Stop whatever you are doing and book your trip to Siargao. Seriously, no need to even read the rest of this post, just do it. Siargao was by far our favorite stop in the Philippines and that is saying a lot given how much we loved Palawan. Now that you have your trip to Siargao booked here is our perfect 3 day Siargao itinerary. I recommend just doing exactly what we did as we could not have had a better experience.
The Perfect Three Day Siargao Itinerary Summary
We stayed at this hotel we found on Airbnb on the north end of town (near White Banana which has the best margarita we have ever had outside of Mexico). The hotel was pretty nice and had air-conditioning and hot showers but the real stars of the show were the owners. They helped us arrange almost all of our activities and I highly recommend them. We had a scooter with a surf rack for 1050 PP total for the three days (about $7 per day) and we put it to full use on day one.
The Perfect Siargao Itinerary Day 1:
Start the day off right with beautiful berry bowls on the beach at Shaka. They are a little expensive for Fililpino standards but still a great deal for what you get. They also have really good iced coffee. After breakfast if the conditions are right go surfing, when we were there they were not so we hopped on our moped and scooted to the rock pools. The drive is super beautiful and we really enjoyed having our own bike. Stop for pictures of the palm tree fields, water buffalo, pigs and of course take plenty of selfies.
The rock pools are super cool. They can get a little busy but not overly crowded and they are big so everyone is pretty spread out. The water is amazingly clear and the rocks have tons of nooks and crannies to explore. Make sure to go during low tide because we have heard that the pools are more or less connected to the ocean during high tide which makes them not as cool.
After the rock pools, eat lunch at one of the local stands near the beach. The local fish and fried chicken are super good but you also can’t go wrong with the noodle dishes. The service is pretty slow so grab a beer and enjoy the sun.
Tayangban Cave Pool
Next, head back towards town but make sure to stop at the “cave pool”. Park your moped next to the others on the side of the road and walk across the street to the entrance. We had no idea what we were getting into but it was only $3 for the guide so we figured we had nothing to lose. The cave tour ended up just being us, one other person, and the guide.
You will walk/swim for about 20 minutes in the cave which is super dark. As you make your way though the cave the guide will shine his light on hundreds of bats that are hanging from the ceiling. You will also have the chance to jump off of a small rock into a pool at the end. The cave was way cooler than we thought it would be and well worth the small price. Just note that the cave is dark and wet. We were fine in flip flops and with our dry bag but you might be more comfortable in water shoes.
Palm Tree Swing
After the cave, ride a bit further back towards town and across a bridge with a bunch of locals dressed in the same shirt. From what we understand there are two groups of locals that take turns “running” the nearby rope swing. To get in you will have to pay a small entrance fee and you will be offered a guide that will help you with the rope swing. You obviously do not have to hire the guide but for a dollar why not help support them. Plus they are super appreciative and make the experience a lot more fun by taking pictures, helping you up the palm tree and showing you how to get the most out of your palm tree rope swing experience. It was so much fun!
We did not have time to stop at Pacifico Beach because we wanted to get back and surf but we did hear that it is very nice. Had we surfed in the morning we would have probably been able to squeeze this in. That being said it is a long day on the moped and pretty action packed if you do all of the above.
If you did not surf in the morning now is your time to get stoked. We got two surfboards and an instructor for Rachel for $30 from “Happy Good Times Surf Shop” right across from Cloud 9. We then rode about 45 minutes to “secret beach” for our first surf spot in the Philippines. (ask your guide where to go based on your experience and preference.)
To get to Secret Beach you park on the side of the road and then walk through a beautiful palm tree forest. Like most things that are labeled “secret” in the Philippines secret beach is packed with people. Most people are with guides getting lessons but when we went there were a few surfing on their own and everyone was super nice. Rachel is still learning to surf and had a great time in these waves. I surf a bit more but was still able to get some fun rides in as the sun was beginning to set in paradise.
Dinner and Drinks
Naturally, the next stop after surfing is tacos. Head to Miguels Taqueria, you will not be disappointed. The tacos, quesadilla and burrito are all great. We got an order of tacos each and split the burrito. Miguels also offers craft beer which can be hard to come by in the Philippines. Once fully nourished, grab a trike and head to Brava for craft drinks. We had a great time sitting at the bar and trying all of their specialty daiquiris. They are a bit more expensive than the smaller shops in town but super tasty and still a great deal. Be warned they are pretty strong even though they taste delicious. I know this is a huge day but it is absolutely worth it.
The Perfect Siargao Itinerary Day 2:
Day two is a bit more relaxing and all about the islands and beaches. Start the day off right with a smoothie from Cafe Loca, right in front of Cloud 9. You can sit on the poofs by the beach and watch surfers catch waves. Be warned service is super slow. (We had to bail on eating so we could make it to our tour in time. We grabbed delicious pastries across the street at Kawayan gourmet instead.)
Private Island Hopping
We asked our hotel host to book us a private boat for the whole day but you could also just go to the marina and ask for one yourself. I wish I could remember exactly but the total cost for the two of us to have a boat and visit three islands was super cheap, around $30 I think! Once you have your boat you can walk to the attached market and buy a fish and drinks for your trip.
The first stop on the island tour is Naked Island which is a beautiful sand bar surrounded by amazingly clear water. As the name implies there is nothing on Naked Island so just sit back and catch some sun. One of the benefits of having a private boat is that you can stay for as long or short of a time as you want.
The next stop is Daku island. This is where you will have your fish prepared. The island is a lot bigger and there are plenty of places to get drinks and relax. We paid a little extra to add sides and a delicious seasoning to our fish lunch.
The third stop on the island tour is Guyam which looks super beautiful. We ended up staying so long at stop 2 (by choice) that we did not make it to the third stop but we did a drive by and it really did look great.
Sunset at Cloud 9
Once you make it back to the port jump on your scooter and head to the Cloud 9 pier. There is a small charge to go out on the pier but it is definitely worth it. We had a great time watching the sunset as the surfers caught the last waves of the day. It is not possible to see the sun actually sink into the ocean (ball dip) but still very beautiful.
After you go home and clean up head to dinner at Carinderia for a great vibe and even better Italian food.
Full Moon Party
We happened to be in Siargao during a full moon so we headed to Malinao for the pre-party. It sounds like most bars take turns being the hot spot on a given night so ask around and I am sure you will find a great place to go. If you do happen to be there during a full moon I highly recommend going to the main party at Baile. It is a bit of a drive but we rode on the back of a motorcycle (like a taxi) and it was very cheap. We had a blast dancing in the sand and partying with the tourists and locals.
The Perfect Siargao Itinerary Day 3:
Start the morning off with a surf session at the legendary Cloud 9. The break is split into three sections so there is something for every level. Rachel had a guide and caught some of the best waves of her life. I tried for a few of the bigger waves and got creamed but it was still a blast. After your surf sesh fuel up with a crepe from across the street. You want to eat a good meal because day three is pretty much a day-trip.
No Siargao itinerary is complete without a trip to Sugba Lagon. It is a pretty long scooter ride to Del Carmen where you will catch the boat to Sugba Lagoon but the roads are good and it is easy. If you prefer there is also the option to take a boat from Siargao to Sugba but we heard it takes just as long. Once you are at the dock you can either hire a private boat to take you to Sugba Lagoon or split the cost with other people in line at the dock. (That’s what we did!) The ride to Sugba is about an hour and it is super beautiful. The water is shallow and you can see the bottom for most of it. (We even had to get out and push at one point on the way back.)
Once you get to Sugba Lagoon you will immediately see the famous Instagram platform / diving board that comes up every time you google it. You will also have the option to rent boats and paddle boards. I recommend renting something because on the left back side of the lagoon is a house and foot trail to another secret lagoon with a WAAAYYY higher (and thus better, jumping platform). We paid $3 to use a bamboo raft and pull ourselves across the second lagoon to the jumping platform Huckleberry Finn style. Be warned the other platform is scary high!
Kermit Happy Hour
When you get back from Sugba you will be ready for happy hour. Kermit kept coming up online so we decided to give it a try and we were not disappointed. We sat at the bar (first come first serve) but most people had reservations in the restaurant. The bar has a limited menu but we had a pizza that was great and some awesome happy hour cocktails.
And that is the perfect three day Siargao itinerary. I hope you love this amazing island as much as we did.
Sublime in Siargao,
Note: We visited Siargo in March 2019.