Siargao was my final destination in the Philippines after exploring Palawan, Coron, Bohol and Siquijor for almost a month. Out of all the countries that I visited in Southeast Asia, the Philippines is one of the most beautiful ones, with activities suitable for any traveler.
I’ve seen my fair share of beautiful beaches, endless jungles and unique islands but nothing could have prepared me for the amazing places I was about to explore. The highlight of my visit was definitely the island hopping tour in Siargao where I had the chance to visit Guyam Island, Daku Island and Naked Island.
Even if during this tour Dan managed to break his camera (I’ll tell you the whole story below), the three islands near Siargao stole my heart and I feel lucky for having the chance to visit them.
If you’re looking for a bit of adventure combined with amazing scenery and delicious food, you need to go island hopping in Siargao. I’m here to tell you about my experience and share with you all the things you need to know about this activity. But first, let me tell you a few words about Siargao.
1. A few words about Siargao
This tear-drop shaped island, located in the Philippines Sea is famous around the world for surfing. Maybe you’ve heard about Cloud 9, the famous surfing beach where surfers from across the globe come to face the waves.
With a reputation among both local and international surfers, Siargao is also known as the “The Surfing Capital of the Philippines” but don’t worry, even if you’re not into surfing there are plenty of other activities you can do on this island.
I remember when my plane was about to land at Siargao Airport. Looking through the window, all I could see was the landing strip surrounded by an endless sea of palm trees. I’ve been to many Asian islands until now but I’ve never seen so many palm trees.
You’ll see that driving through Siargao the palm trees will follow you at every turn. I fell in love with this island’s raw beauty instantly and I quickly wanted to explore all it has to offer.
In total, I spend a little over a week on this island but the best experience was by far the Siargao 3-island tour. Even if I’m not a morning person, I woke up early in the morning excited about this trip. Here’s everything you need to know when booking this tour.
2. Things to know before booking an island hopping tour
There are a few things you should know before booking your tour. Keep in mind these things and enjoy this unique experience and the views.
First of all, buy a waterproof bag. I can’t stress enough how important is to have a waterproof bag when going island hopping in Siargao or anywhere else. To convince you, let me tell you a story.
When our boat arrived at the beautiful Guyam Island, it docked about 4 meters away from the shore. There were almost no waves and the water was about 60 cm deep. Well, when Dan came off the boat, a small wave hit him and he fell into the water together with his backpack and camera (which was around his neck).
Luckily, everything in the backpack (my camera, our drone, batteries, chargers) was stored in a waterproof bag. However, Dan’s camera which was hanging around his neck, wasn’t so lucky and had a taste of the salty water. Of course it broke and to this day it couldn’t be salvaged.
We were lucky because we had another camera but others might not be this lucky. So buy that goddamn waterproof bag!
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Second of all, bring a few snacks with you. Bring some chocolate and a bottle of water. You’ll thank me later. Make sure to throw the water bottle only in designated places!
Also, bring a blouse with long sleeves or even better, a UV swimming shirt. The sun is extremely harsh and it will burn your skin in no time and I’m sure that you want to enjoy the turquoise water and the fine sand for as long as possible. Also, bring your sunscreen!
3. Siargao island hopping tour – Where to book & Costs
There are many places where you can book a three-island tour in Siargao but keep in mind that the prices vary a bit (between $20 and $40). Below are all the options available, including private tours.
Good to know – If you’re visiting during the peak season (between March and October), I recommend booking your tour at least two days in advance. The Siargao island hopping tour is the most popular tour on the island and every traveler wants to book it!
The tours below usually include lunch which is served on Daku Island. The food is cooked by the locals and there are several cottages where you can enjoy your meal in shade. Lunch usually includes rice, seafood and fish.
In case lunch is not included in the price, you can also buy food from the locals. For example, a kilo of calamari costs 500 PHP ($10) while a kilo of prawns costs 600 PHP ($12). You can also order rice or vegetables as side dishes.
Good to know – Tours that include lunch also include the rental of cottages that will allow you to enjoy your food away from the harsh sun. If lunch is not included, you’ll have to rent your own cottage for 300 PHP.
Book online – lunch is included
The easiest way is to book your tour online on Klook.com. You have two options – you can book an island hopping tour that includes only the three islands (Daku, Naked and Guyam) or you can choose a tour that includes these three islands plus Sohoton Cove.
When I visited Siargao, I did the Sohoton Cove tour on a separate day and it was perfect. I had enough time to admire the beauty of these tiny islands and explore the hidden lagoons.
If you have more than 4 days to spend on Siargao Island, I recommend booking 2 tours in 2 separate days for the 3 islands and Sohoton Cove. However, if your time is limited and you want to see as much as possible, you can book the tour that includes both attractions.
Good to know – There is another tour that also includes Corregidor Island. I recommend this tour only to adventurous travelers, who are not afraid of hiking through dense vegetation. On this island, you can hike to the top of the hills and admire the views. Even if it’s a beautiful island and the views are quite epic, adding another stop can make the entire journey more tiring. I recommend sticking to the original tour that includes only the Daku, Naked and Guyam Islands.
Here are the links
- Siargao three-island day tour – click here
- Siargao three-island tour + Sohoton Cove – click here
- Siargao three-island tour + Corregidor Island – click here
Book from General Luna – usually lunch is included
Along the main street in General Luna you’ll find many vendors and tour agencies which sell island hopping tours. Prices usually start at $20 and can go up to $25.
Keep in mind that when buying tickets from these small agencies, you’ll need to book your trip at least one day in advance. Usually, the prices include lunch but it’s best to ask beforehand.
If the tour doesn’t include lunch, you can buy something to eat from Daku Island or you can bring your own snacks.
Book at Bravo Beach Resort – lunch is included
Another place where you can book your Siargao island hopping tickets is at Bravo Beach Resort. You don’t have to be a guest at this hotel to book your tickets. Just head to their reception and speak with the receptionist.
The tour guides from the resort are extremely professional and they will make sure that you’ll have an unforgettable experience. Apart from the boatman, there will also be an English-speaking guide who will answer all your questions.
If you choose this option, I strongly advise you to book your tickets at least two days in advance because they sell out quickly. The price of a tour is $30.
Bravo Beach Resort offers many other tours, including tours to Sugba Lagoon & Kawhagan Island, tours to Sohoton Cove and tours to Tayangban Cave Pool.
Book directly from locals – lunch is not included
Another option is to book a private tour directly from the wharf. Once you arrive here, you’ll notice many boats. Just go talk to the locals and say which tour you’re interested in.
A private boat for the day will cost between 1500 PHP and 2000 PHP ($30 – $41). This option is perfect if you’re a larger group of people. On a boat you can pile in about 7-8 people, depending on the size of the boat.
Keep in mind that booking a private island hopping tour in Siargao does not include lunch. You can even buy food from Daku Island or you can bring snacks with you.
Good to know – usually, when booking from locals entrance fees are not included. The entry to Guyam Island is 30 PHP (almost $1) person. Also, entering Daku Island costs 100 PHP ($2) per boat. Make sure to ask your boatman about these fees.
In conclusion, the easiest way to book a tour is online. You’ll have a hassle-free experience with lunch included. However, if you’re on a very tight budget, book your tour directly from the wharf.
4. Siargao island hopping tour – Itinerary & Stops
All tours include stops at these three incredible islands – Daku, Guyam and Naked. However, depending on the tour you choose, the boatman can stop at these destinations in a different order than the one below.
Usually, tours start early at 9 am or even earlier.
This round, picturesque island is a little corner of paradise. The small clump of palm trees is surrounded by a beautiful white-sand beach. While you’re here, I recommend exploring every corner of this small island.
You’ll find small natural lagoons where you can sit in warm water and relax. Also, you can swim in the turquoise water and enjoy the amazing view of the island.
Hidden between the palm trees is a small basketball court and a few stalls selling burgers and fresh juices.
Since Dan fell in the water with his camera on this island, we spent the majority of our time here trying to figure out if the camera is still working. Unfortunately, it gave its last breath on this idyllic island in the heart of the Philippines.
Good to know – In total, you’ll have about one and a half – two hours to spend on this island. Take your time to really enjoy this place and take some awesome photos!
As the name suggests, this island is naked. No, really, there’s nothing on it. No shops, no vegetation, no palm trees, no houses, no nothing. It’s pretty amazing to step foot on this incredible sandbank.
The water surrounding the Naked Island is crystal-clear but quite shallow. Even if it’s not suitable for swimming, it’s perfect for a quick dip.
There’s not much to do on Naked Island apart from taking a walk, admiring the views and shooting some photos. However, this is exactly what I loved the most about this place. Its uniqueness and emptiness.
Our next stop on our island hopping tour in Siargao is Daku Island, the last island we visited.
Good to know – Before visiting the Naked Island put some sunscreen on! There is no shade on this island.
The biggest island of the three, Daku Island was our final stop and the place where we had lunch. If you want to swim, this is the place for you! The water is deep enough for swimming and there are almost no waves.
Daku Beach is wide enough to find a place away from the crowd and enjoy a moment of silence. If you want to stay in the shade of palm trees, you can rent a cottage for 300 PHP or you can simply put your towel at the base of the trees.
While walking along the beach I bumped into a few local kids running and having fun. Daku Island is the picture-perfect island, a place where time seems to stop.
We spent about 2 hours on this island before heading back to Siargao. This entire island hopping trip was a roller-coaster of emotions for me, from Dan’s falling into the water with his camera to these incredible views and beautiful islands.
5. Things to bring with you
Here are a few things you should bring with you on any island hopping trip
- sunscreen – in case you care about your skin
- waterproof bag – if you care about camera and electronics
- UV shirt – it’s awesome for swimming
- fast drying beach towel – a must-have when going to the beach
- snacks (water and biscuits) – don’t get dehydrated!
6. Where to stay in Siargao
Most hotels and hostels are located in General Luna. There’s a wide range of accommodation options, ranging from affordable hostels to expensive luxurious private villas.
If you’re on a budget and you’re comfortable driving a motorbike, you can choose a place to stay a bit further away from General Luna. Here are the best accommodations for every budget in Siargao.
- Budget – Ilakai Hostel – good location, clean rooms & bathrooms, friendly staff, good facilities, good value for money
- Mid-Range – DomuMia Villa – good location, great amenities, awesome staff, clean and spacious rooms
- Luxury – Las Palmas Villa – incredible pool, great location, luxurious rooms with amazing amenities, friendly staff, private and quiet
7. Final thoughts
Island hopping in Siargao was hands-down one of the best experiences I had while traveling full-time in Asia. I love each of the three islands. Each of them is unique and beautiful. If you have more time in Siargao, I recommend visiting the Cloud 9 Beach, Tayangban Cave Pool, Pacifico Beach, the Bent Palm Tree and Magpupungko.
Click on the picture below to read more about the Philippines! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments section below.