I am not here to deter anybody from doing the dreaded land travel, the question would be are you up for an estimated 17 travel hours of sitting in a bus? If yes, then do continue on! Going from Point A to Point B isn’t for those with weak knees and little patience. Here are some tips and information based on how my personal accounts and additional information from other reliable sources. Take note that there may be changes in rates, this one is for November 2015.
Create an itinerary
Nothing beats planning where you’re going and what you’re supposed to do. If you’re the impulsively spontaneous “let’s wing it” type then I daresay you are one brave individual with no internet connection! What is an itinerary? It’s a detailed plan for a journey, especially a list of places to visit; plan of travel. It is a great idea to plan out and ask around friends who have been or live there on how they made their travels. It doesn’t matter how short or long your travel duration may be, an itinerary will always be a lifesaver and a confidence boost.
Prepare yourself financially, mentally and physically
Physically, you’ll be sitting most of the time which can take a toll on your back. I suggest you do simple sitting exercises to help the circulation and then sleeping it off on between which I conveniently did. One must have a positive mindset as well! There were three of us going to Siargao, so we had to switch around our seating for every bus route to keep ourselves in a good mood and for some little talks in between while we were awake.
BY LAND: From Iligan, take the 2 hour bus ride to Cagayan de Oro. Once you arrive, get a jeep or taxi to Agora Bus Terminal and take the bus to Butuan, the travel time is at about 6 hours. Upon arriving one then takes the 4 hour bus to Surigao City. From Surigao City you can take a RoRo to Dapa Port, Siargao. Tip: Travel time is faster when you’re traveling in the evening.
ILIGAN > CAGAYAN DE ORO > BUTUAN CITY > SURIGAO CITY > SIARGAO
Travel duration: 17 hours (including stopovers)
|95php (Bus w/AC)||Iligan: Tambo Integrated Terminal to CDO: Bulua Bus Terminal||2 hours|
|12php (Jeep)||CDO: Bulua Bus Terminal to CDO: Agora Bus Terminal||15 minutes|
|350php (Bus w/AC)||Iligan: CDO: Agora Bus Terminal to Butuan Bus Terminal||6 hours|
|250php (Bus w/AC)||Butuan Bus Terminal to Surigao Bus Terminal||4 hours|
|10php (Tricycle)||Surigao Bus Terminal to Port||20 minutes|
|180php (RoRo)||Port to Dapa Port||3 hours|
Check for schedules, and current fare at http://www.surigaoislands.com/fastcraft.html
RoRo Ferry: Fare Range: 200 – 300 PhP/Pax First Trip: 5:30 AM (Surigao – Dapa, Siargao)
Last Trip 12:00 NM (Surigao – Dapa, Siargao)
BY SEA: Take a Ferry to Cebu and from there get another ferry to Surigao City. The latter travels daily at 7PM, except on Sundays. Monday to Saturday via Cokaliong Shipping Lines
Travel Duration: ~26 hours (Iligan to Cebu is at 14hrs and Cebu to Surigao is at 12hrs)
BY AIR: By far the most convenient and efficient way to get to Siargao is to take a flight from Cebu City to Sayak Airport at Del Carmen, Siargao. There are also alternatives if you can not get a direct flight to Siargao, try getting one to Butuan City or Surigao City.
Travel Duration: 45 minutes
Bring snacks…and other stuff
It is of utmost importance to the picky eater to bring snacks of their own. But if you’ve got some spare change then migght I suggest you buy snacks for every stopover which constantly happens (adding to a longer travel time). They mostly sell peanuts, water, bibingka, eggs, chips, mangoes and many delicacies. You can also do a pit stop during stopovers, they usually have a fee of about 2-3php. I would also like to stress out to bring wet wipes and keep them at the most convenient part of your bag next to the alcohol! They serve as a refresher when you get the icky feel :3
There will be many stopovers therefore people will come and go at some point in your bustrip including your transient busmate. Take back the awkward eye contact with a smile. You can even strike up a friendly conversation if you and your busmate are bored and in the mood for more awkward eye contact. There are times when I use my bag as a prop so that no can sit beside me (it’s a bad idea when you want to pee so bad and you have to bring all your stuff with you). I find it comforting to sit beside middle aged women with a motherly aura. They are ever so nice.
Ask when in doubt
Life is full of questions especially when you’re on the road. Ask and you shall be answered when it comes to directions and whatnot.