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Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in the wondrous island of Siargao. The surf capital of the Philippines is known for barreling waves, breathtaking views and great cuisine.
If you don’t have time to go on a week-long vacation, this guide will help you get the most of your island experience in 48 hours.
Start your day early and instantly connect with nature by exploring the stunning Sugba Lagoon, located within the secluded town of Del Carmen in Siargao island. From General Luna, it would take more than an hour to reach this destination—an hour-and-a-half boat ride to be exact. But it’s definitely worth the trip because this charming lagoon surrounded by mountains will take your breath away. While most popular tourist spots in the country tend to be overcrowded, this spectacular 4,000-hectare area is big enough for you to enjoy various water activities such as paddleboarding, swimming, and cliff diving. There’s also a big pontoon house where you can have fresh seafood meals for lunch at affordable prices.
Pro tip: Take an organized tour instead of doing it on your own.
After you’ve had enough enjoyment at Sugba Lagoon, head over to one of the best island hopping experiences you’ll ever take—the three-island hopping tour of Siargao. Have the chance to explore the three popular islets called Naked Island, Daku Island, and Guyam Island. Naked Island stays true to its name—crystal clear waters, a long stretch of fine white sand, and no trees or garbage in sight. Don’t worry, you’ll find cottages in Daku Island where you can grab some light meals, play volleyball, lounge under the sun peacefully. As for what to expect in Guyam Island, you’ll get a mesmerizing view in this miniature paradise with powdery white sand beaches and coconut trees.
Pro tip: Take a Sugba Lagoon + three-island hopping tour package to save money and time!
After a day of immersing yourself in the crystal clear waters and wandering in the islands, head back to General Luna. You’re just in time to catch the best views of the surfers, with a breathtaking sunset at the famous Cloud 9 break. A favorite hangout among locals and tourists is Hanigad Beach Bar, one of the best bars on the island. This chill-out spot on the beachfront of General Luna has live music and happy hours from 4 p.m.–6 p.m. Reward yourself after a full-day of adventure. Sit back and relax on the beachfront while drinking a glass of beer or wine.
They say that experiencing nightlife on the island will be one of the highlights of your Siargao trip. If you find yourself visiting Siargao on a Tuesday or a Friday, don’t forget to visit Jungle Disco, a hidden place situated between palm trees which brings together locals and tourists for a night of dancing and drinking. Also known as Tattoo Bar, this has been dubbed an institution in the island. But if you miss those days, you can always have the best night out at RumBar, one of the island’s most popular hangouts for jamming, dancing, socializing, and drinking.
Of course, you shouldn’t leave the island without surfing, or at least learning how to do it! The waves are not just for surfers, and if you’re a newbie keen to get a taste of how it feels riding on these waves, Siargao is the best destination for your first surf. You’ll find lots of surf camps within the island which offer lessons as well as kitesurf tuition. Viento del Mar Resort has its very own in-house Surf School and they teach lessons for beginners and intermediate surfers. You can guarantee that their surf instructors are professionals—having great knowledge of Siargao breaks as they’ve been surfing on the island for a long time. They also tailor their lessons to each student’s needs and skills.
Pro tip: Start early—the best waves are in the early hours of morning.
Rent a motorbike and go on a land tour within Siargao! An hour away from General Luna, you’ll find a rockpool within a sea in the town of Pilar—the Magpupungko Tidal Pool. These rock pools can only be found during the low tide and it’s also an awesome spot for swimming and cliff-diving. Tourists adore this spot because of the intricate natural rock formations and turquoise-colored waters. And, entrance fee is only 50 Philippine pesos. Make sure you check the daily tides of Pilar before heading to this spectacular destination! Afterwards, you can take a trip to Sta. Monica and cool down at Taktak Falls, the only waterfall in Siargao.
Pro tip: If you don’t want to rent a motorbike on your own, take a habal-habal ride which can be shared by three people.
The small and previously unknown island has also become a food haven among foreign and local tourists. It would be a huge mistake not to get a taste of world-class cuisine, healthy food choices, and local food specialties at the best restaurants in the island. Enjoy a taste of world-class Italian cuisine at Kermit Siargao restaurant, known for serving delicious, mouthwatering pizzas. Their pizza dough and bread are made from scratch and served fresh daily. Or, have a feast at Harana Surf Resort and experience Filipino dishes with a twist, such as Adobo Bibimbap or their Halo-Halo served in a coconut rather than a bowl.
It’s your final night on the island so party the night away, chill out in a coffee shop and discover iconic drinks or have some jam sessions with live bands on the island. For a different kind of experience, sing your heart out at Baile Restobar, which is known as the “best karaoke in town.” Here, you’ll find a huge screen (and spacious seats) for karaoke—it’s free and you just have to take turns. You can also dance, play billiards, or just enjoy their outdoor seating that brings you a simple night out close to nature.