Stoking Siargao: Fun Activities for Non-Surfers


No doubt, Siargao Island has a reputation when it comes to surfing. But admit it, the intimidating waves sometimes only allow professional surfers to enjoy. Cloud 9 wasn’t coined if not for the thick waves and hollow tubes that can go as high as nine-foot. However, I didn’t find myself riding a board and doing the Shaka sign on my visit on one of the easternmost islands of the Philippines.

siargao island skimboarding daku island
Local kids skimboarding in Daku Island.

Over the last few years, Siargao Island turned into a destination both enjoyed by surfer and non-surfer travelers. Backpacker accommodations, hippie cafes and bars, and tour activities started left and right. Siargao Island became a destination where the two groups try to coincide. If you’re not into surfing, you can consider these Siargao tours and activities on your itinerary.

Siargao Island Activities for Non-surfers

Visit a Fanciful Rock Formation and Tidal Pool

Around 30 kilometers away from Dapa, or 35 kilometers from General Luna, is a stretch of beach. The beach might be disappointing but it’s not the attraction that travelers visit. At the far end of the shore are tidal pools and an amazing work of nature. You need to settle a minimal environmental fee to get access to the cove. The tidal pools are formed because of the gaps between the island and the coral reefs. These spaces provide a one-of-a-kind experience when the tide recedes.

siargao island magpupungko rock formation
Magpupungko Rock Formation in Pilar, Siargao Island.

Tidal pools are not the only sights to behold during low tide. A short walk on the reefs, on ankle-deep water, will provide a view of an extraordinary rock formation. The place was actually named as Magpupungko because of the gigantic rock settled on another rock. The splendid view will really leave you in awe and astonishment.

Paddle Boarding in Sugba Lagoon

In Caob Island, off-the-coast of Del Carmen, is a recently discovered destination in the island. A whole day should be allotted to visit the blue lagoon because of the travel time and the beauty of the place to be relished. Though it’s always best to have tours on do-it-yourself way, visiting Sugba Lagoon is better on a group for you to split the cost and have a hassle-free trip. You can do paddle boarding, jump from a springboard, or just swim or snorkel on the blue and sparkling water of the lagoon.

Island Hopping on Naked, Daku, and Guyam Islands

Island hopping activity on Naked, Daku, and Guyam Island in General Luna is another option to include on your Siargao itinerary. A PHP1500 boat rent can accommodate 4-6 people that could spend the whole day out in the sea. Start the island hopping tour in Naked Island, a lump of sand in the middle of the sea and named ‘naked’ because of the absence of vegetation.

siargao island guyam island hopping
Guyam Island in sight.

Daku Island, in the local language is big, is the largest among the three. You can have lunch or just bask in the scorching heat of the sun on your stay. The family managing the island also rents out picnic huts and can cook and prepare your lunch depending on the day’s catch. Last island would be Guyam Island, a circular island filled with towering coconut trees. The island has few tidal pools filled with crystal clear water.

Go on a Food Trip and Night Life

From the time I had my first trip to Siargao Island, I heard that restaurants and cafes popped out here and there. A beauty queen, who represented the country on the international stage, even started her own coffee shop on the island. With that, it’s tempting to discover the Siargao Island culinary offerings. For all-day breakfast, don’t ever miss Shaka for their colorful smoothie bowls. The satisfying Thai cuisine of Buddha’s Surf Resort will surely bring the Southeast Asian flavor to the island. Before drowning yourself on a late night drinking spree, enjoy Italian cuisine such as carpaccio, pasta, and pizza from Kermit’s Siargao Surf Resort and Restaurant.

siargao island food
Buddha Surf Resort’s chicken satay.

Surfers already built a tight-knit group on the island even before the destination made its way to the limelight. But the availability of these Siargao Island activities allowed backpacker travelers and surfers to build a community on the island. The only wish I have for my future visits on the island is to see the laid-back lifestyle I experienced on my first Siargao trip.

How to Get to Siargao Island

Direct flight to Siargao. Local airlines fly from Cebu to Siargao Island.
Flight to Surigao/Butuan Airport. The flight to Siargao is actually expensive and cheaper airfare can be availed either to Surigao or Butuan Airports. From the said airports, make your way to Surigao City port and make sure to arrive at least 30 minutes before noon for the last ferry departing to Siargao Island.


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