As I write this, I’m sitting in a great little restaurant/bar called Kermit Resort on the tropical Philippines island of Siargao. It’s a lazy Sunday to begin with, but even more so since the rain is falling down. The most important thing on everyone’s TO Do listis eating a long, leisurely breakfast and chatting with their neighbors about last night’s happenings and their travel plans next week. I sat a big table here in this crowded restaurant by myself because it was the only one available, and ended up chatting with two other U.S. girls who needed a place to sit, too.
“We just got in yesterday and have 11 days here in Siargao,” they told me, looking up with concern at the falling rain. “So what is there to do?”
That’s a great question.
The first answer is, of course, to surf. For wave riding fanatics, that’s about all you need to occupy one day, eleven days, or eleven years. And Siargao isn’t known as the Surf Capital of the Philippines for no reason! For surfers, the iconic point called Cloud 9, with its long pier leading impossibly far over the water, is the epicenter, although there are literally scores or even hundreds of other smaller places to surf on the island.
But aside from that, what else is there to do on Siargao?
At night, you won’t be shy on party options, as every single time the sun goes down, the crowds show up to drink, dance, and get wild. But since the island community is relatively small (and spread out), there is a designated one cool place to party every night. So, on Sunday, for instance, Rum Bar may be the spot, and they have Jungle Parties elsewhere every Friday, etc.
A main tourist attraction is also island hopping at the three nearby islands, all visible from Siargao’s coast, Naked Island, Guyan and Daku Islands. You can see all of these and have fun in about four hours or so.
I told these girls that I also highly recommend the Sohoton Caves, which are a harrowing two-hour boat ride across open water away from General Luna on Siargao, but are well worth it, with incredibly beautiful waterways winding through jungle, caves and even submerged caves to swim into, a lagoon with hundreds of stingless jellyfish, and a 12-foot platform to jump off of into the water.
The Magpupungko tide pools are also super cool, which is about an hour or less inland drive to a spot up the western coast. You’ll find wild geological formations and natural “swimming pools” right in the rocks at low tide, which are super fun to jump into.
The Subgao Lagoon is on the other side of the island, where you can swim around and enjoy the natural beauty, but it does take about 1.5 hours to get there.
You can also try kite boarding/sail boarding, jet skis, banana boats, etc. on the island.
There’s also a cool little surfers’ gym in a bamboo nepa hut, but with surprisingly good western gym equipment. It’s also located right next to the bamboo nepa hut movie theater where you can relax and chill with friends and watch a flick every night.
But by far the best thing to do in my opinion is just relax with friends and watch the sunset! Enjoy Siargao!