Siargao Travel Guide
Siargao Activities, Island Hopping, Tours, Surfing & Kitesurf School
Upon arriving to Siargao Island, some of the first words that visitors always hear are, “You’ll get stuck here. Everyone either extends or comes back.” The normality of people getting stuck is further shown by the tourists being asked, “How many times have you been to Siargao?” It’s always assumed that this is the second or eighth trip. No one can stay away for long. In a destination that commonly draws well-seasoned travelers, why this place? What compels people to stay? What sets Siargao Island apart from the other tropical destinations spread throughout the world?
Siargao Island is the island paradise that people picture when they think the words “island paradise.” Sparkling turquoise waters that are so saturated with color it’s hard to believe they exist outside of Photoshop. Soft white sand that hides exotic seashells. An abundance of gently swaying palm trees that offer shade and fresh coconut juice. Plenty of natural features that lend themselves to outdoor activities such as surfing, stand up paddle boarding, rock jumping, cave exploring, and more. The beauty and opportunity of the island is breath taking. In addition to that, Siargao Island has a vibrant community of locals and foreigners that visitors are immediately welcomed into.
Getting to Siargao Island
Part of the reason that Siargao Island has avoided being developed into another cookie cutter beach town is that it’s fairly remote. While a remote location is great for cultural and environmental preservation, it can make getting there a little bit complicated. International visitors will fly into Manila or Cebu. The only flight onto Siargao Island is from Cebu. Instead of flying directly to the island, visitors on a budget can purchase a domestic flight to Surigao, and then take a ferry from Surigao to Siargao. For a really tight budget, consider taking the overnight ferry from Cebu to Surigao. Confused by all of this? Click here for an in-depth guide to getting to Siargao
Siargao Island Vibe
The Philippines is well-known for having the most friendly people in the world. Famed for their hospitality, Filipinos love to share their country and culture. Siargaonons happily greet visitors, engaging them in conversation and offering advice for their stay on the island. It’s refreshing to visit a place where people care about who you are (and whether or not you’ve eaten yet!) instead of how much money you have. Between the beauty and culture, it’s no wonder that many visitors have fallen in love and chosen to live on Siargao Island. The expats have helped create a unique location and culture. One where you definitely won’t find a McDonalds, but you can enjoy an authentic Italian pizza.
Siargao Island’s Food Offerings
Food is at the heart of Filipino culture, and the dinner table is where many travelers have bonded with locals and other travelers alike. From authentic fare to 5-star seafood, Siargao Island has it all. Drive down to the market to try classic Filipino dishes such as chicken adobo and pancit canton. Regional favorites for travellers are pumpkin soup, eaten over rice and kinilaw – a ginger-laden dish similar to ceviche. BBQ is a dinner staple. Mamas Grill is the most well-known, but there are a handful of other spots that are also delicious and have smaller crowds. It would take weeks to eat your way through all of the delicious international fare that’s available. Highlights include: Blackened Mahi Mahi at Viento del Mar, crepes at Pleasure Point, and pizza at Kermit.
Adventure, wanderlust, travel… these words have been used so often on everything from Instagram hashtags to travel blog entries that they have begun to lose their power. Regain the true meaning of adventure, wanderlust, and travel by taking advantage of Siargao Island’s diverse offering of athletic activities and day trips. Learn to surf with a local instructor, or get barreled at Cloud 9. Discover lesser known surf spots by boat or by motorbike. Paddle board through the mangroves. Immerse yourself into the rush and technicality of kite surfing. Rent some bicycles and pedal from General Luna to Cloud 9. Charge up a hill on a water buffalo, and then party around a bonfire at sunset.
Read about Surfing here and Kiteboarding here
Siargao Island Trips & Tours
Day trips are the reason why a week is never enough time for Siargao Island. Visit three picturesque nearby islands during an island hopping trip. Marvel at the stingless jellyfish and numerous caves during the Sohoton Caves tour. The journey is as good as the destination when you make your way through the second largest mangrove reserve in the Philippines to find yourself breathless at the sight of Sugba Lagoon. Dive off a large rock into the Magpupungko natural rock pools. Ride a motorbike around the island, exploring the small villages. Spend some time on the north end of the island, for an entirely different experience. The peacefulness and uncrowded surf found in northern Siargao are a welcome balance to the non-stop socializing of General Luna.