Planning on surfing Siargao Island? Here’s everything you need to know about the top Philippines surf destination – inc surf spots, accomodation and more!
When it comes to surfing in the Philippines, the surfing Siargao Island offers should be top of your list of places to paddle out
This island in the South East of the country is arguable the most famous surf destination in the Philippines and has a whole heap of epic waves to explore – including a host of world class surf spots.
So if you’re busy putting together your Siargao surf trip here’s everything you need to know – from how to get there and where to stay to which surf spots to hit up and the best Siargao surf camps to stay at…
Siargao Surf Guide – Everything You Need To Know
Siargao Surf Season
First things first, when is the best time for waves? When it comes to the peak time for surfing Siargao – make sure you plan your trip for the main Siargao surf season which runs from July to December.
If you’re wanting the best of the waves though, September through to December is considered the peak surf season.
This is ideal as it makes Siargao a great spot to bounce to after the surf season in Bali finishes and when the Indonesia wet season starts!
Surf Season = July to December
Peak Surf Season = September to December
How To Get To Siargao
Only a few short years ago getting to Siargao was much more of a mission – with overnight layovers, frequently cancelled flights and no direct connections with the capital of Manila.
Things are certainly a lot more accessible now so you have 3 main ways to get to the island:
There are now daily flights from Manila – the capital of the Philippines – with the likes of Cebu Pacifics CebGo and Philippines Airlines offering multiple departure per day. These include at least 2 direct flights with CebGo.
Manila will probably be the preferred option for most surfers as it offers a wider range of connecting international flights too, including connections from other epic surf destinations like Sri Lanka, Bali and even the Maldives.
Flying from Cebu to Siargao is now pretty easy – with both Philippines Airlines and CebGo offering 2 daily, direct flights.
Booking in advance is well advised as they fill up fast and if you’re travelling with a surfboard double check their most up to date policies and prices. And check in early to make life even easier!
If you’re heading to Siargao from Surigao (geez how easy is it to mix up those too with those spellings?!) then the easiest way is via ferry.
There are a few different options (mainly into Dapa Port) and it takes around 3.5 hours.
Most guesthouses in Surigao can help you get it all sorted and arrange transport to get you dropped off.
Where To Stay In Siargao
With the booming popularity of Siargao there’s been a lot of development (which you can view as either good or bad!) and has resulted in a massive range of accommodation to choose from – including high end resorts through to more budget friendly guesthouses.
Unfortunately it’s not as cheap as it once was (the Pesangan Surf Camp guest-house I used to stay at has now doubled in price in the last 12 months!) but there’s still a good range.
When it comes to where to stay in Siargao is you’re hunting for waves, General Luna is still the main area of choice due to its proximity to a wide range of surf spots.
Up by Cloud 9 there is now a growing number of accomodation options and this area now has a well rounded amount of bars and restaurants too.
Check out the below map for the latest rates and availability.
Siargao Surf Camps
If you’re wanting a more surf camp style trip (either for the surf lessons or just because you like the vibes) there are some epic options to choose from – all of which offer room only or packages combining airport transfers, surf lessons, surf guiding and also a range of day trips too.
Some of the top options include;
- Kermit Surf Resort
- Turtle Surf Camp
- Buddahs Surf Resort
- Boyums Surf Camp
All of the above surf camp options offer a range of rooms styles – from budget dorms to en suite privates, so there’s something to suit all styles and budgets.
Siargao Surf Spots
And then off course there’s the main reason you’re heading to Siargao in the first place – the surf!
Siargao has a huge range of surf spots catering for both lefts and rights, most of which are predominantly reef breaks.
Although this list isn’t exhaustive, these are some of the most popular spots for waves on the island:
When it comes to surfing Siargao, this is the spot that put Siargao Island firmly on the surfing map and is home to the iconic Cloud 9 boardwalk.
This super fast, barrelling right hander is the best surf spot in the Philippines and is for advanced surfers only. Breaking over a shallow, sharp reef it’s claimed more than a few boards and chunks of flesh!
Beware of the crowds and make sure you give the locals lots of space.
Cloud 9 also plays host to a variety of surf competitions throughout the year too and is a former WQS spot.
On the other side of the board walk lies Quicksilvers and you can think of it as the training ground for Cloud 9 and it’s far more forgiving. Don’t be fooled by that description though, it can handle a solid amount of swell and when it pumps its certainly not for the faint hearted.
Unfortunately they’ve now started doing lessons here (honestly I have no idea why) so unless it’s a decent size expect and absolute sh*t show of a crowd here.
My personal favourite surf spot when I’m surfing Siargao, this right hander sits off of Daku Island, about a 10 minute boat transfer from General Luna.
Breaking over a deep reef it’s the perfect starter reef and holds a huge variety of swell. An early morning mid tide is ideal for the best conditions and avoid the crowds.
Named after the graveyard it sits in front of Cemeteries is a bit of a paddle across the lagoon (about 10 minutes!) but is super fun. The paddle out certainly strips away the crowd factor so is well worth the effort.
Goofy footers rejoice, this super fun left hander sits just a 10 minute boat journey from the North of the island (you can grab one just around the corner from Cloud 9) and is a great option for those wanting to avoid the crowds. Can throw up some fun barrel sections on the right swell and best surfed on low to mid tide
Close to Stimpys is Rock Island, but this spot offers up almost a mirror images wave breaking right – so it’s ideal for regular footers or those wanting some fun backhand waves to enjoy.
Learn To Surf In Siargao
So there are many learn to surf packages available on Siargao and also a huge range of surf lessons up around Cloud 9.
HOWEVER – I’d honestly say that despite this Siargao is NOT the best place to learn to surf.
This is mainly due to the fact the vast majority of surf spots are shallow, sharp reef.
Most surf lessons take place at Jacking Horse, which is usually pretty shallow and although the deeper reefs of Daku are another potential spot for beginners, the crowd factor doesn’t make it ideal.
I’ve also seen lesson going on at Quicksilvers on smaller days which to be honest I think is pretty ridiculous – so be careful and make sure you use a reputable instructor if you do go for lessons anywhere.
If you’re travelling around Asia and looking for a decent spot to learn to surf I’d definitely recommend Bali or Sri Lanka over Siargao to get your basics down as they offer a good range of sandy bottom beach breaks which are ideal for learning.
Check out my top places to learn to surf if you’re looking for the best beginner surf experience during your travels.
If you’re a high end beginner who is confident standing up and catching unbroken waves there are certainly a few options for surfing Siargao though.
Best Places To Eat In Siargao
Need a post surf refuel, or simply looking for an awesome restaurant to indulge in some traditional Filipino cuisine?
Well here are some of my top places to eat in Siargao
- Kermits – great pizza, pasta and cocktials
- Mad Monkey Kitchen – if you’re looking for burgers this is the spot!
- Mamas Grill – really famous place for epic local food
- Barrel Sports Bar – this was my go to spot for tasty, well priced food.
- CEV: Ceviche & Kinilaw – local fresh fresh with a Peruvian twist
- Bravo – a great range of value Asian and Spanish treats
- Kityas Place – this awesome little cafe, restaurant serves up some epic veggie treats and smoothie bowls
If you discover any other awesome places to eat in Siargao make sure you come back and add them in the comments so I can include them on the list!
Non Surf Activities
Surf not pumping or need to rest up your arms for the day? Well there are some awesome non surf activities on Siargao Island to fit into your trip too…
If you’re looking for a fun filled day and postcard perfect views then an island hopping trip is the way to go. Hit up Naked Island (no its not what you think!), enjoy a BBQ lunch on Daku Island before finishing off on Guyam Island.
Crystal Clear waters, more palm trees than you can imagine…epic!
Another favourite Sugba Lagoon involves a boat trip through the Magroves, BBQ lunch on a pretty much empty tropical island and cold afternoon beers in a secluded bay.
Along with the island hopping this is one of my top picks.
Cloud 9 Boardwalk
The famous Cloud 9 Boardwalk is a greta spot to spend a few hours, especially if the surf is pumping! Pack a few cold beers and watch the local pros surf the most favourite surf spot in the Philippines – it’s also a greta spot for sunset to.
If a nice leisurely day trip isn’t your thing and you want to let loose then hit up the infamous Jungle disco! Smash down buckets of rhum and coke, dance like a mentalist to trance tunes beneath the palm trees. It’s a weekly mash up of drunken chaos!
I’m a huge advocate of freediving and learning how to properly breathe hold certainly made me feel heaps more comfortable in pumping surf. Siargao has an awesome freedive school where you can learn the proper skills and easily get your breathe hold to 2.5 minutes
Plus you get to explore some of the amazing coral reefs around the island too.
Magpapungko Rock Pools
Another popular day trip on Siargao the Magpapungko Rock Pools are best hit up at low tide. Everyone raves about them but personally I wasn’t blown away by them so I’d definitely opt for island hopping and Sugba Lagoon before heading there if you’re tight on time.
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