Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte – According to CNN, Siargao (shar-gow) is the 9th best surf spot in the world. When you look at Google map, it looks like a teardrop-shaped island. Avid surfers from different parts of the world visit this paradise to surf all year-round and live the good life. The island’s laid-back vibe kinda reminds me of Bali, but not too touristy.
One week is not enough to stay in Siargao because there’s a lot to explore on the island. Most international travelers find themselves extending their stay from 5 days to weeks. There are several places to see; waterfalls, strange rock formations, tidal pools, caves, and so on.
CNN travel journalist Jade Bremmer wrote, “This dramatic and powerful reef break, which crashes onto shallow razor-sharp coral, offers right and left death rides to those who dare. Those who do will experience a slice of paradise, or magic mushroom-like hallucinations, as the wave wraps over them like a Cornish pasty-shaped cocoon of water. Don’t slip, or your skin and bones will be ripped to shreds by the ocean bed,”
History of Cloud 9
Cloud 9 was discovered in the early ’80s by surfing enthusiasts Steve Jones, Tony Arroza and Mike Boyum. But it became popular in 1992 when an American photographer John Callahan featured his story in a US-based surfer magazine. He promoted breathtaking surf photos of famous surfers John Slater, Taylor Knox, and Kevin Davidson riding the perfect waves in Cloud 9.
Callahan said, “I named the break after the local no-melt chocolate bars. Going into town after lunch for a warm Coke and a Cloud 9 was the highlight of our day.” The story was published in a magazine that circulated all over the world.
What To See & Do
There is plenty to see in Siargao island; no matter what your interests are for the day, ensure to pack a lot of energy because you’ll need that when you explore the entire island.
1.) Surfing – Surf all year-round in Siargao even if you’re not good at it coz there’s a lot of surf break for all levels. If you’re a beginner, intermediate, or pro, you can pick any waves you can ride from different surf spots; Jacking horse, Stimpys, Cloud 9, and Pacifico. You can also hire a boat for Php250 ($5) if you want to surf in the middle of the ocean.
2.) Cliff Jumping – Hop on a motorbike and drive to Magpupungko Rock Pools. It’s an hour drive from General Luna to see the crystal clear turquoise water of the rock pool. It’s best to go there during low tide so you can swim and cliff dive. I wrote a full blog post here: Tidal Pools in Magpupungko Beach
3.) Spelunking – If you want a
5.) Island Hopping – Make new friends and join a group tour! Explore the beauty of Siargao and spend a whole day of fun by hopping from one island to the next. Your boatman can take you to Naked Island, Guyam, and Daku. Insider tip: Before you head out, buy fresh seafood at Dapa port and take it with you so you can it cook in Daku island and have lunch there. Having lunch by the beach feels nice after a good swim.
Where To Eat:
1.) Kermit Surf Resort and Restaurant – This resto became popular because it was featured in Conde Nast Traveler. According to their article, it’s the best pizza in the Philippines. No wonder why coz it’s owned by an Italian expat.
2.) Aventino’s Pizza – fresh-baked pizza and yet, very affordable. For less than Php150 ($3) you can buy a thin-crust pizza for yourself. Also try out their triple-layered pizza called, “Tricia”. It’s the crowd’s fave.
3.) Ocean 101 – Located in Cloud 9, it’s the best place to have brunch while observing the surfers catch waves. You can also chill there and order cocktails if you want to just hang out and relax.
4.) Bravo Beach Resort Siargao -If you’re in the mood for Paella and Tapas, this is a great restaurant to try. Bravo Resort’s Chef David Lopez will impress you with his Spanish cuisine.
5.) Lotus Shores – Don’t panic, it’s organic! Yoga, surfing, and anything healthy for your tummy. Lotus shores plant their own ingredients and serve organic meals good for the heart.
Where To Stay:
1.) Kermit Siargao – fan room for 2 people is Php950 ($18) per night. Room with AC is Php1400 ($27) per
Phone: (0917) 655 0648, (0998) 859 2080
2.) Pesangan Surfcamp Hotel – Budget AC room with the garden view is as low as Php1800 ($34) per night. It’s a popular choice among tourists coz of its location.
3.) Jadestar Lodge – AC room is only Php1900 ($35) per night. You’ll have your own villa with a balcony. You can book with them by clicking the image below.
4.) Ocean 101 Beach Resort -Located in Cloud 9 so it’s easy to get up and watch the sunrise then surf up. For Php2300 ($44) you’ll get a king size bed with a garden view.
5.) Cherinicole Beach Resort -Php3500 ($66) for two single beds with a garden view and a balcony.