This Siargao Travel Guide 2023 covers all the things to do in Siargao. It covers all the essentials you need to know to fully enjoy your trip! Here are some 40 things to do in Siargao to start with, starting with the most updated Siargao tourist spots you must experience. Often, Siargao Island is described as a tear drop-shaped island. But, meh, I don’t buy it. It is more like a rough diamond cut, which was really the case some years ago. Siargao Island, although many locals will say otherwise, is gradually taking the route most popular destinations take. In the course of ten years, the changes in Siargao Island are palpable, almost a breathing being on its own. But we are romantics and traveling, so let’s set aside the issues, political and environmental ones, and give way the 40 things to do in Siargao Island. P.S. Will insert the politics here and there. 😉
Our Bias: Isla Cabana Resort
The Best for Families: Siargao Island Villas
The Best for Couple: Siargao Bleu Resort and Spa
The Most Budget-Friendly and the best for backpackers and DNs: Tropical Temple Siargao Resort
Check out Land Tours in Siargao
Check out Island Hopping Tour in Siargao
Find hotel deals on Agoda
Starting February 10, 2022, the Philippines opens it borders and allows foreign tourists in! It is mandatory for all travelers from abroad, be Filipino or foreigner, to register their arrival on https://etravel.gov.ph. Do it before your arrival date.
Covid-19 has forever changed the way we live and travel. With the Philippines now open to international travelers, fully vaccinated individuals can frolick and relish in the island vibe. Check out this most updated travel requirements in the Philippines in 2023.
Siargao was badly hit by Typhoon Odette in Dec 2021. On matters of Covid-19 and the current state of the island, the best thing you can do is decide on the resort you are staying and message them for the exact requirements to enter the island and ask them how things are after the typhoon.
As March 2023, it is safe to say that Siargao is now back to its fins. Tehee. Islands don’t have feet. Duh.
Think of the calm waters in Coron. Sugba Lagoon reminds me of Coron’s turquoise calm sea. Lovely place to SUP!
How to get to Sugba Lagoon: Travel Guide:
Hotels can always organize it, but if you want it cheaper, you can always go to Del Carmen’s marine protection office (about an hour away from Cloud 9 area) and share a boat with other visitors. Boat costs Php1600 and it is good for up to six people. Entrance fee is Php100/head.
Pack lunch with you. There is a wet market near the office. So we bought a big fish and have it grilled and paid about Php150.00 for it. We also bought some cooked vegetables and rice from the nearby carenderia (a family-owned food stall.) In the lagoon, SUP boards’ rent starts at Php200 for an hour, and Php500 for the entire day.
The boat ride from del Carmen to Sugba Lagoon takes about 40-50 minutes depending on the waves condition.
After some huge lunch, SUP adventures, and making splashes after splashes in Sugba Lagoon, the boatmen suggested that we should go to Kawhagan Island, of course for an additional charge of Php400. So Alex (a Filipino nurse working and living in New York), Tobias, and I said yes since I had never been to one of the emerging Siargao travel spots.
It was a beautiful island, and we tasted some of the best coconuts fresh from the tree! No kidding!
Notes from my first trip: Together with two Fil-Am brothers I met at the resort where I stayed, we decided to hop the islets fronting General Luna. Our country is graced or cursed—depending on whom you ask—with too many islands. Naked, Guyam, Daku are just three of the many similar-looking islands in the country. They are beautiful, touristy. So despite their expected postcard perfect atmosphere, why do we still visit them? Perhaps because we hope to find something different or see an epiphany of sorts. We visit these similar-looking islands because, really, no experience is ever the same.
During our recent trip: Nope, we did not do this. But I did it twice in the past already. These three are like Siargao staples already especially if you haven’t done a lot of island hopping in the Philippines.
Island Hopping Rates in Siargao:
For an island hopping (Daku, Naked, and Guyam), book your tour here.
This remains unticked off in my bucketlist! You should include this on your trip. From my friends’ recounting, it is one of most beautiful travel experiences they ever had. Tojoman Lagoon is where you can see the stingless jellyfish. Swimming with these fragile creatures are not permitted anymore. Hagukan Cave is where you can experience swimming with bioluminescent planktons! And practice your cliffjumping skills in Magkukuob Cave. Hagukan Cave will be your point of entry. With an estimated area of 30 meters, this cave is a must-see attraction. Be prepared to swim, as the cave is located within the island’s aquatic region. Bucas Grande is one of the best Siargao tourist spots that many haven’t experienced. Perhaps it is better that way.
Bucas Grande and Sohoton Caves Island Hopping Rate:
This is the reason I did not make it to this place! During my past three trips, I traveled solo, and I could not find anyone to travel with. The boat tour to Bucas Grande and Sohoton Caves costs a lot back then. But now you can experience this place with a group tour on Klook.
I’ve been wanting to do this since my first trip to Siargao, but going solo can be a pain in the ass financially, especially if you don’t know how to drive a motorbike. But this time around, I traveled with my personal driver, aka then-boyfriend, so it was much easier and cheaper to go around the island. Indeed it is a must to travel the entire island, I tell you that. You can see a lot of little beaches up north. And now that I know how to drive a bike myself, I would love to do this again and again.
During my past three trips to Siargao, I never made it to Magpupungko Rock Pool, which is one of the top tourist spots in Siargao! I know! Some five years ago, the entrance fee was Php10.00, now it has ballooned to Php50.00/person. Parking fee for motorbike starts at Php20.00
But still this place is marvelous. It is best enjoyed during low tide. The water in the pool is so flat and calm, a stark contrast of the Pacific exploding nearby. If you got some snorkeling sets, bring them! This place has some vibrant fishes! And don’t forget to jump off from the rock!
Some notes from my first visit: Siargao’s other side never seems to run out of beaches. Whereas Cloud 9 can be considered the place for tourists, the other side—Alegria Beach—remains unspoiled and has preserved its local flavor. This part of the municipality of Santa Monica is a wide stretch of immaculate sand.
“There were no foreigners in sight, which I took as a good sign that tourists have not flocked here yet. There were only kids playing on the rocky part of the beach. When I walked towards them, my feet sank into the plush sand.
Nothing much has changed here! So if you are for some quiet moments, this is the place!
Some notes from my first trip: “It has not recovered from the typhoon yet,” informed the driver, who has not recovered from last night’s partying either. He complained about sleeplessness and headache while driving us around. I caught him half-asleep driving, but oddly I found it more amusing than alarming.
Siargao, just like the rest of Surigao, directly faces the Pacific—where most destructive typhoons originate from. The beach itself was in utter disorder. Debris was everywhere and the sand was muddy. It did not bother the kids who found delight in simple fun on the beach: playing with mud, catching small fish, or simply laughing the whole afternoon away.
During the most recent trip: the beach was not as unkempt as it used to be. Indeed some debris scattered here and there. It seems like this beach is a favorite hangout for local kids.
Some notes from my first trip: Our driver left us to our own devices when we reached the third beach. He made a good bed out of the sand and snored his hangover away. While the couple took turns taking pictures on my left, I walked around the right bend.
At 4 p.m., the beach looked calm.
I’ve had enough of beaches for the day. I found a good shady spot near the driver, got a book from my tote, and immersed myself into a different world with the driver’s snores and shy hissing of the waves became my afternoon lullabies.
During our recent trip: we just ate mangoes, took some cheesy couple photos, and that’s it. And yes, the beach was empty.
Some notes from my first trip: When the locals had enough of saltwater, I assumed, they headed to Taktak for a dip in its freshness. The fall is an antithesis to the thunderous Cloud 9 waves. Whereas I find the sounds of the waves threatening, the sounds of the water falling are soothing. Always.
During our recent trip: I did not take a dip, Tobias did. And crazy as he was, he climbed the rocks where the water drops! Taktak falls is actually one of the old Siargao tourist spots, but the waves and the surfs somehow overshadowed this gorgeous spot up north.
Notes from my first trip: Boulevards are great places to take a walk but General Luna’s take it a notch higher—it is an awesome place to take a dip. It is a stretch of creamy sandy shore, a beautiful beach with resorts out of sight.
Right in front of the boardwalk is Guyam, one of the islets in front of General Luna.
On the left of the boulevard is a short wooden bridge connecting to a village where kids found the camera as fascinating as it was intimidating.
A new addition to the ever-growing Siargao tourist spots to checkout is the small and privately run cenote, Tayangban Cave Pools.
Siargao Island has a new tourist attraction that is a must-visit for adventure enthusiasts. Tayangban Cave Pool, managed by the property owners, offers a unique experience that is worth the entrance fee of 100 pesos. This fee includes a mandatory guide who will ensure that you get the most out of your visit.
To capture the adventure, you can take your phone and camera equipment with you if you have a dry bag. However, if you don’t have one, be prepared for your belongings to get wet.
For those who are concerned about the safety of their belongings, the staff offers a supervised area at the entrance where you can leave your bags and other valuables. This allows you to fully immerse yourself in the experience without any worries. Don’t miss out on the chance to explore the fascinating Tayangban Cave Pool on your visit to Siargao Island.
The Maasin River in Siargao Island used to be a quaint little river town, unknown to tourists and travelers alike along the island’s Circumferential Road. But you know how tourism works. It makes locals find ways to make money, and the easiest way is to reimagine their place that will somehow benefit them economically. Thus, a local at this little riverside village saw the opportunity of this bent palm and installed a rope swing, which has been done several times in other parts of the world, and having one in Siargao doesn’t make any harm, or does it? Of course, the once tranquil riverside village is now a Siargao tourist spot and became popular thanks to this IG-cultured generation.
Despite its recent popularity, the bent palm tree swing on Maasin River remains a unique attraction that is worth visiting during your trip to Siargao.
A striking view awaits you as you set your eyes on the long, smooth stretch of concrete road that runs straight through a field of coconut palm trees with almost perfect symmetry. This road is one of the emerging Siargao tourist spots, thanks to a photographer who sees in the pastorality of the scene. The lush jungle-covered mountains in the background only add to the scenic beauty of this spot, making it an ideal location to capture stunning photographs or fly your drone.
This photogenic spot is a must-visit on your trip to Siargao Island, and we highly recommend taking advantage of the opportunity to fly your drone here if you have one. With its symmetrical lines and beautiful backdrop, this location offers the perfect setting for aerial photography.
Don’t miss out on the chance to capture breathtaking photos and videos of this picturesque spot on Siargao Island. Whether you’re an experienced drone pilot or just an avid photographer, the stunning views of the coconut palm trees and the surrounding mountains will leave you in awe.
Due to typhoon Odette that hit Siargao in 2021, the coconut grove is not back to its former glory. But you can still the coconut trees, with damaged but surviving crowns.
Ha! I almost forgot it! In front of the boardwalk are intimidating waves—the rightful place for those who are comfortable riding those Pacific giants. But I badly wanted to try it. I desired the feeling of riding the waves. Luckily, Siargao is not only for the serious surfer but for the hopefuls as well. On the left of the boardwalk (Jacking Horse) are smaller waves fit for a newbie.
“You must read the waves for you to ride them,” the tutor said. But the waves all looked the same to me. Perhaps it takes years to master an eye for good waves.
Often, surfing lessons happen at Jacking Horse, the one to your left when you’re facing the boardwalk.
Located in San Benito Municipality on Siargao Island, all of the must-see tourist destinations are hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. Although not well-known, San Benito is a town worth visiting. When planning your island hopping adventure, there is no specific order to follow as the high and low tide of the day must be taken into consideration. You may start with Poneas Lake or end with it, depending on the tide. Since this is a private tour, you have the freedom to customize your itinerary and spend as much time as you want on each island. The boat will be available from 8am to 4:30pm, and you are required to be back at San Benito’s docking port by 5pm. While all the islands are perfect for snorkeling due to their pristine and untouched beauty, it’s important to note that the activity may be dangerous when there is strong sea current, which depends on the weather.
Don’t leave Siargao without experiencing island hopping. Explore Poneas Lake, Pagbasayan Island, Dahican Beach, Kampayas Island, and my personal favorite, Kangkangon Island, to witness the true beauty of Siargao. You can choose to end your tour early if you wish, as this is a private tour. Discover the hidden treasures of San Benito and escape the crowds of popular tourist spots for a peaceful and serene ambiance. Don’t forget to bring your favorite swimwear and take a dip in the waters of these breathtaking paradises.
Stand-up paddling is not as hard as surfing. It is a comfortable introduction to water sports. You can have it done in Jacking Horse, where surfing lessons take place, just right beside the famous Cloud 9 boardwalk. Or you can do it in Sugba Lagoon!
The best place to do this is where the waters are calm like the ones around Sugba Lagoon, but experienced SUPers, mostly foreign residents of Siargao, also do it around Jacking Horse.
Especially during sunset and it is your thing to hunt some cool vantage points for whatever photography project you have in mind, Siargao has some random hills that you can certainly enjoy.
It will be odd to be surrounded by countless coconut trees and not be able to drink fresh coconut juice and fresh coconut meat! Resorts usually have it at Php50.00. Perhaps prices have doubled by then. Too expensive, if you ask the Filipino me.
I haven’t done this! But I would definitely want to do this someday. Siargao still has a lot of quiet places, and if you’re traveling with friends, why not do something adventurous and daring? Be mindful of your noise at night though. You might be Mama Nature’s visitor, but you don’t own her. 😛
Well, if you are a sunset romantic, you would not miss any sunsets. The best place in Siargao to experience the sunset and the after-sunset (blue hour) is the Jacking Horse area, where Ocean 101 is located. If it is low tide, Cloud 9’s boardwalk creates a beautiful silhouette too. Ready your zoom lens!
I am rather lazy in uploading all our travel photos, but believe me when I say, I take around 400-500 photos a day when we are out! I know, crazy! We are Lumix GX7 users, and the lightness of our cameras makes it easier and convenient to take photos whenever and wherever we are. Yep, all photos uploaded on this travel guide are all taken by Panasonic Lumix GX7.
Because you should. So many beaches around Siargao, and it is a waste if you don’t lounge on one. If you need a beautiful mandala for a photographable moment on the beach. And don’t forget to bring a good book with you!
Notes from my first trip: It was the waves sounding like a tsunami that never arrives that I found ominous. But I could not leave Siargao without conquering my fear of those waves sweeping the whole island away.
Surfers wait for the waves during the swelling of the sea. Once the sea recedes, the crowd empties out Cloud 9, making the waves more resounding to the ear. So I walked around with the Pacific greedily lapping the shore a few feet away from me.
My feet brought me to a glass house with a person sleeping inside, to a family of five, to a family hounding the shore for dinner, to a rocky shore beyond the cliff. I walked the entire afternoon before the sea swelled again. And when I got back at the boardwalk, the waves were not as imposing as I thought.
Errr, one of the first things I’ve experienced in Siargao, Sorsogon, and Malapascua. I don’t know why. The locals may have this impression that I am a seasoned gambler that they often tagged me along. I find this whole cockfighting thing brutal, but it is the culture we “inherited” from our 3oo+ Spanish colonization. It is the Sunday mass for many local men. It is worth checking out. You can bet if you know how, (I don’t). And if you are a softie like me, get ready to cringe and ready yourself for a heartbreak.
Located in General Luna, Surigao Del Norte, Siargao Wakepark provides wakeboarding in the surfing capital of the Philippines. It is the newest boardsport on the vibrant island of Siargao. Next to surfing, island hopping, kitesurfing and Stand-up-paddling, it is one of the stand out activities which can be practiced on a hidden lake in between the palmtrees.
Every place always has their barbecue corner where locals get their staple. I highly recommend you try the carenderia and barbecue culture on Siargao. Give it a try. The food might be simple and do not really meet your standard, but at least it gives you an idea what locals eat.
Constant walking and talking with the locals during my first visit afforded me a glimpse of the Siargao that only those who’ve been there will be familiar with. If you are surfer, there are many surfing spots that you cannot find online. Connect with local surfers (they are some of the best), and you will surely know a side of Siargao that others don’t. Talk with the ones who have lived their entire life on the island and see island living from their perspective.
If you don’t know how to drive a motorbike like I do ☹, cycling a portion of the island is a welcome respite. The road is now well-maintained unlike five years ago. The road is very scenic, and since cycling is slower, you can experience a side of the island that only reveals itself to those who take their time.
FUN FACT: Siargao is part of Mindanao–the place your country of origin warned you about. 😛 So many miseducation on geography going on in mainstream media. If you want to know more about the archipelagic Philippines (issues on terrorism and our mad president) feel free to read my Philippines Travel Guide 2023
Notes from my first trip: At night, young, sexy workers from different resorts gathered and went to a communal dance they call benefit. It actually befuddled me at first since back at home, we simply called it disco or bayle in the countryside.
Benefit dance, I would say, is the only communal entertainment in Siargao aside from the predominantly male cockfighting sessions, back in 2013. When I say communal, that does not exclude foreign tourists. It was very entertaining to see foreigners drinking mestiza (a rum and soft drink concoction) and dancing in the middle of a well-lit basketball court with the locals.
During a benefit dance, a person can sponsor a dance for Php20 or Php50 and the whole community can dance to it.
Seeing a multicultural disco on an island, which has a small airport with a carabao grazing nearby was beyond my imagination. And if you ask me, and if you really want to experience the island culture, try this. This is may not be technically considered as one of Siargao tourist spots, but hey, you know the island culture, the authentic ones, this way. That is, if you’re up to it.
Well, some years ago, the only nightlife in Siargao was some drinks in a limited number of bars and the benefit dance. It has changed! According to Sandy, the owner of Kokai Resort Bar and Restaurant., there are now parties everywhere. There is the reggae night, the dance night, whatever night (not a party animal 😛 ) If you don’t want to miss the parties, ask your hotel staff or some locals, I’m pretty sure they know the schedule, and where the cool kids hang out.
I haven’t tried Kermit’s pizza, but I’ve heard a lot of good words about it. So give it a try whenever you’re on the island. A fellow traveller said, that you might need to call in advance to have your seat reserved in the restaurant. Yeah, they’re that popular.
This, we have tried. And, we enjoyed it a lot! Price range from 100-250 a meal! I forgot the names of the food we ordered.
Ate Laida’s place, located in the main road before you turn right to Cloud 9’s boardwalk, is one of the oldest establishments on the island. Five years ago, during my first trip to Siargao, their house looked like it was about to fall down. They served the cheapest meals around Cloud 9 area, and they still do. The rundown house is now concrete, and they now have rooms for rent. The family also rents out surfing boards.
The most popular barbecue place for dinner on the island. The place is mostly packed. For a meal for two, we paid around Php200-Php300. Ate Laida’s is still \ cheaper and more delicious by a long shot.
Café Loca is the only café you can find right next to Jacking Horse. I’m not sold out with their shakes—bland and watery. But their coffee and pastries are good. This place tends to be crowded on the afternoon.
Haven’t tried this place, but it is quite popular among travelers. So must be good. Give it a try, and let me know.
Yep, it is as gourmet as it gets. A lot of French bread and pastries I could not pronounce. Hehe. The place is not cheap. But it is worth it!
Siargaonons speak the Surigaonon language, which is a language spoken in Surigao del Norte, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Sur, and some portions of Agusan del Norte especially the towns near the Mainit Lake, Agusan del Sur and Davao Oriental. Fun fact: the Philippines has more than 150 languages. The language is an offshoot of Binisaya language, so if you’re from neighboring islands, they can understand your Bisaya, but they can make fun of you without you knowing :P.
And just like the rest of the country, Siargaonons have a grasp of the English language, so communicating with them should not be a problem, however, you can learn the Surigaonon basics.
Good = MarajawTranslations are provided by Surigaonon friends Jondy Arpilleda and Ka Jose Minglana
Good morning = Marajaw na buntag
I like you = Nakahimaya ako sa imo.
Nakaangay ako sa imo. (Often used to flirt )
Where are we heading? = Haen sa kita pasingud?
Let’s go! = Mokadto na kita.
I don’t know = Wara ako kasayod.
Where are you (at or now)? = Haen kaw kuman.
Thank you very much. = Salamat karajaw!
Let’s eat! = Mangaon ta!
Come in = Dajon kamo.
The Philippines uses Philippine Peso. Cash is the most popular mode of payment. Some restaurants and resorts accept credit/debit card payment.
Three Banks with ATMs in Siargao Island, two in Dapa (Cantilan Bank and East West Rural Bank) and one in Del Carmen. They work with foreign ATM Credit cards (VISA or MasterCard only). Since Siargao is a small island, ATMs easily run out of cash. So it is advisable to withdraw cash in your point of departure.
You can experience Siargao for as low as Php1000 (20USD) a day or less, depending on what you want to experience and to eat. So, $100 for five days should cover the basic excluding flights.
Personally, I spent 10000K (200$) during my last visit. I love food. Period.
Just like the rest of the Philippines, it sucks. I once entertained of living in Siargao while working online. But the state of the Internet simply sucks that anyone who works online cannot have any decent productivity. But if you’re only there for some days, sure, you can stomach the state of our Internet.
Like the rest of the country, it is Type A.
While we, Filipinos, love saying it is summer all year round, the truth is it can be a floody and stormy summer at times. Sunny days can be punctuated with rain from June to November. But based on experience, any day, any month will surely offer you a nice Siargao experience. And our summer, the hottest months of the year that is, is April and May—so expect a bigger volume of Filipino travelers during this month.
Cebu-Siargao Direct Flights: Cebu Pacific Airlines is the only courier that flies every day to Siargao. Be warned though, CebuPac is notorious for its flight delays and cancellations.
Manila-Siargao Direct Flights: Yes, there are now direct flights from Manila to Siargao. Skyjet launched this service last February! According to someone (haven’t tried the service), landing was constantly bumpy. He booked his Siargao-Manila-Coron flights through Skyjet.
Check the available flights and their respective fare from
When you don’t book flights in advance like I do, chances are, the flights skyrocket (around Php4000-Php6000 one way) on the day you are flying to Siargao. The cheapest option is to take the overnight ferry from Cebu City [Read my Cebu Travel Guide if you’re looking for some cool things to do in Cebu city before ferrying your way to Surigao.] to Surigao City and then take a fastcraft to Siargao. There are at least two ships leaving Cebu City to Surigao every night at 8PM and arriving in Surigao around 5AM. The boat ride from Surigao to Siargao takes around 3 hours.
Motorbike rental in Siargao costs Php350/a day. You can see signs everywhere. The common motorbikes are Honda XRM 125cc.
#6 to #11 are the typical road trip destinations in Siargao. You’re not bored reading my Siargao Travel Guide 2022 yet?
There is no such thing as ideal. The sooner you realized the better. Once you are in Siargao, your days will be fun-filled and adventurous. Yet, once you leave you realized, dang, there are many other things you want to experience. And that’s fine. I’ve been to Siargao four times, yet I feel that I haven’t done a lot in Siargao. Just cover half of the must-dos I listed above.
Depending on your spending habits, you can survive in Siargao at Php500 ($10) a day. But if you want to do the island-hopping trips, prepare Php1500 ($30) a day.
Got questions that I did not cover. Surf Siargao answered all the possible questions foreign travelers may ask, say, can an old and fat foreigner find a girl on the island? That, and more frequently asked questions on Siargao. If you find this Siargao travel guide useful, do let me know!
|Everything You Need to Know about Siargao Airport|
|Where to Stay in Siargao Island|
|Siargao Travel Guide|
|Cloud 9 Siargao: Everything You Need to Know|
|Everything You Need to Know about Siargao Surfing|
|Where to Stay in Siargao|
|Land Tour in Siargao|
|Island Hopping Tour in Siargao|
|Find hotel deals on Agoda|
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