Many vacation-goers get swayed by island life fantasies, so if you could choose one to spend your summer in, where would it be?
Whenever vacay season approaches, people tend to spend hours on end planning their dream vacation. The Philippine beaches and islands are often a target destination for both Filipinos and foreigners–and for a good reason!
Siargao is an island located in the province of Surigao del Norte, northeast of Mindanao and bordering the Pacific Ocean. It is a popular tourist destination known for its coral reefs, sandy beaches, and reputation as a surfing paradise.
And speaking of reputation, Siargao has gathered quite some buzz from the international world. American magazine Condé Nast Traveler hailed it as “Best Island in Asia” in both 2018 and 2021. It even placed higher than the more mainstream Palawan and Boracay in both years.
With its rising popularity among both local and foreign tourists, this island is definitely worth the hype. Young or old, homebody or wild child–there’s certainly gonna be a place for you in Siargao. Need a stronger nudge?
Here are 10 things you can enjoy in Siargao:
Surf the waves of Cloud 9
Image: Cloud 9 surfing spot
More and more adventurers are getting into the surfing hype, and where’s a better place to enjoy the waves? Well here’s a fun fact: Siargao Island holds the title of “surfing capital of the Philippines.”
Siargao is especially famous for Cloud 9, an exciting surf spot with the most dynamic waves. CNN even placed it among the top 10 surf spots in the whole world. It is known for its high intensity, which popularized it as a spot for more advanced surfers and avid thrill-seekers.
However, fear not as beginners are not completely excluded from the picture. Siargao locals also offer private lessons for adult surfer aspirants. For tourists planning to catch the waves at Cloud 9, the peak season runs from September to March. Make sure to mark your calendars!
Image: Guyam Island
For tourists who enjoy a good adventure, Siargao is widely known for its island trio. Locally organized boat tours can take you to Daku Island, Guyam Island, and Naked Island within just one day.
Starting with the largest of the three, Daku Island is known for its beach activities and hearty meals. Tourists typically enjoy the traditional boodle fight, complete with Filipino delicacies set on a banana leaf.
Guyam Island, on the other hand, is a smaller island that is a suitable destination to get some downtime. Tourists may simply lounge around on the beach, have a picnic, or read some magazines for leisure. All in the name of some good relaxation.
Lastly, Naked Island is perhaps the most popular in the trio. It is an aesthetic destination to brighten up your Instagram feed. Its white sand and bare area make for a great refresher to the eyes. The beaches don’t fall short of a fun swimming experience either.
Go on a day trip to Sohoton Cove National Park
Image: Sohoton Cove National Park
Known as the El Nido of the South, Sohoton Cove National Park offers a wide range of destinations and activities all in one day trip. It is only an hour away from Siargao Island via boat ride. This national park contains the Tiktikan Lagoon with its bright blue waters, a peaceful stay at Sohoton Bay Resort, and close access to the Crystal Cave.
Cliff-jump at Taktak Falls
Another activity for thrill-seekers and people wanting to overcome their acrophobia is jumping from the Taktak Falls cliffs. Known as the only waterfalls on Siargao Island, it is about 15 meters high and a 1.5-hour drive from General Luna. Tourists may opt for either cliff jumping or tree jumping, the latter being a milder experience. The pool beneath the trees is not very deep either, which makes for a chill swim.
View jellyfish in Tojoman Lagoon
Jellyfish are known for being scary creatures. However, only 2.5 hours away from Siargao’s main island via boat ride, Tojoman Lagoon boasts a unique species of stingless jellyfish. Tojoman Lagoon prides itself on its crystal clear yet shallow waters, which makes it even easier to witness the jellyfish sanctuary. The lagoon is also surrounded by a thick forest. Tourists may either enjoy paddling on a boat or go snorkeling.
Venture into the Bucas Grande caves
Hagukan Cave and Magkukuob Cave are known as the twin caves of Bucas Grande. Venturing deep into these caves is a worthy activity to add to the list for fans of mystery. Hagukan Cave boasts green, almost glowing waters. Swimming here feels like starring in a fantasy film. On the other hand, Magkukuob Cave boasts awe-inspiring stalactite formations for science enthusiasts.
Have a main character moment in the Tayangban Cave Pool
Half an hour away from General Luna, you can experience a mermaid fantasy main character moment in Tayangban Cave. The cave boasts a waist-deep pool within its rock formation. Tourists can enjoy a quick swim here while also admiring the stalactites above. Talk about an Instagrammable moment!
Admire the view from the Palm Tree Viewpoint
Hailed as the best viewpoint in Siargao, this destination is only a 25-minute ride from General Luna. It is a great place to watch both sunrise and sunset from an elevated area overlooking thousands of palm trees. What a great way to snap some memorable photos and admire Philippine agriculture!
Enjoy local Siargao cuisine
Food is a great way to immerse in a certain culture and bond with the locals. Siargao doesn’t fall short of restaurants to enjoy both Filipino and foreign delicacies. Some highly recommended places are Madmans Restobar, Kurvada, Ceviche and Kinilaw, Kitya’s Place, and Altrove Siargao. Make sure to order a large meal to fill up your stomach after a long day of adventures!
Immerse in Siargao’s nightlife scene
Do you fancy a good drink after a tiring day? You may not expect it from such a small island, but Siargao also has its own nightlife scene. Albeit not as wild and thrilling as in the city, adult tourists like to enjoy a night in the island’s bars. RumBar, a local resto-bar, holds a weekly Monday Madness for some drinks and dancing. Local resorts, such as Harana Surf Resort, also have bars for guests to unwind.