This little island in the east of the Philippines is our favourite destination so far. If you’re looking for amazing beaches, even better surf, delicious food, a chilled out island vibe and plenty of natural wonders to explore, then your next trip needs to be to Siargao.
Here’s what makes it so great, along with everything you need to know before planning your trip…
First of all, General Luna or the surrounding area is the place to stay. The accommodation, bars and restaurants are great and the vibe couldn’t be more chilled. Plus you’re in a great location for Siargao’s best surf breaks.
The main attraction in Siargao is definitely surfing! There is the famous Cloud 9 surf break, which is more for experienced surfers, but there are a few smaller breaks close by which are more suitable for beginners and people with a little experience. There are even some further out surf spots that have shuttle boats running to take you out and bring you back.
There are loads of places to rent surfboards in General Luna, whether you want them for a few hours or your whole stay. You can find these by Cloud 9 or at Fat Lips surf shop in General Luna, as well as in a lot of the resorts (Buddha, Matanjak and Kermit’s to name a few).
It’s worth bearing in mind how much the tide changes in Siargao, high and low tide are so drastically different, and the timing changes everyday. Most spots can only be surfed during certain tides, so it’s best to find out in advance and plan your day around them. You can check the daily tides here:
We could go into detail about the different spots, but Surf Siargao have great overviews of each one with details on the experience needed and what tides they can be surfed during:
In General Luna there are two main beaches: the one running parallel to the main street, on the other side of resorts such as Bravo & Cabana, and another by Cloud 9. Most people opt for Cloud 9 which is amazing as you can walk down the boardwalk to the surfing view point, but if we had to choose just one, we’d go with the beach in front of General Luna. It has amazing white sand, the clearest blue water and is lined with palm trees as far as you can see. In addition to this, because everyone else seems to be at Cloud 9 you will likely only be sharing the stretch of beach with a few other people. Our favorite spot was right in front of Isla Cabana resort, pictured below.
Side note: you also need to consider the tide when planning a trip to the beach. Aim for high or mid tide as in low tide the sea goes back about 100m.
This is something you don’t want to miss! The lagoon is stunning and the activities along with lunch in the cottage make it such an incredible day. The weather was mixed when we went but this didn’t take away from the day at all – we got to enjoy the crystal waters of the lagoon in the sun as well as surreal experiences paddle boarding and leaping off the diving board in the rain.
This was one of the more expensive trips, priced between 1500 and 2000 php per person, but it was well worth the money. The price includes everything; transport, entrance, food and drink (we went for a boozy one – well worth it with a fun group!), and stand-up paddle boarding.
Another amazing day, not to be missed. The island hopping tour in Siargao visits Dakku, Naked & Guyam islands – all of which are incredibly beautiful, you might have seen amazing photos of them circulating around Instagram. They really are all as unspoilt and incredible as they look online, we found them to be way less crowded than the beaches in the island hopping in other parts of the Phillipines such as El Nido. Our boat trip cost 1,000 php each, and again included everything.
How to get to Siargao
To get to Siargao you can either fly or take the ferry. We’d recommend being organised and booking a flight directly to Siargao well in advance, unfortunately we didn’t didn’t plan ahead this well, so ended up getting the ferry. This is a good move for saving money, however, you will need to first of all get an overnight ferry from Cebu to Surigao City (on an island near Siargao) and then get a separate ferry to Siargao from there (3-4 hours), which makes the journey quite gutty. We found this Patrick’s on the Beach page really helpful for planning our journey.
A third option is to fly to Surigao City and take the shorter ferry from there to Siargao Island.
Where to stay:
Again..General Luna or around that are is where you’ll want to be. There’s a lot of choice when it comes to accommodation, with some really amazing and unique hotels and hostels. However most places are small and get booked up quickly, so book in advance if you can.
If you can’t find anything in online don’t worry too much as there are plenty of places that aren’t advertised. However we foolishly arrived on the Friday of a bank holiday weekend so were very lucky to get the last two beds at Soffta Surf Ranch.
Our reccomendations are::
- Soffta Surf Ranch – We stayed here for the first few nights and loved it, such a friendly atmosphere, and it was incredible staying in an open air dorm in what felt like the jungle
- Matanjak – After Soffta we stayed at Matanjak for a week. We loved this place; luxury without the price tag.. It had AC, a hot shower, a terrace with a hammock and little sofa to chill on, as well as a shared kitchen where the evenings would often be spent enjoying group dinners with lovely people
- Kermit’s – This place came highly recommended but it was fully booked during our stay. From what we did see though, it looked great
- Bravo – Even though we weren’t staying here it was a frequent daytime hangout spot for us. A really cool place with a bar and pool looking out to sea
- Harana – This seemed to be one of the more expensive options but from what we heard it was a great place to stay
- Kermit’s – Amazing sourdough pizzas, these were on par with the best Pizza’s we’ve ever eaten. Make sure you go
- Shaka smoothie bowls – After a lot of indulgent Filipino food the delicious and healthy smoothie bowls at Shaka were like heaven
- Bravo – In our opinion the best place to sit and chill, it leads onto the beach, has a small pool (not that we used it) and is the ideal spot to catch an incredible sunset. We loved the food and they also have a great drink called pomada, which was only 50php
- Mama’s Grill – Such a delicious and reasonable dinner. Pick whatever skewers you want and they grill it fresh for you
- Barrel – Get a whole rotisserie chicken for 250php, add some garlic rice, and a huge rum and coke for 50php. Another great, tasty meal on a budget
Hope this post has been useful to you! if you have any questions drop us a message or comment.