2019 Budget Travel Guide to Siargao Island for First-time Travelers
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Siargao Island, Philippines – Siargao is an island that any beach bum would fall in love with. This tropical destination attracts beach lovers and surfers all year round. The island’s perfect location in the Pacific Ocean gives it a healthy dose of undisturbed waves and winds from the largest ocean in the world. The huge waves make Siargao the ideal surfing destination.
But worry not. Even if you don’t have a beach body (like me), and know next to nothing about surfing (again, like me), I assure you that there are plenty of things to do, see, and eat here in Siargao. White, sandy shorelines, waterfalls, lagoons, coconuts and palm trees, sandbars, natural landmarks—all these you can find in this tropical island paradise, and more.
In this 2019 Siargao Travel Guide blog post, we’ll give you important travel tips which include budget tips and advice on how to get there, things to do and see, DIY itinerary, best places to eat, best hotels to stay, and more.
Best Time to visit Siargao Island
The best time to visit Siargao will always depend on the type of activities you would like to do on the island.
The Peak season is between March and October but it’s not as crowded as Boracay or El Nido.
For Surfers – August to November would be the best months to surf since this is the season where the swell and wind conditions are perfect for surfing. September is a busy month for Siargao, Surfers from all over the world visits the island for the yearly Siargao International Surfing Cup.
How to get there
There are many ways to go to Siargao, but here are the two most common and preferred ways:
Fly directly to Siargao. Siargao has its own airport, which is called Sayak Airport (alternatively Siargao Airport). It takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes to reach Siargao Airport from Manila Airport Terminal 4. From there, you can reach the municipality of General Luna, where most of Siargao’s famous landmarks and jump off points are, in just 45 minutes.
Skyjet and Cebu Pacific offer direct flights to Siargao from Manila.
Philippine Airlines offer direct flights to Siargao from Clark International Airport in Pampanga.
Cebu Pacific offers direct flights to Siargao from Mactan-Cebu International Airport.
Fly indirectly to Siargao. You can also choose to book a flight from Manila to the capital of Surigao del Norte, which is Surigao City. Many airlines offer this route. From Surigao, you can take a ferry to Siargao.
By Boat. There are ferries available in Surigao City that transports passengers to Dapa port in Siargao Island. It takes 2 – 4 hours of boat ride from Surigao to Dapa port depending on the type of ferry you are getting.
- Montenegro Roll-on-Roll-off (RoRo) vessel departs from the Surigao Pier at 12 noon.
- Britphil is the fastest option. This boat departs Surigao at 6AM it usually takes 2 to 2.5 hours boat ride to reach Dapa Port.
- (MV) Fortune Angel offers air-con room and departs Surigao at 11:30AM and it usually takes 2.5 to 3 hours boat ride to Dapa port in Siargao.
- The ferry tickets to Siargao ranges from P210 to P350 (one way) depending on the type of ferry.
The most common modes of transportation in Siargao are the habal-habal and the tricycle. The habal-habal is a modified motorcycle that can accommodate more than two people. While riding a habal-habal is cheaper (and fun!), a tricycle is recommended for traveling longer distances.
Where to Stay in Siargao
Whether you are a traveler on a budget or a traveler living the high life, there are several hotels to choose from in Siargao. Most of them are located near each other in and near General Luna. Make sure to book your rooms ahead of time as the island is becoming a busy tourist hotspot.
Jadestar Beach Resort
Book Online via Agoda
Address: General Luna, Siargao
Phone: 0919 234 4367
Here, you can choose to stay in a nipa-hut or an air-conditioned room. For as low as Php 830 (via Agoda), you can stay in this budget-friendly resort right in front of the open sea. Unlike other resorts in General Luna, Jadestar is peaceful and more secluded. However, it is far away from the town center (10-15 minutes tricycle ride).
Tarzans Beach Resort
Check the lowest rate via Agoda
Address: Dagohoy, Dapa 8417, Siargao
Phone: 0921 557 7541
Situated in the middle of a copra plantation, Tarzans Beach Resort is a budget-friendly and secluded accommodation. The property has three oceanfront cottages. You can stay in one of its beachside cottages for as low as Php 882 (via Agoda). Don’t expect a fast Internet connection here, however.
White Sands Paradise Beach Resort
Check availability online via Agoda
Address: Purok 1, Baybay Burgos, Buhing Calipay, Siargao
Phone: 0905 612 2117
This resort in the northern part of the island is best known for its proximity to the sea. It is far from the surfing destinations in the southern part of the island. But if you’re in Siargao for a staycation, you will be glad to book a room here in White Sands Paradise Beach Resort. For as low as Php 1,130 (via Agoda), you can have a relaxing swim in the nearby beach, or maybe rent a motorbike for a small adventure.
Buddha’s Surf Resort (hotel review)
Location: Catangnan, Mindanao 8419, Siargao
Just a short walk away from Cloud 9, Buddha’s Surf Resort definitely lives up to its name. Its staff are well-acquainted with things related to surfing, such as which spots are best and at what time, so if you’re a first-time surfer, it’s best to ask their opinion. The hotel’s in-house restaurant serves Filipino and Thai dishes. You can book a room here for Php 1,921 (via Agoda).
Reef Beach Resort
Book Online via Agoda
Address: Tourism Road, General Luna, Siargao
Telephone: 0999 339 3535
Reef Beach Resort is conveniently located in the middle of General Luna and is therefore highly accessible to most of the tourist destinations in Siargao. The hotel offers Wi-Fi in all rooms and in public areas. It also offers bicycle rental and car rentals for its guests. The average price for a room is Php 3,816 (via Agoda).
Siargao Paraiso Resort
Book Now via Agoda
Address: 88 Santa Fe Boulevard, General Luna, Siargao
Phone: 0999 875 1072
The sceneries of Siargao Island are best viewed here at Siargao Paraiso Resort. The resort has a villa with two bedrooms, a private pool, and exclusive access to a small beach. This hotel is known for being secluded—you can choose to go outside and do beach-related activities but staying inside the hotel premises already serves as the perfect staycation. On average, rooms cost Php 5,072 (via Agoda).
Check out our List of Best Hotels and Resorts in Siargao Island
Things to do and see in Siargao Island
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Surf, learn how to, or simply watch others do their thing. Siargao earned its name as the “Surfing Capital” of the Philippines in the late 1980s, when a group of surfers saw the perfectly surf-able waves of the island. These waves, soon called “Cloud 9”, helped earn Siargao’s international fame. Jump in the bandwagon, if you dare.
Also Read: Siargao: Surfers’ paradise in Asia
Siargao has three islets that (non-surfer) people often visit. These are Naked Island, Guyam Island, and Daku Island. Naked Island got its name from its bare beach, pure white sands, and clear waters. It is only visible and accessible during the low tide so make sure to time your visit properly. Guyam Island is a picturesque private paradise with rock formations and coconut trees; a small entrance fee is charged by the family who looks after and owns the island. Lastly, Daku Island, the largest of the three islands, is a long stretch of sand. There are cottages here that can be rented overnight, and fishing is the most common activity here.
Also Read: Island Hopping on Siargao Island
Visit Taktak Falls
On the northern tip of Siargao island lies the majestic Taktak Falls, a small, hidden gem. Getting here requires a short and easy trek, and is the perfect stopover if you happen to be hiking anywhere nearby. Take note that this is only for swimming, not diving. The pool that the falls spill into is shallow and cool so don’t make the mistake of jumping too high! You’re here to chill.
Swim at the Magpupungko Pool
Magpupungko is actually a beach, but it has been called a pool because it resembles an infinity pool during the low tide. There are several amazing rock formations on this beach, which is also one of the other major attractions here.
Also Read: Things to Do and See in Siargao Island
Where to eat
Kermit Siargao Restaurant
Address: Purok 5, General Luna, Siargao Island, Philippines, General Luna, 8417
Phone: 0917 655 0548
If you’re a sucker for Italian food, you’ll be glad to find the best here at Kermit Siargao Restaurant. With everything homemade and fresh, pizzas and pasta are their specialties here. Be sure to try their cocktails here as well.
Address: Barangay 5,, Tourism Rd, General Luna, Surigao del Norte
Phone: 0999 877 8518
If you love tapas and paella and Spanish dishes (like me), you’ll miss half of your foodie life if you don’t dine in Bravo Restaurant. They serve some of the best Spanish cuisines in Siargao, and they place extreme effort in keeping their kitchen authentically Basque.
Address: Tourism Road Poblacion 5 General Luna Siargao
Phone: 0915 240 7012
Serving classic Filipino and Italian dishes, La Carinderia Restaurant is another one of Siargao’s go-to foodie havens. It has a nice, relaxing ambiance, like a classy carinderia. Its fresh seafood dishes are the bomb here. Pair them with drinks and your meal here will definitely make your day. La Carinderia is also known for being a vegetarian restaurant, so if you’re in an all-plant diet, or if you simply want to try vegan dishes, do drop by this place.
Aventino’s Pizza, Pasta and Vino
Location: Poblacion, Purok Dos, General Luna, Siargao Island
Telephone: 0918 338 8961
Open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Aventino’s is one of the most recommended by locals if you are craving for Pizza. They serve freshly baked Pizza and their food is also affordable. Try their Tricia – a triple-layered pizza that is also one of their best sellers.
Siargao Travel Tips
- The municipality of General Luna, the renowned “Surfing Capital” of the country, gets especially busy during the entry of the Southwest Monsoon. This generally occurs during the months of June to December, with the peak season from September to October. These are the months when surfing conditions are the best. If you’re a surfer make sure to catch the waves during these months. If you have other, non-surfing plans, you can avoid the crowd by visiting General Luna during the off-season.
- Make sure to drop by the market early in the morning. This is the time when seafood is guaranteed the freshest (and the cheapest, if you bring out your expert haggling skills). You can take the uncooked food back at your hotel. Most resorts allow chefs to cook what you bought for a small price, but make sure to ask beforehand. Otherwise…
- Buy your own food in the market, store them in a chilled container, and cook them yourself with a group of friends later on. This will cut off food costs, and serves a fun side-activity if you plan to stay a bit longer in your island hopping activities.
- Waterproof everything! This is an absolute must if you’re a gadget freak like me. Storing your phones, batteries, chargers, etc., in a small Ziploc bag usually does the trick. However, if you use waterproof gadgets, I guess this isn’t necessary.
- Traveling in groups usually lessens expenses and increases your chances of getting discounts. This is especially true for boat rentals, tricycle rides, and even, in some cases, hotel accommodation.
Have you been to Siargao Island? Help us improve this 2019 Travel Guide to Siargao Blog by sharing your personal Siargao travel tips and recommendations.