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Top Things to Do in Siargao, Philippines- Tropical Paradise

Ever wanted to explore a remote island covered by thousands of green coconut trees, offering tropical beaches and the perfect surf waves? Named the ‘Most Beautiful Island in Asia’ Siargao is a tropical hidden paradise in the Philippines being one of my favourite destinations! Besides stunning beaches, the island offers amazing food, surf opportunities for all levels of experience and hidden spots worth exploring.

  1. Things To Do in Siargao
  2. How to get here & get around
  3. Best restaurants
  4. Places to stay

Things To Do in Siargao

Siargao Island is amazing to explore by scooter. From the main area of the island called ‘General Luna‘, where you will most likely have your accommodation, it takes 3 hours drive to get to the northern tip. Try to spend one week in Siargao so you can enjoy all corners of the island and have a relaxing time. Let’s have a look at the Top Things To Do in Siargao!

Map of Siargao Island.

Rope Swing at Maasin Secret River

The rope swing is located in Maasin Village. It’s a picturesque place in Siargao with the perfect drawn coconut tree hanging over the water of Maasin River, where you can take a swing with the rope and jump in the waters.

Because this place is very popular, I can only recommend you to visit it very early in the morning before anyone else. When we arrived, there was a huge line of people waiting, which kind of ruined the magical feeling of the spot.

➳ Read: 4-week Travel Guide Philippines.

Rope at Maasin Secret River.

Magpupungko Rock Pools

It takes 45 minutes of driving along the scenic coastline to get to Magpupungko Rock Pools. This is where you’ll encounter a white sand beach, fringed by palm trees. In front of the beach, there are many small rock pools that appear during low tide. It’s best to ask some of the locals when is the best time to visit for the low tide.

Palm viewpoint

The view point is along the main road leading from South to North and gives you a stunning view overlooking the endless amount of palm trees. There’s no sign pointing out the view point, but you won’t miss it as it’s directly next to the road.

Siargao Island is completely covered with coconut trees.

Pacifico Beach

Pacifico is located on the east coast and Siargao’s second-largest tourist area. The beaches up here are stunning and offer great waves for surfing! It’s a cute area with lots of small restaurants located only 10 minutes away from the Magpupungko Rock Pools, which makes it a perfect day trip.

➳ Tip: Pacifico is the second-best option to find accommodation after General Luna.

Pacifico has some of the best beaches in Siargao.

Alegria Beach

Alegria Beach can be found on the very top in the north of Siargao Island. The white stretch of sand and blue waters are nice for sunbathing and swimming.

➳ Tip: If you have more time, visit the TakTak Falls that are nearby.

Coconut Roads & Jungle

Siargao hasn’t been named ‘The most beautiful island in Asia’ without reason. The island is covered with never ending coconut trees and scenic roads leading along the coastline. You can spend hours driving around by scooter with the ocean breeze around you, exploring the different parts of the island.

You’ll be surprised how many hidden beautiful gems Siargao has to offer off-road!

Talk to the locals

The locals in the Philippines are super welcoming and open-minded towards tourists. We loved to connect with them and get to know more about their lives in the Philippines. Sometimes they give you valuable insight tips on hidden spots in Siargao!

Spending the day with this family was an amazing experience!

We had the most adventurous and memorable experience in Siargao by talking to some local kids. They took us to a remote place away from the tourist crowds to show us their favourite rope swing (much better than the one at Maasin River!). We jumped inside their boat and crossed the floating slums to arrive in deep jungle, where we spent the whole day with a friendly local family jumping from the rope swing, having fun and exchanging about our lives. It was an amazing experience! The place is not made for tourists and only accessible to locals, but maybe you are lucky to get to see this place if you ask some locals about it! 🙂

On our way to the secret rope swing.

Surfing at Cloud 9

Siargao Island is the island in the Philippines with the best surf vibes! The waves are perfect for beginners and experienced surfers. The main point in Siargao for surfing is Cloud 9. When you arrive on the beach of Cloud 9, you can find many instructors offering surf lessons (on the left of Cloud 9 pier). The lessons are cheap and the beach is nice for chilling out and watching the surfers too.

Ville loved to rent a board at Cloud 9 and jump inside the waves. 😀

Besides the small shops for renting surf boards, you can get coconuts for refreshment and have lunch in one of the small restaurants.

Shopping in Siargao

The main street of General Luna is full of small boutique stores where you can spend hours strolling around. They sell surf and skate outfits, beautiful jewellery and local brands. Besides that, there are several tattoo studios here, some of them offering to do bamboo tattoos. It’s worth having a look at all the stores!

Island Hopping

Don’t miss the island hopping – one of the top things to do in Siargao! Siargao Island is surrounded by many stunning islands and it’s worth to plan a day trip for visiting some of them.

You can book the island hopping tour in person close to the General Market of General Luna. On the beach, there are many fishermen offering island hopping tours with their boats. You can then negotiate the price and check with your guide which islands to visit.

We organized our island hopping tour as a surprise gift for Ville’s birthday and visited Guyam Island, the Fish Sanctuary for snorkelling, Naked Island and our highlight: Daku Island, where we spent one night camping in a tent.

On Daku Island, we also found a tiny abandoned and very sick street puppy. We later brought to an organization that saves street puppies, where it was taken care of! 🙂

Want to know more about this story?
➳ Read: Saving a puppy in the Philippines – Our Story with Shaka.

Look at this tiny lost puppy! We fell in love, named it Shaka and couldn’t leave it behind…

➳ Tip: If you’re interested in camping on Daku Island, ask your tour guide for options. Our guide organized a tent and food for us. We spent an incredible sunset and magical night on this little paradise island, where we even saw luminous plankton in the water by night.

Camping on Daku Island was a truly magical experience!

Live Music & Nightlife

We were surprised to see that Siargao is quite busy at night. There are several bars with cozy vibes where you can enjoy live music while having some beers. The vibes on this island are really laid back and travellers and locals mix up which makes it even more unique.

➳ Tip: Check out Loose Keys! This was by far our favourite bar to hang out in the evenings. They have amazing live bands, good drink offers and also food in case you get hungry.

Here’s a small video of a live band in Loose Keys.

How to get here & get around

Getting to Siargao Island

The easiest and most convenient way to get to Siargao Island is by plane. Based on our 4-Week Philippines Travel Guide you’ll catch a flight from Coron to Siargao Island. However, you can also get here from Manila or Cebu. Make sure you book a morning flight as late afternoon flights often get cancelled since the airport in Siargao doesn’t have runway lights.

Find flights to Siargao Island.

Another option to travel to Siargao is by overnight ferry from Cebu. Based on our own personal experience though, I don’t necessarily recommend that option.

➳ MUST Read: Our Horror Ferry Experience from Siargao to Cebu.

Getting around on Siargao Island

The best way to get around the island is by motorbike. With 350 PHP per day it’s not only cheap but also gives you flexibility concerning your own pace of exploring the island. Make sure you also rent a helmet! As helmets are limited on the island and the rental companies might run out, you can often get one in your hostel or at Loose Keys.

If you don’t feel comfortable driving scooter you can otherwise take TukTuks to get around Siargao, but it will end up more expensive and is not as flexible.

Best restaurants

In my opinion, Siargao Island has the best restaurants in the Philippines within such a small area! Here are our favourites:

Shaka Cafe

Do you love Smoothie Bowls? Shaka Cafe is the best place to have a healthy breakfast in Siargao! I loved this cute little cafe directly located in front of the beach with its fresh and yum brekky bowls. Fresh fruits, local yoghurt, homemade granola and delicious coffee is how you can start your day perfectly.

Mama’s Grill

If you’re looking for cheap, local food Mama’s Grill is your go. It’s a really basic restaurant offering different BBQ options, fish, vegetables and much more. We ate there a few times and never had any stomach issues, it’s a safe place to eat. The busiest time is after 6 pm, so make sure you don’t go too late so you’ll still get some food.

Crépes

At Crépes you can find delicious sweet and savoury crepes- they have a big selection to choose from. It’s a cozy cafe to hang out, have a relaxed lunch and coffee. Besides crepes, they have smoothies and bowls too.

Cafe Honest

Another one of my favourites: Cafe Honest is heaven for vegan food! The cafe offers amazing vegan brekky and lunch bowls. Make sure you try their smoothies too!

La Carinderia

Belonging to one of the more pricey restaurants, La Carinderia is the perfect place for an Italian dinner. The Filipino-Italian family-owned restaurant serves homemade meals, pasta and pizza. In addition to that, they have different breakfast options as well.

Places to Stay

In Siargao there are three main areas to stay at: General Luna, Pacifico and Dapa. Dapa and Pacifico are quiter, but General Luna has the best restaurants and is the closest to Cloud 9.

Avocado Tree Hostel

The Avocado Tree Hostel in General Luna is a small, cute hostel with dorm rooms. It’s close to restaurants and motorbike rentals and offers continental or à la carte breakfast. The staff is really friendly here! There’s a tour desk too in case you need information or want to book an island hopping tour around Siargao.

Click here to book

Mad Monkey Siargao

Mad Monkey Hostel is bigger than Avocado Tree Hostel and only 2 minutes ride by scooter from Cloud 9. Their hostel restaurant, bar and garden make this the perfect place to connect to other travellers and chill out. Besides that, there are different evening activities, music and the one or other party going on.

➳ Tip: The food at Mad Monkey is amazing! You can also eat here as a non-guest.

Click here to book

➳ Must Read: Top Places to visit in Palawan, Philippines.

These were the Top Things To do on Siargao Island. Hope you enjoyed reading this guide! Does this sound like tropical paradise to you? Are you planning to visit the Philippines any time soon?? Let me know below! 🙂

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2 Comments

  1. Ville (the boyfriend)
    May 19, 2020 / 9:02 PM

    I want to come back! Siargao was amazing!

    Just forget to tell about our Tsunami alerta on my Birthday!!!!

    Amazing post baby!

    • annabcm
      Author
      June 1, 2020 / 12:38 PM

      Hey my gatinho! Me too, we have so many amazing memories in Siargao! Haha that’s true 😀 we literally had a tsunami alert on our camping night, that was crazy haha. Luckily nothing happened- what an exciting adventure our Philippines Trip was!

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