1. Go surfing
Yes of course, surfing tops our list. After all, most tourists come to the island to ride its huge and consistent waves. The biggest crowd-drawer is a surfing spot in Barangay Catangnan called “Cloud 9” for its thick, hollow tubes. Pro tip: Swells peak between the monsoon months of September and October.
Only experienced surfers, however, take on Cloud 9. If you’re still learning the basics, there are smaller waves to the west of Cloud 9 that you can try out. You may also want to schedule your trip on April or May, when the waves are a little milder. A first-timer? One-hour basic tutorials are offered at only PhP500.
2. Go diving
Siargao Island is also shaping up to be an excellent snorkeling and diving spot. Its clear waters make for great visibility. Its marine life is rich and diverse. Its coral and rock formations are exceptional. And now more and more dive sites are being discovered.
Of the known sites, the best ones include Casulian, Pilar Twin Rocks, Shark Point, Seeco Reef and the islets fronting General Luna. The hands-down favorite, however, is the Blue Cathedral. This site boasts an underwater rock formation with a 20-meter-diameter hole on top and two deep caverns. It hosts schools of tuna, barracuda, jacks and other pelagic fish.
3. Go to Taktak Falls
Need a soothing retreat from all the saltwater? Head to Taktak Falls in Santa Monica. Just trek 400 meters from the highway and you’ll spot a small but inviting waterfall. It may not be tall, but you can enjoy a cool refreshing break by just standing under its cascading mountain waters. Of course, you can always swim in the large pool of water at the bottom of the falls.
Avid bird watchers are also in for a treat, as a variety of birds hang out in the area.
Photo credit: iamsurigao
4. Go to Magpupungko Beach
Magpupungko Beach in Pilar is one of the island’s hidden gems. It may seem like your ordinary stretch of cream-colored sand, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you’ll find at its northern end.
A turquoise tidal pool! With coral rocks as walls, this pool is protected from the ocean waves. So its waters are calm and clear, perfect for taking a dip or wading your feet. The catch: The pool is only unveiled during low tide. If you visit at high tide, the rocks will be completely submerged, so there’s no tidal pool to be seen.
The site is also surrounded by interesting rock formations. The most iconic of these is the one that looks like a rock squatting on another rock—this actually inspired the place’s name (the root word "pungko" means "to squat").
_Photo credit: elsie_macsupport998
5. Go island hopping
Also worth checking out: the three white-sand islets off the coast of General Luna. And the easiest and quickest way to visit them is via a half-day boat tour.
First up is Naked Island, a 200-meter-long sandbar. Save for some hard corals and sea shells, the island is bare. You won’t see any trees or structures, so it’s perfect for lazing around. It’s also great for swimming, as the surrounding waters are shallow and still.
Nearby is Daku Island, a long strip of white beach with coconut trees and cottages. As the biggest of the trio, it has become a popular site for fishing, kayaking and skim boarding.
Then there’s the little slice of paradise known as Guyam Island. You can walk around its beach in just a few minutes, where you’ll come across two or three cottages plus some coral rock formations.
Photo credit: thelostboysph
6. Indulge on a food tour!
You can’t leave Siargao Island without sampling its culinary treats. If you’re a seafood lover, brace for a feast. Seafood dishes are a staple in resorts and restaurants in General Luna, with the barracuda at Siargao Inn and the tuna tataki at Sagana topping the must-try list. When it comes to street eats, don’t miss out on the “pan de surf” or “pan de totoy”. Shaped like a surfboard, this local bread is made from flour, sugar, egg, yeast and coconut milk.
Siargao Island is also famous for its banana pancakes and chicken-mango curry. Craving for pizza? The thin-crust pizzas of Kalinaw Resort will blow you away.
As a surfing mecca and with all its natural and culinary surprises, it seems Siargao Island can do no wrong.
7. Spend a day at a beach in Siargao
Want to chill under the sun, while enjoying the fresh sea breeze? Guess what? You’ll definitely get your beach fix on Siargao Island, thanks to its fabulous beaches, such as Alegria Beach, Burgos Beach and Pacifico Beach. Whether you want to swim on its clear waters or de-stress on the sands reading a book, Siargao has a lovely beach begging to be explored by travel junkies like you.
Photo credit: mikromaedchen
8. Watch the island’s sunset or sunrise
Siargao Island’s sunrise views are nothing short of amazing. So, wake up early at least once on your trip, and head to the tower overlooking Cloud 9, to watch the sun rise. Of course, there are beaches and other spots in Siargao where you can watch the island turn into gold at sunrise or sunset.
_Photo credit: Flickr/IMG_2133/Lee/CC-BY_
9. Bike your way around the island
For a rather affordable price (PHP 350 a day), you can motorbike your way around the island, soaking up the scenic vistas along the route. Furthermore, a road trip on Siargao lets you meet the island’s hospitable locals, hit the local restaurants, experience the local living in its villages, or even discover hidden gems. Alternatively, you may also rent a bike to enjoy a DIY tour on the island.
Photo credit: runroo
10. Experience Suhoton Cove
Rent a boat that will take your Bucas Grande Island’s Suhoton Cove. Accessible during low tide only, the cove is home to tons of stingless jellyfish. Spend some time swimming with them, and experience something that you’ll cherish for years to come. A word of advice, be sure to leave early since the boat ride will likely take 3 hours.
Siargao’s nightlife mostly revolves around a couple of things – plenty of booze and music played at max volume. Check out Nine Bar for a rocking night on the island of Siargao. If, however, you’re looking for a more laid-back alternative, check out acoustic night at Buddha’s Surf Resort on Thursday.
Photo credit: regined