Non-surfer’s guide to Siargao Island, Philippines 

Beach in Siargao photo by Trevor Claringbold via Flickr
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Non-surfer’s guide to Siargao

Cebu Pacific Air now offers direct daily flights from Manila to Siargao with their lowest year-round fares starting at P2,371!

Sunset Cloud 9 Boardwalk - Guide to Siargao
Sunset Cloud 9 Boardwalk – Guide to Siargao Island

Gaining international attention for its surf culture, foreigners and Filipinos alike are chasing the waves. Can’t surf? Don’t worry.

Here are the tastes, sights, and sounds that will make you fall in love with Siargao; surfboard not included.

Looking for hotels and resorts in Siargao? Visit Agoda for great selection of hotels in the island!

Plan ahead

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Cebu Pacific in Siargao
Cebu Pacific in Siargao

Before flying with Cebu Pacific and settling into the resort of your choice in General Luna, where you’re at a walking distance of every party, you must decide if you’re going to take on this journey solo or with a guide. To optimize your trip, I personally recommend at least one day with guidance. Kuya Philip Cruise, a department of Tourism accredited tourist guide, knows everyone on the island and has your back no matter what (even when your flight home is canceled). I met some amazing people with My Siargao Guide if making friends from around the world is your goal. After you and your vacay squad are familiar with the island, rent out some motorcycles and being one with the locals.

If you’re ever in Siargao you must go here

My favorite destination is by far Magpupunko Tide Pool in Pilar. The optimal time varies from day to day so ask around or check online for when it would be low tide. It does get crowded during that time so come a bit earlier to fully benefit.

Magpupunko Tide Pool in Pilar
Magpupunko Tide Pool in Pilar

The water is breathtakingly clear with the bottom of the pool being of a teal white color. Enjoy “walking on water” and exploring around the pool. The waves are close enough for a stunning view yet are dismissed by the rocks at a safe distance.

Sugba Lagoon
Sugba Lagoon

Sugba Lagoon in del Carmen Siargao is for socializing and recreational activity. It’s basically a wooden two-story clubhouse with a lagoon for a backyard. Bring your friends, bring some alcohol, play some beer pong and relax. You can rent paddleboards, kayaks and time on their giant floaty. Local food can be bought from inside the clubhouse.

Standup Paddleboarding in Sugba Lagoon
Standup Paddleboarding in Sugba Lagoon

A long boat ride away you’ll find Sohoton Cove in Bucas Grande. The tour of the area includes what I call the platform 9 ¾ of the Philippines. Hold your breath for 8 seconds and dive into an underwater cove. If you can’t swim, you will be provided with lifejackets and assistance in entering with a prolonged push. Besides the glowing neon blue/green reflection of the water, the cove is pitch dark so forget about filming inside. There is another cove which starts in the water and end with a good 5-meter jump of a cliff as your only option to leave. Make sure to bring some good water shoes for it is extremely slippery.

Jellyfish Sanctuary ya Sohoton Cove, Bucas Grande
Jellyfish Sanctuary ya Sohoton Cove, Bucas Grande

You may also take a kayak to the jellyfish sanctuary. The jellyfish don’t sting and depending on the time of year they can multiply in the hundred! Make sure you tip the boatman/guide for rowing. They are all super sweet! The trip is definitely worth it as there are many islands to explore on the way such as Naked and Guyam island.

Eat everything

Besides diving into caves and lounging by a tide pool, eating in Siargao is my favorite activity.

Start your morning with a 6:30am power bowl breakfast at Shaka in General Luna. Delicious and beyond Instagram worthy.

Breakfast at Shaka Siargao, General Luna
Breakfast at Shaka Siargao, General Luna

Wherever you find yourself next, make sure to bring a slice of 3 layered pizza from Aventino’s Pizza also in General Luna. Snacks are a given. There are plenty of bakeries and coconuts in the area but if you decide to join a tour or hire a guide, they usually have you covered.

Dinner at Kermit , General Luna
Dinner at Kermit , General Luna

I gained a good 5 pounds from Siargao dinner. My favorite place is Kermit in General Luna. Foreign-owned and Italian style, their homemade stone oven pizza, truffle pasta and godlike desserts will fulfill you. Those who stay at Kermit resort have a treehouse-esque reserved dining area.

Harana Restaurant, General Luna
Harana Restaurant, General Luna

Harana restaurant has a throw pillow camping vibe that is home to the cutest dogs of Siargao. If you enjoy the company of well-behaved dogs that stare at you for food, you found your haven. Leaning towards traditional Filipino cuisine, I recommend their signature sisig.

Beach in Siargao photo by Trevor Claringbold via Flickr
Beach in Siargao photo by Trevor Claringbold via Flickr

I met many foreigners in Siargao. Some of them from my home province of Quebec, Canada that decided to reside in Siargao after just one visit. We met a French family of 5 from Réunion and France that absolutely adored their family vacation. The island itself is relatively safe and not overcrowded with tourist.

Thank you to Cebu Pacific for bringing me to the waves.

If you need a tour guide in Siargao Island, you may contact Phillips Cruise, Department of Tourism accredited tourist guide (09985590527).

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