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.
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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.
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.
MORE SIARGAO TRAVEL GUIDES
I spent 40 days living on Siargao and adventured to all of the well-known spots but also ventured a little further off the beaten path and explored some truly mind-blowing parts of Siargao and Sohoton! I’ve written a huge travel guide for Siargao but also several other helpful guides about the best sunsets, cliff jump spots. You can click on any of the guides below to head straight there. Enjoy Siargao!
WHERE TO STAY 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 was 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.
Aside from Airbnb, which obviously isn’t for everyone, I actually personally visited and even stayed at a few different hotels during my time on Siargao. There are two standouts, luxurious resorts for those with a bit bigger budget.
- The first spot is called Nay Palad Hideaway. It really is just a magical looking place surrounded by palm trees. The architecture is. beautiful and it is like island style meets luxury. It’s perfectly located in General Luna but would give you a ton of privacy during your stay as well.
- The second spot is called Siargao Bleu Resort. I had friends stay here and visited and hung out in the pool a few times. It is right on the beach and the cool part is that the luxury villas kind of hang out over the pool making it feel like an over-water villa in the Maldives. The restaurant is pretty bomb too! (I may have snuck into the buffet breakfast once). It is one of the most popular places to stay on Siargao Island, so if you do decide to stay here definitely book early.
- The best budget option for Siargao backpackers who want a private room is called Calypso Surf and Dive. Here you can get a basic double room for just $15, which when you split with your partner makes it cheaper than the hostel. It’s got good vibes, good location and everything you would expect from a basic, cheap accommodation.
- 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. It’s very clean and has a huge chill out area with hammocks and bean bags for those post-surf siesta sessions.
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.