sugba lagoon siargao

2020 SIARGAO DIY TRAVEL GUIDE (Budget & Itinerary)

I can almost convince myself I got compelled by this surreal island. I’ve never been to a place in the Philippines that gave me so much separation anxiety that as soon as I came back in Manila, I wanted to book a flight back to Siargao. I want to go back and watch golden sunsets again, lay down the beach and touch every grain of sand, chill at Harana restaurant after a whole day of surfing and exploring, or just drive a motorbike and get lost in the island. Siargao DIY was once a dream, now it’s my happiest place on Earth.

The island of Siargao is one of the fast rising tourist destination as early as the year 2016. I will not deny the fact that it’s crowded with crawling tourists on every side of the street. But given the circumstances, the island remains beautiful and majestic, courtesy of the responsible locals and tourists who wanted to keep the island beautiful.

Last February 17-21 of this year, I had the most epic travel to date. Shout-out to the friends I met here while I was solo traveling, Rob, MJ, Jec, Joshua, Ron, Sam, Lesly, Joy and Kirby.

siargao travel guide

Can’t get enough of the tropical palm trees!



Siargao DIY Pre-Travel Guide

Getting to know Siargao

Siargao has been one of the most favorite pick for travelers and people who are looking for an epic adventure. Top reasons includes it’s accessibility. It’s not hard to visit this stunning island because almost all airlines offer this route from every corner of the country. There are ferry rides from Surigao City that travels everyday to and from Siargao.

Adrenaline junkies make it their bucket-list to visit Siargao since it’s also the surfing capital of the Philippines. Who wouldn’t want to visit the home of the biggest waves in the country?

Night life is very common here. The streets are very lively at night, lights and music everywhere, beers to dance the night away. It’s really impossible to leave the island without gaining new friends. From excitement-fueled tourists to locals who don’t feel any thrill about the island as it’s their home for so many years, I guarantee you’ll find someone to be friends with. Siargao is definitely ideal for solo travelers like me.

night life in siargao
Friends I met while solo traveling

Almost everything you need is here, hotels and restaurants are everywhere in General Luna. Souvenir shops and Tattoo shops are in every corner too. The currency accepted here is Philippine Peso (PHP), cash payment is the preferred mode of payment here. There are ATM machines in General Luna if you need to withdraw cash. The language spoken here is Surigaonon but Tagalog is also widely spoken. If you’re a foreigner, don’t worry about communicating because majority of the Filipinos can speak very well in English.

How to get to Siargao

Option 1: By AIR

  • MNL-IAO Fly directly to Siargao’s Airport (Sayak Airport). This is the only airport in Siargao and it’s 45 minutes away from the main municipality of General Luna, Siargao. Book your flight with Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific or Skyjet.
  • MNL-SUG Another way is to fly to Surigao and ride a ferry to Dapa port in Siargao.

Option 2: By Ferry

There are ferries from Surigao City that leave to and from the main port in Dapa, Siargao. The fare ranges from P200 – P300.

Sayak Airport to General Luna

Travelling by air is the most efficient way to travel to Siargao DIY-way. The first thing you have to know after landing in the airport (Sayak Airport) is to find an airport transfer going to the main municipality of Siargao in General Luna which is 45 minutes away. Below are 3 ways for you to get there.

Option 1: Van transfer

This is the most common way to get to General Luna and the fare is P300.00 (USD6.00). The van transfer will take you directly to your accommodation in General Luna, you just have to advise the driver where you’re going. You don’t have to worry about booking in advance for your van transfer since they are just located outside the airport.

Option 2: Habal-Habal (Motorbike)

Habal-habal is another way for you to get to General Luna and the fare is P500.00 (USD10.00). If you want to enjoy the view, riding a habal habal could be the best option for you.

Where to book your Accommodation? (Siargao DIY)

I stayed at Geo’s Homestay near Rumbar in General Luna. The homestay is not yet popular but if you want to book your stay here, you can contact Kuya Doods at 0997 402 7988. We got an air-conditioned private room with 2 queen size beds for only P1000.00 per night. You can also cook your food here, in our case we bought eggs and pancit canton for our breakfast to minimize the expenses.

Recommended Hostel: Villa Solaria

Villa Solaria rose to fame especially for backpackers and solo travelers. The place is peaceful and well-managed by their staff. There’s a huge lobby area and free use of the table tennis.

Tip: You can also book with Agoda through the platform below to filter cheap deals.

 

Where to eat in Siargao? (Siargao DIY)

Related Post: Where to eat in Siargao?

Harana Resort & Restaurant

To all the restaurants I’ve tried in Siargao, Harana is the best one yet. It’s a good place to chill because of the relaxing ambiance and the people dining here too. The food is ranging from P250.00 (USD5.00) and above. The price is reasonable since the food justifies it.

  • Address: 2 Tuason Point, Brgy. Catangnan,, General Luna, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte
  • Landmark: beside Villa Solaria
  • Recommended food: Chicken Joy or Sinigang!
harana resort siargao
Harana Restaurant
harana restaurant siargao

Kermit Restaurant

This is also a good place to chill. However the food is a bit pricey and in my opinion, the food is just like any regular dish. I didn’t taste any special about it but maybe because I was just unlucky enough to pick the wrong night to be there. But all in all, I give it an 8! Price ranges from P300 – P500 (USD10.00) per person.

  • Address: Purok 5, General Luna, Siargao Island Philippines PH, General Luna, 8417
  • Recommended food: Kermit Pizza
kermit restaurant siargao

Mama’s Grill

Heads-up budget travelers, this restaurant will be your best friend. From inihaw to famous Filipino dishes, Mama’s Grill is very hard to miss since it’s just along the streets of General Luna. Budget for food ranges from P100 – P150.00 (USD3.00).

  • Address: General Luna, Surigao del Norte
  • Recommended food: any inihaw!

Important Reminders and Travel Hacks (Siargao DIY)

Rent a motorbike

Rent a motorbike for P350.00 (USD7.00) per day. If you’re a budget traveler, this is the most efficient way for you to maximize your whole day in a cheap budget way. Your Siargao trip is incomplete until you drive that motorbike and get lost around the island to see the vast coconut trees as you traverse your way to the other side of the island. Touring with a motorbike is definitely the best way to appreciate the island, plus the gasoline is only P50.00 (USD1.00) per bottle and you’ll only need 2-3 bottles for the whole day of driving around. If there’s 2 of you in 1 motorbike, you can split the fee to minimize your expenses. Where to Rent a Motorbike: Contact Kuya Doods at 0997 402 7988

Eat in Karenderyas

Karenderyas are everywhere! Do not hesitate to look around if you want to save money for your food. There are meals ranging from P80.00 – P150.00 (USD3.00)

Phone signal and data

The fastest browsing data in the island is Smart sim card. Globe users can go crazy about the internet and data here. I highly suggest you buy a Smart sim card if you want to update your IG stories time to time.

Bring enough money with you

Bring extra cash with you, there are only few ATM machines around and you wouldn’t want to run out of cash if these machines are unavailable.

Book your accommodation in General Luna

The famous Cloud 9 Resort is located here and it’s where most of the restaurants, bars, and souvenir shops are located.

Use coral-friendly sunscreen

Summer is all about getting tanned and living the island life, but you wouldn’t want to get your skin burnt from the harmful UV rays of the sun. Remember to use a sunscreen that is also coral-friendly to avoid harming marine life.

Respect the place, respect the locals

Always respect the people around you, especially the locals and their jobs. The secret to enjoy a place is to bring a humble attitude.




Important Contact in Siargao

Traveling with a group or solo? For cheap tours, cheap accommodation (Geo’s Homestay), and motorbike rental, you can contact Kuya Doods. He’s very kind and thoughtful even when you left the island he tries to remain connected on Facebook and through text. He’ll assist you with everything you need, all you need is to ask. Below is his contact number and Facebook account.

Kuya Doods0997 402 7988

  • Motorbike Rental: P350.00/USD7.00 per day
  • Accommodation at Geo’s Homestay: P1,000.00/USD20.00 air-conditioned private room good for 2
  • Tri-Island Hopping, Sohoton Cove, Jellyfish Sanctuary, Buffet lunch: P1,500.00/USD30.00 all in

Best Time to Visit Siargao

Considering the best time to visit Siargao is probably one of things you have to carefully decide if you’re planning to hit the websites right now and book your flight. Generally speaking, the best time to visit Siargao is during the dry season from March to October. Thus, off peak season would be from September to February which is relatively the wet season.

If you’re traveling for activity purposes such as surfing, you don’t have to be vigilant about your travel dates since the waves are big all months of the year.

Tip: keep in mind that other tourists have the same mindset of visiting the island during peak season. So carefully choose your travel date that will lessen the tourists in the island.

kawhagan sandbar




Things to do in Siargao

Learn how to Surf

The waves in Siargao is undoubtedly big and strong. Whether you’re a surfer or a beginner, surf instructors and surf board rentals are everywhere in Siargao. Cloud9 resort in General Luna is the most common place to surf. The regular rental fee for a surf board is P400.0 (USD 8.00) for 1 hour, but if it’s your first time and you need a surf instructor, the rental fee is P500.00 (YSD10.00) for an hour. That’s enough for you to learn how to stand and balance or get washed by huge waves. And If you’re lucky enough you might spot Ikit Agudo while surfing!

Insider tip: for bigger waves and lesser people, you can drive to Pacifico Beach in San Isidro. It’s an hour drive but this beach promises a peaceful and quiet place with tropical palm trees compared to the busy and famous tourist spot, General Luna.

surfing in siargao

Island Hopping in Siargao

Of course island hopping is one of the oldest must-do list in the book. Siargao has one of the best islands in the Philippines! Getting that tan from a whole day island hopping adventure is worth it.

Try the Night Life in Siargao

From chill bars to high-end bars, pick whatever you want I assure you that the night life in Boracay is not as epic as the night life in Siargao. The best place to party is at Rumbar, located in the opposite side of Cloud 9 Resort. Locals and tourists gather every night in this epic bar and party like it’s the end of the world. Live bands and DJs, people having that revelry, beers and lights, definitely one for the books.

But if you want a chill place to party and just drink your beer in front of the beach, Bravo will be the best bar for you. Night life in Siargao is not as expensive as you think, the entrance fee is just below P100.00 (USD2.00) and it’s consumable. Other bars like Bravo doesn’t have an entrance fee.

night life

Watch the Sunset at Cloud 9 Resort

To better appreciate Siargao, watching the sunset in Cloud 9 Resort is one of the most memorable things to do here. You will not believe how beautiful the sunset is in Siargao, take it from me, never ever miss this.

sunset in siargao

Stargaze at night

If you’re not into partying, what you can do as an alternative at night is stargazing. It’s very relaxing and comforting to just sit by the beach and watch the skies with your friends or love ones. This could be the best thing to do on your last night of staying in Siargao.

Do a motorbike road trip!

Rent a motorbike and explore the whole island driving to stunning destinations one place at a time. Don’t be afraid of the heat, the view is worth it! If you don’t know how to drive a motorbike, maybe this is the time to learn, kidding! You can rent a motorbike with a tour guide to drive for you the whole day or you can bring a friend who knows how to drive. There are lots of palm trees in Siargao and the best way to appreciate the view is to travel in a motorbike.


Places to Visit in Siargao

Sugba Lagoon

The most famous photo of tourists visiting Siargao is probably in the jumping platform. The platform is 10-15 ft high and you’ll fall in an emerald green water. Other activities that you can do here is kayaking and paddle boarding. If you want to go to the other side of the lagoon, you can rent a kayak or a paddle board.

Address: Del Carmen Port (1 hour boat ride)

sugba lagoon in siargao

Kawhagan Sandbar

One of the islands quickly rising to fame is the Kawhagan sandbar. It’s 40 minutes boat ride from port del Carmen and it has a beautiful stretch of white sand. The water is crystal clear and it’s also ideal to get a drone shot here.

Address: Del Carmen Port (40 minutes boat ride)

kawhagan sandbar

Tri-Island in Siargao

Tri-Island in Siargao consist the prominent islands to visit in Siargao. Tri-island includes Guyam Island, Daku Island, and Naked Island. Guyam mean “small” and Daku means “big” in the local language which also corresponds in each of the island’s characteristics. Naked Island, on the other hand, is named after its unique characteristic of not having any trees in it, just a piece of sandbar in the middle of the sea.

Address: General Luna Port (island hopping jump off point)

guyam island

Sohoton Cove and Jellyfish Sanctuary

2 hour boat ride from General Luna is worth it to see this majestic island. The first leg of your trip to Sohoton consist of the close encounter with the harmless jellyfish at the sanctuary. You’ll be able to swim with them in the turquoise blue water and trust me, this place is majestic! Watch my Siargao DIY Vlog to see what I’m talking about. Also, boats with motors are not allowed here, the only was to access it is to paddle a small boat going to the sanctuary.

The second leg of the Sohoton trip is to visit the caves, there are 2 caves namely Hagukan Cave and Magkukuob Cave (diving cave).

Address: General Luna Port (island hopping jump off point)

sohoton cove
jellyfish sanctuary sohoton siargao
Harmless Jellyfish! 🙂

Tayangban Cave

For adventure-seekers looking for a challenging experience, the 20 minute traverse in Tayangban Cave is up for you. I highly suggest you bring a dry bag with you to secure your gadgets and camera, or better yet bring a waterproof camera with you. Wear proper footwear too, aqua shoes or hiking sandals is highly suggested. The cave has water inside and some parts are really deep, don’t worry because there are rope segments you can hold on to but the rocks below are really sharp and slippery so wear the proper footwear I suggested. You can watch our video on Youtube that I linked below.

Address: Siargao Circumferential Rd, Pilar, Surigao del Norte

tayangban cave
Inside the Taragban Cave

Magpupungko

Ranked as one of the tourists’ favorites, Magpupungko rock pools is situated in Pilar, Siargao and is 50 minutes away from General Luna. You’ll pass by Magpupungko if you’re heading to Pacifico Beach and it’s hard to miss the big signage along the way. Unfortunately, we weren’t lucky enough to visit Magpupungko since it was closed for renovation at the time we visited Siargao. Although, judging from the pictures and as said by my co-bloggers, it’s one of the most beautiful tourist spots in Siargao.

Address: Pilar, Surigao del Norte

Pacifico Beach (Siargao DIY)

Like I’ve said earlier, Pacifico beach is a more ideal place to surf than in Cloud 9 Resort since there’s lesser tourists and the waves are bigger and stronger. Tropical palm trees are scattered everywhere and the famous photo ops of people riding a motorbike in the middle of the road with giant palm trees on the side is also located here. It’s very easy to spot it and if you’re riding a motorbike you’ll notice it as soon as you pass by this road. So I suggest you rent that motorbike and get that shot too!

Address: Siargao Circumferential Rd, San Isidro, Surigao del Norte

pacifico beach siargao

Secret Spot (Siargao DIY)

I remembered asking the locals where the secret spot or beach is, then they answered me “it’s secret, how would I know?”. The locals here joke around most of the time and it’s one of the best things to expect. It’s 20 minutes away from General Luna and it’s best for surfing too. Most foreigners go here as an alternative to skip the crowded Cloud 9 Resort if they don’t want to drive an hour going to Pacifico beach.

Address: Daang Maharlika Highway, Bajada, Davao City, Davao del Sur

Maasin River (Siargao DIY)

The famous bent coconut palm tree is located in Maasin river and bridge. From Tayangban Cave, it’s just a 5-10 minutes drive. Don’t forget to drop by here and do the tarzan swing by the river. What’s even crazier is the swing tied to the bent palm tree which makes a good spot to drop in the middle of the river. The challenge here is to swing and hang on to the rope as long as you can before dropping in the river.

Address: Siargao Circumferential Rd, Dapa, Surigao del Norte

maasin river siargao

Cloud 9 Resort (Siargao DIY)

The famous spot for surfing and where most tourists hang out. It could be really crowded here during peak seasons and specific time of the day like early in the morning and late afternoon. It’s because Cloud 9 resort is an ideal place to watch the sunrise before starting your day touring around or watching the sunset after a tiring day.

Address: General Luna

cloud 9 resort




3-Day Siargao DIY Itinerary and Expenses

Day 0: Arrival in Siargao

– Van transfer (P300.00/USD6.00)

– Getting to know the streets in General Luna, check out Siargao’s night life and restaurants.

– Dine at Kermit for dinner (P300.00/USD6.00)

– Check out Bravo Bar (Free entrance)

– Accommodation at Geo’s Homestay (P1,000.00/USD20.00 good for 2 pax)

– Tricycle transportation (P100.00/USD2.00 estimated)

Total: P1,200.00/USD24.00

Day 1: Motorbike Tour (P350.00/USD7.00 plus gas P150.00/USD3.00 good for 2 pax)

– 7AM General Luna to Port del Carmen (1 hour drive)

– 8AM breakfast outside Port del Carmen (P100.00/USD2.00; P50.00/USD1.00 parking fee)

– 8:30AM start Sugba Lagoon and Kawhagan Sandbar tour (P2000.00/USD40.00 boat rental; P150.00/USD3.00 docking fee good for 4 pax)

– 1PM back in the port for lunch (P100.00/USD2.00)

– 2PM drive to Tayangban Cave (37 minutes drive)

– 2:40PM arrive at Tayangban Cave (P70.00/USD1.33 entrance fee per pax; P100.00/USD2.00 guide fee)

– 3:20PM drive to Maasin River (7 minutes drive)

– 3:30PM arrive at Maasin River (P20.00/USD0.38 entrance fee; no parking fee)

– 4:15PM drive to Cloud 9 Resort in General Luna (35 minutes drive)

– 4:50PM arrive at Cloud 9 to chill and watch the sunset (P50.00/USD1.00 entrance fee; no parking fee)

– 6:30PM back at the homestay/hostel to clean up for dinner or night life

– 8PM dinner at Harana Resort (P300.00/USD6.00)

– 10PM party at Rumbar (P100.00/USD2.00)

– Accommodation at Geo’s Homestay (P1,000.00/USD20.00 good for 2 pax)

Total: P2,078.00/USD41.56


Day 2: Motorbike tour (P350.00/USD7.00 plus gas P150.00/USD3.00 good for 2 pax)

– 6AM breakfast (P100.00/USD2.00)

– 7AM drive to Pacifico Beach (1 hour drive)

– 8AM arrive at Pacifico beach (no entrance fee; no parking fee)

– 10AM drive to Magpupungko Rock Pool (15 minutes drive)

– 10:20AM arrive at Magpupungok (P50.00/USD1.00 entrance fee)

– 12NN lunch (P100.00/USD2.00)

– 1PM drive to the famous coconut plantation just along the highway (30 minutes drive)

– 1:30PM arrive at the coconut plantation (no entrance fee)

– 2PM drive to Secret Spot (20 minutes drive)

– 2:30PM arrive at Secret spot (no entrance fee)

– 4PM arrive at Cloud 9 resort to surf and chill, watch the sunset (P50.00/USD1.00 entrance fee)

– 6:30PM back at the homestay/hostel to clean up for dinner or night life

– 8PM dinner at Mama’s Grill (P150.00/USD3.00)

– 10PM night life at Full Moon Party (P100.00/USD2.00)

– Accommodation at Geo’s Homestay (P1,000.00/USD20.00 good for 2 pax)

Total: P1,200.00/USD24.00


Day 3: Tri-Island Hopping and Sohoton Cove plus Jellyfish Sanctuary (P1,500.00/USD30.00 all in, with buffet lunch included)

– 6AM call time at General Luna port

Breakfast (P100.00/USD2.00)

– 7AM start of tour, boat ride to Sohoton in Socorro (2 hours going to Sohoton)

– 9AM arrive at Sohoton for jellyfish sanctuary and Sohoton Cove

– 12NN lunch (included in the tour)

– 1PM boat ride to Naked Island (2 hours)

– 3PM arrive at Naked Island

– 4-6PM Guyam Island and Daku Island

– 6PM back at the port

– 6:30PM back at the homestay/hostel to clean up for dinner or night life

– 8PM dinner at Mama’s Grill (P150.00/USD3.00)

– 9PM buy island souvenirs and roam around the streets of General Luna

– 10PM last night life in Siargao at Rumbar or Bravo (P100.00/USD2.00)

– Accommodation at Geo’s Homestay (P1,000.00/USD20.00 good for 2 pax)

Total: P2,350.00/USD47.00


Day 4: Last day in Siargao

– 6AM sunrise at Cloud 9 Resort (P50.00/USD1.00 tricycle fare to Cloud 9; no entrance fee in the morning)

– 7AM surfing or chill by the beach (P500.00/USD10.00 surfboard rental with instructor)

– 9AM breakfast (P100.00/USD2.00)

– 10AM pack up, back to Sayak Airport (P300.00/USD6.00 van transfer)

Total: P950.00/USD19.00

ALL IN ALL EXPENSES FOR 5 DAYS & 4 NIGHTS: P7,778.00/USD155.56 excluding airfare and other miscellaneous like souvenirs, etc.


Virtual Travel Guide (Siargao DIY)

Your virtual travel guide is up on Youtube! This vlog is very detailed and includes the itinerary and expenses. You can also watch it to see my whole experience on how I traveled solo to Siargao DIY-way and ended up meeting new friends. Oh, and don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE or leave a comment. 🙂

9 thoughts on “2020 SIARGAO DIY TRAVEL GUIDE (Budget & Itinerary)

      1. Hi, po. Yung sa tri island plus sohoton is 1500 with lunch na po. Per pax ba yung 1500 po?

        1. Hi Christine! Yes per pax po yung rate na 1500. With lunch and no hidden fees. Super sulit. ??

    1. Hi, Aimee! I booked it from Kuya Doods. His contact details are in the “important contact” section. ?

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