Sunday, June 9, 2013

In and Around Siargao Island

The Island

You probably know that Siargao Island is the "Surfing Capital of the Philippines" and you probably want to ride its waves. If you're not a surfer or a surfer-wannabe, you probably just want to laze around in this laid back little Southern Philippine island. Or see its neighboring islands/islets and its white sand beaches. Or swim in Magpupungko, that natural rock pool in the town of Pilar. Or maybe you're just bored and have nothing else to read but this little blog. Whatever the case may be, I will point you to Siargao.

Getting In and Out

Siargao Airport (left, photo by D. Ogabang) and Dapa Port (right, photo by C. Alvarez)

Siargao Island can be reached by flying or by floating. You don't have to do the flying or the floating yourself, of course. By air, Cebu Pacific flies direct to Siargao from Cebu. (It is the only airline that flies to Siargao as of the moment.) The airport is in the municipality of Del Carmen, about 30 kilometers from General Luna, where the surfing action is. By sea, you can get yourself to Dapa Port in Siargao Island by taking the fastcraft or roro (Php170-250) from Surigao City. Or, if you're coming from Socorro in Bucas Grande Island, by a 1.5-hour pumpboat ride (Php100). Dapa Port is about 15 kilometers from General Luna.

Habalhabal (photo by C. Alvarez)
Going to Where the Surfing Action is: Cloud 9, General Luna

From the airport, you have three options:
  • van Php 300
  • habalhabal (motorcycle) Php 100
  • tricycle Php 100

From the port, you have two options:
  • habalhabal (motorcycle) Php 50
  • tricycle Php 50 (Php 35 if up to GL town proper only)

Going Around

Transportation around the island is limited to tricycles and motorcycles. (I saw a few jeepneys at Dapa Port but their route was, I am sure, not General Luna.) Tricycle routes are from town to town and there aren't many that go beyond the town proper's limits. It is easier to go around by motorcycle. The fare from the town proper of General Luna to Cloud 9 is Php20. And the fare around the Cloud 9 area is Php10.

Staying In

There are many inns and resorts, concentrated mostly in General Luna (both town proper and Cloud 9 area). We stayed in Traveler's Pension House and Beach Resort (located between the town proper and Cloud 9) the first night. Then by a majority vote, moved to Happy Gecko Backpacker's Hostel which was just a one-minute walk to Cloud 9.

Tacbu, General Luna, Siargao (about 2.5km from Cloud 9)
Mila 0928 520 1205
 Photo by C. Alvarez

  • If you're in Siargao looking for a place with a sandy beachfront then it's Traveler's for you.
  • Rooms are affordable. We got the AC room for 6 persons for Php1800. The owner didn't charge us for the extra person.
  • It's just a few steps from La Isla Grill Siargao Bar and Grill, which serves surprisingly affordable good food.

  • If you're in Siargao for surfing, the action is at Cloud 9, 2.5 kilometers from Traveler's.
  • The room has its own bathroom, but the door to it didn't have a lock.
  • The bathroom looked like it needed a good scrubbing.
  • Bed sheets looked like it needed washing—thrice.
  • The room was dirty. We had to borrow a broom to sweep away all the sand and trash hiding under the beds.

The beach

Cloud 9, General Luna, Siargao
Browny 0999 188 9584 / Mel 0947 881 7328

  • It's just Php250 a night.
  • The rooms have its own toilet and bath.
  • Each bed has its own locker.
  • Right beside the hostel is a small eatery which rents out surfboards (Php200/hour or Php500/day), too.
  • The hostel has a small kitchen if you want to cook your own meals.
  • Cloud 9 is just a minute away by foot.
  • Rooms are dorm-type. If you're not comfortable sharing a room with strangers then this is not the place for you.
  • The lockers have no locks... you have to provide your own.
  • No air-conditioner but an electric fan is provided. This is okay if your bed is by the window. If your bed's in a corner with no windows, it's going to be very warm, even with the fan on (unless the fan is facing you).

Cloud 9 Boardwalk

Three Days in Siargao:
In and Around Siargao Island (you're here)
La Isla Siargao Bar and Grill
Magpupungko Then and Now
Three Little Islands
Skales Greek Restaurant

Siargao's Neighbor, Bucas Grande:
Balanghai Kanlunes in Bucas Grande Island
Lagoon, Lake, and Caves

Siargao and Bucas Grande: Itinerary and Expenses


  1. Siargao Island is one of the best place to visit in the Philippines. :)

  2. So bad I missed this trip!! :(
    I wonder, what is the difference between a tricycle and a hablhabal? I never seen one in the Philippines I guess!

    1. Hi Noelfy! A habalhabal is just a motorcycle and everyone piles behind the driver. While a tricycle has a side cab :-)

  3. If you're into island hopping then what is the best accomodation room you will reccommend?

    1. If you just want to do island hopping, I suggest you stay at GL town. If you want to go surfing, better stay near Cloud 9 :)

    2. If we want to do both. I know in Cloud 9 there is for pro and amateurs who want try surfing right. Did you try surfing there too?

    3. Better stay in GL then. You can just take a motorcycle to and from the town for the island hopping. There are spots around and near GL for beginners and pros. Also, during island hopping, you can also rent a board and bring it along; there are also surf spots near the islands.

  4. Hoping Siargao will not be poluted like Boracay before since it's popularity is fast growing already