Sometimes, all we need is a break.
I never thought that my 4-day vacation away from home would really leave a mark. My friends and I booked a flight to Siargao thinking that it would be like any other vacation, but here I am still hungover!
If you want to know more about where we went, what we did and how much we’ve spent, keep reading!
But just a heads up: this is a guide for a more touristy trip. If you’re more of a solo traveller/ soul searcher/ budget-conscious kind of person, this might not be the blog for you.
Hope you find this helpful and enjoy this blog 🙂
Day 1 (Sunday): Touchdown, IAO! ✈️
Day 1 was pretty chill. We landed at 9am, rode the airport transfer with other foreigners on vacay, and checked in. The ride from the airport to our respective hotels took 30-45 mins.
Actually, all we have planned for this trip was where we stayed, the island hopping on day 2 and a surfing session via Kermit which will be on day 4.
📍Where We Stayed – Las Nenas
Las Nenas is aesthetically pleasing and very Instagrammable. My favorite thing about it is that it’s located on side of the road, it’s near Cloud 9, and of course their comfy pillows and common area (tambay place).
—- with own bathroom
—-good for 3 pax
—- Php 2, 200
—- shared bathroom
—- good for 3 pax
—- Php 1,950
*Bunk Bed/Dorm Room
—- shared bathroom
—- accommodates 8 people per room
—- Php 780/head
WALKING AROUND G.L.
So for this day, we took our time settling in. After Las Nenas, our first agenda was to go to their Church since it was Sunday after all. Unfortunately, masses are only every 6am so we just said our individual prayers before leaving. On the bright side, it was our first time so we made a wish! 💫
Wanting to feel like a local, we chose to walk until we found somewhere to eat. The three of us ended up in 📍 Habhab. It’s located right on the side of the street, so you can’t miss it. I ordered the hungarian breakfast meal and split a pitcher of iced tea with Babi & Jil. The place was pretty chill, the food is great and inexpensive! 👌🏼
——–> Hungarian breakfast meal – Php 100
——–> Four Seasons Juice, Pitcher – Php 149
SURFING WITH KERMIT
So we went straight to 📍 Kermit to secure a slot for surfing on Wednesday. Just choose a day and time you prefer, and you can book a 2-hour session of surfing for Php 1,200. After that, we headed to 📍 Cloud 9 to walk through the very famous boardwalk and appreciate the view.
🏄🏼♀️ Surfing via Kermit Siargao
What are the inclusions of the Php 1,200? 💸
——–> with Gwapito instructor
——–> surf lessons
——–> 2 hrs surfing
——–> surf board rental
——–> transfer to surfing spot
📍 Cloud 9 Boardwalk
——–> Entrance fee: Php 50
——–> Famous photo spot!
——–> Breathtaking view of the sky, sunrise/sunset, surfers, and the sea.
After appreciating the waves and the people riding them, Babi, Jil and I were itching to surf. Thank G there was a local who approached us and asked if we wanted to surf. It was around 3pm when we started.
The highlight of my day was looking up just after riding a wave, and saw a pretty rainbow! 🌈 I took it as a sign that it we were in for a treat here in Siargao (and it really was). Thank You God 💖
We paid Php 500 each for 1 hour, and we added a Php 100 tip. As a first timer, it was actually a really good session for me! I really enjoyed despite being so scared (of getting wounded or injured) at first. Babi and Jilianne witnessed how I kept putting my hand on my chest while saying, “wooooh, Lord Jesus!” 😂
To end our day, the three of us just had to try the very famous 📍 Mama’s Grill! It’s a big place, but there are so many people. We were just lucky that we got a table. The food was really great!
🍽️ Mama’s Grill
——–> Chicken Leg – Php 90
——–> Rice – Php 20
——–> Mango Smoothie – Php 90
☀️ ☀️ ☀️
Day 2 (Monday) : Island Hopping 🌊
We started the day at 6am and rode a tricycle to 📍 GL Wet Market where we’re supposed to meet up with other joiners for the tour. Because it was really early and being late wasn’t an option, you will most likely skip breakfast to arrive early. No need to worry though because the meet up place (for most, if not all, island hopping tours) is filled with food and carinderias.
🏝️ How Did We Book an Island Tour?
Booking with Gotmarked Tours was very easy, smooth and convenient. I contacted them on FB/Messenger and just communicated with their auto-generated messages until I successfully reserved our slot as a joiner for the April 28 island tour. After transferring 50% down payment via BPI, I sent them the screenshot of a successful fund/bank transfer. I received their confirmation and it’s done! If you do not like this mode of payment, you can pay them via money transfer. Here are some screenshots for your reference!
If you’re a first timer in Siargao (like me at that time), I really do recommend doing a tour and go to the popular attractions and islands. It’s not about getting an IG-worthy photo and having something to brag about, but to see the beauty of Siargao. It really is a beautiful place, but how can you completely appreciate it if you won’t visit these places at least once? Go through the dark caves, jump off the cliffs, swim with stingless jellyfish, pass by the overwhelming amount of mangroves, and of course, surf for hours!
Most of the activities I’ve tried in Siargao are my very first time! The truth is, I’m a scaredy cat. But being with thrill seekers like Babi and Jilianne helped me out of my comfort zone the whole trip (and also, fomo).
Things I did for the first time ever:
- cliff jumped
- swam with the jellyfish
- swam in the deep without life jacket
- went inside a cave
- climbed in a cave
- posed in a bikini 😳😂
- island hopping
Before ending the day at Harana, Babi joined a GoT watch party at a nearby hotel — because priorities!! (We gotchu Bab) 😂
Anyways, I love the ambience at 📍 Harana. It was super chill and fun at the same time. The restaurant had beautiful interiors, accommodating staff and of course the food was really good too! We ordered food to share since they had big serving.
I wish I could remember what we ordered but I guess we were too tired from the island hopping that I forgot to take note and take a picture of what we ate. Sorry!
Day 2, out. Good night!
☀️ ☀️ ☀️
Day 3 (Tuesday) : Land Tour 🌴
Once again, it was an early day. We had to be ready by 6:30am so we could cover all the places we had to go to. But before we dive into this day, here are the details of how and who we booked for the land tour!
🛵 Should we still book a land tour through travel agencies?
You may, but not necessarily. A cheaper option would be to hire the locals! During day 1 and 2, we have met so many tricycle drivers who offer land tours and we collated their contact information, rates, and locations covered for the land tour. We narrowed down the list and chose Kuya Marc (photo at the end of Land Tour). He’s very patient, kind, and accommodating! You may contact him through this number: 0966-794-0142 🙂
💸 How much did we pay?
For the 3 of us in his tricycle, we paid P2,000 (P666 each) and gave him a tip of P150 (P50 each). It was pretty roomy since we were just 3 people. If you ask me, the ideal number of people in the tricycle should be four. You will pay less, while keeping the right amount of space & comfort during long rides. You may try 5-6 people too but I’m not sure if it’s alright with the driver since it might be too heavy and uncomfortable already. Ask first just to be sure!
📍 Where did we go?
——–> Coconut Palm Trees (along the road)
——–> Tayangban Cave
——–> Magpupungko Tidal and Rock Pool
——–> Sugba Lagoon + Kawhagan Island (package)
——–> Maasin River
So Kuya Marc arrived Las Nenas right on time and we’re off to witness the beautiful view of the 📍 coconut palm trees (photo above) along the road going to 📍 Tayangban Cave (photo below)!
📍 Tayangban Cave
——–> Entrance Fee – P100/person
——–> Guide – P100 (P33 each for 3 pax)
——–> Just bring your go pro or waterproof phones. Leave your belongings to your driver or in your car. If you have trust issues like me, it’s good to have a dry bag for your things so you can just conveniently bring it with you.
To be honest, I did not do any research prior to this trip except for the 3 major islands in the island hopping. So I really did not know what to expect as I was entering the cave. Because it was only along the road and without much hype on the outside, I thought we were just walking through a cave for just 15-20 minutes.
Little did I know we were going inside an extremely dark & quiet location, immersed in water and walking on huge rocks. If Babi and Jil weren’t with me, I would’ve chickened out. Not knowing what I’m getting myself into is really terrifying, but it was worth it in the end.
Next on the list is the 📍 Magpupungko Tidal and Rock Pool. Unfortunately, it was kind of a gloomy morning and it drizzled for a while but still the place is breathtaking. I wish there were fewer people but hey it’s a tourist spot so, it’s fine.
🌊 Magpupungko Tidal and Rock Pool
——–> Entrance Fee – P50/person
——–> There are many places to eat.
——–> You can rent life jackets and floaties.
——–> Be careful, walking towards the rock pool is very rocky and can get slippery. Walk slowly but surely to avoid tripping and getting wounded!
BUYING SOUVENIRS + PASALUBONG
Before leaving Magpupungko, I went shopping for pasalubong because I knew it was cheaper in the tiangge there compared to the other shops in GL. I spent a little over Php 700 hehe.
This is also where I bought my pretty cowrie shell necklace/choker! It’s only for Php 100 — better than the prices in other places. When I came back to Cebu and uploaded my Siargao photos, I’m not kidding when I say that a lot of people have been asking me where I got it. So there you go!
Up next, 📍 Sugba Lagoon! It was quite a long ride. My favorite part about going to Sugba Lagoon was meeting this lovely couple who were much like our cool parents this whole time. It’s so cute, we were like a real family! 😂 (I won’t be posting a photo of them for their privacy).
But before that, we should first register our names and book a boat/bangka at the 📍 Del Carmen Tourism Office.
📍 Sugba Lagoon
A bangka costs Php 1,600-2,000 for a maximum of 6 people. Since there was only three of us, we waited for other people entering Sugba Lagoon and asked them if they wanted to share a bangka. Kuya Marc helped us approach other tourists for us!
——–> Sugba Lagoon only – Php 1,600/boat
——–> Sugba Lagoon + Kawhagan Island – Php 2,000/boat
⚠️ No plastics allowed in Sugba Lagoon!
Siargao has very good practices when it comes to preserving their surroundings and keeping the environment clean. Do your part as a human being and respect the locals and their home by abiding to the rules.
Leave your water bottles and snacks with plastic packaging inside your vehicles or with your local drivers, or just leave it in the designated water bottle trash bins in the Del Carmen Tourism Office.
The view on the way to Sugba Lagoon is a sight for sore eyes. Beautiful is the only adjective I could think of as of the moment. When we arrived, the place was packed. Again, I wish there were fewer people but it’s fine. Everyone was nice and we all (by “all”, I really mean everyone) encouraged whoever was about to jump off the ledge. It was really fun, I’m laughing right now just remembering those moments.
The blue green water, fun activities, and pure bliss awaits you in Sugba Lagoon. The activities you can do include: stand up paddle boarding, jumping off 5 feet (was it 5 ft? I’m not sure), taking photos, swimming around and relaxing.
——–> Stand up paddle board – Php 200/hr
——–> Kayak rental (4 pax) – Php 200/hr
——–> Snorkel gear – Php 200
——–> Table – Php 50
——–> Life jacket – Php 50
Since we got the package tour that included Kawhagan Island, that’s where we headed right after Sugba Lagoon.
There we enjoyed the turquoise waters, white sand, the long sandbar going to the sea, and the breathtaking scenery! We would’ve stayed longer, but time was kind of against us back then. We walked around for a little while, took a quick dip, and of course, shot some photos for the ‘gram.
Around 3pm, we arrived back in the Del Carmen Tourism Office. It was time to part ways with our “parents” for the day, and we grabbed a bite in the carinderia. Our late lunch was what we needed after the long ride and activities in Sugba Lagoon.
Our last stop was 📍 Maasin River where we could climb the very famous bent coconut tree, swing around and jump off to the river. We’d love to do all those things but sadly we were beat. Kuya Marc just parked for a while so we could see the river and take some photos.
Not wanting to miss anything, Kuya Marc offered to stop quickly by the side of the road where it was lined with a lot of palm trees because it was also a popular photo spot. It was very thoughtful of him to really let us see the famous spots and snap some photos. No regrets, diba Kuya Marc?
When we arrived back in Las Nenas, we rested for a while and enjoyed the comfy beds and pillows. Me being me, I reviewed our photos while Babi and Jilianne did their own thing.
After a while, we showered and got ready for Dinner. We went to 📍 Bravo! This is has got to be my favorite out of all the restaurants we ate in. The place is so cute! There was an indoor skateboard rink and a souvenir store as you enter Bravo. Then, you pass by their front desk going to the restaurant.
Just a heads up, there are a lot of people here since Bravo is known to have delicious food. Have your name listed, and wait to be called in their tambay area by the beach. Don’t be like us who wandered too far to hear our name being called. They scratched out our name and we lost our spot, so we had to have our name listed again.
——–> Chicken Teriyaki Kebab – Php 310
——–> Iced Green Tea – Php 150
A food review that no one asked for:
I don’t know about the others but Bravo is a 10/10 for me!! I loooove love love what I ordered and their iced green tea has a special place in my heart. Babi and Jilianne’s orders were equally tasty as well.
I can’t wait to go back there!
Lastly, after dinner, I was already dreaming of being in bed but these girls decided they want to party.
If you’re planning to paint the town red in Siargao, just ask the locals where the party is for that night. In our case, it was in 📍 Loose Keys.
There was a band playing, and the place was full. Some people were staying outside, while some of them went inside where the real fun is at. Jil and Babi braved the crowd inside, but guess where I was? I was sitting outside hugging my 1L water bottle, accompanied by my phone, looking like a tween waiting for my older siblings.
So that’s the end of day 3 👌🏼
☀️ ☀️ ☀️
Day 4 (Wednesday) : One Last Surf 🏄🏼♀️
This was the only day we didn’t have to get ready by 6am, so yay for an extra hour of sleep! Around 7:30am, we left for Kermit to have breakfast before our surfing session.
Around 9am, we finished up and headed to the Gwapitos booth by the entrance of Kermit to start our surfing lessons. Roughly after 30 minutes we grabbed the surfboards, rode the motorcycles and the bangka going to Cemetery.
Also known as Pesangan, Cemetery is another good surf spot in Siargao and is located right in front of the General Luna Cemetery hence the name.
OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE
📍 CEMETERY —Beware, it’s very rocky walking towards the waves! You have to walk carefully or hold onto someone to keep you steady. So even if I find it very awkward, I held hands with my instructor so I won’t keep on falling.
(Kibaw na ka, lisod baya ma fall.) 🤪
Haha seriously though, it was a looong walk. I was nervous again about surfing, my heart was pounding, and in my head I was like, “woooh, Lord Jesus tabang.“
Here’s a more accurate cycle of my thoughts on repeat:
- Ouch, ouch, ouch kasakit baaaa.
- How can I make this less awkward?
- Hoy tanga, sea urchins.
- Flight later 3pm, van pick-up @ 1:30!
- Sure nagyud ko nga mu surf?
I was worried about all of this while enduring the pain of the sharp rocks I was stepping on and being scared that I might not be able to handle the waves here. I was way out of my comfort zone and it showed — you can ask Babi and Jilianne.
So anyway, the surf was so good! Shoutout to Kuya Kenneth for being so patient with me the whole time. There were fewer people in this place, bigger waves, but with more intense heat. We surfed from 10am-12nn, so can you imagine how hot it was?
WE WERE IN A RUSH
From then on, everything went by so fast because our flight was at 3:30pm, which means we had to leave by 1:30pm. But before that, we had to check out by 12nn! We rushed back to Las Nenas to QUICKLY change and pack our stuff so we could check out on time.
For our last meal in Siargao, we planned to try 📍 Shaka Siargao because why not, right? We arrived there around 1pm. Our airport transfer will pick us up at Las Nenas around 1:30pm, which means we had 30 minutes to eat, appreciate Shaka and take a few shots.
🍽️ Shaka Siargao
What we ordered:
Babi ————> !! Bom Dia !! – Php 250
Me & Jil——–> Cloud 9 Klooke – Php 250
*They serve big smoothie bowls. It’s actually good for sharing, especially if you have a small appetite like me or if you just wanna have a taste. However, their presentation did not disappoint. It is indeed too pretty to eat! ✨
As if we had a lot of time on our hands, we ordered one smoothie bowl each — forgetting the fact that it takes more time to prepare and finish eating. It took 5 minutes to prepare so in the meantime, we took some photos and appreciated the view.
Our orders arrived at 1:15pm, so now we had to eat it all in 10 minutes! The three of us tried our best to finish as much as we can but to no avail. If only we had more time, there wouldn’t be leftovers. We really had to leave so our van won’t leave us behind.
So we arrived back in Las Nenas 1:30pm on the dot and our airport transfer was already there! Thank God the driver waited for us.
So here’s a summary of everything I’ve spent in Siargao! Click the link in the caption to see a detailed spreadsheet of all the little things including tricycle fares, meals, etc!
☀️ ☀️ ☀️
That ends my Siargao trip! Whenever you want to escape from the stressful life, you know where to go. If you’ve been here, I’m sure you’d agree that it’s the place to be. If not, I hope this made you want to visit the island!
Words aren’t enough to describe nature’s beauty. You really have to be there to understand.
If you’re still reading, you da real MVP! Thanks for staying until the end, and I hope you enjoyed reading this long post.
Always keep your sunny side up!
the other girl under the sun