Siargao group of islands is paradise! It is best known for its ginormous waves during its season. Surfers from all over the world come together to ride the waves of Cloud 9. There’s an international surfing competition being held annually making this island paradise a much loved destination for amateur and pro surfers. Best time to go to Siargao if you want to surf would be the months of August-September. But there is more to Siargao than just surfing!
What made me fall in love with this piece of heaven on earth are its people and natural wonders. From lagoons, caves, underground coves and rock pools, Siargao is definitely a dreamland! You’ll also get a good chance of really enjoying the spots because not a lot of tourists flock here unlike its contemporary. Now enough of the talk as I want you to book that flight now and experience SIARGAO asap!
Here’s your travel guide on how to travel to Siargao on a budget:
HOW TO GET THERE
via Cebu City: CEBU PACIFIC AIR have direct flights to Siargao from Cebu City so if you’re coming from Manila, you have to fly to Cebu first. You can also opt for a flight to Surigao City and Butuan City.
*CEBU PACIFIC AIR offers the best rates to Siargao for as low as ₱1,298 Roundtrip! All you need to do is be alert during seat sales! Check lowest rates HERE.
via Surigao City: You still need to ride a roro from Surigao Port to Dapa port for 2.5 hours. Fare is at ₱250. The last roro schedule to Dapa is at 12:30nn.
via Butuan City: Ride a van to Surigao City just outside the airport for almost 4 hours. Fare is at ₱200.
There are plenty of room options in the island from high-end villas and resorts to budget hostels and backpacker inns. Siargao Bleu Resort and Isla Cabana are the more popular resort choices. But if you are a budget traveler, I would recommend Port 303 in General Luna. It is cheap and just one tumbling away from Cloud 9! Hahaha! There are also fan rooms in the island at ₱150 for 12hrs. Just ask some locals for referrals.
SAMPLE ITINERARY WITH EXPENSES
7:40 AM- Flight from Cebu to Siargao- ₱799
8:40 AM- Arrival in Siargao
*Travel to General Luna- A very generous local offered us a ride from Sayak Airport to General Luna. Not even a minute yet in Siargao and this island pulled my heart strings already. Tip: MAKE FRIENDS with some locals but be genuine, of course.
Alternatively. from Sayak airport, you can take a van for ₱300/head or a habal-habal (motorcycle) for ₱200/head. It will take around 40 minutes to reach the resorts in General Luna. This is where Port 303 is located.
10:00 AM- Leave bags at Point 303- ₱300
10:30 AM- Start of island hopping activity- ₱240 (₱1,200/boat)
11:00 AM- Naked Island
12:00 NN- Lunch at Daku Island- ₱150
*You may buy lunch ahead at the public market or town center before the island hopping.
*Beach bumming in Daku Island
3:00 PM- Travel back to Gen. Luna to SURF!
4:30 PM- Surfboard rental- ₱250/hr
7:00 PM- Dinner- ₱150
TOTAL = ₱1,890
7:30 AM- Breakfast at Carinders (Pinasushal na carinderia!)- ₱70
8:30 AM- Magpupungko Rock Pools via Habal-habal- ₱350
9:30 AM- Magpupungko Pool Rocks
11:30 AM- Lunch at Magpupungko – ₱120
*There are eateries for you to dine at Magpupungko.
1:30 PM- Tayangban Cave- ₱20
*It’s worth a sidetrip since it’s just along the way.
3:30 PM- Back in General Luna
*Beach bum at Cloud 9 or surf again.
7:00 PM- Freshen up at Point 303- ₱300
7:30 PM- Dinner- ₱150
TOTAL = ₱660
5:30 AM- Wake up call for Bucas Grande Tour – ₱700 (₱3,500/boat)
*Do some grocery shopping at the market first. Your boatman will cook for you at Sohoton Cove.
*Travel time is around 3 hours by boat from Siargao.
9:00 AM- Arrival at Bucas Grande
*Snacks on board- ₱100
9:30 AM – Hagukan Cave, Sohoton and Jellyfish Sanctuary
-Environmental Fee- ₱50
-Smaller pumpboat to the coves- ₱100 (₱500/boat)
-Guide Fees- ₱66 (330/two guides)
-Paddler boat to jellyfish sanctuary- ₱100
*Your boat from Siargao will dock at Sohoton. Your group will then transfer to a smaller pumpboat to explore Sohoton, and another transfer to a paddle boat to access the jellyfish area.
12:00 NN – Lunch @ Bucas Grande- 120
*Your boatman will cook your food while you start your island activity. Be sure to arrange this with your operator.
1:00 PM – Side trip to Club Tara
*We paid nothing since we just took aerial shots of the resort while swimming in the area.
2:00 PM – Travel back to Siargao
5:00 PM- Arrive in Siargao
*Freshen up at Point 303- ₱300
7:00 PM- Dinner- ₱150
TOTAL = ₱1,736
6:00 AM- Sunrise watching
7:00 AM- Breakfast- ₱70
9:00 AM- Departure
*There are flights departing from Siargao to Cebu in the morning and afternoon via Cebu Pacific Air. – ₱499
TOTAL = ₱569
TOTAL EXPENSE: ₱4,889
*This budget expectation is possible given that you will be in a group of 5 like we were. You’ll also be staying at Port 303 and will have a tipid budget for food at ₱300 daily. Again, if you have extra money, food in Siargao is the beeeeest! You need to try Harana’s Halo-halo (it was divine!), Aventino’s Pizza (nyeeeeeam!!!), Shaka Coffee and have some beer at Buddha Bar. Prices in posh restaurants are reasonable but not really tailored to budget travelers.
Food and accommodation choices will always be two contributing factors to your expenses. If you’re a budget solo traveler, stay at fan room hostels at ₱150 – ₱200/night. Hostels will also open chances for you to make friends and be a joiner in their island activities! That saves you huge money and a lifetime of friendship to gain. You may also opt to skip high-end restaurants and eat where the locals eat to cut on your food expense. If petcha de peligro ka talaga, eat at carinderias, instead. Bawiin mo na lang pag-uwi mo sa bahay nyo. Hehehe! 🙂
If you wish to bring down the cost of your solo trip, consider skipping the Bucas Grande Tour. It will save you around ₱1,500; lowering your total expense to just ₱3,500!
WHAT ELSE TO DO IN SIARGAO?
1. SUGBA LAGOON– This is another rising destination when in Siargao. Pumpboat rate is at ₱1,600. We skipped this part since we didn’t have enough time.
2. MILKY WAY PHOTOGRAPHY– As a lover of the night skies, I never expected Siargao to give me a mouthful! I remember how we were eating by the streets of General Luna and was awestruck when I saw the Milkyway just above us at 7pm!
3. SURF LESSONS– I swear you’ll have the time of your life once you get to stand on that board! There are professional lessons conducted if you wish to get serious with this awesome sport.
4. RENT A MOTORBIKE– You’ll be in for a surprise with how lovely this island of Siargao is. Go and explore the untouched shorelines and beaches other than General Luna.
5. GO ON A FOOD TRIP– As mentioned above, it is safe to say that Siargao is also thriving on food tourism.
• Habal-habal driver- 0907 4931913 Kuya Norman
• Habal-habal/boat operator- 0905 6054600 Kuya Loyding
• Surf board rental/instructor- 0946 4707069 Inting Escoltura
So there, SIARGAO just #gotMARKed!
* I am appealing to EVERYONE reading this post to please INFLUENCE co-travelers to keep Siargao Island clean. Garbage has become the island’s major issue now. Please do your part in preserving this paradise.
Don’t forget to follow my endless adventures on INSTAGRAM!
Also, check out my BACKPACKING INDOCHINA ADVENTURE HERE. 4 Countries in 7 Days : ₱15k Budget ONLY!