It’s difficult to describe the island of Siargao without resorting to cliches— palm tree-dotted roads made for biking, powdery white sand beaches, plenty of sunshine, friendly furbabies —it’s got them all, and in the best way possible.
Living here makes you forget that life could be anything but sun-dappled days with a little bit of early morning or late afternoon drizzle. From morning brisk walking to the beach, followed by a heavy breakfast bowl of oats and fruits, to the fresh ocean breeze caressing your hair, staying here is too much, and gloriously so!
The place inhabits an unpretentious mix of locals and travellers, all chasing perfect waves up and down the Pacific ocean. Admittedly, the slow surfer life took us in and held us captive for a week.
At night, there’s no shortage of options: various kinds of restaurants to try, party scene at different bars, food hunt at cheap local eateries, stargazing at Cloud 9, or if you’re bold, skinny dipping past midnight if you could manage to go way beyond the rocks at low tide.
For a list of favorites, here are some options to indulge in:
Breakfast: Situated along the Tourism road in General Luna is Siargao Cornercafe, where they serve sandwich, coffee, and waffle for your morning fix. Shaka Cafe on the other hand, located in Cloud 9, caters to a perfect space to watch the waves go by while munching on a heavy, yet healthy, breakfast power bowl.
Lunch: One should never miss this hidden gem located a few meters past Cloud 9, inside Jacking Horse is a humble eatery called Munchies that serve one of the best tasting Pork Sisig I’ve tried in my entire life. Really. You should go.
Dinner: Kermit Restaurant earns a spot for being one of the best places to try pizza and pasta. Kick your pregame drinks here by trying the rum coke in three variants: single, double, or triple shot, starting at Php 40. Looking for cheap, delicious, grilled meat and seafoods? Try Mama’s Grill. How about an affordable yet honest to goodness chicken inasal? Azuete is the place to be. If you’re craving for authentic Spanish dishes with a beautiful view of the sea nearby, head to Bravo Restaurant. Craving for lechon? Don’t let the oddball name fool you, as Kanin Baboy serves a plate full of vegetables, roasted pork, bbq, rice, and an unforgettable spice paste you’d love to bring back home once you’ve had a taste.
Open 24/7: Habhab Siargao Cafe for your combo rice meals fix (Tapsilog, Longsilog, Hotsilog, etc.). Situated beside Habhab is our favorite little eatery: Namnam. It’s small, seating probably a maximum of 9 pax all gathered around the spot plus 3-5 more in the tables nearby. It’s got all the comfort home cooked food you’d love to munch on, all at an affordable price. Please eat their lumpia for me.
Desserts: Get your scoop of comfort over at Leche Ice Cream. They have delectable flavors to choose from such as peanut butter jelly or cacao. If you fancy a gelato, however, there’s one on the other side of General Luna that’s equally as good: Halika Artisan Gelato caters healthy, natural, organic flavors including a blue tarnate flower flavor named after the island itself.
Bars: One shouldn’t miss the acoustic nights at Lumad Hostel every MWF. Saturdays at Harana Surf Resort. There’s also the unforgettable pool parties at Lamari every Sunday. I say unforgettable because this is where I lost my slippers on just my third day on the island. Thankfully, someone lent me his. 🙂
Activities: Face the strong waves enclaved in a pool in Magpupungko. Visit Sohoton Cove for jelly fish spotting, Sugba Lagoon for the famous cliff jump, tri-island hopping at Naked, Guyam, and Daku. All these spots are beautiful in their own right.
Accommodations: For upscale resort, check out Bravo Resort. If you’re on a budget, try Mad Monkey Hostel or Lumad Hostel. There are also lots of AIRBNB options if you’re interested.
Keen to learn a new life skill? Try it like I did: learn how to drive a motorbike and navigate through the roads then find a secret beach to relax on. Just ensure safety at all times. I remember falling off somebody else’s motorcycle on my last night there. Not once, but twice. Hahaha.
I didn’t visit Siargao when I was in the Philippines, but it sounds and looks like paradise. How do you think it compares to other popular islands and destinations in the Philippines? I love the idea of driving around on a motorbike to explore remote beaches.
It has its own charm. 🙂 I wish more locals would get to see this island. The ratio of foreign tourists outnumber the locals because airfare is a bit expensive. But thank heavens for promo fares.
That sounds lovely! I definitely prefer destinations that aren’t overrun with tourists. I noticed that when I was in the Philippines, that a lot of locals hadn’t been able to see much of their country, which is a real shame.
We have never been to the Philippines. We love snorkeling and swimming in turquoise waters. You mention surfing; that tells me that there are probably a lot of waves. Can you comment on how good snorkeling is?
Siargao is famous for surfing and for good reason. 🙂 If you want an unforgettable snorkeling experience, I suggest going to Coron, Palawan. The underwater beauty is vibrant and full of life, really really stunning. Nothing compares.
I can fully embrace the cliches when they’re these cliches. Looks absolutely beautiful!
Hey Chris! You’re definitely right about that. 🙂
The island of Siargao looks stunning with palm tree-dotted roads and it is really perfect for biking, relaxing on powdery white sand beaches to enjoy plenty of sunshine. I would love to have dinner at Kermit Restaurant try pizza and pasta.
Went there twice. Food’s amazing!