Updated: Aug 6, 2019
A tranquil, tiny village caught between balmy mountains and harsh seas.
On an island full of secret beaches and secret surf spots, Pacifico—a name befitting a seaside village—is not so secret among laid back travellers and wave chasers.
A good 25min motorcycle ride from Siargao Airport, this village is hands down, the best place to kickstart your Siargao adventures.
Best time to visit: Mid January-March for dry and pleasant weather.
Avoid April-May, it’s the busiest and the most expensive. Also Avoid December, it's the wettest season.
Currency: Peso (₱)
Language: Surigaonon, Tagalog, and English (every Filipino speaks English)
Sayak Airport (IAO) is the main hub on Siargao island which only caters domestic flights, so you'll need to transfer first in NAIA 4 (Manila) if arriving internationally.
There are 3 airlines serving Sayak, the fastest one is Skyjet with a travel time of 1hr and 30min, while Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines take about 2.5 - 4hrs, with some of their flights requiring a transfer in Cebu or Davao.
Getting around: Renting a motorcycle is the only way to see the island on your own pace and biding. We got ours from Randy: +63 999 477 8711. He has a variety of bikes to choose from and he is conveniently located outside the airport.
Rental Fee: ₱250-₱350/day
How are you? : kumusta?
Older woman : ate (ah-te)
Older man : kuya
Thank you : salamat po
Yes : oo
No : hindi
How much is it? : magkano po?
One (only) : isa (lang)
Do’s & Dont’s
Do: Let your guard down (Filipinos are the friendliest people you'll ever meet); Wear a helmet; Bring tons of insect repellent and sunscreen
Don’t: Act bossy and demanding (you're on an island, expect things to go slow)
For the Best Kinilaw
After settling in your lodging, and breathing in a mouthful of the 'cleanest-freshest air’ in the Philippines (at least that's what the locals claim). Pop over to Kookaburra, a house-turned-restaurant, for a plate of Kinilaw.
Kinilaw is the Filipino version of ceviche—raw fish cooked in vinegar garnished with chilis, gingers, and shallots. And the Nanay who prepares this dish knows exactly what she's doing.
There are two versions to choose from: with coconut milk and one without. Try both, every bite is tuna heaven.
Tip: They also serve a delicious vegan burger made of local lentils—another must eat!
*Take note that the serving time in Kookaburra is looooong, don't come here if you're savagely hungry.
11.30AM BAMBOO BEACH
Known as little Hawaii, it's not surprising to learn that the waves around the island are world-class. As our surfing instructor described it, 'we got fat Tahiti waves, Bro!’. I do not doubt him the slightest. Look for Marlon, he's a burly guy with a good deal of humor and impressive surfing skills.
1PM LOLO'S TACOS
Another Fish Heaven
After working up an appetite from all the balancing and crashing on your surfboard. Walk over to Lolo's Tacos and order their fish taco, and mango shake—the best on the island. The other joints’ mango shake is subpar compared with theirs.
To Climb a Broken Beacon
This lighthouse served as a guide post when Pacifico still allowed fishing boats to freely sail the surrounding waters. It rises above an expanse of rocky cliffs and a gleaming, wild sea. Just the spot to feel the salty air smack your entire body, and give you the ultimate beach head.
Start from Bamboo Beach and meander your way up the reefy path, don't rush as it's a short walk.
Tip: Check the tides here, because this trail is only walkable during low tides.
4.30PM THE HILLTOP
For Mobile Service
One reason which makes Pacifico more attractive than its counterparts, or less attractive—depends on where you lie on the spectrum—is the non-existent cell service. Yes, you'll be totally out of reach and off the grid (from your mom, girlfriend/boyfriend, everybody!).
Don't fret, there is an area where the signal shines—after passing the Pacifico Beach Resort on your left, there is an incline leading you to the highest point of the village. Here is where people of all ages and races gather for a drop of the elusive mobile data.
5.15PM BARREL SPOT
Spanish Chorizo Pizza and Cold Beers
Head back downtown for dinner. While this isn't necessarily a food blog, it's kinda turning into one—Pacifico is simply dotted with great eateries! Hence, another restaurant for your itinerary.
Barrel spot is owned by a Spanish guy who's been living on the island for 2yrs (as of writing). He mans the bar and manages the entire place, so you'll pretty much make a good conversation-partner out of him while dining here.
Buko Ice cream for Breakfast
Wake up to the mesmerizing sounds of the waves colliding with each other, and get ready for a winding drive up North.
Burgos is a 30min drive from Pacifico. The road towards it is densely lined with Palm trees, giving you an idyllic tropical backdrop. Do keep an eye on the road for stray coconuts and cute, squealing piglets. Lokal is a small café serving tasty and healthy treats. You must try their buko Ice cream and their version of burrito. Moreover, they have—wait for it—WiFi! Hooray for internet!
Make this café your base as you wander around the little village. Visit the market to buy local fruits, jam or honey—you're helping out their community through this small gesture. Another fun way to spend time here is to play with the local kids; give them the chance to show off their spiders, bike skills, and other hilarious antics.
1PM RIZAL BEACH
A Secret Beach
Take your motorcycle northwards once more for some 'me-time’. Ever since the mad rush of tourists and the unprecedented development of Siargao, especially in General Luna, it is reassuring to know that the rest of the island is still unspoilt and unknown.
Rizal beach is one such spot. Its path, hidden by tall grass and wild bushes, is easily missed. Just remember, it's on the right side, just before the bridge.
If you're feeling brave, you can catch some beginner surf breaks here.
Tip: Best to swim from the creek side, as it is deeper. Also take note that the currents here are strong, you might get drifted away if you're not a good swimmer. Lastly, reefs are sharp, wear aqua shoes.
*This is also your chance to get an overall even tan ;)
Golden Hour Through Coconut Trees
On your way back to Pacifico, you'll pass by dozens of smaller tracks shooting off the main road. Take a pick for a wild dirt path ride and thank us later!
Get lost in the jungle while the golden hour rays shine through myriads of coconut leaves, and make the most of the surreal scenery.
5PM PACIFICO BEACH RESORT
For a resort feel with a view of advanced waves rolling towards the beach, you can try out the restaurant in Pacifico Beach Resort. Their menu offers a wide range of dishes, including handmade fresh pasta, and many of their selection caters to vegetarians as well.
Tip: It is easy to lose track of time here, a lot of travellers extend their stay to at least a month to fully immerse themselves in an island village life.