10 things to see in Siargao
Siargao island is no longer the secluded haven it once used to be. Over the past few years, it exploded in popularity among local and foreign tourists alike. Luckily, this beautiful island is quite big, so even though the main tourist area (General Luna) can get a bit crowded at times, there’s still plenty of ways to enjoy Siargao without it feeling too congested and hectic.
Another great thing about Siargao is that even though it’s so popular, accommodation and overall prices are still very low. You can easily find and book a cheap hotel in Siargao, or you can even find a very decent Airbnb instead. While the nightlife in General Luna is great, luckily, Siargao has so many wonderful things to do that you’ll most likely be too tired to go out at night anyway. Below are some of those activities you can’t afford to skip while visiting Siargao.
1. Island hopping to 3 different islands
This is the quintessential island hopping tour of Siargao. It takes you to the 3 most popular and beautiful islands out there – Daku, Guyam and Naked Island. The tour goes out usually with a group, but private ones can easily be obtained as well. The main highlight is the beaches at all 3 islands, and snorkelling is also quite fun.
2. Sugba Lagoon
Sugba Lagoon is located about an hour’s drive to the north of General Luna. Together with the island hopping tour, this is by far the most popular tour in Siargao. Sugba is the 2nd largest mangrove ecosystem in the Philippines, and as you make your way through the mangrove forest, you might even see some crocodiles! When you arrive at the lagoon, you’ll be able to rent a kayak and explore this wonderful area for as long as you like.
3. Magpupungko Tidal Pools
This is usually combined in the same tour as Sugba Lagoon, but you can also easily go there by yourself if you rent a motorbike. Either way, it’s best to visit Magpupungko in the afternoon during low tide. That is when the pools expose themselves and you can get a good look at the corals and animals living below the rocks.
4. Bucas Grande
Bucas Grande is also known as Sohoton Cove and is widely considered one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines. It is often compared to what El Nido used to be like 20 or 30 years ago before the hordes of tourists arrived. It is possible to sleep in Bucas or take a whole day tour from Siargao. Even though the boat ride is 3 hours each way, it is well worth it to visit this amazing place. Of course, you can also minimize travel time if you rent a speedboat instead of a bangka, but that means going on a private tour – there’s only one tour agency in Siargao that offers that option.
5. Surfing at Cloud 9 beach
This attraction is what made Siargao famous, to begin with. The island is considered as among the premier surfing spots in Asia, and Cloud Nine Beach is the best among all surfing spots on the islands. The best thing about it is that it is suitable for all levels – you can even book a surfing lesson if you are a complete beginner. Even if you are not into surfing at all, it is still worth it to go there to watch the sunset off the pier.
6. Tayangban Cave
Tayangban Cave is like a mini version of Sugba Lagoon. It is an underground cave with a pool at its center. The main highlight is cliff jumping into that pool, then swimming around in the cool waters. This is a great activity for a day where you plan to just chill, but still want to get something exciting done.
7. Tak Tak Waterfall
Tak Tak Falls is the only waterfall in Siargao and a nice one. It takes 1.5 hours to drive there from General Luna, but it’s well worth the effort. Cliff jumping and swimming are the main attractions here as well, or you could just have a picnic and enjoy the breathtaking scenery around you.
8. Visit Alegria Beach
Alegria is a stunning beach at the northernmost tip of Siargao. It is not too far from the waterfall and the two can easily be combined into a single day. What makes this beach great is the fact that being so far from the touristy areas means you’ll most likely have the whole place pretty much to yourself.
9. Go on a food trip
The local cuisine in Siargao is excellent, especially everything is based around buko. This is the place to try out those coconut ice creams, smoothies and what not! Other than that, there are tons of excellent places to eat all around Siargao, mostly in General Luna.
10. Explore the nightlife
As mentioned already, the nightlife scene in Siargao is great and something you should try at least once while you are there. The way it works over there is that each night the party is at a different venue, while bars operate normally every day. Bravo and Rum Bar are considered the best party spots, so try to time it so you go out to party on a night where the party is at once of these two if possible.