Siquijor Island Travel Guide
Siquijor, the island of fire, is more prominent as the land of witchcraft, black magic, enchantments, and sorcery. It used to drive away from local tourists but consistently lured foreigners because of its enigmatic appeal. No wonder, most of the resorts here are owned by people of various nationalities but Filipinos. For the past years, it has gained traction in the tourism industry.
Aside from the tales of shamans, soothsayers, and faith healers, this third smallest island province in the Philippines has a lot to offer – from dreamy waterfalls and lush hiking trails to amazing white-sand beaches.
This travel guide will help you explore the province in a day.
HOW TO GET TO SIQUIJOR
How to get to Siquijor from Metro Manila
The best way to get to Siquijor from Metro Manila is through a 1 hour and 20 minutes plane ride from NAIA Airport to Sibulan Airport in Dumaguete City (Negros Oriental). Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines offer several flights bound for Dumaguete City daily.
From the Sibulan airport, charter a tricycle to Dumaguete Port. The rate is Php100.
Hop on a one-hour ferry ride from Dumaguete Port to Siquijor. Ferry fare is Php150 + Php15 terminal fee.
How to get to Siquijor from Cebu City
- If you are coming from Cebu City (SM City), take a cab and go to South Bus Terminal. The fare should be around Php70 – Php100.
- In South Bus Terminal, ride a bus bound for Liloan via Oslob. Travel time is around 4-6 hours, depending on the traffic and bus stops. The fare rate is Php180 – Php200.
- Get off at Liloan Port (Puerto del Sol) and ride a ferry bound for Sibulan Port in Dumaguete. Fare + Terminal fee + municipality fee is around Php70. The boat ride is around 20 minutes.
- From Sibulan Port, ride a jeepney or a tricycle to Dumaguete City for Php12 then take another tricycle to Dumaguete Port for Php10
- In Dumaguete Port, hop on a one-hour ferry ride bound for Siquijor. Ferry fare is Php150 + Php15 terminal fee.
Another more convenient Cebu-Dumaguete-Siquijor option is through RoRo. Ride a Ceres bus to Dumaguete from South Bus Terminal. I do not know the rate. Get off at the bus stop and ride a tricycle to Dumaguete Port, then a ferry to Siquijor.
Ferry Trip Schedules from Dumaguete to Siquijor
GL Shipping Lines: 5:45, 10:15, 12:00, 14:00, 16:30
Montenegro: 10:00, 18:00
Ferry Trip Schedules from Siquijor to Dumaguete
Ocean Jet: 13:40
GL Shipping Lines: 5:50, 09:30, 13:00, 14:00, 15:45
Montenegro: 06:00, 14:00
Important: Options are fewer on Saturdays as GL Lines owner is a Sabbathista; they have no operation.
TRANSPORTATIONS IN SIQUIJOR / GOING AROUND
Rent a Motorbike. If you enjoy going around on your own pace, this is the best option. Motorbike rental is around Php280 – Php350 per day (gas not included).
Hire a tricycle. Just outside the port, you can find trysicle drivers offering a coastal tour. Depending on your haggling skills and the number of your group, a one-day tour rate can range from Php800-Php1500. This is the most popular and budget-friendly way of transit around the island.
Van and Multicab Rentals. You have to coordinate with your resort or local tour operators in the area to take advantage of this option.
PLACES TO VISIT IN SIQUIJOR
There are two main tours in Siquijor: Coastal Tour (Land Tour) and Mountain Tour. The Coastal Tour is the most common as it provides guests a complete tour by circumnavigating the island. It covers beaches and churches among others. The Mountain Tour explores deeper inland which includes Cantabon Cave and Bandilaan Park.
During our visit, since it was just me and our two-year-old daughter, we only managed to do the Coastal Tour. Below are the places included in the package:
Paliton Beach. A mixture of the white-sand shore, towering coconut trees, cheerful blue skies, clear waters, and rustic appeal made this beach splendid. The seclusion of this piece of land makes you feel for a moment that you own the paradise, except for the signage plastered in one of the coconut trees that says “No Trespassing. Private Property”. Entrance Fee: FREE
Salagdoong Beach. Perhaps the most popular beach on the island for its cliff jumping site. It features a charming cove with white fine sand. The road leading to Salagdoong beach is equally appealing. Lined with Molave trees, the Salagdoong Forest is akin to the prominent man-made forest in Bohol. Entrance Fee: Php25.00 I Parking Fee: Php25.00.
Lazi’s Cambugahay Falls. This small, three-tiered cascading waterfalls amidst the lush forest is perfect for a quick freshwater dip. It is famous for providing adventure to tourists through the ala-Tarzan jump off the water. Entrance Fee: FREE I Parking Fee: Php20.00
Lazi Church and Convent. More formally known as San Isidro Labrador Parish Church, this Baroque structure has been declared a National Cultural Treasure. This centuries-old church and its coral stonewalls are picture-perfect. Across the church is an equally amazing U-shaped old convent. Entrance Fee: FREE
Siquijor Church (St Francis de Assisi Church). This is the first destination you can stumble upon as it sits right near the port. Its adobe walls are amazing!
Century-Old Enchanted Balete Tree. This huge 400-year old tree in Lazi is with crystal clear spring water beneath is amazing. It’s believed to be enchanted and offers a spiritual vibe. The Belete tree is relatively smaller than that of Baler but it’s mesmerizing. Enjoy a fish spa session for Php20
Other attractions are: Siquijor Boulevard, Capilay Spring Park, Tubod Beach, Lugnason Falls, Kagusuan Beach, Maria Church (Sta. Maria), Salagdoong Beach, and Guiwanon Spring Park
TRAVEL TIPS WHEN TRAVELING TO SIQUIJOR
- Do not forget to bring insect repellant lotion.
- There are no many eateries on the island, especially if you are doing the tour. It’s best to bring power bars and enough hydration before your island trip commences.
- The mode of payment is mostly cash. Although some resorts accept credit cards, a 5% charge is added to the amount you’re paying if you opt to swipe. There are few ATMs on the island, make sure to bring enough cash.
WHERE TO STAY IN SIQUIJOR
You can find several accommodations on the island for less than P1000 a night, with some going as low as Php300 per night. See some of the affordable options provided below:
Toris Paradise – you can get a fan room for as low as Php350 per night. The hotel offers wonderful recreational facilities and activities such as snorkeling, a private beach, an outdoor pool, diving, and fishing to make your stay truly unforgettable. You can book the resort here.
James Homestay – for as low as Php500 for the air-con room. James Homestay boasts air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi throughout the property. Free private parking is available on site. All rooms come with a private bathroom. There is a shared kitchen at the property. You can book a room here.
SAMPLE SIQUIJOR TRAVEL GUIDE ITINERARY
It is absolutely doable to tour Siquijor in one single day, just be sure to take the early ferry from Dumaguete and be at the island at least around 9AM. Although, we urge you to travel slower and stay longer.
I initially planned to just do a day tour and go back to Dumaguete City but decided to stay overnight to breathe in the place, also, so my little girl can enjoy a morning beach bath in our resort.
8:00AM – Dumaguete Port – Siquijor
9:00AM – Check-in at the resort (for those staying overnight)
10:00AM – Start of Coastal Tour
– Siquijor Church (St. Francis de Asisi)
– Capilay Spring Park
– Balete Tree
– Lazi Church & Convent (San Isidro Labrador)
– Cambugahay Falls
– Maria Church (Sta. Maria)
– Salagdoong Beach
– Siquijor Boulevard
04:00PM – End of the day tour. You may take the ferry back to Dumaguete. Or stay overnight to do the Mountain Tour the next day.
8:AM – Start of the Mountain Tour
04:00PM – End of the tour. You may take the ferry back to Dumaguete.
Most travelers visit Siquijor as part of a bigger Negros Oriental-Negros Occidental journey, which also includes Dumaguete and Bacolod cities. We will be making a detailed travel guide for that soon so be sure to check back.
SIQUIJOR ISLAND TRAVEL GUIDE – EXPENSES FOR A DAY TOUR
|Ferry Dumaguete to Siquijor||Php150 x 2 (vice versa)||My daughter is free of charge|
|Terminal Fee||Php15 x 2 (vice versa)|
|Coastal Tour||Php800||Trysicle rental|
Just include necessary adjustments depending on your food intake. J
TRIVIA ABOUT SIQUIJOR
When the Spaniards first set foot on the island, they were captivated by fireflies swarming around the Molave trees, hence the nickname “Isla del Fuego” which means the Island of Fire.
In terms of land area and population, Siquijor is the third smallest province in the country. It is composed of six towns.
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