About Siargao Island
The teardrop-shaped island of Siargao in the south-east Philippines is a pocket of paradise for backpackers. It's blessed with deserted beaches, crystal clear waters, barrelling waves, and lush rice fields. As well as being a famous surf spot, the island is home to numerous natural wonders such as Taktak Falls and Sohoton Cove. At sunset, you can treat yourself to plates heaped with fresh seafood, or dance between the palm trees at the low-key beach bars.
Many hostels in Siargao are just steps away from powdery white sands and the turquoise sea. These include traditional huts made from bamboo and topped with thatched roofs. Choose a laid-back homestay and learn how to surf from the owners, or a boutique hostel with plenty of hammocks and beanbags to chill out on. There's also a Siargao hostel that hosts legendary party nights in its tiki-themed bar. Most hostels organise activities ranging from yoga classes to sunset tours, while others serve home-cooked Filipino fare at family-style dinners.
The beach town of General Luna in Siargao's south is the liveliest part of the island. Here you’ll find a welcoming vibe and a smattering of bars and restaurants in the little huts along the main street. In the west of the island, the small town of Del Carmen is an eco-lover’s dream, with protected mangrove forests that can be explored by boat. At the northernmost tip of Siargao sits the secluded Alegria Beach, where it's often only the coconut trees for company.
Siargao's main attraction is its sand and surf. From the boardwalk, watch – or join – adrenaline junkies tackle the legendary Cloud 9 wave, or learn the basics on the beginner breaks of Jacking Horse. The Magpupungko rock pools in the town of Pilar – just under an hour’s drive north from General Luna – are perfect for snorkelling. Visitors also often take day trips out to the palm-covered private island of Guyam, or to Daku Island for a seafood feast.
Direct flights into Siargao's Sayak Airport are available from Cebu or Manila. It’s possible to reach the island by boat from Surigao City, too. There are plenty of vans that shuttle between the beaches and inland attractions, and you can share the cost with other travellers. Many people also rely on habal-habals (motorcycle taxis) to get around. Flag down a driver and haggle the price of your journey, or hire your own so you're free to explore for the length of your stay.