MAGPUPUNGKO ROCK POOLS ON SIARGAO ISLAND
Magpupungko Rock Pools on Siargao Island are one of the most popular things to do and easily my favorite day trip on the island. Just a 45-minute moped drive from the main tourist area of General Luna, the rock pools are exposed at low tide and are an awesome spot for hours of exploring and cliff jumping.
Wondering about the best spot to stay on Siargao? I wrote this guide that breaks down the island into the best regions with my personal hotel/hostel/resort recommendations: WHERE TO STAY ON SIARGAO ISLAND
Magpupungko Beach, Siargao Map
To get to Magpupungko Rock Pools from General Luna you will need to drive your moped for 45 minutes or you can visit as part of a tour or with a rental van. The drive to the tidal rock pools is incredibly scenic and I highly suggest driving up on the moped. The roads in Siargao are unbelievable smooth and something we compliment every time we go on an island adventure. A moped can be rented on Siargao for $5-6 USD per day.
PRIVATE LAND TOUR: A great way to explore the best locations on Siargao Island is with a private land tour starting at just $20 when booked online with Klook. The Land tour is customizable and includes all of the top locations like Magpupunkgo, Tayangban Cave Pool, Coco Rope Swing, and the epic palm viewpoint. You can really tick off most of the epic Siargao hot spots (the tour includes 10 attractions) with one big adventure day! Here is the link for the activity booking page on Klook: Siargao Island Land Tour
On the way, you will pass the Tayangban Cave Pool, which is worth stopping at. You can swim through the caves and go cliff jumping from seven meters.
When to visit the Magpupungko Rock Pools: Low Tide!
The timing of your visit is imperative. In fact, if you are even an hour or two late it may ruin the entire experience for you. The Magpupungko rock pools are tidal pools. This means they are exposed during low tide and submerged at high tide. You can click here to check the daily tides for Pilar, the region where the rock pools are found.
I suggest arriving an hour before low tide and then enjoying the rock pools for an hour or so either side of low tide.
It’s important to note that the tides change dramatically each day. If like me, you are unfamiliar with how often the tides can change it can actually change more than an hour later each day. Make sure you check the tide time and trust it to ensure you arrive for the peak period during low tide.
Magpupungko Rock Pools Cost
The entrance fee for the rock pools is 50 pesos or $1 USD. This gets you access to the rock pools and also Magapupungko Beach, which is worth it in itself. You will also need to hand over 20 pesos for parking, assuming you drove a moped from General Luna.
Magapupungko Rock Pools
Inside the beach area, there are lots of small restaurants serving local style dishes and we ate there on several occasions. For a couple of bucks, you can get a rice and curry, adobo or other Filipino style dishes.
Continue to walk past the huts and follow the trail along the coast for a couple of minutes and you will arrive at the Magapupungko Rock Pools.
The crystal clear blue water had me speechless. This is an epic little area, with coves, caves, and cliff jumping spots aplenty. There are multiple spots to get your backflip on if you are into a bit of a jump. I advise wearing water shoes or just regular shoes like me as the rocks are very jagged and sharp to climb.
If cliff jumping isn’t your thing, there is still a ton of adventure to be had at the rock pools. We swam through small caves, under ledges and explored all the different coves above and below the surface. There is too much to explore here.
If you swim or walk along the reef around the corner you will find the iconic balancing rock formation, which sits on the edge of the tide pools.
You may want to consider bringing a dry bag as there is no spot to put your belongings other than the entrance and you can’t really keep an eye on it while you explore. We just asked a local if he would keep an eye on it and as I’ve always experienced in the Philippines he did and shook my hand with a smile when we came back.
After exploring the rock pools, head back down and grab a feed at the restaurant and then enjoy Magpupungko Beach. Although there is a lot of reefs there is enough sand to enjoy a dip. The beach is a beautiful long stretch of sand, which is of course surrounded by coconut palms.
Sugba Lagoon and Magpupungko Tour
Like I said earlier, it is possible to do a tour. Many people only have a few days on Siargao, which is fine. You can still see a lot, especially if you combine Sugba Lagoon and Magpupungko Rock Pools together on a boat tour. There are a few places in General Luna that will book this for you or you can book online by Clicking Here. This tour takes you to both popular tourist spots via boat in one day. You really only need half a day at each so it isn’t a rushed tour. I obviously didn’t do it this way, but I had 40 days on Siargao so I was in no rush at all.
WHERE I SUGGEST TO STAY ON SIARGAO
Budget Hostel in General Luna: The White House: The best budget option for dorm style/hostel accommodation on Siargao Island is called The White House in General Luna. For just $10 a night you can grab yourself a dorm bed.
Value Pick in General Luna: Lampara Siargao Boutique Hostel: Lampara Siargao is an oceanfront boutique hostel conveniently situated on the exotic island of Siargao.
Luxury Pick in General Luna: Nay Palad Hideaway: Nay Palad Hideaway is one of the most luxurious accommodations in the Philippines. With its beautiful outdoor pool, terrace with either garden or ocean views, comfy seating areas, and is the resort you will see featured on Instagram all the time!
WHERE I STAYED ON SIARGAO ISLAND
Siargao is pretty straightforward when it comes to picking a region to stay. 90% of people choose to stay somewhere near General Luna. All of the bars, restaurants, tours, ports, and hotels are near General Luna and Cloud 9 surf break. There are a couple of other regions you could stay in like Pacifico but unless you are purposely looking for isolation, General Luna is your spot. So what are my suggestions for where to stay in General Luna?
First, I’ll tell you where I stayed. Because I stayed for over a month, I managed to find an Airbnb. It was 4 blocks back from the beach, had wi-fi, A/C, a private bathroom, patio and inside were just two bunk beds. It was super basic and I stayed here with two mates and my sister. It was 900 USD for the entire month, which we split four ways so it was just $225 each. There’s a photo below of our sweet Airbnb pad on Siargao Island.
Best time to visit Siargao Island
The best time to visit Siargao depends on what you are looking for. Many consider the best time of year when the weather is best but that also means crowds. I will give you a few options below about when is the best month to visit Siargao Island:
September: Siargao hosts the ‘Cloud 9 Surfing Cup’ each September, an official WSL Pro event
July – November: The best time period for surfing in Siargao is July until November. The easterly Mindanao current provides the islands with waves that came from the deepest regions of the Pacific.
March-May: If you aren’t as interested in the surf but are craving that sun. March until May should bring you guaranteed sunny days. But it’s the Philippines so you can’t guarantee it.
Where is Siargao Island Located
Siargao is located in the region of Mindanao in the Philippines. Mindanao is the southern region of the Philippines.
How to get to Siargao Island
When I visited in 2017 there was only one flight a day from Manila and one from Cebu. Now there are 10-15 flights a day so the question of how to get to Siargao has become much easier. Without going into deep detail on every single option. These are the options for how to get to Siargao:
- Fly from Manila $90-$100
- Fry from Cebu $90-$100
- Ferry from Surigao City to Siargao Island $5
There are ferries that leave from Manila and Cebu but they go to Surigao City first and then Siargao Island.
ARE YOU FOLLOWING MY SIARGAO SERIES OF BLOGS
Cliff Jumps: 9 CLIFF JUMPING SPOTS IN SIARGAO
Where to Stay: WHERE TO STAY ON SIARGAO ISLAND
Island Hopping: SIARGAO ISLAND HOPPING – GUYAM, DAKU & NAKED ISLAND
Ultimate Guide: 40 AWESOME THINGS TO DO ON SIARGAO
Sohoton Cove Itinerary: SOHOTON COVE NATIONAL PARK TOUR – CAVES AND LAGOONS
Visit Sugba Lagoon: SUGBA LAGOON FROM SIARGAO ISLAND
Hidden Lake on Poneas Island: DISCOVER THE HIDDEN LAKE OF PONEAS ISLAND, SIARGAO
MORE PHILIPPINES BLOGS
I have also visited many other places in the Philippines that you may want to add to your itinerary and remove one of. the locations I visited. There is no right way to travel to the Philippines. The reality is that you will miss some awesome places no matter what Philippines backpacking route you take. You can check out the links below to my other Philippines backpacking guides.
Caramoan: CARAMOAN ISLAND HOPPING
Romblon Island: ROMBLON TRAVEL GUIDE: 17 AWESOME THINGS TO DO
Tablas Island: TABLAS ISLAND TRAVEL GUIDE: 20 AWESOME THINGS TO DO
Sibuyan Island: SIBUYAN ISLAND TRAVEL GUIDE: 9 AWESOME THINGS TO DO
Sohoton Cove: SOHOTON COVE NATIONAL PARK TOUR – CAVES AND LAGOONS
Carabao Island: CARABAO ISLAND TRAVEL GUIDE: 5 THINGS TO DO
Cebu Itinerary: CEBU 5-DAY ITINERARY – DETAILED ADVENTURE TRAVEL GUIDE
Cebu Things To Do: 16 AWESOME THINGS TO DO ON CEBU
Philippines Backpacking Guide: PHILIPPINES BACKPACKING: 2019 BUDGET TRAVEL GUIDE
Ultimate Philippines Itinerary: ULTIMATE PHILIPPINES TRAVEL ITINERARY FOR 3-4 WEEKS