Visiting Siargao, the Philippines Surf Capital
Going to the Philippines & surf? Add Siargao to your plans!
After a week of partying with some friends in Boracay, my liver was ready to call it quits. I had to leave or my body would hate me. I met some lovely English girls who mentioned there was still surf in Siargao even though technically it wasn’t surf season. They said even if there wasn’t any surf, or if you didn’t surf, there were other things to do on the island. Some guys I met were headed to Malapascua to dive and invited me along but I’m not a diver, so I made the executive decision to go to Siargao.
Walking to Cloud 9
From Boracay, I caught a van ride down to Kalibo airport and flew to Cebu. My flights didn’t connect so I spent a night in Cebu City. While I was in Cebu, I went to one of the mega malls to refresh my wardrobe (what little clothes I had were starting to look haggard), watch a movie in the theatre (Avengers!), and caught up on some much-needed sleep. The next morning I took a taxi to the airport and then I flew over to Siargao. Once I landed in Siargao, I hired a taxi to take me to General Luna where the famous Cloud 9 surf break is.
The famous Cloud 9 surf tower
I didn’t know what to expect in General Luna but I figured it couldn’t be awful….I was going to a small island where there was possibly surf. How bad could it be? It is an island so I figured there would be a beach. When I arrived, I fell in love immediately and regret having pre-purchased a ticket back to Bali. If I hadn’t, I probably would have stayed in Siargao for a very long time.
If you surf, this is the best place to surf in the Philippines. The surf season is usually from September to March but I went in May and I had a lot of fun on small 3-5 foot waves. I’m not an expert so this was ideal for me. The waves were nice and slow and the water was warmer than the air. There aren’t any sand breaks, just reef breaks, so you’ll need booties. The locals are so friendly and fun. The beer and everything else is cheap. I paid roughly $25 US for my own room with a fan (there are other cheaper or more high-end options in the area).
Riding a tube at Cloud 9
The best part about Siargao is that it’s quiet. It’s not very developed so it’s pretty chill. The nearest ATM is about an hour away from General Luna. Luckily I was able to charge everything to my bill at my guest house, Ocean 101. It wasn’t fancy or anything but it was perfect. There are some fancy resorts popping up there if that’s your thing. I’d still stay at 101 because the owners and the staff were amazing.
Little local grom
When I was leaving Siargao, I couldn’t get on a flight so I had to take a ferry from the port of Dapa over to Surigao and then from Surigao, fly back to Manila. It was a long and exhausting experience which I don’t recommend at all. I had to wake up at 3:30, get my friend take me on her motorbike to Dapa, beg my way onto the sold out ferry (not safe), take a tricycle from the port in Surigao to the airport, wait a long time for my plane (fell asleep in a restaurant), and then fly to Manila. Ugh.
I’ll say the hashtag is true! #itsmorefuninthePhilippines ;)
Both getting to and from Siargao is a serious journey but I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world. I would in fact, move here so I can surf in warm water with friendly locals every day of my life. I WANT TO GO BACK SO BADDDDDD!
A few more photos and a video from Siargao:
Walking towards the water
Every sunset was amazing
Here’s a video I shot with my iPhone from the surf tower:
- There is no easy way to get to Siargao!! The best way is to fly into Cebu and then fly to Siargao on Cebu Pacific Air. I recommend flying both ways.
- If you prefer to have cash on you, get money in a city called Dapa. There weren’t any ATMs in General Luna (if you’re going to Cloud 9 to surf).
- The people who own and work at Ocean 101 are super lovely!! Please support! I had a private room with a fan for about $25US /night.