Siargao Island, Surigao Del Norte
Where: Siargao Islands, Surigao Del Norte, Minanao
Who: Mr & Mrs Wanderlust
When: April 2015
What: Surf, chill at the beach, and explore the paradise island of Siargao!
The surfing mecca of the Philippines, where and even pro surfers from all over the world visit this tear-drop shaped island. Siargao Island is greatly influenced by the winds and currents coming uninterrupted from the Pacific Ocean, intensified by the Mindanao current running westward through the Siargao Strait. This is why the island has countless surfing spots and always has perfect surfing conditions especially during the season August to November or southwest monsoon.
But its not just about the surfing. Siargao islands has a lot to offer even for those who don't surf!
Before, going to Siargao is by domestic flights from Manila to Surigao City, and then by boat to Siargao Island. But good news is that the island is now also served by Cebu Pacific flying direct to Siargao Island via Cebu.
There are no direct flights from Manila to Siargao.. but you can get there via Cebu as there are daily flights from Cebu to Siargao from Cebu Pacific.
***Protip: You can book via website of Cebu Pacific Manila to Siargao.. but it will be more expensive that way. We booked the roundtrip flights individually instead, Manila to Cebu, tthen we allotted 3-4 hours stopover in Cebu to make way for any unforseen delays. Then booked another roundtrip ticket from Cebu to Siargao.
By doing that it saved us a 5-6,000PHP. See for yourselves.
via Surigao City:
One can also book a flight from Manila to Surigao City then board on the city's port for around 250php for a ferry ride straight to Siargao Islands.
Getting Around the island is easy. From the airport, there are FX, and vans / shuttles waiting, they usually charge 300PHP per head to get you from Airport to the place where most resorts and events are, General Luna.
Once in General Luna, you can rent a motorbike for 500 per day which is cheap if you want to go around the whole island. Or if you don't want trouble of driving a motorbike, you can call on any habal-habal. Their rates per way (from one point in Gen. Luna to another within the same area) is 20PHP per head. Some motorbikes even have a makeshift surfboard carrier.
There are a lot of resorts in Siargao, specifically in General Luna area. Also available for different budgets, hostels and lodges and pension houses usually charge 500PHP or less per day. While there are also resorts that can get to a couple of thousand pesos per night, and these are really nice resorts as well.
Mr & Mrs Wanderlust's Review
Isla Cabana Resort
+ Nicely designed 'nippa hut' A/C rooms that are also spacey, bathroom space is also big.
+ All the basic things we need, from hangers, to blowdry, to mini fridge, etc. is in the room
+ Staff and even owner are all friendly, accommodating, and helpful.
+ Includes complimentary breakfast (which was awesome and enough for hungry surfers)
+ Has a swimming pool facing the beach front with stunning view. Especially at sunrise.
+ Offers different tours and activity packages in the island for reasonable prices.
+ FREE WiFi
- Minor annoyance are the mosquitoes that get inside the room, better have insect repellent lotion or sticker
- As a suggestion would be best if there are also beers in the fridge so won't have to go out to get beer.
- Satellite is not working when windy or little bit of rain, but that's Cignal's (sat provider) fault I guess?
- A few minute ride away to Cloud 9 which is the surf spot, but the resort has its own beachfront.
Price: $$ 5-6,000PHP for 2
Service: 5 star - Service & staff were very helpful and nice
Facilities & Amenities: 5 star - Nice designed rooms has lots of space, clean pool, and nice beachfront.
Restaurant (foods): 5 star - From breakfast, to their Pizza, was awesome.
Bar: 4.6 - There is a bar in the resort, and good wine selection, however not much people or entertainment
Overall: 4.9 /5 star
1. See the famous Tres Islas - The three postcard perfect islands just a few minutes boatride away from Gen. Luna's port, you can see the nearest one:
Guyam Island so small that you can walk around for about 10 minutes There is a local house in the middle of the island with a toilet but no roof.
Naked Island (Pansukian) a 200 meter long / sandbar, shining white sand in the middle of the sea. Got it's name because, well, the island is stripped naked of any trees or shade. Also has few to no people around that you can go naked and go skinny dipping.
Daku Island the biggest island of the three, with bright powder sands and aquamarine clear waters, also a great place to hangout and bring lunch or have it cooked as Daku has tables and mini-huts.
**Protip: If on a budget or you are planning to have food cooked in Daku Island, they have cooking services for a small charge there from locals residing in the island. You just have to shop for ingredients in the public market just a few steps away from the port. But if budget isnt an issue then you can have cooked food added to your island hopping package.
*** If visiting Naked island, it is best to visit at low tide and have sunscreen, and drinking water.
2. Tour the Island of Siargao - The tear drop shaped island can be driven around in a whole day. Enjoy the scenery of its unspoiled countryside, hills and awesome view. The are also a couple of stops where you can just park your service vehicle at the side of the road and take photos.
3. Magpupungko Tidal Pools - In the town of Pilar, less than an hour drive away from Gen. Luna. you would see granite and limestone formations facing the Pacific Ocean. These rock formations have been naturally formed, and its limestone floor is dotted with mini pools of different shapes and sizes resembling basins, tubs, barrels, ponds etc. It is best to visit them during low tide as the pools are really magnificent and enjoyable to swim. There are also few elevated rock spots with pools really deep where you can cliff dive.
4. Sohoton Cove - In the town of Soccorro, the enchanting cove is half submerged in water most of the time and only accessible during low tide. And you can only enter during low tide through a cave entrance. There is also a spot where visitors can paddle their kayaks and see the golden stingless jellyfish. But it is now prohibited by local gov't for tourists to swim.
5. Pacific Game Fishing - Popular among tourists who are fond of fishing and taking it to the next level, Siargao has an unspoiled waters where one can catch Tuna, Mackerel, Marlin that on average can weigh 30 kilos. Last year's winner in the annual game fishing event in the town of Pilar caught 62 Kilos. The best season is January to May.
6. Chillout at Cloud 9 tower - Once on cloud 9, you would definitely see the wooden tower. It has 3 floors and open access for the public. Go ahead, and walk there, it is a really great spot even for non-surfers. One can just grab a seat there, feel the winds from the Pacific, and watch surfers rip the waves.
7. Surf the awesome waves of Siargao - The island facing the pacific has one of the top waves for surfing in the world (included in the TOP 10 surf spots in the world). There are also countless and even undiscovered surf spots. From baby waves for beginners to barreling waves for advanced to professional.
Below are a few surf spots that we asked based on local surfer guides and competitor that we got to hangout with.
Cloud 9 - the most popular surf spot in PH (8th best surf spot in the world). A barreling right hand reef break but with very sharp corals at the bed. Thus recommended only for advanced surfers.
Jacking Horse - from its name, its like riding a wave that jacks on it's peak and smashes onto shallow reef then forms again on the inner reef. Best on medium to high tide.
Caridad - nice left hand reef break that makes barrels during season. Best during east and northeast swells.
Cemetery - as it is right in front of General Luna cemetery. Breaks left and right.
Guyam Island - a five minute boat ride from General Luna town center. The back of the island are several breaks to choose from, perfect if you are tired of crowd surfing at the nearer beaches.
Pacifico - North of General Luna, another world class barreling reef break. Long, hollow and consistent left hander.
Stimpy's - For experts only, a big swell that is ferocious perfect tubing wave which breaks hard into very shallow water. Accessible by boat only.
Tuason's Point - Just right next to Cloud 9, Tuason's point is a very nice surf spot. This is seriously heavy, powerful and hard breaking
The said are just few of the many, countless, and undiscovered surf spots of Siargao.
Accommodation - Family Room - PHP 500 per person
Accommodation - Hostel bed for 2 - PHP 1,000 - 1,500
Accommodation - Resort Room for 2 - PHP 2,500 - 5,000
Transportation - Flight MNL - SIARGAO PHP 11,000 for 2
Transportation - VAN / FX from Siargao (Sayak) Airport to General Luna - PHP 300 per person
Transportation - Habal-habal ride within General Luna - PHP 20 per person
Transportation - Motorbike Rental - PHP 500 - 1,000 per day
Transportation - Habal habal from General Luna to Pilar (Magpupungko) - PHP 1,000 for 2
Activities - Island Hopping - Tres Islas (Guyam, Naked, Daku) tour - PHP 1,500
Activities - Sohoton Cove tour from Gen. Luna - PHP 3,500
Activities - Surfboard - Rental - PHP 250 / hour board + 250 / hour instructor
Activities - Surfboard - Rental - PHP 1,000 / hour whole day w/o instructor (shortboard cheaper)
Food - Resort - PHP 300 - 600 for 2 persons
Pete "KEYONG" - local surf guide / competitor - like most surfers, they are the cool and honest type of people who are also great guides, knows a lot of other locals that can hook you up with irie stuff and activities like island hopping, tours, guide you to other surf spots if you are an advanced surfer.
His contact phone is +63 915 598 1906
Maradjao Karajaw Siargao!
If you liked the video of Siargao, watch more Sights & Sounds of other destinations!
Wow!!! Very stunning place! I will make sure to find time to go there in Siargao next year.
Have been in the Philippines, but not yet in Siargao. Also heard that El Nido in Palawan is also great. Want to go back in PH ASAP.
Hi thanks for the airticket protip! Saved me Php 5,000+!! Thanks alot again! Safe travels to both of you!
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