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Stunning tropical paradise views at Guyam Island in Siargao | Best things to do in Siargao

Are you looking for the best things to do in Siargao IslandPhilippines?

Wondering what to do in Siargao apart from surf and sunbathe?

You’re in the right place!

I’m Mel, a British-Filipino travel blogger who has visited Siargao multiple times, and in this guide I’ve rounded up my top 15 must-do activities in Siargao for 2024.

Siargao is a surf mecca and tropical paradise tucked away in the south of the Philippines – and it was voted Best Island in Asia in 2021, after winning Best Island in the World in 2019. Not bad, eh?

From exploring secret spots to diving into rockpools and surfing legendary waves, this Siargao guide outlines 15 best things to do in Siargao Island. Plus I’ve included some extra special travel hacks for you at the very end.

Ready? Tara na!

Winding roads and coconut groves in Siargao Island

Best Things to Do in Siargao Island

Best Things To Do In Siargao: What To Do, See & Eat

Brunette girl walks in black bikini - Siargao Island Hopping In The Philippines: Essential Packing List | Best Things to Do in Siargao Island: Travel Guide - What To Do In Siargao Philippines

Strolling on the beach in Daku Island, Siargao during an island-hopping tour 

1. Experience Siargao’s Beauty On An Island Hopping Boat Tour

One of the best things you can do in Siargao is go on an island hopping boat tour! I always have an amazing time doing island hopping tours in the Philippines, and Siargao’s are so much fun.

First you hop aboard a traditional bangka and visit the stunning Naked Island, where you can revel in the beauty of a pristine sandbar, then continue to Daku Island, where you’ll savour a sumptuous seafood feast or boodle lunch prepared by your boat. Then you end the day with swimming at Guyam Island, a tiny paradise with palm-fringed shores and turquoise waters. You can do a group or a private trip!

PRO TIP:

Pack sunscreen, snorkel gear, and a GoPro (check out this Philippines island hopping packing guide for more tips).

BEST ISLAND HOPPING TOURS IN SIARGAO:

Best Things to Do in Siargao Island: Travel Guide - What To Do In Siargao Philippines

Enjoying the views at Sugba Lagoon in Siargao Island on an overcast morning

2. Kayak through the turquoise waters of Sugba Lagoon

One of the best things to do in Siargao is explore Sugba Lagoon, a stunning oasis of emerald green waters, surrounded by lush mangroves. You take a boat ride through winding channels and arrive at this lovely lagoon, where you can kayak, paddleboard, or simply bask in nature. I personally loved climbing up onto the pontoon house diving board and bombing into the water!

The lagoon isn’t private (and gets crazy busy in peak season), but it’s big enough for everyone to find their own spot to relax, take photos, and hang out. Spanning 4000 hectares, the sanctuary offers beautiful views both during the drive-in and at the main lagoon. You might have to wait your turn for the diving board, but aside from that, there’s plenty of room to vibe and chill!

PRO TIP:

Pack a picnic lunch (or grab something from a food stall) and enjoy a relaxing meal surrounded by the lagoon’s beauty. Don’t forget your GoPro or underwater camera to capture life below the surface – the water is crystal clear down below.

TOP-RATED SUGBA LAGOON TOURS IN SIARGAO:
  • 💦 Sugba Lagoon Adventure: Experience the breathtaking beauty of Sugba Lagoon on this unforgettable journey. Perfect for nature lovers and adventure seekers.
Best Things to Do in Siargao Island: Travel Guide - What To Do In Siargao Philippines

Paddleboarding during sunrise at a beach in North Siargao

3. Ride the Waves: Go Surfing in Cloud 9

No trip to Siargao is complete without riding the legendary waves of Cloud 9.

One of the best things to do in Siargao Island is surfing: and that’s a fact! Siargao is hailed across the country and the world as a surfing mecca. Nothing beat those warm, glassy waves.

Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a beginner eager to catch your first wave, Siargao’s world-class surf breaks offer an unforgettable experience. There are lots of beginner-friendly schools that can help you out. Channel your strength, lean into the power of the ocean, and let the island’s surf culture take hold. If you’re not comfortable surfing – try paddleboarding!

PRO TIP:

Enroll in a surf school or join a surf camp with Surfista Travels to learn the basics or improve your skills under the guidance of experienced instructors. You’ll also make new friends! Don’t forget to capture epic action shots with a GoPro or drone. I personally came to Siargao to learn how to surf with Surfista Travels and absolutely loved the experience.

BEST SURF SCHOOLS IN SIARGAO:
  • 🏄‍♂️ Beginner Surf Fundamentals: Catch your first wave with Siargao Island’s beginner surf fundamentals. It’s never too late to start your surfing adventure! (The guides can also help you out in the water if you’re not too athletic.)
Island hopping on Naked Island in Siargao Island, Philippines | Best Things to Do in Siargao Island: Travel Guide - What To Do In Siargao Philippines

Island hopping on Naked Island in Siargao Island, Philippines

4. Discover the Stunning Aquatic Beauty of Sohoton Cove National Park

Head over to Sohoton Cove National Park on the nearby Bucas Grande Island for a trip you won’t forget. It’s an ecological sanctuary with stunning limestone cliffs, secret caves, and lagoons that actually glow with bioluminescent plankton at night. Try snorkeling or kayaking there to get up close and personal with an incredible variety of marine life.

Don’t miss the chance to see stingless jellyfish in their natural habitat. It’s a whole different world out there, and I can’t recommend it enough if you’re looking to add a bit of magic to your Siargao trip!

PRO TIP:

For the best experience at Sohoton Cove, take a guided tour. Tours come with transportation, permits, and expert guides to ensure your safety and help you enjoy everything the park has to offer. Oh, and don’t forget your GoPro or Insta360 Go!

TOP-RATED SOHOTON COVE TOURS IN SIARGAO:
Best Things to Do in Siargao Island: Travel Guide - What To Do In Siargao Philippines

The crystal-clear waters of Naked Island in Siargao

5. Uncover the Underwater World of Siargao: A Scuba Diver’s Dream

Siargao is more than a surfer’s paradise – it’s amazing for scuba divers too! Whether you’re a seasoned diver or trying it for the first time, Siargao offers a range of dive sites suitable for all levels.

Take the plunge into crystal-clear waters and be dazzled by colourful coral reefs and get close to friendly sea turtles in their natural habitat. Top dive sites in Siargao include Blue Cathedral, Daku Arch, Burgos, Santa Monica, Dapa, and Pilar. You’ll be hard-pressed to dive in better conditions than here!

Several reputable dive shops on the island offer PADI certification courses and fun dives, complete with all the gear you’ll need. For the best visibility and calmer waters, plan your dives between March and October, when the climate is dry and sunny.

Remember to bring your underwater camera (GoPro is my top pick) to capture the magic of Siargao underwater!

TOP-RATED SCUBA DIVING IN SIARGAO:

🤿 Diving in Siargao for Beginners – Discover Scuba Diving: New to diving? Discover the underwater world of Siargao. It’s a beginner-friendly dive that promises unforgettable sights.

Best Things to Do in Siargao Island: Travel Guide - What To Do In Siargao Philippines

On a canoe in Siargao’s ‘secret spot’ – Maasin River – under the bent palm

6. Check out the Maasin Bridge River Swing (known as Siargao’s “Secret Spot”)

Siargao is full of hidden gems, and uncovering a secret spot is a must for any intrepid traveler.

The Maasin River was exactly that – a ‘secret spot’ that turned out to become of one Siargao’s best tourist spots. Although the iconic bent tree is now gone, there are still several places along the river where you can paddle in a small canoe, though you might have to pay for it! I borrowed this canoe off someone local and gave them 20 pesos so I could use it for 15 minutes.

PRO TIP:

Chat to locals to gain insider knowledge about Siargao’s best spots. Remember to respect the environment and don’t be foolish!

Man on a motorcycle driving around the island of Siargao in the Philippines

7. Rent a Moped to Explore Alegria Beach in the North

If you’re itching for adventure off the beaten path, then renting a moped or motorcycle and heading towards North Siargao’s Alegria Beach is a must-do. Mopeds cost about P350 a day.

One of my favourite memories from Siargao is cruising on a moped, with the wind in my hair, meandering through sleepy stretches of coconut groves. North Siargao is an escape from the hustle and bustle of General Luna, and it’s filled with pristine beaches where the sands are as soft as powder.

Best Things to Do in Siargao Island: Travel Guide - What To Do In Siargao Philippines

Pretending I’m cool, leaning against my scooter in a coconut grove in Siargao

Having a moped helps you discover the Siargao beyond its well-known spots. The island really is an experience. It’s the freedom of riding through less-traveled roads, the surprise of discovering hidden spots, and the warmth of islanders you encounter.

I loved stopping along the road now and again to admire light rays falling between the trees with my camera. I also enjoyed how much more quiet and local it felt the further away I got from the tourist hub of General Luna.

PRO TIP:

Ensure you have a valid driver’s license and are comfortable handling a motorbike before renting. Safety first! Always wear a helmet, non-negotiable. Pack light and perhaps bring a map or a GPS-enabled device to help keep your bearings.

Aerial views of the beach and boats in the small island of Guyam, in Siargao Philippines | Best Things to Do in Siargao Island: Travel Guide - What To Do In Siargao Philippines

Aerial views of the beach and boats in the small island of Guyam, in Siargao Philippines

8. Grab a snorkel and dive into the Magpupungko Rock Pools

Nature’s own infinity pools await you at the Magpupungko Rock Pools. Known as one of the best things to do in Siargao, Magpupungko’s natural wonders emerge during low tide, revealing a stunning collection of rock formations filled with crystal-clear waters. Take a refreshing dip, soak up the sun on the smooth rocks, and enjoy the unique beauty of this coastal gem.

I’d definitely recommend bringing reef shoes (or Crocs) and a snorkel to make the most of your time at Magpupungko! Corals can be sharp, and there are some amazing fish to be seen below the surface. There are lots of craggy coves to discover along the beach too – it’s a big place! It does get very busy and overwhelming in peak season, so plan to get there early.

PRO TIP:

Time your visit during low tide to fully experience the magic of the rock pools. Check the tide schedules in advance.

Best Things to Do in Siargao Island: Travel Guide - What To Do In Siargao Philippines

Aerial view of the stunning coconut trees in Siargao Island, Philippines

9. Discover Siargao: Skate or Cycle Your Way Through Paradise!

Exploring Siargao on wheels is a super fun way to soak up its scenic beauty. Whether you’re a skateboard enthusiast or prefer the leisurely pace of a bicycle, the island’s relatively flat terrain and less-traveled backroads are ideal for cruising on wheels. Skate tours take you through coconut groves, past charming villages, and along the stunning coastal paths at your own rhythm.

Renting a bike or a skateboard is easy and affordable, with numerous rental shops scattered around the island. Opt for an early morning ride to beat the heat and enjoy the peace before the day’s activities begin.

TOP-RATED SKATE TOURS IN SIARGAO:

🏄 Explore Siargao’s Natural Wonders on Electric Skateboards: Glide through Siargao’s breathtaking scenery on electric skateboards. It’s an eco-friendly adventure you won’t forget!

Best Things to Do in Siargao Island: Travel Guide - What To Do In Siargao Philippines

Experiencing a tranquil sunrise on the beach in Siargao 

10. Unwind with Yoga Sessions in Siargao’s Top Wellness Studios

Siargao’s serene and laid-back island vibe is the perfect setting for nurturing your mind, body, and soul. Why not sign up to a yoga session on the beach, or participate in wellness retreats offered by various resorts and eco-lodges? Reconnect with yourself, find inner peace, and rejuvenate amongst the coconut trees.

You can check the schedules of local yoga studios and resorts that offer yoga classes and wellness programs. And I’d definitely recommend taking the opportunity to experience a blissful sunrise or sunset yoga session by the sea!

BEST PLACES TO DO YOGA IN SIARGAO:

🧘 Awake Siargao: Looking for a serene getaway? Awake Siargao offers a tranquil retreat for those seeking peace and rejuvenation.

🧘‍♂️ Kermit Siargao Yoga: Find your zen with Kermit Siargao’s yoga sessions. It’s the perfect way to unwind and connect with yourself in paradise.

Chilling with friends after a boodle lunch by the sea in Siargao

11. Taste the Local Flavours of Siargao

No trip is really complete until you’ve dived into the local food scene, right? Siargao’s got so many fantastic food spots to try. Swing by the bustling General Luna market, or take a leisurely stroll down the main road to check out the options.

You’ll get to try some of Siargao’s finest, like their fresh-off-the-boat seafood, Kinilaw (that’s fresh, delicious Filipino ceviche), and don’t even get me started on the coconut-infused desserst they’re famous for. YUM.

GREAT RESTAURANTS AND EATS IN SIARGAO:

Don’t miss out on the mouthwatering grilled seafood and meats at Mama’s Grill (a longtime local favourite) or the delicious Filipino-Italian fusion dishes at Kermit Surf Resort and Restaurant. Other honourable mentions include:

  • Barrel – Great food, relaxed vibe with burgers, roast meats, wraps. Fresh, delicious, affordable. Good drinks. Open 24/7.
  • Shaka – Chain with amazing smoothie bowls and iced coffees. Right on the beach, perfect to relax. Great coffee.
  • White Banana Beach Club – Vegetarian and vegan food at great prices. Dine on the beach under the stars. Reasonable drink prices. Veggie burger and faux Meatballs and Pasta recommended.

Gorgeous sunset falling over the treetops of Siargao

12. Experience Sunset at Coconut View Point (North To South Road)

If you’re on the lookout for that perfect shot that captures Siargao’s beauty, check out the iconic Coconut Grove Viewpoint. It’s right on the North to South Road, super easy to find on your way to the Magpupungko Rock Pools.

This place is a breathtaking sea of green with thousands of coconut trees spreading out as far as you can see. It’s no wonder Siargao voted most beautiful island – the viewpoint is a real showcase of the island’s famous greenery!

What makes Coconut Grove Viewpoint stand out is how great it is for photographers. Whether you’re getting aerial shots with a drone or taking photos from the roadside, you won’t find views like these anywhere else!

PRO TIP:

To avoid the crowds and have a more peaceful experience, try visiting at sunrise or when the sun is highest in the sky, early in the afternoon. Sunset here is absolutely magical, with golden hour soaking into the jungle (see above!). It’s a decent spot to chill and refresh. With a few drinks sellers nearby, grab something cold to drink and enjoy the stunning scenery.

13. Challenge Yourself by Venturing into Magkukuob Cave

Magkukuob Cave, tucked away in Sohoton-Bucas Grande, is a gem. Swimming, walking, wading, and climbing here is a fun physical challenge. While the cave might not be the largest, it’s full of surprises, like tiny bats and that thrilling end jump.

The journey kicks off easily enough but soon takes you into the heart of darkness, where the real magic begins. You’ll follow an experienced guide, climbing over 10 feet up with just a flashlight. The handholds and steps are carved right into the rock. The grand finale? Exiting through a cliff side that opens up to stunning views, followed by a jump from a ledge into crystal waters!

It can get crowded at peak times, and sometimes, in their zest to entertain, guides can disturb the peace and the local wildlife. It’s always important to find that sweet spot between adventure and respecting nature.

PRO TIP:

Make sure to wear appropriate footwear for the climb and the jump—it can make a huge difference in your overall experience and safety. I personally wear waterproof reef shoes so they can be used both on land and in water!

14. Catch the Sunset and Capture Dreamy Photos at Cloud 9 Boardwalk:

As the day draws to a close, make your way to Cloud 9 Boardwalk—a prime spot for witnessing breathtaking sunsets. Chilling on Cloud 9 is the one of the best things to do in Siargao, if not the most iconic.

Find a cosy spot on the viewing deck, feel the gentle ocean breeze on your face, and watch as the sky transforms into a canvas of colours. Cloud 9 is great for photography at any time—but sunrise and sunset REALLY show off the waves, and capturing dreamy slow-motion footage of surfers catching waves is chefs-kiss content!

Bring your drone along if you’re a photographer or creator looking to take stunning visuals at Cloud 9. This high vantage point gives you wide, beautiful views of the ocean. Definitely bring a tripod if you’re after long-exposures that capture the sky or stars.

PRO TIP:

Arrive at Cloud 9 earlier than sunrise or sunset to secure a good spot. Grab a refreshing coconut or a local beer from the nearby stalls to enhance your sky-watching experience. You don’t need to take photos either. Just vibe!

15. Dance the Night Away in Siargao’s Lively Bars

After a day of adventure and exploration, it’s time to let your hair down and experience Siargao’s nightlife scenes.

Head to General Luna, where beachfront bars and lively beach clubs offer a mix of live music, DJs, and parties. You can dance barefoot in the sand, sip on tropical cocktails, meet new people, and get involved in Siargao’s party vibes.

PRO TIP:

Check out popular spots like Jungle Disco, Manu, Aplaya, and BARREL. Stay hydrated and party responsibly!

Stunning pink-purple sunrise on the beach in Siargao

Best Things To Do In Siargao: Bonus Tips

 

16. Capturing the Beauty: How To Take Epic Photos in Siargao Island

Are you planning to take photos in Siargao?

Siargao has stunning views and seascapes, making it a dream spot for photographers and creators. You can find everything from famous palm tree swings to beautiful coconut-lined roads and gorgeous mural art. The island is full of photo opportunities.

I’d personally say I’ve taken some of my favourite travel photographs to date in Siargao! If you’re a creator, one of the best things to do in Siargao is genuinely just to roam the island with your camera in hand. Wake up early for sunrise, head out at sunset for golden hour, then stay a while for blue hour. All shades of the day are inspirational in Siargao.

One of the first underwater photos I ever took with my GoPro in Siargao!

Recommended Photography Gear to Create Content in Siargao:

17. Do Go Chasing Waterfalls: Pay Magkukuob Falls and Taktak Falls A Visit:

Siargao’s beauty isn’t limited to its coastline—venture into the lush heartlands of the island to discover stunning waterfalls tucked away behind leafy groves. Magkukuob Falls, hidden in the heart of the island, is a refreshing retreat where you can swim beneath cascading waters and cool off from the heat.

Taktak Falls, with its tiered rock formations and vibrant green surroundings, is another waterfall worth exploring for a rejuvenating dip. These waterfalls are small, but fun to visit, especially if you’re spending more than a week on the island!

Island Hopping In The Philippines: Essential Packing List

With a cute puppy on Naked Island in Siargao during an island hopping boat tour

Insider Travel Hacks for Siargao Visitors

  • Save on ATM Fees: ATMs currently charge a fairly hefty fixed fee for foreign cards, so avoid extra charges by using the GCASH App for digital payments and cash-outs! (This also means you don’t need to roam around with lots of cash.) Note: do this at least 7 days advance ahead of your trip so your account can be verified before you arrive.
  • Book an Airport Transfer: Secure a smooth ride to your accommodation by arranging an airport transfer with your hotel or catching one of the white vans outside the airport heading to General Luna.
  • Rent a Motorcycle: Experience the island at your own pace by renting a motorcycle. It’s affordable and gives you the freedom to explore gems that aren’t accessible by car. Make sure to bring your driver’s license. Always wear a helmet!
  • Pack Reef-Safe Sunscreen: Protect your skin and marine life by using reef-safe sunscreen. The island’s waters are home to beautiful coral reefs, so use eco-friendly sunscreen. SunBum is my fave – bring it with you to save having to buy more!
  • Try Local Delicacies: As well as Siargao’s fresh seafood and tropical fruits, the iconic “pan de surf,” a must-try for any visitor. The Siargao take on ‘pan de coco’ (i.e. a delicious lil bun with shredded coconut) will be the best thing you eat!

Best Things To Do In Siargao: The Island Is Your Oyster

From my experience, Siargao is more than waves – it’s a community of people that respect nature and the water. So whether you’re here for the surf, the scenery, or the vibrant local culture, Siargao has something special for every kind of traveller.

I hope this guide on the best things to do in Siargao Island has helped you out!

Happy travels – and if you have any questions about visiting Siargao, drop me a DM.

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Mel Legarda

Melissa Legarda is the founder of illumelation. She has worked as a travel blogger, creator and writer since 2015, and has collaborated with well-known brands worldwide. She has helped over 1,100+ students improve their travel photography skills since launching her creative courses. Her mission is to encourage and empower others to travel and create more. Find her on Instagram.

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