extra’ than the others. It offers the perfect rope swing overlooking the river. It’s a perfect way to spend your morning or afternoon alongside this river bed.
You should definitely check it out and give it a swing – and be sure to get a photo to prove you’ve done it.
23. Catch The Hues At The Mangrove Wharf
The Secret Mangrove Wharf is found just before Del Carmen, and is the perfect place to enjoy a pastel-washed sunset.
The dock extends towards the mangroves, surrounded by idyllic still water. A mirrored reflection of the sunset is something absolutely magical to see.
Take a local boat trip during the evening to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere this landscape has to offer.
Day Trips From Siargao
Siargao island offers pure magic when it comes to different attractions on the island itself or its little island neighbors. These tours are ideal for families, friends, couples, or solo travelers – a place for everyone.
Bucas Grande is a group of islands off the coast of Siargao. The islands offer islets, lagoons, beaches, cliffs, and caves. Sohoton Cove is known for its emerald waters and stunning scenery.
If you’re in season, you’ll get to touch hands with stingless jellyfish. The best time to visit Siargao to see these stingless jellyfish is in March.
Challenge yourself on a fun adventure tour to see all the favorite islands for the day: Daku Island, Guyam Island, Naked Island, and Sohoton Cove day trip tour.
Sugba Lagoon, Kawhagan Island, and Pamomoan Island Private Tour is a half an hour boat ride from General Luna. Sugba Lagoon is one of the most popular places to visit in Siargao with its mesmerizing emerald-colored waters, surrounded by the majestic Del Carmen Mangrove Reserve.
Visit Sugba Lagoon and get your adrenaline pumping by going cliff diving. Relax at Kawhagan Island amidst its powdery white sands and totally transparent waters. Explore the newly-opened Pamamoan Island and its unspoiled beaches. It’s one of the Philippines ‘best-kept secrets’ – but maybe not for long!
3 Day Itinerary In Siargao
This stunning little island and its surroundings have gained international attention over the years due to its gnarly waves. Still, Siargao has way more to it than just its magical surfing hot spots. Here’s a three-day Siargao itinerary to get you pumped!
Day 1 – Explore Magpupungko Tidal Pools, Taktak Falls and Tayangban Cave
Start your first day exploring Siargao and what this stunning island has to offer. Get your morning start with a smoothie bowl at Shaka. We recommend renting a motorcycle, it’s the cheapest option to get around the island and gives you flexibility. Other options include bus trips or local taxis.
Take a 45-minute drive to Magpupungko Rock Pools from General Luna. Along the way, there are some magnificent viewpoints and places to see. Just past Magpupungko Tidal Pools, you should stop at Taktak Falls in St. Monica. Take another ride back down to Tayangban Cave that leads into a lagoon.
Finally, after day one of exploring, enjoy a cocktail or two on the beach or walk the pier at Cloud 9 to watch some surfers get some rips in.
Day 2 – Spend The Day At Sugba Lagoon
On your second day in Siargao, take a day trip to Sugba Lagoon, a glistening lagoon surrounded by remarkable mountains. The day trip will cost you around $30 USD per person by boat. This lagoon is not overcrowded and gives you plenty of activities to enjoy in fairyland.
There is a large pontoon house where you can base yourselves for the day. Fresh seafood is available after you have worked up an appetite. Equipment rentals are available such as bamboo rafts, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards (SUP).
After a long day of exploring these clear dreamy waters and you arrive at the shore. Grab a bite to eat and a drink at Yeah Yeah Tacos and enjoy the festivities before making your way back to your accommodation.
Day 3 – Sohoton Cove and the Tri Island Day Tour
End your trip with a full-day tour that starts from 6:30 am and ends at 5:30 pm. You will set sail to Bucas Grande Island and explore Sohoton Cove and Hagukan Cave. The Hagukan Cave is a magnificent 30-meter cave filled with bioluminescent plankton in the water.
The tour takes you around the Blue Lagoon (Tiktikan Lagoon) and then to nearby Crystal Cave. You can venture several hundred meters into the caves.
Once you are finished your epic time in Bucas Grande islands, find your way to the three island tour at Naked, Daku, and Guyam islands. Each island has its own distinctive features.
Finally, to end off a trip well spent, enjoy the epic sunsets Siargao bids you each night, while you take your boat trip back.
Siargao is one of the Philippines’ most precious hidden gems. An island enjoyed from its enchanting lagoons, beautiful cave pools, and multiple stunning Siargao islands.
This is an island to be enjoyed from all its coconut palm forests, sky blue water and soft, powdery sand beached. This beautiful island gives you the ideal getaway experience into the tropics, without the crowds.
This hidden paradise has been named the “Most Beautiful Island” around Asia, and for good reason. It oozes beauty, bids the day farewell with incredible sunsets, offers some breathtaking lagoons and major surf spots.
With the variety of things to do on the magical island, you’re guaranteed to have an incredible and picturesque trip here. Have a great vacation!
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