Siargao is one of the most favorite beach destinations in the Philippines attracting both local and foreign tourists. While it is known as the Surfing Capital of the Philippines, a number of activities can be done (including the satisfying restaurant hopping) within the archipelago of Siargao for non-surfers as well. Here’s our do-it-yourself Siargao travel guide:
1. Looking for cheaper flights?
Purchasing cheap airline tickets from Manila to Siargao is tricky because Sayak Airport in Siargao accommodates small planes, the high demand for seats does not match with their availability.
Cebu Pacific offers direct but costly flights to Siargao. However, most of the airline’s seat sales do not include Siargao in its travel destination. Skyjet Airlines is another choice but the frequency of their sales are less and its regular price is expensive.
One option is to stop over in Cebu. Philippine Airlines provides connection from Cebu to Siargao, same goes with Cebu Pacific. Since the distance covered is shorter than from Manila, the cost is cheaper if you’re coming from Cebu.
Because all of the major airlines including Philippines AirAsia have recurrent seat sales for Manila – Cebu leg, it is very likely to score cheaper two-leg flights than direct flights. One caveat is if you have different airlines, the other airline is not responsible when the first one gets delayed.
2. Thoughts about food?
The price of the food is pulled up by the purchasing power of the foreign visitors. Most food cost approximately PhP 600 for 2 pax. Bright side, you are paying for the quality and the taste of food. Since Siargao is serving to the world, expect a variety in cuisine, and vegetarian/vegan options.
A number of restaurants in Siargao is worth visiting – Kitya’s, Kermit Surf, Buddha, and Barrel Bar. Mama’s Grill has cheaper selections but the waiting time might be a hassle. Visit Palaka Restaurant located in the General Luna Market after taking the island tours. We are more than happy to be served with drinks and non-plastic straws.
Many of the restaurants close at around 10PM. Barrel Bar is the only restaurant open 24 hours.
3. Rent a habal-habal to roam around the main land.
The cheapest and fastest way to go around Siargao is to rent and to drive a habal-habal. Navigation is an eazy-peazy task. The tourist destination points are close to the circumferential road. Siargao is also offering tricycle-like Bing Go service that costs PhP 1,200 per day.
Tricycle rental with driver to Magpupungko costs PhP 1,500. Going to Sugba Lagoon is another PhP 1,500. You can haggle for a discounted fare when you avail the two as one combined day trip.
For a group up to 10 pax, a multicab with driver can be rented which costs twice as much as a tricycle: PhP 3,000. A tricycle can accommodate up to 5 pax.
4. Island hopping chops most of the budget.
The most popular island tours in Siargao are Sohoton and Tri-Island. The former takes you to a long boat ride to Bucas Grande, Sohoton Caves and Jelly Fish Sanctuary. Meanwhile, tri-island hopping is a visit to three islands namely Dako, Guyam, and Naked. Two island tours can be combined in one full-packed daytrip.
Siargao is best enjoyed with a group if everyone’s fond of island hopping because the boat rental fee can be split to more folks. An exclusive boat rental good up to 8 pax to Bucas Grande Islands and Tri-Island costs PhP 4,500. But if you choose to go to the nearest islands only, the boat rental fee is PhP 1,500.
Due to the cost and the demand of the combined tour, it should be planned ahead of time. Most tour agencies in the island will tell you to avail the exclusive tour.
Joiner trip is available during peak season but should you avail it, one must coordinate with a known service provider like Kuya Bebot (Nicolas Salgado in Facebook). His contact number is 0906 459 5679. He offered PhP 1,800 per pax in a joiner trip of 8 pax exclusive of fees.
From mainland to Sugba Lagoon, visitors are transferred via a smaller boat. Its fee costs PhP 830.
Other fees and expenses are as follows:
PhP 50 – Magpupungko entrance fee
PhP 250 – Sugba Lagoon paddle board rental per hour.
PhP 10 – Guyam entrance fee
Php 100 – Dako bat docking fee
PhP 100 – Jelly Fish Sanctuary entrance fee
PhP 90 – Sohoton environmental fee
5. Take note of the high tides and low tides.
You can search the Internet to know the timings of high tides and low tides in Siargao. It is important to know these periods because Magpupungko Natural Tidal Pool, and Sohoton Caves, are best visited during low tides. It’s much safer too.
6. Mind the airport transfer.
A number of van drivers will approach you upon your arrival. For departure, you may contact 0928 757 2585 for the transfer.
Don’t forget to allot PhP 300 for airport van transfer per way per pax. The trip takes almost an hour so schedule your way back to the reality or else you’ll miss your flight.
7. Accommodation recommendations?
Rule of the thumb is to stay within General Luna and as close as possible to the circumferential road. Some properties, beautifully designed and more welcoming, are located in northern part of the island which will cost you more due to transportation.
Be very prepared, not to mention for the worst, if you want to go to Siargao during peak season. We already ran out of good options for Holy Week three months ahead. Some budget accommodations have faulty reservation systems making your confirmation not guaranteed.
Siargao has a variety of accommodations that suit to any kind of traveler, from backpacking to luxurious tourists.
8. When is the peak season?
Summer, of course! Most likely you’ve seen the viral post about how tourists flock the island during Holy Week. It’s true and also saddening.
Siargao hosts international surfing competitions during September so watch out for these dates as well. Like any beach and honeymoon destinations in the Philippines, June and December can be counted as peak seasons.
Okay, it’s safe to say that summer is endless in Siargao.
9. Weather-weather only.
I’ve visited Siargao twice and in both occasions, it rained. When an island such as Siargao faces the Pacific Ocean, expect weather disturbances and typhoons.
10. Surf’s up (and downs)
Surfing is fun but at the same time risky. It is identified as one of the most dangerous sports. We breathed the same air with the known broadcaster during the time when her child met an accident during an introductory class in surfing.
Cloud 9, the most popular surf spot in Siargao, seems harmless as you view it from the beach but like any good surfing spot, it is what lies beneath that makes waves good and dangerous. Take away the water and you’ll witness the sharp rocks of the reefs.
Having these said, trust your local surf guide on your sessions. They know the behavior of the waters better than you do. Know your limitations.
04:00a – 05:15a > Manila to Cebu flight
05:15a – 06:00a > Airport transfer
06:00a – 07:50a > Breakfast
07:50a – 08:55a > Cebu to Siargao flight
08:55a – 09:30a > Checkout airport
09:30a – 10:30a > Van land transfer
10:30a – 11:30a > Early lunch at Kermit Surf Siargao
11:30a – 12:30p > Checkin homestay
12:30p – 06:30p > Cloud 9 surf and Boardwalk
06:30p – 07:30p > Dinner at Kitya’s
07:30a > Pickup from Homestay
08:00a > Start of Siargao mainland tour
AM Trip : Magpupungko Tidal Pools
PM Trip: Sugba Lagoon
05:00p > End of Siargao mainland tour
05:00p – 07:00p > Freshen up
07:00p – 08:00p > Dinner at Barell
05:30a > Meetup at General Luna Public Market
06:00a > Start of Island Hopping With Sohoton tour
AM Trip: Bucas Grande, Sohoton, Jelly Fish Sanctuary
PM Trip: Daku Island, Guyam Island, Naked Island
05:00p – 06:00p > Victory meal at Palaka Restaurant
06:00p – 07:30p > Freshen up
08:00p – 09:00p > Dinner at Mama’s Grill
05:00a – 07:00a > Sunrise at Cloud 9
07:00a – 11:00a > Free time in Siargao
11:00a – 12:00p > Checkout homestay
12:00p – 01:00p > Lunch at Buddha
03:15p – 04:20p > Siargao to Cebu
04:20p – 05:00p > Airport transfer and early checkin
05:30p – 09:00p > Free time in Cebu
09:00p – 10:00p > Back to airport
10:00p – 11:15p > Cebu to Manila flight
This entry was posted on Sunday, April 29th, 2018 at 12:50 am
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Tags: Barrel Bar, BIng Go, Buddha, Cebu, Cloud 9, Dako, General Luna, Guyam, habal-habal, Holy Week, Jellyfish Sanctuary, Jethro Paguio, Kermit Surf, Magpupungko, Naked Island, Philippine Airlines, Siargao, Sohoton, Sugba Lagoon, surfing, Surfing Capital of the Philippines, Surigao del Norte
Posted in: Index of Ideal Itineraries