Siargao Island Tour Itinerary: 3 days

Beach, Surfing, Backpacking, Island Hopping | Siargao Island Tour Itinerary
Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte
Hours: 3 days/2 nights
Specs: Beach, Dapa Pier, General Luna, Cloud 9, Magpupungko, island hopping, waterfalls, surfing, island life


This should’ve been my itinerary in Siargao had it not been for unforeseen circumstances. I went there with my small family, and planned to do all this, but our bub caught some kind of tummy bug, so we had to cancel a few things. Anyway, this should be an ideal set-up for anybody visiting Siargao for the first time, with only the weekend to spare.

Getting there and around:
  • There are flights to Siargao (Sayak airport) from Cebu via Cebu Pacific every M/W/F/Su (Th/Sa added during peak summer season). Only small planes fly this route because the landing strip is small; consequently, the check-in baggage limit is only up to 10kgs per passenger.
  • You may also choose to travel the old-school way, by taking a bus from Surigao City to its port, and hopping on a ferry to Dapa Pier in Siargao. Airphil Express flies Manila-Surigao daily, while Cebu Pacific flies Cebu-Surigao daily. There are also ferry boats coming from Cebu city.
  • Landing in Sayak airport is exciting because from Cebu, the plane has to go a little bit around the island to get the right position to approach the runway. If you’re on a window seat, you’ll get to catch a glimpse of the vast Del Carmen mangrove forest.
  • All arriving passengers are required to sign on the local tourism log sheet (upon airport exit).
    Sayak airport is about 40 minutes away from General Luna municipality. You can ride a tandem motorbike habal-habal (P100-P150/person) or hire a passenger tricycle (P300-P500/vehicle) to take you to your lodging. Since there is no standard fare, you can haggle your best price with the driver. For better rates, you can try to go outside the airport compound.
  • If your hotel provides free airport pick up, use it! Some resorts charge extra for that service (ours charge P300/person).
  • Motorbikes and tricycles are the main means of public transportation in Siargao. You can rent a motorbike for a daily rate (P500-P1000). Habal-habal rides are P20 per person (short distances).

INDIE TIP: Try to get other passengers with you when you hire a tricycle to save on the fare.


Friendly accommodations are scattered in General Luna area. It is, after all, the place most tourists flock to – thanks to its year-round waves. You’ll find budget rooms for as low as P300-P500 and luxe resorts that charge upwards P4000 per night.

The main town center is about 10 minutes away from Cloud 9 by motorbike, so you’ll have to figure out whether you want to stay in the surfing area or in the town area. I mean, for first timers, they’ll probably hit the waves just once and that’s it, so it would be inconvenient to stay in C9 since the basic needs are in the town center. Here’s the Cloud 9 tourist map I made.

Here are the latest hotel deals, via Agoda:


Day 1
  • From the airport, arrange a ride to General Luna bayan (town center).
  • Have lunch at the boulevard carinderias (eateries) and buy some necessities at the public market.
    At the far right end of the boulevard, you’ll find fisherfolk where you can arrange your island hopping boat trip (~P1500 per boat to go to 3 islands).
  • Take a habal-habal (tandem motorbike) ride to your preferred lodging destination (GL town or C 9 are the best choices based on this I.T.).
  • Check in at the resort and get ready for the island hopping trip. Bring water, snacks and don’t forget to waterproof your stuff.
  • Three islands of interest on your Siargao island hopping itinerary:
    • Naked Island – a sandbar, naked, devoid of any vegetation.
    • Dako Island – the “big” island, nice coast line to relax, some cottages for rent.
    • Guyam Island – a small island you can circumvent in less than 10 minutes.
  • After island hopping, ask to be dropped off at GL wharf so you can take a sunset stroll along the boulevard. Have dinner in the area, too.
  • Before going back to your hotel, arrange your trip to Pilar (magpupungko tidal pools) the next day – you can hire a habal-habal (~P500), rent your own motorbike (best option if you know how to use one) or hire a boat (starts at P1500); both trips last around an hour.

INDIE TIP: A visit to Pilar’s Magpupungko tidal pools should be scheduled during low tide (ask the locals or check online), to make the swim manageable; otherwise, the pools could be too deep or the crashing waves might be too rough.

Day 2
  • Get an early start – and this could mean a breakfast of bread and instant coffee.
  • A good part of the land trip to Magpupungko will be on rough road. If you’re not confident on your motorcycling, just hire a habal-habal. If you’ve got a group with you, you can opt for the boat ride or maybe hire a four-wheeled vehicle.
  • *As of 2012, the roads are being paved, so it might be cemented 70% of the way.
  • Drop by Pilar town market to get lunch supply – some fresh catch, charcoal and rice is a good idea, but you can also buy cooked food (less effort).
  • Entrance fee in Magpupungko is P50.
  • After swimming, make your way to Dapa town, a busy commuter port that connects Siargao to the neighboring Bucas Grande Islands and Surigao del Sur.
  • Have lunch in Dapa and explore the place a little bit.
  • Next order of business: taking a dip in a virgin beach – the Pesangan white beach. We just stumbled upon this property between GL and C9. It’s got a sandy beach and calm waves (as opposed to the crashing waves and coral reef in C9). Picnic cottages can be rented for P100.
  • After a couple of hours in Pesangan, it’s time to get stoked – the tide should be coming out at this time, so it’s not as violent as it normally is in C9. Ideally, surfing should be done during high tide, but for first timers, the ebbing tide should be better.
  • Surfing lessons in C9 costs P500 (1 hour; board rental included). You can also just rent the board for P500 (whole day), or bring your own board and get lessons for P300 per hour. You decide.
  • When you're done, you can chill out at the boardwalk till sundown.
  • Your stomach should be worked up by this time. I recommend dinner at Ocean101 café. Bloggers all rave about their bang-for-the-buck menu.
  • At night, it’s time to retire. But if you’re still up for some drinks, you can hit one of the many videoke-cum-grill joints in GL.

Day 3
  • Flights out of Siargao are usually around noon.
  • A few more options for day 3:
    • Surf in the morning
    • Explore Bucas Grande Islands (requires overnight stay)
    • Explore Taktak falls in Sta. Monica. This is 2 hours away from GL, so you’ll have to check out of your hotel and go straight to the airport after the trip.
    • Explore Pansukian (now Dedon Resort) mangrove walk – not sure if it’s still open to the public.

INDIE TIP: Look out for freshly-baked ‘puto’ bread – a pan de sal-like bread sans baking powder (like a flat bread for ~P5). It’s a filling snack, delicious even without fancy jams or spreads.

  • It’s easy to find carinderia-style places in GL and in Dapa. In C9, however, you may have to dine in a resort café (it’s more expensive for those on a budget).
  • A pa-luto (cooked to order) service is available in the sari-sari store near the Cloud 9 boardwalk (along the main road, fronting Sagana Resort). You can have small items like noodles, canned corned beef or egg cooked for P10-P25 or have adobo cooked with rice for about P150.
  • Bottled drinks like coke solos and beer may be stale, as in any other island town. I don’t mind it, but you can always have the option of ordering the canned ones.

  • There are only 2 ATM machines in Siargao, located in Dapa town: Green Bank and Cantilan Bank.
  • If you absolutely need money but your ATM card is not accepted in the above banks (foreign ATM cards), you can get cash remittance through Western Union, LBC or MLhuillier. Some resorts accept credit card payments/advances and even exchange foreign currency.
  • Internet is available on the island. Most resorts are WiFi capable.
  • The best time to surf Cloud 9 Siargao is during the dry months of Sept – Nov. At this time, waves in C9 reach as high as 12 feet!

Around P 3000 per pax excluding airfare and terminal fees.
Budget estimate for 2 persons:
P600 airport to-and-fro
P1000 lodging (budget room)
P500 tricycle rent
P1500 island hopping boat
P100 habal-habal rides P1200 meals, snacks
P500 board rental
P600 misc (tips, drinks, gasoline, etc)

Touchdown: Sayak Airport in Del Carmen, Siargao

Here are some of the must-see spots on the island

General Luna Pier for small boats

Surfing hour: motorbikes lined up before the boardwalk in Cloud 9

Cloud 9 beach front viewed from the boardwalk

Spectator tower
Small pools, a teaser of what you'll find in Magpupungko

Cloud 9 boardwalk, I just can't photograph this enough!
heading out to the water
Inland roads under construction. These are prolly halfway done by now

Serene scene at Pesangan

Foreigner-turned-local surfing Cloud 9
Rippin' it

Itinerary and expenses recorded on June 2012.


  1. Siargao is one of the places I want to visit soon because of the posts and pictures I see online, thanks for this post!

    1. Yeah, we can't get enough of the Philippine beaches!

  2. Indeed,Siargao is like a heaven for surfers. The mere mention of Siargao Island connotes images of surfing. This surfing mecca in Mindanao is hailed as one of the best in the country. this is one of the most famous surfing destination of most of the Aussie and European surfers. Recently i have been here with my Jet ski and its boat trailer for exploring those waves.


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