Imagine a tropical paradise, and you’ll probably think of something like Siargao Island. The teardrop-shaped isle is blessed with the seascape of every beach lover’s dreams. Countless coconut trees, white-sand shores, crystal-clear waters, a steady throng of easygoing travellers and locals, and of course, perfect waves for surfers of all levels. If you’re looking for inspiration for your island adventure, we’ve rounded up the greatest hits. Check out our favourite things to do in top Siargao tourist spots — and prepare to lose your heart to this tropical idyll.
1. Go surfing at the famous Cloud 9
Cloud 9 is the reason why Siargao Island is known as the Surfing Capital of the Philippines. It’s widely considered the best surf break in the country, and surfers from all over the world make a beeline for Cloud 9’s warm waters the moment they get to the island.
Expect a constant stream of wave riders in and out of the water, all barefoot with their boards in their arms. But don’t worry if you’re new to board life. There are plenty of friendly and experienced surf instructors around to show you the ropes. And there’s even a spot closer to shore where they’ll train the first-timers.
Even if you’re not planning to catch waves, it’s still worth visiting the spot to watch the action, take photos on the boardwalk, and soak in the vibes. The iconic Cloud 9 Boardwalk, which was destroyed when Typhoon Odette hit the island, was recently rebuilt, and is open to the public once again. However, as of writing, its complete restoration is yet to be finished.
We recommend coming from around 5pm to 6pm when travellers and locals flock here for golden hour. Cloud 9 is a quick motorcycle or tricycle ride away from any resort in General Luna. This area is one of the most happening places to visit in Siargao, with some of the best dining, shopping, and nightlife spots on the island.
2. Swim and jump off cliffs at the Magpupungko Rock Pools
Head to the town of Pilar for the Magpupungko Rock Pools, one of the most popular natural attractions on the island. Flanked by unique rock formations, the dazzlingly clear blue pools are perfect for swimming, cliff jumping, and photography. However, timing is everything here. High tide sees the rock pool completely submerged, so make sure you time your visit during low tide.
3. Spend a day at Sugba Lagoon
Another beautiful natural attraction in Siargao is Sugba Lagoon, a hidden lagoon tucked between verdant cliffs. Locals set up a floating hut overlooking the lagoon, where travellers can hang out and eat lunch surrounded by nature. The highlight is undoubtedly leaping off the diving board but if you prefer more relaxed activities, kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals are available.
Come early to enjoy the calm of the lagoon before other (rowdier) groups arrive. Even if it’s a drive and a boat ride away from General Luna, Sugba Lagoon is one of the most famous Siargao tourist spots. So, don’t expect to have the place to yourself for long. Once the more experienced cliff jumpers start throwing themselves off the diving board, you can simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.
4. Sail to nearby islands Naked, Guyam & Daku
There are more islands in the Philippines than you would know what to do with. But we promise, these three are worth a day’s worth of sailing explorations.
Although not technically part of the Siargao mainland, Guyam, Daku, and Naked are three islands near Siargao that are an unmissable part of every traveller’s itinerary. Each one is within 30 minutes to an hour away from one another and the main island, depending on ocean conditions.
Guyam Island is a tiny white dot in the Pacific, a circular isle with creamy white sand, a cluster of coconut trees in the centre, and a massive reef around it. It’s small enough to cross in just a few dozen steps, but Guyam is also pretty enough to chill and sunbathe for an hour or two!
Daku Island is another stop on the tour, the largest of the three islands near Siargao. It’s no less beautiful than the other two, though — and has the extra benefit of cottages, so you can actually hang out here longer. Most of the island-hopping groups use this laid-back island for their lunch stop.
Last in this trio is Naked Island, famous for being a tiny island that’s completely bare, without trees, rocks, or anything else other than pure white sand. (And no, it’s not named for being a nude beach, so please keep your bathing suits on.)
5. Get lost in the captivating Sohoton Cove National Park
Escape and explore the natural wonders of Sohoton Cove in the southwestern part of Bucas Grande Island. Although this isn’t technically in Siargao — it’s about an hour-long boat ride from Dapa port — visiting the national park is among the best Siargao island activities for tourists who want to get lost in nature.
Imagine a remote labyrinth of idyllic lagoons, crystalline waters, limestone cliffs, and underwater caves. Highlights include the Blue Lagoon or Titikan Lagoon, with waters an otherworldly shade of blue. Hagukan Cave is also a popular stop for its luminescent waters, while the Jellyfish Sanctuary is a haven for stingless jellyfish. During jellyfish season (March to June), travellers can sail through these waters and spot dozens and dozens of these creatures bobbing under the surface.
Tip: If you have limited time in Siargao, you may include Sohoton Cove on a full-day boat tour to Naked Island and other islands near Siargao.
6. Hike to the top of Corregidor Island
If you think Siargao tourist spots are limited to beaches and lagoons, think again. Corregidor Island is an excellent destination to log in some steps, with leisurely trails through verdant hills, sandy beaches, and lots of coconut trees. Unlike the island of Siargao, the Corregidor terrain has some elevation, and travellers can hike up to the peak for sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. Located right next to Siargao Island, Corregidor Island is accessible via a 45-minute boat ride from General Luna.
7. Relax at Alegria Beach
Travel north to Alegria Beach for one of the quieter places to visit in Siargao. Although it’s about an hour away from General Luna, this unspoiled beach is a pleasant reprieve from the bustle of activities in popular tourist spots. Here, you can just lounge on the fine white sand — preferably with a coconut in hand!
The quintessential white beach is a fantastic swimming spot. It’s one of the few beaches in Siargao where travellers can take a relaxing dip without dodging surfers, waves, or sprawling reefs on the shore. That said, watch out for sharp reefs and rocks as you wade in deeper.
8. Explore other surf spots in Siargao
Cloud 9 may be the biggest draw, but it’s far from being the only surf spot in Siargao. If you know where to look, you can spend your entire Siargao vacation exploring the different surf breaks on the island. If you’re a beginner, the palm-fringed Guiwan Beach (often nicknamed Secret Beach) is a fantastic place to practice without a ton of people around. Experienced surfers enjoy the more challenging waves of Pacifico Beach or Tuason’s Point.
9. Swim with tropical fish while scuba diving
Most travellers come to the island to ride waves, but you’ll find that this tropical destination is just as mesmerising underwater as it is above the surface! If you’re on the hunt for more things to do in Siargao, scuba diving and snorkelling are two ways to indulge in the natural beauty of the island. Great visibility, warm waters, and rich marine life create excellent conditions for underwater adventures. Plus, dive sites in Siargao are typically uncrowded, with most tourists opting to surf instead!
Blue Cathedral, which is found near Cloud 9, is the most famous diving spot in Siargao, with its underwater tunnels, colourful reef, and stunning array of tropical fish. Keep in mind that its location in the open Pacific Ocean makes it more suited to experienced divers who know how to deal with stronger currents. Seeco Reef, Shark Point, and Pilar Twin Rocks also offer some of the best diving around the island.
10. Swing from the treetops at Maasin River
Snap your own photo at one of the most Instagrammable Siargao tourist spots: the Maasin River. Hop on a small boat and drift along the tranquil waters. Even with the flood of tourists in recent years, it has kept its rustic provincial charm. And if you come early in the morning, you’ll miss the worst of the tourist rush.
And of course, the highlight: the epic swing. Once you pass the red Maasin Bridge, you’ll start to approach the famous bent coconut tree. If you dare (and you should), make your way up the tree, take the rope, gather your courage, and swing into the water with a big splash. Definitely, channelling your inner Tarzan is among the quintessential Siargao island activities that should be on your bucket list!
11. Feast on local dining spots
Trust us, you’ll never go hungry on the island. We’ll even go as far as to say a food crawl is one of our favourite things to do in Siargao! While other remote islands may have limited meal choices, Siargao offers an abundance of cafes and restaurants, especially in General Luna.
Shaka Cafés is a must-try for healthy eaters, with an extensive guilt-free menu of smoothie bowls that will leave you feeling completely satisfied and refreshed. Go to Mama’s Grill for affordable BBQ, while Kermit is hailed for high-quality pizza, pasta, and seafood dishes.
12. Visit Coconut Mountain View
Coconut trees are as much a part of the iconic Siargao landscape as the Pacific. Coconut Mountain View Point offers an especially photogenic spot to capture the endless sea of coconut trees. Just a road overlooking thousands of coconut trees, it’s one of the low-key places to visit in Siargao, but the scenery is well worth the ride, particularly during sunrise or sunset.
13. Find your sunset spot in Siargao
The golden hour is the most beautiful time of day, and it’s extra breathtaking in the tropical paradise of Siargao. Set on the eastern side of the Philippines, the island isn’t your typical sunset destination — but you’ll still get the seascape painted in gold and orange hues at the end of the day.
Some of the famous Siargao tourist spots are great places to watch the sun go down — Pacifico Beach, Cloud 9, and Naked Island among them. Locals go to General Luna Pier and Santa Monica Pier to enjoy the last light of day, but it’s just as awe-inspiring to photograph the dying light from inside the Coconut Palm Forest.
14. Take part in one of the beach clean-ups
It’s easy to fall in love with Siargao beaches — but do you love them enough to help maintain them? If you’re willing to take some time to help with cleaning up the coastline, volunteer! Beach clean-ups take place regularly on the island, each one engaging tourists and locals to remove trash and debris from the shores throughout the island. Check the website or social media pages of the SEA Movement and other local efforts to sign up (or just show up) for an upcoming beach clean-up in Siargao.
15. Rent a motorbike and explore on your own
We’ll talk about our favourite Siargao tourist spots all you want, but part of the charm of an island adventure is setting off on a quest of your own. Despite being a world-renowned destination, the island remains a treasure trove of undiscovered gems. Motorbikes are the best way to get around Siargao, and it’s easy to rent one anywhere in General Luna. Hit up the usual spots, but don’t be afraid to go off the beaten path in search of hidden stretches of beach to low-key local eateries. And with a tropical vista this pretty, you’re guaranteed a nice view no matter where you end up.
What do you think of our picks of the best Siargao tourist spots? Let us know on our Facebook page if we’ve missed any of your greatest hits!
Featured image credit: Oneinchpunch via Canva Pro. This article was originally published on TripZilla.