Guide to Siargao

1 Title

12 Jul Guide to Siargao

Siargao is a tear-drop shaped island in the Philippines Sea situated 800 kilometres southeast of Manila in the province of Surigao del Norte, northeastern Mindanao. It is well known as “the Surfing Capital of the Philippines” with a reputation among surfers within the Philippines and the International scene. Famous for the surfing waves named “Cloud 9”, the island is increasingly becoming popular to local and foreign tourists. Several coral reefs, offshore islands, and sand bars are also found. Siargao is not just about surfing; it has evolved into an all around adventure and eco-tourism destination.

=How to Get There=

3 Plane

There are direct flights to Siargao Island from Cebu daily but only one flight a day. The carrier is Cebu-Pacific. Prices for flights seem to vary, but expect to pay approx. US50 one-way. Flight time is approximately 45 minutes. Airport is approximately 45 minutes from the main accommodation areas at Cloud 9. Usually there are plenty of vans to transport people to their accommodation, charging at approximately 300-400 Php. You can also contact your hotel or resort to arrange for transportation for airport transfer.

=Getting Around=

4 Motorbike

There are no taxis to bring you around, but most hotels or resorts offer boat and motorcycle services. You can rent a motorbike for 400 Php the entire day or arrange for a van to send you to and fro your desired destination. There are usually tour packages for island hoping or scuba diving provide by the hotel, therefore you don’t have to worry about the boat services and reservations of a boat.

3 Boat

=What to See & What to Do=

  • Island Hopping

Just off the shores of Siargao island are three spectacular islands that are perfect for island hopping: Naked Island, Daku Island and Guyam Island.

Most resorts offering day tours to these three small islands. Alternatively, rent a boat and go by yourself. Just go to the public market in General Luna and talk to the fishermen, but it is not as convenient and you may end up paying more than the tour packages provided by the hotel.

  • Naked Island

Rest assured, there are no naked people (in case you were wondering). It’s basically not really an island, it’s a 200 meter long sand bank surrounded by crystal clear turquoise waters and blindingly white sand! It almost looks surreal! Spend some time to soak in the sun and embrace the powdery sand. Make sure to bring enough sunblock!

  • Daku Island

Daku Island is another stunning place, dotted with countless coconut palm trees. A small fishing community of 300 residents are living on the island. The beach is gorgeous with its powdery white sand. If you love the place you can stay overnight – there are simple beachfront huts. Keep in mind that there is no electricity on the island.

6 Daku Island

  • Guyam Island

Guyam Island is a little piece of paradise that is uninhabited. It is very likely that the place might be your own for a whole afternoon. It looks like one of those tiny islands in the Maldives, but this paradise costs a fraction there compared to other tropical islands in the world.

7 Guyam Island

  • Magpupungko Pool

Surrounded by bizarre rock formations lies a natural pool that looks like an infinity pool. It’s separated from the ocean by a large reef. During low tide you can walk on the reef, the sea is calm. The water is incredibly clear in all shades of blue, green and everything between. The Magpupungko Pool is located in Pilar, about an hour drive from General Luna. Rent a motorbike for PHP350 per day (US$8) and explore it yourself. If you don’t want to drive, hire a tricycle / habal-habal for PHP800 – 1,000/day (US$20). There is an entrance fee of PHP50 (US$1) per person.

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  • Mangrove Exploration

Be donned in sturdy sandals, carry dry bags to waterproof essentials because you are bound to get wet. The country’s largest contiguous mangrove stand, which is also the second largest in Mindanao, is found here. In fact, Siargao’s mangroves are one of the two remaining sites in the country where the rare ironwood or magcono tree still grows. Eco-tourists will enjoy a day paddling amid the mangrove forests, kayaking through waters home to rich marine life. If you are lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the saltwater crocodile, marine turtles, and the sea cow. Most resorts will rent out kayaks at 600 peso for half a day. You may also hire a guide to bring you to the mangrove; just tip him after the trip as there is no fixed cost for hiring a guide.

9 Mangrove Exploration

  • Surf Cloud 9

One of the best known surfing waves, known for thick, hollow tubes. It is named after the chocolate bar of the same name by American photographer John S. Callahan. Cloud 9 also has a reputation for being a relatively cheap destination for surfers with many cheap accommodations and restaurants and bars to choose from. For beachcombers and first timers, the best time to pack one’s bags is during summer, from March to May. For hard-core surfers, bigger swells occur during the windy months from August to November. An annual surfing cup is held on September. Surfers from all over the world converge at General Luna to ride the waves and party. There are several other quality waves on Siargao and nearby islands, but Cloud 9 has received more publicity than any other surf spot in the Philippines. It is the only wave easily accessible without a boat, leading to overcrowding and the nickname of “Crowd 9” among surfers.

10 Surf Cloud 9

=What to Eat=

  • Kermit Siargao

$$$$

Address: Purok 5, General Luna, Mindanao 8419, Philippines

11 Kermit Siargao

  • The Pleasure Point Café Siargao

$$

Address: Siargao Island | Purok 5, General Luna, Mindanao 8419

12 The Pleasure Point Café Siargao

  • Shaka Siargao

$$$

Address: Cloud 9, General Luna, Mindanao 8419, Philippines

13 Shaka Siargao

  • Surf N’ Dine

$$

Address: Poblacion 3, Tourism Road | 8419 General Luna, Gene

14 Surf N’ Dine

  • La Luna Bar & Restaurant

$$

Address: La Luna Island Resort | beach road Catangnan, General

15 La Luna Bar & Restaurant

=Where to Stay=

  • Isla Cabana Resort

$$$

Address: Barangay 5 Poblacion, General Luna, Surigao Del Norte, 8419 General Luna, Philippines

16 Isla Cabana Resort

  • Kalinaw Resort

$$$$

Address: Cloud 9 Road, Catangnan, Siargao Island, 8419 General Luna, Philippines

17 Kalinaw Resort

  • Reef Beach Resort

$$

Address: Tourism Road, Catangnan, Siargao Island, 8419 General Luna, Philippines

18 Reef Beach Resort

  • Siargao Bleu Resort and Spa

$$$

Address: Brgy. Catangnan, General Luna, Surigao Del Norte, 8419 General Luna, Philippines

19 Siargao Bleu Resort and Spa

  • Villa Maya

$$

Address: Barangay Catangnan, Cloud 9, General Luna, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte, 8419 General Luna, Philippines

20 Villa Maya

=Other Tips=

  • There are ATM machines in Dapa but most of the time they do not work with foreign ATM cards and credit cards.
  • Some resorts accept major credit cards with additional fee of 6%
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