Things to do in Siargao
Siargao is stunning to explore by motorbike. From the main tourist area (General Luna) down southeast to the northern tip is a 3-hour drive, so we recommend you plan at least three days on the island.
1. Rope Swing at Maasin Secret River
On the side of a red bridge in Maasin village is a coconut tree hanging over the water. Local kids will be waving and asking you to take a swing. It is one of the most picturesque places in Siargao. Spend the morning swinging, take the boat on the river, and be amazed by their rope swing skills. Please leave these guys a tip as well.
2. Magpupungko Rock Pools
Drive 45 minutes along the stunning coastline towards the Magpupungko Rock Pools. A white sand beach with many tiny rock pools in front of the beach during low tide. Ask a local what’s the best time to visit for that day.
3. Palm viewpoint
On the main road from South to North, you will pass an incredible view overlooking an endless sea of palm trees. There is no sign, but it’s hard to miss a jaw-dropping view like that.
4. Surf at Cloud 9 in Siargao
Siargao equals surfing. Cloud 9 is one of the world’s best surf breaks and is the place that made Siargao famous. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced surfer, at Cloud 9, everyone can surf.
On the beach (left of the Cloud 9 pier) are loads of instructors ready to teach you how to surf.
5. Pacifico Beach
Pacifico on the east coast is the second biggest tourism area of Siargao. It has a stunning white beach and is famous for surfing. Pacifico is just a 10-minute drive away from the Magpupungko Rock Pools.
6. Shopping in Siargao
Small boutique shops are popping up on the main street of General Luna. You’ll find everything from surf and skate outfits to jewelry and many more local brands.
7. Island hopping to nearby islands
Siargao is surrounded by one of the biggest mangrove forests in the Philippines and numerous stunning islands. Take a day trip to Sugba Lagoon, do the 3 islands tour, or go even further and overnight at Sohoton Cove. Due to the bad weather conditions, we weren’t able to do any of these activities.
8. Discover Siargao!
This may sound obvious, but driving around Siargao Island is honestly one of the best things to do. The island is untouched and so stunning every new corner makes your jaw drop.
We stopped at a school to have a look inside during their lunchtime. We played basketball together, they sang some songs to us, and we had coconuts with them.
9. Alegria Beach
Drive up to the very northern tip of Siargao and visit Alegria Beach. This clean stretch of white sand and blue water is perfect for swimming and sunbathing. Tip: Visit the nearby TakTak Falls if you have more time.
10. Grab a bowl at Shaka
Fresh fruits, homemade granola, and local yogurt are available at Shaka, the healthiest breakfast in Siargao. Get a delicious coffee, smoothie, or fresh fruit bowl for a perfect start to the day. Shaka also has a location in El Nido.
11. Drive the Coconut Roads
There is a reason Siargao got the title ‘Most Beautiful Island in Asia’. The scenic road along the coastline is filled with white beaches and coconut trees, with scenery that gets more and more impressive after each corner. Simply driving around for hours, talking to locals and how they live, was our absolute favorite thing to do in Siargao.
Siargao Travel Tips
Tourism doubled in Siargao in 2018. The island is developing rapidly, but you should be prepared for inconveniences like dirt roads, power cuts, or no WiFi. The people of Siargao don’t want to ruin their island, for example, what happened to Boracay, so there are a lot of environmental programs going on to create awareness. Learn more about how to travel sustainably.
In all tourist areas is a ban on plastic bags and single-use plastic, so you will see bamboo straws instead. All over General Luna town are bins for plastic bottles, which are used really well by both tourists and locals.
Drinking water is for free in nearly every restaurant, and smoking is only allowed in certain areas.
Siargao WiFi & SIM Card
A steady working WiFi isn’t very common. Restaurants offer WiFi, but you can expect it to be extremely slow or not working at all. We recommend you buy one or maybe even two SIM cards. We found that in some areas, Smart Sim worked, whereas in other regions, Globe worked better. Get your SIM cards here.
How to Get to Siargao Island
Siargao is accessible via the night ferry from Cebu or an airplane from Manila or Cebu. If you plan to travel to Siargao by plane, then make sure you have a morning flight as flights often get canceled in the afternoon (near dark) since Siargao airport doesn’t have runway lights.
You can easily get around the island by motorbike. Rent a motorbike for 350 PHP per day (6.5 USD). However, this doesn’t include helmets, and they’re limited on the island. You can rent a good, clean helmet at Loose Keys.
Where to Stay
There are three main tourist towns in Siargao: General Luna, Dapa, and Pacifico. Dapa and Pacifico are quieter, and General Luna offers the best restaurants.
Restaurants in Siargao
Siargao has most likely the best restaurants in the Philippines in such a small area. It reminded us a bit of the options you have in the best restaurants in Canggu, Bali. These were our favorites:
- CEV (Peruvian)
- Kermit (Italian and more)
- Shaka (fruits/smoothie bowls)
- La Carinderia (Italian)
Your Budget for Siargao
The are only a few ATMs in Siargao, so we recommend bringing enough cash with you. At the time of writing (Feb 2019), there is one ATM in General Luna and two in Dapa. Budget-wise, the island is a little more expensive.