If you’re planning a trip to the Philippines, make sure to add Siquijor to your itinerary. This is an off-beaten island province just a ferry ride away from Dumaguete City, offering a unique blend of natural wonders including laid-back beaches and waterfalls, heritage spots, and interesting culture that you wouldn’t find anywhere else.
Also known as “Mystic Island,” Siquijor is renowned around the country for its history of locals practicing witchcraft and other occult practices. Even today, you can seek out traditional healers residing in the mountains. Other island nicknames include “Isla del Fuego” (Island of Fire).
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the best Siquijor tourist spots and activities that you won’t want to miss.
- 1. Siquijor Church
- 2. Salagdoong Beach
- 3. Cambugahay Falls
- 4. Enchanted Balete Tree
- 5. Lazi Church
- 6. Paliton Beach
- 7. Tubod Marine Sanctuary
- 8. Tulapos Marine Sanctuary
- 9. Lagaan Falls
- 10. Lugnason Falls
- 11. Mt. Bandilaan
- 12. Cantabon Cave
- 13. Siquijor Butterfly Sanctuary
- 14. Sambulawan Underground River
- 15. Pitogo Cliff
- 16. Do the broomstick challenge
- 17. Taste the famous Pan de Bisaya
- 18. Experience traditional healing
- How to get to Siquijor
- Where to stay in Siquijor
- What to read next:
1. Siquijor Church
Standing at the heart of town proper, Siquijor Church (formally known as St. Francis of Assisi Church) is one of the most iconic tourist spots in Siquijor. Built in the 17th century, the church is a testament to the island’s Spanish colonial past, with strong solid walls and a watch tower previously used as a lookout against island invaders.
This church is one of the destinations you will see upon arrival at Siquijor Island. Take a mandatory selfie at the church grounds along with the welcoming arch.
2. Salagdoong Beach
No trip to Siquijor is complete without a visit to Salagdoong Beach. What sets Salagdoong Beach apart from other beaches in the Philippines is its hidden gem — a cliffside that offers breathtaking views and cliff-jumping opportunities where you can dive via 5- and 10-meter boards straight into the ocean below.
Aside from this, you can also find a beach cove that boasts crystal-clear turquoise waters and powdery white sand, making it the perfect spot for swimming or relaxing under the sun.
This Siquijor beach is located within a resort complex, so you need to pay a minimal entrance fee. Outdoor tables and cottages are available for rent for day trippers, and an in-house restaurant serves affordable local dishes.
3. Cambugahay Falls
Cambugahay Falls is proof that the island of Siquijor is truly magical. This three-tiered waterfall is surrounded by lush greenery, giving it a tranquil and picturesque setting. Take a refreshing dip in its clear blue basin, jump from the tarzan swing, or simply relax on a bamboo raft while listening to the soothing sound of nature.
This waterfall is one of the most established tourist attractions in Siquijor. There are paths that will take you to the main swimming area, so there is no need to get a local guide.
The best time to visit here is during the summer, when the basins are a clear blue.
4. Enchanted Balete Tree
Siquijor is known for its mystical beliefs and one place that embodies this is the famous Balete Tree. This 400-year-old tree is believed to be enchanted, with tales of supernatural sightings surrounding it. But even if you’re not a believer, the tree itself is worth exploring. Take a dip in its natural pool or get a fish spa treatment as tiny fish nibble on your feet — a fun experience that’s hard to find anywhere else.
Near the Balete Tree, you can also find shopping stall selling occult souvenirs such as love potions.
5. Lazi Church
For history buffs, a visit to Lazi Church (also known as San Isidro Labrador Parish Church) is a must. Built in the 19th century by Augustinian Recollects, this church is not only a religious site but also an architectural masterpiece. It features Baroque-style architecture and follows the typical design of buildings in that period: coral stones were used in the ground flow and wood on the upper floor, with large beautiful capiz shell windows.
While you’re here, don’t forget to explore the adjacent convent which now houses a museum (Siquijor Heritage Museum) showcasing local history and religious artifacts.
Lazi Church was declared as a National Cultural Treasure in 2001 by the National Museum of the Philippines.
6. Paliton Beach
Siquijor is dotted with several beach coves, one of which is Paliton Beach. Paliton Beach is often said to be the most scenic beach in Siquijor, with a white sandy shore framed by towering coconut trees, serving as the perfect backdrop to the calm waters stretching far into the horizon.
Like other beaches in Siquijor, Paliton Beach isn’t ideal for swimming but it’s a great spot for relaxing and beach bumming. It’s also a popular place for sunset watching, with the sky changing in shades of orange, pink, and purple.
There are no commercial establishments in Paliton Beach, but you can find a few food stalls nearby where you can buy snacks and drinks. There are also resorts walking distance from here.
This beach is a must-visit spot for any Siquijor itinerary.
7. Tubod Marine Sanctuaryhttps://www.instagram.com/p/Cx0I25gxw9R/
Unleash your inner mermaid and dive into a world of underwater wonder at Tubod Marine Sanctuary, one of — if not the best — snorkeling sites around the island. Located in San Juan, this sanctuary is home to a variety of vibrant corals, giant clams, sea turtles, and different species of fish such as barracudas.
You can swim right from the shore of Tubod Beach to get here, though it’s recommended to hire a guide to show you the best spots in the sanctuary.
Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a snorkeling newbie, this marine sanctuary promises an unforgettable encounter with Siquijor’s underwater treasures.
8. Tulapos Marine Sanctuary
Once a hidden gem, Tulapos Marine Sanctuary is slowly emerging as one of the most popular Siquijor tourist spots especially among snorkeling and freediving enthusiasts.
This protected area boasts a diverse marine life and stunning coral reefs, making it an ideal spot for underwater exploration. In particular, it’s home to schools of barracuda fishes, sea turtles, and even black-tipped reef sharks. (Author’s note: I particularly love this area as it is one of the places I’d seen baby sharks, the others being Anilao in Batangas and Ticao Island in Masbate.) Hiring a guide is necessary so you can have someone to show you where to find the marine creatures.
Even if you’re not keen on getting in the water, the serene views from the shoreline are enough reason to visit.
9. Lagaan Falls
Once in San Juan, you’ll stumble upon yet another aquatic marvel — Lagaan Falls. This hidden oasis is smaller than the more popular Cambugahay Falls, but it also offers a more secluded and intimate spot to swim and have fun.
Aside from swimming in the waterfall’s basin, you can also jump using the tarzan swings, do body slides, and swim inside a cave underneath the falls and emerge in a small hole on top.
As with other tourist attractions in Siquijor, there is a minimal fee to visit the falls, but it’s recommend to get a local guide as well to show you the areas where to do the activities and take pictures of your adventure.
10. Lugnason Falls
One of the underrated tourist attractions in Siqujor, Lugnason Falls is a small yet beautiful waterfall with a shallow rock pool, perfect for a refreshing dip. It’s surrounded by the forest’s verdant canopy, making it a picture-perfect spot for nature lovers.
While it isn’t as impressive as Cambugahay Falls, some prefer this waterfall since it is lesser crowded, especially in early mornings when you can enjoy the whole area to yourselves. Aside from swimming in the main waterfalls area, you can also go on an adventure to see the smaller waterfalls further ahead in the forest (in what is often called the “Zodiac Tour,” referring to the 12 waterfalls you can visit).
Getting to Lugnason Falls is easy, as you only need to trek for about 3 minutes from the roadside to the waterfall.
11. Mt. Bandilaan
Mt. Bandilaan National Park is one of the lesser-visited tourist spots in Siquijor. Ideal for nature lovers, this protected are covers over 244 hectares of rainforest and is home to various flora and fauna, including the endangered Siquijor Pygmy Fruit Bat.
To explore the mountain, you can do an easy 30 minute trek or even ride a scooter to the peak of the mountain. From there, you’ll be rewarded with cool weather and a 360-degree view of the surrounding forests in the island.
12. Cantabon Cave
Located beside Mt. Bandilaan is the beautiful Cantabon Cave, one of Siquijor’s hidden gems. The cave runs about 800 meters long, with impressive stalactites, stalagmites, unique rocks and terraces, and even an underground river.
Exploring this subterranean marvel takes about 2-3 hours and it is required to hire a guide to help you navigate inside the tunnels.
Whether you’re an adventure junkie or a curious traveler, Cantabon Cave offers an exploration journey unlike any other.
13. Siquijor Butterfly Sanctuary
Take a break from exploring the jungles and beaches of Siquijor and visit the Siquijor Butterfly Sanctuary. Located in the town of Larena, this small sanctuary is perfect for nature lovers. It is home to over 100 species of butterflies and moths, of which many are bred and then released back to the wild to help the natural butterfly population.
The owners of the sanctuary are passionate about conservation and are always keen to share their knowledge with visitors, making the Siquijor Butterfly Sanctuary not just a feast for the eyes, but also an enlightening journey into the fascinating world of butterflies.
14. Sambulawan Underground River
Dare yourself to try something new — like swimming in a dark underground river! Experience this adventure at Sambulawan Underground River, one of the newest Siquijor tourist spots that you shouldn’t miss.
The tour inside the cave takes about 45 min to 1 hour. During the tour, you’ll get to explore three chambers wherein you’ll have to swim in a cool subterranean river, see the bat caves living inside, and appreciate stalactites, stalagmites, unique rock formations such as that resembling a Buddha, and even gold flakes around the wall caves.
Lifevests and head lights are provided. It’s recommended to bring your own waterproof bag and/or action camera to take photos inside.
15. Pitogo Cliff
Pitogo Cliff is one of the newest tourist attractions in Siquijor Island. Here you can climb up rock stairs to take pictures amidst a backdrop of the clear, beautiful ocean.
There are also 2 diving platforms where you can dive jump straight to see. However, as of this writing (October 2023), cliff jumping is prohibited after an alleged incident.
16. Do the broomstick challenge
One of the fun things to do in Siquijor is the broomstick challenge. It’s all very simple — since the island is known for its witchcraft roots, first-time tourists need to take a photo “flying” in a broomstick!
For the broomstick shots, head to Hapitanan Café. Aside from the photo shoots, this cafe also offers delicious local snacks and wooden display souvenirs.
17. Taste the famous Pan de Bisaya
One of the best things to do in Siquijor especially for those interested in the culinary arts (or just enjoy eating food) is to visit Lilibeth’s Pan de Bisaya, a roadside bakery famous for making pastries using a traditional oven. The highlight of the store is pan de bisaya, a filling and hearty bread filled with sweet coconut gratings (similar to pan de coco) and best paired with a cup of hot native coffee. Other must-tries include torta, bokayo, and tinalay.
Aside from eating the bread, another reason to visit this particular bakery is you can see the breads being made in the oven!
Lilybeth’s Pan de Bisaya is located in San Juan, close to tourist spots such as Tulapos Marine Sanctuary. Since it is far from the town proper, it’s recommended to come here last after you island tour itinerary so you can have food souvenir to take home.
18. Experience traditional healing
Siquijor is famous not only for its natural wonders but also its rich spiritual culture, particularly the practice of traditional healing. The island is dotted with traditional healers (or “bolo-bolo” healers), who have passed down their knowledge through generations.
Traditional healers in Batong Hakut (located in Barangay Canghunog-hunog) use a wooden bamboo pipe called “bagacay,” a black stone, a glass of clear water to draw out negative energy and disease from a person. Balay Pahauli (located in Cantabon) is another place you can visit for traditional healing. Here, the healers conduct a ritual called “tuob,” where they fumigate the sick using medicinal herbs and ashes gathered during Black Saturday. You can also experience traditional hilot for a casual wellness treatment.
Aside from traditional healers, there are also a few psychic readers in the island you can consult for the future.
How to get to Siquijor
The closest airport to Siquijor is Sibulan Airport in Dumaguete City. It’s accessible by a ferry ride from Dumaguete City, Bohol, and Cebu.
Where to stay in Siquijor
There are several mountain and beach resorts in Siquijor and it’s relatively cheap especially if you’re traveling with someone.
With its myriad of enchanting tourist spots, Siquijor offers more than just a quick getaway — here you can experience a deep and meaningful immersion into the heart of Filipino culture. From its natural attractions to healing sessions with traditional healers and delicious food like the traditional pan de bisaya, there is so much to experience in this island province.
So come, let Siquijor weave its magic around you, for it’s an island that promises not just a journey, but a transformation.
Do you have other recommendations on Siquijor tourist spots to visit? Let us know in the comment section below!
What to read next:
Visiting Siquijor? You might also be interested in these:
- BEST Siquijor Tourist Spots
- Siquijor DIY Guide + Itinerary
- BEST Resorts in Siquijor
- Dumaguete and Siquijor Itinerary
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Katherine Cortes is a long-time backpacker and a freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).