DIY Travel,  Mindanao,  Philippines,  Surigao del Norte

Siargao FAQs: Everything You Need to Know Before Your Trip

Siargao is the paradise I’ll be promoting forever. Nope, I wasn’t born here, nor my parents. I don’t know anyone who lives here too. Actually, I just went here once and a year has passed since the trip, I still can’t forget how it feels like to be in Siargao.

It is in Siargao that I felt as if the time is so slow, and I can do a lot of things. No one’s in a hurry and everyone’s having a good time, living their own moment. It’s this place that made me forget social media for a while and the only time I use my phone is when I want to take a photo.

You know, I can go on and on talking about how Siargao made me realize a lot of things in life. But let’s save that for another article. In this post, we’ll be answering your top FAQs about the Surfing Capital of the Philippines to fully convince you that Siargao should be on your #1 bucketlist.

Quick Facts

1. What is Siargao known for?

Siargao is known as the Surfing Capital of the Philippines. If you remember the tourism promotional song Biyahe Tayo which promotes tourist spots and what they’re known for, there’s a line there by Jessa Zaragoza that says “O mag-surfing sa Siargao” (or go surfing in Siargao). I can’t forget this because I sang this when I was a kid while imitating Jessa’s voice. Lol.

2. Why is Siargao called the surfing capital of the Philippines?

Siargao is called the Surfing Capital of the Philippines because its 27-km coastline has surfing waves that can create thick and hollow tubes on a good swell. It also hosts the annual Siargao Cup at Cloud 9 which is joined by professional surfers from the Philippines and around the world.

Cloud 9
The author at Cloud 9

3. Why is it called Siargao?

The name Siargao originated from siargaw or saliargaw, a type of mangrove that grows on the island. In addition, the largest mangrove reserves in Mindanao can be found here.

4. How many islands are there in Siargao?

Siargao has 48 smaller islands. It has 9 municipalities that can be found on the main island. It’s approximate land area is 437 square kilometers (169 sq mi).

5. Which part of the Philippines is Siargao?

Siargao is located 800 km SE of Manila in the province of Surigao del Norte, CARAGA Region, Mindanao. (1) Its coordinates are 9°54′18″N 126°4′0″E. On the map below, it’s the color green island beside the West sign.

Caraga Map
Map of CARAGA Region in Mindanao

6. What language do they speak in Siargao?

The languages spoken in Siargao are English, Bisaya, Tagalog, and the local dialect Siargaonan.

Transportation

7. How do I get to Siargao?

You can go to Siargao by the following options:

  • Fly from Manila to Siargao
  • Fly to Surigao City and take a FERRY to Siargao
  • Fly to Butuan, BUS to Surigao City, FERRY to Siargao
  • Bus from Davao to Surigao City, FERRY to Siargao

As for my experience, we planned a backpacking trip which covers Cagayan de Oro, Siargao, Surigao del Sur, and Davao. From CDO, we rode a bus going to Butuan (5-6 hours), then another bus going to Surigao City (~4 hours), and took a ferry to Siargao (2-3 hours). Yep, that was one hell of a land travel.

You can check out our Cagayan De Oro travel guide here.

Bus ride from CDO to Butuan
Bus ride from CDO to Butuan

8. How do I get to Siargao from Surigao?

As discussed above, you can get to Siargao from Surigao by taking a 2-3 hour ferry ride. The updated ferry schedule is:

Port: Eva Macapagal Terminal, Borromeo St., Surigao City

  • 5:00 AM – Montenegro Shipping (RORO)
  • 5:30 AM – Angel 1 (Fast Ferry)
  • 11:30 AM – Angel 2 (Fast Ferry)
  • 6:00 AM – MV Yohan (Fast Ferry)

Port: City Boulevard, Surigao City

  • 5:30 AM – LQP Express
  • 11:00 AM – Dapa Express

The fare ranges from P100-250 depending on the type of ferry you’ll avail. You’ll also need to pay P10 for the passenger terminal fee.

Surigao Port
Eva Macapagal Terminal
Sunrise view from the ferry
Sunrise view from the ferry
Ferry
Off to Siargao!

9. Can we bring car to Siargao?

Yes, you can bring your car to Siargao. Montenegro Shipping caters RORO (Roll-on, roll-off) at the Eva Macapagal Terminal. You may need to pay around P4,000 (or more) for the fare.

Since you’re already thinking on how to get here, why not check for the best accommodation deals below?
Booking.com

Tourist Spots

10. What can you see in Siargao?

You can see A LOT in Siargao that would make you want to stay there for long. It features crystal clear waters in white, sandy beaches. Aside from the beach, Siargao is also famous for its Instagrammable coconut trees. We’ll get more detailed about the tourist spots as we go along.

Sunset in Siargao
No filter sunset

11. What outdoor activities are famous in Siargao?

Siargao is famous for the following outdoor activities:

  • Surfing at Cloud 9
  • Swimming at Alegria & Pacifico Beach
  • Island hopping (Naked Island, Guyam Island, Daku Island, and more)
  • Exploring Sohoton Cove and Bucas Grande Cave
  • Kayaking at Sugba Lagoon
  • Swimming at Magpupungko Rock Pools
  • Kitesurfing
  • Wakeboarding at Siargao Wakepark
  • Visiting Tak Tak Waterfall
  • Taking photos at the coconut palm forest
  • Food trip and nightlife at General Luna
Sohoton Cove
Exploring Sohoton Cove

12. Where can I surf in Siargao?

As a beginner, you can have your surfing lessons at Cloud 9. It can also cater expert and pro surfers on a good swell. You can also check out the following surf spots if you’re up to a challenge:

  • Daku (Beginner)
  • Guian (Beginner)
  • Jacking Horse (Beginner)
  • Cemetary (Intermediate)
  • Stimpy’s (Intermediate)
  • Salvacion (Intermediate)
  • Tuason (Intermediate)
  • Bumee (Intermediate)
  • Pacifico (Advanced)
  • Rock Island (Advanced)
  • Quicksilver (Advanced)
Surfing: Before and After
Surfing at Cloud 9: Before and After

13. What is there to do in Siargao for non surfers?

For non-surfers, you can enjoy Siargao by visiting Magpupunko Rock Pool, Sugba Lagoon, Sohoton Cove, and more! Surfing is just one of the many things that you can do in the island so you’ll never be bored. If you’re not into swimming (like me), explore the food options and party at night!

Sohoton Cove with joiners
Sohoton Cove Tour
Naked Island
Naked Island
Guyam Island
Guyam Island
Daku Island
Daku Island

14. How much is island hopping in Siargao?

Island hopping rates vary from different local tour guides. We highly recommend Siargao’s Best Kuya Bebot Island Hopping Tour (Package A) for P1,700 per pax. Destinations are Guyam, Daku, Naked Island, and Sohoton Cove. You’ll also not need to worry about boat, permit, entrance fees, etc. because it’s all covered in the total payment. There’s also free lunch! You can reach out to Kuya Bebot by contacting him on the mobile numbers below or on his Facebook account. We’ve also added Package B for your reference. 🙂

Kuya Bebot tour 1

Kuya Bebot tour 2

15. How many days do you need in Siargao?

You can explore the famous tourist spots in Siargao in 3 days. But if you want to enjoy the chill and laid back vibes more (if you have a lot of vacation leaves or you’re an online freelancer like me), we recommend that you stay there for 5-7 days. *Clears throat* Or longer. *Clears throat*

P.S. If I can live there and forget about everything in Manila, I’ll do it! But I’m not ready yet! Lol.

16. How far is Sugba lagoon from General Luna?

You can get to Sugba Lagoon from General Luna without hassle if you book a tour from a local organizer. Travel from GL to the lagoon would take a 1.5-hour boat ride. If you’re in a group and you prefer to do-it-yourself, you can ask locals at Del Carmen to get you a boat ride to Sugba Lagoon.

Sugba Lagoon located in Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte
Sugba Lagoon located in Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte.

17. Is Sugba Lagoon closed?

Sugba Lagoon is currently open as of 4th August 2020. It was closed on January 10 – February 10, 2019 for renovation.

18. Is Siargao safe for tourists?

Yes, Siargao is safe for tourists. The locals treat tourists with utmost respect and during our stay, we never experienced being overcharged of anything. Still, keep your guard up when traveling for your personal security.

Dog at Cloud 9
The island dog approves.

Our Final Thoughts

Now that we have tackled the most frequently asked questions about Siargao, it’s time to start planning your itinerary! If you’re one of those who needs more convincing about this trip, I bet you’re now 100% ready after reading this article.

Let me say this again: Siargao is the paradise I’ll be promoting forever.

It’s not because somebody asked me to do it, nor I’ll get paid by writing this blog. I am doing this because I believe in Siargao. It is the island where I felt I belong, even though I’m almost a thousand kilometers away from home.

Safe travels!

I'm an online freelancer who has a passion for hiking, traveling, and photography. Cham believes that having an adventurous life makes our soul happy and fulfilled. She travels with her super-old Nikon D3100 and her new baby boy, GoPro Hero 7 Black.

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