I have always wanted to see Siargao Island… long before it became so popular because of the movie by Dir. Paul Soriano. My first attempt to visit the island was two years ago for my birthday. I was planning to go there right after my fieldwork in Nonoc Island in Surigao City. I have already submitted my travel documents for the fieldwork. Unfortunately, days before leaving, our president saw me at the office and gave me a special assignment which meant me staying in Manila for a very long time. I had no choice but to cancel my plan.
I first heard of Siargao when I was still in college during our fieldwork in Surigao, 10+ years ago. I’m old, I know. Hahaha. Back then, I only knew Siargao to be a popular surfing spot in the Philippines with really big waves. I didn’t know that there are sights and activities that cater to non-surfers as well. If you are like me who is not into surfing but wants to see the other sights on the island, here is my 4-day solo trip to Siargao itinerary.
Day 1: Arrived in Siargao; Went Island Hopping Alone
I arrived in Dapa Port at 8 in the morning. From the port, I went straight to the hostel where I booked. The habal-habal ride from Dapa to General Luna is around 45 minutes and costs Php 200.00 (USD 4). From the hostel, I went for a quick breakfast then started my island-hopping adventure.
The exclusive boat rental for the tri-island tour costs Php 1500.00 (USD 30). I have no one to share the boat with so I did the island hopping alone. I don’t mind going solo even if it costs me more because I can stay on an island as long as I want to and I can leave anytime I want. My tour started at 11 in the morning and finished at half-past three in the afternoon.
There is a Php 100.00 (USD 2) boat docking fee at Daku Island and Php 10.00 entrance fee per head at Guyam Island.
Day 2: Visited Magpupungko Rock Pools and Sugba Lagoon
On my second day in Siargao, I visited Magpupungko Rock Pools in the town of Pilar and the Sugba Lagoon in the town of Del Carmen. I went there alone again. I was supposed to join the other guests in the hostel in visiting these spots, however, the night before the trip they changed their plan. But I went anyway.
After breakfast, I walked to the Catholic church, made three wishes then went outside and hailed a habal-habal that will take me to Magpupungko Rock Pools, Sugba Lagoon and back to General Luna. The fare for the whole trip costs Php 1500.00 ($30 USD). I am not sure but I think the habal-habal is designed for 2 passengers so if you want to save some bucks, look for a companion.
The habal-habal drive from General Luna to Magpupungko is around 45 minutes. There is an entrance fee for the rock pools of Php 50.00 ($1 USD) per head. The Magpupungko Rock Pools are tidal pools which means they are exposed during low tide and submerged at high tide. Check the tide time before going and make sure it is low tide when you visit. You can check the daily tide time of Pilar here.
You might also be interested: Surigao City, Philippines Travel Guide
The habal-habal drive from Magpupungko to Del Carmen Wharf is about 35 minutes. From the wharf, visitors transfer to a small boat which costs Php 1600.00 (USD 32) good up to 6 pax. Visitors are also charged a user’s fee of Php 50.00 (USD 1) per head for locals and Php 100.00 (USD 2) per head for foreigners. There is a time limit of 3 hours to stay in the lagoon. The boat ride from Del Carmen wharf to Sugba Lagoon takes 1 hour.
There is a two-story viewing tower at the lagoon where you can hang-out and take photos. Activities at the lagoon include diving, swimming, SUP, sightseeing, and renting a big wood raft. If you plan on doing SUP, it is cheaper to rent a paddleboard at the wharf than at the lagoon.
Day 3: Restaurant Hopping and Cloud 9
On my third day, I wanted to go to Casulian Island and do some hiking but I can’t find a tour organizer so I decided to go restaurant hopping instead. The first on my list was Pacifico Beach Resort in the town of San Isidro. It is more than an hour of habal-habal drive from General Luna and the fare for the round-trip is Php 1000.00 (USD 20). I ordered their Surfer Breakfast meal which consists of sausage, bacon, egg, tomato, and onion with red rice.
From Pacifico Beach Resort, I headed to Kermit Restaurant to try their famous pizza. I ordered salami, bacon, mushroom, olives, and parmesan cheese as toppings of my pizza. It was really good.
After lunch, I went to Cemetery Beach to spend some quiet time. This is the beach located between the public market and Cloud 9 in General Luna. They call it Cemetery Beach because there is a cemetery right on the beach.
For my afternoon snack, I went to Harana Surf Resort to try their famous halo-halo. It was served in a coconut and the ingredients are not the same as the halo-halo I’m used to. Their halo-halo is made up of banana, cereals, mango, and pineapple topped with ube ice cream.
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After finishing my halo-halo, I decided to go to Cloud 9. It is the most famous surfing spot in Siargao Island. Cloud 9 has a boardwalk, a wooden walkway that allows surfers to get out to Cloud 9, and a three-story tower where people can enjoy watching the surfers tackle the big waves. After the rehabilitation of the boardwalk last month, they already limit the number of people staying at the tower and they charge an entrance fee of Php 50.00 (USD 1) per person.
From Cloud 9, I decided to have my dinner at La Carinderia. It is a restaurant that serves Filipino and Italian comfort foods. I tried their lasagna and it was really good, I miss it already.
Day 4: Time to go home.
My flight from Siargao to Manila is a connecting flight via Cebu. My flight to Cebu was at 12:10 pm so after eating breakfast at a carinderia (I wanted to eat at Kitya’s Place but it doesn’t open until 10 in the morning), I left for the airport. Habal-habal fare from General Luna to Sayak Airport is Php 500.00 ($10 USD).
Siargao was not how I expected it to be but it didn’t disappoint. Magpupungko, Sugba Lagoon, and Pacifico Beach Resort were my favorite. I highly recommend that you visit these three and if you have very limited time in Siargao, make sure to include them in your itinerary.
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