If you’re currently reading this Siargao travel guide, there’s a good chance you want to tick off that little island from your bucket list, or curious why people love it so much. If you haven’t already, read my other blog post first and spice up that Siargao dreams: Why everyone loves Siargao Island and why you’ll SURELY love it, too!
But if you’ve already read that prior blog post or very eager to hop onto planning that Siargao trip, read on, baby!
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Almost everyone, frequent traveller or not, wanted to go or return to Siargao Island. I myself is guilty of that. I’ve been to Siargao a couple of times and I can’t stop myself from planning another trip every year.I tell you: You’ve come to the right place because this Siargao travel guide got you all the things you need for that dreamt Siargao trip you have in your mind! Click To Tweet
And when I say “all the things you need,” that includes how to get there, where to stay, where to stay fit, where are those IG-worthy spots, and even where to party!
First and foremost…
What to know about Siargao Island?
Siargao Island is once a silent but beautiful surfing site in the southwestern part of the Philippines, specifically in the Mindanao area. But a few years back, social media and a Philippine indie film took the island by storm. Then, the tear-shaped island got influxed by a lot of local and international tourists, both surfers and non-surfers.
To get this Siargao travel guide rolling, let’s start with…
Of course, as everyone suggests, don’t cha ever leave Siargao Island without trying to ride and surf its waves. Click To Tweet
What to do in Siargao Island?
- Surf on the gorgeous Siargao waves. Of course, as everyone suggests, don’t cha ever leave Siargao Island without trying to ride and surf its waves. *A list of the best surfing spots is a few scrolls away.
- Go island-hopping. Aside from its magnificent mainland, Siargao is surrounded by other little islands which other tourists call tropical paradise on Earth. To name a few, you can go to Daku Island, Guyam Island, and Naked Island.
- Hop on some land tours. Have you seen those Siargao photos scoring lots of likes and shares on Instagram? The coconut plantation, over-the-river swing coconut swing, the natural rock pool, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Alright, add them in your to-do list.
- Get some island nightlife vibes in Siargao. Start it with getting some booze or cocktails from your stay. Most hostels, hotels or even guest houses offer drinks at reasonable prices. Then, you can hype up your night at any clubs within General Luna at around 10 o’clock in the evening. By 12 or 1 o’clock, continue rocking the night at [insert name]. Ask around, especially to your hotel/hostel customer experience staff or the locals. *Club and bar suggestions are listed under the Recommendations section.
- Swim and chill at Malinao Beach. Bring your own picnic set or a bottle or two of beers. Please be mindful that it’s a public beach and your cooperation to keep Siargao Island clean would be greatly appreciated. Take your trash (bottles, bottle caps, junk food packages, cigarette butts, etc) back with you where you’re staying at. Dispose of your trash properly. *No entrance fee at Malinao Beach.
- Go sunbathing. Find a good spot, spread your beach towel (in my case, I’m using my Desti smart towel), and let that Siargao sunshine kiss your skin! *Most beaches and by-the-beach restos don’t have an entrance fee. Free sunbathing, babe!
*To get make your Siargao trip planning less hassle, book your tours and activities ahead of time.
- Siargao Essential Land Private Tour – Cloud 9 + Tayangban Cave + Magpupungko Rock Pools + Maasin River — ₱ 675 (USD13.50 or EUR12)
- Tri-Island Hopping in Siargao – Daku Island + Guyam Island + and Naked Island — ₱ 795 (USD15.75 or EUR14.30)
- Sohoton Cove + Tri-Island Day Trip – ₱ 2,150 (USD42.30 or EUR38.40)
- Corregidor Island + Tri-Island Day Trip – ₱ 1,850 (USD36.40 or EUR33)
- Sugba Lagoon + Magpupungko Rock Pools Private Tour – ₱ 1,080 (USD21.25 or EUR19.30)
- Siargao Wakepark Session Ticket – 90-minute wakeboarding session — ₱ 950 (USD18.70 or EUR17)
Your Siargao travel guide won’t be complete without covering accommodation. So,…
Where to stay in Siargao Island?
Siargao Island is crazily growing in terms of accommodation or stay options. And with the combination of my personal experience and going into the rabbit hole, here are my suggested places perfect to stay at depending on your budget and preferences:
- Ilakai Hostel – I celebrated Christmas here with a bunch of free-spirited backpackers. It’s a small hostel property where people, both staff and guests, are like family.
- Balay Hayahay – One of the most affordable places to stay at native huts and a hostel.
- Amigos Siargao – Another affordable hostel option with great island feels for budget travellers.
Family/group stay options
- Surfing Carabao Beach Houses – Goes sold out easily due to its epic beachfront views and posh boho look and feel.
- J&V Beach House – An affordable beachfront property good for a family vacation or with a group of friends.
Drift Siargao – A small cabin-like accommodation with a direct view of Malinao Beach, a less crowded public beach in Siargao Island.
3-star hotel options
4-star hotel options
5-star hotel option
- Nay Palad Hideaway – The only 5-star boutique resort in Siargao Island, and offers luxe villas, a spa, fitness complex, a restaurant, and sea views. *Highly recommended for a classy honeymoon.
*If you don’t have a Booking.com account yet, create one HERE>> so you’ll get a 10% welcome discount.
*If you prefer staying in private homes and spaces, I recommend using Airbnb. If you don’t have an account with them yet, feel free to sign up HERE>>. I’m sharing with you my ₱1,100 (USD20) discount. You can avail it when you book your first trip that costs ₱2,600 (USD50) or more on Airbnb.
Best time to go to Siargao Island
Locals and frequent Siargao travellers recommend going to the island between March to September. Since the island has a sporadic rain schedule, you can still expect some rainy days, but you’ll surely get more sunny days between those months.
It’s mostly rainy on the island around from November to January. I was there to spend my holidays and our boat tours got cancelled due to a tropical typhoon. A local surf instructor told me that they [locals] are lucky enough that the island doesn’t usually get badly hit by any storms. That’s the reason we still enjoyed some fun activities, like having some road trips, food shop-hopping, clubbing, and everything in between, despite the fact it was a hell of a stormy week.
Transportation and Communications in Siargao Island
How to go to Siargao Island?
Book a flight or a ferry to Siargao.
Sayak (Siargao) Airport to your stay
- Take a shared ride on public utility vehicle (PUV) or tourist van.
- It would take around 30 minutes, or can be more depending on the distance of your stay. Most of the hotels, hostels or guesthouses located around General Luna can be travelled by van for less than an hour only.
- Airport vans: PHP300 (USD6 or EUR5.38) per person
- Hotel-arranged airport van service: PHP300-400 (USD6 to USD8 or EUR to EUR9)
- As much as possible, hop into the tourist van right after arriving at Siargao Airport so you won’t be like me who waited for the next passenger arrival. I waited like 2 or 3 hours. Never again.
- If you’re in a hurry and can get all your bags on a bike, you can rent a bike in the airport area or take a motorbike taxi.
*If you take the ferry/flight to Surigao, you need to take another ferry going to Siargao Island. It would only cost you PHP200 (USD4 or EUR3.50).
*Also, I recommend taking an overnight ferry trip (to Surigao) so you won’t be needing to spend another night in Surigao City waiting for a ferry ride going to Siargao. This way, you’ll be saving time and money.
ALSO: Is Moalboal, Cebu in your bucket list? If so, you need to read this, too: Moalboal, Cebu: To Go or Not to Go? + Travel Guide
How to go around Siargao Island?The best way to roam around the island through a motorbike, and make sure to get your driver’s license handy. Click To Tweet
Motorbike or scooter rental
Most destinations or tourist spots in Siargao Island are far from each other. So, getting wheels is a must and motorbikes or scooters are your best bets. You can easily find motorbike rentals on the island. A 24-hour scooter rental only costs PHP400 (USD7.90 or ERUR7.11). Some can get it at PHP300 (USD5.90 or EUR5.28) per day if you’re renting it quite long, like a week or more. Yes, you’re reading it right, my friend! That’s too cheap versus the insane (and I personally hate) rental fee of PHP2,500 (USD49.90 or EUR44.42) per bike in Boracay Island.
Tricycle or tuk-tuk rides
If you don’t drive like me, don’t worry. You can go for a BMW (By Means of Walking LOL) to the nearby spots, like Cloud 9 and the beaches around General Luna. But you can also take a tricycle or tuk-tuk ride if you don’t feel like walking, especially when it’s raining. Remember that the fare is only PHP20 (USD0.39 or EUR0.35) per ride for all routes within General Luna. If the driver tries to rack up the fare, use your haggling skills, man!
Most parking areas in General Luna are free. But in distant destinations like in Magpupungko Rock Pool beach resort and Maasin River, fees are around PHP20 (USD0.40 or EUR0.36) for motorbikes and PHP50 (USD0.99 or EUR0.89) for four-wheeled vehicles. After all, it’s no biggie for the safety of your bike and everything inside its safety box.
Entrance fees are regulated and they’re priced around PHP50 (USD0.99 or EUR0.89) per person.
Phone signals, mobile data, and connectivity in Siargao Island
The majority of the touristy locations on the island, like in Cloud 9 and Magpupungko, are signal-ready. And most accommodations, may it a small inn, a hostel or luxury resort, have a wifi connection. So, you can get connected with friends and family or even get your online job done while in Siargao!
How much budget I need in Siargao?
To give you an idea how much you’d spend while in Siargao, here are a few costs you need to keep in mind:
Prices of food, drinks, and coffee in Siargao
- Meals (without drinks) at resto-bars/hostel bars cost around PHP250 (USD5 or EUR4.50).
- While meals at carinderias (local street-side/low-key local resto/cafe) cost around PHP150 (USD3 or EUR2.70). Try the one in front of Cloud 9 entrance, or some other carenderias along General Luna Street.
- An 8-ounce flavored beer usually costs PHP70 (USD1.40 or EUR1.25).
- A bowl of smoothie costs PHP250 (USD5 or EUR4.50).
- A cup of coffee is around PHP150 (USD3 or EUR2.70).
Prices of tours and activities in Siargao Island
As listed above, tours and activities in Siargao may cost from PHP675 to PHP2,150 (USD13.30 to USD42.40 or EUR12 to EUR38.50)
Best spots in Siargao Island
Best Surfing Spots in Siargao Island (for all levels of surfers)
- Cloud 9 is the nearest and the most iconic because of its boardwalk.
- Malinao has a secret spot and it’s less crowded, not rocky and it’s around half an hour drive from General Luna.
- Pacifico has a so-called secret spot, too, and its shore is made of sand, not rocks. So, you’ll be less apprehensive from getting thrown by the waves back to the shore. However, it’s an hour or two (needs to verify this though) away from General Luna.
*Entrance fees are usually PHP50 (USD1 or EUR 0.89).
*The surfing fee is PHP500 (USD10 or EUR 8.90) which is inclusive of board rental fee and instructor’s fee.
Fitness and Wellness Centers (gym, yoga, etc) in Siargao Island
- SurFit Gym Siargao
- SOS GYM
- Lotus Shores Yoga and Surf Retreat
- Buddha’s Surf Resort
- Kermit Surf Resort and Restaurant Siargao — Yeah, the name doesn’t suggest it, but they have yoga classes.
Best Restaurants and Clubs in Siargao Island
**** = highly recommended
- Bliss Siargao **** – It’s a small chic restaurant where you can get quick and quality service. Since it’s a small resto, you’ll surely enjoy and feel the intimacy of good food service. Best value I’ve ever paid for food in Siargao.
- Keyun’s Burger **** – My white friends and I found this burger restaurant after moving from a resto to another (to another resto, on repeat) for the goal of dining together while making sure we won’t be putting our money to waste. They’ve found the burgers they’ve been looking for at Keyun’s after being feeling deprived of “good burgers” in the Philippines. While I got my delish vegetarian burger at the same resto.
- L’osteria – Thai restaurant
- Kalipay – Filipino and international cuisine
- Loose Keys. The usual party spot in Siargao. It’s a small surfer-vibe club where most people conglomerate during the night. Heads up: they only have 2 toilets (1 for men and women, respectively). So, better control your drink intake or else you’ll be trapped falling in line to the toilet for more or less 15 minutes.
- Jungle Party. No, it’s not a jungle-ish club. But you can surely party there like a wild animal. Just make sure to keep your cool and party responsibly. **wink**
- Bravo. It’s the go-to pool party place in town! Though I honestly missed going here during my recent Siargao trip (because I was feeling too old at that time and got knocked off to bed at 7 pm), my friends told me they all had fun there. It was an epic night I truly missed. When Bravo will be hosting a pool party during your Siargao trip, be sure to go for it because FOMO is real! I tell you.
- Lamari. If you want to get into some sort of posh pool party, Lamari is your wild haven!
*By the way, to set your expectations, there are no clubs (like what you usually have in big cities) in Siargao as far as I now. Party places I’ve mentioned above are more like pubs or bars. You know; island party vibes and you’ll love them!
Health and Safety in Siargao Island
Hospitals and Medical Clinics
- Metropolitan Doctors Medical Clinic (General Luna)
- Siargao District Hospital (Dapa)
- General Luna Rural Health Unit (General Luna)
- Pilar Municipal Hospital (Pilar)
*Please keep in mind that there isn’t any tertiary hospital in Siargao Island yet as of this writing. But there are tertiary hospitals on the mainland Surigao City.
There are police stations in each town, like in General Luna, Dapa, Del Carmen, etc. There are police outposts, too, at major road interactions. And so far, tourists always feel safe there.
Driving precautionary measures
For your safety and to keep yourself away from getting fined, always wear your helmet when driving around Siargao Island.
Money, ATMs and Money Changer in Siargao
The Philippines generally uses Philippine Peso as its official currency. But since Siargao is one of the internationally visited destinations, some of the shops and restaurants there already accept US Dollars.
If you run out of cash or need Philippine Pesos, don’t worry. There are a few money changer shops and ATMs around the island. Most of them are in the heart of General Luna. Several hostels and hotels also have ATMs and money changer services.
Sample Siargao Trip Itinerary
The itinerary on this Siargao travel guide is based on my trips. I mostly depart from my home city early in the morning, so I’ll arrive early at my destination, too, and make the most of my vacation. If your departure flight happens to fall in the afternoon or later, please make some slight adjustments to the suggested itinerary below.
A weekend or a 2-day itinerary
- Arrival and en route to accommodation
- Rent a bike and roam around General Luna (or you can also go on an after-lunch tour).
- Go island-hopping
- Pre-packing at night
- Souvenir shopping at General luna
- Final packing
*If you want me to add a 7-day itinerary suggestion, let me know in the. Comment section.
Additional “Go Travel Wisely” tips and hacks when in Siargao Island
- Go to Siargao’s tourism stall. First and foremost, upon arrival, I recommend getting a tourism leaflet at the tourism stall of the arrival area of Sayak (Siargao) Domestic Airport. There’s a lot of information and recommendations you might learn from reading authority’s Siargao travel guides.
- Haggle with the vendors of souvenir items. Some vendors around cloud 9 and general luna proper rates their items observably pricey over those t-shirts, top tanks, keychains and ref magnets sold outside Magpupungko Rockpool Resort.
- Waterproof gadgets and belongings or get them waterproofed. Siargao Island has a sporadic rain schedule (and as a sign, you can see green lush, vegetation and coconut trees in almost all corners of the island). To help you with that, I have a full list of waterproofing list (will be published soon)!
- Get yourself weather and sickness-proof. Better bring basic meds and pills, like paracetamol/aspirin, vitamins (multivitamins or vitamin c), and for colds. And don’t forget to pack your mosquito repellants, too, baby!
- Barefoot. Most shops and restos along General Luna observe the “No footwear inside” policy. Don’t ask why, and just comply. Okay?
For those who haven’t been to Siargao Island yet, bookmark this Siargao travel guide and start planning that epic trip!
For those who’ve been there already, let me know in the Comments section what other recommendations we should add in this guide.
Till next time, travel friends!
PS: Please help keep Siargao clean and a happy place. Your mindful acts and travel decisions matter. Click To Tweet