Siargao is becoming one of the most iconic and popular islands in the Philippines. With its beautiful beaches and wild nature, it’s the place to go for backpackers looking for something off the beaten track. One of the best things to do in Siargao is to go island hopping to Guyam, Daku and Naked Island on a Three Islands boat trip.
There are a couple of different ways that you can do the island hopping tour in Siargao, so if you want to make sure you get the most out of your trip, this is the guide for you! In this Siargao island hopping guide I’ve included everything you need to know about planning your own island hopping boat trip, including average sailing times between islands, what to bring with you, how to book your trip, average costs and more. So let’s get started!
Before you go, don’t forget to check what to pack for the Philippines to make sure you have everything for your trip!
- 1 About Siargao
- 2 General info about island hopping in Siargao
- 3 Our Siargao island hopping itinerary
- 4 How to book your island hopping tour in Siargao
- 5 What to bring island hopping in Siargao
- 6 Where to stay in Siargao
Siargao is located 800 kilometers southeast of Manila in the province of Surigao Del Norte.
This tear-shaped island is entirely covered with palm trees and white sand beaches and it boasts the best waves that surfers from all over the world visit to challenge. This makes it a perfect destination for surfing and island-hopping.
It is quickly becoming the new backpacker hotspot in the Philippines. Fortunately, unlike the famous white sand beach-Boracay and the limestone cliff formations of Palawan, it is still off the main tourist radar. If you’re looking for a truly unique island where you can enjoy beautiful pristine beaches away from the tourist crowds, while at the same time having fun at sick beach parties and living the island life, make sure to add Siargao to your Philippines itinerary.
General info about island hopping in Siargao
There are three main islands close to Siargao that are the traditional destination for island-hopping day trips: Guyamn, Daku and the Naked Island.
Hiring a private boat
You can hire a private boat for 1500 PHP. They say these carry 6 people but I’ve seen some with considerably more people than that. If you can get a group of friends together, this is the cheapest way to go island hopping in Siargao.
The entry fee to Guyam Island is 30 PHP per person and 100 PHP for Daku Island per boat, although its worth to keep in mind that on both island hopping trips nobody asked us for the latter fee.
The private boats will not cater for your lunch. Instead, you can either bring your own with you or buy food at Daku Island. It is worth nothing that there is no normal food menu – the shacks sell fresh fish that are sold per kilo and they will cook it for you.
Prices on Daku Island range from 600 PHP for one kilogram of prawns and 500 PHP for one kilogram of calamari. If like me you’re trying to do the maths and figure out if that is expensive or not and just how much food one kilogram of prawns is, worry not, they have scales there so you can weigh the fish and decide how much you want. I ended up eating three calamari for lunch, which weighed a fourth of a kilo.
They will also charge for the cooking, rice and any extra ingredients that you ordered or requested to be on your dish – like the sauce and grilled vegetables.
While your food is being cooked and you’re waiting for it to be served you can rent a cabana for 300 PHP where you can sit in and relax before eating. They will then bring it out to your cabana when it’s ready.
With drinks and adding all the expenses, it came down to 500 PHP for my lunch. Expensive? For Philippines standards maybe yes, but it was one of the best meals I had in the Philippines. How can you say no to eating fresh seafood that is cooked on the moment while overlooking the beach? It was totally worth the expensive price tag.
Do a group island hopping tour
You can also book an island hopping group tour, which will cover lunch and all entry fee expenses, but depending on how many friends you’re sharing with, getting a private boat often works out cheaper. On the other hand if you’re travelling solo group tours can be a fun way to meet new people.
Island hopping difficulty
Cruising across the islands is very easy – the islands are all within the reef break so the sea is pretty flat and there were no big waves. The islands are all close together so you will never be sailing for too long. The longest time we spent sailing on the boat at any one time was never more than 40 minutes. My friend Annie that was travelling with me usually gets really seasick and she had no issue while island hopping in Siargao.
Our Siargao island hopping itinerary
We started our island hopping day at 9:30AM by setting off from General Luna. We sailed for about 30 minutes before reaching Guyam Island. We stayed here for two hours, a good amount of time for your first stop.
Guyam is a small, circular island that is covered with palm trees. Hidden in the cover of the palm trees are some amenities – the basketball court, a burger shake shack and other establishments.
The water is very shallow, with one side of the island covered in rocks and a small beach on the other side. The water here is amongst the clearest I’ve ever seen.
Once you’re done relaxing on the beach of Guyam Island it will take about 30 minutes to get from Guyam to Naked Island. Famous for being “naked” – as the name suggests, the island itself is nothing but a huge sand bank.
There are no trees, no shacks, nothing there. There is no shade and you will be sat in the sun the whole time you’re on Naked Island. Make sure to bring sunscreen if you don’t want to get burnt! (Also most boats have shade cover so you can always sit in your boat if you want to be out of the sun!)
The water here is deeper than in Guyam so you can comfortably sit on the sea by the shoreline to cool down, or go for a snorkel and swim around the island. We didn’t stay very long as it was too hot and we were afraid to get sunburnt.
The journey from Naked Island to Daku is about 20 minutes. It is the biggest of the three islands and inhabited by people, as you will see by the houses built on it and bigger groups of locals wandering around.
The huts by the beach serve lunch and there are also beach volley courts where you can play and have fun with your friends. The water on this island is pretty deep so you can properly swim and snorkel around if you want to.
We stayed in Daku Island until around 5PM when the light started turning golden, this way we got to enjoy a beautiful sunset on our cruise back to General Luna.
How to book your island hopping tour in Siargao
There are three ways to book your Siargao island hopping tour to Guyam Island, Daku Island and Naked Island. These are the following:
- On the moment! We walked down to the harbour and broadwalk of General Luna and a number of local sailors offered us a private boat for 1,500 PHP for the same day.
- If you don’t like leaving things to the last moment you can actually book beforehand at some of the tourist stalls on the main street of General Luna. We went for Meckoy Tours and booked our private boat there the day before actually doing the tour. Some of the stalls also sell group island hopping tours.
- If you want to be sure to have something booked before arriving in Siargao you can book online.
What to bring island hopping in Siargao
You don’t need much on you when you’re island hopping from one beach to another, but here’s a brief checklist for you of things that you should take with you island hopping in Siargao:
- Sunscreen or you will get sun burnt!
- Sunhat as extra sun protection
- Swimsuit if you plan on swimming
- Fast drying beach towel – you know it, I love these. They dry quickly and don’t take up a lot of space, a winner all round!
- Mask and snorkel if you plan to snorkel as the private boats don’t always provide snorkelling gear
- Water bottle – some of the huts on Daku Island provide water refills
Where to stay in Siargao
The area to be at in Siargao is General Luna. Here you’ll find lots of bars, restaurants, and other tourist amenities. It’s the main backpacker destination in Siargao.
For our stay, we chose Salty Nomads which was a fun, sociable hostel but very basic and simple. I would only recommend this one if you’re looking for a good place with a good social atmosphere and are willing to live on basics for a while. They have a social schedule and activities on every night, plus most people were going out every night or surfing together in mornings even if it wasn’t on the hostel schedule. But by basic I mean no AC in the 16-bed dorm and toilets that you have to flush down with a water bucket.
This is another budget-friendly option is another dorm style/hostel accommodation in General Luna. For only 500 PHP a night, you can comfortably sleep in a dorm bed. The White House is known for its cleanliness and housekeeping – and there’s a huge chill out area with hammocks and bean bags if you want to hang out with your friends, grab a guitar and have a singing session of Filipino OPM songs.
Nay Palad Hideaway is a high end villa that is surrounded by palm trees and offers a huge swimming pool. It actually feels as if you are hidden somewhere in a paradise island, on your own private rest house with this one.
Siargao, a small island located just some 800 kilometers south of Manila, is the island to be in! Covered with palm trees, boasting the best surfing waves in the Philippines and splattered with beautiful beaches – Siargao is the perfect place to relax, island-hop and fall in love. Make sure to visit this island before it creeps up everyone’s bucket list and the tourist crowds ruin it.
Have you been to Siargao before? How did you find it? Let me know in the comments below! Siargao is one of my favourite islands in the Philippines, and the days I spent island hopping there between Daku Island, Naked Island and Guyam Island are amongst the best of my trip. I hope you find this Siargao island hopping guide useful in planning your own island hopping trip in Siargao.
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