Siargao : Things To Know
Siargao was easily one of the most beautiful islands I've ever visited. The island was overflowing with palm trees, friendly locals, beautiful beaches, mom and pop cafes, puppies, buffalo, hogs and tricycles. Siargao is slightly undeveloped compared to other popular destinations like Bali but that is truly the charm of the island. Tourism in Siargao is growing rapidly and if you haven't already, now is the perfect time to add this Island to the top of your bucket list. Its time to start planning your trip, here is what to expect when visiting one of Asia's most beautiful islands.
Most people speak English in Siargao. It was very easy to talk to locals on the island.
Free public wifi is common in most hotels, cafes, or restaurants however you should expect the wifi to be very slow or not working at all. The best option for having cell service is to get a sim card. We picked up a sim card after arriving at the airport and it was perfect for our time in Siargao.
Siargao is a rather small island with limited resources for the number of tourists that visit so you may experience power cuts. Siargao is also a tropical island so you may experience rain. We were careful not to book trips in activities until we arrived in Siargao so we could gauge the weather each day. The rain wasn't too bad for us luckily, it only rained two of the days we visited for 1-2 hours at a time.
Siargao is a bit more expensive compared to other islands in the Philippines. So, expect to pay higher prices for food and activities. Even though it is a bit pricier we still found it very affordable and a great option for people who don't want to break the bank on vacation. When I visited Siargao they only had a few ATMs and on one of the days, the ATMs were not working at all. We were also surprised to find out that nowhere accepted card, not even the hotels. We had to use cash for everything. If you can pull out money from the ATMs make sure to pull out enough to cover all your expenses during your stay.
We each spent about $15-$25 USD per day on food.
Group tours- If you don't mind joining a group tour you can budget $25-$40 USD for tours. Most group tours will be about 15-20 people and will include free lunch, snacks, drinks, transportation, and entry fees.
Private tours- We did the private tour and paid $260 which covers up to 3 people and included a private boat, free lunch, snacks, drinks, private transportation, and entry fees. You can learn more about our private tour on the next blog post.
We booked most of our tours through @MySiargaoGuide. We walked to Bravo beach the day before we wanted to go and booked in person. However you can also book through Instagram or just send them a text through WhatsApp (+63 927 611 6117).
The normal budget you can prepare for in Siargao is about $25- $50 USD per night. We decided to treat ourselves with the accommodations so we spent a lot more than we normally would. If you would also like to book luxury accommodation be prepared to spend about $120 - $190 USD per night.
Where To Eat:
Surprisingly General Luna was filled with so many yummy places to eat and grab drinks. Here's a couple of our favorite places.
Bravo Beach Resort - (Spanish food) a nice restaurant by the ocean, cool people, nice vibe, and good for cocktails. They also have a big party every Sunday from 9 pm-12 am.
Lamari Siargao - (western food) the food is amazing and the restaurant also has a pool party every Sunday from 4 pm-10 pm
Kermit- (Italian food) nice vibe a good place for a couple of drinks before dinner, lots of people so expect to wait at least 30 minutes.
Buddha Surf Resort - (Thai food) not a place to hang out but good for dinner.
L'Osteria - (Italian food) romantic scene, a bit pricey but worth it.
Crepes Siargao Cafe - (Crepes and Pizza) perfect for an afternoon snack ($2 crepes ) They also serve pizza, paninis, and more.
Where To Stay:
The main areas to stay in Siargao are General Luna or Pacifico. General luna is more lively, offering more hotels, restaurants, and social options. Pacifico is a good area to stay if you're looking for a more quiet vacation near a beautiful beach and away from the crowds. During our stay we chose to only stay in General Luna.
1. Riptide Beach Front Villa
Riptide is a stunning beachfront villa with a mini private pool. The location offers a beautiful garden filled with palm trees leading to the ocean. The shower has a glass window with a peaceful view of plants and the room was very spacious and modern. Our booking came with free breakfast at "white banana" which was a yummy cafe just a two-minute walk away. The villa is also very close to Cloud 9.
2. Salina Beach Villas
Salinas offers simple beachfront rooms leading directly onto the beach. It was the perfect place to watch the sunset and it is conveniently located in the heart of General Luna just next door to the popular Bravo Beach and many other restaurants. If you're staying on a Sunday it will be a bit loud until midnight with the party next door at Bravo however the staff does provide you with earplugs for this reason and we didn't experience loud noises on the other days. Overall we had a great stay.
3. Club Tara
Club Tara blew my mind. Sadly, this hotel was a bit tricky to get to since it is not in Siargao. It is a 1.5-hour boat ride away from General Luna but it was 100% worth it and I wanted to include it in this post as an option. From the minute our boat approached the villa we were smiling ear to ear. The views from our overwater bungalow were amazing. They even offer free kayaks, paddleboards, and snorkes. This secluded resort is just across from a private island that you can kayak to in just 10 minutes. We also booked the full day Sohoton tour that they offer which was unforgettable. We were completely impressed with the property and will be going back.
How To Get There
Fly- The quickest way to get to Siargao is by plane. Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and Emirates are the only airlines that fly to Siargao. We booked a $48 direct flight (via Philippine Airline) from Cebu to Siargao which took 1 hour. The airport in Siargao is pretty basic with two rooms one for departures and one for arrivals. In the parking lot of the airport, you can find two ATMs, food stalls, a tiny souvenir shop, and two Sim Card stands.
We used skyscanner.com to book our affordable flight to Siargao
Ferry- Another option for getting to Siargao from Cebu is by Ferry. The entire journey takes about 14 hours and can cost between $15- $65. You will most likely stop in Surigao on the way and is a great option if you're on a budget and want to see Surigao.
If you flew to Siargao you will have two ways of getting to General Luna. You can choose between a private van ($5 per person) or a tricycle ($7 for 3-4 people) to General Luna. We chose the private van options as it was safer and had air conditioning. The ride to General Luna took about 45 minutes.
If you decided to take a ferry you will arrive at the port in Dapa and you can take a tricycle to General Luna which will take 30 minutes. We paid $7 for the tricycle.
The most popular way to get around in Siargao is to either rent a scooter or get a ride on a tricycle. You can rent a scooter for around $6- $7 per day. We chose not to get scooters because most scooter rentals do not provide helmets. Helmets on the island can be hard to find. There were tons of drivers you can flag down at any time of day if you choose to take a tricycle. Getting around General Luna by Tricycle was about $.50- $1 each time we wanted to go somewhere.
I hope this guide was helpful for planning your dream trip to Siargao and stay tuned for next weeks blog post on Things to do in Siargao. <3