Think of this picture… Pristine white beaches, crystal clear water, beautiful palm trees, chilled vibes, great food… The thing is that this place really exists and it’s called Siargao. It took us a while to find this gem, and now that we did, we aren’t going anywhere. We ran our first escape here a few months ago and we loved it so much that we decided to go there one more time before 2019 ends. If you wish to join us on our week long escape on Siargao, hit this link and come join us for a week of fitness and adventure. If you wish to travel solo, here are our favourite spots you don’t want to miss.
Where to stay
General Luna is the main area for travellers to stay in. So hit booking.com and find the right accommodation for you. Some of the accommodations we’ve seen on the island that looked pretty decent were;
Harana Surf Resort where you can also get some surf lessons in, enjoy good coffee from Phili Beans and great modern Philippine food from their local restaurant.
Bravo Resort does good rooms too and if you need something more budge, you can stay in their hostel. Enjoy the delicious food on site and the Sunday night parties here.
Nay Palad Hideaway is the most luxurious resort on the island, so you wish to spurge a little and treat yourself, go for it. You know what they say? YOLO.
Secret Spot Hostel / Reef Beach Resort / Buddha’s Surf Resort - these are also all really nice places you should check out. If you’re after something super budget, hit the internet and you’ll find a ton. Please note that all the nice accommodation will be booked in advance. Don’t leave it until the day before to book something or else you’ll be left with all the budget and maybe not very nice places.
Surfing is huge here. If you’re a beginner or a pro surfer, there’s something for everyone. There are a ton of surf schools on the island, so it’s pretty easy to find someone. Once again, just do your research and look at reviews.
Island Hopping is another popular thing to do in Siargao. You can book any of the trips through your local accommodation or they’ll just point you in the right direction. Here are some of the main things you might want to explore.
“Naked Island” and yep you’re absolutely right, the island is empty with nothing other than a metal structure on it. If you’re lucky enough, you may be the only person on the island. Hit the island nice and early and enjoy the whole island to yourself.
Corregidor island is for those who wish to have a little stroll and explore something a little more unique and different to Siargao. There is a short hike all the way to the top of the island where you can enjoy some pretty incredible views. You can end the hike with a nice lunch on the beach in true Pilipino style.
Guyam island is another beautiful island but sadly due to high tourism and easy access it is also one of the most visited islands around Siargao. We would recommend getting an early boat there, or something in the late afternoon. Enjoy the hammocks and the peacefulness of the island.
Sugba Lagoon is perfect for multiple activities like jumping off the diving board into the lagoon, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, chilling or if you dare, there is a really high tree you can jump off into the lagoon. I believe it’s about 15 m high. We didn’t dare, so we can’t really tell you what that was like but if you do it, make sure you’re confident.
Rockpools and waterfalls
If you love water but don’t want to surf there are other alternatives on the island like the rock pools and waterfalls. You can splash around in the turquoise waters of Magpupungko Rock Pools or you can go and bathe in Tak Tak waterfalls. Either experience is really nice and will get you nice and refreshed.
Palm View Point
Palm View Point is on the main road from South to North and you really can’t miss it. Take a short break here and enjoy the scenery of Siargao. Other than this stunning view, the whole island has stunning views to offer, so don’t be afraid to hop on a little adventure and get lost driving around the island.
Masin Bridge Swing
The tree swing at Maasin Bridge is worth the long hubble hubble or bike ride. It will take you about 40 minutes from General Luna but it’s an adventure worth doing. Once you get there you’ll get to experience your first palm tree swing and jump into the river. If you want to explore a little further, you can then also pay for a kayak and go deep into the mangroves to see how the locals live and experience a little more peace.
Cliff jumping is one of our favourite things to do and where possible we will add it to our escape schedule. The only jump we did here was the one at Sugba Lagoon, but be sure to check out other cliff jumping spots and don’t forget about your safety. Make sure to do your research before diving into such extreme adventures. Always adventure smart. YOLO doesn’t apply here. It could turn into a TLTYDS (the last time you did something) and yeah totally just made this up.
Something for the adrenaline seekers will be wakeboarding. Grab a beer while you’re there, stroke a dog or two and jump into the water for a little adrenaline. This activity is more fun than it looks. Most of our guests couldn’t believe how fun this was. You’ll be sharing your session with other people hopefully, it’s more fun in groups, so embrace it and go make some waves.
Food is a big thing here, so make sure you have enough time to hit up all the best spots on the island. Some of the ones we loved were the following;
Shaka Cafe, for the best smoothie bowls and banana bread. This gem is located right next to Cloud 9 and has a stunning view of the sea. Once you’ve had your food you can then stroll onto the beach and explore the area or just go and sizzle in the sun.
Fili Beans is for the coffee lovers. This tiny little cafe is located at Harana Resort. Enjoy some of the best coffee on the island here and then maybe hit the surf with Harana Surf School or just grab some food at their awesome restaurant.
Bravo Restaurant is perfect for lunch and dinner. You can enjoy a variety of food here and you can also chill on the beach after. The vibe on the island is so chilled, you should totally embrace it and not make any plans, other than to relax, explore, eat, surf and party or if you come with us, STAY ACTIVE & PARTY.
Harana Surf Resort do the best modern Philippine food. You will try some of the best dishes here and wish to come back over and over again.
Kermit Siargao is also a very very popular place to eat in. In fact it’s so popular that if you go there at dinner you will most likely have to wait for 10-20 minutes to get a table. The food is well worth the wait, so enjoy it.
La Carinderia has the best pizza on the island. So if your body is screaming for carbs, who are you to refuse it?
If you want to simply walk down the main road and have a little browse you will most likely find some really good and cheap local restaurants. Go explore a little and you might be surprised with what you find.
Siargao knows how to party. If you arrive there and meet some of the young locals you will most likely be invited to some of the local parties. Don’t be afraid, Phillipino people are very welcoming and love to live life amongst travellers. Go have a little fun and make sure to ask someone where there’s a party that night or here are some of the places we explored;
Harana Surf Resort is once again a host for one of the best parties on the island. Arrive there early and you may be the only one dancing, but if you get there for about 10pm, the party is in full swing and everyone is having fun. It might be worth just contacting them and asking which day and what time the party usually starts.
Bravo Resort is a host to the Sunday parties and they are pretty wild. Bravo restaurant and beach turns into one of the best parties the islands gets to see. We know it because we’ve been there and danced until the DJ told us to go home.
There isn’t usually a lot of marketing put out on social media when it comes to local parties, so just ask someone and I’m sure you will have some unforgettable memories, or maybe not so unforgettable because you might not remember them in the first place, always drink responsibly kids.
Sunset and beach club
For a great spot to watch the sunset, hit White Banana Beach club and grab yourself a cocktail while you watch the sun go down and the sky turn into various colours. This spot is super chilled and you can spend an afternoon eating, relaxing and waiting for the sun to go down.
Hang out with the locals
Hang out with the locals and get lost from what you think you know. This is the best way to explore new cultures and hear about how others live their lives. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be inquisitive, the locals around the world love telling you about their country and you should probably tell them a little bit about yours too :)
Siargao Travel Tips - the island is small and due to tourism doubling since 2018 there has been huge development happening around the island. So you will experience things like dirt roads, power cuts and no WiFi, be patient and remember where you are. The locals don’t want the island to turn into Barocay, so there are a lot of environmental programmes to keep things in check and create awareness around keeping the island the paradise it is. Be mindful and respectful wherever you travel and you will be treated the same in return.
Local Transport - hop into a hubble hubble which is the locals way of transport. Sometimes you’ll be the only one in it and other times you will be crammed in with another 3 or 4 locals. Enjoy the ride, specially as it’s super cheap, something like under £1. It’s no different to being on the underground in London and smelling someone else’s armpit #JustSaying. If you already know how to ride a bike, just ask at your local accommodation where you can rent a scooter, which normally goes for about £5 a day and go get lost…
ATMs - it’s best if you turn up with some money already exchanged as there are only a few ATMs on the island which can also be OUT OF ORDER. Don’t be that person that goes begging on Siargao. Be prepared and do a little research to make sure you have enough money just in case. The 2 main ATMs are in General Luna, once again if you ask your accommodation they’ll be able to point you in the right direction. Or if you just escape away with us, all of that info will be given to you on our private Facebook page for the trip which we set up 4 weeks prior to your escape.
Enjoy Siargao and all the little adventures it has to offer. If you love this blog, share it with a friend and go get lost. Don’t have a friend? Hit up our website and come meet a group of like minded travellers that love to stay fit and healthy while travelling the world - www.newhorizonescapes.com. 80-90% of our guests are solo travellers, but our doors are open to everyone, so hit this link and come on a little adventure with us, anywhere in the world.