In 2015 we spent three weeks in the Philippines and its nature, wildlife, and beaches blew our minds! So it was an easy choice to book our flights and spend our next holiday here again. Last time we visited Bohol, Bucas Grande and Donsol and Lars visited Palawan, Negros, and Boracay in 2007 (I guess the Philippines are addictive!). For this trip, we decided to repeat Bucas Grande (if you’ve been there, you’ll know why) and also to visit a new place: Siargao, the surfing capital of the Philippines. Never heard of Siargao? Perfect! Actually, we should keep it a secret…
Some people say that Siargao is like Bali was 20 years ago – a surf island, laid back, with not too many tourists. We weren’t in Bali 20 years ago but we can imagine that this comparison is right.
The island has a very relaxed surf vibe. There aren’t too many (touristic) establishments (yet), but everything is of great taste and the service is excellent everywhere.
What impressed us the most is how the Islanders are concerned about sustainability. Restaurants and bars don’t sell plastic bottles but offer water for free in cups and soft drinks are served in glasses. Plastics straws aren’t used but reusable versions made from bamboo or steel are utilised. Also, supermarkets and shops don’t offer plastic bags, so you must bring your own. The roads are new, and you see signs everywhere requesting you to keep the island “clean and green.” Talking to some locals, we realized that they want to be an example for the Philippines and Asia, and not repeating the mistakes made by other touristic islands. These efforts are paying off. Siargao is clean, green and plastic-free.
Things to do in Siargao
Siargao attracts surfers from all over the world. But don’t worry if you, like us, don’t surf – there are plenty of other things to do on and around the island. We listed the main activities below.
Magpupungko Rock Pools
The pools are one of the most famous sights of Siargao and are surely an Instagrammable place. Swim or chill in its turquoise and warm waters. Feeling more adventurous? Climb the middle rock and jump in the water. The pools are easily accessible from General Luna by motorbike – around a one hour ride.
Entrance fee: 50P
You can spend the day hopping between three small idyllic islands by boat from General Luna. The islands are called Naked, Dako and Guyham island.
To get there, you can either book a small boat at the pier of General Luna or book a day trip with My Siargao Guide.
We chose to go with My Siargao Guide, and it was gorgeous! We started the day at Naked Island, which is very small and, as the name suggests, lacks palm threes or any other vegetation but offers a clean beach, algae free.
Next, we headed to Dako island where we could enjoy some hours of sun, snorkelling, playing beach volley, and a delicious lunch. There is also a small Filipino community living there, and you can visit their houses and see how island life looks like. My Siargao Guide provided all gears to snorkel or to play beach games (including fun floaters).
Tip: Walk along the beach, leaving the boats and the small huts behind you, to enjoy the best part of the island!
After, we visited Guynham island. Guynham is a tiny island with an area of 4300 m2 filled with palm trees. There are also some natural pools where you can sit and chill if it’s low tide.
We had a lot of fun swimming, playing beer pong and taking some Instagram worthy photos with the palm trees.
Thanks to Inna and Danna from My Siargao Guide for the lovely day and pictures 😉
Day trip: 1000P/pax
Imagine snorkelling with stingless jellyfishes, stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) on a breathtaking blue lagoon or jumping from a springboard into the water – that’s what you can expect from your day trip to Sugba Lagoon. The Sugba Lagoon is located in a remote area, between mangroves and rock formations of Del Carmen, Siargao. From General Luna, it will take approximately 90-120 minutes by van and boat to get there, but it’s worth the trip. You will spend the full day here (from 9 am to 5 pm) but don’t worry about getting bored as there are plenty of things to do and the surroundings of the lagoon are amazing.
Book your visit with My Siargao Guide for a stress-free day, as they provide all snorkelling and SUP gears as well as a mouth-watering lunch and unlimited drinks (non-alcoholic and alcoholic).
Sugba Lagoon was one of our favourite activities in Siargao. The area is still considerably virgin, and you don’t have to share it with many tourists (yet). With a bit of luck, you might have the lagoon all for yourself, as we did 😉
Book your trip at Bravo or Kermit for 2.000P/pax
Tayangban Cave Pool
Off the beaten track and recently opened, the pool is in the town of Pilar and ideal for a midday dip.
Burgos and Alegria Beach
One and a half and three hours ride respectively from General Luna, Burgos and Alegria’s beach are worth the trip. Imagine driving on a road alongside the beach, replete with palm trees, to then arrive on a deserted, white sand beach. Do we need to say more?
Tip: Stop at Pacifico Beach Resort for a drink, chicken adobo, and a swim.
Other things to do:
Watch the sunrise at Cloud 9 tower.
Try the fresh pan de coco.
Get a full body massage at Pinoy Massage.
Where to stay in Siargao
Most accommodations are located between in General Luna and Cloud 9. We had a lovely stay at Island Pacific Villas, located on a long white sand beach and in a tranquil area less than ten minutes by motorbike from General Luna. We rented our beachfront villa via Airbnb. Our hosts Alyssa and her husband Ven were lovely people. They rented us a motorbike, gave great tips on things to do and see, and also arranged a taxi to take us to the ferry on the day we left.
When to go
Usually, the high season for Siargao, based on weather, is between March and October as this is the dry season. But, of course, it depends on what you’d like to do. If you plan to go surfing, for example, then the best months would be August to November.
After spending eight days in Siargao, it was time to go to our little piece of paradise at the south of Bucas Grande.
Siargao is such a beautiful place, much more than just surfing. We had a lot of fun there, met lovely people, and ate great food! We will certainly go back. Are you joining us?
Thank you for reading!
Beatriz & Lars
*This trip was not sponsored in any way by any third-party or businesses mentioned in this post.