How many times have I been to Siquijor? Does it even matter? Doesn’t really. Revisiting places allows the traveler to see a different side of the place. When I’m brokenhearted or when I don’t know what’s going on in my already chaotic life, I packed my bag in the wee hours of the morning, headed to South Bus Terminal, and just ride a bus down south without really knowing where I’m heading to until I reach the tail of Cebu. Then Siquijor would pop in my head. This guide details many of Siquijor tourist spots.
I have written several essays for magazines and newspapers on Siquijor. My essay on Siquijor started my career as a travel writer which then later led me to travel blogging.
We live in a mid-pandemic world. It has forever altered the way we live and travel. The Philippines, just the rest of the world, cannot forever close its borders from travelers when the travel and tourism industry has a massive contribution to our GDP.
If you are fully vaxxed, then half of the worry is done. The best you can do is decide the resort you are going to stay and ask them directly for the requirements, especially if you are a foreign traveler.
This is your Siquijor Travel Guide that covers all the essential information you need before heading to the third smallest island province in the Philippines.
Since this is going to be very lengthy as usual and I surmise your social media-induced attention span is less than a minute, please control+F or command+F the subsection you are looking for.
Location-wise, I would suggest you stay in Siquijor, Siquijor or San Juan. These areas have the best places, accommodation- and restaurant-wise. The rest of the island is reachable. Best thing to do is rent a scooter, so you have the freedom to roam around.
1. Kalachuchi Beach Resort
2. U.Story Guesthouse, which is open from November to May, is a boutique resort that has only five private bungalows with their own private garden. This is my favorite. <3
3. Coco Grove Beach Resort
4. Infinity Heights Resort
5.White Villas Resort
6. Xylla Guesthouse
7. Isla Inn
8. Casa Miranda has Php300 room good for two persons. Contact number: +639179106995
9. Belle’s Beach Bar and Accommodation provides a comfortable fan room equipped with WiFi, TV, and own bathroom. Contact number: +63 926 370 5545
10. Palm Tree Guesthouse
11. Cliff Side Beach Resort and Cottages
I assume you already know that the Philippines, by 2017, is comprised of more than 7500 islands. Inhabited and uninhabited, it does not matter. We are archipelagic. And I can’t possibly cover all points of departure. However, I’m going to point out the most common.
There are no direct flights from Manila to Siquijor. The closest is to fly from Manila to Dumaguete City—the capital of Negros Oriental province. Second option is to fly from Manila to Cebu, then fly or bus to Dumaguete City and catch the ferry from there. Ferry schedules from Dumaguete to Siquijor and vice versa is not far below. Just keep on reading.
Damn, I just researched on this. And there are now direct boats that ferry you from Cebu to Siquijor and vice versa. Lucky you. Back in the days (I felt so old), it would take almost an entire day to go to Siquijor from Cebu. But now you can ferry from Cebu City to Siquijor directly. On normal days (means non-holidays), you can arrive in the pier at least thirty minutes before the departure and buy your ticket in the Ocean Jet counter. This is unadvisable during holidays.
Via Cokaliong Shipping Lines: They have one ferry leaves every day from Cebu to Dumaguete. Check their Web site for the exact ship schedules.
Via George and Peter Shipping Lines: Cebu to Dapitan via Dumaguete Depart Cebu: 10PM every day except Tue. Arrive Dumaguete: 4AM (NOTE: Make sure to set your alarm. The ferry will head to Dapitan within two hours. So make sure to get off. On Tuesdays, the ferry leaves at 9PM.)
NOTE: An alternative route is Cebu-Bohol-Siquijor. But I haven’t tried this one. I can vouch though there are a lot of Cebu-Tagbilaran (Bohol) schedules. For Tagbilaran-Siquijor schedules, you can read it further down.
Nope. But Cebu to Dumaguete to Siquijor is. This is best if you have three destinations in mind: Southern Cebu (check my ultimate travel guide to southern Cebu), Negros Oriental (Dumaguete, Bais, Apo Island [Check my Apo Island Travel Guide], Valencia), and Siquijor. This route though needs at least a week, to fully enjoy everything.
1. From Mactan International Airport, the cheapest way to Cebu City is by My Bus. Bus fare is Php25 ($.50) . The bus leaves every 20 minutes. It is located outside the domestic terminal. Just ask the gate guard where the My Bus is parked.
2. Get off at SM City Mall and taxi your way to South Bus Terminal. Fare should be around Php70.00 ($1.40). Another option is to ride 10H or 10M jeepney for Php8.00/person. Jeepney terminal is located on the other side of SM City. So if I were you, I would take a taxi for convenience, especially if you are in a hurry.
3. In South Bus Terminal, look for Liloan via Oslob buses. There are two routes to southern Cebu: via Oslob and via Barili. via Oslob route is an hour shorter than via Barili route. Bus fare is Php162.00 ($3.24) for non-AC buses and Php180.00-Php200.00 ($4) for AC buses. For foreigners gifted (or cursed 😛 ) with long legs, go for the AC buses. They are more spacious. Travel time is around 4 ½-6 hours, depending on the traffic and the driver’s will. Leave early. Say around 5 in the morning. By noon, you will be in Dumaguete already.
IMPORTANT: 3.1 More convenient option is to go for RoRo bus to Dumaguete from South Bus Terminal. I do not know the rate, but it is just slightly higher from the rest. The difference is that you don’t have to worry for #4 and #5. You are going directly to Dumaguete Port and can conveniently transfer to a different ship to Siquijor.
4. The bus will drop you off at Liloan port: Puerto del Sol. Terminal fee and ferry fee is around Php70.00 ($1.40). If you’re hungry, there is a tiny restaurant (Filipino) style inside the port. The boat ride is around 20 minutes.
5. From Sibulan port, ride a jeepey or tricycle to Dumaguete City for Php12.00 ($.20) (drop-off point is usually the public market.) Take a tricycle to Dumaguete port for Php10.00 ($.20)
NOTE: If you want to travel around southern Cebu before pushing for Negros and Siquijor, check my detailed Travel Guide to Southern Cebu.
If these schedules are not right, please inform me, so I can rectify them.
How to get to Siquijor from Dumaguete City:
Well, Siquijor has gained traction these past years. In the span of six years, the changes on this supposedly laidback island province can be staggering, for a nostalgic and romantic traveler like me.
But anyway, there are two popular ports in Siquijor: Siquijor (the capital) and Larena. Just outside the port, tricycle drivers line up, eager to tour you around the island. For a price of course. Depending on your haggling skills and the number of your group, price can range from Php900-Php1500. You can also ask by the pier where you can rent a motorbike. Price plays around Php300-Php350 per day. It gets cheaper if you rent it for more than a day.
For solo travelers who neither can drive a scooter nor have the money to rent the whole tricycle (ME!), head to the public market nearby and ask around for public tricycles. Usually, a ride to your hotel/resort/hostel costs around Php20-30.00. Your resort can help you out for scooter/motorbike rental. Usually, locals, not necessarily travel agencies, rent out their own motorbikes for easy money.
What makes Siquijor, the third smallest island province in the Philippines, bewitching and drawing? It must be its size that contains marvelous destinations rare in small islands. Turquoise-watered falls, storied churches, pristine beaches, and wowing sunsets are some of its beloved gems. It has the comforts modern travelers seek, yet its island and small-town charm remains.
It has always something for the thrill seekers, the foodie, waterfall chasers, for the architecture lovers, and the beach bums.
I mean, aside from hunting for witches in Siquijor, the main reason many travel to Siquijor is because of its beaches, churches, and waterfalls.
Home to the longest stretch of pristine beaches and awesome sunsets, San Juan houses many of the islands’ resorts and restaurants. Frolic in the saline bounty during high tide. Wait for the setting of the sun on the newly constructed bay walk. Explore the beauty of the marine world in Tubod Marine Sanctuary and Tulapos Marine Sanctuary.
A mix of white fine sand, blue sky, outcrops, and clear water made Paliton Beach splendid. Secluded, this beach escapes most travelers’ itinerary. It makes you feel for a moment that you own this piece of paradise. Do not forget to bring your own food and water if you wanted to stay longer on the beach.
Located in Maria, Kagusuan Beach is another off-the-beaten marvel that you can find in this quaint island. Take in the different degrees of the color blue. Climb the little outcrop for an Instagram-worthy photo. Or simply indulge in the serene and scenic view before you.
Yes, this area is also stunning. Even though there is a pier right beside it.
Aside from its wonderful and small cove, Salagdoong Beach is the best place to challenge yourself for a cliff-jumping adventure. Test your own limit. Scream if you like. Nothing should stop you from completely experiencing the beauty of overcoming your own fears.
There are times of the year, San Juan is heavily littered. All the bowels from the land the sea returned. But if there is one definitive experience you can in Siquijor is its sunset. And San Juan is the best place for that. It would be easy to find your own nook and witness the sun sets while locals scour the muddy shore for dinner.
Lazi’s Cambugahay Falls is not something to be missed out. Relish in its the cold turquoise waters. The best entrance you can do is to hold tight on to the rope tied on the tree and splash your way into the water ala Tarzan or Pocahontas. For the best photo op, cross the river. Across, there is an outcrop you can climb up to frame all three tiers in the photo.
The last time I visited Cambugahay Falls was in 2019 with my partner. And nostalgically and sadly, they do not look like in the photos anymore. The first time I visited it, there was nothing much in it and nobody was in there. In 2019, all tiers were fully developed and bustling with business. I am happy for the locals for sure. But I am rather sad you would never experience like the photos below anymore.
Lugnason Falls in San Juan may not be as popular as Cambugahay Falls, but it is equally beautiful. Come early so you can explore not only one, not two, but twelve waterfalls. This place is a great place to awaken your love for adventure, for nature, and for river-trekking.
San Juan’s Capilay Spring is the cold-water refuge of many locals. Unlike the somewhat remote Cambugahay Falls, the spring is by the national road. Bring some food and drinks and indulge in a bountiful picnic punctuated by some dips in a cool spring-fed pool.
Siquijor is not only blessed with pristine beaches but also wonderful marine life. If you have not tried scuba diving at all, there is nothing to fear. Discover scuba diving (DSD) is a great introduction to the world down under: energetic fish, vibrant soft and hard corals, and amazing underwater landscapes that would leave you breathless for a moment. Coordinate with your resort for the best dive shop to do it with.
Spelunking in Cantabon Cave must be of the most amazing things you can do in Siquijor. For five hundred pesos for up to three people, you can have a guided exploration of underground pools, stunning stalagmites and stalactites! Not for the faintest of hearts, this activity is perfect for the most adventurous.
Hiring a tricycle for a day is the most convenient transportation you can have here, but add another layer of fun in your Siquijor adventure. Pedal your way around! You can rent a bike and head out at three in the afternoon and witness the unfolding of the splendid afternoon light before your eyes. San Juan has the most picturesque sunset, calculate your pedaling time to make it there in time.
Siquijor is rumored as an island of witchcraft; yet it has some of the country’s most beautiful and photographed old churches. St Francis de Assisi Church or simply known as Siquijor Church is the first destination you can stumble upon from the port. Its adobe walls are adorable. Do not forget to check out the bell tower nearby!
Declared a National Cultural Treasure, San Isidro Labrador Parish Church or Lazi Church is one of the few remaining Baroque churches in the Philippines. Its oldness and its coral stonewalls are very photographable. Across is an equally beautiful U-shaped old convent, the biggest in the country and perhaps in whole Asia!
Usually, travelers only visit the first two old churches, but Sta. Maria Church in the less-known town of Maria is worth the visit as well! Its façade may not have the fancy ornaments found in other churches, but there is something odd inside. Gaze into the eyes of Sta. Rita de Cascia, and I would leave the rest to your imagination.
Baha Bar and Restaurant may not be as affordable as you wanted it to be, but its food, live music, and interior design are the perfect combination for an awesome dinner.
U.Story Guesthouse Bar and Restaurant is my favorite. May not be cheap, but you can have some great moments in this zen spot.
People recommended this place for its meal with a view. As the name suggest, this is the best spot for pre-dinner drinks and dinner of course.
It serves vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.
I lived with one. Her name is Alter-Jona. 😛
Errr, there are some generic bottled “love potion” found in the market. But for an effective lust potion, Tinder works just fine. 😛
Yes, there are! There are three.
Allied Banking Corporation
Larena, Siquijor, Pilipinas · +63 35 484 1221
Siquijor, Pilipinas · +63 63 480 9831
Larena, Siquijor, Pilipinas
Usually, the tour covers, St. Francis de Assisi Church, Capilay Spring, Balete tree and spring, Lazi’s Church and Convent, Salagdoong Forest, Salagdoong Beach, and Cambugahay Falls.
Have I covered everything? If you have some questions, leave a message on the comment box below. If you find this guide helpful, consider booking your Airbnb or hotels, resorts in the affiliate links below or in the sidebar. Nope, you don’t have to pay extra. Agoda, Booking, or Airbnb simply shares their commission with me. Say, $1 or less.