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Siargao Travel Guide: An Excellent Guide to the World

A river on the middle of a lush coconut tress

This Siargao Travel Guide helps you make the most of your five days on the island. It features a well-thought-out itinerary and a detailed budget for the trip. 

Disclaimer: Some information in this Siargao Guide changes too often. If you continue reading this article, you agree to cross-check information with concerned authorities. Please read the site’s full Terms.

Introduction

Siargao is rapidly gaining popularity among tourists after being named 2019 most beautiful island in the world. Numerous appealing tourist spots can be found on the tear-drop shaped island, which is also a surfer’s paradise.

The captivating island has to close its doors to tourists due to super typhoon Rai. Hence, our flight to Siargao has to move to summer.

Siargao was completely destroyed by the strong tropical typhoon. Hence, most of the resident’s livelihoods were severely impacted in addition to the destroyed dwellings, shrouding the whole island in darkness.

Typhoon Rail unleashed some of its fury on the island’s picture-perfect scenery. The lush palms that give life to the beautiful island were pruned and uprooted.

We continue our journey despite the typhoon’s impact. Although Siargao may not have shown off its most picturesque view. But the island will always be Earth’s slice of paradise.

Siargao Travel Guide Contents

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Quick Fact About Siargao

The small island of Siargao is dotted with palm trees, giving more appeal to the exotic island. In 1543, a Spanish sailor caught sight and named the isle ‘Islas de las Palmas’ or Palm Island.

Standard Time in Siargao

The Coordinated Universal Time, or UTC, in the island Siargao is UTC +08:00.

Thus, Siargao is four hours ahead of Dubai, six hours ahead of Paris, and seven hours ahead of London. In addition, Siargao is twelve hours ahead of New York City. Conversely, Siargao is an hour behind Tokyo and three hours behind Sydney.

Climate in Siargao

Siargao has a tropical rainforest climate. Thus, the island remains hot, wet, and humid all year.

Best Time to Visit Siargao

Regardless of the weather conditions, the island of Siargao is a sight to behold. The tropical isle welcomes its visitors with a variety of outdoor activities. Either fever pitch or leisurely pursuits, Siargao has it all.

March to October

The months from March to October are the best time to visit Siargao due to its more pleasant weather. Further, island hopping complements the summer months of March, April, and May.

Also, surfing enthusiasts may catch Siargao’s best swells during the months from August until November. Due to its pleasant weather, visitors may expect a large crowd during peak season.

Siargao Travel Guide Tip: Island of Siargao is home to over ten surfing spots, naming the island the Philippines’ Surfing Capital. Hence, book a flight as the country’s premier surfing spot hosts the annual Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup held in September.

November to February

The months from November until February are frequent with rains, especially in January, which is also the coldest month. Since most activities are aquatic, visiting Siargao is still ideal during the wet season.

Language in Siargao

Siargaonon is the widely spoken language in the Surigao provinces, including Siargao. Locals also understand Tagalog, Cebuano, and English.

Here are some essential Siargaonon words and phrases to learn before your trip to Siargao Is., Surigao del Norte, Philippines. 

  • Marajaw na buntag – Good morning
  • Omay imo ngayan – What is your name?
  • Pasaylo-a ako. – I am sorry.
  • Salamat karadjaw. – Thank you very much.
  • Huyat – Wait
  • Kadto na – Let’s go
  • Ali na – Come here
  • Haman si..? – Where is..?
  • Uno man in – What is this?
  • Pila man? – How much?
  • Ihap – Count
  • Ihatag sa ako – Give it to me

Siargao Travel Guide Fact: The name Siargao came from the Visayan tongue Siargaw, a specie of mangrove that grows on coastal waters.  

Currency in Siargao

The Philippine peso, abbreviated as PHP, is the official currency in the Philippines. Exchange rate as of June 28, 2022: PHP 54.80 or USD 1. 

Modes of Payment in Siargao

Cash is the most preferred mode of payment in Siargao. However, some establishments accept foreign-issued cards.

Apart from the rural banks and money transfer agents, banks like DBP, PNB, and BDO serve ATMs in Siargao. Also, a few Euronet machines along Tourism Road dispense cash, charging PHP 50.00 or USD 0.91. 

Siargao Travel Guide Tip: Before heading to Siargao, bring sufficient cash. Most of the ATMs on the island are incompatible with other cash cards, quickly run out of money, and are sometimes offline.

Ways of Getting to Siargao

Situated southeast of the Philippines, Siargao is accessible through its two gateways; the Sayak Airport and Dapa Seaport.

By Air

Traveling via air is the most convenient way to reach Siargao. Local airlines are present in the country’s major aviation hubs; Pasay, Cebu, and Davao.

Pasay

Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, Sunlight Air, and Skyjet have direct flights from Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Sayak Airport. Flight hours between Manila and Siargao are around 2 hours.

Cebu

Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific serve non-stop flights from Mactan International Airport to Sayak Airport and vice versa. The flight times between Cebu and Siargao are roughly an hour.

Davao

Before reaching Siargao, All Davao passengers must take a connecting flight at Ninoy Aquino or Mactan airports. The flight length from Davao to Siargao via Manila is roughly 4 hours and 2 hours via Cebu.

By Water

Siargao Island is also reachable from Surigao City through its Surigao Port and Ferry Terminal. Marine transports such as the passenger liners, fast crafts, and RoRo vessels serve roughly three hours transfer to the island.

The one-way fare starts at PHP 180.00 or USD 3.28.

Getting Around Siargao

Measuring 437 square kilometers, Siargao is relatively small, making it circumnavigable in less than a day. Moreover, the tourist sights are widespread across its 48 islands, and boats are the only way to reach them.

Motorbikes and Scooters

Riding a motorbike allows you to circumvent Siargao Island at your own pace. You can hail a habal-habal (motorcycle taxi) or rent a scooter and drive it yourself.

Motorbike rental starts at PHP 350.00 or USD 6.37 for an entire day.

Tricycles

Chartering a tricycle – a sidecar attached to a motorcycle is ideal for small groups. This open-air transport fits four passengers.

Tricycle rental starts at PHP 500.00 or USD 9.11 for a day. Also, transfers within General Luna using a tricycle cost PHP 30.00 or USD 0.55 each way.

Multi-Cabs and Vans

For large groups, multi-cabs and vans are the perfect ride option. The multi-seater transports are usually for arranged tours like the Inland and Sugba Lagoon.

It conveniently transfers tourists from Sayak Airport to General Luna in 45 minutes for PHP 300.00 or USD 5.46. Van and multi-cab rental start at PHP 2,500.00 or USD 45.53 for a day.

Boats

A visit to Siargao is incomplete without hopping on the popular tri-islands and the Bucas Grande Islands. Hence, the only way to explore these equally appealing slices of land is via boat.

The one-day boat rental starts at:

  • Tri-islands – PHP 1,500.00 or USD 27.70.
  • Sugba Lagoon – PHP 1,600.00 or USD 29.14
  • Bucas Grande – PHP 4,000.00 or USD 72.85

Areas to Stay in Siargao

Siargao and Bucas Grande are two of the main islands that constitute the province of Surigao del Norte. The island of Siargao has nine towns, including General Luna – home to the island’s popular Cloud 9. 

This tropical paradise hosts various types of lodging, from simple homestays to ultra upscale resorts.

General Luna

The municipality of General Luna is the perfect base to spend your days on the island. This energetic area is filled with accommodations, restaurants, shops, cafés, and bars, lining up along GL’s Tourism Road.

If into crowds and endless nightlife, General Luna is the perfect place to be.

Del Carmen

Located west of Siargao, Del Carmen is home to Sayak Airport. It also nestled the worth-seeing Sugba Lagoon – a top tourist sight in the area.

This relaxed community offers several decent lodgings, away from the hustle and bustle of General Luna.

San Isidro

A one-hour drive from General Luna, San Isidro is a coastal municipality northeast of Siargao. It lies the Pacifico Beach – a long stretch of coast and one of the island’s surfing hotspots.

The town of San Isidro is laidback and serene contrary to General Luna’s vibrant ambiance. Given the neighborhood’s tranquil atmosphere, some beach houses offer yoga classes – the perfect way to de-stress and reinvigorate.

Pilar

The town of Pilar is an ideal place if you want to get closer to Magpupungko Beach and Rock Pools. This underdeveloped town on the east coast of Siargao offers a few low-cost lodgings – the perfect match for budget travels.

Internet in Siargao

Like some distant islands in the Philippines like Batanes, visitors may expect a not-so-stable internet in Siargao.

Siargao is a world-class destination for wave surfing, but not so for internet surfing. However, several hotels and cafés provide internet at a relatively decent speed.

Power Adaptor in Siargao

Siargao operates on a 220V supply voltage with a frequency of 60 HZ and has one type of power adaptor:

• A or has two flat parallel pins

Siargao Travel Guide Itinerary

Siargao Travel Guide Highlights: Sights and Attractions
Highlights: Naked Island, Coconut Mountain View, Cloud 9 Surfing Spot, and Guyam Island.

Day 1 - General Luna

10:00 am – 12:30 pm Flight to Siargao

12:30 pm – 01:30 pm Arrival at Sayak Airport and settle the tourism fee

  • From Sayak Airport
  • Take a van
  • Alight at General Luna

01:30 pm – 02:15 pm Head to General Luna

02:15 pm – 07:00 pm Arrival in General Luna, hotel check-in, and have lunch

Siargao Travel Guide Tip: A hostel is a low-priced shared accommodation that provides essentials, like sleep and a bath. If you are a budget traveler, book a hostel in Siargao.

07:00 pm – 09:00 pm Have dinner and nightlife

09:00 pm Sleep

Day 2 - Tri-Islands

Siargao Travel Guide Tip: Book a slot for arranged Tri-Island Tour. The guided tour covers the boat transfers, entrance fees, and a boodle-fight lunch.

07:00 am – 08:00 am Have breakfast

08:00 am – 08:15 am Head to Public Market Boulevard

• From accommodation
• Ride a tricycle
• Alight at Public Market Boulevard

08:15 am – 08:45 am Head to Naked Island

• At the Public Market Boulevard
• Take a boat
• Drop off at Naked Island

08:45 am – 04:30 pm Explore tri-islands and have lunch

Naked Island

True to its name, Naked Island is a 200-meter-long bare islet concealed with fine sands and a mixture of seashells. The tiny yet pristine land piece is a perfect spot to sunbathe and get tan.

The entrance fee is free.

Daku Island

Translated as ‘big’ in the Visayan tongue, Daku Island is the biggest among these three islands. This long and vast island is carpeted with palm trees and shelters a few cottages – a spot for a relaxing treat.

The entrance fee is PHP 100.00 or USD 1.82 per boat.

Guyam Island

A small yet scenic landscape, Guyam Island has its enthralling beauty. Its surrounding turquoise waters and a bunch of palm trees complement to form this stunning tropical island paradise.

The entrance fee is PHP 30.00 or USD 0.55 per head.

Siargao Travel Guide Tip: Before your tri-island tour ends, lounge and give yourself a refreshing treat. Guyam Island has a small snack bar, offering assortments of foods and drinks.

04:30 am – 05:00 pm Head to Public Market Boulevard

• From Guyam Island
• Take a boat
• Drop-off at Public Market Boulevard

05:00 pm – 05:15 pm Head to General Luna

• At the Public Market Boulevard
• Ride a tricycle
• Alight at General Luna

05:15 pm – 10:00 pm Have dinner and nightlife

10:00 pm Sleep

Day 3 - Mainland Siargao

Siargao Travel Guide Tip: Book a slot for arranged Inland and Sugba Lagoon Tour. The guided tour covers the land and boat transfers, entrance fees, and lunch.

06:00 am – 07:00 am Have breakfast

07:00 am – 05:00 pm Explore the mainland Siargao and Sugba Lagoon, have a lunch

• From accommodation
• Ride the hired-van
• Alight at Coconut Mountain View Deck

Coconut Mountain View

Siargao is concealed with coconut trees, adding vibrance to the island’s panoramic landscapes. Alight at the coconut mountain view deck along Circumferential Road to witness a relaxing vista of a sea of palms.

There is no entrance fee.

Maasin River

The enchanting river of Maasin is perhaps the most photographed landscape in Siargao. A leaning coconut tree, which extends above the river, invites you to climb and plunge into its pristine waters.

Also, locals offer boat rides for PHP 250.00 or USD 4.55 per head. This lesser an hour leisurely ride will pass through a jungle of palms down to a small lagoon and back.

The entrance fee is PHP 40.00 or USD 0.73 per head.

Sugba Lagoon

Situated in Del Carmen, Sugba Lagoon is a hub for adrenaline-filled activities. Its mind-blowing backdrops and turquoise-colored waters dare you to dive, plunge, snorkel, and canoe.

The entrance fee is PHP 100.00 or USD 1.82 per head.

Pacifico Beach

Situated on the northeastern coast of Siargao, Pacifico Beach is a stretch of sands shielded by vast coconut plantations. The shore facing the expansive Pacific Ocean is among Siargao’s premier surfing spots – known for its sizable surfing breaks.

There is no entrance fee.

Magpupungko Rock Pools

Tucked behind rock formations, Magpupungko Rock Pools is an all-natural pool. These tide pools reveal their gleaming turquoise-colored waters when the ocean surface recedes.

The entrance fee is PHP 50.00 or USD 0.91 per head, while the parking fee starts at PHP 20.00 or USD 0.36.

Siargao Travel Guide Tip: Magpupungko Rock Pools have craggy rock surfaces. So, wear durable shoes to avoid getting wounded.

Malinao Secret Beach

A few-minute drive from the town proper of General Luna is an equally appealing shoreline named Malinao Secret Beach. It is hidden from a dense palm orchard and needs a few minutes of walking to reach the unrevealed shore. 

There is no entrance fee.

05:00 pm – 05:30 pm Head to General Luna

• From Malinao Secret Beach
• Ride a van
• Alight at General Luna

05:30 pm – 10:00 pm Have dinner and nightlife

10:00 pm Sleep

Siargao Travel Guide Tip: Before heading to Bucas Grande, place your belongings in a durable dry bag. Expect to get drenched because most activities on the islands are aquatics.

Day 4 - Bucas Grande - Sohoton Cove

Situated south of Siargao, Bucas Grande is a chain of islands under the territory of the town of Socorro. On the southwestern tip of this 49-square miles island lies the Sohoton Cove – a maze-like of verdant hills and rock formations.

The distant yet out-of-this-world natural scenery shelters interlinked lagoons, limestone caves, rock formations, and islets

Siargao Travel Guide Tip: Book a slot for arranged Bucas Grande Islands Tour. The guided tour covers the boat transfers, entrance fees, and a boodle-fight lunch.

05:00 am – 06:00 am Have breakfast

06:00 am – 06:30 am Head to Dapa Seaport

• From accommodation
• Ride a tricycle
• Drop-off at Dapa Seaport

06:30 am – 08:30 am Head to Sohoton Cove

• At Dapa Seaport
• Take a boat
• Alight at Sohoton Cove

8:30 am – 09:00 am Head to Sohoton Tourist Information

The Bucas Grande Municipal Government fees include:

  • Permits, Entrance and Environment, and Safety Gear, PHP 145.00 for local tourists and USD 4.92 for foreigners.
  • A docking fee is PHP 100.00 or USD 1.82 per boat.
  • The guide fee is PHP 100.00 or USD 1.82 per head.

09:00 am – 03:30 pm Explore Sohoton Cove, have a lunch

  • Sohoton Eco-Tourism Tour, PHP 830.00 or USD 15.12, is for six pax.

Tojoman Lagoon

Also known as Jellyfish Sanctuary, Tojoman Lagoon shelters a few species of stingless jelly-like creatures. The breeding season begins in March, but the well-timed to see a smack of jellyfish is from July to August.

Paddle boat rental with a guide for Tojoman Sanctuary is PHP 100.00 or USD 1.82 per head.

Siargao Travel Guide Fact: The cave and cavern share the same meaning. However, the latter has sizeable passage caves. 

Hagukan Cave

The name Hagukan derives from Visayan word ‘haguk’ or snore – the same sound that echoes within the underwater caves. This gleaming-turquoise cave pool has a small passage and expects to get drenched as you go inwards.

Magkukuob Cave

The Magkukuob Cave has intricate patterns and has crammed with icicle rock formations. To escape, you must dive from a 5-meter elevated platform or trek back to the cave entrance.

Tiktikan Lake

Only three of the thirteen lakes in Bucas Grande are open for tourists, including Tiktikan Lake. Before reaching this hidden pond enclosed in verdant sceneries, you will endure a 15-minute arduous trek.

Although the lake’s jade waters are so tempting, soaking in its calm waters is unallowed. Rather, grab a paddle boat or laze while relishing the surrounding vista.

The entrance fee is PHP 50.00 or USD 0.91 per head.

Crystal Cave

The Crystal Cave stems its name from its rock formations peppered with sparkling crystal-like specks. Unlike the other Sohoton caves, it has roomy passages for not-so-tough spelunking.

Bolitas Cave

Close to Crystal Cave is Bolitas Cave. Its name came from pearl-like shaped rocks amass on its ground. This cave shelters a specie of swiftlet birds whose dried saliva serves as an expensive cuisine ingredient.

The entrance fee for Crystal and Bolitas caves is PHP 50.00 or USD 0.91 per head.

03:30 pm – 06:00 pm Head to General Luna

• From Sohoton Cove
• Take a boat
• Alight at Dapa Seaport
• Ride a tricycle
• Drop off at the accommodation

06:00 pm – 09:00 pm Rest and have dinner

09:00 pm Sleep

Day 5 - General Luna

Siargao Travel Guide Trivia: Story reveals that the name Cloud 9 originates from a local brand of chocolate bar. Better yet, confirm this claim to Jack and Jill. 

05:00 am – 05:45 am Have breakfast

05:45 am – 05:50 am Head to Cloud 9

• From accommodation
• Ride a tricycle
• Alight at Cloud 9

05:50 am – 09:00 am Surf and relax at Cloud 9 Boardwalk and Pier

Cloud 9 Surfing Spot

Perhaps, a visit to Siargao Island would not be complete without catching its big waves. The spot caters to beginners and professional surfers – who flock together for this adrenaline-fuelled water sport.

For leisurely pursuit, Cloud 9 boardwalk and pier offer a relaxing atmosphere. The three-story open-air structure is a perfect venue to witness surfers showing off their surfing skills. Also, restaurants, cafès, and souvenir shops line up along Cloud 9’s beachfront. 

There is no entrance fee at Cloud 9. However, if you are interested in surfing lessons, you may reserve a slot for this adrenaline-filled activity. 

09:00 am – 09:05 am Head to accommodation 

• At Cloud 9
• Ride a tricycle
• Alight at the accommodation

09:05 am – 10:00 am Prepare for departure

10:00 am – 10:45 am Head to Sayak Airport

• From accommodation
• Take a van
• Drop off at Sayak Airport

10:45 am – 01:00 pm Arrival at Sayak Airport, check-in and prepare for boarding

01:00 am – 03:30 pm Flight to Manila

Budget for Siargao Trip

In 2022, I spent PHP 16,166.00 for five days and four nights in Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte. However, costs may still vary depending on your travel lifestyle. For more thrift tips, consider several ways to save money for your next trip.

Below is the Siargao Travel Guide budget for your reference.

Pre-Departure

  • Round trip airfare, Manila to Siargao, PHP 4,416.20
  • 5D4N accommodation, PHP 3,000.00
  • Tri-Island Tour with lunch, PHP 1,200.00
  • Inland and Sugba Lagoon Tour with lunch, PHP 1,800.00
  • Bucas Grande -Sohoton Cove with lunch, PHP 2,500.00

1st Day

  • Siargao Tourism Fee, PHP 20.00
  • Sayak Airport to General Luna via van transfer, PHP 300.00
  • Lunch, PHP 150.00
  • Dinner, PHP 150.00

2nd Day

  • Breakfast, PHP 150.00
  • Accommodation to Public Market Boulevard via tricycle, PHP 30.00
  • Public Market Boulevard to accommodation via tricycle, PHP 30.00
  • Dinner, PHP 150.00

3rd Day

  • Breakfast, PHP 150.00
  • Dinner, PHP 150.00

4th Day

  • Breakfast, PHP 150.00
  • Accommodation to Dapa Seaport via tricycle, PHP 80.00
  • Dapa Seaport to Accommodation via tricycle, PHP 80.00
  • Dinner, PHP 500.00

5th Day

  • Breakfast, PHP 150.00
  • Accommodation to Cloud 9 via tricycle, PHP 30.00
  • One-hour surfing lesson, PHP 500.00
  • Cloud 9 to lodging via tricycle, PHP 30.00
  • Accommodation to Sayak Airport via van, PHP 300.00
  • Lunch, PHP 150.00

Siargao Travel Guide Resources

To help you with your travel plans, I’ve gathered a checklist of carefully chosen travel resources. These are the trusted online marketplaces that I highly endorse because of their excellent deals.

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The sky is the limit with Skyscanner if you are looking for better and cheaper flight options for your next trip.

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Make a reservation to one of the most extensive hotels booking services – Agoda. It offers unmatched hotel deals!

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Explore the world with HostelWorld! Book a hostel and share a space with newfound buddies. 

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Drive your way to undiscovered places! Book a car via Discover Cars and experience hassle-free road trips. 

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Want to visit your favorite theme park or museum? For discounted attraction tickets and tours, look for Klook!

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For transfers from point A to point B, go for 12Go! It has extensive coverage of ground transports and ferries, too.

Siargao Travel Guide Question: How many towns are there on Siargao Island?

Please drop your answers or messages in the comment section. Thank you, see you on the road!

traveledictorian-blogger

About the Author

J. Sac is the author of ‘Siargao Travel Guide: An Excellent Guide to the World.’ He is also the founder of Traveledictorian – a travel blog that publishes well-thought-out travel content. 

His passion for writing, photography, and travel fueled him to explore Asia and the rest of the world. He also plans to undertake humanitarian work in his travels. Read his inspiring story and follow him on social media!

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