I’m no surfer. I tried it once, and right in the middle of the surfing lesson, I know it is not for me. But places always hold a singular image in your head. Siargao, before my first trip to this ever-growing popular destination, some pounds ago, was Cloud 9—not the surf, breaks, and surfers, but the silhouette of the boardwalk amidst the dying sun. That’s Siargao to the naive 26-year-old me. Dang, it has been a decade eh. Since then, I have been to Siargao a couple of times. It has changed tremendously. And despite the headstrong “no” of the non-locals who now call Siargao home, Siargao inch by painfully inch is becoming Boracay. Anyway, you are not here to read my thoughts on Siargao, rather, you are here to know everything about Cloud 9, Siargao, so here it is.
Cloud Nine is in the municipality of General Luna in Siargao Island, Philippines. It is about 45 minutes away from Sayak Airport.
Cloud 9 is a famous surfing spot in Siargao, Philippines. If you’re an advanced surfer looking for some high-energy waves that break over shallow coral reefs with powerful right-handers and fast barrels, then this should be one of your stops on the itinerary! These very characters of the Pacific waves put Cloud 9 and Siargao on every surfer’s bucket list.
The ride can get thrilling as it crashes onto razor-sharp rocks below, giving riders little time or space to enjoy themselves before being sucked down into the waves’ underbelly here, they’ll feel weightless until skyrocketing up again towards the surface. I can imagine the feeling, but I doubt I have the audacity and courage to do this.
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Legend, or more like local surfers’ joke, has it it i named after the then-famous chocolate bar, our cheaper version of snickers, and it is called cloud 9. I also reckon it has something to do with the idiom cloud 9. I could imagine surfers riding those waves in their own flow state, fully engrossed in a state of ecstasy and happiness. Cloud 9 got its name because it was said to be one of the surfing spots with consistent waves all year round. However, there are definitely better waves during certain seasons.
The easiest way to get to Cloud Nine is by renting a motorbike or taking a tricycle from General Luna town proper. You can also take a habal-habal called Sky Lab (motorcycle taxi), but it’s more expensive than renting your own bike.
I mean, I’m doing this for Google, so I assume you know how to key in Cloud 9 Surfing Area on Google Maps, and best of luck, you have a good sense of direction, coz I don’t.
Expect to find a long, vast stretch of shoreline with powdery white sand, dotted with dead corals and crystal-clear water on both sides. The place teems with local and foreign tourists in certain months of the year.
Cloud 9 Siargao is also one of the busiest areas in General Luna so expect a lot of people. And if you’re looking for peace and quiet, this isn’t the place for you. If you want to try surfing, there are plenty of surf schools that offer lessons for beginners! Just be prepared to get sunburnt because there’s not much shade at Cloud 9 Siargao except for the shade on the boardwalk, and the coconut grove in front of Jacking Horse.
Most surfing lessons happen at Jacking Horse is located to the left of Cloud 9.
The best time to visit Cloud Nine or Siargao surfing spots in general would be from September to December, when the waves are at their peak. These are also the busiest months, so expect large crowds and higher prices for accommodation and food.
Do bear in mind Siargao is directly facing the Pacific Ocean, and the Philippines has some of the most notorious typhoons in the world. Just cross your fingers and toes that there will be no destructive typhoons during your visit. Typhoon season is typically in the -ber months. Typhoons don’t happen every day, so do not let your mind go wild. 😛
If you’re not a fan of big crowds, you can visit Siargao during the off-peak season from January to March. The waves will still be good but there will be fewer people around. And again, Siargao has been rebranded already. It is not only for surfers. The year’s first quarter is also the safest, cheapest, and typhoon-free.
April and May are the summer breaks in the Philippines, so expect a lot of domestic travelers during this time.
Siargao is best for surfing between September and March, but keep in mind that it rains sometimes during the monsoon season (July – November). When the season changes to December through March. With climate crisis, the usual weather patterns are kinda off. But generally, Siargao is sunny.
Rule of thumb for surfing: surf early in the morning and late afternoon. If you are not a surfer but want to check out Cloud 9, I highly suggest you visit at least twice, during low tide and sunset. During low tide, you can wade through the shallow waters to the right side of Cloud Nine and take a silhouette of the boardwalk landmark.
If you want to watch the surfers, sunset is probably the best time to visit Cloud Nine. You can walk on the boardwalk and enjoy the view.
Just be careful of your belongings. Pretty standard.
If you want to rent a surfboard, there are plenty of places in Cloud Nine where you can do so. The going rate is around PHP 200-300 per hour.
KS Boardriders Surf Shop +63 963 066 9525
Very Good Nice +63 920 530 4850
Fat Lips Surfshop https://www.surfsiargao.com/
Kanaway Surf School +63 947 659 5174
Harana Surf School – Siargao +63 917 711 4722
There are plenty of surf schools in Cloud Nine where you can get surfing lessons. The going rate is around PHP 500-1000 per hour. This already includes the long board and the guide. Flirting with the guide is optional and for free.
Check out of the surfboard rental places I mentioned above.
If you got a motorbike, it is much easier to go around the island. But if your main goal is to be near the action, the following are some of the best accommodation within walking distance from the famed surf spot.
Shaka Cafe serves healthy food options like salads, sandwiches, and burgers.
Cafe Kokomo is a beachfront restaurant that serves Filipino and international dishes.
Hakata Ramen, as the name suggests, serves delicious ramen and some good old Japanese staples like gyoza.
Ocean 101 Resort has a restaurant that serves both Filipino and international dishes. Not a bad spot to hand out.
Hang9 SurFoods serves quick bites for hungry post-surf moments like Italian-inspired sandwiches and burgers.
Madman’s Restobar is known for its barbecue and grilled yums. So far it has good reviews on TripAdvisor.
L’Osteria, surprise, surprise, this Munichian pizza chain is now in Siargao. Wow. Haven’t tried the one in Siargao, but for good pizza and quick Italian-inspired dishes, this is the place.
Sunday Pool and Kitchen is a vibe. It is popular not only for its food but for the entire expaty, very instagrammable place. It is Villa Cali’s restaurant.
Narutuna for no-frill Filipino staples. Pansit. Siomai. Budol-fight-kind of feast.
Kaimana Resort Siargao is the best spot for cocktails and quick bites.
Island hopping in Siargao is a must. Or may be not. You can go to Guyam Island, Daku Island, and Naked Island. These are Siargao’s Tres Marias. The names actually lack creativity and imagination. They are what they are. Guyam means small, Daku means big, and naked means a swat of sandy beach in the middle of nowhere. What do they have in common? Powdy sand and clear water.
Siargao is a paradise for water lovers and those who enjoy pristine beaches. The emerald waters of Sugba Lagoon are surrounded by the equally beautiful Del Carmen Mangrove Reserve, where you can do everything from aquatic activities or try cliff jumping to sunbathing on either island retreats like Kawhagan and Pamomoan Islands which offer another reason why this place will quickly become one that’s hard not too fall head over heels in love with!
The Magpupungko rock pools are an unforgettable experience for those looking to get away from it all. These natural tidal hot tubs can be found 45 minutes east of Siargao’s main hub, General Luna–a perfect destination if you’re interested in checking out some waves but don’t want any hotels or restaurants near by! Another option would be driving south towards Del Carmen where Sugba Lagoon also awaits with its stunning views. Fun fact, Magpupungko rock pools are best viewed during low tide. It kinda disappears during high tide.
Siargao’s Maasin River palm tree rope swing did not exist back in 2013. Ouch. A lot of tourist attractions did not exist back then. But it is now clearly marked on Google Maps, if you wanna do a full Tarzan with the swing rope. Entrance fee is $.40 and there are typical souvenirs shops like T-shirts or kitschy bracelets. If you are up to some typical Siargaonon staples, there is a carinderia (a small home eatery) nearby.
Or just lounge on the beach. Maybe consider this blogger old. You actually reach a certain age that you simply want to grab a good book, a sun hat, sun glasses, a huge bottle of water, a beach towel, and enjoy the moment of doing nothing under the marvelous Siargao sun.
So there you have it, everything you need to know about Cloud 9 Siargao and Siargao in a nutsel. I hope this guide has been helpful and that you have an amazing time surfing in Siargao!
Please feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions or suggestions. And don’t forget to share this with your friends who are planning a trip to Siargao! Happy traveling!
If you find my humor funny and if you find this guide helpful, which takes time to write, consider buying me coffee here, or booking your accommodation and tours through Agoda or Klook, so this middle-aged blogger can still sip her coffee while contemplating on why she becomes a blogger. Cheers!