How to Get to Siargao Island: What to Do, Resorts and Itinerary

Melanie Haiken

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Siargao

Siargao is a premier surf destination known for its crystal-clear waters and lush landscapes. This idyllic island in the Philippines offers an escape into paradise for adventurers and relaxation-seekers alike.

Explore the culture of Siargao, where the pulse of island life beats to the sounds of rolling waves and rustling palms. This travel guide dives into the essentials, from navigating the cloud-nine surf spots to unwinding in secluded lagoon pools, ensuring you capture every bit of magic that Siargao has to offer.

Embrace the laid-back atmosphere as you wander through the coconut groves, or find adventure in the countless coves and coral reefs. With a mix of natural wonders and a buzzing social scene, Siargao invites travelers to experience its unique rhythm—an interplay of serene moments and exhilarating activities. Join us as we unfold the secrets of this tropical haven and craft an unforgettable journey.

Best Time To Go To Siargao Island

Siargao has emerged as a coveted oasis for travelers. Deciding on the optimal time to explore this idyllic island is crucial for an impeccable getaway. Typically, the dry season, spanning from March to October, offers balmy weather and relatively calm seas, making it ideal for both surfing and island-hopping adventures.

Surfers, particularly, should mark their calendars for the months of August to November, when swells are powerful and consistent, presenting the perfect canvas for riding the renowned Cloud 9 waves. It’s also worth noting that while the shoulder months, just before and after the peak season, may bring occasional showers, they also promise thinner crowds and a chance to experience Siargao’s natural splendor with a touch more solitude.

Surfing Season | July To November

Siargao Island, known as the surfing capital of the Philippines, truly comes alive from July to November with ideal wave conditions that attract surfers from around the globe. During this peak surfing season, the famed Cloud 9 break provides consistent, world-class barrels that are both challenging and exhilarating.

Enthusiasts of all levels can find their perfect wave, thanks to the variety of surf spots dotted along the coastline. Whether new to the sport or an experienced rider, the island’s warm waters and friendly local surf community offer an unparalleled experience.

As these months also coincide with the monsoon season, travelers should be prepared for occasional rainfalls, which can make the seas even more thrilling for surfers seeking adventure.

Dry Season | March To September

Exploring Siargao between March and September presents an idyllic opportunity for travelers to enjoy the island’s beauty under a blazing sun. This period, known as the dry season, invites a steady influx of sun-seekers and surf enthusiasts eager to take advantage of the prime weather conditions.

Balmy breezes and minimal rainfall characterize these months, painting the perfect backdrop for leisurely beach days or surfing the renowned Cloud 9 wave. It’s also an ideal time for island hopping, where clear skies offer unobstructed views of the turquoise waters and emerald landscapes.

Visitors should note that while the sunny weather is enticing, it also means popular spots can get quite crowded, so planning ahead is advisable to secure accommodations and activities.

Climate And Weather

Siargao is a tropical haven that boasts a unique climate ideal for both adventure seekers and serenity hunters. This enchanting island experiences relatively constant temperatures year-round, typically ranging from a pleasant 25 to 32 degrees Celsius.

Travelers are graced with two distinct seasons; the dry season stretches from March to October, offering sun-soaked days perfect for surfing and exploration, while the rainy season from November to February provides a refreshing respite from the heat, with short, heavy showers transforming the landscape into a lush paradise.

Siargao’s weather patterns play a pivotal role in shaping activities on the island, ensuring that there’s always an adventure to suit the conditions, be it under the brilliant sun or amidst the rejuvenating tropical rain.

What To Wear

Selecting the appropriate attire for your Siargao adventure means striking a balance between comfort and style. Given the island’s tropical climate, lightweight and breathable fabrics reign supreme. Opt for versatile pieces that can take you from a sun-soaked beach day to a laid-back evening out.

Rashguards and swimwear are essentials for surf sessions, while a wide-brimmed hat and UV-protection sunglasses shield you from the strong rays. Remember, sturdy sandals or water shoes are invaluable for exploring the coastline and hidden lagoons. Trust that by packing mindfully, you’ll be well-equipped to fully enjoy the island’s natural beauty and culture.

How To Get To Siargao Island

Siargao, a teardrop-shaped island in the Philippines, entices adventurers and serenity seekers alike. To set foot on this tropical paradise, most travelers opt for a flight to Sayak Airport, the island’s main gateway. Flights frequently connect from major cities such as Cebu and Manila, making these urban hubs starting points for the journey.

Alternatively, a more adventurous route involves a ferry ride from Surigao City to the port of Dapa in Siargao. This mode of travel suits those who prefer to watch the islands lazily pass by while the sea breeze combs through their hair.

Upon arrival, the island offers a range of transportation options from motorbike rentals to tricycles, each promising a unique way to weave through Siargao’s lush landscapes and idyllic coastal roads. Regardless of the chosen path, the journey converges on the same end: a breathtaking encounter with one of the Philippines’ most cherished island retreats.

By Flights

Siargao requires some planning, especially if you’re arriving by air. Your adventure starts with choosing the right flight that can take you to this tropical haven effortlessly. Major airlines offer routes connecting to Siargao, either directly or with a short layover depending on your point of origin.

To snag the best deals, it’s advisable to book your tickets well in advance, keeping an eye out for promotions and off-peak travel discounts. Remember, packing light can save you from extra fees, leaving more to spend on the island’s delights.

Once you touch down, a myriad of transport options are available from the airport to whisk you to your accommodation, where your unforgettable island escapade awaits.

By Flights And Ferry

Direct flights serve as a swift conduit to this surfer’s paradise, while ferries offer a serene passage through the azure waters, allowing one to soak in the scenic beauty at a leisurely pace.

Seasoned explorers might opt for the aerial route to relish breathtaking aerial views, whereas nautical enthusiasts could find the ferry voyage equally enchanting, unraveling the island’s allure as the vessel approaches its docks. Both modes of transportation cater to diverse preferences and budgets, ensuring that the enchantment of Siargao is accessible to all who are drawn to its tropical allure.

Each option offers its own unique prelude to an unforgettable island experience that awaits.

Getting Around Siargao

Exploring Siargao’s enchanting landscapes becomes an adventure in itself with the array of transportation options available to visitors. Tricycles and motorbikes are ubiquitous, offering an authentic way to navigate the island’s lush scenery. For those looking to traverse the crystal-clear waters, pump boats serve as a gateway to hidden coves and secluded beaches.

Budget-conscious travelers often opt for shared vans or jeepneys, which provide an economical yet colorful means of travel. The more adventurous souls can take their exploration a step further by renting bicycles or motorbikes, ensuring a personal touch to their journey, with the freedom to stop and appreciate Siargao’s raw beauty at their own pace.

With each mode of transport offering a unique perspective of the island, getting around Siargao can be an integral part of the travel experience.

Habal-habal (motorcycle)

Exploring Siargao on two wheels is an adventure in itself, with the habal-habal being a popular choice among travelers seeking to weave through the island’s scenic routes. These motorcycles offer the perfect blend of convenience and thrill, indispensably suited for the narrow, winding roads that characterize this tropical paradise.

Renting one is an easy affair, as local drivers provide not just transport but also a dose of culture, doubling as impromptu guides to the hidden spots that only locals know. Before venturing out, it’s critical to ensure you’re comfortable with the ride, as the island’s terrain can be challenging, and safety should always come first.

An open mind and a bit of bargaining skill can go a long way in securing a good deal, giving you the freedom to discover Siargao’s beauty at your own pace.

Mini-multicab Rental

Exploring the picturesque island of Siargao becomes even more exciting when you have the freedom to navigate its lush landscapes at your own pace. Opting for a mini-multicab rental offers a practical and flexible mode of transportation for adventurous travelers.

These compact yet versatile vehicles are perfect for the narrow and sometimes rugged roads of this tropical paradise. Not only do they ensure that you can weave your way through coconut groves to hidden beaches, but they also provide an authentic local experience.

With your own set of wheels, stopping by a roadside stand for fresh coconuts or spontaneously joining a village’s festivity turns into an effortless decision, enriching your journey with spontaneous memories.

Van Or Car Rental

Exploring the picturesque island of Siargao becomes infinitely more convenient with a private vehicle at your disposal. Securing a van or car rental affords the freedom to navigate the scenic roads, discover hidden beaches, and visit local hotspots on your own schedule.

With a range of options available, from spacious vans suitable for larger groups to compact cars for solo travelers, there’s a perfect match for every visitor. Rental arrangements can typically be made in advance or upon arrival, ensuring a personalized travel experience tailored to your preferences.

Remember to check for rental insurance and familiarize yourself with driving regulations to ensure a smooth journey as you soak in the beauty of Siargao.

Tricycle

Exploring Siargao isn’t complete without the iconic tricycle experience—a local form of transportation offering visitors an authentic glimpse into island life. These motorized cabs, distinct with their colorful exteriors and compact size, are perfect for navigating the narrow roads that weave through the lush landscapes and picturesque villages.

They’re not only affordable, but they also support the local economy, with friendly drivers who often share insider tips about hidden spots and local favorites. Whether you’re heading to a remote beach or a nearby eatery, a ride in a tricycle is an adventure in itself, ensuring that every journey on the island is as memorable as its destinations.

Remember to negotiate the fare before hopping on, as this helps to set clear expectations and contributes to a pleasant experience for both you and the driver.

Where To Stay In Siargao

Selecting the perfect accommodation in Siargao can significantly enhance your island experience. From quaint, rustic cottages offering a serene retreat for the solace-seeker to hostels that buzz with the energy of like-minded backpackers, there’s a place for every type of adventurer.

Upscale resorts and private villas cater to those desiring more luxurious amenities, often featuring stunning beachfront views and bespoke services. Regardless of where you choose to rest your head, the common thread is the island’s laid-back charm that ensures a memorable stay.

Types Of Accommodations

Travel enthusiasts exploring Siargao will find a rich tapestry of lodging options to suit diverse preferences and budgets. From cozy budget hostels that cater to solo backpackers hoping to mingle with fellow travelers, to luxurious resorts offering the pinnacle of serenity and comfort for those seeking a more exclusive getaway—Siargao has it all.

Mid-range accommodations strike a balance, boasting modern amenities without breaking the bank. Eco-conscious tourists will be pleased to encounter rustic bamboo huts and nature-oriented stays, allowing immersion in Siargao’s lush environment while promoting sustainable tourism practices.

Neighborhoods And Areas

Siargao is a paradise for seekers of solace and surfers alike. As you on your journey through this palm-fringed haven, each neighborhood and area unveils its own unique charm. From the atmosphere of General Luna, known for the iconic Cloud 9 surf break, to the serene palm-lined paths of Dapa that offer a more laid-back vibe, there’s a corner of Siargao that resonates with every kind of traveler.

Delve into the rustic allure of Pacifico in the north, where the untouched beaches promise tranquil moments away from the crowds. For a taste of local culture, Pilar captivates with its community and festive spirit. Siargao’s mosaic of communities ensures that whether you’re here for adventure, culture, or relaxation, you’ll find your perfect spot under the sun.

Accommodation Highlights In Siargao

Siargao offers accommodations that cater to every traveler’s desires. Imagine waking up to the gentle lapping of waves in a quaint beachfront cottage, or being surrounded by lush tropical foliage in an eco-friendly bungalow.

Those with a taste for luxury can relish modern villas that boast private pools and stunning sunset views. Backpackers will also find welcoming hostels teeming with fellow adventurers. Regardless of where you choose to stay, the island’s natural beauty and warm hospitality remain a constant, encouraging visitors to immerse themselves in the laid-back lifestyle Siargao is celebrated for.

Each stay is more than just a place to rest your head—it’s an opportunity to connect with the island’s culture and serene landscapes.

What To See And Do In Siargao

As a premier surfing destination, the famed Cloud 9 reef break provides exhilarating challenges for wave riders of all levels. Beyond surfing, island hopping reveals the true splendor of the region, as travelers explore the powdery white sands of Daku, Guyam, and Naked Islands.

For adventurers, the Magpupungko tidal pools offer natural swimming spots, where the rhythmic ebb and flow of the sea creates a serene experience. The enchanting Sohoton Cove, accessible by boat, invites exploration among limestone caves and jade-colored lagoons, while Kaob lagoon provides a sanctuary for those seeking a quiet retreat amidst mangrove forests.

Siargao’s rich tapestry of experiences ensures that every moment spent on this island paradise is woven with adventure and tranquil beauty.

Surf At Cloud 9 And Other Spots

Exploring Siargao’s coastline reveals a surfer’s paradise, with Cloud 9 boasting some of the most iconic waves known to the surfing community. This idyllic spot draws enthusiasts from across the globe, eager to challenge the renowned right-breaking reef waves. Seasoned surfers and novices alike find their thrill in the crystal-clear waters, where local instructors are often seen guiding newcomers to catch their first wave.

Beyond Cloud 9, numerous other locations around the island cater to various skill levels, from gentle rollers ideal for beginners to towering swells that test the prowess of the pros. Embracing the sea’s rhythm, visitors spend their days carving through the surf, the salty breeze perpetual, and the horizon endlessly inviting.

Siargao embodies the surfer’s dream, where every break tells a story and every ride promises an adventure.

Swim At Magpupungko Rock Pools

A natural marvel accessible during low tide, these tidal pools offer an idyllic setting for a refreshing dip, surrounded by impressive rock formations.

Visitors delight in the clear, calm waters perfect for snorkeling or simply basking in the tranquil atmosphere. Keen eyes may spot darting schools of tropical fish or even the occasional shy crab scuttling along the rocky crannies. Ensure your camera is at hand, as the dance of sunlight on water amidst the dramatic backdrop of limestone structures offers a tableau vivant begging to be captured.

Remember to check tidal charts for the best experience and protect the delicate marine environment while enjoying the pure beauty of Magpupungko’s watery haven.

Go Island-hopping

Siargao allows travelers to fully immerse in the pristine beauty of the Philippine archipelago. The journey promises crystal-clear turquoise waters and encounters with diverse marine life that captivates snorkelers and divers alike. Each island boasts its unique charm, from the powdery white sands of Guyam Island to the lush coconut groves of Daku Island.

To experience these hidden gems, arrange a boat tour with local guides who can reveal the lesser-known spots for a truly authentic experience. Visitors are encouraged to respect the natural environment and support eco-friendly practices to preserve Siargao’s breathtaking islands for generations to come.

Embrace the laid-back island vibe, soak up the sun, and let Siargao’s enchanting island chain leave an indelible mark on your travel memories.

Jump Off At Sugba Lagoon

This emerald gem beckons travelers with its crystal-clear waters and the promise of tranquility amidst majestic limestone formations. Ideal for intrepid souls and those seeking a gentle escape, Sugba Lagoon offers a range of activities from paddleboarding to snorkeling, where marine life flirts beneath the surface.

With each stroke through the calm azure waters, visitors craft a tapestry of memories infused with the lagoon’s enchanting spell. Accessibility is a breeze, with local guides ready to whisk you away on a voyage through mangrove tunnels that lead to this island oasis.

Dive into Siargao’s best-kept secret and let the whisper of nature’s splendor echo through your soul in Sugba Lagoon.

Swim With Stingless Jellyfish In Sohoton Cove

You will discover an enchanting world within its crystal-clear waters — home to the remarkable stingless jellyfish. Enveloped by lush greenery, this hidden gem offers an ethereal snorkeling experience that allows you to immerse yourself among these gentle creatures.

Their serene drift through the water provides a tranquil contrast to the marine life typically encountered elsewhere. Local guides are experts in ensuring a safe and respectful interaction with the jellyfish, allowing visitors to marvel up close without disturbing their delicate habitat.

As you glide alongside them, the natural beauty of Sohoton Cove creates a backdrop that’s as magical as the creatures you’ve come to meet, making for an unforgettable chapter in your Siargao journey.

Dive Into The Blue Cathedral

Glistening with an ethereal glow, the Blue Cathedral beckons adventurers beneath Siargao’s waves. This underwater sanctuary, accessible to divers with a guide, offers a mesmerizing dance of light and shadow amid its caverns and tunnels. The journey to this aquatic marvel is as enchanting as the destination itself, with waters teeming with marine life guiding the way.

As you descend, the cathedral’s allure unfolds, revealing hidden nooks that shelter a diverse array of sea creatures. Each breath taken here is a silent hymn to the ocean’s majesty, making it an essential experience for both seasoned divers and those new to the depths.

With each dive, memories are etched into the heart, as the Blue Cathedral stands as a testament to nature’s splendor beneath the island’s serene seascape.

Check Out The Tayangban Cave Pools

This natural wonder offers a unique experience as travelers can swim through a 150-meter long cave, where the sunlight peeks through the darkness, creating an ethereal atmosphere.

It’s a refreshing escape that presents both a thrilling adventure and the opportunity to witness the tranquil beauty of Siargao’s landscape. The journey through the cave culminates in a serene pool area where visitors can enjoy a leisurely swim or simply admire the stillness of the surrounding nature.

Remember to bring waterproof gear, as exploring these pools is as immersive as it gets.

What To Eat And Drink In Siargao

Siargao, an island paradise in the Philippines, tantalizes the taste buds with its rich culinary palette, a fusion of traditional Filipino flavors and fresh, local ingredients. Surfers and tourists alike rave about the seafood, with kinilaw—vinegar-marinated fish—a must-try dish reflecting the island’s love for the bounty of the sea.

Coconut trees are ubiquitous; not only do they silhouette the scenic skyline, but they also play a vital role in Siargao’s cuisine. Restaurants and food stalls craft dishes with coconut cream, while offering refreshing sips of coconut water to cool down under the tropical sun.

For a truly unique experience, seek out a local eatery serving up a hearty bowl of the region’s comforting chicken adobo, simmered in a balance of soy sauce, vinegar, and local spices. Night markets and roadside stands beckon, offering smoothie bowls topped with tropical fruits, an ideal energizing start before hitting Siargao’s famous waves.

Local Cuisine

Exploring Siargao not only delights the adventurous soul but also promises an indulgence for the palate. This Filipino paradise boasts a plethora of fresh seafood dishes, often grilled to perfection and served with a side of ‘pako’, a local fern salad.

Delve into the rich flavors of ‘Kinilaw’, a traditional ceviche made from the freshest catch marinated in vinegar and calamansi. The sweet tooth isn’t neglected either; the ‘pan de surf’, a fluffy bread roll named after the island’s surfing culture, is a must-try.

Each meal on Siargao carries the essence of the island, combining the zest of native herbs and the warmth of the islanders’ hospitality. Sampling these culinary offerings is a journey through the heart of Siargao’s cultural heritage.

Recommended Best Restaurants

Siargao promises to add a burst of local flavor to your island escapades. A selection of dining establishments serves up an array of sumptuous dishes that tantalize taste buds and provide a culinary reflection of the island’s rich culture.

Whether you crave the freshness of just-caught seafood or the comfort of international cuisine with a Filipino twist, the restaurants of Siargao cater to every palate. Savor each bite as you dine al fresco, the ocean breeze complementing your meal.

Embrace the relaxed island vibe as you explore the best eateries, each offering a unique dining experience that combines delectable food with scenic views – a feast not only for the stomach but for the soul.

Practical Information And Tips

Equip yourself with the necessary know-how to navigate this idyllic island with ease. Travelers should remain aware of the local customs and environmental preservation efforts, as respectful visitors are always welcomed with open arms.

It’s also wise to keep updated on weather conditions, particularly during the rainy season from November to February, to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. Connectivity can be spotty, so downloading maps and travel apps ahead of time could save you from potential hassles.

Currency exchange locations are sparse, so arrive with plenty of local currency for small expenses. Lastly, renting motorbikes is a common practice for exploring Siargao’s hidden gems, but always prioritize safety with helmets and check the vehicle’s condition thoroughly before setting off.

Currency

Exploring the tropical paradise of Siargao isn’t just about embracing the sun, surf, and scenery; understanding the local currency is crucial for a seamless adventure. The Philippine Peso (PHP) is the official tender, with notes and coins facilitating daily transactions.

For international travelers, currency exchange can be found at the airport, select hotels, and authorized money changers throughout the island. It’s wise to carry small denominations for convenience when purchasing from local vendors or paying for transportation like tricycles and habal-habal rides.

While credit cards are accepted in some establishments, cash is king in most places, ensuring you’re never caught off-guard when it’s time to savor Siargao’s delights.

Language

While the predominant language is Filipino, a significant number of locals converse fluently in English, making it convenient for international visitors to navigate and bond with residents.

Surigaonon is the regional dialect; picking up a few basic phrases can enrich interactions and demonstrate respect for the island’s heritage. Travelers should note that a warm smile and a willingness to learn go a long way in bridging any potential language barriers.

This linguistic diversity underpins Siargao’s reputation as a welcoming haven for tourists from all corners of the globe.

Sample Itinerary In Siargao

Exploring Siargao promises an adventure like no other, and having a thoughtfully planned itinerary can help travelers make the most of their tropical getaway. Begin your journey by catching the stunning sunrise at Cloud 9’s famous boardwalk, where early risers can also witness surfers taking on the renowned waves.

Midmorning is perfect for island hopping; set sail to the lagoons of Guyam, Daku, and Naked Islands, each offering unique landscapes and crystal-clear waters for snorkeling. Recharge with a local seafood lunch before venturing to the Magpupungko Rock Pools, where the natural formations create an idyllic spot for a leisurely afternoon swim.

As the day winds down, bike through the coconut palm-fringed roads leading to the charming village of Pacifico. Here, enjoy a serene sunset on the beach, capping off a day that perfectly encapsulates Siargao’s diverse and enchanting beauty.

Day 1: Arrival + Surfing

Siargao adventure promises the ideal blend of relaxation and thrill. Arriving on the island, travelers are greeted by the tranquil beauty of swaying coconut trees and azure waters. Any fatigue from the journey quickly fades as the excitement of catching the perfect wave beckons.

Even beginners find their footing with friendly local instructors ready to share their surfing wisdom. The first day sets the pace for an unforgettable trip, with the sun melting into the ocean as a backdrop to newfound friendships and tales of the sea.

Siargao’s charm isn’t just its landscapes, but also the seamless way it brings together people, nature, and the pulse-pounding dance of surfing.

Day 2: Magpupungko Rock Pools + Sugba Lagoon

Siargao adventure brings the promise of natural marvels and water wonders. The Magpupungko Rock Pools unveil their crystal-clear waters during low tide, offering a perfect setting for a refreshing swim surrounded by unique rock formations.

To maximize this experience, timing is key; check the tidal forecast to ensure you get the most out of this natural pool. Later, a visit to Sugba Lagoon will escalate the day’s excitement.

Paddleboarding across the tranquil waters provides a serene escape and the chance to connect with nature’s undisturbed beauty. Remember to pack your waterproof camera – these are moments you’ll want to capture and cherish.

Day 3: Island-hopping In Siargao

The third day promises azure waters and hidden sanctuaries that redefine paradise. Charter a local bangka and sail towards the silhouette of Dako, Guyam, and Naked islands, where white sand and coconut palms await.

Each islet’s distinct charm captivates, from the larger shores of Dako, perfect for a picnic under nodding palms, to the intimate sands of Guyam, ideal for introspection. Naked Island, as the name suggests, is an unadorned stretch of sand that lets nature’s tranquility speak.

Engage with the community of sea-dwellers by snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters, perhaps even glimpsing the majestic pawikan, or sea turtles, in their natural habitat. As the sun travels across the sky, let the gentle waves dictate your pace, ensuring a day of serenity and discovery within the Pacific’s embrace.

Siargao’s islands are not mere destinations; they are living postcards, beckoning to those whose hearts are stirred by the ocean’s call.

Day 4: Departure

Rise with the dawn to soak in the tranquil beauty of the island one last time. Savor the local flavors with a hearty breakfast, perhaps indulging in a traditional Filipino silog to fuel your journey home.

Check the room to make sure none of your belongings are left behind, treasuring the mementos you’ve acquired. With your bags packed and your travel documents handy, bid farewell to your island retreat, taking with you all the unforgettable memories made.

As you journey from the shores of this tropical paradise back to the hustle and bustle of daily life, carry the spirit of Siargao with you, etched in every photograph and etched within your heart, promising a return to its enchanting embrace.

Conclusion

Siargao Island adventure promises an unforgettable journey. This guide equips you with essential tips to explore this island paradise with ease. Whether you’re riding waves or basking in serenity, Siargao offers a treasure trove of experiences. Start planning your trip and dive into the magic of this coastal gem.

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