Travel Guide: Exploring Siargao for Non-Surfers

Siargao is part of Surigao del Norte. It is situated in the Northeastern part of Mindanao. Because the island is facing the Pacific Ocean, it is not surprising to see the huge waves on its shorelines. Due to its mighty waves, Siargao is dubbed as the “Surfing Capital of the Philippines“. No doubt, it is a haven for surfers.

How to get there:

From Manila:

There are direct flights from Manila to Siargao via Skyjet Airlines. Travel time will only take an hour. Skyjet has the fastest and largest airline going to Siargao with an 80-seater jet. The airline also provides a free 10kg baggage checkin allowance and 5kg handcarry baggage. Aside from free baggage allowance, they also serves a snacks and drinks during your flight.

Other domestic airline also offers Manila to Siargao route but with a stop over at Cebu.

You can also take a flight from Manila to Surigao City or Butuan which is cheaper than direct flights.

From Butuan City:

Ride a bus or van going to Surigao City (Php 150). Travel time is about four to five hours.

From Surigao City:

From Surigao Bus Terminal, ride a multi-cab going to Macapagal Port (Php 10). Beware of those who offer to help you with your baggage because they might ask for a bigger price. When you reach the port, ride a ferry going to Dapa Port in Siargao (Php 250). You also need to pay a terminal fee of Php 10. Travel time is two hours.

Motorized boat at Boulevard port
Motorized boat at Boulevard port

We asked the driver to bring us to the port going to Siargao. I thought that he will bring us to Macapagal Port, but we ended up at Boulevard port. So be specific and tell to bring you to Macapagal Port where the ferry going to Siargao is located.

Schedule of ferry:

5:00 am – Fortune Angel

6:00 am – LQP2

11:30 am – Fortune Angel

12:00 pm – Montenegro

Where to stay:

Most of the visitors prefer to stay in the municipality of General Luna because of its proximity to Cloud 9, the famous surfing spot in Siargao. There are lots of accommodation around the area from budget-friendly to high-end resort.


How to enjoy Siargao if surfing is not your cup of tea?

I tried to do surfing in Baler months ago before our trip to Siargao. Sadly, I’m too scared to stand on a surfboard and ride the waves. That’s when I realized that surfing is not for me.

For someone like me who is not into surfing, you can still enjoy the beauty of Siargao.

They have white beaches, sand bars, enchanting lagoons, caves, rock formations, endless rice fields, mangrove forest, fresh coconut juice and a lot more. Siargao has countless natural wonders to explore.

Touchdown Siargao!

We rode the first trip from Surigao City to Siargao at five in the morning. When we reached Dapa port, Kuya King was already there waiting for us. He is the youngest brother of Kuya Bebot, the famous tour guide in Siargao.

Touchdown Siargao!

Before starting our land tour, we brought our things at our accommodation. We changed our clothes and prepared the things that we need to bring. After half an hour, we are ready to explore the surfing capital of the Philippines!

Things to do aside from surfing

1. Explore Tayangban Cave Pool

Our first activity is to explore the cave pool in Pilar. Roughly 30-minutes of riding the multi-cab, we reached Tayangban Cave Pool. We paid Php 70 each for the entrance fee and two guides.

We walked along a muddy track which led us to the natural swimming pool. The tree beside the water has a rope where you can use to swing yourself and jump in the deep turquoise spring water. The water is cold and refreshing.

We walked through the edge of the pool going to the entrance of the subterranean cave. Be careful because the water can go deep in the middle. We prayed before entering the cave to ask for a guidance and safety of everyone. Always follow what your guide says. He knows better where to step and where to hold. Overall, the experience is one of a kind. Below are some of the pictures we took inside the cave.

2. Swim at Magpupungko beach

After our cave adventure, we went to Magpupungko beach. We paid Php 50 each for the entrance fee. After leaving our things on our table, we roamed around and took pictures of the beautiful scenery. There are cottages and lots of coconut trees looming around the beachfront which provides shade and warmth.

3. Be amazed at Magpupungko Tidal flats

We followed the path at the left side of the beach going to the alluring Magpupungko tidal flats. We walked upstairs and went through a passage going down the tidal pool. I was mesmerized the first time I saw the lagoon. The crystal clear water is inviting and can make you fall in love with the place. Some part of the natural pool can go as deep as 18-feet where we saw some tourists doing a cliff jump. Be careful on walking because the limestones are slippery. Swimming is not allowed during high tide for everyone’s safety. The lagoon is best viewed during low tides.

4. Watch the surfers at Cloud 9

Cloud 9 is the famous surfing spot in Siargao. It is a site of annual domestic and international surfing competition and was featured in the US-based surfer magazine in 1993. The waves in Siargao can go as high as a coconut tree during typhoons. It is a perfect place for surfers all over the world because of its crazy waves and affordable rates. For those who would like to experience surfing for the first time, there are surfing instructors who can assist you.

Boardwalk at Cloud 9

For some people like me, who is not into surfing, Cloud 9 is a good place to relax and watch the surfers as they do they their moves. You can walk along the boardwalk and enjoy the cool air. The place is also picture perfect.

5. Do Island hopping

Never leave Siargao without visiting its nearby islands. The three islands to visit are Naked Island, Dako Island and Guyam Island. The islands have powdery sand and cool and pristine waters.

  • Naked Island

The island doesn’t have any trees and cottages to cover you from the scorching heat of the sun. Thus, it is called naked island. Just you, the sun, and the beach.

Naked Island
Naked Island
  • Dako Island

The name of the island is derived from the Visayan word means big. It is the biggest among the three islands. It has cottages and accommodation if you wanted to stay for a day or two.

Dako Island
Dako Island
  • Guyam Island

Guyam means ant in Visayan dialect. The island is composed of fine sands, battered rocks and coconut trees.

Guyam Island
Guyam Island

6. Visit Sohoton Cove

Sohoton is located in Socorro and can be reached by two hours boat ride from General Luna. Check my blog regarding Bucas Grande for details.

Club Tara Resort

7. Swim at Sugba Lagoon

We weren’t able to visit Sugba lagoon due to lack of time. But then, it is one reason for me to go back.

 

If you’re planning to visit Siargao, you can contact our tour guide to help you plan your stay. I can assure you that they are the best from the rest. Kuya Bebot help us make our stay cheapest as possible from accommodation, inland and island hopping. They are kind, accommodating and fun to be with. Kuya King even offered us a fresh coconut juice for FREE!

Kuya Bebot (+63 9309749974)
Meet Kuya King (+63 9501471477)

Siargao Island is certainly not just about surfing. We haven’t experienced its famous activity but our visit is such a great one. It was not included on my top destination, but seeing it personally makes me wanna go back and stay there longer. Not to mention the kindness and warmth of the people we’ve met there.

 

Happy travels!

Gail

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