Last updated on January 17th, 2019 at 05:02 am
Can’t get enough of beaches? Wan to have an amazing vacation in the laid-back island of Siargao? You may have seen this Island in movies and has recently been famous to tourist because of its beauty. If coral reefs, diving, and surfing are the activities you want to do, Siargao may be the best place for you. A movie was recently release in the Philippines that was able to capture the beauty of the Island, and this is one of the reason that made the Island famous to Tourist. In this post we will explain more information about the beauty and activities the Island has to offer. Our favorite Siargao tourist spots, island hopping in Siargao and places that you can’t miss visiting Siargao Island in your next trip!
Read here where to sleep in Siargao!
How to get to Siargao
Siargao, is a small island in the coast in Surigao del Norte, it is one of Mindanao’s famous destinations. The island has a total of nine municipalities. The Island is famous for its waves to surfer. There are a lot of adventure and eco-tourism destination in the Island.
How to get to Siargao by Plane
There is an Airport in Siargao named Sayak Airport but only Skyjet and Cebu Pacific can fly direct from Manila. And the travel time from Manila would be 2 hours. There are flights from Clark to Siargao with Philippine Airlines. We took this flight to go direct home in Angeles City, Pampanga. Sayak Airport is located in Barangay Del Carmen, where most tourist attraction are located. When you arrived at Sayak airport there are available rented van to take you to your destination/accommodation, fixed rate of those rented van is 300 PHP ($6) per person. We paid 400 PHP going there by tricycle from General Luna.
How to get to Siargao by Ferry
There are available ferry rides daily from Surigao City to Siargao Islands. There are two choices for ferry the fast boats and the slower boats. Fast Boats is either a multi-level steel vessels of single level large bancas. Duration time would be four hours, fare would be around 350 PHP ($6). We were lucky and we could travel for 100 PHP each since RO-RO was making a peso fare. It means ultra discount ticket.
Best time to visit Siargao
Swimming, surfing and diving will be the reason why you want to visit the Island of Siargao. As a responsible traveler you must check every little detail while visiting certain places. The Philippines has only two season and this is the wet and dry season. The best time to visit Siargao is during the dry season which falls on the months of February-April. This is the best time for you. You’ll be able to enjoy all you itinerary without worrying if it would be raining. All the activities in the Island involves swimming, surfing, diving and trekking. Click here to know more about the weather in Siargao.
Transportation around Siargao
There are a lot of transportation in the island available for your disposal. At the Airport you can rent vans going to your hotel. You can rent motorcycles and habal-habal. If you want to experience all about the nature of the Island it is a must to ride the Habal-Habal. To move around Sairgao the most convenient is renting a motorbike for 400 PHP per day. The roads are fine to ride around the island. If you prefer going by tricycle there are shared tricycle in Dapa and General Luna terminal. Prices are 40 PHP per person. If you are renting a tricycle for a day tour prices can go to 1200-1500 PHP. If you are planning to rent a multicab prices are around 3000 PHP per day and you can accommodate a few people.
Accommodation Daily Budget in Siargao
For accommodation a budget room would cost 1000 PHP ($20 USD). There are dorms starting from 600-800 PHP. You can also rent Airbnb for 1000 PHP in Siargao Island. For more luxury places check Nay Palad Hideaway one of the best resort in the Philippines.
Food Travel Budget in Siargao
For food if you eat in local carenderias during your staying in Siargao for 80-100 PHP you will have a good meal already. If you go to foreigner food will cost you 150-300 PHP and you can find pizzas, burguers, pasta and more foreigner food.
Island Hoping entrance fees in Siargao
Island hoping can go around 1000 PHP and you can go even cheaper if you do on your own. From General Luna to Guyam, Daku and Naked Island you can going for 1000 PHP in an organized tour. You can also rent a boat for 1500 PHP for 6 people maximum. You will have to pay entrance fees and they will not include lunch. For Sugba Lagoon you can rent a boat for 1600 PHP for 6 people maximum from Del Carmen. Optional adding more places to visit around the area like Kawhagan Sand Bar and Pamomoan Beach for 2000-2300 PHP per boat for maximum 6 people. You will have to add docling and entrance fees. The tour to Sohoton Natural Park from General Luna can cost 2000 PHP in an organized tour included lunch and entrance fees. You can go cheaper if you rent a boat joining with a few people or going to Dapa and doing the adventure by yourself.
Internet and Wifi in Siargao Island
Internet in Siargao was very weak signal. Internet signal in hotels and restaurants wasn’t the best. Our favorite places to check internet was Kermit Siargao and Kitya’s. As Digital nomads we have to stay always connected and we recommend you to get data from both companies Globe and Smart. If you have to work online in Siargao as we did in Siargao Island. Read here our full blog post the best Filipino sim for tourists.
CURRENCY AND ATM’s IN SIARGAO
The Island is located in the land of the Philippines so the currency is the Philippines Peso (Php). $1 is equivalent to $54.09. There is are available ATM Machine in the Island but I would recommend the Atm Machine located in Dapa. Some resorts in the Islands accepts credit card. In General Luna there is only one ATM and it was disabled for a few days during our staying. We found out that Ronaldo’s allowed you to withdraw money charging 2% for local cards and 6.5% for foreigner cards. Most of the places will not accept credit cards and you will have to manage bringing cash most of the time in Siargao island.
Siargao Tourist Spots
Cloud 9 Surf Spot
If you want to experience and learn how to surf. Cloud 9 surf spot is the best for you. The wave on the island is beautiful, that is why many surfers around the globe visit this Island.
Daku Island is an island in General Luna which is one of the most famous for island hopping. Daku is actually a Visayan term “daku” which means big. Covered with white sand shore and turquoise-colored water; the island is a haven for nature lover. When you do your island hopping from General Luna Daku island is the second stop after naked beach and you have lunch in this island. Prices for cottages are 250 PHP and 150 PHP for renting a table. You can get fresh coconuts from locals for 50 PHP.
Guyam Island is a tear-drop shaped island is around 2 kilometers south-southeast of General Luna municipality. It is a popular stop for tourists doing island-hopping trips. Guyam Island is a tiny oasis. Although it is tiny in size, the island offers variety of marine life that makes it also popular for snorkeling. It’s usually last stop in your island hopping in Siargao Island after Naked and Daku Island. It’s great to visit in the sunset and having a beer before going back to General Luna. The entrance fee is 30 PHP.
Naked Island, is an island of beauty and simplicity. The white sandbar will want to make you stay there, relax and enjoy being away from the city once in a while. It’s called ‘Naked’ because it has only the sandbar and no shade or trees at all. Perfect to take pictures, bring your sunblock and your underwater camera to take nice shots. Naked Beach will be your first stop in your island hopping in Siargao from General Luna as sooner you can go you will find the island less crowded.
An island stretching with white sand. Located in the town of San Isidro, it also home for awesome waves which can be an alternative beach for surfing to stray from the crowd in Cloud9 surfing spots. We found this beach on our way to Alegria Beach in North Siargao. There were no people and we loved it the landscape with the palm trees around! From General Luna to Pacifico beaches you have 1 hour 30 minutes ride by motorbike.
Magpupungko Beach is a cream-colored beach with a great view of sunrise. In the Northern end part of the beach you’ll be able to see rock formation and tidal pools. Entrance fee to the beach is Php50 ($1) per person. Make sure you check when is the low tide. Otherwise you will not be able to see Magpupungko rock pools. Check this link to have mroe information about low/hide tide in Siargao Island.
Located at the Northern part of the Island. It is a perfect stop, with its cool fresh water runs down a high cliff into a Filipino style pool. Many local would hang out and jump from the cliffs or trees. It takes 1 hour and 30 minutes to reach Taktak Falls from General Luna and there is an entrance fee 25 PHP. It’s great to visit around the area with Santa Monica Pier, Alegria Beach and Pacifico beaches too.
Sohoton National Park
A mysterious National Park in Bucas Grande well protected and well preserved area. Islets that are all covered with healthy green trees. You can reach the Islets for about 10-15 minutes. The coves are only accessible when the tide is low. You can go dive, go snorkeling and find beautiful rock formation in the cove. To get Sohoton Natural Park from General Luna you have to join to a tour 2000 PHP lunch and entrance fees included or rent a boat 4500 PHP maximum 6 people apart from this you have to pay entrance fee 200 PHP for Sohoton Natural Park. Read here how to get to Sohoton Cove Natural Park!
One of our favorite beaches in the island. It’s located in Northen part of Siargao and it will take you almost 2 hours to get there from General Luna. Once there enjoy the life! We came by tricycle and our driver removed his clothes and started swimming in this paradise beach. It’s not crowded and you can rest in the cottages with no charge at that time. The water is so blue and so calm perfect for swimming. If you are bringing lunch is a perfect stop in your day! Read here our full blog post how to get to Alegria Beach and what to visit around!
Santa Monica Port
It’s located in Northern part of the island very close to Taktak Waterfalls and Alegria Beach. The port is so beautiful with clear water and it’s great visiting in the morning when the fisherman are leaving. We enjoyed flying our drone! It’s so quiet the town around the port.
On the way to the North you will find Maasin Bridge with the bent palm tree which is archi-popular in Instagram with the swing. You will find people swimming, swinging unless you go first thing in the morning. You can see the bridge from the road and it’s 40 minutes driving from General Luna before going to Magpupunko Rock pools.
Top View of the Palm Trees
There is an amazing view point of the palm trees with the mountains at the bottom. It’s perfect going for the sunrise and it takes 30 minutes driving from General Luna. It was our first stop in our day trip in Siargao to the Northen part on the way to Alegria Beach in Siargao.
Stimpy’s (Surfing spot)
Stimpy’s is a world-class left-hander located in the middle of the ocean next to a rocky island, exploding on a shallow reef. Stimpy’s produces the best barrels at low tide with the tide coming back in, but it also works great at high tide if the swell is big enough. It can hold pretty much every swell height and if you dare to get the wave at the first peak, you can easily get a 15-25 second ride and look at the reef through the crystal clear water.
Tojoman Lagoon/Jellyfish Sanctuary
A breeding and mating place of spotted jelly (Mastigias papua), jelly fish specie that is stingless. Month of may is the mating season, so don’t go there at that time because you won’t be able to encounter jelly fish.
Rock Island (Surfing spot)
Just like Stimpy’s it works best at low to medium tide and holds double overhead swells. When the conditions are right, this spot is epic and a lot of fun. Make sure you only surf as far as you want to paddle back, because the inside is a pain to get back out again. Also accessible only by boat and only a minute away from the world-class left – Stimpy’s. You can ask your captain to take you to both breaks for the same price.
Corregidor Island located in Bucas Grande you can get there from Dapa renting a boat for 1000 PHP or you can include in your island hopping from General Luna. Once you are in Corregidor Island you can hike to the top of the island or relax in the beaches. The town is nice place to walk around to meet locals and have your local taste.
Island Hopping in Sugba Lagoon
It was one of our favorite island hopping in Siargao Island. To get Sugba Lagoon from General Luna you have to get to Del Carmen port which is 45 minutes motorbike ride. Once you are there, you have to rent a boat which costs 1500 PHP maximum 6 people. There are extra options to the itinerary like Kawhagan Sand Bar and Pamomoan Beach that will cost you 2000 PHP for the boat. Apart from this you have to add 100 PHP for Sugba Lagoon entrance fee and docking fees. If you go 4-5 people the island hopping to Sugba Lagoon will cost you 500-600 PHP with the extra destinations mentioned above. Read here how to get to Sugba Lagoon in Siargao!
Kawhagan Sand Bar
Kawgahan might be famous as a side trip for tourists who are visiting the Sugba Lagoon, but this island is definitely a worthy visit. It is located in Brgy. Caub, Del Carmen in Siargao. Its other side is a wide sandbar while the other is where you can enjoy chilling under the trees. It’s included in the island hopping going to Sugba Lagoon and we totally recommend you to visit for taking pictures, playing voleyball or just swimming around!
Pamomoan Beach is located in Kangbangyo Island, Del Carmen, Siargao. Good for swimming and the beach offers good food at the restaurant. It’s located in front of Kawgahan Sand Bar and is also included in the island hopping of Sugba Lagoon from Del Carmen port.
Just 5 kilometers distance from General Luna. Malinao Beach was one of our favorite beaches in Siargao. The favorite part was around Sandy Feet Resort and you can go walking until Nay Palad which in front of Naked Island. There aren’t many people around just a few resorts and people swimming are mostly locals.
Things to do in Siargao
Surf Some Waves
The first thing to do when you arrived at the island is to serve, since it is the surfing capital of the Philippines. You have to experience surfing in the island because the island has the best waves for surfing. There are a lot of resort available in the island the you can go surfing. The most famous one is Cloud9 surfing spot.
Visit Tayangban Cave Pools
It can be one of the highlights adventure of your visit to siargao. The jump spot is 18ft deep water. You can swam to the dark caves, guided by a torch. The water is mostly chest height so you could walk.
One of the most popular activities is to get off the island and go island hopping from Siargao. There are three island that is a boat away from General Luna that you might enjoy. These are Guyam, Daku and Naked Island. Taking pictures, swimming and eat seafood and snorkeling are available activities you might do while island hopping in Siargao.
Try Smoothie Bowls
Shaka is an acai bowl, you can order the smoothie in Cloud 9. There are a lot of different option for smoothie bowl there.
Nightlife in Siargao
You can join beach clean-ups with the local in the morning and at night you can go to clubs. There are a lot of bars to choose from and every night the party has different venue you just have to ask where parties at. Rum Bar and Viento is one of the popular bars that you can pick to go to. Just to get acquainted with other tourist or the locals.
Sunset in the Mangrove
It is a magic spot in Siargao. The wharf extends towards the mangroves, and the focal piece of the view is the water perfectly still. This is the perfect spot to watch the sunset because of the calming view it provides.
Join a Karaoke/Videoke
Filipinos love karaokes, and they will sing their heart out when a Karaoke machine is around. While visiting the island for few days you have to bind and get to know some locals. You can join their parties and experience to sing with them. You can choose many song that is already installed in the machine.
Go Cliff Jumping
There are a lot of spots in siargao where you can do cliff jumping. You can go cliff jumping in Tayabangan Cave Pool which 7 meters from the water level. At Sugba Lagoon the height of the cliff is 3 meters. There are more places in the island where you can do this.
Climb a coconut tree
One of the beauty of the island is its raw view and atmosphere. If your adventurous side takes over while touring the island you might find it in your self to climb a coconut tree that is 10 meters high.
Hang out with locals
The most important thing to do in the island is to bond with the locals. The island is their home and they are the one taking care of it. Since they are the one serving you it is important to treat them with grace and nicely. Filipinos are hospitable and nice people.
Where to eat in Siargao
Great pizzas and food and one of the places that accept payment with credit cards. Pizzas for 300-500 PHP and so delicious. Service was great. We loved it the relax atmosphere for a beer San Miguel costs 60 PHP. All the bars have similar prices for drinks in the island. There is also wifi working in Kermit if you need to work online is one of the best places in Siargao Island.
Cheap Mexican food. Orders of tacos and quesadillas are around 150 PHP and San Miguel beer costs 60 PHP. If you are looking for foreign food on a budget is an awesome place! Big portions and tasty food became Rachel’s favorite.
We loved it the smoothies in Kyta’s prices around 100-120 PHP. San Miguel 60 PHP. It was our best place for connecting with wifi in Siargao. The food was little bit expensive 300 PHP for dish and we didn’t like it so much.
You can have a full diner for 70-130 PHP depending how much you eat. Most of the carenderias were offering barbacue at night.
Open 24 hours and great option on a budget. Meals are around 70-80 PHP. Fried egg, rice and your order hot-dog, longaniza or tocino. Plus always free service water!
24 Hour Burguers
For a quick snack in Siargao we liked it the stands or kiosko with burguers pay 1 take 2. Prices were around 60-70 PHP two of them and it was great for that price.
Food in Island Hopping
When the island hopping includes lunch it means a huge one. We loved it so much the fruits, fish and barbecue options. Plus you can repeat as much as you want to! There is always plenty of food.
Local Dishes to try in Siargao
Is a kakanin wrapped in banana leaves and it taste like puto (rice cake). You can easily find this in public market, food stalls, and pasalubong shop around the city.
POOT POOT GINAMOS
It’s a endemic species of tiny fishes that is found all over the Philippines. Though it doesn’t smell good it is delicious. It is a permented fish sauce in a jar which cost around $2.
One of the most popular native Baverage in the Island, it is a flavourful beverage that is permented in a Sasa tree. If you happen to taste Tuba which is much more known all around the Philippines they taste alike.
It is a different type of Adobo, we all know that foreigners love adobo. It is different variation with an added recipe of boiled egg and cooked potato mixed with porked belly and pineapple chunks.
It is a refreshing native salad. Paco is one of the fern vegetables that Filipinos love to eat. It is easy to serve and also contains different healthy benefits.
Festivals in Siargao
Siargao Surfing Festival
Every town in Siargao holds a yearly fiesta, and this attract most people. You can sing, bond and dance all throught the island. The most famous one is the fiesta of General Luna, usually celebrated during late september same as the Surfing Festivals. Surfing Festivals attract surfers in to coming in the island and to join the surfing competition. You can find yourself partying, watching parades, joining parties and drinking in the bar. For more places to visit around the Philippines read our travel guide to Camiguin, El Nido, Cebu and our best places to visit in the Philippines! Happy Travels