(Last Updated On: February 13, 2018)

Siargao is one of the precious jewels situated at the end those less travelled roads. It has been in the radar for quite a while now but has only gained popularity among surfing enthusiasts. Until most recently, few have set their eyes to this lone paradise lying unperturbed in the eastern waters of Mindanao. This hidden paradise might have been overlooked for a very long time but it quickly garnered quite a following when people learned that beyond the monstrous waves this island is famous for are beautiful lagoons, enchanting cave pools and several gorgeous islands that it is now considered as the number one destination for this year and the years to come.




SO WHAT EXACTLY IS IN SIARGAO?


If you haven’t done your research yet then you have come to the right place since this guide will pretty much cover almost (almost lang) everything there is to Siargao. Brace yourselves folks for below are the very reasons that will make you pack your bags and head immediately to this unearthly paradise.


HOW CAN YOU MAKE THE MOST OUT OF YOUR VISIT TO SIARGAO?


A week nor a month is not enough to get enough of Siargao! This place is simply heaven on earth and it will instantly sweep you off your feet. It will easily find its way to your heart without you even noticing how deeply in love you’ve fallen. So just a little piece of advise. Don’t ever think for a second that getting over Siargao is an easy peasy because leaving would hurt as much as a bad break-up. However, if you can’t help but spend less than a week there then this 4D3N itinerary might just be what you need.


DAY 1 – INLAND TOUR: The Enchanting Magpupungko Tidal Pool, Taktak Falls & Tayangban Cave And Lagoon

After encountering countless delays while we were on our way to Siargao, we finally get started with our much-anticipated adventure. First stop were the three rarely spoken jewels which could become your reason to visit the island as it will prove you that Siargao is not just a surfer’s haven. These three are Magpupungko Tidal Pools, Taktak Falls and Tayangban Cave and Lagoon. Renting a motorcycle is the cheapest option to get around the island but if you happen to be just like us who can’t drive or just too scared to drive and don’t have a driver’s licence then the best option would be to hire a motorcycle. For P1500, your driver will take you to the best spots this island has to offer starting from the enchanting pools of Magpupungko to the cold spring waters of Taktak Falls and the unspoken cave and lagoon of Tayangban. These three is definitely perfect to get your adventure in Siargao jumpstarted. Not only that. The island is such an eye candy that merely driving around is enough to get you through the day happy and content.

Useful Tips:

  • You can always haggle for the cost. For those who can’t drive, the motorcycle (Habal-habal) costs P1500 which can be shared by as much as three people. If you are just a pair of travelers, the lowest you can haggle the cost would be P1300 for one full day of motorcyle rental with the driver as your tour guide.
  • For experienced motorcycle drivers, have your driver’s licence handy as you might encounter check points requiring such. Standard rate for motorcycle rental is P500/day exclusive of gas but can go as low as P300/day for a multi-day rental of at least four days and up.
  • For those traveling in groups but could not drive, your best option would be to hire a tricycle which could fit up to five people for P2000/day.
  • There are also SUV and van rentals on the island which is quite a great option for those traveling in bigger groups. Rate starts at P2500/day exclusive of driver and gas.
  • Visiting Magpupungko Tidal Pools is best done during the lowtide hours. Locals normally know the hightide and lowtide hours so its best to ask them before heading out.
  • The roads in the island are prone to vehicular accidents so please observe caution. Although majority of the roads are concreted, they are poorly lit. Driving around should be easy but it is highly advisable to head back to GL before the sun goes down. If you happen to be still on the road after the sun sets, drive slowly until you get back to your hostel.

Note: GL stands for General Luna – the busiest town and the tourists hub in the island where most of the hotels and restaurants are located.

  
DESTINATIONSMagpupungko Tidal Pool
Taktak Falls
Tayangban Cave And Lagoon
RATESHabal-Habal - P1500
Motorcycle Rental - P500
Tricyle - P2000
WHAT ARE THE FEESEntrance Fee
Magpupungko Tidal Pool - P50
Taktak Falls - P20
Tayangban Cave - P50

Guide Fee
Tayangban Cave - P100
DAY 1 - SUMMARY OF EXPENSES (2 People)Inland Tour Habal-Habal @ P1300/2 - P650
Breakfast - P75
Lunch @ P400/2 - P200
Dinner - P100
Entrance Fees - P120
Tour guide @ P100/2 - P50

TOTAL - P1195/Pax



DAY 2 – SUGBA LAGOON: Paddle Boarding, Cliff Jumping & Island Hopping

Another destination in Siargao that has quickly taken the spotlight recently is Sugba Lagoon. This little piece of heaven lies in the secluded town of Del Carmen and can be reached after 45 minutes on a motorcycle and another 30 minutes on a boat if you are to come from GL. Getting here may not be that easy and some might even find the cost of this tour over the top but soon after seeing Sugba Lagoon will make you realize how measly you had paid for an entire day spent in paradise. You’ll never see paddle boarding the same way ever again after doing it over the pristine emerald waters of Sugba Lagoon. You’ll never chicken out of cliff jumping and would quickly take the plunge after seeing its inviting and refreshing waters. And your definition of paradise will forever change after this charming lagoon took the standards several notch higher.

Useful Tips:

  • Prepare yourself for a long drive just to get to the Tourism Office/registration site for Sugba Lagoon.
  • To save on food, it is best to buy precooked meals sold in GL for your lunch and snacks. However if you want to feast over seafood, there is a market place near the Tourism Office in Del Carmen where you can find a variety of freshly caught fish, crabs and other seafood. You can have them cooked in Sugba Lagoon where it’s charged P50/kilo for the rice and P100 for each dish.
  • There are also fresh seafood sold in Sugba Lagoon but is pricey compared to those sold in the market place in Del Carmen.
  • Check out the nearby Kawhagan Island before heading back to Del Carmen for an additional charge of P400/boat. The island features a sand bar of fine white sands and is a great place to view the sunset.
  
DESTINATIONSSugba Lagoon
Kawhagan Island
RATESSugba Lagoon Only - P1600/boat
Sugba Lagoon + Kawhagan Island - P2000

Note: Each boat can fit up to 6 people max.
WHAT ARE THE FEESRentals
Paddle Board Rental - P200/Hr
Kayak Rental - P200/Hr
Snorkel Gear - P200
Table & Chairs - P100

Entrance Fee - P100

Docking Fee (Kawhagan) - P150

Paluto Fee
Rice - P50/kilo
Viand - P100/dish
DAY 2 - SUMMARY OF EXPENSES (4 People)Habal-Habal GL-Del Carmen @ P800/2 - P400
Sugba Lagoon + Island @ P2000/4 - P500
Breakfast - P60
Lunch @ P600/4 - P125
Dinner - P120
Entrance Fee - P50
Docking Fee - P40
Paddle Board @ P200/2 - P100

TOTAL - P1395/Pax
CONTACT PERSONTourism Office (Del Carmen) - 09305510107

DAY 3 – SOHOTON COVE & TRI ISLAND: Paradise Overload In One Day

Just when we thought we have already seen the best of what Siargao Island can offer came Sohoton Cove and the three stunning islands, Naked, Guyam and Daku, to take the game yet again to another level. If we were awestruck with Sugba Lagoon, I could not think of a word to describe the fascinating experience we had with Sohoton Cove and the three gorgeous islands that followed. I didn’t know swimming with the jellyfishes was fun. It was quite a unique experience for me. Something I never thought was possible really. Then toppling the amazing experience we had with the jellyfishes were the jaw-dropping beauty of Sohoton Cove’s lagoons, caves and karst mountains. It completely caught me by surprise since I thought such beauty could only be found in Coron and El Nido. I felt a little pang in my stomach fearing Siargao might just topple Coron in the number spot but was also excited to know what else this paradise filled with never-ending surprises has to offer. Then the answer came to me instantly after seeing Naked, Daku & Guyam Islands which with such ease put the other more famous beaches to shame.

Useful Tips:

  • This tour can be quite expensive. Boat service alone can cost up to P4000 and that doesn’t include yet the other fees in Sohoton Cove.
  • If you wanna make the most out of this tour then better get started as early as 6AM to avoid the crowd and to have better chances of visiting the other sights without being a little press for time.
  • After touring Sohoton Cove, you can drop by Club Tara Resort for some snap worthy photos for your Instagram.
  
DESTINATIONSSohoton Cove
Naked Island
Guyam Island
Daku Island
Club Tara Resort (Optional)
RATESBoat Rental
GL-Sohoton Cove-Tri Island - P4000
GL-Sohoton Cove - P3000
GL-Tri Island - P1500

Sohoton Cove Tour
Pump Boat + Guide Fee - P830
Boating Sabay-Tojoman Lagoon - P100/pax
WHAT ARE THE FEESSohoton Cove Fees Per Person
Filipino: Permit - P50, Entrance Fee - P25, Environmental Fee - P25
Non-Filipino: Permit - P100, Entrance Fee - P100, Environmental Fee - P50
Safety Gear Fee - P40
Meal Package P250-P300
DAY 3 - SUMMARY OF EXPENSES (4 People)
***We found two other travelers and
shared with them the cost of this
tour. We were also lucky to haggle the boat cost down to
P3500 for Sohoton Cove & Tri Island
2Way Habal-Habal Hostel-Port - P40
Boat @ P3500/4 - 875
Permit Fee - P50
Entrance Fee - P25
Environmental Fee - P25
Safety Gear Fee - P40
Table - P25
Boating Sabay-Tojoman - P100
Pump Boat + Guide Fee @ P830/4 - 210
Breakfast - P100
Lunch - P160
Dinner - P100

TOTAL - P1750/Pax



DAY 4 – GENERAL LUNA’S CLOUD 9: Blissful Moments Riding The Waves

Riding the waves are not just for surfers. It is for everyone may you be a surfer wannabe or just some curious soul wondering what it’s like to dance with the waves. Among the places here in the Philippines, we all know that Siargao is the best place to get a taste of your first surf. With that in mind, off we went surfing to cap off our Siargao adventure. It was not an easy feat but was definitely a perfect ender to yet another epic story we would surely cherish forever.

Useful Tips:

  • Your first surf is definitely not going to be easy but you will eventually get the hang of it. No matter how many times you will fall hard into the water, get back up and don’t give up. Your glorious moment won’t be as fulfilling without the hardship.
  • Start early. The waves are the best in the early hours of the morning.
  • You would do best to pay attention to the surfing basics your instructor would be telling you prior to hitting the waves. I know it’s kinda easy said than done but keep in mind that practice makes permanent.
  
DESTINATIONSBeginner-Friendly Surfing Spot
Cloud 9
RATESBoard Rental With Instructor - P500/hr
Board Rental Only - P500/day
DAY 4 - SUMMARY OF EXPENSES Surfing for 1Hr - P500
Breakfast - P60
Lunch - P120
Dinner - P100

TOTAL - P780/Pax

TOTAL EXPENSES IN 4D3N FOR EVERYTHING


Direct flights to Siargao from Manila are now available with Cebu Pacific. Since that option was not yet available and all the other options were quite expensive at the time of our travel, we opted for Butuan as our primary access point instead. Illustrated below is the total expenses for this trip sans the expenses we accrued after our flight was rerouted to Davao.

  
Total Expenses Days 1-4P5120
Accommodation (3 Nights) at P400/night/2PaxP600
2Way Bus Butuan-Surigao CityP440
2-Way Ferryboat Surigao-Siargao (P230/Way) + Terminal Fee (P10/Way)P480
2-Way Tricycle Surigao-Port (P50/Way)
+ Habal-Habal Dapa Port - GL (P200/Way)

P250
Air Fare Booked With PAL (P495/Way)
***Got discounted plane tickets during a seat sale in February 2017
P990
TOTALP7880/Person



HOW TO GET THERE


From Manila – Fly via Cebu Pacific directly to Siargao. If direct flights are too expensive then you can either fly to Butuan or Surigao City. Both Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines have flights to either of these two destinations.

From Surigao City – Ride a ferry to Dapa Port in Siargao. There are trips available daily with the earliest departing at 5:30AM and latest at 11AM. Fare ranges from P220-P320 depending on the seats.

From Butuan City – Ride a bus or van to Surigao City. Travel should take 3-4 hours. Fare is P220. From the bus terminal, ride a minivan or tricycle to Surigao Port (P15.) Then ride a ferry to Dapa Port in Siargao Island.

From Cebu – Cebu Pacific also has direct flights from Cebu to Siargao. If flying is not an option then you can ride MV Lady Of Love operated by Medallion Transport Inc to Surigao City. The marine vessel leaves Cebu on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 8PM and departs Surigao City on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8PM. Fares range as low as P825 for the economy seat to P5550 for an executive suite.

From Davao – Philippine Airlines now has direct flights to Siargao. If flying is quite expensive for your taste then you can ride either the bus or van to Surigao City. Fare is P570 (non-AC) ; P720 (AC) and travel could last up to 15Hrs. In Surigao City, simply hop on a ferry to Dapa Port in Siargao Island.


SURIGAO-DAPA-SURIGAO FERRY TRIP SCHEDULE


SHIPPING LINESCHEDULEFARE
MV Fortune Angel 1Surigao-Dapa: 5:30AM
Dapa-Surigao: 11AM
Mabuhay Aircon - P300
Business Aircon - P220
Economy (Upper deck) - P250
Economy (Lower deck) - P220
MV Fortune Angel 2Surigao-Dapa: 11AM
Dapa-Surigao: 5:30AM
Mabuhay Aircon - P300
Business Aircon - P220
Economy (Upper deck) - P250
Economy (Lower deck) - P220
LQP 2ASurigao-Dapa: 5:30AM
Dapa-Surigao: 12NN
Regular Rate - P250
PWD - P200
Senior - P200
Student - P220
Dapa ExpressSurigao-Dapa: 06:15AM
Dapa-Surigao: 12:00NN
Regular Rate - P250
PWD - P200
Senior - P200
Student - P220
MV Atlantis Yohan
Surigao-Dapa: 11AM
Dapa-Surigao: 6AM
Business - P320
Tourist - P300
Economy - P250

SOME USEFUL TRAVEL TIPS


Getting Around – Motorcycles are the best when getting around Siargao since the island lacks public transportation plying the route to or near each tourist destination. I don’t know how much do I need to emphasize this but always be safe. Drive at a moderate speed. Wear helmet. Avoid being on the road at night time as the roads are poorly lit. Countless accidents had happened in the island resulting to injuries or worse death so again, “Be Safe.”

Where To Get Your Tour – The Tourism Office in GL offers tour packages. There are also travel agencies that offer tour services to the best spots in the island. However for me, the most flexible and effective way is still to tour on your own. Rent a motorcycle or hire a driver to tour you around. As for the boat, you can find plenty of boat operators at the port in GL. Rates are always negotiable so don’t hesitate to haggle. Just make sure to be reasonable not to exploit the locals.

Where To Eat – Around Siargao are several eateries selling meals (rice + viand) for as low as P30. In GL just along the main strip to Cloud 9 is a fruit stand that sells a variety of delicious home cooked Filipino food. If you are more into gastronomic adventure then you’ll be happy to know Siargao has a wide array of choices such as Kermit, Buddha Surf and Warung just to name a few.

Where To Stay – Accommodations in Siargao range from the most affordable backpacker’s hostels to luxury resorts so you will have a lot to choose from depending on your budget. I will list below some of the most recommended resorts in the island based from reviews given by travelers in Agoda.

Best Time To Go There – For non-surfers who just want to relish the tropical goodness of this island, the best time to go there would be during the dry months from February-June. If you wanna catch the waves then September-January is the most ideal time for you to visit.

Minimizing Your Impact – To keep Siargao the virgin paradise that it is now and in the years to come, we as visiting travelers have to minimize our impact. Avoid bringing in or using plastics. Bring reusable water containers so you won’t have to buy bottled water every time. Dispose your waste properly at all times. It’s a shame but as fast as Siargao is becoming a tourist magnet is the sad truth that it isn’t ready and equipped yet to counter the negative impact of tourist influx.




MOST RECOMMENDED RESORTS & HOTELS


ISLA CABANA RESORT – Barangay 5, Poblacion, General Luna, General Luna, Siargao Islands

CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY

OCEAN 101 CLOUD 9 BEACH RESORT – Cloud 9, Catangnan Gen. Luna, Surigao Del Norte, General Luna, Siargao Islands

CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY

SIARGAO BLEU RESORT & SPA – Tourism Road, General Luna, Siargao Island, Philippines, General Luna, Siargao Islands

CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY

https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?cid=1732453&pcs=1&hid=705388
REEF BEACH RESORT – Catangnan, General Luna, General Luna, Siargao Islands

CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY

KOKAI RESORT – Purok 5, Tourist Road, General Luna, General Luna, Siargao Islands

CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY


SNAPS FROM PARADISE



There you have it lovelies. Siargao is definitely one of the places I would love keep to myself but it is so good it’d be a crime not to share. For questions, suggestions and violent reactions, just leave them on the comments below. If you enjoyed this post or helped you out in any way, give me a shout on the comments as well. Show me some love and share this post to your friends. Until next time. Ciao!

Author

Watashi no namae wa Kezudesu! "A wanna be. Wanna do everything kind of badass" Chos! I am just an ordinary girl with nothing special other than my blabbermouth. I love to travel and share my story. I take not so great photos of the places I've been to. I'd be lucky if I will have a couple of photos to display on this blog. Basically, I am just another blogger who dreams to someday become a freeloader. (Laughs)

2 Comments

  1. Hi, where did you have your lunch while in Bucas Grande/Sohoton Cove? Can we bring raw seafood from Siargao and have it cooked in Bucas Grande? Thank you

    • We bought precooked meals. Yes you can bring seafood. You’ll just have to pay a fee to have it cooked. Or you can also avail of their food package. Price is on the blog. 😊

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