How to spend perfect days on Siargao

Siargao offers beautiful beaches that you can discover with a scooter and you might end up alone at a paradise like beach. Or of course, on Siargao  you can find some of the best waves in the world for surfing. In September there is a big international surfing competition at the famous spot of Cloud 9. If you come to Siargao, here is how you can have a few perfect days.

Where to stay on Siargao

Whether you arrive at the airport or Dapa port you can take a trycicle to the place you want to go. Beware that Siargao still is a laid back island with a lot of nature. The best places for tourists to stay are Pacifico and General Luna. Pacifico is even more laid back than General Luna. A trycicle from the ferry port to General Luna costs about 150 to 200 pesos.

What to do on Siargao

Take Surf Lessons

In summer, when the waves are not so big it’s perfect to learn how to surf. You can rent boards for as little as 400 Pesos for the whole day and a private surf guide costs 300 pesos per hour. So, if you just want to do one hour with the board and a private guide it will be 500 Pesos.
Although the ground at Cloud 9 and the surfspots close by consists of a destroyed reef it’s not really a problem if you try to fall flat on the water. The rocks are only very short and not very sharp. The waves come in consistently and with the help of the surf guide you can make progress very fast and catch one wave after the other. Plus, the water is incredibly clear and you can see the ground the whole time.

surfing cloud 9

The best time is going toward high tide and after high tide. Then, you can have long rides far into the shallow reef. If it’s really high tide, there aren’t as many waves as before as the reef is too small for that.

If you are an advanced surfer, I would recommend that you take a boat out to the outer surf spots. Boats ususlly cost 150 pesos per person for a round trip and you can stay there for up to three hours. Cloud 9, Quicksilver and the other spots in that bay are nice to try in the beginning but usually they are so crowded that there are at least three people in every wave. Hence, soon it feels more like a constant fight if you actually want to surf sideways. For beginners who go straight anyway it’s ok.

Head to Magpupungko Rock Pools

You can rent a scooter for as little as 350 Pesos per day. Petrol to the pools and back from General Luna costs another 55 Pesos and can be bought in bottles along the road. The ride there takes about 45 minutes. At the entrance to the pools there are some small Philippino restaurants.
The entrance to the pools is 50 Pesos. Beware that you can only visit them at low tide. It’s good if you bring water shoes as the ground around the pools are sharp and wet rocks. We were there in flipflops and it was okay but we just had to be more careful than the people with water shoes.

The first pool will be crowded with lots of Asians. This pool however is the nicest. The second pool is nice as well. Once you walk around the bend, two more pools follow. There are less people and they are good for a swim as well but there are som algae in there. It’s not worth it to walk any further as no more pools will follow.

Enjoy Sugba Lagoon

If you aren’t tired yet, you could drive on to Sugba Lagoon.
If you don’t want to ride a scooter yourself you can also hire a trycicle for 1000-1500 Pesos per day. However, it’s easy to drive on Siargao as the roads are pretty much straight and there is not much traffic.

Relax at Malinao Beach

This beach is very close to General Luna but it’s truly a paradise beach and you have to check it out at high tide.

ATTENTION: What most people don’t know before they visit Siargao is that it’s very dependant on the tides. Life on the island only happens at high tide which was from about 5 to 8 a.m. when I was there and from 3 to 9 p.m. So, from 8 a.m. to about 2.30 p.m. all the beaches that usually are so picturesque just look dead when the bare reef is lying there. If you are on Siargao for several days, this circumstance can be a bit annoying since you can’t do anything beach related in the morning except going to the rock pools. Other options are to hang out in a café (hardly any place has a working wifi but we found one at the Offshore Bar at Cloud 9) or getting a massage at Pinoy Massage.

bounty beach siargao

Get a massage at Pinoy Massage

Pinoy Massage is one of the first massage shops along the road in General Luna. I had some of my best massages there from all of Asia. The people speak good English and ask about your pressure preferences. You even receive a cup of ginger tea in the end. All that for 350 pesos for 1 hr.

Where to eat on General Luna

There is the maket with a few Philippino restaurants at the pier and some other Philippino shacks along the road. These are your cheapest options but you only find the same, usual dishes of rice, chicken, green beans, eggplants or spring rolls. Then there are some other options like Thai food or bowls starting at 200 pesos or cheap burgers at 38 pesos. But honestly, my appetite for any food other then rice or bananas on Siargao disappeared after having heard how many people suffered from stomach problems because of the food. Unfortunately, I also caught food poisoning for the first time in my life after a burger at Cloud 9. A burger! So not worth it! So, thinking of the food, I don’t really feel like returning to Siargao but the waves were quite awesome!

sunset cloud 9

Which was your favorite island you have ever been to and why? Let me know in a comment.