Magpupungko Rock Pools - Cliff Jumping in Siargao, Philippines
Magpupungko is the hidden gem of Siargao in the Philippines. Not so much hidden from tourists, but actually physically hidden by the ocean for most of the day. When the low tide comes around, the ocean pulls out and reveals a series of stunning rock pools. The pools range from shallow enough to sit into to as deep as 15 feet. The water is crystal clear and you can see colorful fish stranded in the pools at low tide. In the center of the deepest pool is a massive 10-12 foot rock where you can cliff jump into the turquoise tide pools below. We spent hours here swimming, jumping and exploring the endless tide pools. Magpupungko ended up being our favorite thing to do on Siargao Island itself and we would go back again if we could!
The rocks are razor sharp so don’t forget water shoes! Also because the entire area is submerged at high tide, there aren’t a ton of dry places to put your stuff. Either bring a dry bag or climb up the rocks to find a dry spot as we did. Make sure to keep an eye on your belongings since some people have had their things stolen here!
Since you are restricted to the tide times, it’s hard to visit Magpupungko when no one else is there. If you’re lucky enough to be in Siargao on a day when low tide is very early in the morning, you may be able to experience these pools with few people around. Otherwise, there's not much you can do to avoid other tourists. Luckily, the area is large and doesn’t feel too crowded if you walk a little further down the beach. Plus, watching people wipe out on the cliff jumps is half the fun!
Going to the Philippines? - Check out our Philippines packing guide.
How to Get to Magpupungko Tide Pools
Magpupungko is a 50-minute drive from General Luna and a 20-minute drive from Pacifica. The roads in Siargao are huge, new and paved so scootering is much easier than in other Southeast Asian destinations. Watch out for construction though! The rates for renting a scooter are 500php for one day, 400php/day for two days, and 350php/day for more than two days.
One alternative is to rent a 6-person van since the large roads make it fairly easy to drive a car. The cost of a van is 2500php/day. Otherwise, you can hire a “tricycle”. These tricycles essentially act as taxis and are just a cart attached to the driver's scooter. While not the most comfortable, the tricycles can fit up to 5 people. You can hire one of these, driver included, for less than 2000 PHP/day.
As you are roaming around General Luna, you'll also see many places advertising a land tour around Siargao. These tours usually go to Magpupungko tide pools, Tayangban cave, the Maasin River palm tree swing, the Cloud 9 pier and a few other stops. We saw these tours being offered for 1000 PHP per person up to 2000 PHP per person. We highly recommend skipping these tours since exploring Siargao independently by scooter is so much more fun (and significantly cheaper). Also, most other activities around the island require group boat tours so this is your one chance to explore on your own!
Need more info on visiting Siargao? - Check out our Siargao guide for a sample itinerary and budget.
Cost of Magpupungko
Entrance fee: 50 PHP per person (about $1 USD)
Parking fee: 20 PHP for scooters, 30 PHP for tricycles, 50 PHP for 4-wheeled vehicles
Food at the Magpupungko food stalls: 340 PHP for 2 miniscule plates of poor-quality chicken. If you want to have breakfast or lunch at Magpupungko, it’s best to bring your own food. :)
When to go to Magpupungko
This is the most important thing to plan for since the pools only appear at low tide and are completely gone at high tide! We recommend getting to Magpupungko 60-90 minutes before low tide so you can hang out at these tidal pools for 2-3 hours before they disappear for the day. Make sure to check the tide times here before you go.
Where to Stay in Siargao
Most tourists end up in the General Luna area of Siargao. This is where most of the restaurants and shops are as well as where many of the tours meet. If you’re looking for a quieter stay right by a beautiful white sand beach, look at places in Pacifico.
Point 303 Resort ($) - This is where we stayed! Some of the most affordable private rooms in Siargao. Plus they had two adorable 4-month-old puppies!
Soultribe Beach Retreat ($$) - One of the hippest glamping experiences we’ve ever seen. Choose between a beachside tent or cabana.
Sandy Feet Siargao ($$$) - Luxurious beachfront villas. Great for families and groups of 3 or 4.