A beach getaway that refreshes your soul, lifts your mood, and makes you a better version of yourself, even for just a week? Well, it’s time you were introduced to an island here in the Philippines called— Siargao.
After all the hype from the movie “Siargao” which was released a couple of weeks ago, It was the perfect time for us to re-visit the place and explore it with a different set of eyes. After all, you can never really have enough time in a place as beautiful as this.
I went to Siargao for the first time last year and stayed at Kalinaw Resort (see my previous blog post HERE) explored the three islands, went to a few tourist destinations, and spent some time by the beach but never have I experienced so much fun, met so many people and new friends, and most of all learned how to ride a scooter to go around the island in just a span of five days! It was such a better experience compared to my last trip, which is why it would be my greatest pleasure to show you how to go around Siargao.
It’s always good to plan in advance. Before travelling, I always consider 3 things:
1.Flights– for flights, I always check Cebu Pacific Air for cheap flights and I book them in advance. Flights to Siargao can go for as low as Php 1298.00, back and forth! Jus`t keep an eye out for their seat sales! Check lowest rates HERE.
**via Manila: CEBU PACIFIC AIR has direct flights to Siargao from Manila now!
**via Cebu City: CEBU PACIFIC AIR offers direct flights to Siargao if you’re coming from Cebu too. You can also opt for a flight to Surigao City and Butuan City.
2. Accommodation– Depending on what kind of trip I want to have, I check Booking.com and Hostel World to compare hotel prices. For this trip, we checked in at Villa Solaria.
3. Pocket Money– for the budget, I always research first or ask my friends. But for your case, if you scroll below, I’ll give you a detailed guide of my expenses, plus a sample budget guide that you can use as basis for your trip.
Then after I’ve sorted out those 3, I then plan out my outfits, and search for nice places and activities to do around the island and lastly, ways to travel around.
WHAT TO BRING:
For a backpacking trip, it is important to bring towels, toiletries (shampoo, soap, toothbrush/paste, tissue, conditioner, lotion), tissue, snacks when staying at a hostel. Being in an island like Siargao, a mosquito repellant was also very helpful, plus sunblock if you are planning to ride the scooter and swim. Sarongs are also such a big help for when it’s raining, or for when you just need to cover or wrap yourself. I also make sure to always bring an extra battery set for my Fujifilm Camera, just so I can exchange charging and using them everyday, and I always organize all my gadget wires so its easy to find when I’m in a rush.
I traveled with my friends Colleen, and Khassey, all thanks to Cebu Pacific Air and we immediately started exploring on our first day. As soon as we arrived, we settled down then immediately headed to Shaka, just across Cloud 9, to have some acai bowls. We then headed back to the hostel at Villa Solaria where we met friends from all over the world (who decided to party with us that same night). One thing I liked about our accommodation was its proximity to Cloud 9, restaurants, and surf rental shops. This was also where they filmed the movie.
Just beside our place was Harana, a popular hangout place known for their famous halo-halo (a filipino dessert made of shaved ice, syrup, ice cream and toppings). We decided to head to the beach from there and watched the sunset and from there, I could tell this was going to be an amazing trip.
Hot Chocolate at the airport: 100
Shaka Cafe Bom dia bowl: 250
Beer : 60
Dinner at Vivo Inn: 200
On our second day we explored Pacifico Beach with our local friend Wang, who we met while partying! Wang started the Save Siargao movement and was the one who took us to all the beautiful spots on the island. We rode our scooters to Pacifico Beach, particularly in Bamboo Surf Resort and had our lunch there. I had the pizza and the chicken curry and it was soooo good! Pacifico beach is a 1.5-hr drive away from General Luna, so it would take us the whole day to go there and back.
We didn’t mind though as we wanted to explore the scenic views of siargao, and stopping along the way for pictures was so enjoyable. We would always have dinner at Vivo Inn, just across Mama’s Grill where we ordered the grilled chicken barbeque, and it was so good! I know you’d always hear about the famous Mama’s Grill barbeques, which is amaaazing btw, but you should check out the food across too since it’s also really good!
Breakfast at food stall: 100
Lunch at Pacifico : ordered sooo much so its 400
Dinner at Vivo Inn: 130
So, we headed to the famous Magpupungko Rock Pools on our third day and spent the majority of our day there. We headed in the morning but it was already too late since the tide rose already. So we drove to Pacifico Beach again to have lunch and to swim in an uncrowded place to kill the time.
Along the way, we stopped at random roads to take pics, have a few coconuts and rest. At around 3 pm, we headed back to Magpupungko to enjoy the rock pools at low tide, but I guess what my friends enjoyed the most was playing with the waves beside it while the others were swimming and jumping off the rocks.
We decided to party again during our third night, so we headed to Bravo first to have dinner, then we went bar hopping! First we went to Viento del Mar, then to Octopus (Octopus is one of those places where they have really wild parties and cheap beer, but you also don’t want to miss out on this experience!) I don’t know how we planned this but we had island hopping scheduled the day after!
Breakfast at Food stall: 90
Lunch at Bamboo Surf: 200
Dinner at Bravo: 240
Okay so we didn’t plan too well from the night before! haha! We cancelled island hopping today, and just decided to chill in Siargao Bleu with our vlogger friend Ave or @avelovinit. It was such a lazy day and this was where we got our dose of relaxation from all the adventuring. The resort was amazing so we also took lots of pictures and just talked about a million things and planned for the next day again.
Late Breakfast at Food Stall: 90
Dinner at Aventinos: around 150
We did the 3 islands tour– Naked, Daku, and Guyam island, on our last day before flying back to Bacolod and boy was it packed! I was a bit shocked to see more people now compared to last year, so if you are planning to go to Siargao, do it before it gets too touristy in the next few months/ years. Also a gentle reminder to tour responsibly– Please pick up any trash you see by the beach to preserve the ecosystem and to help keep the beaches as beautiful as it is.
Breakfast at Villa Solaria: 200
Island Hopping: 260
Lunch: 90 (divided the cost by group of 5)
Tip for boatman: 100
Van Rental: 300
**These are my actual personal expenses. When totaled, they add up to 3590 Php without the accommodation.
YOUR SAMPLE BUDGET GUIDE
Accommodation – 1,800/per person for 5 nights
Transfers – 600 back and forth to the airport
Food –1000 (This is good for lunch and dinner for 5 days; you can find cheap food stalls in Gen. Luna and can already get a full meal for 60-90 Php)
Ride- 700 ( Splitting costs with your friends per day is a big help for bike/scooter rentals, 700 covers 2 days already out of the 5 assumming you are the kind one. haha!)
Island hopping – 260/person for groups of 5 (1,300/boat)
Miscellaneous- 640 (beer, entrance fees, souvenirs, a more expensive meal)
Total : 5000.00 Php
Disclaimer: This budget guide is a sample only. We stayed at Villa Solaria for only 350++/ night and ate in local food stalls, shared island hopping boat fees, and bike rentals. If you are in groups of 3-5, then this is easier to achieve rather than when travelling solo.
TO SUM IT UP
For me, travelling to Siargao was surprisingly cheap compared to the last time I went where we spent sooo much. If I were to choose though, I’d re-do this trip since I loved meeting so many people, pushing myself to really be more adventurous rather than being all pampered in a resort and experiencing something different. But who knows where I’ll be heading and staying next? I love staying at nice hotels, and I also like living simply.
If you’re thinking of heading to Siargao, I’d say to do it now while this place is still naturally beautiful and not so touristy yet. Do the 3 islands tour, get a scooter (but drive safely!), and eat all the local food. Surf as much as you can and meet people while you’re here. It’s gonna be fun, it’s gonna be memorable!
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