Travel Guide: Siargao Island

Categories Mindanao, Travel Guide

Siargao, a small and unassuming island off the coast of Surigao del Norte, is one of Mindanao’s prized destinations. Famous for the surfing waves named “Cloud 9”, the island is increasingly becoming popular to local and foreign tourists, surfers and non-surfers alike.

Siargao Island is the biggest landmass in the island group of the same name. The entire island group is composed of nine municipalities including Socorro, where the famed Bucas Grande Islands or Sohoton Cove is located. The other eight are located in the mainland Siargao.


Siargao is almost synonymous to surfing, but more than its famed waves, there are other attractions dotting the island. Dip in the natural infinity pools and beach of Magpupungko in the town of Pilar; hop and laze under the sun in the sand bar and fine white sand islands off General Luna; dive the underwater caves and unspoiled sites around the island; go bird watching or game fishing; feast with fresh seafoods and other local delicacies; or explore other beaches, waterfalls, and natural attractions of the place.

Siargao is not only all about surfing, it has evolved into an all around adventure and eco-tourism destination. Come and discover its manifold of offering and be amazed of the tropical paradise that is Siargao!

The Magpupungko Tidal Pool in Pilar

How to Get There

By Air

Siargao Island has an airport (Sayak Airport) that serves commercial flights but currently, only Cebu Pacific flies there with their regular flight from Cebu City using small aircraft. Check out their website for the latest flight schedule and fare.

Sayak Airport is located in Barangay Del Carmen, approximately 45 minutes from General Luna, where most tourist facilities and attractions are located. There are vans parked outside the terminal to transport passengers going to General Luna. The current prevailing rate is P150 per person, you may work out your charm and bargaining skill to lower it down. Alternatively, you may also take a tricycle (as low as P500 per tricycle good for four) or habal-habal (as low as P400 per motorbike good for two).

From Surigao City

Surigao City, capital of Surigao del Norte is another jump-off point to Siargao Islands specially for those coming from Manila. Philippine Airlines (PAL Express) and Cebu Pacific have daily flights to Surigao City from Manila and Cebu.

Upon arrival in Surigao City, catch a multicab or tricycle to take you to the port where trigger boats (P250/person) or RoRo Ferry (P210/person) to Dapa Port of Siargao dock. There are daily trips from Surigao to Dapa, the earliest leaving at 5:30AM and the latest at around noon. Take note that the trigger boats use different port from the RoRo Ferry, so make sure to tell the driver on where you intend to ride. Check out this site for the ferry timetable: (Boat/Ferry fares vary, rates are as of May 2013).

From Dapa Port, transfer to a tricycle (P250/tricycle) or habal-habal (P200/motorbike) to take you to General Luna. If you are on a budget, just walk from Dapa Port to the nearby tricycle terminal in the market. The public tricycle fare to General Luna costs P30 per passenger as of May 2013)

Dako Island
A local kid of Dako Island and his skimboard

By Land and Sea

By land, Philtranco buses from Pasay to Cagayan de Oro City pass through Surigao City for an approximately 42 hours travel time. By sea, 2Go Travel has ferries bound to Surigao City from Manila for around 30 hours travel time while Cokaliong Shipping Lines connects Cebu to Surigao City with travel time of approximately 12 hours.

Getting Around and Away

Habal-habal and tricycle are the common means of transport around the island. The local government has standard rates for them (Contact the Tourist Assistance Center for more information at +639285970090 or email them at Minimum fare for short distance travel is P10/person.

If you are planning to go to Soccoro/Bucas Grande, there are two schedule departures from Dapa daily – 7AM and 2PM. Travel time is approximately (1) hour and boat fare is P100/person.

Naked Island
Naked Island

Where to Stay

Accommodation in Siargao ranges from budget type to high end hotels and most of them are located in General Luna. For budget travelers, there are accommodations for as low as P300 per room and deluxe resorts that goes by the thousands. Among the favorites are:

Ocean 101 Beach Resort
Catangnan (Cloud 9), General Luna
Fan Room for two for as low as P700 per room
Contact No: +639108480893/+639198268837

Happy Gecko Siargao Backpackers Hostel

Catangnan (Cloud 9), General Luna
Dorm room for as low as P200 per person
Contact No: +639999937416

The Boardwalk @ Cloud 9 Resort
Catangnan (Cloud 9), General Luna
Budget fan Room for two for as low as P500 per room
Contact No: +639391641268

Ocean Pacific Inn and Restaurant
Catangnan (Cloud 9), General Luna
Fan Room for two for as low as P500 per room
Contact No: +639083932796 and +639301880363

Jadestar Lodge
Poblacion, General Luna
Budget fan cottage for two for as low as P600 per room
Contact No: +639192344367 (Ma’am Anita Quintas)

Diving in Siargao

What to Do

  • Go Surfing! Most resorts in Barangay Catangnan (Cloud 9) offer board rental and tutorial. There are also stand alone rentals in the boardwalk. The standard rate is P500 per hour for the use of longboard and service of a instructor. For board rental only: P300 for half day; and P500 for whole day.
  • Scuba diving/Free Diving/Snokeling: Unspoiled and unexploited, the waters around Siargao Island are divable all year round. Sites include Blue Cathedral, Guyam Island, Dako Island, Seeco Reef, Antokon, Shark Point and more. Contact Palaka Dive Center at +639186262303.
  • Other water sports such as paddle boarding and kayaking
  • Island Hopping: Naked Island, Guyam Island and Daku Island
  • Visit Magpupungko Beach and Natural Infinity Pools (Entrance P50/person)
  • Go Fishing
  • Trek to Taktak Falls of Sta. Monica
  • Explore the caves in Consuelo
  • Bird watching
  • Visit Bucas Grande Islands/Sohoton Cove

Other Tips

  • There are ATM machines in Dapa but most of the time they do not work with foreign ATM cards and credit cards.
  • Some resorts accept major credit cards with additional fee of at least 6%
  • Travelers’ checques are not accepted
  • Globe and Smart have mobile signal
  • Best time to go surfing in Siargao is from July to November
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