Siquijor has always been a place surrounded by legends, mysteries, tales, and folklore. Think aswang, manananggal, tikbalang, and all those scary creatures your parents would tell you so you’d go to sleep at 1:00 PM for your siesta and avoid staying out late. (If you grew up in the Philippines, you’d know what I’m talking about.)

While I was planning our 2-week trip to Cebu, I found out Siquijor is just a couple of hours away. And when you see an opportunity, it’s best to go for it. So after going whale shark watching in Oslob, Ryk and I made our way to Siquijor.

And boy, oh boy, Siquijor wasn’t what I expected at all. This island has shown me the best sunset so far.

glamping siquijor

White sandy beaches, rich marine life, beautiful waterfalls, and friendly locals are just some of what Siquijor has to offer. If you’re planning a trip to Siquijor soon, let this guide help you create the perfect itinerary.

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How To Get To Siquijor

Catch a flight to either Bacolod, Dumaguete, Bohol or Cebu. But the nearest airport would be Dumaguete.

From Bacolod

If you’re coming from Bacolod. Simply ride a bus going to Dumaguete and follow the steps below.

From Dumaguete

From Dumaguete, ride a tricycle to the port. There are no taxis and rarely any jeepneys. At the port, buy a ticket to Siquijor. There are several ferries going to the island so you can choose from either the fast craft (1 hour travel time) or the regular ferry. There are two ports in Siquijor – Larena, and Siquijor. If your accommodation is around San Juan town, be sure to book a ferry going to Siquijor port since Larena port is a bit far.

Ferries depart to Siquijor as early as 5:45 AM to 7:00 PM. Travel time takes around 1 hour to 2 hours and fares are around P120+ (around 2.5 USD). The fast craft is at P210 (4 USD).

Don’t forget to pay the P25 (0.5 USD) terminal fee.

For updated ferry schedules in Dumaguete, you can refer here.

You also have the option to go to Siquijor for just one day and enjoy what the island has to offer. This tour offers a hassle-free journey from Dumaguete to Siquijor and back to your hotel in Dumaguete in just one day!

From Bohol

If you’re coming from Bohol, you can ride OceanJet ferry. Departure time is at 10:20 AM. You can book your tickets here in advance.

From Cebu

From Cebu City, ride a Ceres bus at the South Bus Terminal heading to Liloan Port. From here, ride the Maayo Shipping Lines going to Siquijor. Note that there’s only one trip per day at 10:00 AM to Siquijor. Fare is at P200 (4 USD) per person and travel time is at 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Budget Tip: Upon arrival in Siquijor, it’s best to rent a motorbike to save on transportation. You can find motorbikes at the port being rented for P350 (7 USD) per day, but you can find others renting at P250 (5 USD) per day. This excludes the cost of gas. You can buy petrol being sold in coke bottles if you need a refill.

Related Article: 30 Crazy Fun Things To Do In Cebu, Philippines

A Few Things To Know

Here are a few things you need to know before your trip.

ATMs on the Island: You can find ATMs in the towns of San Juan and Larena but it’s always best to bring cash with you.

Languages Spoken: Most of the locals speak Cebuano. However, they can also speak English and Tagalog.

Festivals on the island:

  • Dilaab Festival in Siquijor (October 3-4)
  • Bugwas Festival in San Juan (August 27 – 28)
  • Saging Festival in Lazi (May 14 – 15)
  • Lubi Festival in Maria (May 20 – 21)
  • Pamukad Festival in Enrique Villanueva (July 15 – 16)
  • Canoan Festival in Larena (May 2 – 3)

Best time to visit: Best months to visit would be November to May to avoid the rainy season (June to October).

Getting Around: The only way to get around the island is to rent a scooter/motorbike or charter a tricycle.

Things To Do In Siquijor

Snorkel and dive in Apo Island

apo island

Dumaguete is where most tourists join tours or charter boats to Apo island. But Siquijor also has resorts offering snorkeling and diving tours to Apo island. During our stay in Siquijor, we booked our tour in Coco Grove Beach Resort. Just 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Siquijor, Apo island is famous for its turtle sightings and rich marine life. Don’t miss it!

Related Article: Apo Island 2019 Travel Guide: Snorkeling in Turtle Paradise

Chase waterfalls

cambugahay falls

For an island as small as Siquijor, you’d be surprised to find around 5 waterfalls or maybe even more that are yet to be discovered! And just like its neighboring island, Cebu, Siquijor has the bluest waterfalls I’ve ever seen. Here are some that you can visit.

Cambugahay Falls

This is the most famous waterfall in Siquijor. To get there, you’ll have to walk down 100+ steps from the main highway. It boasts of multiple rope swings where you can live out your Tarzan dreams. Don’t miss swimming by the falls’ wide basin. It’s pretty wide so you’ll surely have lots of fun. You can also opt to rent a raft to get near the waterfall.

  • Raft Rental: P20 per raft
  • Entrance Fee/Environmental Fee: P10 per person
  • Parking Fee: P20

Lagaan Falls

Located in Lazi, Lagaan Falls is a mini-falls that’s only a few hundred meters away from Cambugahay Falls. This is a lot less crowded than most of the other waterfalls on the island. What makes it unique is the cave behind the waterfall. And just like Cambugahay, there are a few swings set up for you.

  • Entrance Fee/Environmental Fee: P30 per person
  • Guide Fee: There are locals around the area who will offer to take you to the falls. The fee depends on how much you’re willing to tip them.

Lugnason Falls

Lugnason falls is higher than Lagaan and Cambugahay falls and also offer epic swings! You can also jump fron the top or cliff jump from the side. It’s every adventurer’s dream waterfall. Lugnason is part of the Zodiac Falls so you can go ahead and explore all the others.

Kawasan Falls

Kawasan falls has the same name as “the Kawasan falls” in Cebu but they don’t look the same. Kawasan falls in Siquijor has a cave behind it. There’s also a rope if you want to do another Tarzan jump.

Locong Falls

You can find Locong falls in Lazi. It’s not very busy unlike the other falls so you might just be lucky and have it to yourselves.

Out of the five waterfalls, we only went to Cambugahay as part of our land tour. If you have the time, you can go ahead and check out all the other waterfalls.

Related Article: 7 Can’t-miss Cebu Waterfalls to Visit

Go skydiving

Want to go skydiving? You can get in touch with Skydive Greater Siquijor for a tandem skydive.

Tandem Skydive: P19,000 (380 USD) per person

Inclusions:

  • professional/certified USPA instructor
  • 30 minutes airplane scenic ride over Siquijor island
  • photos and video package
  • jump from 10,000 ft
  • highest safety standard for skydiving
  • modern skydive equipment in the market

Where to Book: www.skydivecebu.com

Do a land tour

This land tour is for you if you haven’t rented a motorbike and want to have a local guide you around the island. You’ll basically do a loop around the island with this.

Most tricycle drivers offer a land tour so you can simply ask them. You can also contact our tour guide, Edgar, at 09452198724. He grew up in Siquijor and can tell you the best places to visit. Let him know you got his number from Johanes of Wanderera. The rate is around P1,000 to P1,200 (20 USD to 24 USD) and good for 4 to 5 persons.

These are the usual places you’ll visit during the land tour.

Century-old balete tree with fish spa

The Century-old balete tree is around 400+ years old according to the locals. By the base, you’ll find a fish spa where you can dip your feet and let the fishes eat the dead skin from your feet (sounds gruesome but it actually tickles more than anything). There are also several souvenir shops around here, including a few who sell potions for money and love.

  • Entrance Fee/Environmental Fee: P10 per person

Witch’s broom photo op

I usually see this spot on Instagram. It had me thinking about how the photos were taken. But it’s pretty simple. Much like a jump shot, you simply pretend to ride the broom and jump just in time when the camera clicks on an elevated platform. This gives it the illusion that you’re riding on a witch’s broom. Pretty clever, if you ask me.

  • Entrance Fee: Donation basis (it basically depends on you)

Lazi Church and Monastery

The Lazi Church in Siquijor is the oldest and largest church on the island. Established in 1884, the Lazi church is one of those buildings that are just amazing to look at. Inside, the church is just as beautiful.

On the opposite side of the road, you’ll find the Lazi Monastery which is the oldest and largest convent in Asia. That fact alone makes it worth the visit. You’ll find a museum inside that houses several artifacts.

Cambugahay falls

With its deep and wide pool, Cambugahay falls is the best waterfalls to visit on the island. Be sure to go early to avoid the crowd. If you get hungry, there are several makeshift stores near the falls where you can buy rice wrapped in coconut fronds with chicken barbeque.

  • Raft Rental: P20 per raft
  • Entrance Fee/Environmental Fee: P10 per person
  • Parking Fee: P20

Salagdoong beach

salagdoong beach

Salagdoong beach is famous for its beautiful beach and cove, as well as a cliff jumping spot on the island. This is for those adventurous souls. Don’t forget to bring your snorkeling mask. Just a few meters from the cove, you can see schools of fishes! It was a stunning sight to see.

You can rent a cottage, or a table here if you plan on eating lunch. Before reaching the beach, you’ll pass by the Salagdoong Forest Reserve which boasts of hundreds (if not, thousands) of Molave trees!

  • Entrance Fee/Environmental Fee: P30 per person
  • Parking Fee: P20

Paliton beach

paliton beach

Paliton Beach is the ultimate white sand beach in Siquijor. Its clear turquoise waters will make you want to go for a swim. This is also the most instagrammable spot on the island with several swings set up by the beach. Don’t miss to take a photo by the iconic slanting coconut tree. The best time to go here is during sunset.

If there are other places you want to visit aside from the ones here, just inform your tricycle driver to bring you there for an additional fee.

Do a mountain tour

Aside from the mountain tour, you can also opt to do the mountain tour. Feel free to contact kuya Edgar to tour you (09452198724). Let him know you got his number from Johanes of Wanderera. The fee is at P600 (12 USD) per person. Some of the must-visit places include:

Cantabon Cave

Want to go spelunking? You can do it here at Cantabon Cave. You’ll find refreshing pools and rock formations inside

  • Entrance/Guide Fee: P500 (10 USD) – good for three persons

Mt. Bandilaan Park

Mt. Bandilaan Park is where you should go if you want a 360 view of the island. You’ll have to trek for around 20 minutes to reach it.

Most of the tours offer these two spots. But you can also ask your tricycle driver to bring you to:

Capilay Lake

This is the local’s weekend picnic spot and is a favorite for its natural spring water.

Butterfly Farm

Covering five hectares, the Butterfly farm boasts of over 102 butterfly and moth species.

Snorkel at several marine sanctuaries on the island

siquijor

Surrounded by bodies of water, you can find several marine sanctuaries around the island. If you love snorkeling, you’ll love these.

Tulapos Marine Sanctuary

We wanted to do a bit of snorkeling so we asked our tricycle driver during our land tour to bring us to a marine sanctuary. He recommended Tulapos Marine Sanctuary and it’s one of the best snorkeling spots we went to!

Tulapos Marine Sanctuary

The only problem was that the waves were pretty strong when we went snorkeling. But on the plus side, it was low tide so we walked to get to the deeper parts then snorkeled our way to our first stop – watching a school of barracuda and jackfishes. You’ll also see giant clams, beautiful corals, sea turtles, colorful fishes, and starfishes. Apparently, you can also see some blacktip reef sharks here.

During high tide, you’ll have a harder time snorkeling plus it’s a bit risky especially with a few sharp rocks so wear aqua shoes. You’ll be required to hire a guide who will bring you to the best snorkeling spots. Be sure to leave him a tip.

  • Snorkeling: P100 (2 USD) per person
  • Guide Fee (for every 2 people): P250 (5 USD)
  • Mask and Snorkel Rental:  P50 (1 USD)
  • Life Vest Rental: P50 (1 USD) per piece
  • Fins Rental:  P100 (2 USD) per pair

Related Article: Tulapos Marine Sanctuary, Siquijor: Snorkeling Travel Guide

Tubod Marine Sanctuary

You can find Tubod Marine Sanctuary near Coco Grove Beach Resort. You’ll have to swim past seagrasses to see the corals and fishes. Be sure to use aqua shoes. You can also rent snorkels and a few other gears here if you don’t have any.

  • Entrance Fee: P50 (1 USD) per person

Maite Marine Sanctuary

This marine sanctuary is one of the popular dive sites in Siquijor and a great spot for snorkeling. You can find here all sorts of fishes, crabs, sea urchins and corals.

  • Entrance Fee: P50 (1 USD) per person

Caticugan Marine Sanctuary

You can find marine life close to the shore by the shallow waters. Expect to see colorful fishes, corals and sea snakes.

  • Snorkeling Fee: P50 (1 USD) per person

Relax and get a massage

Why not? I love getting a massage. However, I didn’t get the chance to go to one in Siquijor. But one of the tourists we met during our trip to Apo Island recommended getting a massage. You can easily find several establishments offering massage services for just around P500 (10 USD).

Go diving

With so many marine sanctuaries to choose from, Siquijor offers an abundant and colorful underwater scenery that you can only see when you go diving.

Siquijor is famous for its healthy reef and macro life so you’ll surely be in for a treat! There are a lot of dive centers around the island to choose from including Apo Diver, Sea Pearl Divers, and Last Frontier Dive.

Go glamping

As of today, I only know two glamp sites in Siquijor:

Glamping Siquijor

If you want a beachfront accommodation near the town of San Juan, Glamping Siquijor is your best choice! This is where we stayed during our trip to Siquijor. You can read our honest review and experience here.

Where to book

Hidden Valley Glamping

If you want to stay by the mountainside, the Hidden Valley Glamping offers an escape surrounded by nature and a view of the sea. This accommodation is the best choice if you want a peace and quiet trip. You’ll sleep in tents under the palm trees and away from the noisy tourist area.

Where to Book

Swim by the beaches

Siquijor is home to the most beautiful beaches in the Philippines. You can go beach bumming in the following Siquijor beaches:

Paliton Beach

Paliton Beach

White sand and palm trees. What’s not to like about this place? If you’re a beach lover, this place is paradise! Don’t miss the sunset here. You’ll also find a few swings by the beach. It’s underdeveloped but you can find a few locals selling coconuts in case you get thirsty.

Solangon Beach

solangon beach

Solangon Beach is where our accommodation Glamping Siquijor was located. This is a wide stretch of sand where you’ll find several resorts. The sunset here is amazing! So amazing that we even witnessed a proposal.

As pretty as this beach is, the waters by the beach isn’t deep enough for swimming.

Salagdoong Beach

salagdoong beacg

Salagdoong beach is famous for its cliff jumping. If you’re feeling adventurous, this beach should be on your list! To get here, you’ll pass by a man-made Molave forest. At the entrance, you’ll be asked to pay an entrance fee of P30 per person.

Tubod Beach

siquijor

Tubod Beach is a pristine beach with white sand that also offers a great view of the sunset. It’s located at Coco Grove Beach Resort.

This is where you’ll also find the Tubod Marine Sanctuary. To access the beach, you’ll have to pay Coco Grove Beach Resort an entrance fee of P200 or book a room.

Where to Stay In Siquijor

For Siquijor, I’d recommend for you to book rooms in San Juan town since this is where most restaurants are and where most of the resorts offering tours are located.

Budget

Mid-range

Luxury

Airbnb Siquijor

Aside from hotels and resorts, you can also opt to stay at an Airbnb.

Get your P2,200 ($44) Airbnb discount here!

Responsible Travel Tips

When traveling to one place, make sure you practice responsible tourism. Here are some tips to do so.

1. Respect the environment

Don’t litter. Please hold onto your trash until you find a garbage can.

Related: 16 Eco-Friendly Travel Products for the Earth-Loving You

2. Avoid single-use plastic

Bring your eco bag and refuse single-use plastic.

3. Shop local

Keep the traditional crafts alive and support local artisans. Buy from them. And try not to haggle, P20 may seem small to you but it can mean a lot to them.

4. Always ask permission

Be sure to ask for permission first when taking photos or videos especially when it comes to children

What to Pack for Siquijor

Related Article: The Only Travel Packing List You’ll Ever Need (Trust Me)

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