2018 SIARGAO TRAVEL GUIDE | SURFING, TOURIST ATTRACTIONS, RESORTS, HOW TO GET THERE
“If you will be stranded on an island, where would you want it to be?”
Getting stranded in a place for days can be really frustrating but if a beauty queen will be asked this question, they will surely answer a paradise they dreamed of going. This scenario wasn’t just asked to the Miss Universe beauties Lauren Howe of Canada, Rachel Peters of Philippines, and Samantha James of Malaysia; but they indeed experience it recently as typhoon Urduja struck Eastern Samar, Philippines.
“…reasons to smile here in the Philippines,” “…minutes of calm,” and “So happy to be stranded…” are the actual words these three beauties used to describe their experience. But where exactly in the Philippines is this place? It’s none other than, Siargao.
So what’s with Siargao that these three girls still had some fun while being stranded?
Siargao is located in the Mindanao, specifically in the province of Surigao del Norte. This island should definitely be on the list of those who love to travel; not only it attracts surfers due to its intact waves and winds but typical beach bum who know nothing about surfing can still be awe while staying in this island.
Siargao: The Surfing Capital of the Philippines
Finding the best surfing to go to if you are in the Philippines? You can never go wrong if you are to visit the country’s highly-touted surfing capital, Siargao Island, in Surigao Del Norte.
But when you think that it’s only true to the locals who hailed it as the best across the country, international institutions such as the CNN recognized Siargao Island—specifically it’s “Cloud 9” region—as among the top 10 best surfing spots all over the world, bested only by 8 others.
Able to consistently provide decent waves year-round which makes it a hub for surfing enthusiasts and professionals alike, Siargao’s surrounding beaches are at their peak in producing high waves averaging 7 feet in height during the months of September/October up to March of the following year.
The place was so popular among surfers especially Cloud 9 during peak season, locals often label the same area as “Crowd 9,” hinting how crowded the area can be at times with thrill-seeking surfers. With little to no competition in neighboring areas apart from their equally beautiful beaches, the idea that Cloud 9 getting overcrowded is perhaps expected rather than surprising.
Popular to both foreigners and locals from other parts of the country like in Manila, getting to Siargao Island is a trip by plane or by boat, in addition to a further land transfer, depending on where you are coming from.
Business for Surfers
Thriving with businesses centered towards surfers, there are establishments within the region that offer rentals of surfboards. The selection may not be at par with the greatest surfboards elsewhere but places like the Fat Lips Surf Shop offer decent choices to choose from.
While you can choose to carry with you your rented stuff and walk a rather long way to your intended destination, renting a ride for $8 a day is a more convenient option especially if you are already too excited to check out the famed waves.
To get to the offshore waves, however, a boat transfer is required via the so-called “bangka,” a local outrigger boat, which costs $5 per person. This is a 2-way travel, however. Meaning, the “captain” of the boat will be there to stay until such time his passengers are done surfing in the area.
When you think that this so-called “captains” of their own bangka are seasoned sailors of the seas as reflected by their age, you would be surprised to see that they can also be as young as a teen, yet are experienced enough to be in their trade.
How to get to Siargao Island
Whether you are coming from the country’s capital region or that of the closer region of Cebu, getting to this tropical island in the further south-eastern region of the country is only possible in one of two ways: direct flight by plane or via a ferry boat.
The easiest and most comfortable way of getting to Siargao is to fly direct from Manila or Cebu International Airport.
Another route to reach Siargao is to fly from Manila to Surigao after which you will take a boat to reach Siargao.This route might be a bit cheaper but might consume your most of your time.
Landing into the island by plane or dropping off by boat, it takes another 40 minutes of land travel to actually get to the town of General Luna, a gateway to the surfing beaches of Siargao Island.
List of Tourist Attractions in Siargao | Things to Do
Sugba Lagoon is located at Del Carmen, about 90 to 120 minutes from General Luna via van and boat. In the middle of mangroves and splendid rock formation, this place offers a calmer atmosphere as there are fewer visitors on the spot; if you are lucky enough, you can have the whole place by your own.
Entrance fee is 100php while table fee is 50php / table.
A menu or freshly caught fish are available but expect that it is very costly.
For a cheaper food budget, you can bring your own lunch or buy raw foods at the market near Tourism Office and grill it at the lagoon. A fee of 100php is required for grilling.
If you want to skip the hassle of DIY travel guide mentioned above, just book a tour on hotels.
Activities: swimming, SUP, personal encounter with Stingless Jellyfish (if lucky enough), water bike, bamboo raft, and diving at the springboard
After having numerous fun water activities at the Sugba Lagoon, head to Kawhagan Island to be relaxed and just chill under the sun while having fresh coconuts. This island is just around 20 minutes from Sugba.
Daku, Naked, and Guyam Island
Never underestimate the beauty of similar islands. These three islets located near General Luna are similar in kind but experiences will always be different from one another, so visit all.
Magpupungko Rock Pool
A wonderful gem in the municipality of Pillar, this place offers sophisticated rock formation and inviting turquoise blue water. The area is already commercialized as food stalls and restaurants warmly welcome every guest. On the other hand, guests can also bring their own food. You can choose on two different ways on how to reach the Rock Pool: from the back passing rock steps, or passing through the beach. One thing to remember: visit during low tides to witness a calmer atmosphere. Entrance fee to this place is just 50php.
If you want to skip the busy coastline of General Luna, opt to go to Alegria Beach instead. The crystal clear water, white sand, and coconut palms make the beach perfect for a great photo opportunity and even postcards photos. Having a number of coconut palms, enjoying fresh big coconuts is expected. What makes it more enjoyable is that there are less (or none at all) tourists on the area, which means that it is still unspoiled and has preserved beauty.
Another place to visit if you prefer a less touristy area is the Pacifico Beach. The white sand and clear blue-green water make a perfect view if you decided to have a stroll and swim early in the morning. The radiant colors of sunrise, on the other hand, are best enjoyed during summer; it gives a dramatic picture which is perfect if you just want to have that me-time kind of moment. Surfing lesson is also offered as the beach has really good surfing site but not that consistent compare to those in General Luna’s; however, some still prefer surfing here as there is not much queue. There are about six resorts and backpackers can put up a tent as well.
Enough of saltwater and freshwater this time. Taktak Falls is the only waterfalls in Siargao so make the most of it; have fun dipping!
a beautiful view of the Siargao from Ocean 101 Cloud 9 Beach Resort
Other fun activities that make great memories
Hill climbing – Enjoy admiring sunsets and landscapes with this activity; there’s a hill in Del Carmen if you want to.
Having fresh coconuts – it has already been mentioned in this post that some beaches makes this possible but we’re saying it again, don’t forget to eat fresh coconuts.
Sleep under the stars, get that tent ready! – How an adventure it will be to sleep with the Mother Nature?
Sunrise and sunsets – You can enjoy sunrise and sunsets in most part of the country, but having this in Siargao might give you a new experience and nostalgic feeling.
Eat Pizza at Kermit’s and Mexican foods at Kokai’s – what’s a travel if you will not try eating at their most famous restaurants?
Coffee time at Café Loca – coffee lover, anyone?
Overall, Siargao is one place you shouldn’t miss. Skip the over-rated summer destinations and enjoy the serene atmosphere that Siargao has to offer.
Club Tara Beach Resort
List of Resorts in Siargao
You can book a room in your next visit to Siargao by clicking on the link (name of resorts) listed below. This list includes budget resorts and homestays. Almost all of these resorts offer discounts.
Bravo Beach Resort
Tourism Road, General Luna, General Luna, Siargao Islands, Philippines, 8420
Ocean 101 Cloud 9 Beach Resort
Cloud 9, Catangnan Gen. Luna, Surigao Del Norte, General Luna, Siargao Islands, Philippines, 8419
Cherinicole Beach Resort
Tourist Road, Purok 3 Brgy. Poblacion, General Luna, General Luna, Siargao Islands, Philippines, 8419
Club Tara Resort
Bucas Grande Island, Dona Helen, Socorro, Surigao Del Norte, Socorro, Siargao Islands, Philippines
Barangay 1, Poblacion, General Luna, General Luna, Siargao Islands, Philippines
Purok 5, Tourist Road, General Luna, General Luna, Siargao Islands, Philippines, 8419
Malinao View Beach Resort
Malinao Road Brgy Malinao, General Luna, Siargao Island, General Luna, Siargao Islands, Philippines, 8419
Maria Tavern Island
Poblacion 5, General Luna, General Luna, Siargao Islands, Philippines, 8419
Tourism Road, Purok 5, Caraga, Siargao Island, Surigao Del Norte, General Luna, Siargao Islands, Philippines, 8419
Tourism Road, General Luna, Siargao Islands, Philippines, 8419
Point 303 Resort
Cloud 9, Catangnan, Gen. Luna, General Luna, Siargao Islands, Philippines
Reef Beach Resort
Catangnan, General Luna, General Luna, Siargao Islands, Philippines, 8419
Romantic Beach Villas Siargao Island
Cloud 9, Siargao Island, General Luna, Siargao Islands, Philippines
Sailfish Bay Surf & Big Game Fishing Lodge
Pacifico, San Isidro, San Isidro, Siargao Islands, Philippines, 8421
Siargao Bleu Resort And Spa
Tourism Road, General Luna, Siargao Island, Philippines, General Luna, Siargao Islands, Philippines, 8419
Barangay Taruc, Socorro, Siargao Islands, Philippines, 8416
Tarzans Beach Resort
Siargao Islands, Dagohoy, East Bucas Grande Island, Dapa, Siargao Islands, Philippines, 8417
Viento Del Mar
Purok 5, Tourism Road, General Luna, Siargao, General Luna, Siargao Islands, Philippines, 8419
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