Planning to visit Siargao? Here’s a detailed Siargao Travel Guide with a sample itinerary, budget, places to visit, where to stay and more. In this post, I will give you a little, first-timer’s advice just like I would for a friend. I also included Hinatuan, the home of the Enchanted River, and Bislig, home to Tinuy-an Falls, in this post just in case you would like a little side trip in Mindanao. So, here we go!
Table of Contents
- Siargao Tourist Spots
- Other things to see and do in Siargao
- How to get to Siargao
- How to get around Siargao
- Where to book your tours in Siargao?
- Where to stay in Siargao
- Where to eat in Siargao
- Siargao Travel Guide: Sample 5D/4N Itinerary
- Siargao Travel Guide: Sample Budget Breakdown
- Siargao Travel Guide: Things to Know Before You Go
Siargao Tourist Spots
1. Surfing in Cloud 9
Surfing in Cloud 9 has to be the first thing on this list because it’s one of the most memorable things I did in Siargao. Aside from the fact that the island is known as the Surfing Capital of Philippines, its famous surf spot called Cloud 9 is the location of some international surfing competitions. How cool is that?! Although this spot is used mainly by advanced surfers, there is a spot for beginners too.
You can avail a surfing lesson from one of the locals in Cloud 9 or book your surfing lesson online.
2. Siargao Three Islands
For me, island hopping in Siargao is the next best thing. Having been to all the major islands in Siargao, I admit that I have my own personal favorites. However, the islands are diverse, has its own unique offerings, and one is certainly not “better” than another. In Siargao, the three famous islands included in all island-hopping tours are Naked Island, Daku Island and Guyam Island.
Naked Island (a white sandbar with no shade at all) is my least favourite. Not because it is not beautiful but because it is so exposed you would definitely get sunburned! It is also not ideal for swimming because the current here is too strong. Nevertheless, it is a great place for picture taking and sunbathing.
Daku Island is my absolute favourite in Siargao. This island dazzles with glittering turquoise waters, wide white sand beach and swaying coconut fringes. It can handle a lot of people in comparison with Naked Island and Guyam Island, so it never feels too crowded. Aside from swimming and beach bumming, Daku is a great place for surfing too!
Guyam Island is my second favourite island in Siargao, next to Daku Island. It is great for swimming, sunbathing, enjoying non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks at the beach bar, and the best beach to watch the sunset.
Siargao’s got a Corregidor Island too! This island, located an hour and a half boat ride from General Luna, offers breathtaking views of nearby islands. It also features powdery white sand and palm-fringed beaches and crystal clear turquoise waters. One thing I did not like about the island is you cannot really walk around the beach because it is owned by different resorts. You have to pay a separate entrance fee to get into another. Nonetheless, I enjoyed my visit and would definitely return for a second time!
3. Magpupungko Rock Pools
In Magpupungko, you’ll not only see spectacular rock formations but also inviting tidal pools everywhere! I first saw pictures of Magpupungko in Instagram and I told myself that I would see it one day. When I finally did, it took my breath away! Seriously, I was blown away by its clear waters with different shades of blue. Before I knew it, I was already cliff diving and swimming to my heart’s content. Magpupungko will always be a non-negotiable in Siargao. Going here is an absolute must!
4. Sugba Lagoon and Kawhagan Island
Another must visit in Siargao is Sugba Lagoon. Located in the second biggest mangrove system in the Philippines, this mystical lagoon offers various types of activities for all kinds of travellers. The star attraction is the bluest lagoon I have ever seen with a wooden diving board in the middle. This is where you can jump all you want or just stand at the board for some picture taking.
If you get in to Sugba Lagoon early enough, the board and the lagoon will be all yours. But expect a queue for the diving board because this place is one of Siargao’s most popular destination.
Let’s not forget about Kawhagan Island. Some tour operators offer this as a side trip to Sugba Lagoon. This small island paradise located in Del Carmen is famous for its crystal clear turquoise waters, lush palm trees, and beautiful white sandbar on one end. You will surely fall in love when you see it. Trust me.
5. Swim with the stingless jellyfish of Bucas Grande Island
Hidden within Sohoton National Park in Bucas Grande Island lies a small lagoon, home to rare species of stingless jellyfish. Touching them and seeing them up close were magical. It was definitely one of the most memorable experiences I had in Siargao (well not really in Siargao but Surigao del Norte). Aside from the Jellyfish Sanctuary, there are other great attractions in this island like the Hagukan Cave, Magkukuob Cave (with a 5-moter cliff jump board), Titikan Lake, and the instagrammable Club Tara Resort.
Other things to see and do in Siargao
- See the sunrise or sunset at the Coconut “Top of the Road”, Burgos Coconut Road and Maasin River (Bent Coconut tree) – you guys probably know what these places look like because they’re all over Instagram!
- Follow the dirt road to the Secret Beach – also known as Guiwan Beach, this beach doesn’t receive too much attention compared to other beaches Siargao.
- Party in General Luna – The party scene in Siargao isn’t as loud and wild as Puerto Galera or Boracay. You can basically party every night in the island but there is an assigned resort to host the “official” party each night. For example, Acoustic Night at Buddha’s Surf Resort is scheduled on Thursdays while Art Night is scheduled at Viento del Mar on Tuesdays. Make sure to ask your receptionist to know where the party at.
- Relax and destress by joining a yoga class – There are many resorts all around Siargao offering both single session and multi-day yoga sessions. If you need ta space to soothe your mind and release the tension in your body, then Siargao is a great place to do it! Kermit Siargao offers 1 session (1 hour and 30 minutes) for only 400 pesos while 3 sessions cost 900 pesos.
- Descend thru Tayangban Cave Pools – Located near the Siargao Circumferential Road, this cave/cenote is one of Siargao’s best attractions. It can get a little scary to get there because of bats and total darkness, but it will be worth it. The best time to visit is the middle of the day when sunlight beams straight down and gives an almost heavenly reflection to the turquoise waters below.
How to get to Siargao
Flights from Manila, Clark or Cebu to Siargao can be found for as little as 1,800 pesos ($40 USD), one way. Make sure to catch those seat sales from Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines to get super low fares for your travels. Another alternative route in going to Siargao is via Butuan. My friends and I did this on our recent trip, which allowed us to make a side trip to Hinatuan and Bislig.
*Our Manila to Butuan and Siargao to Manila tickets were purchased for only 1,440.20 during Cebu Pacific’s piso sale.
How to get around Siargao
Transportation around Siargao is relatively cheap. You can ride a habal-habal (shared motorcycle) and tricycle around General Luna for around 10-20 pesos (less than $1 USD). Scooters are quintessential to the Siargao experience, and it’s not uncommon to see travellers riding one around the island. Scooter rentals are available for rent in General Luna for as little as 350 pesos per 24 hours exclusive of gasoline ($7 USD). You should be an experienced motorcycle driver for this option though.
Where to book your tours in Siargao?
There are many tour operators offering island-hopping and land tours in the island. Siargao Tri-Island Tour takes you to three tropical islands – Naked Island, Daku Island and Guyam Island. You can also find one that offers island-island hopping tour that includes Corregidor Island along with the three islands! My friends and I did this tour and fell in love with it!
Another tour you can book is the Siargao Land Tour, which is great way to explore the beauty and culture of Siargao beyond the beach. This tour takes you to Coconut Road, Sugba Lagoon, Magpupungko Rock Pools, and Maasin River.
Where to stay in Siargao
- Lampara Siargao Boutique Hostel – for only 1,000 pesos per night, you can get a dorm-style accommodation with FREE breakfast in this hostel.
- Mad Monkey Hostel Siargao – a popular choice for backpackers and budget travelers looking for a fun and social atmosphere. They offer both dormitory-style and private rooms, as well as a variety of activities such as surfing lessons, island hopping tours, and live music events.
- Himaya Siargao – offers budget-friendly villas and private pool. The resort is surrounded by lush greenery and is just a short walk away from the beach, making it a great choice for couples or families looking for a peaceful and comfortable stay.
- Bulan Villas – a boutique resort conveniently located in General Luna, which features a perfect combination of value-for-money and comfort. Despite being located on the main “Tourism Road, the resort offers a tranquil respite away from the crowds of General Luna. *Temporarily Closed for Renovations
- Romantic Beach Villas Siargao Island – True to its name, this resort offers intimate beachfront villas that provide a serene and peaceful getaway. With its beautiful setting, charming decor, and excellent service, it’s an ideal spot for couples and families seeking a romantic retreat in Siargao.
- The Hillside Resort Siargao – Located in the lush hills overlooking the green meadows, Hillside Resort Siargao is a perfect place to disconnect and enjoy the natural beauty of the island. The infinity pool is a highlight and the spacious rooms and villas are beautifully designed.
- Isla Cabana Resort – This charming resort features beautifully designed rooms and villas set among lush tropical gardens. With a stunning pool, excellent restaurant, and friendly staff, it’s a perfect place to relax and unwind.
- Las Palmas Villas and Casitas Siargao – Conveniently located at the Tourism Road of General Luna, Las Palmas offers luxurious and spacious villas that blend modern amenities with traditional Filipino design. I loved the open-air living space, swimming pool and their in-house restaurant, which offers wide array of International and Filipino dishes.
- Siargao Island Villas – With its prime location on the beach, Siargao Island Villas is an ideal spot for beach lovers. The chic rooms and bungalows feature stylish decor and private balconies with ocean views.
Where to eat in Siargao
Siargao has lots of restaurants offering different types of cuisine. A basic local meal in General Luna (Tourism Road or Boulevard) will cost around 50-100 pesos. Restaurant /cafe food is a little expensive but is still reasonable at around 200-300 pesos. Here are my favourite restaurants in Siargao in no particular order:
- Bravo Restaurant – This Mediterranean-inspired restaurant is a must-visit for its fresh seafood and flavorful dishes. I particularly loved their paella marinera, tapas and salad.
- CEV: Ceviche & Kinilaw Shack – As a lover of ceviche, I couldn’t resist checking out this spot. Their Pacifico Ceviche and Santa Monica Ceviche were all freshly made, delicious and packed with flavor.
- BLISS Restaurant – This laid-back restaurant has a menu that focuses on fresh and locally sourced ingredients. I especially enjoyed their Eggs Benedict, Shakshuka and Risotto Ai Fungi.
- Kermit Siargao – This Italian-inspired restaurant is famous for their wood-fired pizzas and homemade pastas. Their outdoor seating area is also a great spot to hang out and relax. I highly recommend their Tagliatelle alla Tartufata and Bruschetta Italiana.
- Mad Monkey Kitchen – This restaurant is located inside the popular Mad Monkey hostel, and is known for its fun and relaxed vibe. Their menu includes a variety of international dishes, and their pizza was particularly delicious.
- Kalinaw Resort Restaurant – For travelers seeking a more upscale dining experience, Kalinaw Resort’s restaurant is a great choice. Their menu features a fusion of local and international cuisine, and their cocktails were expertly crafted.
- Mama’s Grill – This barbecue place serves up some of the best grilled seafood and meat on the island. The portions were always generous, and the prices were reasonable. This is actually my favorite among all the restaurants I’ve tried in Siargao.
- Zicatela Siargao – This Mexican restaurant, cafe and cocktail lounge is a great spot to grab a drink and enjoy the sunset. Aside from their signature cocktails, their all-day breakfast offerings like Beef Birria and Burritos are the bomb.
- Shaka Cafe Siargao – For healthy and delicious meals, Shaka Siargao is a must-visit. Their smoothie bowls (Bakunawa is my all-time-favorite), salads, and wraps were all fresh and flavorful.
- Boulevard Eateries – There are many eateries at the boulevard offering cheap grilled seafood and booze (cheapest in all of General Luna). This is where my friends and I would usually go at night to have barbecue and beer.
Siargao Travel Guide: Sample 5D/4N Itinerary
Day 1 (Manila to Butuan)
4:30 AM – ETD Manila to Butuan
6:10 AM – ETA Butuan Airport
7:30 AM – Van to Hinatuan
10:30 AM – ETA Hinatuan Bus Terminal
10:45 AM – Check in at Marky’s Hostel and early lunch
11:15 AM – ETD Enchanted River
11:45 AM – ETA Enchanted River
12:00 PM – Fish feeding at Enchated River
1:30 PM – ETD Enchated River to Tinuy-an Falls
2:30 PM – ETA Tinuy-an Falls
4:00 PM – ETD Tinuy-an Falls
5:00 PM – ETA Hinatuan and Rest at Marky’s Hostel
6:00 PM – Dinner at nearby Carinderia
Day 2 (Hinatuan to Surigao City to Siargao)
1:30 AM – ETD Marky’s Hostel
2:00 AM – Van from Hinatuan Bus Terminal to Ampayon
4:00 AM – ETA Ampayon Crossing to Surigao City
4:30 AM – Van/Bus to Surigao City
6:30 am – ETA Surigao City Bus Terminal
10:30 AM – ETD Surigao Port to Dapa Port (MV Yohan Sea Cruiser)
12:00 PM – ETA Dapa Port
12:30 PM – ETA General Luna
1:00 PM – Check in accommodation
1:30 PM – Late lunch
2:30 PM – Surfing lesson at Cloud 9
4:00 PM – Chill at Cloud 9 Tower
7:00 PM – Dinner
Day 3 (Siargao Land Tour)
Magpupungko Tidal Pools
Burgos Coconut Road
Day 4 (Siargao Island Hopping Tour)
OPTION A: 3 Islands with Corregidor Island
OPTION B: 3 Islands with Sohoton Tour
Bucas Grande Island (Sohoton Cove, Hagukan Cave, Magkukuob Cave, Jellyfish Sanctuary)
Day 5 (Departure)
5:00 AM – Wake up early to catch the sunrise at Cloud 9
7:00 AM – Surfing lessons (optional)
8: 00 AM – Breakfast
9:00 AM – Check out accommodation
10:00 AM – Travel to Siargao Airport
10:45 AM – ETA Airport
12:200 PM – ETD Siargao to Manila
2:50 PM – ETA Manila
Siargao Travel Guide: Sample Budget Breakdown
Van from Butuan Airport to Hinatuan Bus Terminal – 350 pesos
1 night stay at Marky’s Hostel (fan room) – 250 pesos
Habal-habal to Enchanted River and Tinuy-an – 600 pesos (1,200 for two pax)
Enchanted River Environmental Fee – 40 pesos
Tinuy-an Falls Entrance Fee – 50 pesos
Tinuy-an Falls Guide Fee – 50 pesos
Marky’s Hostel to Hinatuan Bus Terminal – 100 pesos
Van from Hinatuan Bus Terminal to Ampayon – 300 pesos
Bus from Ampayon to Surigao City – 170 pesos
Tricycle from Surigao City Bus Terminal to Port – 10 pesos
Ferry to Dapa Port – 330 pesos
Tricycle to General Luna – 50 pesos
3 nights accommodation – 1,500 pesos
Habal to Cloud 9 – 20 pesos
Cloud 9 Tower entrance fee – 50 pesos
Surfing lesson at Cloud 9 – 500 pesos
Tricycle fare back to General Luna – 20 pesos
Land tour – 1,700 pesos
Sidetrip to Kawhagan Island – 200 pesos
Island Hopping – 1,700 pesos
Habal fare to Cloud 9 – 20 pesos
Tricycle to Boulevard – 20 pesos
Tricycle back to General Luna – 20 pesos
Van from General Luna to Siargao Airport – 300 pesos
Grand Total: 8,330 pesos
Disclaimer: The estimated budget in this Siargao Travel Guide can be achieved if you have at least one travel companion. Only the basic expenses were included in the total calculation (tours and entrance fees, accommodation, transportation and transfers). Other personal expenses such as airfare, food, alcohol, souvenirs, shopping, and the likes are not included. Also, please note cost fluctuate depending on season. Information was correct at the time of writing.
Siargao Travel Guide: Things to Know Before You Go
- Siargao is an incredibly safe place to travel, even for solo travellers (and even as a solo female traveler). You’ll be surprised by the number of foreign travellers who decided to make Siargao their home.
- When renting a scooter, always observe proper driving precautions. Wear a helmet. The most important piece of advice I can suggest is to purchase a travel insurance. You will never know when you will need it.
- Wear aqua shoes when going to the beach. You don’t want to get infection from cuts and scrapes on reefs.
- Eat at a local carinderia or cook your own food. You can stock up your food supplies from the market or nearby grocery store.
- Save money on alcohol by buying your drinks at a local store instead of the bar. You can also drink like a local at one of the local carinderias located at the boulevard. Pulutan and booze are cheap there!
- Bring a water bottle.
So, that’s about it my dear readers! I hope this Siargao Travel Guide will prove useful! Feel free to leave a comment below if you have questions, suggestions or stories you want to share about Siargao!
6 replies on “Siargao Travel Guide with Itinerary and Budget (2023)”
[…] I finally arrived in the island, I realized Siargao is more than the waves, it goes well beyond surfing and fancy beach resorts. The laid back vibe of […]
Is still required any covid test for getting in siargao?
Hello! It’s not required. Just make sure you have your vaccination card in case they ask for it.
[…] like the Philippines, it is impossible not to find a private patch of paradise. Before coming to Siargao, I did not have high expectations for its beaches because the island has established itself as a […]
Hello! I will travel alone next month but I can’t drive. Can I go everywhere by habal2x anytime and anywhere?
Hello Charlotte. You can go everywhere by habal habal. Not sure until what time they operate though.