Siargao has always been regarded as this magical island south of the Philippines, with a very distinct vibe. The community, composed of locals and foreign settlers who initially came to the island to surf are the main purveyors.
Now with the influx of more tourists (hopefully not too much) both local and foreign, the question of whether there’s more to offer than surfing arises. The answer: a resounding yes—Siargao has a lot more to offer than just surf! And you can count on us to share with you these things. Here’s our top 7:
The best cuisines are making its way to the island to serve the palettes of a very diverse market. Restaurateurs from all over the country and the world are setting up shop.
Brought to us by these two young Aussies who stumbled upon the island years ago and fell in love with it, Shaka is easily the healthiest (
Dinner, and after dinner, and drinks—why not? Who says an after-hours place can’t be the load up and dining destination in one? Cantina Luna whips up a full array of amazing Filipino dishes from sun down to sun up. A brainchild of the Pamintuan siblings, successful restaurateurs in Davao City, this place is a go-to destination for good food and good times during your stay on the island.
This Italian restaurant tucked in deep in General Luna faces the beach and features an open kitchen. If you want to dine someplace fancy, go to L’Osteria—it may be one of the pricier restaurants, but it doesn’t fail to deliver in quality. Try their
Serving up the best pizza on the island is Kermit. Although
It’s noticeable to see that we’ve got three Italian contenders in the roster, and Kalinaw is arguably the best on the island, known for their authentic thin-crust pizza cooked in an Italian-made wood-fired oven.
2. Island Hop
Travel on a yacht, Filipino style via the Galatea, a plus-size
3. Go wakeboarding
Imagine wakeboarding in the middle of a lush coconut tree forest in a tropical paradise. It may not have a full 360 winch but the ambience more than makes up for this functional course. It’s a big plus that the friendly operators give you tips on how to master this boardsport, and even cooler that you can always spot Siargao Wakepark’s founder, Tom, in the area. He also moonlights as a surfer and DJ on the island. (See our wakeboarding action in the travel film above.)
4. Motorbike around the island
The island is so beautiful that it
Karagatan, Siargao Bleu
The best spot to watch the sunset as the cove is strategically located to face the sun as it goes down is at none other than Karagatan. Jove
One the best looking beachfronts in General Luna, the central area of Siargao, is Isla Cabana. It features a pristine white sand beachfront, a tempting pool fronting the sea and a restaurant that serves great Filipino food and some of the best cocktails on the island. Don’t be surprised to see a horse galloping into the sunset.
6. Jump into a lake/lagoon
7. Explore the Nightlife
There used to be a time when nightlife on the island was so limited that one bar hosted a party per night of the week. But with the influx of more people (thanks to more flights available), the bars have become more bustling than ever. The good thing with Siargao is that it has been very resilient against commercial dance music as both locals and foreigners detest it like a plague.
This motorbike bar and restaurant that reminds you of a mini-version of Deus Ex Machina in Bali is the load-up place where everyone hangs out before heading to different nightspots. They normally have live acts performing, with a billiard table that’s always booked out and an overflowing volume of people spilling out to the streets.
Literally translated as “serenade” in Filipino, Harana is a great restaurant by day but an even hipper late-night watering hole for people out for a good time. Although this spot is a bit pricier than the rest, it covets CVMN’s Favorite Nightspot Award, where the
RumBar and Octopus Beach Bar
Make sure these are your last stops for a guaranteed fun night out on the island.. When everyone else has gone to sleep to surf early the next day, the nocturnal surfers continue on to these two hotspots. RumBar is known for reggae beats, while people flock to Octopus Beach Bar for its underground house vibe. Hungry?
Certain nights will have massive underground rave events in this venue that can house roughly more than a thousand people if packed. Hit or miss on some nights, if you ask us—as the DJs are inconsistent—but if you’re lucky, they can have some really good undiscovered turntable talents.
Planning your Siargao trip soon? You can thank us later—and do report back to us and tag us on your Instagram posts if you’re able to visit any of these CVMN-recommended spots!