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Siargao Island Travel Guide: Places to Visit, Where to Go, What to Do, Getting To, Around and Away


Siargao has been among the top destinations in the Philippines to get overdosed with world-class surfing waves, bone-white sand, laid back sunsets, waters with impossibly perfect hues of jade and turquoise that sparkles with brilliance under the sun and get the tropical vibes with countless towering coconut and palm trees in every turn. Is it worth the hype? Absolutely, as it could make everyone effortlessly fall in love with the island! Indeed, it is a place to be for every wonder chasers. It was even more famed since the showing of the local film, Siargao, starred by Erich Gonzales, Jasmin Curtis and Jericho Rosales and directed by Paul Soriano inviting a surge of tourists to the island. 

Siargao island is part of the province of Surigao del Norte under the CARAGA region situated in the Northern East tip of Mindanao. It's point of entry, Dapa Port can be reached in three to four hours travel by sea from PPA port, Surigao City, Surigao del Norte. From Manila, you can catch Cebu Pacific Air's daily flights straight to Sayak Airport that is 30 minutes away from General Luna, Siargao or to Butuan City, Agusan del Norte via Mactan International Airport (Cebu). From Butuan Airport, you need to take a multicab to the terminal then a bus bound for Surigao City or Tacloban. Travel time is around three to four hours depending on the traffic and passenger waiting time.

WHAT TO DO

>Of course, surfing!

For non-surfers you can try:
>Spelunking
>Free Diving
>Swimming
>Island Hopping
>Cliff Diving
>Kayaking
>Paddle Boarding
>Rafting

PLACES TO VISIT

Tayangban Cave





When arriving at Siargao island early, you can try spelunking at Tayangban Cave. It is quite a perfect place to wait on low tide at the sea good enough for the rock pools in Magpupungko to be approached. The cave can be possibly explored for an hour. It features an underground river with fascinating stalactites and stalagmites formation with a short narrow canyon at the end leading you to the crystal waters where you can jump off to. Bringing headlamps or waterproof flashlights is a must.

Magpupungko Tidal and Rock Pool



During low tide, natural rock pools appear on this side of Siargao. Tourists can enjoy the sight of tides from afar, snorkeling and low-point cliff diving at the rock pools. There are several pools that appear, big and small, at noon time. When famished, you can also have your lunch as there are small local restaurants at the beach. Should you decide to wait on low tide in this place, there's a beach right at the entrance but swimming is not allowed due to the tides and waves.

Sugba Lagoon


From Magpupungko, Sugba lagoon can be reached in 30 minutes by land travel and 30-40 min boat transfer via the town of Pilar. There are lots of water activities in Sugba Lagoon such as paddle boarding, kayaking, rafting and diving. Its among the spots in Siargao with the most relaxing view since the view on the other side of the tower where boats dock and people stay when off the waters is enveloped in nothing but hues of green. 

Sohoton Cove and Bucas Grande Island


Sohoton and Bucas Grande island are characterized by caves, fascinating rock formations and lagoons with crystal clear waters where you can still see the seabed few meters from the surface. Every acitivity promises something that will make your hearts skip and beat and garner "ooh's" and "wow's" out of amazement. You can try diving for four to eight meters, viewing of stingless jellyfish, swimming on its clear jade and aqua blue waters, passing through and going underwater to get into caves, 10 to 13-feet cliff jumping, spelunking and more. The tour to the jellyfish sanctuary goes first then you have to wait for a few hours for low tide so the level of the water could go low too making it possible and safe for tourists in boats to pass through the caves as for the Sohoton and Bucas Grande tour.

Entrance to the jellyfish sanctuary

The sting-less jellyfish at Sohoton's Jellyfish Sanctuary

Diving my way to the cave. Everything seemed luminous inside this cave because its source of light is nothing but that of coming from the outside shining through the waters





Naked Island



This island with nothing but sand, a small (literally small like it has just grown for months) palm tree and few grass is literally naked. There are no trees at all nor anything to provide shade to the tourists. It's the most perfect place to those who want to lay and get tanned. 

Daku Island




From the word, Daku which means big, Daku Island is the biggest among the tri-island destinations (Daku, Guyam, Naked island). There are locals who can cook for you in this island. Getting a nipa cottage is required should you get your food cooked by them. You can choose from pork and seafood that they sell at a price. While waiting on your food, you may roam around, take pictures and play beach volleyball at the other side. There are also a lot of coconut trees that do not just provide shade but also bear fruits that could quench your thirst.

Guyam Island


Just like Daku Island, Guyam Island gives it tourists a tropical vibe due to the number of coconut trees that will welcome them upon docking at the beach.

Cloud 9



The home of the world-class waves in Siargao is located at General, Luna. For only 500php (board + instructor), tourists can enjoy riding the waves of Cloud 9. There are kinds of waves catering to the surfers of different levels. For the beginners, they are brought to the area of jackhorse waves. For the pro, they can try the Cloud 9. Beginners are required to surf with instructors as this will also ensure their safety. To the professional surfers, boards can be rented outside the resort for only 300php. After surfing, you can also enjoy the view of the waves and General Luna at the Cloud 9 tower or get some tan at the beach nearby.



Mabua Pebble Beach




Read more about Mabua Pebble Beach Travel Guide here!


GETTING TO, AROUND AND AWAY

From Sayak Airport

From Sayak Airport, you may simply take a tricycle straight to your hotel.

From Butuan Airport

Take a multicab outside the arrivals. Tell the driver to drop you off the bus terminal going to Surigao City. From the bus terminal, take a Bachelor bus going to Surigao City. Alight at the terminal. From the terminal, take a tricycle or multicab going to PPA Port or Magsaysay Terminal.

Ferry Schedule


Fares:
Angel Fast craft - 285php
Montenegro Shipping Lines (RORO) - 250php (180php for students and Senior Citizens with ID)

Terminal Fee: 10php/ head

Once you have arrived at Dapa Port from Surigao City, there are habal and tricycle drivers waiting at the exit. However, it is better to establish a contact with a local prior to your arrival f or they have a tendency to pool around you and this would really take much of your time. For 350-400php, you may rent self-drive motorbikes with gas not included. It will cost 200-250php to roam around for a day. Also, you need to return it from whom you rented it. In our case, we rented a tricycle with a driver. Pros are: someone's watching over our stuff, we didn't get lost nor had problems with getting around thus we saved time. If you are traveling in a group of four or five, this is more ideal.


WHERE TO STAY

   





                












These suggested hotels and resorts are located at General Luna. It is better to book your accommodations in the town since it is quite accessible to most of the points of interest in the island.                               

SUGGESTED ITINERARY

DAY 1: CAVE/ ROCK POOL/ LAGOON 
04:45am - Macapagal Terminal
5:00am - ETD to Dapa Port via RoRo (Montenegro Shipping) or Angel Fast Craft/ Breakfast on board
9:00am - ETA Dapa Port
9:15am - ETD to Tayangban Cave
9:30am - Spelunking
10:15am - ETD Magpupungko Rock Pool
11:15am - ETA Magpupungko/ Lunch
12:15pm - swimming time
2:00pm - ETD to Carmen (Sugba Lagoon Jump Off)
3:00pm - ETA Carmen/ register
3:45pm - ETA Sugba Lagoon/ water activities
5:00pm - ETD to Carmen
5:45pm - Carmen/ ETD to Gen. Luna (accommodation)
7:30pm - Check in/ wash up
8:30pm - dinner
10:00pm - retire

DAY 2: SOHOTON/ BUCAS GRANDE/ TRI-ISLAND TOUR
4:45am - rise and shine
5:00am - ETD to Gen Luna 'tulay na kahoy'
6:00am - ETD to Sohoton
8:00am - ETA Sohoton/ register
8:15am - Start of Jellyfish Sanctuary Tour
9:30am - end of Jellyfish Sanctuary tour/ back to registration area
10:30pm - early lunch at Sohoton
11:00am - start of Sohoton Cave Tour
1:00pm - end of Sohoton Cave Tour/ back to boat
2:30pm - Naked Island
2:45pm - Daku Island
3:30pm - Guyam Island
4:30pm - back to General Luna
5:30pm - back to inn/ wash up
6:30pm - Dinner at Gen. Luna Public Market
8:00pm - back to inn/ socials/ retire

DAY 3: CLOUD 9/ PEBBLE BEACH
5:00am - rise and shine
5:30m - ETD to Cloud 9
5:45am - ETA Cloud 9/ register/ search for surf instructor
6:00am - surfing orientation
6:15am - start surf
7:15am - end of surfing
7:30am - chill and photo ops around Cloud 9 Tower and Beach
8:00am - back to accommodation
8:15am - wash up
9:15am - ETD to Dapa Port
9:45am - ETA Dapa Port/ Breakfast
10:45am - Board to ship
11:00am - ETD to PPA Port
2:30pm - ETD PPA Port/ Late lunch
3:30pm - multicab bound for Jubgan
4:00pm - ETA Mabua Pebble Beach
4:00pm - 6:00pm - Chill/ sunset watching
6:30pm - Check in

NOTE: You have a choice as regards the last activity on Day 3. You may either check in to resorts or hotel in Mabua, Stay in Siargao or go back to City depending on your next destination or flights.

SAMPLE BUDGET

DAY 1:
>Tricycle Fare (City to Magsaysay Terminal) - 10php
>Fare (ship) from PPA port to Dapa Port - 285php for Fast Craft
>terminal fee - 10php
>Tricycle - 2000php/5 for a whole day tour - 400php/head
Food - 300php
>Tayangban Cave Eco fee - 70php
50php/head - guide fee (voluntary)
>Magpupungko entrance fee - 50php
>Sugba Lagoon entrance fee - 50php
>boat to Sugba Lagoon - 2000php/5 - 400php/head
>room - 800php/2 - 400php/head
TOTAL: 2,025php

DAY 2:
>Sohoton Tour - 1670php/6 - 278php/head
>Permit, Entrance, Environmental and Docking Fees - 700php/6 - 117php/head
>Municipal Government Fees
-Permit, Entrance and Environmental fees (for local tourists; 250php for foreign) - 100php/head
>Safety gear (helmet and life vest rental) - 40php
>Sohoton Cove Eco Tour
-Pumpboat and community guides - 830php/6 - 138php/head
-1:1 boat at Sabay-Tojoman Lagoon - 100php
Daku Island docking fee - 100php/6 - 17php/head
Guyam Island Entrance Fee - 30php
>Pumbpoat (Sohoton and Tri-island) - 4500php/6 - 750php
Food - 300php
>room - 800php/2 - 400php/head
TOTAL: 2270php

DAY 3:
>Cloud 9 entrance fee - 50php
>surf board rental with instructor - 500php
>tricycle to Dapa port - 200php/5 - 40php
>ship fare - 280php
>terminal fee - 10php
>Food - 300php
>Multicab - 20php
tricycle - 10php
TOTAL: 1,210php

GRAND TOTAL: 5,505php
Note: DAY 0 exprenses (rooms rented in Surigao City and fares from Butuan to and from City)1 not included.
Bus fare - 225php x 2 = 450php
Multicab (Butuan Airport to Surigao City Bus Terminal) - 10php
Food - 100php
room - 600php
TOTAL: 1,160php 

If you'll be booking flights straight to Sayak Airport in Siargao, You'll be able to save some bucks and spend more time in Siargao Island, itself. More so, you can also save by splitting expenses with other travelers. We were able to visit the pebble beach since my flight was scheduled the next day in Butuan Airport.

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