A Remote Worker's Guide To Living In Siargao

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The Remote Worker’s Guide To Living And Working In Siargao

Surfer on Siargao Island

 

Table Of Contents

 

Siargao, located in the southern part of the Philippines, is one of the most picturesque islands you’ve ever been to. Gone are the days it was a “secret spot” for some of the best waves on Earth; it’s now a magnet for digital nomads seeking a sweet blend of work-life balance.

Here’s your go-to guide for navigating the ins and outs of living and working remotely in Siargao.


Working Remote in Siargao: The Basics

Siargao Island aerial view
^ Photo by Mary Hipayo

Siargao Safety

Siargao is a pretty safe place, especially in the well-trodden areas. Yes, petty crime exists, so employing common sense goes a long way. What’s that look like? Avoid walking alone at night and stay vigilant in less populated zones.

Siargao Daily Island Life

Siargao is island vibes, through and through. Type A’ers out there, beware. You need something done? Cool. It’ll happen. But probably not right now.

It’s not a, “I’ll pay you double if you do this right now” spot either. The Filipino people here are some of the most fun-loving people I’ve ever met - my experience was that almost all of them prioritized family and enjoying life over money. So if they have a family party to go to, they don’t care if you’re willing to pay triple. It’s time to go party.

Sunset Bridge on Siargao Island

^Photo by Mary Grace of Sunset Bridge

Siargao Weather Overview

Dry Season (March - September):

Temperatures range from 81°F (27°C) to 90°F (32°C). Expect sunshine and minimal rainfall during this period, perfect for island exploration and beach outings.

Wet Season (October - February):

Temperatures range between 77°F (25°C) and 84°F (29°C). Rainfall is more frequent, with occasional heavy downpours, but breaks of sunshine are common.

The rainiest months in Siargao are usually December and January. During these months there is heavy rain, and electrical/wifi outages are not uncommon, although many places on Siargao have Starlink.

Siargao General Climate Notes

  • Humidity: Siargao’s humidity remains consistent throughout the year, so prepare for that beachy feel no matter when you visit.
  • Rainfall: While showers can be heavy, they’re typically short-lived bursts followed by clear skies.
  • Typhoon Season: Typhoons are rare in Siargao, but sporadic storms might occur from June to September.

Siargao Cost Of Living

Budgeting for life in Siargao averages around $1,000 to $1,500 USD per month, covering rent, groceries, dining, transport, and entertainment.

Siargao Monthly Expenses Breakdown

Housing: $200/mo - $1,000/mo USD

Accommodation costs vary widely based on location and amenities. A bare-bones studio out of the way in General Luna might set you back around $200 USD/month, while a beachfront villa could reach $1,000 USD/month. 

Groceries: $200-$300 USD/month

TAG is going to be the biggest grocery store you’ll find in General Luna. Heads up - it’s not that big, and your options are not super varied. It’s a small town on a big island, so you’re just going

Dining Out: ~$200 USD/month

A meal at a local spot might cost $3-$5 USD, including a beverage and a tip. A more elevated dining experience will run you $5-$10 USD, and then the nicer places will run ~$30 USD.

Transportation: $30 USD/month

Tricycles are the go-to mode of transport, costing about $1-$2 per trip within General Luna. Motorbike rentals range from $5 to $7 per day.

Leisure Activities: $200 USD/month

This figure flexes a lot based on your preferences. Surfing is one of the top leisure activities in Siargao. If you’ve got an instructor 5x/week, you’re going to go over $200 USD/month. Renting a scooter and heading out nearly every day?

Also probably going to go over $200 USD/month. But if your activities are mainly hitting the beach and going to Sunset Bridge nightly, you’ll be able to keep this cost below $200.

Working Remotely in Siargao: Coworking & Connections

Alter Coworking Space for remote workers on Siargao

 

Top 3 Coworking Spaces

  • Alter Space - Cool coworking space with lighting fast Starlink, power generator backup, and seriously good coffee.
  • Lexias Hostel - Great hostel with fast Starlink and relaxed workspace vibe. There’s also a great cafe with great coffee.
  • The Hub by Lokal Lab - This is one of the most unique places on the island. It’s a popular hub with a mix of work and community events, and they’ve got shared desks upstairs. The best part is the downstairs restaurant - they do a great job of highlighting some of the local Filipino cuisine that many remote workers miss out on.

Internet Speed In Siargao

Most coworking spaces and cafes offer decent internet, averaging between 10-50 Mbps. But - it’s intermittent. But the only surefire way to get fast internet is Starlink strongly recommend reading through reviews to make sure they’ve got Starlink.

Building Social Connections

Siargao’s remote work community is diverse and open. Head to a weekly meal with Siargao Digital Nomads and tap into Facebook communities like Siargao Digital Nomads.

I really liked the remote workers I met in Siargao. They were laid back, mostly surfing, and generally not going all-out blackout on weekend nights.


Siargao Logistics: Getting There &round

General Luna, where remote workers spend time on Siargao Island

 

Getting To Siargao

If you’re going to Siargao for remote work, you’re probably heading to the General Luna area, so below is how you get to General Luna from the airport.

Fly into Siargao via Sayak Airport. From there, you can hop in a shared van for 300 PHP (~$5), or you can get a tricycle (basically a tuktuk) to General Luna that fits 2-3 for 600 PHP.

There aren’t too many flights to Siargao, so there’s usually a shared van you can hop into, and there are always guys outside the airport with tricycles.

 

Remote workers in the back of a tricycle on Siargao Island

^Heading to General Luna in the back of a tricycle

Siargao Visa Info

Tourist visas permit stays of up to 30 days, which are extendable up to 59 days (to do this, you’ll need to head to Surigao, which is the nearest Bureau of Immigration). Longer stays might require visa runs or exploring options for extended stays.

    Siargao Groceries Availability

    You may not find a one-stop shop for groceries in Siargao, and that’s ok. Local stores are good for fruits and small essentials, while TAG is going to be the spot for the bulk of your shopping. Still, TAG is not what you’d consider a full-blown supermarket.

    Medical Care In Siargao

    If you’re in need of serious medical care, head to Cebu. If you’re in need of emergency medical care, head to Dapa (a town about 20 minutes drive away). But the long and short of it is - you’re on a medium-small island in the Philippines, and the medical care you get here will not be top of the line.

    With that said, I went to Metrodocs Medical Clinic for bacterial gastroenteritis, and they were great. They’re equipped to handle mild to moderate health concerns like that.

    If you’re looking for a solid traveler’s medical insurance for situations like this, my go-to is SafetyWing.

    Best Places To Live In Siargao

    • General Luna - Central and bustling, perfect for access to workspots and social scenes.
    • Pacifico - Way quieter, more laid-back area with serene surroundings. Less busy surf, but also, less reliable electricity/wifi.
    • Malinao - This is where I stayed in Siargao and if you’ve got a scooter, it’s absolutely perfect. It offers a balance between proximity to town (5 minute ride) and a quieter vibe.

    Things To Do in Siargao

     CBD dojo on Siargao Island

    Free-Time Activities In Siargao

    • Surfing - Siargao’s famed Cloud 9 offers stellar waves, but other spots like Stimpy’s, Jacking Horse, and Pacifico Beach cater to all surfing levels.
    • Island Hopping - Explore the stunning islets around Siargao, including Naked Island, Daku Island, and Guyam Island for breathtaking scenery and snorkeling opportunities.
    • Grab A Motorbike & Head Out - Rent a motorbike and tour the island, discovering hidden gems like Magpupungko Rock Pools and Tayangban Cave Pool.
    • Jiu Jitsu/Aerial Yoga - CBD Siargao is a local-owned spot for some of the coolest movement classes on the island.

    Siargao Nightlife

    Siargao is still small enough to have an island vibe where certain places alternate having parties on different nights. Harana Beach Resort is a huge collection of many bars and a couple restaurants, all sewn up into a beach vibe with a dance floor. Check out a Harana beach party one of the nights you’re there.

     

    My Tips For Siargao

    • Bring patience. It’s a place to enjoy life, not Type A your way through everything like I tried doing upon arrival.
    • Time is fluid. 7 o'clock may mean 8 o'clock or 10 oclock, depending on the function and who is expected to go. Just go with it.
    • Sunset Bridge is a surefire thing, every single night (when it’s not raining).
    • CEV is one of the most delicious and unique places I ate at while in the Philippines.
    • If you’re a carnivore, Filipino barbecued chicken should be at the zenith of your to-do list for the Philippines. Bebie’s Barbecue is lit.
    • Manu for cocktails.
    • Go spend a couple nights in Pacifico, which is just north of General Luna. It’s way more laid back and the surfing is way less crowded.
    • Check out CBD Siargao for jiu jitsu and movement classes.
    • Get a surf instructor for the first few times you go out.
    • Do the fireflies tour at Secret Beach (that’s the “secret” that Secret Beach derives its name from).

     

    Siargao is an amazing place to see Filipino culture and one of the most beautiful tropical islands in the world. Prepare before heading there; go at the right time, have the right expectations when it comes to wifi, and relax. It’ll all happen when it needs to.

     

    If you're looking for more places to work remotely, check out our remote worker's guide to Tokyo and remote worker's guide to Playa del Carmen.

    And for digital nomad gear that improves your posture and makes for a more comfortable workflow, check out our Tilt laptop case.

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