About 800 km southeast of Manila, Siargao is a peaceful and beautiful island. Good waves here year round bring surfers from all over the world. Whether you are looking for good surf, or to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, Siargao is the place for you. Definitely one of my favorite islands in the Philippines.
LANGUAGE: Surigaonon, Filipino, English
CURRENCY: Philippine Peso
CLIMATE: Tropical (warm & humid), Dry season: March – Mid Nov
DRESS CODE: Casual, Think island vibes
GETTING AROUND: Tuk-tuks, Motorbikes, Bicycles, Walking, Local Shuttles
COST OF VISITING: $ – Hostels start at $8 per night and street food is a little as $3 to $4 (USD) per meal
TIPPING: Tipping is not mandatory but appreciated for restaurants and tuk-tuk/taxi drivers, 10% is average
SAFETY: Siem Reap is generally a safe place even for solo female travelers
FROM SAYAK AIRPORT
The airport here is very small, only a few rooms. If you walk out the front door of arrivals, to the left is the only parking lot in the airport. Head that way and there are shuttle vans lined up ready to bring you to town. Simply let them know where you are headed and they will drop you off at your accommodation for a flat fee of around 300 pesos. (About $6 USD) It doesn’t matter how many people are in the shuttle van, the rate will be the same. This is also what you take to get back to the airport when you are leaving. Ask your hotel/hostel staff to arrange pickup for you a day or two before.
WHERE TO STAY
If you know me, I prefer to stay in places that are more chill. I stayed here for 5 nights and was actually sad to leave. The common area here is amazing and I found myself spending most of my time up there, relaxing, and getting to know other travelers. We drank beer, played cards, and played music. While not right next to Cloud 9, it is only a 10 minute tuk-tuk or motorbike ride away, and we were still able to walk to many of the party spots at night. Loved this place and highly recommend it.
I did not stay here but this hostel has great reviews and is located in the middle of the action, closer to Cloud 9. This place also has a great common area which makes it super easy to meet other travelers, or spend the day relaxing in a hammock.
A nicer accommodation, I did not stay here but did come here to eat and it looks like a great place to stay.
WHAT TO DO
SURF CLOUD 9
Cloud 9 is one of the most well-known waves in the world and one of the best in all of the Philippines. This is not a wave for beginners! Cloud 9 is a barreling reef break that is short but challenging. Not ready to try it out yourself? Come and watch others as they take it on! There is a three story hut permanently set up in the water right in front, making it a great spot to come and watch many of the talented local surfers show off their talents.
Journey Era put together a fantastic list of 30 bucket list things to do in Siargao. His list covers it all, so why try to recreate something already perfect? Check it out yourself!
Cheap, basic, quick pizza. I came here for dinner a few times because of the price! You can get your own thin crust pizza for the equivalent of about $3 USD. Great to dine-in or for takeaway. There are two locations, one by Cloud 9 and the other by the pier.
A little pricier than other options on the island. BUT they do accept credit which is like free money when you are traveling! 😉 Great food. During down times, they don’t serve the entire menu but you should be able to order their famous wood fired pizza during any time of the day.
The menu is simple; order a burrito, a burrito bowl, or tacos. Choose your protein. I ate here every single day I was in Siargao. A cute little stand with some outdoor seating, this was totally my kind of place. Also, if you have trouble transitioning to the heat in the Philippines (I am pretty sure I didn’t stop sweating for one minute while I was there), you can find the absolute coldest (sometimes even frozen) beer here. Perfect to cool you down on a hot afternoon.
PAN DE COCO (AKA COCONUT ROLLS)
On the side of the street, if you see someone selling these coconut rolls, please buy them! These are warm, sweet, round rolls with a sweet coconut filling. Absolutely amazing. A guy at my hostel got me hooked on these the first day there. Look for them in the morning as they often sell out toward the later afternoon.
Some Advice: Being a small island, the power goes out quite frequently (gotta love that island vibe!). Therefore, be careful when ordering street meat, as you don’t know how long it has been sitting there without heat or cold. Many of the people I was staying with got sick at some point. Don’t get me wrong, the street food is great! Just watch out on days without power.
ENJOY THE NIGHTLIFE
In Siargao, they have their system down. Every night there is a predetermined place to go early in the evening and then one or two bars to go later on at a certain time. This helps each bar share the business