SUGBA LAGOON FROM SIARGAO (CHEAP LOCAL ROUTE)
Sugba Lagoon is one of the most popular things to do on Siargao. It’s a short day trip from General Luna, Siargao to a spectacular lagoon surrounded by epic mountains. The day trip costs around 1500 pesos (30 USD) per person or more if you book it in the tourist are of General Luna. However, we managed to find a way to get to Sugba Lagoon for 300 pesos (5 USD) per person.
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How to get to Sugba Lagoon (DIY route)
Sugba Lagoon is about an hour boat ride from Del Carmen or an hour and a half boat ride from General Luna. You can book a tour straight out of General Luna for 1500 pesos upwards, which will include lunch and entry.
We had mopeds and managed to source a local boat driver to take us to Sugba Lagoon and back for 1500 pesos total for all five people. We found the boat driver at the wharf before Del Carmen overlooking the mangrove forest. I will show you on the map below where the Mangrove Wharf is if you decide to try and find our boatman. This is definitely the DIY version fo visiting Sugba Lagoon and it isn’t super easy to figure out but all things going well you should be able to find Ida or another local at Del Carmen or the wharf who will be willing.
When you arrive at the mangrove wharf, ask for Ida. She is a lovely old woman with blue eyes who will organize the whole thing. You will need to organize it a day in advance as she will have to visit Del Carmen and get the entrance permission slip. This is a free slip but means they can legally enter the Sugba Lagoon area.
Booking the tour through Ida at the mangrove wharf means you will have to drive yourself from General Luna to Del Carmen, which takes 40 minutes. You will need to pack your own lunch or buy it at Sugba Lagoon and you will need to pay your own entry, which is only 100 pesos per person. Ida let us stay as long as we like at Sugba Lagoon and she just chilled and let us do our thing from 9 am when we arrived at the lagoon til we left at 2 pm.
Below is the map showing where Sugba Lagoon actually is.
Now you have the options of doing Sugba Lagoon DIY to save $20 bucks or so like we did or just going on an organized tour with a nice seafood lunch and no hassles for a bit of extra coin.
Despite being a recommended tourist spot Sugba Lagoon isn’t overcrowded such as spots like Kayangan Lake in Coron. You won’t have the lagoon to yourselves but it’s a big enough area to find your own piece of paradise to chill, take photos and hang out. It is a 4000-hectare sanctuary, which you will enjoy on the drive in as well as while you hang out in the main lagoon.
A big pontoon house is the main area where you will base yourselves for the day. Here you can claim a table and set up for the day. We left at our bags unattended at many points and the locals kept a steady eye on them for us.
At the pontoon house, fresh seafood lunches are available at a pretty decent price. A whole plate of fresh squid/calamari and rice for two people was only 400 pesos or $8 USD, which is fair considering the isolation of the location.
The pontoon house also rents out the equipment for activities. We rented a huge bamboo raft for an hour at $200 pesos. Others took stand-up paddleboards for a spin around the lagoons.
If you aren’t looking to hire any equipment you can still have a great time swimming in the lagoon and the pontoon house has a sweet diving board. You can grab some cool photos if you shoot from the second floor of the pontoon house out into the open lagoon.
Sugba Lagoon and Magpupungko Tour
Like I said earlier, it is possible to do a tour. Many people only have a few days on Siargao, which is fine. You can still see a lot, especially if you combine Sugba Lagoon and Magpupungko Rock Pools together on a boat tour. There are a few places in General Luna that will book this for you or you can book online by Clicking Here. This tour takes you to both popular tourist spots via boat in one day. You really only need half a day at each so it isn’t a rushed tour. I obviously didn’t do it this way, but I had 40 days on Siargao so I was in no rush at all.
MORE SIARGAO TRAVEL GUIDES
I spent 40 days living on Siargao and adventured to all of the well-known spots but also ventured a little further off the beaten path and explored some truly mind-blowing parts of Siargao and Sohoton! I’ve written a huge travel guide for Siargao but also several other helpful guides about the best sunsets, cliff jump spots. You can click on any of the guides below to head straight there. Enjoy Siargao!
WHERE TO STAY ON SIARGAO ISLAND
Siargao is pretty straightforward when it comes to picking a region to stay. 90% of people choose to stay somewhere near General Luna. All of the bars, restaurants, tours, ports, and hotels are near General Luna and Cloud 9 surf break. There are a couple of other regions you could stay in like Pacifico but unless you are purposely looking for isolation, General Luna is your spot. So what are my suggestions for where to stay in General Luna?
First, I’ll tell you where I stayed. Because I stayed for over a month, I managed to find an Airbnb. It was 4 blocks back from the beach, had wi-fi, A/C, a private bathroom, patio and inside was just two bunk beds. It was super basic and I stayed here with two mates and my sister. It was 900 USD for the entire month, which we split four ways so it was just $225 each. There’s a photo below of our sweet Airbnb pad on Siargao Island.
Aside from Airbnb, which obviously isn’t for everyone, I actually personally visited and even stayed at a few different hotels during my time on Siargao. There are two standouts, luxurious resorts for those with a bit bigger budget.
- The first spot is called Nay Palad Hideaway. It really is just a magical looking place surrounded by palm trees. The architecture is. beautiful and it is like island style meets luxury. It’s perfectly located in General Luna but would give you a ton of privacy during your stay as well.
- The second spot is called Siargao Bleu Resort. I had friends stay here and visited and hung out in the pool a few times. It is right on the beach and the cool part is that the luxury villas kind of hang out over the pool making it feel like an over-water villa in the Maldives. The restaurant is pretty bomb too! (I may have snuck into the buffet breakfast once). It is one of the most popular places to stay on Siargao Island, so if you do decide to stay here definitely book early.
- The best budget option for Siargao backpackers who want a private room is called Calypso Surf and Dive. Here you can get a basic double room for just $15, which when you split with your partner makes it cheaper than the hostel. It’s got good vibes, good location and everything you would expect from a basic, cheap accommodation.
- The best budget option for dorm style/hostel accommodation on Siargao Island is called The White House in General Luna. For just $10 a night you can grab yourself a dorm bed. It’s very clean and has a huge chill out area with hammocks and bean bags for those post-surf siesta sessions.
BEST TIME TO VISIT SIARGAO ISLAND
The best time to visit Siargao depends on what you are looking for. Many consider the best time of year when the weather is best but that also means crowds. I will give you a few options below about when is the best month to visit Siargao Island:
September: Siargao hosts the ‘Cloud 9 Surfing Cup’ each September, an official WSL Pro event
July – November: The best time period for surfing in Siargao is July until November. The easterly Mindanao current provides the islands with waves that came from the deepest regions of the Pacific.
March – May: If you aren’t as interested in the surf but are craving that sun. March until May should bring you guaranteed sunny days. But it’s the Philippines so you can’t guarantee it.