One of my favourite activities in the Philippines is taking a paraw or filipino boat out for the day to visit nearby islands, sandbars, coves, reefs, or shipwrecks. This is very popular to do in Coron, and El Nido. I knew there were a few islands we could do this in within Siargao, but there wasn’t a lot of information on how to go about getting a boat before arriving. But I wasn’t concerned, it wasn’t my first time doing this and I knew it would be easy to book once I arrived.
Private Tour Cost- 1500 PHP
Click Here for the Siargao three-island tour drone video, and more.
You ask how I managed to get this price? Well, I asked locals for one. Unlike other Philippine islands there aren’t a lot of dive shops set up, or tour agencies. I walked into one tour agency and their price was 2500 PHP per person. Inclusive of island fees and environmental fees as well as pick up, and food for the day. From one other place I read, I felt like that price was high, and from experience never take the first offer you find!! That’s a life lesson to use anyway.
We were passing a dry market and needed to pick up a few things, I saw a small printed sign for private car hires behind the cash register so I decided to ask the cashier (who spoke English) if she knew anyone who took people on the three island boat tour privately. She quickly picked up her phone and said yes! Rang someone, and within a few minutes she told me the price and that someone would be at our hotel in the morning at our desired time. However, this price did not include food (which we decided we didn’t want), one island fee (30 PHP per person), pick up/drop off fee (80 PHP total), and environmental charge (100PHP). All together, 210 PHP extra, excluding any snacks or drinks we wanted to bring or buy on the little islands.
Now, I don’t usually recommend just walking up to strangers and asking someone to take us out on a boat for the day. But seeing as she ran quite a large shop, was super friendly, and had a few small signs advertising car tours I figured why not! And again, I had other experiences booking tours like this, and it’s all basically the same on the other islands. Someone calls up some random person, and says be ready at your hotel at X time in the morning.
If you also want a private tour for an inexpensive price just try to show up early on the main boat docks before 8:30am and someone will be available for the day.
Alternatively, you can go with a group tour. This definitely is the more cost effective way. We were given the price of 300 PHP per person. Personally, I do not prefer this. Going privately allows you to take control of what you want to do, and how you want to do it. For example, if it starts pissing rain and you’re out with a tour… suck it up you’re in for a longgggg cold ride because someone on that boat will want to keep trucking along as long as its safe. Or, let’s say you got a mad case of sea sickness, or somehow food poisoning.. nope it’ll be a slow death until you safely birth back to the mainland. If you can swing it, taking a private tour is worth it!