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Ultimate Guide to Siargao

Ultimate Guide Siargao

Where to work?

Our recommendation is:

Finding an accommodation with good wifi which Siargao is filled with. However, during the surfing season which is between July and December, this will be difficult due to the good places being booked out.

The next best option is having a pocket wifi or data – Globe one to be exact as they have the most towers on the island.

There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants that provide free wifi, like Ocean 101 Beach Resort, which has an open, stunning view of the ocean. Another place I suggest you look at is Goodies, which is a cafe-restaurant where not only will you get good internet, but their food is also satisfying. The atmosphere in the establishment will help you take away the stress of work.

There are a few co-working spaces I can recommend like Alter Space in General Luna. This quirky work space is open 24/7 and equipped with fast fiber, so you can spend as much time as you want here with your free freshly brewed coffee. 

There are also a few hostels that offer co-working spaces, like Lexias Hostel which is in General Luna. Lexis Hostel in Siargao, Philippines, seamlessly blends the vibrant atmosphere of a hostel with the productivity of a co-working space. With its communal areas designed for collaboration and focus, it offers digital nomads and travelers an ideal environment to work, connect, and explore the beauty of the island.

Coco Space is also one of our top recommended co-working space in Siargao; situated amidst lush greenery and just a short distance from the beach, Coco Space offers a tranquil environment conducive to focused work. With comfortable seating, high-speed internet, and amenities like free coffee and snacks, it’s an ideal spot for extended work sessions.

For those interested in combining work with learning and skill-building, Tropical Academy by Lokal Lab presents an innovative co-working concept. Beyond offering a conducive workspace with modern amenities, Tropical Academy hosts workshops, seminars, and skill development programs focused on sustainability, entrepreneurship, and creative pursuits. It’s an excellent opportunity to not only get work done but also expand your knowledge and connect with professionals passionate about making a positive impact.

Where to stay?

If you stay in Siargao just for a night or two:

Siargao, often referred to as the surfing capital of the Philippines, offers a range of accommodation options catering to different preferences and budgets. For those seeking a vibrant atmosphere with easy access to restaurants, bars, and shops, General Luna is the place to be. This bustling town is situated close to Cloud 9, one of the most famous surfing breaks in Siargao, making it ideal for surf enthusiasts. Here, you’ll find a mix of budget-friendly hostels, cozy guesthouses, and luxurious resorts, such as the iconic Siargao Bleu Resort & Spa.

If you prefer a quieter and more laid-back environment, consider staying in Pacifico or Pilar. Pacifico is known for its serene beaches and excellent surf spots, providing a peaceful retreat away from the crowds. Pilar, located on the eastern coast of the island, offers a tranquil escape with pristine beaches and a more authentic Filipino atmosphere. Accommodation options in these areas range from charming beachfront cottages to eco-friendly resorts like the Isla Cabana Resort.

For a secluded and luxurious experience, venture to the northeastern part of the island and explore the accommodations around Burgos and Malinao. Here, you’ll find exclusive resorts nestled amidst lush tropical landscapes, offering privacy and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. One such gem is Nay Palad Hideaway, renowned for its exquisite villas, personalized service, and eco-conscious practices.

No matter where you choose to stay in Siargao, you’ll be greeted with warm Filipino hospitality and surrounded by the natural beauty that makes this island paradise so special. Whether you’re a thrill-seeking surfer, a nature lover, or simply in search of relaxation, Siargao has something for everyone.

Stay for a week or longer:

We recommend you to stay around Catangnan; this is a community just north of General Luna and will keep you within your budget for the long run. Here you can stay in affordable accommodations but still have access to the water activities Siargao has to offer. Like learning how to surf with one of the many surf schools in Catangnan, or taking a stroll on the Jacking Horse Trail.

If you want to escape the crowds for a while, how about staying in San Isidro, a small community located in the center of the island, Not only do you have some tranquility but you’re still near some good food spots like Sail Camp Resort Restaurant; as well as the long gold-sand beaches that you can bath and learn to skimboard on.

One of our recommended places to stay for a week-long or longer stay in Siargao, are luxurious beachfront accommodations such Siargao Bleu Resort & Spa for unparalleled comfort and relaxation. For those seeking a more intimate and eco-friendly experience, the eco-resort of Isla Cabana Resort offers stunning villas nestled amidst lush tropical gardens. Additionally, indulge in the laid-back island vibe at Harana Surf Resort, known for its surf-centric atmosphere and cozy accommodations.

What to do?

Stay in town:

Cloud 9 is an area in the main town, General Luna; here you can try surfing the Siargao waves or take a tan on their white beaches.

One of the recommended things to do is take up diving and visit the Blue Cathedral, an underwater rock formation and explore into its 20 meter deep vertical hole.

By Habal-Habal;

Sohoton Cove*: A ~2hrs drive south west from General Luna. Known for its interconnected natural pools and jellyfish sanctuary which you can explore when you rent out one of the local boats. The Hagukan cave is also one of the recommended places to explore when you’re at Bucas Grande Island.

Tayangban Cave Pool: 30 mins away from the main town is this cave pool that will get you on your hands and knees crawling around with your head torch through a maze of tunnels and caves and jumping off cliffs – with a tour guide by your side of course. They will guide you through the darkness into the blue open pool and even to an 18m deep water to jump into.

Magpopongko Rock Pools: A 45 mins drive on a motorcycle from General Luna; the best time to visit is when it is low tide. Since the rock pools are tidal pools, even being an hour or two late can alter your experience here so arrive early. For 50 Pesos, you can enjoy swimming in the crystal clear blue pool water where you can have a dip, go cliff jumping or explore some caves.

By Ferry:

Dinagat Islands*: To get to Dinagat, you’ll first have to take a ferry to Surigao port which will take 5.5-6 hrs. The islands are a hidden gem full of natural resources and surrounded by blue waters. Here you can go hiking, explore falls and limestone formations. If you want to snorkel I recommend visiting places like Bitaog Beach, Cab-ilan Beach and Pagabangan Island; Their clear waters and white sands make it easy to see the rich sealife of Dinagat.

Where to eat?

Of course, that highly depends on where you stay.

General Luna is where most of the shops and food places are so I will focus on this area.

Like most of the other provincial islands, Siargao doesn’t really have a mall where all the major food chains are.

The South-east route of Tourism Road is where the majority of the recommended food places are, so I recommend taking a stroll around that area to figure out where you would like to eat.

There are plenty of food places to choose from in Siargao especially since it’s booming with tourists. One thing I found in the majority of restaurants within the area is that they double as a bar; so after a long day at work or enjoying your activities, why not take a chance to grab a cold one after filling yourself up.

One dish I must recommend you try while you’re in Siargao is their famous delicacy: Sayongsong. If you’ve tried other ‘kakanins’ in the Philippines like ‘puto’, it has a similar consistency to that – made with with glutinous rice, calamansi juice, brown sugar, coconut milk and roasted peanut, giving a delicious plum-maroon color all wrapped in a cone shape with banana leaves.

For vegans / vegetarian diets:

Shaka Siargao is a quick place to get your breakfast before you start your long day ahead. They serve all kinds of fruity drinks and shake bowls that will get you energized right away. If you’re looking for something warm to get you started, they do have beautiful tea blends to choose from and of course coffee. The colorful presentation of your snacks is paired with a relaxing view of the sea and adjacent to Cloud 9 Boardwalk.

Like a local:

If Filipino food is what you’re craving, then Harana is one of the places a local would point you to. The place has a nice ambiance and will make sure you are comfortable while you eat. Harana not only serves Filipino food but also some Chinese dishes, if your company prefers that.

For a date / with a view:

If you’re looking for an open restaurant with a beach view, then Bravo is what You’re looking for. Here they specialize in Spanish and some Mediterranean cuisine presented in a simple but neat manner complimenting its surroundings.

How to get to Siargao from: MANILA!

  1. Flight: The most common and convenient way to reach Siargao from NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) is by air. Several airlines operate direct flights from Manila to Siargao Sayak Airport (IAO). You can check for available flights and book tickets with airlines such as Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, or AirAsia. The flight duration is typically around 1.5 to 2 hours.

  2. Connecting Flight: If there are no direct flights available, you may need to take a connecting flight. Many flights from Manila connect through Cebu City or Davao City before heading to Siargao. Ensure you have enough time between connecting flights to avoid missing your onward journey.

  3. Ferry and Flight Combination: An alternative option is to take a ferry from Manila to Surigao City, which takes around 24-36 hours depending on the ferry company and schedule. From Surigao City, you can then take a short flight or ferry to Siargao. However, this option is more time-consuming and may not be as convenient as flying directly.

Once you arrive at Siargao Sayak Airport, you can easily reach your accommodation by hiring a tricycle or arranging for a transfer with your hotel or resort. It’s advisable to book your flights and accommodations in advance, especially during peak seasons, to ensure availability and secure the best deals.

How to get to Siargao from: CLARK!

  1. Flight: The most convenient way is to take a flight from Clark International Airport to Siargao. Several airlines operate flights to Siargao from Clark, typically with a layover in Manila or Cebu. You can book a direct flight if available or a connecting flight via Manila or Cebu.

  2. Bus/Transfer to Manila Airport: If there are no direct flights available from Clark to Siargao, you can take a bus or arrange a transfer to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila. There are buses or private transfer services available that can take you from Clark to NAIA, which is the main international airport in Manila. From NAIA you can find numerous flights to Siargao; several airlines operate flights from Manila to Siargao daily, offering both direct and connecting flights.

Once you arrive at Siargao Airport, you can take a tricycle or taxi to your accommodation, which is usually located within a reasonable distance from the airport.

It’s advisable to check flight schedules and book your tickets in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, as flights to Siargao can fill up quickly. Additionally, consider the layover times if you’re opting for a connecting flight to ensure smooth travel to Siargao.

How to get to Siargao from: CEBU!

  1. Flight: Take a direct flight from Mactan-Cebu International Airport (CEB) to Siargao Airport (IAO). Several airlines operate flights between these two destinations, including Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and SkyJet. The flight duration is approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.

  2. Ferry and Flight: Alternatively, you can take a ferry from Cebu to Surigao City, which typically takes around 9-10 hours. From Surigao City, you can then catch a flight to Siargao. Several airlines offer flights from Surigao City to Siargao Airport, with a flight duration of approximately 30-45 minutes.

  3. Ferry: Another option is to take a ferry from Cebu to Surigao City, as mentioned above, and then proceed to Siargao via ferry. There are regular ferry services between Surigao City and Siargao, with travel time ranging from 2 to 3 hours.

How to get to Siargao from: DAVAO!

  1. Flight: Several airlines operate flights between Davao and Siargao, with direct flights available making it the most convenient way to get to Siargao from Davao. You can check with local carriers such as Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, or SkyJet for schedules and ticket prices. The flight duration is approximately 1 to 1.5 hours.

  2. Ferry and Bus: If you prefer a more adventurous route, you can take a combination of ferry and bus. From Davao City, you’ll need to take a ferry to Surigao City. Ferry operators like Cokaliong Shipping Lines or 2GO Travel offer regular trips to Surigao. The ferry journey typically takes around 6 to 8 hours. Once in Surigao City, you can catch a bus or van to the port of Dapa, which is the gateway to Siargao. The bus ride from Surigao City to Dapa takes approximately 3 to 4 hours. From Dapa, you can take a ferry or boat to Siargao Island.

  3. Private Transportation: Another option is to hire a private van or car to take you directly from Davao Airport to Surigao City or directly to Dapa. This option offers flexibility in terms of schedule and comfort, but it can be more expensive compared to public transportation.

Once you arrive:

1. Hotel Transfer (Preferred Option):
Many resorts offer airport transfer services for their guests. Before your trip, it’s a good idea to check with the resort if they provide this service and if it needs to be pre-arranged. If they do, they might have a representative waiting for you at the airport with your name on a sign. This is usually the most convenient and hassle-free option.

2. Tricycle or Motorcycle Taxi:
Tricycles and motorcycle taxis are a common mode of transportation in Siargao. Once you exit the airport terminal, you’ll find tricycles and motorcycle drivers offering rides to various destinations on the island. Negotiate a fare with the driver and inform them on the location that you want to go to. While this option is cheaper than a private transfer, it may not be as comfortable, especially if you have a lot of luggage.

3. Public Transportation:
You can take a public multicab or jeepney from the airport to the town of General Luna, which is the main area of the island. These are shared vehicles, and you might need to wait for them to fill up before they depart. Once in General Luna, you can either walk to the resort (if it’s nearby) or take a tricycle to reach the exact location.

Remember to have the name and address of place you want to go to written down or saved on your phone to show to the driver or locals for easier navigation.