Siargao For The Non-Surfer

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Upon hearing about the province of Siargao, the first thing that comes to mind is Cloud 9; the beautiful waves that arch to form the shape of the number 9.

Since its discovery, Cloud 9 has become a surfing mecca not just in the Philippines, but for the rest of the world as well.

Surfers from around the world test their mettle on Cloud 9 to find out who is the best among the rest during surfing season. But for the balance-impaired, the word “Surf’s Up!” is not in their vocabulary. So what would a non-surfer do in Siargao?

Surigao del Norte Map

Like most provinces in the Philippines, the countryside is best explored riding a motorcycle, either by renting one or with a driver. Siargao’s countryside is lined with huts, rice fields, and mountains; no traffic and smog to bog you down.

The wind blowing through your body, the endearing (and sometimes bewildered) look of locals when they see a new face passing by, and the freedom of stopping and going whenever you like all make riding a motorcycle through Siargao’s countryside worthwhile.

Visit the Magpupungko Rock Pool.

One of the main attractions for non-surfers who visit Siargao is the Magpupungko Rock Pool. The pool glimmers with emerald-colored waters and stunning rock formations flanking it. The most prominent feature of the rock pool is the large boulder overlooking the sea. The rock pool’s cool waters are perfect for swimming and lounging around.

Visitors can also climb up the rocks and jump into the waters below as much as they want. There is a beach right next to the rock pool and although it isn’t the main attraction, the beach is a nice place to relax and unwind.

There is a ₱50 fee to enter Magpupungko Rock Pool. The best time to visit is during low-tide. You can rent a motorcycle with driver for ₱500 – ₱550 (depending on your haggling skills and number of passengers) from Dapa, Siargao round trip.

Go island hopping.

The Philippines has been blessed with many beautiful beaches and Siargao is no exception. Rent a boat for ₱800 to ₱1500 and visit the three islands near General Luna.

Naked Island

Naked Island is just what its moniker states, naked. There are no vegetation, accommodation, celebrities, dogs, cats, disappointment from a Game of Thrones episode, and toilet paper; just you, the sun, the fine white sand, and the clear emerald waters. There’s nothing like doing nothing on an island in the middle of the ocean.

Naked Island is the most ideal destination for beach goers who want to get a tan, or get naked physically (when no one else is around) or metaphysically (when you want to flush all the bad vibes away from your mind).

Daku Island

Daku Island is the biggest island of the three and even has its own barangay. Dozens of boats line the beach waiting to embark on a fishing expedition, while local kids ride the waters on their skim boards. Daku Island dazzles with its fine, white sand, towering coconut trees, and clear blue waters.

Daku Island Siargao

You could spend hours lounging on the beach’s powdery, white sand and bathing in its cool, clear waters. Rent a hut for ₱250 or just rest underneath the shade of a coconut tree for free.

Guyam Island

Despite its small size, this little island charms with its emerald-colored waters and white sand. There are a few locals living and maintaining this island and will cost you a fee of ₱10 to enter Guyam Island.

Guyam-Island-Siargao

Visit the Sohoton National Park.

Sohoton National Park in Bucas Grande Island is the place to go for those looking for a unique experience. The park lets visitors see the highlight of Sohoton – the stingless jellyfish, best seen during the months of April through October.

Tiktikan Lake

Aside from the allure of the stingless jellyfish, visitors can enjoy the emerald waters of Tiktikan Lake in Sohoton National Park. Swim for minutes and get lost in the natural beauty of the lake.

Go caving!

Sohoton National Park has many caves that have yet to be explored. Two of the most popular caves are Hagukan and Magkukuob. Visitors have to swim into the entrance of Hagukan (which means to snore in Surigaonon) to discover its many wonders.

Hagukan Cave Entrance Sohoton National Park Surigao

Photo from Kath Walks

Magkukuob has stunning stalactites and stalagmites which tourists have to climb onto to get to the exit located 20 feet above the water. Visitors have to jump off the platform to successfully exit the cave.

How To Get To Sohoton National Park

Sohoton National Park is not exactly in Siargao but it is easily accessible from the island. You can rent a boat for around ₱3,000 if you ask around in Dapa town, one of the ports you land in from Surigao City. You can negotiate the price depending on the size of your group. The ride to the park from Dapa takes approximately 2 hours.

Alternatively, you can ride a boat from Dapa to Socorro town in Bucas Grande Island for ₱100. The trip to Socorro is approximately 1 hour. From Socorro you can rent a boat for approximately ₱1,500 to ₱2,000 depending on your haggling skills and size of the group. The trip from Bucas Grande Island to the park takes approximately 1 hour.

Once inside the park, visitors must rent another boat and pay fees to enter.

Entrance Fee ₱25 per person
Environmental Fee ₱25 per person
Life Vest and Helmet ₱40 per person
Docking Fee ₱100 – ₱200, depending on boat size
Pump Boat ₱500, good for up to 8 persons
Tour Guide ₱330 per boat

How To Get To Siargao

From Manila

Ride a plane from Manila to Butuan City for approximately 2 hours. From Butuan City, you can ride a non-air con van straight from the airport for ₱205 to Surigao City. The ride takes approximately 2 and a half hours.

Once you alight at the terminal, ride a multi-cab for approximately ₱10 and tell the driver you’d like to alight at the port. The ride takes approximately 10 minutes. From the port, there are many lantsas or local ferries that travel to Dapa, Siargao for ₱250 one way. The earliest lantsa leaves at 5:30 AM and the last trip is at 12:00 NN. The ride can take approximately between 3 to 4 hours depending on weather conditions.

From Cebu

There are flights from Cebu to Siargao that take approximately 45 minutes. Cebu Pacific Airlines offers flights to Siargao from Cebu four times a week.

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About Author

Joshua Berida

When he is not blogging at The Wandering Juan, he likes to take long walks on the beach, eat candle-lit dinners, watch rom-coms till he cries, and make stories about himself online. He is out to discover the world and the Philippines one province and country at a time.