SIARGAO, PHILIPINESExplore The Island Like A Local

Travel Guide by Irene Vernie Uy

Siargao is known to be the Surfing Capital of the Philippines. Boasting beaches with different waves that can accommodate newbies as well as professional surfers. But don’t mistake Siargao as a place for just surfers only, the island has a lot of offer for all types of people. Even locals Filipinos like me. This is my guide that will give you ideas on how to explore Siargao like a local. Check it out.

HOW TO GET HERE

There’s now a direct flight going from Manila to Siargao, which is the easiest and most convenient way to get here. A cheaper option would be coming from Clark International Airport. If you are in Manila, you can find a point-to-point bus from Trinoma going to Clark International Airport for 200 PHP ($4), and take approximately two hours to get here.

Sayak Airport is also known as Siargao Domestic Airport, is about forty-five minutes away from General Lunam, which is where all the action on the island is. There’s a van that you can ride just outside the airport, which costs PHP200 ($4).

GETTING AROUND

The means of transportation in Siargao is mainly tricycles and motorbikes. If you know how to drive a moped or scooter, it’s best to rent one for 350 PHP ($7) per day so you can conveniently travel to places. You can also just catch a ride on a tricycle for pretty cheap. A new venture, Binggo, offers mini-multicabs available for self-drive (1200 PHP per day) or with a driver (1500 PHP per day). One can hold three to four passengers comfortably. One of the most popular and traditional forms of transportation is Jeepneys, minibusses that are decorated in traditional Philippine designs.

WHERE TO STAY

There are a lot of hostels, villas, and B&Bs in Siargao that cater to various budgets. If you’re a budget traveler like me, you may opt to get a Tour + Accommodation package with Cavys Homestay. They offer a 4 days 3 nights accommodation with breakfast and tour for 2 days for only 5000 PHP ($98). Yes, the rooms will be small and basic, but you will get a decent private bathroom. For those prices, it’s a great deal. For me, this is a much better option than a hostel or dorm-type rooms where you have no privacy. If you are planning to stay in Siargao for longer, you may look for a place that you can rent for a month or so.

THINGS TO DO

Siargao has been tagged as the Surfing Capital of the Philippines, which made non-surfers like me not so interested in going to this island. Not knowing that the island has so much to offer.

ISLAND HOPPING

There are three islands in Siargao that you can go to in one day. Daku, Naked, and Guyam Island. Island hopping costs around 1000-1500 PHP ($29) if you join a group. If you want to rent on your own boat, depending on the size can cost 3000-4500 PHP ($88).

Daku Island translates to big because it is the biggest among the three islands. Naked Island was named after its sandy shores that are bare, with no trees or anything on its coast. All you have is a lovely small white sand beach. The other island is Guyam island, which is a beautiful tear-shaped island.

SOHOTON COVE

When visiting Siargao Island, Sohoton Cove is a must. The area is covered with valleys, hilltops, forests, mountains, and some of the softest sandy white beaches. You can take the lagoon tours to get inside the cave to the opening, which is an excellent place snorkeling and jumping into the crystal clear water. Some tours also offer swimming with jellyfish at the local sanctuary.

SUGBA LAGOON

This spectacular lagoon is one of the most popular things to do in Siargao. A day trip here costs around 1500 PHP ($30) per person and can be booked in General Luna. This spot is most famous for its high diving platform, swimming, and kayaking. A trip here is a must when traveling to Siargao.

MAASIN RIVER

Located in the Maasin Village, here you can experience the most fun rope swing. Where else can you swing off a bent coconut tree while holding on a piece of wood tied to the tree, dangling back and forth before you jump off the cool water of the river?

COCONUT FARM

This place is not only Instagrammable but also gives a sense of relaxing and tranquility while you sit under the tall trees while looking at the beach.

CLOUD 9 TOWER

This area is well-known for its waves, but for non-surfers, its a great place for perfect views of the sunsets, sunrises, or just to watch surfers catch some big waves.

PLACES TO EAT

General Luna is considered to be the heart of Siargao. The streets are full of restaurants, bars, stores, and places to stay on both sides of the street. If you are looking for some great places to eat Siargao, then General Luna is where you will find them.

Kermit Surf Resort and Restaurant
This place offers cozy, yet affordable prices. And their restaurant offers authentic Italian food. The place can get really packed at dinner so I suggest you come there around 6:00pm, just as I did to avoid long waiting lines. Must try from their menu:
-Pappardelle Bolognese (Tomato sauce and meat Ragu) -Kermit’s Make Your Own Pizza (choose the toppings yourself)
-Chicken Adobo (Stewed in soy sauce with or without fresh pineapple – if you haven’t tried this Filipino dish yet, this is definitely a must-try!)

Lunares Café
This café serves a variety of freshly baked bread, pastries, and coffee at a very affordable price. One of their bestsellers is the Focaccia, which was only 40 PHP ($1) each. You can grab breakfast here as they open as early as 7:30am.

La Carinderia

A Filipino-Italian fusion cuisine. They offer a wide selection of pasta as well as rice meals and also serve some tasty wines. Penne Alla Puttanesca is a must-try priced at 280 PHP ($5.50).

Shaka Cafe
This place is walking distance from Cloud 9 Surf Area, offers healthy smoothies and bowls perfect for breakfast.


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Irene Vernie Uy is The Lores Magazine’s Philipino based Writer. She resides in Malabon, Philippines but travels through out all the beautiful islands documenting her experiences. She likes to travel alone because she likes control of everything. Her time, itinerary, food, and the overall experience. She loves the liberating adventure of explore new places alone.