Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

Magpupungko Rock Pools On Siargao Island: Ultimate Guide


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Ilene Aviles



Welcome to Siargao Island, home to one of its most breathtaking natural wonders – the Magpupungko Rock Pools. Nestled in the municipality of Pilar, this hidden gem offers a unique experience for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts. With its stunning rock formations and crystal-clear tidal pools, the Magpupungko Rock Pools have become a must-visit destination for travelers from all over the world.


Located approximately 45 minutes away from Siargao’s main tourism hub, General Luna, the journey to the rock pools is an adventure in itself. Along the way, you’ll pass through picturesque landscapes of lush greenery and coastal vistas, setting the tone for the beauty that awaits at Magpupungko.


The rock pools get their name from the Visayan phrase “magpupungko,” which means “to stoop or squat.” This is because during low tide, the water recedes, revealing natural pools formed by gigantic rock formations. These pools are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and exploring a diverse underwater ecosystem teeming with marine life.


What makes the Magpupungko Rock Pools truly extraordinary is their natural beauty and the sense of tranquility they offer. Surrounded by limestone cliffs, the pools provide a serene environment where visitors can relax and immerse themselves in nature’s wonders. The unique topography of the area provides opportunities for cliff jumping and diving, making it an ideal spot for thrill-seekers as well.


Whether you’re looking to unwind and enjoy a peaceful swim in crystal-clear waters or seeking an adrenaline rush from cliff jumping, the Magpupungko Rock Pools have something for everyone. The combination of natural beauty, adventure, and tranquility make it a standout attraction on Siargao Island.


In the next sections, we will delve deeper into how to get to Siargao Island, the best time to visit the Magpupungko Rock Pools, entrance fees and opening hours, what to expect at the rock pools, safety tips, nearby attractions, and where to stay for a convenient and immersive experience near Magpupungko.


So grab your swimsuit, pack your sense of adventure, and get ready to explore the enchanting Magpupungko Rock Pools on beautiful Siargao Island!


Getting to Siargao Island

Siargao Island may feel like a hidden paradise, but getting there is easier than you might think. The island is well-connected to major cities in the Philippines, making it accessible to both domestic and international travelers.


The most common way to reach Siargao Island is by flying into Sayak Airport, also known as Siargao Airport. Several airlines operate regular flights from Manila, Cebu, and other cities to Siargao. The flight duration from Manila to Siargao is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, making it a convenient option for travelers who want to save time.


Once you arrive at Sayak Airport, you can take a van or a tricycle to your desired accommodation. The journey from the airport to General Luna, where most resorts and accommodations are located, takes around 45 minutes. It’s worth noting that the road leading to the island’s tourism hub, General Luna, is mostly paved, ensuring a comfortable travel experience.


If you prefer a more scenic route, you can also take a ferry to Siargao Island. Several ferry companies operate regular trips from Surigao City to Dapa Port, which is located on the eastern side of Siargao Island. The ferry ride takes around 2 to 3 hours, depending on the weather conditions. From Dapa Port, you can hire a tricycle or a habal-habal (motorbike taxi) to reach your accommodation.


For those who are already in nearby islands like Bohol or Cebu, you can also take a ferry directly to Siargao Island. This allows you to enjoy a picturesque journey across the ocean and soak in the natural beauty of the Philippine archipelago.


Regardless of the mode of transportation you choose, it’s recommended to book your flights or ferry tickets in advance, especially during peak seasons like the summer months or the Siargao International Surfing Cup, which takes place in September. This ensures that you secure your preferred travel dates and avoid any last-minute travel hiccups.


Siargao Island’s stunning beauty and reputation as the “Surfing Capital of the Philippines” have made it a popular destination among travelers. As a result, there are various travel agencies and tour operators that offer package tours to Siargao. These packages typically include flights, accommodation, and transportation, providing a hassle-free way to explore the island.


So whether you prefer to fly or take a ferry, Siargao Island awaits with its pristine beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and of course, the captivating Magpupungko Rock Pools.


What are Magpupungko Rock Pools?

The Magpupungko Rock Pools are a natural wonder located on Siargao Island in the Philippines. These mesmerizing tidal pools are formed by giant rock formations during low tide, creating an otherworldly landscape that captivates all who visit.


The name “Magpupungko” comes from the Visayan word “pungko,” meaning “to stoop or squat.” This refers to the unique experience of crouching in the pools as the water recedes during low tide. When the water recedes, it reveals a series of rock formations that have formed natural pools of varying sizes and depths.


What makes the Magpupungko Rock Pools truly remarkable is their crystal-clear water, which allows you to see the vibrant marine life below the surface. The pools are home to an array of colorful fish, starfish, sea urchins, and other fascinating creatures. Snorkeling in the pools provides an unforgettable opportunity to witness the beauty of the underwater world up close.


The variety of rock formations at Magpupungko adds to the allure of the place. Limestone cliffs surround the pools, creating a dramatic backdrop against the blue sky and turquoise waters. These cliffs also offer a unique opportunity for thrill-seekers – cliff jumping. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can leap off the cliffs and plunge into the refreshing waters below. It’s an exhilarating experience that combines a rush of adrenaline with the stunning natural scenery.


Another highlight of the Magpupungko Rock Pools is the natural bridge that emerges during low tide. This impressive rock arch connects two sections of the pools, creating a picturesque scene that is perfect for photography enthusiasts. Walking across the natural bridge and exploring the pools on both sides is an adventure in itself.


It’s important to note that the accessibility of the pools depends on the tides. The best time to visit is during low tide when the pools are fully exposed and easily accessible. You can check the local tide chart or ask the locals for the best time to visit Magpupungko Rock Pools during your stay.


With its unique rock formations, clear water, and an abundance of marine life, the Magpupungko Rock Pools offer an extraordinary experience for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike. It’s a place where you can swim, snorkel, cliff jump, or simply bask in the beauty of nature. A visit to the Magpupungko Rock Pools is sure to leave you in awe of the wonders of Siargao Island.


Best Time to Visit Magpupungko Rock Pools

Timing is crucial when planning a visit to the Magpupungko Rock Pools. The best time to go is during low tide, as this is when the pools are fully exposed, allowing you to explore and enjoy the stunning natural formations to the fullest.


The tide patterns around Siargao Island change throughout the year, so it’s essential to check the local tide chart or consult with locals to determine the ideal time for your visit. The tide can vary from day to day, but typically, there are two low tide periods each day when the pools are accessible.


During low tide, the water recedes, revealing the enchanting rock formations and creating natural swimming pools. These pools range in size, depth, and shape, offering a variety of options for visitors to enjoy. Some pools are large and deep enough for swimming and snorkeling, while others are smaller and more suitable for wading or relaxing.


It’s worth noting that the colors of the water are most vibrant during low tide when the pools are exposed to the sunlight. The turquoise hues combined with the natural beauty of the rock formations create a surreal and picturesque setting, perfect for photography enthusiasts.


If you’re planning on cliff jumping, it’s important to time your visit accordingly. During low tide, the water levels are lower, making it safer for adrenaline junkies to take the leap from the cliffs into the pools below. However, always exercise caution and check for any possible hazards before attempting any cliff jumps.


The overall experience at the Magpupungko Rock Pools can vary depending on the tide and the time of day. Early morning visits offer a serene and peaceful atmosphere, with fewer crowds. It’s a great time to enjoy the pools in solitude and witness the beautiful sunrise over the rock formations.


On the other hand, afternoon visits provide a livelier atmosphere, with more visitors enjoying the pools and soaking up the sun. It’s a great opportunity to interact with fellow travelers and share stories of your Siargao adventures.


Keep in mind that Siargao Island experiences two major seasons – the dry season (from March to October) and the rainy season (from November to February). The dry season generally offers better weather conditions and a higher chance of clear skies and calm sea conditions, making it an ideal time to visit the Magpupungko Rock Pools.


Regardless of the season or time of day, experiencing the Magpupungko Rock Pools is an incredible adventure that will leave you in awe of nature’s wonders. Just remember to plan your visit during low tide and embrace the magic that unfolds at this captivating destination on Siargao Island.


Entrance Fees and Opening Hours

Visiting the Magpupungko Rock Pools requires a small entrance fee, which helps maintain and preserve the natural beauty of the area. As of [current year], the entrance fee for adults is around [entrance fee for adults] and [entrance fee for children] for children [age range for children]. The entrance fee may be subject to change, so it’s best to bring some extra cash in case of any updates.


The operating hours of Magpupungko Rock Pools are from [opening hour] to [closing hour]. It’s crucial to note that the pools are accessible during low tide and closed to visitors during high tide. Therefore, it’s recommended to plan your visit accordingly and check the local tide charts or inquire with locals about the low tide timings for the day.


Due to its popularity, the Magpupungko Rock Pools tend to get crowded, especially during peak tourist seasons or on weekends. To beat the crowds and enjoy a more tranquil experience, consider visiting during weekdays or earlier in the morning. This not only allows you to relish the beauty of the pools without distractions but also makes it easier to capture breathtaking photos without many people in the background.


It’s important to respect the rules and regulations set in place to protect the natural environment and ensure the safety of visitors. Stay within designated areas, refrain from littering, and avoid damaging the rock formations and marine life. By being mindful and responsible, we can contribute to the preservation of this natural wonder for generations to come.


Remember to bring essentials such as sunscreen, towels, swimwear, and a camera to capture the memories of your visit. Additionally, consider bringing snorkeling gear if you wish to explore the underwater beauty of the rock pools.


Lastly, it’s advisable to check the local tourism office or official websites for any recent updates on entrance fees, opening hours, and other relevant information before your visit. This will ensure that you have the most up-to-date information and can plan your trip to the Magpupungko Rock Pools accordingly.


Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge about entrance fees and opening hours, it’s time to immerse yourself in the wonders of the Magpupungko Rock Pools. Get ready to embark on an adventure like no other and create lasting memories in this natural paradise on Siargao Island.


What to Expect at Magpupungko Rock Pools

A visit to the Magpupungko Rock Pools promises a unique and enchanting experience that will leave you in awe of nature’s beauty. Here’s what you can expect during your time at this captivating destination on Siargao Island.


As you approach Magpupungko, prepare to be greeted by a breathtaking vista of rocky cliffs and pristine blue waters. The view alone will set the stage for the adventure that awaits. Upon arrival, you’ll have the chance to explore the rock formations and the magnificent tidal pools formed by nature’s handiwork.


The pools vary in size and depth, offering something for everyone. You can choose to wade in the shallow pools, perfect for a relaxing soak or taking stunning photographs. For those seeking a swim, there are deeper pools that allow you to fully immerse yourself in the cool, refreshing water.


Snorkelers will be delighted by the underwater wonders that await beneath the surface of the rock pools. Dive in and discover a diverse ecosystem teeming with colorful fish, vibrant coral reefs, and fascinating marine life. Don your snorkeling gear and witness the magic unfold as you swim alongside the inhabitants of this natural paradise.


Adventurous souls can test their limits with cliff jumping. The towering cliffs surrounding the rock pools provide the perfect launching point for exhilarating leaps into the deep pools below. Feel the rush of adrenaline as you take the plunge, surrounded by the stunning backdrop of limestone cliffs and sparkling turquoise waters.


Exploring the natural bridge is another highlight of the Magpupungko Rock Pools experience. As the tide recedes, a mesmerizing natural arch bridge emerges, connecting two sections of the tidal pools. Walking across this bridge and admiring the vast expanse of the pools on either side is an adventure in itself.


The beautiful rock formations and dramatic cliffs surrounding the pools are perfect for capturing stunning photographs. Whether you’re an avid photographer or simply want to preserve memories of your trip, be sure to bring your camera and capture the natural beauty that surrounds you.


It’s important to note that the safety and cleanliness of the area are paramount. There are designated areas for swimming, snorkeling, and cliff jumping, so be sure to follow the guidelines and respect the environment. Please be mindful of your fellow visitors and help keep the pools clean by refraining from leaving any trash behind.


At Magpupungko, you’ll also have the opportunity to interact with the friendly locals who call Siargao Island home. They often set up small stalls near the rock pools, where you can purchase snacks, drinks, and locally made handicrafts. Immerse yourself in the local culture and support the community by trying some of the delicious snacks or buying a unique souvenir to remember your time at the Magpupungko Rock Pools.


Overall, a visit to the Magpupungko Rock Pools is a chance to reconnect with nature, indulge in adventure, and create memories that will last a lifetime. With its natural beauty, azure waters, and unique rock formations, this hidden gem of Siargao Island is a must-see for anyone seeking a truly extraordinary experience in the Philippines.


Things to Do at Magpupungko Rock Pools

Visiting the Magpupungko Rock Pools offers more than just a stunning natural backdrop. It provides an opportunity for a wide range of activities that cater to different interests and levels of adventure. Here are some of the things you can do during your visit:


1. Swim and Splash: Take a dip in the cool, crystal-clear waters of the rock pools. Whether you’re looking for a gentle wade or a refreshing swim, the pools offer a serene environment to enjoy the water and cool off from the tropical heat.


2. Snorkeling: Put on your snorkeling gear and dive beneath the surface to explore the vibrant underwater world. Discover colorful coral reefs, playful fish, and other intriguing marine life. Snorkeling in the Magpupungko Rock Pools is an unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts.


3. Cliff Jumping: If you’re feeling adventurous, take the plunge and leap off the cliffs into the deep pools below. Feel the adrenaline rush as you soar through the air and make a splash in the clear waters. Cliff jumping is a thrilling activity that adds an extra element of excitement to your visit.


4. Relax and Unwind: Find a spot on the rocks, soak up the sun, and simply bask in the natural beauty of Magpupungko. Sit back, relax, and let the soothing sounds of the waves wash away your worries. This is the perfect opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and connect with nature.


5. Photography: Capture the stunning beauty of the rock pools and create lasting memories through photography. The surreal landscape, vibrant colors, and unique rock formations provide endless opportunities for breathtaking shots. Don’t forget to bring your camera or smartphone to document the beauty that surrounds you.


6. Explore the Natural Bridge: Take a walk across the natural bridge that emerges during low tide, connecting different sections of the rock pools. Marvel at the natural formation and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding pools and cliffs.


7. Picnic and Relaxation: Pack a picnic and enjoy a leisurely meal amidst the picturesque surroundings. There are several shaded areas available where you can set up a picnic blanket and savor delicious food while being surrounded by nature’s wonders.


8. Discover Marine Life: Apart from snorkeling, you can also explore the rock pools by carefully observing the marine life that inhabits them. Look out for starfish, sea urchins, and other fascinating creatures. Remember to handle them gently and with care to preserve their natural habitats.


9. Support Local Vendors: There are local vendors and food stalls near the Magpupungko Rock Pools, offering snacks, refreshments, and locally made handicrafts. Indulge in some delicious treats or purchase a souvenir to support the local community.


With these exciting activities, the Magpupungko Rock Pools offer a perfect blend of adventure, relaxation, and appreciation for the natural world. Whatever your interest may be, spending time at this captivating destination will undoubtedly create lasting memories and leave you with a profound appreciation for the wonders of Siargao Island.


Safety Tips

While visiting the Magpupungko Rock Pools is a thrilling and memorable experience, it’s important to prioritize safety to ensure a enjoyable and incident-free trip. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind during your visit:


1. Check the tide schedule: Before heading to the rock pools, check the local tide schedule to ensure that you visit during low tide. This is when the pools are accessible and safer for swimming and exploring. Avoid visiting during high tide, as the waves can be strong and unpredictable.


2. Swim within your abilities: Remember to swim within your comfort level and ability. The rock pools vary in depth, so be cautious and mindful of your surroundings. If you’re not a confident swimmer, consider wearing a life jacket or sticking to shallower areas.


3. Be careful on the rocks: The rocks around the pools can be slippery and uneven, so tread carefully. Take your time when navigating through the rocks to avoid any slips or falls. It’s also advisable to wear appropriate water shoes or sandals with good grip to prevent injuries.


4. Watch out for sea creatures: While exploring the rock pools, be mindful of sea creatures such as starfish, sea urchins, and other marine life. Avoid touching or stepping on them, as some species may have sharp spines or venomous properties.


5. Respect the rules and guidelines: Follow the rules and regulations set by the local authorities and abide by the designated areas for swimming, snorkeling, and cliff jumping. These guidelines are in place to ensure your safety and the preservation of the natural environment.


6. Stay hydrated and protected: Siargao Island can get hot and sunny, so make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Apply sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays and bring a hat, sunglasses, and a cover-up for additional protection.


7. Communicate with locals: Interact with the friendly locals and seek advice or tips from them. They are knowledgeable about the tides, weather conditions, and any potential hazards. Don’t hesitate to ask for guidance and assistance if needed.


8. Be aware of your surroundings: Keep an eye on the changing tide conditions and any sudden changes in the weather. Pay attention to warning signs, especially during inclement weather. If there are any safety concerns, it’s best to postpone your visit for another day.


9. Dispose of waste properly: Help preserve the beauty of the Magpupungko Rock Pools by disposing waste in designated garbage bins. Avoid littering and respect the natural environment to maintain its allure for future visitors.


By following these safety tips, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience at the Magpupungko Rock Pools. Embrace the beauty of the destination while prioritizing your well-being and respecting the natural surroundings. Now, dive in and create memorable moments amidst the stunning rock formations and turquoise waters of Siargao Island.


Nearby Attractions

Siargao Island is not only famous for its Magpupungko Rock Pools but also offers a variety of other attractions for visitors to explore. Here are some nearby attractions that you can add to your itinerary:


1. Cloud 9: Known as one of the world’s best surf breaks, Cloud 9 is a must-visit for surf enthusiasts. Located in General Luna, just a short distance from Magpupungko, Cloud 9 offers thrilling waves that attract surfers from around the globe. Even if you’re not a surfer, the stunning ocean views and laid-back atmosphere make it a great spot to relax and watch the pros in action.


2. Sugba Lagoon: Located in Del Carmen, Sugba Lagoon is a tranquil paradise that offers pristine waters surrounded by lush greenery. Kayak through the emerald waters, jump off the diving platforms, or simply bask in the beauty of the surroundings. Sugba Lagoon provides a serene escape from the crowds, allowing you to immerse yourself in nature’s tranquility.


3. Sohoton Cove National Park: A boat ride away from Siargao, Sohoton Cove National Park is a breathtaking destination. Marvel at the enchanting Jellyfish Sanctuary, where you can swim among harmless stingless jellyfish, explore the stunning caves, and take a dip in the azure waters of Hagukan Cave’s natural pool. Sohoton Cove National Park is a mesmerizing place that showcases the diverse beauty of Siargao’s natural landscapes.


4. Taktak Falls: Located in Santa Monica, Taktak Falls is a picturesque waterfall surrounded by lush tropical vegetation. The stunning cascade of water creates a refreshing pool at the base, perfect for swimming and cooling off on a hot day. Spend some time amidst the tranquil ambiance of Taktak Falls, and revel in the beauty of nature.


5. Secret Beaches: Siargao Island is home to numerous secret beaches waiting to be discovered. Explore hidden gems like Guyam Island, Naked Island, and Daku Island. These pristine beaches offer powdery white sands, crystal-clear waters, and a peaceful atmosphere, making them ideal for relaxation and beach hopping adventures.


6. Pacifico Beach: Located on the northeastern side of the island, Pacifico Beach is a haven for surfers seeking less crowded surfing spots. With its long stretch of golden sands and consistent waves, Pacifico Beach offers a serene setting for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the main tourist areas.


7. Island Hopping Tours: Embark on an island hopping tour around Siargao and discover the beauty of its surrounding islands. Visit the stunning Naked, Daku, and Guyam Islands, each offering unique features and natural beauty. Enjoy snorkeling, beach picnics, and exploring hidden coves as you hop from one island to another.


8. Maasin River: Take a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear waters of Maasin River, located in the town of Maasin. This serene and picturesque river is known for its enchanting blue color and is a popular spot for swimming and relaxing amidst nature.


These nearby attractions provide a diverse range of experiences, allowing you to explore the natural beauty and cultural richness of Siargao Island. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural discovery, these attractions are sure to add even more excitement to your visit to the Magpupungko Rock Pools.


Where to Stay Near Magpupungko Rock Pools

If you’re planning to visit Magpupungko Rock Pools, there are several accommodation options available near the area that offer convenient access to this natural wonder. Here are some places where you can stay during your visit:


1. General Luna: General Luna is the main tourism hub on Siargao Island and offers a wide range of accommodations, from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxury resorts. Staying in General Luna puts you in close proximity to Magpupungko Rock Pools, as it is only a 45-minute drive away. You’ll have easy access to other attractions on the island, as well as amenities such as restaurants, cafes, and surf schools.


2. Pilar: Pilar is the municipality where Magpupungko is located, making it an ideal place to stay if you want to be closer to the rock pools. While there are limited accommodation options in Pilar compared to General Luna, you can find resorts and homestays that offer a peaceful and secluded atmosphere. Staying in Pilar allows you to have early access to the rock pools and enjoy a more serene environment away from the tourist crowds.


3. Pacifico: Pacifico is a small, laid-back town located on the northeastern coast of Siargao Island. It is known for its less crowded surfing spots and scenic beaches. Staying in Pacifico provides a tranquil retreat and offers easy access to Magpupungko Rock Pools, as it is approximately an hour’s drive away. This is a great option for those seeking a quieter and more secluded stay.


4. Dapa: Dapa, the capital town of Siargao Island, provides a convenient base to explore different parts of the island, including Magpupungko Rock Pools. While Dapa itself may not be as tourist-oriented as General Luna, it offers a range of accommodations, including budget-friendly guesthouses and hotels. Staying in Dapa allows you to experience more of the local culture and provides easy access to different attractions on the island.


5. Del Carmen: Del Carmen, located on the eastern side of Siargao Island, is home to the stunning Sugba Lagoon. If you’re interested in exploring both Magpupungko Rock Pools and Sugba Lagoon, staying in Del Carmen could be a good option. You’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area and easily access both attractions.


When choosing accommodation near Magpupungko Rock Pools, consider your preferences, budget, and desired proximity to other attractions. It’s advisable to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak seasons, to secure your preferred choice. Regardless of where you choose to stay, Siargao Island offers a range of accommodations to suit different needs, ensuring a comfortable and memorable stay during your visit to the magical Magpupungko Rock Pools.



The Magpupungko Rock Pools on Siargao Island are a true natural wonder that captivates visitors with its stunning rock formations, crystal-clear pools, and enchanting ambiance. A visit to these pools is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and indulge in thrilling adventures.


From swimming and snorkeling in the pools to cliff jumping off towering cliffs, there are activities to suit every taste and level of adventure. The unique rock formations, vibrant marine life, and the surreal beauty of the surroundings make it a paradise for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike.


When planning your visit, consider the best time to experience the pools during low tide and be mindful of safety precautions. Check the tide schedules, swim within your abilities, and respect the rules and guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.


Siargao Island, where the Magpupungko Rock Pools are located, offers a host of nearby attractions to explore. From world-class surfing spots like Cloud 9 to secluded beaches and stunning waterfalls, there are endless opportunities for adventure and relaxation.


Choosing accommodation near Magpupungko is an important consideration for a convenient and memorable stay. Whether you prefer the bustling tourism hub of General Luna, the tranquility of Pilar, or the serene beaches of Pacifico, there are options available to suit different preferences and budgets.


In conclusion, a trip to the Magpupungko Rock Pools is an experience that combines natural beauty, adventure, and tranquility. It’s a chance to escape the ordinary, immerse yourself in nature’s wonders, and create unforgettable memories on Siargao Island. So pack your swimsuit, embrace the thrill of cliff jumping, marvel at the underwater world, and embark on an adventure that will leave you in awe of the extraordinary Magpupungko Rock Pools.