Siargao is probably everyone’s dream vacation spot in the Philippines. The crystal clear water and the roaring waves are indeed a very captivating sight for a city girl like me. I mean, it’s a completely different world out there where you can legit walk barefoot with nature and just enjoy your sunkissed skin.
Last February 2019, I had the chance to take a 1-week break from my stressful city life and reconnect with nature in one of the top-rated tourist destinations in the Philippines. It was a dream vacation that I would love to relive over and over again.
Is Siargao expensive?
Yes, a trip to Siargao can hurt your wallet but depending on your strategy you can surely find a way to fit everything in your budget. If you are looking for a travel itinerary to Siargao, this article is a good read for you.
Where is Siargao located in the Philippines?
Here’s a map of Siargao Island, Philippines.
I didn’t think this tropical paradise still needs this introduction but for the sake of those who need to review their geography, Siargao is located in the province of Surigao del Norte– just 196 kilometers southeast of Tacloban. It is popularly known as the “Surfing Capital of the Philippines”.
Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing is one of the top activities to do on the island as you can see in most Siargao travels guides nowadays. However, there is more to the island than riding the waves and here’s how I only spent PHP 7000 for all these activities (including foods).
Travel itinerary to Siargao for 7 days
Day 0: Arrival in Siargao Airport
We arrived at Siargao Airport (Sayak Airport) in the afternoon. Seeing the coconut trees from the airplane window already gave me the excitement I needed– enough to kick-off my most awaited vacation.
Expenses (per person):
|PHP 300||Door-to-door van service to your hostel|
|PHP 20||Isaw (We brought food from Cebu to eat for dinner)|
|PHP 80||Bought 8 liters of water from the market|
Day 1: Island Hopping (Bucas Grande + Tri-Island)
I decided to do the island hopping on our first day in Siargao because this is the only item in our itinerary where we will be joining a group tour. For the rest of the week, we will be doing it on our own.
I was able to find an affordable island hopping tour with Tour Siargao during that time. (You can visit their Facebook page here)
Our first stop was Bucas Grande, the farthest in our itinerary today. I couldn’t remember how long we were battling with the rough waves on our way to the island and back.
We registered ourselves first in the registration area before making our way to the Jellyfish Sanctuary with a small bangka.
After our quick visit to the jellyfish sanctuary (which there were only a few since it’s not jellyfish season yet), we went back to the entrance so we could change to a bigger bangka for our next adventure inside the Sohoton Cove– the next time I noticed we were already preparing to swim with the bioluminescent planktons. We had to either hold our breath and dive under so we could get inside the cave or float on our back and let our guides push/pull us inside. We don’t have pictures here because Berb’s GoPro decided to die.
On our next stop, I found myself on top of a cliff praying that I’ll miraculously grow wings so I could swiftly fly from the top of the cliff to the sea. Unfortunately, I did not grow wings– not even cockroach wings, so our guide had to pull me into his arms before jumping with me. I was still in a state of shock and I didn’t even know how I was able to recover from it. I thought I was ready for another cliff-jump after our trip to Bantayan last December 2018.
Tri-island (Naked Island, Daku Island, Guyam Island)
After lunch, we continued our island-hopping itinerary and went to the popular tri-island. We first went to Naked Island where we allowed the sun to burn us since there was no shade on the island. Then we went to Daku Island where we had a small snack, and then to Guyam Island to watch the sunset.
Expenses (per person):
|PHP 1500||Island Hopping (Group tour)|
Day 2: Siargao Land Tour (Bent Palm Trees, Enchanted Lagoon, Cloud 9)
On our second day, we decided to rent a motorcycle from our hostel so we could explore the island on our own.
Coconut Viewpoint in Maasin
One of those popular Instagram posts is the Coconut Viewpoint in Maasin. This site is difficult to miss because you’ll easily notice this endless sea of coconut trees along the road.
Enchanted Lagoon in Maasin
A few minutes from the coconut viewpoint, you’ll reach the Maasin Bridge where you’ll see the Bent Palm Trees. We decided to take the river cruise to the enchanted lagoon first. If you are on a really tight budget, I would suggest skipping this in your travel itinerary to Siargao because there is really nothing much to see in the lagoon. It was just a very small lagoon with icy cold water.
Maasin Bent Palm Trees
At this point, we went back to the Bent Palm Trees that we passed by on our way to the lagoon. Swinging in the tree was free but we gave a tip for the local guides. At that time, there was no mandated guide fee so we only paid what we can afford.
To add in your best things to do in Siargao, Cloud 9 surfing is perfect for beginners like me. There’s also another surfing spot right next to Cloud 9, Quicksilver, which has smaller waves and the most ideal for first-timers.
We were tempted to surf already but decided to stick to our itinerary since we still have plenty of time left on the island.
|PHP 700||Motorcycle rental for 2 days|
Expenses (per person)
|PHP 20||Entrance fee to Maasin Enchanted Lagoon|
|PHP 250||River Cruise to Enchanted Lagoon|
|PHP 50||Tip for the local guide|
|PHP 25||Motorcycle gasoline|
|PHP 50||Entrance fee to Cloud 9|
|PHP 180||Mango shake|
Day 3: Siargao Road trip (Taktak Falls, Alegria Beach, Pacifico Beach)
We had the longest day on our third day because we went all the way to the farthest corner of the island. We prepared some snacks for this road trip so we won’t have to spend a lot of food. For this trip, we also prepared the map of Siargao Island, Philippines.
Taktak Falls is the only waterfall in Siargao which gives you a reason to add it in your travel itinerary to Siargao. It is located in Santa Monica, a town in the opposite end of Siargao.
Alegria Beach is an unspoiled beach in Santa Monica. Our long drive to get to this beach was all worth it because we had it all to ourselves (and a couple of other beach-goers though). We did not go for a swim but we surely had a relaxing time there while eating a homemade pizza.
This Siargao travel guide is not just all about surfing in Cloud 9 but I make sure to feature other surfing spots on the island as well. If you are on the intermediate level, Pacifico Beach is a refreshing surfing spot for you because it has bigger and rougher waves than Quicksilver. Who doesn’t like a little bit of a challenge, right?
|PHP 41||Motorcycle gasoline|
|PHP 15||Taktak Falls parking fee|
Expenses (per person)
|PHP 25||Entrance fee for Taktak Falls|
Day 4: Magpupungko Rockpool
Our fourth day felt like we’ve been in Siargao since forever. Could you imagine we even had time to check-in to our second hostel? We thought it would be nice if we could stay in a more decent room (which was still cheap but a good upgrade compared to our first hostel) towards the end of this vacation.
After checking-in, we went to Magpupungko Rockpool and spent the rest of the afternoon there. We also had to check for the tide schedule since our visit to Magpupungko Rockpool would end up nothing if it’s not low tide.
Beware of the stinging jellyfish though. I think it was about time for high tide when we started to notice these transparent jellyfish. Some of us were stung so we had to go back to the shore and wash it off with vinegar.
Villa Solea (Nightlife)
Of course, we can’t go home without trying the tropical nightlife in Siargao. There are a lot of Siargao nightlife spots to choose from that is why we had a hard time choosing where to go. We ended up in Villa Solea and there was only a live band that time but the crowd was taking turns showing off their musical abilities. The night ended with some foreign tourists and a local musician jamming together.
|PHP 1050||Motorcycle rent for 3 days|
|PHP 50||Tricycle to our next hostel|
|PHP 10||Magpupungko Parking fee|
|PHP 60||Drinking water|
Expenses (per person)
|PHP 50||Entrance fee for Magpupungko|
|PHP 40||Junkfood for snacks|
|PHP 35||Fresh Buko|
|PHP 25||Sweet corn|
Day 5: Tayangban Cave
Tayangban Cave in Pilar does not need any filter because it naturally has a turquoise cave pool. However, in order to enjoy this unfiltered beauty, you need to go through the dark cave first. Once in the cave pool, you can go for a swim or get another shot of adrenaline rush by jumping from the cliff to the pool. If you want to do the latter, be sure to inform your guide for safety purposes.
Philippine Crocodile Habitat
On our way back, we decided to take a break at the Philippine Crocodile Habitat with high hopes to spot a crocodile in the river. Unfortunately, we didn’t saw any.
Bravo Beach Resort (Nightlife)
We went to try the Siargao nightlife once again and this time, we were ecstatic because there was actual dancing already. As happy as we were, we were also sad because we knew it was going to be our last nightlife in Siargao. The night ended with the DJ playing Mr. Brightside.
Expenses (per person)
|PHP 130||Entrance fee and guide for Tayangban Cave|
Day 6: Surfing Day
Saving the best for last. Surfing in Siargao is really one of the things that I was looking forward to this trip. I intentionally added this on our last day in Siargao because I knew our body will be very sore after.
We surfed twice– first in the morning, then in the afternoon. Yes! We enjoyed it that much.
|PHP 28||Motorcycle gas|
|PHP 100||Locker (morning session)|
|PHP 100||Locker (afternoon session)|
|PHP 650||Dinner (we had a fancy one because it’s our last night)|
Expense (per person)
|PHP 500||Surfing (morning)|
|PHP 500||Surfing (afternoon)|
|PHP 170||Lunch (Mama’s Grill)|
Day 7: Departure from Siargao
Sadly, we had to go home.
Expense (per person)
|PHP 300||Door-to-door van service from hostel to airport|
I was able to spend roughly PHP 7000 for a 1-week vacation in Siargao. With that, I was already able to visit a lot of tourist spots in Siargao, have a nightlife, and surf TWICE! If we include accommodation and airfare, the total expense would be around PHP 11,000 for 8 DAYS (travel for 2).
If you think 1-week in Siargao is too long, you can also try to squeeze this itinerary in a few days. However, we liked it this way because we wanted to go back to our hostel (or at least in General Luna) before nighttime– for safety reasons.
Disclaimer: This Siargao travel guide is not claiming to have the cheapest Siargao itinerary but you can use it for your guidance.