Known as the “Surfing Capital of the Philippines”, it’s no wonder that Filipinos and foreigners alike name Siargao as their dream destination. With great waves, impressive beaches, and thousand of Coconut trees, Siargao Island is indeed one of the best tropical destinations in the world. In fact, this tear drop shape island was even named as the Best Island in Asia for 2021 by Conde Nast Traveler. If you’ve been to Siargao already, you’d know why.
If you’ve been meaning to visit Siargao anytime soon, here’s a 5-day itinerary for you.
Note: Will try my best to constantly update this travel guide. 🙂
GETTING TO SIARGAO ISLAND
Fly from Manila to Siargao. Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and Sunlight Air fly directly to Siargao. If you want a cheaper air fare, you can get the CebPac flight with few hours lay over in Cebu. You may also opt to fly to Surigao City then catch the fast craft from Surigao City to Siargao.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE GOING TO SIARGAO
Accommodation. There are lots of accommodations to choose from in Siargao Island. From posh resorts, mid-range resorts, hostels, dorms, to AirBnbs. Up to you if you want to stay in General Luna, where all the happenings and cafes are, or in the northern part of the island, which is more laid back but the beaches are amazing. If you have time to spare, I suggest stay in both the North and South parts of Siargao Island to experience the best of both worlds.
Food. I must say that aside from the beaches and the island’s vibe, food trippin’ in Siargao is one thing to look forward to. Food is not cheap in Siargao, in fact, one meal already costs more or less P200-P250 per person. But hey, you’re in Siargao so it won’t hurt to splurge a little. There are different types of cuisine as well, Spanish, Indonesian, American, Mexican, Italian, Filipino, and more. So go on and satisfy your cravings. And can I just say that if you are a coffee lover, Siargao won’t disappoint.
Tour. I’m not really a fan of island hopping, but I must say that when in Siargao, don’t miss the chance to visit Daku, Guyam and Naked islands. Beaches in the mainland of Siargao is not that swimmable because it’s either waves are big, rocks are huge and dangerous, or there are too many sea grasses. Thus, if you want fine sand and clear water, island hopping is a must! Inquire at your hotel or inquire at the Tourism office in the Boulevard for their accredited tour operators or boat men.
On the other hand, going to the North part of the island does not require any tour guide at all, but if you don’t want to drive or ride a motorcycle, you have the option to join group tours. Just inquire in your hotels or you can try Colz Travel. If you are a little adventurous and is up for some road trip instead, you may rent your own vehicle at Coastal Reef Adventure. They have very cool Jimnys which are very perfect to complete that island vibe and the ‘for the gram’ shots you’re aiming for.
Dogs. If you are a dog lover, you’ll love Siargao! Dogs are almost everywhere, even on beaches and restos. And surprisingly, they are so used to people and actually friendly. If you don’t like dogs, then you adjust!
THINGS YOU NEED TO BRING WHEN GOING TO SIARGAO
Sun block. You will need lots of it, believe me, lest you want major sun burn in your skin. Naked Island will definitely burn you.
Cash. Although there are lots of ATM and banks in Siargao, and some restaurants accept cashless payment as well, it’s still wise to bring extra cash with you for easier transaction.
Own tumbler. Let’s help Siargao reduce the use of plastic bottles. Bring your own flask to stay hydrated.
Shades. Needless to say, you need to protect you eyes.
Mosquito repellent lotion. If mosquitoes love you, better bring one
TRY THESE RESTOS WHEN IN SIARGAO
Just a disclaimer that I did not include in this list all the restaurants and cafes I’ve already tried. Below are just additional suggestions and will also serve as my reference when I go back to Siargao. 🙂
The Beach Baby
Spotted Pig Cafe
Siago Beach Resort
Cafe Kokomo in Jacking Horse beach
Good for 2 persons (5D and 4N)
Airfare: P12,000-22,000 for a roundtrip ticket, good for 1 pax only. Airfare to Mindanao is actually expensive so obviously, plane ticket to Siargao is not that cheap.
Accommodation: P13,800. We stayed at Siargao Island Villas and a Deluxe Garden Room costs P3,450 per night, though this was during the height of the pandemic last July 2021 so rate may have changed as of this writing. Again, you can lower the budget for your accommodation depending on where you plan to stay.
Food: P5,000-6,000. Food in Siargao is not that cheap, especially if you opt to eat in resorts or restaurants in General Luna. If you are on a tight budget, you can opt to eat in carinderias. For me, one of the best things in Siargao is their coffee shops! So many to choose from. 🙂 And since you are in Siargao, don’t miss the chance to try Coco Frio! You’ll love it.
Tour: P7,000. You can cut down this cost if you opt to join a group tour instead of getting a private one. This rate already includes the costs for Jimny and Tuktuk rentals. If you prefer to rent a motorcycle, then you’d be able to reduce the cost even more.
Contingency: P5,000. For pasalubong or if you want to surf.
TOTAL BUDGET: A budget of P55,800, or you can close it at P60,000, is more than enough for your Siargao trip. Again, this is already good for two and subject to change if you were able to score a cheaper airfare. Just do the math. 🙂
SIARGAO ISLAND DAILY ITINERARY
1st stop: Flight to Siargao. Check in at Siargao Island Villas
Our flight from Manila was at 7:25AM and we arrived at Sayak Airport at around 9:50AM. Make sure you have coordinated with your van service or hotel your ETA, and in case you need to be fetch at the airport. In our case, I think there was a miscommunication between the van driver and Siargao Island Villas so we weren’t able to join the shared van service that we reserved in advance. Good thing there were lots of vans at the airport going to General Luna so we just rode one. Price is just the same, P300 per head for a shared van service from airport to General Luna. Travel time was 45 minutes.
We arrived earlier than the usual check in time but good thing our room was already available so they allowed for an early check in.
2nd stop: Lunch at Kanin Baboy. This place is usually packed with tourists, but since travel restrictions were still in place, we were lucky to be the only people during lunch time. Kanin Baboy is just few meters away from Siargao Island Villas.
3rd stop. Coco Frio. When in Siargao, this is a must try! Their homemade Coconut Ice Cream is so delish, not to mention all their drink concoctions. Place is a little small, which is just fine actually. It gives a more local feel. Although after Typhoon Odette hit, they added sits to accommodate more patrons. Their ice cream and drinks are very affordable. Everything is less than P200 only.
4th stop: Shaka Cafe. What can be more tropical than eating a healthy smoothie bowl amidst the Coconut Trees, with the waves and surfers as your view? When in Siargao, dining in at Shaka Cafe is a must try. If you are not into smoothies, you can try their coffee instead. Like in Shaka Cafe BGC, price of smoothies is around P300+.
5th Stop: Mama’s Grill. Like Kanin Baboy, this carinderia is always packed with tourists before the pandemic because of its affordable food. In fact, this was probably the cheapest meal we had in Siargao. Basically, they have raw food in display like chicken, pork, squid, chorizo, etc. and you will just choose what you want them to cook or grill for you.
Day 2 was dedicated for island hopping. And since we’re on a private tour, we said that we only want to visit the three islands, which are Guyam, Naked and Daku Islands. The private tour costs P4,000 good for 2 pax, which is already inclusive of the environmental fee and lunch.
1st stop: Guyam Island. This small and very relaxing island is perfect for just lounging, and well, taking nice photos on their swings. We were told that this island can actually be rented. Wow! I wonder how much it would cost. Good thing our guide suggested we go here first to avoid the crowd in the afternoon. Hence, we kinda have the island all to ourselves.
2nd stop: Naked Island. As the name implies, this small island, or more like a sand bar, is totally naked. There were no shade so prepare to burn your skin if you are not wearing any sunscreen. But water and sand were so beautiful so that make up for the lack of Coconut Trees or any hut. 🙂
3rd stop: Daku Island. This is the biggest island among the three islands we have visited, and where lunch will be served. Daku in bisaya means big, hence the name of the island. If you are on a group or private tour, more or less, your tour operator will prepare the lunch for you. I’m pretty sure you have seen the pretty and instagrammable island tour boodle lunch set up already, so yes. that’s it! If your tour does not come with free lunch, there are also many ‘paluto’ in Daku Island. Before the tour starts, just ask your guide or boat man where to get lunch in Daku Island, he’d know, trust me!
4th Stop: Vinta Alternative. Since we were on a private tour and we can opt to stay longer or leave earlier in Daku Island, after eating our lunch, quick swimming, and sun bathing, we opted to leave already so we can still visit Vinta Alternative Market in General Luna to buy some organic tea. If you are into healthy living and consciously-produced products, Vinta Alternative is the place for you.
5th Stop: White Banana. This somewhat hidden and pretty pescatarian restaurant is the perfect place to just chill and while away the hour after a long day of island hopping. White Banana is a pretty long walk from the main Tourism Road but the place and the vibe is definitely worth it.
I must admit my sunburn was pretty bad even though I bathe in sunblock already during the island tour. My skin was warm and occasionally itchy, thus I was feeling not really myself during the tour to the northern part of Siargao. But anyway, I still enjoyed the ride and the views. We rented a Jimny from Coastal Reef Adventure. Got it for only P1,500 and it was their promo rate that time. Better check their updated rates if you plan to rent one.
1st Stop: Coconut View Deck. This is probably one of the most popular and photographed spots in Siargao. In fact, when tourists started coming back again in Siargao after the pandemic, some of the bamboo straw sellers here became popular, not for their products, but because of their drone-style way of taking photos and videos of the tourists. Mind you, they’re doing it just for fun and it’s totally free. But hey, it’s a talent so tipping them won’t hurt, right? By the way, they’re now called the “human drones” of Siargao. Look for them if ever you passed by the deck.
2nd stop: Coconut Nut. This pretty and rustic beachfront cafe in Alegria is far from the usual tourists spots and not really a place that many tourists would visit, mainly because of its location. However, this quaint cafe is very popular among locals or foreigners who have been staying in Siargao for months already. Coconut Nut in Alegria was a little bit off the beaten path but if you want a quiet place to chill and drink your coffee in the morning, this is the best spot for you. Price of their food was also affordable. We had 2 lattes, 1 French Toast, and 1 Cheese Waffle with Banana. Total cost was less than P500 only.
Unfortunately, after typhoon Odette hit the island, Coconut Nut transferred to a new location, which is in Sta. Monica. You can check out their Instagram account for more info.
3rd stop: Coconut Road. Okay, so this was not the OG Coconut Road because we missed the real Coconut Road, and this photo was already taken when we saw the actual road lined up with tall Coconut trees. Also, like what I said a while ago, I don’t have energy anymore to get down the car for more photos because going up this Jimny is tiring already, so…meh. They are all Coconut trees anyway, Hahaha!
4th Stop: Wantaw. This is one of the most popular restaurants in the North and where most tourists eat their lunch when they visit Pacifico. This Japanese resto also has a surfing lesson but waves are kinda big so up to you if you are just a beginner. However, if you are an advanced surfer already and can take the big waves of the North, this is the best place for you.
Unfortunately, this place was flattened down by typhoon Odette, and as of this writing, looks like there are no plans yet to rebuild it.
5th stop: Secret beach in Pilar. This is not the beach’s name. We just saw trails in the woods, got curious, followed the trail, and voila! An unspoiled coast in Pilar.
6th Stop: Maasin River. We did not go down here anymore because, well, you know why. After all, we do not intend to swing in the Coconut tree nor take the boat at the end of the river, so we just took this photo for remembrance. If you’ll notice, we also did not visited the famous Magpupungko Rock Pool as well. I figured it’s already high tide in the afternoon so we just skipped it because there would be no more rock pool if it’s not low tide.
6th Stop: Cloud 9. Went back to General Luna and headed straight to Cloud 9. That time, there was a scheduled brownout, which is pretty common in Siargao, so we just killed time under the shades of the Coconut trees. While drinking my Watermelon Shake, I was actually contemplating whether to take surfing lessons or just watch other surfers, as what’s expected, I chose the latter because I was too tired and lazy to move.
7th Stop: Dinner at Harana Surf Resort. If you want gourmet Filipino food, head to Harana Surf Resort’s restaurant and lounge in one of their bean bags or hammocks. Harana Surf is located in one of the famous surfing spots in Siargao, the Tuason Point, hence it is also a surf school. Cost of our dinner was P800 for 2 pax.
After our early dinner, headed back at Siargao Island Villas to chill at the beachfront while waiting for our room massage. I’m sorry I forgot the exact rate of the massage but it’s pretty affordable, I think it’s just less than P500 for a 60-minute very good full body massage. Massage was so good that we gave the masseuse a generous tip.
1st Stop: Paddle boarding. The 4th and last full day is a free day so paddle boarding it is! I’m not too confident to surf yet so this will do for now. When I go back to Siargao I’d definitely try surfing already.
2nd Stop: Binggo Rental. To save tricycle fares, which costs P20.00 per head, we opted to rent a Tuktuk from Binggo Siargao. 24 hour rental only costs P1,000 but I’m not sure if they’re still operational as of this writing. If you are interested to rent one, better call first to be sure.
3rd Stop: Siargao Corner Cafe. Since General Luna is swarming with lots of cafes, we did not miss the chance to have a breakfast in one of the most popular cafes there. Vibe is great, nothing really special with their breakfast menu, but price is quite affordable, so it’s still worth the try. Total breakfast cost, which is the usual ‘silog’, is less than P500. This price is already inclusive of the coffees, which were bought separately.
4th Stop: Kermit. After breakfast, we went to buy some Gwapitos shirts at Kermit and some pasalubong along Tourism Road. Headed back at Siargao Island Villas to rest a bit before having our lunch.
5th Stop: Las Palmas Siargao. We were supposed to stay here instead of Siargao Island Villas but I opted to go for the beachfront resort instead.
Las Palmas is a nice place, but their food is a little pricey. Our total bill for Buffalo Wings, Gambas, and Fish & Chips was a little over P1,000. Still worth the try though. 🙂
But probably, the best part or the highlight of our visit at Las Palmas was when we met Jay, Sacha, and Story of Eight Miles From Home! I swear I was secretly hoping to see them in the North part of Siargao, where they live, but who would have thought we’ll see them in General Luna!
6th Stop: Rad Tattoo Siargao. Had my 3rd and 4th tattoo in Siargao. I actually told myself I’ll be getting a new tattoo after the pandemic is over, but since I can’t wait any longer, as soon as I got vaccinated and domestic travel is already okay…there you have it! A Batanes tat, because it’s one of my favorite places in the Philippines. Lighthouse and Batanes coordinates. If my memory serves me right, total cost for the 2 tattoos were more or less P3,000+.
7th Stop: Catangnan Bridge. This is probably one of the popular places where locals and tourists go to watch the sunset. Bikers, skaters, and even vendors head to Catangnan bridge as soon as the sun starts setting. It’s like a way of life already among the locals, which is actually fun.
8th Stop: Dinner at Bravo Siargao. After returning our rented Tuktuk at Binggo Siargao, our last agenda for the day was dinner at Bravo Beach Resort’s restaurant, only because we want to check out the place and it’s kinda near Siargao Island Villas. It’s a beachfront resort but it’s already evening when we visited so not much to see. They offer Spanish food although I only ate a croquettes because I’m still full. I forgot what our other orders were, but total damage was less than P900.
Flight to Manila is at 10:20AM so we made sure to remind Siargao Island Villas a day before that we will join the shared van to Sayak Airport. We were a little early for our return flight so we ate breakfast first at a nearby carinderia in the airport. If you want to watch my 2-part vlogs in Siargao. Check out the videos below.
SALAMAT KARAJAW, SIARGAO!