Hagukan Cave: This is a cave submerged in water. You will swim from the mouth of the cave. When hitting the water, the water will glow! We will all be like children, splashing water.
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Magkukuob Cave: The boat will stop in front of the cave entrance for you to walk in. After a few minutes of wading and climbing, you will circle to the top of the cave, and have to jump into the water at a height of 5m to get back to the boat! Very interesting!
Jellyfish Sanctuary: After the above places to visit, you will return to the central point to change to a small boat, paddle by hand! Each boat has only 1 person rowing the boat and 1 guest (remember to help them row ^^). In this lagoon, these special jellyfish are preserved. There are 2 types of jellyfish: The large transparent type and the smaller yellow-brown type. Neither of them sting, you can touch them comfortably. Last time I went, they also let guests swim in the lagoon, I heard that they are not allowed to swim now! If you just went to, please update the information to help me.
Alegria beach is located in the north of Siargao Island, with coconut trees reaching the sea, long white sand and turquoise water, just like on TV! Located quite far from General Luna (60km), it will take you more than 1 hour by motorbike, but it will be worth it, because there are not many tourists so it is quite deserted. Alegria beach is considered the most beautiful beach on Siargao island. You can ride a motorbike to the beach and then freely bathe, play or take pictures. And since it’s a public beach, it doesn’t cost a penny. In the afternoon, a few people come here to bathe. But don’t go too far because there will be rocks.
Snorkeling, scuba diving and shooting fish
The sky is blue, the water is clear, the fish are many, if you don’t go scuba diving, it’s a mistake! In Siargao, there are many coral reefs, if you don’t know how to swim, you can snorkel (wearing a life jacket and swimming goggles), looking down from the water. If you are good at diving, you can freedive down to see more clearly, the underwater shots are always shimmering and fanciful.
If your diving is a “professional” skill, you can raise the game with a speargun. In Siargao fish are many and big, here fishing is not prohibited, so you can freely “hunt” a few fish to make dinner more delicious. However, shooting fish also has its own rules: The number of fish you can shoot cannot be more than the serving size and cannot be shot for sale!
The fish just shot up, whatever you do is great. Even cut the fillet and dipped with mustard is very “tasty”.
Riding along the dirt roads
The paved roads are easy to go, but the interesting point of Siargao are the dirt roads. If you have plenty of time, drive into any small road you see, sometimes you will discover many interesting things: a beautiful photography angle, an empty beach, a small thatched house in the coconut forest, some hospitable people, or an interesting point that has not been known…
Where people don’t fence and write “private property, do not trespassing”, you can feel free to access.
The people of Siargao love to party at night! People will drink, playing games, singing and talking. Every day there will be a few party venues, tomorrow will be different. Some hotels/resorts even have a list of “party spots for tonight” for guests. Join parties, make some new friends and share new experiences and places to go. This is a cultural feature of Siargao.
It would be remiss to mention Siargao without mentioning surfing! Siargao is known as the “surfing capital” of the Philippines. Just practice for about 2 hours, you can surf already. If you have more time, you can join a long-term surfing course, and you will be proficient at “standing on top of the waves”.
Your instructor will show you how to surf in shallow water. When you get used to the activity then… go out and playing with waves.
Coming to Siargao, you can’t miss surfing at Cloud9, dubbed the “surf capital” with levels from low to high, you can hire instructors and boards at a cost of 500peso/hour. After 1 hour of practice, you can stand on the board by yourself. The ideal time to surf during the day is from 6am-9am and 3pm-6pm. It is recommended to go in the morning because there are many beautiful waves, the surfing opportunity will be more.
As the most ideal surfing spot in the Philippines and all of Asia, it is perhaps not surprising that Siargao’s Cloud9 has been named in the list of 10 best places in the world for surfing. Since visitors come here to experience surfing, over time more and more people come and this activity has become a special traditional culture unique to the beautiful island.
Every two years, surfing competitions are held. On each such occasion, Siargao prepares high-class boats with full amenities and perfect viewing angles to serve the needs of watching matches. Great places to surf include Guyam Island, Jacking Horse or Tuesday. Each weather feature is suitable for a different place, so if you intend to play this sport, ask the locals for more details at that time.
Jumping into water
“Jumping into water or diving into water” is a very interesting activity when you come to Siargao. There are many places to jump in water: Jumping board, jumping bridge, jumping from cliffs… and there are many jumping positions: Normal jump, bow jump, reverse jump, beautiful jump, bad jump… If you are not used to it at first, you will be a bit hesitant, but after jump for a few times and you will be addicted for sure. Going to Siargao without jumping into water is a big omission.
Popular jumping spots include:
- Tayangban Cave: 7 meters & 2 meters high
- Magpupungko Rock Pool: 4 meters high
- Magkuku-ob cave: 5 meters high
- Sugba Lagoon: 5 meters high (I heard they are building a 10m jump spot!)
- Anywhere you can find
In Siargao there are many restaurants and eateries. There are luxury, popular also, and a variety of African, Asian and European dishes. The price is not too expensive either. You are free to go to the restaurant to look at the menu and check the price, if it’s not ok, just go out, no one will say anything harsh to you, rest assured. However, the food in Siargao is generally lacking in vegetables, so after eating for a few days, Vietnamese will feel dry and bored.
Fortunately, in Siargao, there are also many kinds of fruits for sale at low prices. And the fruit is rest assured that there is absolutely safe to eat.
But note that here they do not use nylon bags. The fruit will put in a paper bag that is quite easy to tear. You can bring a bag or basket to store fruit.
The “roadside” snacks are also extremely attractive. This is a stall selling toasted coconut cakes, priced at 5 pesos/piece. Hot, fragrant and delicious beyond the prescribed level. The sale starts at 2pm, and it’s almost like waiting in line to buy it.
“Virtual living” by coconut trees
Siargao is the land of coconuts, so it would be remiss without some photos “acting with coconut”. On the way to the “pool” Magpupungko you will pass a straight road, coconut trees planted close to both sides. This scene is beautiful no matter how it is taken.
Watch the sunrise and sunset
The sunrise and sunset in the sea is always beautiful, and in Siargao, that beauty is raised even more: fresh air, relaxed feeling… and everything seems to be more beautiful, more peaceful. And since Siargao is an island, there are plenty of spots to watch the sun. You can choose well-known viewing spots like Cloud9, Sohoton Cove, or you can find yourself a very private corner, like an empty beach, a coconut forest..
Sleeping in a tent at the beach
Siargao has many beautiful beaches (repeat for the 1000th time), and what is better than setting up a tent, watching the sunset together in the afternoon, and listening to the waves in the evening? Sleeping in a tent on the public beaches is comfortable, or you can book a private tour that takes you out to Corregidor island for an absolutely wonderful night. The feeling of “opening the door to see the sun” is really nothing better.
Interacting with local people
Tourist criteria when going to a new place are: What to play, what to eat, who to meet. “Who” here is the local people. Each place has its own cultural identity, and so does Siargao. Filipino people are generally very friendly, especially on Siargao island, they are very hospitable and don’t mind taking pictures. The Education System in Philippines is very good, so almost everyone knows English, you can talking with them comfortably. Knowing more about the culture of a new place is great.
Many people who come here say that there is no other country that makes them feel comfortable and welcome with such a warm atmosphere as in the Philippines. Siargao Island is of course not an exception. Stepping into this place, visitors will immediately be extremely impressed by the enthusiasm and hospitality and friendliness of the local people.
You will enjoy the innocence and honesty of the children. You will be mesmerized by the enthusiasm of the people when you can’t find a place to do the laundry, the people will help you right at their house.
Standup paddleboarding/kayaking along the beach at General Luna
General Luna has a long coastline, there are many small boats anchored near the shore, there is a pier, there are rows of green coconuts reaching to the water, and there are many bikinis lying on the sand (^^). There is nothing more wonderful than sailing along the shore on a sunny afternoon. The air is fresh, you can take a full breath of the lungs, the feeling will be very refreshing. And when you are tired of rowing, you can completely “visit” a certain beach, anchor the boat and take a dip. Heaven! Sup and kayak you can ask to rent at the hotel.
Discover more of the island’s secrets
Siargao is a raw, unspoiled and very “rustic” gem. All of the above discoveries, places to play, dishes… are definitely not enough. Spend more time, interact with people more, go to the nooks and crannies of the river, the trees… you will find many interesting things. “If it’s too tiring, the middle of the city lives on top of each other. At the very end, let go to the island, watch the sea and laugh more”.
What to eat? (#siargao island guide)
Siargao is famous as a culinary paradise with diverse dishes. The restaurants here are locally sourced, and you won’t find disposable plastic products on this beautiful island. Most of the restaurants and bars are concentrated in the main town of General Luna.
Don’t forget to try the smoothies at Shaka, near Cloud 9, which opens at 7am and closes at 9am. MA+D x 1543 usually greets the surf crowds at 5am, famous for its avocado toast and fine coffee. Cev serves the freshest ceviche and kinilaw (a raw Filipino dish marinated in vinegar).
Don’t forget to try cocktails made with local rum. Bulan Villas is also known for having the best pizza in town, rivaling only Kermit. A fusion of Italian and Filipino cuisine can be found at La Carinderia, a hugely popular family-run restaurant (don’t forget to try the guazzetto pesce, slow-cooked seafood hot pot and calamansi negroni). Bravo has always been the place to serve the best Spanish tapas with cocktails and dancing to add to the fun.
Some other restaurants you should try when you set foot on the island include: Harana Surf Resort & Restaurant, Kermit Surf Resort & Restaurant, Mama’s Grill and Shaka Siargao. The special thing about the food here is the selection of ingredients, most of the chefs here make the most of organic food to prepare the dishes.
In Siargao, the sea is rough and rainy, so the seafood is not rich, if the homestay has a place to cook, you can go to the market to buy things to cook for yourself. Otherwise, along Dapa-general luna street, near the market, there are many shops. Siargao’s specialty is probably bananas. Bananas are delicious, you should try them.
My favorite restaurant is RM Luna Grill and Restobar, they have very delectable grilled chicken (note: this restaurant only has good grilled chicken, the rest is normal). Whole chicken is only 230 pesos, 2-3 people are still enough (chicken is a bit salty, remember to order more white rice). There is also a restaurant called Altrove Siargao that makes pretty good pizza. They make thin crust pizza, eat not greasy, 1 pizza for 2 people eat only about 400-430 pesos. Then there are a few snack shops, in general, all of them are delicious.
Where to stay? (#guide to siargao)
As mentioned above, you will find the perfect accommodation at a particularly affordable price. However, it should also be noted that prices will increase during the Siargao Cup season, an international surfing competition that takes place in late September or early October. At that time, reservation in advance is wise decision.
Most of the tourist attractions on the island are concentrated in the area between the town of General Luna and the surfing spot Cloud 9. This is the best area to find where to stay. On the territory of this region there are many hotels, inns, motels and resorts that offer a wide range of options for you.
Go to Siargao, stay in General Luna (Agoda, Booking). Cloud9 is the center, the most fun, everything here is cheap, the room is about $20-35/night, I find it quite okie. When traveling, just choose the center to stay, if you go out there is a place to eat and play. We rented a homestay, they said it was 10 minutes from Cloud9 without specifying 10 minutes by car or by foot, in the end, a week spent there more than %50 money for traveling.
Below we recommend more best budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
Located in the quiet Malinao neighborhood, Soul Tribe Beach Retreat is eco-conscious with beach cabanas and a wide selection of attractions. They also organize additional yoga sessions and shared dinners.
If your budget is over $50/night, you should not ignore Palaka Resort (Agoda, Booking). Not only has dedicated service and a luxurious swimming pool, this resort also integrates a relaxing spa. If it costs about $20/night, you should stay at Riad Masaya or Malijon. This affordable price will give you quite good nights.
The 3G 4G network in Siargao is extremely poor, only the Cloud 9 area has normal 4G, so you definitely have to check with the hotel to see if they have WiFi and how fast the WiFi is. However, because it is on the island, the internet speed is also poor, do not expect strong WiFi like in Manila.
Siargao itinerary: How long will you stay is enough?
How long to stay depends on your time, but I also recommend that you spend at least 5 full days on the island (including the day of departure and return is 7 days), because there are many experiences on the island you can participate in.
The longer you stay, the less you will spend per day, because if you don’t go on a tour, the cost of accommodation and sightseeing on the island will be very cheap, because you can absolutely ride a motorbike by yourself.
My Siargao itinerary 5 days 4 nights for you refer to
Day 1: Check in the resort, walk around General Luna to explore the downtown area.
Day 2: Take an 3-island tour to Guyam Island (the most beautiful and many virtual living angles), Naked Island, Daku Island and finally go snorkeling to see coral fish.
Day 3: Land tour includes: Maasin River, Pacifico beach, Sugba lagoon, Coconut plantation, Siargao mountain view, Magpupungko rock pool (super beautiful).
Total of both 3-island tour and land tour is 3,000 pesos.
Day 4: Breakfast at Shaka Cafe (beautiful spot for Instagram photos and delicious smoothie bowls here), Surfing at Cloud 9, afternoon motorbike rental 250 pesos/day to explore other places.
You can go by trycicle for 20 pesos each time, which is also very convenient to travel between places on the island.
Day 5: Rent a motorbike to explore the island. Afternoon, take a flight back to Manila.
In general, I think my schedule is quite good, just enough, not rushed. For those who love surfing, Siargao is the ideal place. Please note that they only open surf courses in the morning, so you have to go a little early. From 12 o’clock onwards, the waves are still and you can’t surf. You can contact the hotel to buy a package course or go straight to the surfing spot, there are many people selling packages there. Here is a signboard of surfing spots for each level in Siargao for you refer to.
Here is another Siargao itinerary 2 days 1 night (#guide to siargao)
Day 1: Go to 3 islands Naked, Daku, Guyam: Nothing to say, beautiful, blue water, handsome boys, sexy girls lying in the sun.
Day 2: Go to Sohoton Cove: Where there is a jellyfish lagoon and Hagukan cave – a luminous cave that must be dived deep to swim in.
There is also Massin river – the river in the middle of the coconut forest, there is a fun rope swing ride, and Alegria beach – the longest and most beautiful beach in Siargao. These 2 places combine to go together for 1 day, convenient to go to the coconut forest to take pictures.
Sugba lagoon is a bit far and not very convenient, but it is worth going, fun and beautiful. This place has jumping into water and kayaking.
Magpupungko – the secret swimming pool that appears when the tide is low.
Tips and notes (#siargao blog)
- The first thing you must remember when traveling in the island nation of the Philippines is absolutely not to litter the environment because you will be severely fined and have to do community service. Smoking is also prohibited on the island, only a few places on Siargao Island have signs that allow smoking.
- When coming to Magpupungko beach, you are not allowed to bring food, plastic bottles because this is the policy of the beach. However, you can freely swim, fly a drone, take pictures, rent diving goggles with a snorkel to see the pool bottom.
- Is Siargao safe? Very safe. The people here are very friendly, there is no looting or scamming tourists.
- Do shopping in Siargao need to bargain? No. Filipinos do not challenge like Thai, Indonesian or Vietnam. However, you can also “bargain” a bit (if that makes you happy), they can also give you a little less.
- Do you need an international driver’s license to ride a motorbike on the island? No.
- Should I buy a 4G sim? Yes. Buy it at the airport upon arrival in Manila. Should buy from Smart telecom because the sign on the island is stronger than other providers (Or you can use a travel wifi transmitter – this is rented in Vietnam).
- How to contact with people in your country for cheap? All chat applications now support phone calls, and all are free: Facebook, Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, Line, Kaokao Talk, Zalo… and if you need to call a normal phone number, you can load credit into Viber and use the function Viber out to call (very cheap fee. I topped up $10 but take 3 or 4 trips abroad to use it up).
- The Philippines uses a flat 2-pin type electrical outlet (type A). In hotels, they will have universal power sockets (many types of plugs), but in airports or public places only have type A. Fortunately, Vietnam also uses this type (Vietnam uses type A – 2 flat pins and C – 2 round pins), remember to bring 2 flat pins.
- When traveling in Siargao, you should bring cash (USD or Philippine pesos), as there are few ATMs on this island. There are a few money exchangers on the island, most hotels accept credit cards, but restaurants and shops only accept cash.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Siargao you can refer to
- Tri Island Tour in Siargao
- Siargao Land Tour
- Siargao Surfing Lessons
- Siargao Islands: Daku, Guyam, and Naked Island Hopping Tour
- Discover Siargao Private Land Tour
- Siargao Essential Land Private Tour
- Sugba Lagoon Siargao, Kawhagan Island, and Pamomoan Island Private Tour
- Sohoton-Bucas Grande Tour in Siargao
- Siargao Jeepney Land Tour
- 4G Portable WiFi (Manila Delivery) for Asia
- 4G LTE WiFi (MNL Airport Pick Up) for Asia
Read more about Philippines travel guide here.