It seems that this year is the year of Siargao. Everywhere I look on social media, I see friends, friends of friends, celebrities and random people going there this year. Siargao has been on my radar for the longest time but I never managed to visit it until this year. I honestly don’t know why it took me so long to do so because I absolutely love it there! Siargao is commonly known as a surfer’s paradise. Being a non-surfer myself, I didn’t think there was really anything else to do in the island. I was so, so wrong! Siargao is definitely for everybody and there are many things you can do, so many island and adventure tours to take and also so much good food to eat! Read on to see 7 things you can experience in this magical place. And then make Siargao your next beach getaway soon!
First glimpse of Siargao
Duh. Obviously, as mentioned, it’s one of the most popular surf spots in the Philippines – and maybe in the world. People from all over come here and there’s even an international surfing competition held in September. If you’re still a beginner, it really isn’t a problem as there are surf instructors all over the island. Just walk around the beach or go to the foot of the boardwalk – you’re sure to find a good surf lesson deal! There are also some spots in the waves where it’s more beginner friendly.
Golden sunset light touching the waves.
Gorgeous views at sunset from the Surf Tower at Cloud 9.
Watching the waves from the Surf Tower at the Boardwalk in Cloud 9
2. Cloud 9 Boardwalk and Surf Tower
The boardwalk and Surf Watch Tower is an iconic place that you most probably have seen in everyone’s Siargao photos. It is the main access to Cloud 9, the most advanced spot for surfing. If you’re not a surfer, you can still enjoy this area. The views and ambiance are amazing. Bring a bottle of beer (or rhum haha) and go up to one of the floors of the tower. I swear, you can easily spend hours here just watching the world go by. Watching the waves and other people surfing has such a nice peaceful effect on you! You can maybe even make some new friends as there are so many others who come up here to just chill. Catch an incredible Siargao sunset and maybe watch the moon rise while you’re at it.
Beach area around Cloud 9.
3. The Beaches around Cloud 9
We literally spent a whole afternoon napping here. The surrounding beach in the whole Cloud 9 area is beautiful. The waters are crisp, clear and gorgeous. The shore is white and sandy and some spots are shaded by coconut trees. The view is beautiful and there’s even a café or two nearby where you can pop in for a quick bite whilst still seeing the beach views. This was one of the most relaxing afternoons of my life! I loved the vibe there!
Smoothie bowls at Arka Hayahay
4. Food Trip
You’re probably thinking : it's an island in the middle of nowhere meaning the food will most probably be whatever the catch of the day is that’s grilled. Not. Siargao actually has an amazing variety of international cuisines. A lot of these restaurants are foreign owned so you can be sure to get some “authentic” flavors there. Try some Spanish Tapas at Bravo, Italian over at Kermit and modern Filipino cuisine at Harana. Siargao also has way more choices in healthy food. Try the delicious smoothie bowls at Arka Hayahay or Shaka. Or go to Café Loka for some grilled paninis and some healthy juices (this is right by the beach too and it has an amazing view so you can spend your lazy day here like we did!). If you’re craving for the usual sugba2x then Mama’s Grill is the most popular one. You can even go to the markets and pick out the freshest seafood and have it cooked in one of your island tours. We tried out this fish that our friend said was served in city restaurants for more than a thousand bucks a serving! It's called the Liplipan or saillfish in English. Two huge slabs of this was like 200 pesos only! It was so good!
Rock Pools at Mapupungko
5. Island Tours
There’s no shortage of activities in this island. The most popular tours were the ones we did. The three island tour : Naked Island, Daku Island and Guyam island. Each Island had wonderful sandy white shores and the clearest, crispest waters to swim in. We did not want to leave the water the whole time. It wast so nice to just bask in the sun in beautiful turquoise waters. The next most popular tour we did was the Magpupungo rock pools. You have to hire a van (or if you’re feeling adventurous – a habal2x) to get here. It was one of the most beautiful natural sights I’ve ever seen! During low tide, when the water receded back to the oceans, little pools of water are formed in the rock formations, making the whole area look like they’re filled with multiple swimming pools. Some of these are big and deep enough to swim in. Some kids were even jumping off a cliff into it! The pacific ocean is also nearby roaring majestically again the reef barrier so that was a pretty unusual sight to see too.
Other tours that we didn’t do (which I definitely want to do to when I go back!)) are Bucas Grande, Sugba Lagoon and Sohoton caves. You definitely need to check these out too, especially if you have more time!
6. Some other Unusual and Fun activities
We didn’t do any of these activities but I thought I'd mention it as they all sounded so much fun! Isn’t it funny how, as your trip is ending, you research and discover more places and more things to do? It’s too bad we were not able to check these out but at least we now have more things to add to our list for next time.One of these activities is Drunk Carabao Riding. Doesn’t it sound like such a riot? What they do is have a drink all you can at a bar to get you all good and drunk and then take you out to ride a carabao . It sounds like so much fun but also, you must take care and do it at your own risk! (there are no hospitals in Siargao!). Another activity we heard about from one of our good friends : ride a boat around the mangroves in Pilar – but at night so you can see some fireflies! Does that not sound so cool? I’ve been wanting to see fireflies for ages! I definitely want to do that for next time!
7. Night Life
You cannot leave Siargao without experiencing the night life! Every night is a different “happening” at a different place. Ask around what the good places to party/hang out in for a particular night. Weekends, you can go to Bravo and Jungle Bar. One night for us there was actually a Tuesday night, and we did some drinks and acoustic music at Viento, followed by “clubbing” at Octopus bar. There was still even an after party in Rhum Bar but we didn’t go. But yes there is a “happening” every night, so you’ll never get bored here!
Neon pink and blue colored sunset.
There’s something about the ambiance and the vibe there that I really loved so much. This island paradise has it's own charm that I can't quite place. It’s like one moment I feel like I’m not in the Philippines but also am at the same time. People from all over the world come and that makes the whole place such an interesting mix of everything! I definitely think that Siargao was one of the best beach trips that I ever had in the Philippines. It’s paradise and I would love to come back.