Dumaguete is one of the most relaxed cities you can find in the Philippines. In addition, it’s an important gateway to other places in the Visayan Region.
It’s connected via sea travel to Siquijor (and other provinces including Cebu, Bohol, and even Zamboanga City). It’s also possible to visit other places via land travel including Sibulan, Dauin, Valencia, Bais, and Sipalay.
Here’s our itinerary to Dumaguete to Siquijor! I have updated this guide to include side trips to Valencia and Bais as well.
P.S. Don’t forget to check out our Island Guide to Siqujor.
4 Days Itinerary to Dumaguete and Siquijor
Here’s the itinerary. Please consider this a rough guide only!
– Arrival in Dumaguete
– Check in at accommodation
– Siquijor day tour
– 6AM to 3PM – Apo Island tour
– 3PM onwards – Dumaguete city tour
– Manjuyod Sand Bar and dolphin watching
– Valencia tour
– Back in Dumaguete City
– Check out of accommodation / Flight back to Manila
Here are a few notes about this itinerary:
- You can book your entry and exit flights via Sibulan Airport in Dumaguete City.
- From the airport, there are vehicles waiting to take you to your destination. Or if you want a cheap option, walk outside the airport and flag down a tricycle or habal-habal where you can pay the regular rate.
Day 1 – Siquijor
How to get to Siquijor
- Ride a habal-habal or tricycle to Dumaguete Port.
- 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.
Once you arrive in Siquijor Port, there are locals offering tours (habal-habal or tricycle) or motorbike rentals.
What to do
By now we’re all familiar with Siquijor. Siquijor is an island province which is known for its waterfalls, Spanish-era churches, and laid-back beaches. Interestingly, Siquijor is also known as Witchcraft Island although currently it’s being promoted as a Healing Destination.
It’s possible to tour Siquijor in 2 days. There are 2 kinds of tours available: the Island Tour and Mountain Tour. Most day trippers choose the Island Tour since it includes the popular spots such as Cambugahay Falls and Salagdoong Beach.
Here are the places you can visit in the Island Tour for a day trip:
- St. Francis of Assisi Church and I Love Siquijor Signage
- Lazi Church
- Capilay Spring Park
- Century-Old Balete Tree and Fish Spa
- Cambugahay Falls.
- Salagdoong Beach
- Guiwanon Spring Park
- Paliton Beach
- Hapitanan Cafe
- Dumalaay Boulevard
I have written more about it here: Island Guide to Siqujor.
Of these, I liked these stops the best: Century-Old Balete Tree and Fish Spa, Cambugahay Falls, and Salagdoong Beach.
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. The main activity here is snorkeling where you can see corals, barracudas, turtles and black-tipped reef sharks. There is also a giant clam area.
I learned about it online and I was the only person during my visit. I had a really good time here and it was my first time to see baby sharks in the wild. This is actually one of the dive sites in Siquijor.
I think the rest of the stops including Capilay Spring Park (cold spring) and Guiwanon Spring Park (mangrove park) can be skipped or at least just go down for a quick look.
Paliton Beach is said to be one of the best beaches in Siquijor. For me it was just okay — nothing mindblowing. Other nearby provinces like Cebu have way better beaches.
Day 2 – Apo Island and Dumaguete City tour
How to get to Apo Island
- 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.
An easier option is to book a joiner tour which includes round-trip transportation from Dumaguete City, boat tour, guide fees, and lunch. Snorkeling and fins rental is also included.
What to do (Apo Island)
Apo Island is a volcanic island located in Dauin in Negros Oriental, one ferry away from Dumaguete City. It’s one of the best dive sites in the country. If you are not a diver, you can go on a boat tour and explore 3 spots: the turtle area and two snorkeling spots.
I booked a tour via Harold’s Mansion. Harold’s Mansion is a budget accommodation that offers cheap day tours to Apo Island. The tour starts at 6AM and ends at around 3PM.
This is my favorite part of this Dumaguete-Siquijor trip. The guides at Harold’s Mansion were extremely helpful. Each small group is assigned a guide and the guide will look for turtles and then signal for others to come when he spots one.
I saw a handful of sea turtles in the wild. They don’t mind the presence of humans so they just go about their business — gliding smoothly in the water or eating at the bottom of the seafloor.
The snorkeling areas were also beautiful, with large corals. I’m not a very good swimmer and a guide helped me get underwater shots of the snorkeling areas.
You can read more about my Snorkeling Experience in Apo Island (Negros Oriental).
What to do (Dumaguete City)
Dumaguete City is a university town. It is a great place to relax, but if you’re looking for activities you need to go on day trips from here.
Here are the things you can do in the city:
- Stroll along Rizal Boulevard.
- Go food tripping. 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.
I stayed here for 1-2 days, but mostly in my hotel room. I did went out to go to the sans rival cafe (which is highly recommended) and eat seafood all by myself.
Day 3 – Valencia
How to get to Valencia
- 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.
Once you get off in Valencia, there will be motorbike and tricycle drivers offering you a tour. There are no standard rates so you have to haggle.
What to do
Valencia is another town in Negros Oriental that offers unique nature attractions, such as mountain hot springs and waterfalls. It’s one of the less-visited day trips from Dumaguete.
Here are the places you can 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.
- 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 inside a private resort so there is an entrance fee.
- Hot Springs. There are a handful of hot springs in Valencia. Red Rock Hot Spring is the most popular. It offers a nice mountain view and it has a more natural feel compared to other hot spring resorts in the area, such as Ocean 24.
- 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. Getting a guide is recommended.
I enjoyed this trip, especially the hot spring. After exploring Siquijor and snorkeling in Apo Island the past days, I badly needed the soothing warm water. The mountain view is nice too.
Day 4 – Manjuyod in Bais City
How to get to Manjuyod
- 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.
From Canibol Wharf, you can arrange a boat to Manjuyod. If you’re in a group, you can share expenses. If not, wait for other joiners or book a joiner tour in advance.
What to do
Manjuyod is one of more recent attractions in Visayas.
The main activity here island hopping. The itinerary includes:
- Manjuyod Sand Bar
- Dolphin watching activity along Tanon Straight
- Bais City Bird Sanctuary & Mangrove Forest.
Where to stay
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.
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:
- Coco Grove Beach Resort | Book discounted rates here
- Infinity Heights Resort | Book discounted rates here
- Charisma Beach Resort | Book discounted rates here
Here are the best budget options:
- Tori’s Backpackers Inn | Book discounted rates here
- JJ’s Backpackers Village | Book discounted rates here
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
Here’s a summary of major expenses:
|Dumaguete||Accommodation: Standard room – P700-1000 (good for 2 people)|
|Siquijor||(DIY) Motorbike rental: P300-350 for whole-day use (excluding gas)|
(Local tour) Island Tour: Tricycle – P1200 (good up to 3 people) / multicab – P1500
|Apo Island (Negros Oriental)||Joiner rate: P1200 per person|
|Valencia||No standard rates for tours|
Tour: motorbike – P500-600 / tricycle – P700-800
Tierra Alta Resort: P50 (plus additional fee for use of swimming pool)
Pulang Bato Falls: P50
Red Rock Hot Spring Resort: P50
Casaroro Falls: P10
|Manjuyod (Bais City)||Charter a private boat: P3500-4000 (good up to 15 people)|
Joiner tour: P1000-1200 per person including lunch
Budget depends on how many you are in the trip. For 2 people, a safe budget is P8000 per person.
Reminders and Tips
Here are important reminders about this Dumaguete-Siquijor itinerary:
- The cheapest way to explore the island is by renting a motorbike. You will need a driver’s license and they are strict about this requirement. This way, you can also explore lesser-known waterfalls in the island.
- I actually stayed longer in Siquijor on my trip. One thing that I learned is that if you’re staying overnight or longer, you definitely need to know how to drive because public transport is rare and habal-habal/tricycles ask for premium for going to places.
- If booking a joiner tour for Apo Island, it’s best to reserve in advance to get a confirmed slot.
Here are some useful contact information:
That concludes our Dumaguete and Siquijor itinerary! Do you have questions or suggestions? Let us know in the comment section below!
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