The city has been my home for a long time now since I started college. Since then, the environment that I lived in has always been congested with traffic, noises, populated environment and a lot of big establishments. Back in 2017 was the time that I saw the beauty of Siargao Island in a film directed by Paul Soriano. Though I haven’t seen it yet in person, I told myself way back then, “Soon, I’ll be in Siargao.”
Siargao is located 800 kilometers southeast of Manila which is the capital of the beautiful Philippines. This island belongs to the province of Surigao del Norte, situated at the north-eastern tip of Mindanao. Known as the Surfing Capital of the Philippines, Siargao has attracted a lot of tourists not only from the Philippines but also across the country. The island not only limits itself to surfers but also to non-surfers as Siargao serves a lot of beautiful places that you can go to.
Going to Siargao
There are two ways in going to Siargao and that is to start your way either from Manila or Cebu via Cebu Pacific. I also heard from a friend that I met in the hostel where I was staying that there are direct flights already to Siargao from Davao via Philippine Airlines, that makes it three now. I suggest you book your flight months before going to Siargao to save money.
What happened in Siargao?
I actually made plans with 6 other friends three months before going to Siargao. All of them were excited so I really thought that we’ll all be there together. But last minute changes happened and none of them showed up which made me travel alone. I was really worried since I don’t usually travel alone and I don’t even know where I should be going since the planned itineraries that I made were all canceled because of what happened. It was indeed a challenge though but I learned a lot of things in this trip and it was fun!
This blog will be more on what happened in my solo trip in Siargao. Might not be the ultimate travel guide that you’re looking for but a little guide as to where you can go if you will be traveling alone soon or instagrammable spots where you can go with your friends too!
Most of the tourists choose to stay where all of the bars, restaurants, tours and hotels are near, General Luna. Going to General Luna from the airport takes about 45 minutes via van for Php300.00 and vice versa. Choosing where to stay in Siargao is easy since General Luna offers variety of hostels and hotels that you can choose from.
In my end, since I was traveling alone, staying in a hostel would be a perfect fit. In fact, I made a friend there who was the one helping me in some of my photos. I stayed in a hostel called Alpas Siargao. Alpas Siargao is located near the center of General Luna where civilizations happen. Their spot is perfect and very Instagrammable! It’s only just a drive away to Cloud 9 as well which is the most popular place for surfing.
Alpas Siargao was a perfect catch. The area was so chill and the staffs were very friendly too. The prices for their bunk beds are very affordable as well, starting from Php500.00 to Php800.00 per head for a night. They also have private rooms if you don’t want to share rooms with other guests. Private room starts from Php2,500.00 to Php3,500.00.
You can book or contact them at [email protected]
GOING AROUND SIARGAO
There were many places that I haven’t visited in Siargao, some of those that you see on Instagram, vlogs that you saw on YouTube and popular tourist attractions in the area. The only places I went to are the places that I can drive to with my scooter. Renting a scooter will be the most perfect thing to do and to go around the island. I rented a scooter from the hostel I’m staying at for only Php350.00 per day. If you know how to drive, then you’re good to go. Below are the places that I went to with my Siargao trip. No particular itinerary for this since I was jumping from one place to another.
First stop was Cloud 9. I remember a vlog that I saw before about a guy who also went on solo backpacking when he was in Siargao. His first stop was Cloud 9. I didn’t know where to start so I decided to visit Cloud 9. The first time I went here, I didn’t have my scooter yet, so I took the tricycle which costs Php20.00.
Entrance Fee: Php50.00
I sat down the area since there are benches where you can see the waves. Cloud 9 is popular for surfers and is indeed the venue every year for the International Surfing Competition where a lot of surfers around the world come to compete. The sceneries of big waves were so beautiful! The feeling was so relaxing which made me came here everyday for 3 consecutive days. My favorite place during my trip.
Sea of Palms Viewpoint
One of the most iconic places in Siargao is the sea of palms viewpoint. Siargao is also rich for its palm trees as well. To get to this area, you would need to drive a scooter from General Luna for around 45 minutes. Or if you are in a tour, you can drop by here too. It was rainy when we get there though but most of the time it’s really sunny.
Located minutes of drive next to the sea of palms viewpoint is the famous bent palm tree in Siargao. The bent palm tree in Siargao has gone viral on Instagram since it was discovered in 2017. If you’re looking for a new adventure, try out this epic palm tree rope swing in Siargao. There’s an environmental fee here of Php20.00 upon entering the area.
We were the only ones in the area since went to Maasin River early in the morning around 7AM. There’s no fee in the rope swing, but you can give some tip to those locals who would also assist you.
Jacking Horse is known for beginner’s camp. Most of the newbie in surfing practice on this area. The take-off here is soft but can deliver long and good level of waves. I actually tried it and it was very challenging knowing that it was my first time. Try surfing! It was one of the highlights of my trip too. You can have an instructor for Php500.00 together with the board rental for an hour. However if you already know how to surf and would want to go on your own, the board rental cost Php200.00-Php300.00 per hour. Jacking horse is just meters away from the famous Cloud 9.
This place was where I took my very first meal in Siargao! According to reviews, the restaurant at Bravo Beach Resort Siargao is the best place on the island to enjoy true, delicious Spanish cuisine so I gave it a try and it didn’t disappointed me. They open from 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM every day, Monday to Sunday, for lunch and dinner.
I ordered Slow Cooked Coconut Pork Curry for lunch which was made from Goan inspired pork curry w/ coconut sambal and paired it up with a fresh coconut juice. It was perfect! It might get pricey here but it’s worthy though since their serving is very big. I loved their hospitality as well! Their staffs are very friendly and I actually asked one of their staffs to take a photo of me (the hardest thing in traveling alone is asking somebody to take you photos).
For the list of menu, see the link below:
Harana Surf Resort
Harana Surf Resort, is located still in General Luna. This place is popular to tourists to chill and party on a Saturday night. My friend from Cebu told me that she was also there in Siargao and will be going home the next day already. I decided to come along with them and partied on a Saturday night. The night was young and so as us. We had some drinks, chitchats and went home after midnight.
The interiors of Harana Surf were so beautiful at night, so I then decided to come back in the morning to see it again in a day light and have breakfast I also invited my friend from the hostel for breakfast and took some photos in the area. I had Tocino for breakfast for Php250.00. Quite pricey but it was good though.
Fili Beans Espresso
Set up within the beautiful tranquil grounds of Harana Surf Resort, you can find Fili Beans Espresso. They serve good coffee and a perfect place to grab one to pair it up with your breakfast. The cafe is just beside their restaurant too. You can follow them on instagram @filibeansespresso.
See menu of their coffee in the link below:
Leche Ice Cream Company
Serving you with healthy flavors of ice cream is Leche Ice Cream Company. Located in the grounds of Harana Surf still and is open from 11AM to 10PM daily. It’s the first ice cream shop in Siargao that serves scoops of ice cream from natural ingredients and good vegan options too! Indeed the best ice cream in the island. Price starts from Php100.00 per scoop. I also found a beautiful mural beside the Leche Ice Cream store!
It might get very hot around Cloud 9 and would make you want to drink something very refreshing. Cafe Loka is a good place then. I dropped by Cafe Loka for a moment after I went on surfing to grab some fruit shakes. It was good but nothing so special. Price ranges from Php100.00 to Php200.00 depending on the drink. They open as early as 7AM. Cafe Loka is just in front of Cloud 9 Boardwalk.
One of the highlights of my Siargao trip was trying Shaka Cafe’s famous smoothie bowl. Shaka is just meters away and a few minute walk from Cloud 9. For the amount of Php250.00, you can already enjoy a healthy smoothie bowl from this cafe. They actually have number of selections you can choose from. Also for an additional amount of Php50.00, you can already pair your smoothie bowl with a cup of hot coffee or a glass of iced coffee.
One good thing that I loved about this cafe is its location. It was perfect! The view is stunning and is a perfect spot to enjoy breakfast. I was alone when I went here and I’ve been wanting to take a photo since the lighting there was perfect! Good thing, their staffs also know how to take photos! Plus point! I also sat down and have some chitchats with 2 foreign tourists from Australia and South Africa when I was there since I shared the table with them. *nosebleed*
Mad Monkey Siargao
Mad Monkey is known to be a party hostel. They are still in soft opening in Siargao when I visited them. Their rooms and their pool was under construction too during my visit. The only thing that was opened yet was their bar and it was beautiful! I know this place will surely boom when it’s already done. Mad Monkey runs nightly activities everyday and you’ll surely love it. I’m not pretty sure yet with their rates but I think it would be similiar with the Mad Monkey blog that I posted about their Cebu branch.
Siargao’s Famous Pan de Coco
Months before I visited Siargao, I kept myself busy watching travel vlogs about what to do and where to go in Siargao. This pan de coco that I tried was always shown on the videos that I have watched and they always say that it’s a must try in the Island. It was a 5-10 minute ride via scooter from my hostel to get to this area where they sell it. This Pan de Coco stall is in front of a church, you could ask the locals about it and they know where to find this. It was only for Php5.00!
If you’re looking for a good barbeque place to eat, Mama’s Grill is the perfect place to be in. They have lots of barbeque choices that you can choose starting from Php80.00 only. I spent my dinner here for 2 days and it was very mouth-watering.
There were a lot of activities and places that I have missed during my Siargao trip. To name a few – the sunset watching in the island hopping that I was looking forward, the famous Kermit’s pizza that my friends who have tried it kept on telling me, the cliff jumping in Sugba Lagoon, the picture taking in the famous palm trees’ road, swimming in the tidal pool in Magpupungko, hiking in Corregidor Island and a lot more. Maybe it was a sign that I should really be coming back in Siargao again soon to experience it.
The days that I spent there was not enough to explore the island. If you’re planning to visit Siargao soon, be sure to have longer days here. You could go on tours or you could also make your own itinerary so you could explore more the island like what I did.
My Siargao trip was indeed a new experience. Never did I imagine that I could survive the island with only myself. There were a lot of lessons that I learned in this trip. Just be yourself, enjoy and be open-minded to unexpected things that might happen. Siargao is indeed a very beautiful island. You’ll miss the beach, the waves, the hospitality, the food and the way how locals will treat you like you’re very close to them. How I wish my close friends were with me and also feel the vibes and what happened to me in the island. Stepping my foot out from Siargao was heartbreaking, I never wanted to leave the island yet but I have too. I fell in love with Siargao and will surely comeback, very soon.
If you have questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me or comment down below and I’ll make it up to you as soon as possible.