Surf capital of the Philippines, named after a mangrove, offers a great variety of outdoor activities, including risk-taking adventure sports and gentler pursuits such as exploring rock pools and caves. There are also plenty of opportunities to relax on the white-sand beaches
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Visitors to Siargao normally visit General Luna (GL), while the island’s main town, Dapa Town, is home to grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, and cafes.
The island is largely undeveloped apart from these two spots. It is perfect for kayakers, paddleboarders, cliff jumpers, cave swimmers, island hoppers and more with plenty of eco-friendly lodging.
Attracting adventurous travellers from around the world – many on a tight budget – Siargao has an eclectic dining scene embracing international cooking, vegan and other healthy cuisine, and local recipes with or without a modern twist. Filipino favourites not to miss include the seafood boodle fight at Daku Island and the unique surfboard-shaped bread, Pan de Surf. Siargao has a lively nightlife scene focused on different bars on different nights of the week, so chatting to locals is the best way to find out where to head. Regular venues include Bravo, RumBar, Viento and the Jungle Shack. Another way to get to know locals is through their love of karaoke, both in their own homes and in dedicated bars.
What to See and Do in Siargao
In the south of the Philippines is an island entirely covered with palm trees. It boasts the best waves in the country and attracts surfers from all over the world.
Grab a board. For beginners, there’s Jacking Horse with its many surf schools; for pros, the thick, hollow ‘barrels’ at Cloud 9 have earnt it a place among the world’s top 10 waves.
Sunrise and Sunsets
Alternatively, admire the action – and watch the sun rise or set, or stargaze – from Cloud 9 boardwalk with its viewing area
Go island-hopping to Guyam, Daku and Naked Island.
Head for mountain-rimmed Sugba Lagoon, where you’ll find a floating hut with a diving board plus SUP paddleboard and wooden raft hire.
Go cliff jumping and explore the caves and coves of Magpupungko Rock Pools, or try the Tarzan Jump on the Maasin River. Stop by the Maasin viewpoint to see the incredible sight of the island’s coconut plantation.
Tayangban Cave Pools
Go caving at Tayangban Cave Pools, swimming and floating by torchlight while bats flit around you.
Journey to Taktak Waterfall, for more cliff jumping, tree jumping and exploring, and to see the sun set from Santa Monica Pier or bask in the sun at the Alegria whitesand beach.
Bucas Grande’s lagoon
Explore Bucas Grande’s lagoon with non-sting jellyfish, and do sea kayaking or cliff diving. Enjoy the water bungalow resorts in the island.
Get off the beaten track at pristine Pacifico Beach with its small surf-town feel and a sprinkling of resorts and homestays. On Sundays, join in with beach clean-ups in aid of disadvantaged children.
How to get there
Traveling by plane to Siargao is the most efficient way to reach the island. You can fly to Siargao directly from the main jump-off points in Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao – three primary island groups of the Philippine archipelago. You can also choose to fly to Surigao City and then travel via ferry to Siargao Island.
Siargao has its own airport, the Sayak Airport, located in the municipality of Del Carmen. Sayak Airport is only connected to domestic destinations.
Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air, and Skyjet have regular direct flights to Siargao from Manila, Cebu, and Davao. It’s best to book months in advance, as prices can skyrocket the closer you get to your departure date.
If you’re coming from outside of the Philippines, you will have to travel to either Manila-Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Luzon, Mactan-Cebu International Airport in the Visayas, or Surigao Airport and Davao International Airport in Mindanao.
The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Airport in Luzon would be your jumpoff point if you’re connecting flight is in Manila. NAIA is connected to several international destinations in North East and Southeast Asia, Middle East, Oceania, North America, and Europe. From NAIA, you can fly directly to Sayak Airport in Siargao.
By Flights and Ferry
Some travelers prefer to fly from Cebu to Surigao City and take the ferry to Siargao Island from Surigao Port. This is a considerably cheaper route than flying directly to Siargao from Cebu.
From Surigao City
You can fly to Surigao Airport from Mactan-Cebu airport, and then catch a ferry heading to Siargao at the Surigao Port. Cebu Pacific has direct flights from Cebu to Surigao City.
There are daily fast craft trips from Surigao Port to Dapa in Siargao Island. Evaristo & Sons Sea Transport and Atlantis Yohan Express are the primary shipping lines with ferries plying Surigao City to Siargao Island every day.
Getting Around Siargao
You will have many options for getting around Siargao. Aside from local public transportation like the habal-habal (motorcycle), tricycle, and jeepney, you can also rent a private car or even a tuk-tuk!
If you’re traveling solo or in a small group, you can hire local motorcycle drivers to give you a lift or drive them yourself. These motorcycles for hire are locally known as habal-habal. It’s a popular mode of transportation in many small islands in the Philippines, especially in the southern provinces. Riding a habal-habal around the island can be quite an adventure. You can hire or rent one to go around the island.
Van or Car Rental
If you prefer to get around the island on a private vehicle, you can rent a car or van. There are several car and van rental companies in Siargao. You can hire a private car or van with a driver for your trip.
It is more convenient, especially when you’re traveling with a group and doing an inland tour of Siargao. There are also car rentals in Siargao that allow you to drive the vehicle yourself.
If you arrived in the Siargao via plane you’ll be landing in Sayak Airport in Del Carmen. To get to General Luna you can catch a van for rent parked outside the airport. You can share the van with other travelers who are also on their way to General Luna.
Motorized tricycles, or simply tricycles, are public utility vehicles that are usually made locally by building a sidecar affixed to a motorcycle. They can accommodate 2-4 passengers only. Riding a tricycle is a great way to explore the island. Since it’s open-air, it can be quite an immersive trip.
You can find tricycles anywhere in Siargao. You can hire a one like a taxicab, or charter to take you to Siargao’s tourist spots for the whole day. This type of arrangement is tagged as a “special trip,” and so will cost you considerably more than a regular tricycle trip.
Rent a tuk-tuk
Roam on your own or have one of the local drivers take you around. Riding a tuk-tuk is the best way to travel the island!
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