Started traveling like a digital nomad? If you’re looking for places to visit, Siargao might be one of the best destinations in the Philippines.
Siargao is an island in the province of Surigao Del Norte in Mindanao. And it’s home to the best waves for surfing. It’s even dubbed the “Surfing Capital of the Philippines.”
But it’s more than just riding waves. Worth noting are its majestic naturescapes and rustic pace of living.
How about the internet? Well, the Philippines has a long way to go when it comes to establishing a stable internet connection all over the country. Internet speeds are fairly decent here, but it’s best to arrange for a backup internet connection just in case.
So are you ready to explore Siargao as a digital nomad? Here are the top 16 things to do in this idyllic location to get you started.
Surf to Your Heart’s Content
Let’s start with what Siargao is popular for — Surfing.
It’s the Surfing Capital of the Philippines, so why not try it out?
Siargao is known for its great small and big reef breaks. Tourists from all over the world flock to the locale to surf their hearts out. They even hold international competitions here, especially in the last quarter of the year when the best swells come out.
Here are the best surfing spots, according to the level of difficulty:
- Jacking Horse
- Quicksilver (Closest to Cloud 9)
- Daku Reef
- Pansukian Reef
- Cloud 9
- Pacifico Beach
- Tuason’s Point
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, you can surely enjoy riding the waves in this paradise. It’s a must-do activity before or after your online shift.
Island Hopping (Naked Island, Daku Island, Guyam Island)
Love the beach? You’ll enjoy exploring Siargao’s best beaches then!
Siargao is home to beautiful islets to sate your love of the sea. Don’t leave without visiting the three-famed islands — Naked Island, Daku Island, and Guyam Island by Island hopping.
- Naked Island
Naked Island is a completely bare beach spanning 200 meters of sand. (Thus, the name.) You can swim, sunbathe, and snorkel on the powdery sands of this beautiful island.
- Daku Island
In the Visayan dialect, “Daku” means big. That’s what “Daku Island” is known for — it’s the biggest island in Siargao at 136 hectares.
You can swim and lounge around on its powdery beaches adorned with coconut trees. You can also take a sip of fresh coconut juice while you’re at it.
Aside from the usual activities on the beach, Daku Island is also a great place for surfing. It’s where you’ll have your lunch as well when on island hopping tours.
- Guyam Island
Another island on the list is “Guyam Island.” Guyam means “ant” in Cebuano which describes this island’s tiny size. Swim in its shallow waters or lounge around the beach on the hammocks. It’s a great place to end the island hopping experience.
You can book organized island tours or private tours to enjoy these three popular islands.
Jump Off Sugba Lagoon’s Dive Boards
Sugba Lagoon is another natural wonder that you should visit in Siargao. Sugba Lagoon is located inside a mangrove forest surrounded by mountains.
You’ve probably seen countless photos of people jumping off Sugba Lagoon’s dive board. It’s definitely a worthy experience while marveling at its turquoise waters.
If you don’t want to jump, you can always go swimming or kayaking.
Explore Sohoton Cove National Park
Another must-go for nature lovers, Sohoton Cove National Park is a series of interconnected natural pools on Bucas Grande.
It’s surrounded by green limestone formations with different wonders you can and should explore.
One is the jellyfish sanctuary. Because this is a protected area, you will be accompanied by qualified staff via kayak to the lagoon. There you can visit the thousands of brown-colored jellyfish.
But don’t be afraid because these marine life forms are one of the few “stingless” jellyfish in the world.
Also, you should explore the Hagukan Cave and Magkuku-ob Cave. Hagukan Cave is a luminescent cave and the entrance requires a 30-second dive. Scary? Yes, but it’s also quite the experience!
On the other hand, thrill seekers would also love the high cliff from the Magkuku-ob Cave. After exploring, you can jump off the 5 meter cliff for your adrenaline rush. What an adventure, right?
Watch the Sunrise from the Coconut Trees Viewdeck
Siargao is home to thousands of coconut trees. And there’s a go-to spot for one of the most picturesque views of these coconut palm trees — the Coconut Trees viewdeck. It provides a view of thousands of coconut trees from the top of the hill.
Head out before sunrise for the best views before you start your busy day.
[Update: The Coconut Trees Viewdeck was heavily damaged by Typhoon Odette. But once it’s rebuilt, it’s definitely a must-see when exploring.]
Swing from Maasin’s Bent Coconut Tree Rope
Just 30 mins away from General Luna is Maasin River’s Bent Coconut Tree Rope.
At the beautiful blueish riverside, you can swing from a rope on a bent coconut tree with a bamboo raft. It’s an iconic spot that travelers should not miss.
Swim in the Tayangban Cave Pools
The Tayangban Cave Pools is another spot for thrill seekers. It’s a 30-minute drive away for General Luna.
Here, explore bat caves and their beautiful twin cenotes. Cenotes are underground chambers or caves which contain water.
And some of these pools are as deep as 100 feet, so why not experience swimming inside the bluish waters of these unique cave pools?
Jump and Frolic at Taktak Falls
An hour and a half’s drive leads you to Taktak Falls in Santa Monica. It’s the only waterfall on the island. The pool is also deep enough for the most adventurous travelers.
You can enjoy swimming, cliff jumping, and tree jumping at this natural wonder.
Soak in the Magpupungko Rock Pools
If you love swimming pools, you would definitely like the Magpupungko Rock Pools.
Located 45 minutes away from General Luna, the Magpupungko Rock Pools are rock formations that resemble natural pools on rocky salt flats.
It’s named “Magpupungko” because of a large rock at the edge that appears to be squatting. In the Visayan dialect, “Pungko” means to squat.
During low tide, you can soak your bodies and relax in its warm waters.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even do rock jumping! The pool is deep enough, but just be mindful when you climb up the jagged rocks to avoid injury.
Explore Pacifico Beach’s Abandoned Lighthouse
Just outside General Luna, Pacifico beach is another place you should visit in Siargao. The beach has powdery white sands and quite a number of coconut trees. It’s also a great surfing spot for advanced level surfers.
But what makes Pacifico beach unique is an abandoned lighthouse on the far north side of the shore. It’s the perfect place to watch the sunset after a long day.
Chill in Alegria Beach After a Long Day Exploring
If you want to stay away from the crowded beaches, Alegria beach is another spot you can consider. Similar to Siargao’s more popular beaches, it also has hundreds of coconut trees on a long stretch of powdery white-sand.
The waters are shallow, so it’s not ideal for surfing. But it’s great if you just want to chill by the beach after a long day of exploring.
It’s best to visit here after enjoying northern attractions like the Pacifico Beach, Taktak Falls, and Magpupungko Rock Pools.
Secret Beach (Guiwan Beach)
Just 15-minutes away from General Luna, you can find Guiwan beach, which is more popularly known as the Secret Beach.
Although, the secret beach is not a secret anymore. A lot of people go here to relax and enjoy the beach’s coastal landscape with coconut trees.
And if you want to learn how to surf, the secret beach has beginner-friendly waves too!
Dive Into the Blue Waters
Siargao’s diving scene is not to be missed as well. If you are an experienced diver, you can go scuba diving in various places:
For Rookie Open-Water Divers
- Daku Coral Beach Reef (depth of 9 meters)
- Seeco Coral Formation (depth of 11 meters) near Naked Island
For Advanced Open-Water Divers
- Blue Cathedral (depth of 20 meters) located near Cloud 9’s rock entry. It’s famed for its caverns and rock formations resembling a natural “Blue Cathedral.”
Go on a Food Trip to Siargao’s Famous Cafes and Restaurants
Siargao is not just for exploring nature. You can also satiate your cravings in their thriving food scene.
Aside from working remotely in cafes, there are notable restaurants that you should try.
First is Shaka Cafés for their famous healthy smoothie bowl and plant-based selection. Next, head to Mama’s grill for succulent barbeques at affordable prices.
You may also want to try out Kermit for their delectable pizzas, pasta, and seafood entrées.
New restaurants also open regularly to cater to your hungry tummies.
Bask in Siargao’s Thriving Nightlife
If you like to party, Siargao won’t disappoint you. Siargao has a thriving nightlife scene where you can party all night long.
Party with fellow tourists, digital nomads, and locals after a long day spent working.
Rent a Motorbike and Explore on Your Own
There’s a lot to do in Siargao but a lot hasn’t been explored yet.
Want a unique adventure? Try renting a motorbike and explore Siargao off the beaten path.
Live like the locals and discover places unknown to regular tourists. As a digital nomad, you can afford to immerse yourself and learn more about Siargao. You’ll never know what other wonders you can find.
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And once you find your dream online job, you can definitely explore Siargao (or the world) in your own time. Cheers!