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Dumaguete and Siquijor: 4 Days Itinerary and Island Guide

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Dumaguete is one of the most relaxed cities you can find in the Philippines. It’s located in the coastal side of Negros Oriental. The best things to do here include enjoying a staycation, food tripping and walking along the seaside boulevard. But another thing that makes Dumaguete great is that it serves as a gateway to other places in the Visayan Region, one of which is Siquijor.

Here’s our guide for a 4-days trip to Dumaguete and Siquijor.

P.S. Don’t forget to check out our Island Guide to Siqujor.

How to get here

  • Take a local flight to Sibulan Airport (Dumaguete).
  • From the airport, walk outside and flag down a tricycle or habal-habal to get around.

From Dumaguete City, you can also visit other places via land travel, including Sibulan (Twin Lakes: Lake Danao and Lake Balinsasayao), Dauin (Apo Island), Valencia (Pulang Bato Falls and Hot Spring, Casaroro Falls), Bais (Manjuyod Sand Bar) and Sipalay.

Dumaguete City is also connected via sea travel to various provinces in Visayas, including Siquijor, Cebu, Bohol and even Zamboanga City.

4 Days Itinerary to Dumaguete and Siquijor

Here’s a sample 4 days itinerary to Dumaguete and Siquijor.

Day 1
– Arrival in Dumaguete
– Early check in at accommodation in Dumaguete
– Siquijor day tour

Day 2
– 6AM to 3PM – Apo Island tour
– 3PM onwards – Dumaguete city tour

Day 3
– Manjuyod Sand Bar and dolphin watching

Day 4
– Valencia tour
– Back in Dumaguete City
– Check out of accommodation / Flight back to Manila

With this itinerary, Dumaguete is the starting point and you can experience a short city tour and then spend the rest of the trip on day tours including Siquijor and the cities of Valencia and Bais in Negros Oriental.

SIQUIJOR

Siquijor is a laid-back island where you can visit Spanish-era churches, explore waterfalls and chill at the beach. Most of the beaches are shallow, but the beachfront resorts in Siquijor are great for a relaxing stay.

You can tour Siquijor in a day.

How to get here

  • From Dumaguete Port, ride a ferry to Siquijor. Currently, there are 2 ports in Siquijor: Lanera Port and Siquijor Port. Regular ferry takes 2 hours, P140 per person / fastcraft takes 1 hour, P210 per person.
  • Schedule is from 5:30AM to 6PM. Same applies for the return trip.

Tour and rates

Siquijor is an off-beaten destination and public transportation is limited. There are tricycles available, but they charge higher than the standard fare.

The cheapest way to get around is by renting a motorbike. This way, you can also explore lesser-known waterfalls in the island.

  • Rental costs P300-350 (excluding gas) for whole-day use
  • A driver’s license is strictly required

You can also book tours from local tour guides. They are stationed at Siquijor Port, so you can immediately start the tour after arrival.

  • Island Tour: tricycle – P1200 (good up to 3 people) / multicab – P1500

Places to see in Siquijor

Here are the places you can see in Siquijor. These are included in the Island Tour.

  • St. Francis of Assisi Church and I Love Siquijor Signage
  • Lazi Church
  • Capilay Spring Park
  • Century-Old Balete Tree and Fish Spa
  • Cambugahay Falls — swimming and tarzan swing
  • Salagdoong Beach — swimming and jumping from dive boards
  • Guiwanon Spring Park
  • Paliton Beach — dubbed as the best beach in Siquijor
  • Hapitanan Cafe — a new attraction where you can take a broomstick ride photo
  • Dumalaay Boulevard — one of the best places for watching sunset
Salagdoong Beach in Siquijor
In a dive board in Salagdoong Beach.
Salagdoong Beach in Siquijor
Salagdoong Beach.
Cambugahay Falls, Siquijor
Cambugahay Falls.
St. Francis of Assisi Church in Siquijor
St. Francis of Assisi Church and I Love Siquijor signage.

Read about our Travel Guide to Siqujor.

Another stop I recommend is the Tulapos Marine Sanctuary. It’s not normally included in an island tour, so you have to request it specifically. Here you can snorkel to see corals and barracudas, turtles and black-tipped reef sharks. There is also a giant clam area. This is where I first saw baby sharks in the wild, so I was overjoyed during our stop here. The snorkeling activity lasts an hour. Tulapos Marine Sanctuary: entrance fee – P50, snorkel rent – P50, fins rent – P100, guide fee – P250.

Tulapos Marine Sanctuary in Siquijor
Tulapos Marine Sanctuary.

As said above, these comprise the Island Tour. There is another option called Mountain Tour. This includes the lesser-visited attractions in Siquijor, such as the Cantabon Cave and the Butterfly Sanctuary. The Mountain Tour costs a few hundred more.

Aside from these attractions, there are also dive sites in Siquijor.

DUMAGUETE CITY

Dumaguete City is a university town. To be honest, there isn’t much to do in Dumaguete City. Most interesting activities here include hopping on a ferry to nearby islands, such as Oslob in Cebu, Apo Island in Dauin, etc.

It’s easy to get around the city. There are tricycles available for minimum fare.

Things to do in Dumaguete City

Here are some things you can do in Dumaguete City:

  • Stroll along Rizal Boulevard.
  • Taste the famous sans rival and silvanas by Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries.
  • Visit the Tabo-Tabo market in Malapatay. It is open every Wednesday. It’s a cultural experience in itself, as you can see goods sold by mountain farmers including livestock, native delicacies and more.
Sans Rival Cake
Sans Rival Cake. (Photo by Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries)

APO ISLAND

Apo Island is a volcanic island located in Dauin in Negros Oriental province, one ferry away from Dumaguete City. The best thing to do here is to snorkel and dive. Apo Island is one of the best places to see sea turtles in the wild.

This is one of my favorite experiences during this trip, and I suggest you to include this in your Dumaguete-Siquijor itinerary as well.

How to get here

  • From anywhere in Dumaguete City, ride a tricycle to Siaton. From there, ride a jeepney to Malapatay, Zamboanguita. (Total travel time is 20-30 minutes.)
  • Walk toward the port and rent a boat to Apo Island (boat ride 30-45 minutes). You can also look for other joiners to share costs with you.

If you’re going to join a package tour, transportation is usually already covered via a private jeep.

Tour and rates

A day tour covers the turtle sightseeing spot and two other snorkeling areas. You can do this DIY or join a group tour. I recommend the latter — it’s easy since everything including transfer is included in the rate and it’s reasonably priced as well.

I went in this trip solo and I booked a joiner tour along with friendly locals in Dumaguete. Our guide has been really helpful in leading us where to see the turtles and helping me get underwater shots in Apo Island.

I booked the tour from Harold’s Mansion.

  • Harold’s MansionWebsite | Facebook | 09173024455 OR 09173024455
  • All-in package inclusion: return transfer from Harold’s Mansion in Dumaguete to Zamboanguita, boat ride, fees, lunch, use of lifevest and snorkeling gears
  • Schedule: 6AM up to 3PM
  • Rate: P1200 per person

Tip: Make sure to reserve in advance to get a confirmed slot.

You can read more about my Snorkeling Experience in Apo Island (Negros Oriental).

Apo Island in Dauin
Apo Island.

Swimming with turtles in Apo Island, Philippines

VALENCIA

Valencia is another town in Negros Oriental that offers unique nature attractions. It’s one of the less-visited day trips from Dumaguete.

How to get here

  • From Dumaguete, head to the jeepney terminal (south of public market) and ride a jeep to Valencia. Travel time is 15-20 minutes, fare is around P15 per person.
  • Note: Every Sunday, jeepneys going back to Dumaguete are until afternoon only.

Tour and rates

Once you get off in Valencia, there will be motorbike and tricycle drivers offering you a tour.

There are no standard rates, so you will have to haggle. The usual offer is P500-600 for a motorbike tour, P700-800 for a tricycle tour.

Places to see in Valencia

  • Tierra Alta Resort. A Greek-inspired resort built in the slopes of Palinpinon. The main attraction of the resort is the lighthouse which offers a 360 view of the surrounding town. Entrance fee is P50. Additional fee for use of swimming pool.
  • Pulang Bato Falls. Also called Malabo Falls by locals. It is part of the Twin Falls, with the other one located just several meters away. Pulang Bato Falls is 30 meter high and surrounded by reddish rocks, caused by sulfur deposits. The waterfall is located in a resort. Entrance fee is P50 per person.
  • Hot Springs. Red Rock Hot Spring is the default choice for hot spring resorts. It’s up in the mountains with a nice view. It’s also recommended by locals since it feels more natural compared to other hot springs in the area, such as Ocean 24. Entrance fee is P50 per person.
  • Casaroro Falls. This 100-meter-high falls is one of the best nature attractions in Negros Oriental. To reach the falls, you need to climb down a 350-step staircase. Entrance fee is P10 per person. Getting a guide is recommended.
Pulang Bato Falls in Valencia
Pulang Bato Falls.
Red Rock Hot Spring in Valencia
Red Rock Hot Spring.

MANJUYOD

Another great day trip you can take from Dumaguete City is Manjuyod. Here you can take a boat tour for dolphin sightseeing and visit to Manjuyod Sand Bar.

How to get here

  • From Dumaguete City, head to Ceres bus terminal and ride a bus to Bais City. Travel time is 1 hour, fare is around P70 per person.
  • From the bus terminal, ride a tricycle to Canibol Wharf.

Tour and rates

The island hopping tour includes Manjuyod Sand Bar, dolphin watching activity along Tanon Straight and Bais City Bird Sanctuary & Mangrove Forest.

Boat fee costs P3500-4000, good up to 15 people. You can also pre-booked a tour, which costs P1000-1200 per person including lunch.

Dolphins in Tanon Strait
Dolphins in the wild.

Where to stay

Dumaguete City

There’s actually a lot of options for budget Dumaguete City hotels and inns, starting from P300 above. The ones located downtown are popular, so if you’re staying in that part of the city it’s best to reserve in advance.

Here are the best stays in Dumaguete City:

Here are the best budget options:

Harold’s Mansion is possibly the most famous backpacker lodging in Dumaguete. Bunk beds in dorms are cheap, but for a little more you can have a single-bed aircon room in other inns. Harold’s Mansion is convenient because they offer Apo Island tours for joiners.

Looking for other accommodations in Dumaguete City? Book discounted hotels in Dumaguete City here.

Siquijor

There are several beach resorts in Siquijor and it’s relatively cheap especially if you’re traveling with someone. You can get an air-conditioned room for around P1000 for 2-3 people.

Here are the best stays in Siquijor:

Here are the best budget options:

I was solo so I opted to stay somewhere cheap: JJ’s Backpackers Village. It’s situated alongside other beach resorts in San Juan. This hostel has a modern native decor, complete with bamboo bunk beds. Apparently it’s a favorite especially of foreign tourists, so make sure to book ahead. There’s an eatery about 10 minutes away from JJ Backpackers Village where you can eat for cheap.

Looking for other accommodations in Siquijor? Book discounted resorts in Siquijor here.

Budget and expenses

Budget depends on how many you are in the trip. For 2 people, a safe budget is P8000 per person.

 

That concludes our Dumaguete and Siquijor itinerary and guide! Do you have questions or suggestions? Let us know in the comment section below!

 

P.S. You might also be interested in the following:

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6 thoughts on “Dumaguete and Siquijor: 4 Days Itinerary and Island Guide

  1. I just had a Siquijor sojourn last March. Truly a magical place to spend summertime. Good details on your Siquijor travel guide.

  2. Siquijor is indeed magical. I’ve heard a lot of different stories about the island, if you know what I mean. However it’s untouched beauty says otherwise. Would love to visit the island in the future. Thanks for the heads up. 🙂

  3. We haven’t been to Siquijor, but based on your photos and description, this place is magical! We will be putting this in our bucket list. Are there dive sites there?

    1. Hi there! Siquijor has dive sites, absolutely. You can search online and you’ll be able to find more info about them.
      Cheers!

  4. We’ll be going here this July to attend my cousin’s wedding. Originally we’re planning to go to Dumaguete-siquijor only but I might add Apo Island to the list

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