Travel Itinerary: Siquijor Island, Central Visayas

Siquijor, the third smallest province in the Philippines, has held a reputation of being home to many ghost stories. The quiet streets, vast fields, and abundance of towering trees seemingly stand as evidence as to why eerie encounters may have garnered the province its label of being a haunted area. However, the fabled horror of Siquijor quickly vanishes upon witnessing the apparent paradise that showcases the truth of what Siquijor actually is — a province bearing fortress to the purity of nature and its people. 

Getting there

By plane: To travel to Siquijor, you have to take a plane to Dumaguete City. Philippine Airlines, AirAsia, and Cebu Pacific have direct flights to Dumaguete, and the fare can be as low as P1,000 depending on the promo fares of the different airlines. Once you land, take a tricycle to the Dumaguete Seaport, and buy a ticket to Siquijor for as low as P200. There’s usually a ride every two hours. The ferry to Siquijor will take around an hour until you reach the island’s seaport.

Where to stay

One of the best things about Siquijor is that you’ll never run out of places to stay. There are a number of affordable and splurge-worthy inns and resorts for you to enjoy your stay on the island. Here are our recommendations.

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Sunnyside Bed and Bar is a small and comfortable inn found at Siquijor’s Circumferential Road. It faces the beach, which makes for the perfect stroll in the morning, and at night, you can rest and feel the breeze on their rooftop. It’s a perfect spot for a food crawl too, as the best restaurants are just walking distances away. Rates start at for as low as P500/night.

Splurge:
Coco Grove Beach Resort makes for an all-out luxurious nature escapade in Siquijor. The resort has a number of cozy and native-style cottages and villas to choose from, along with a beautiful view of the white-sand beach. There are restaurants, bars, swimming pools, and spas all around, and even some deep-sea diving activities. Rates start at P6,000/night.

How to get around

Because Siquijor is a popular tourist destination in the Philippines, there are a number of services that allow you to travel around the city. Once you step off the ferry, there are drivers waiting at the exit who will offer you their services. 

If there are only around three of you, you may choose to take the tricycle tour. Rates are P1,000- 2,000. You may also opt to choose a van tour if there are more of you which will cause around P2,500 for the whole tour. These drivers will take you around the standard tourist destinations around the city, but you may ask them for some specific destinations you want to visit. You may also rent a motorcycle for the rate of P350 an hour if you know how to ride one. 

Places to go and activities to try

Have a relaxing fish spa by Old Enchanted Balete Tree
Start off the tour with some relaxation by the Old Enchanted Balete Tree. Right under the shade of the 400-year old Balete Tree is a fish spa, wherein small fish nibble away the old skin and dirt of your feet. While you’re there, enjoy a nice and cozy meal at the restaurant and a buy a whole collection of souvenirs from the establishment beside it.

Revel at the sacred relics in the Lazi Church and Convent
Stop by the Lazi Church and Convent to see the wondrous and wide architecture of its strong structure. Inside, there are statues, clothes, and other holy ornaments beautifully crafted from 300 years ago, and are still standing sturdy up to this day. Make sure to treat the place with respect, as it is one of Siquijor’s most holy and revered places.

Swing and splash around at Cambugahay Falls
One of the more popular activity spots in Siquijor is Cambugahay Falls, with its wide basin of turquoise, freshwater. To add to the fun, there are three swings you can jump off and drop into the water with a big splash. You can also ride the raft to experience the gush of the waterfalls around you. Extra fun points given to the spot for the tour guides who are more than willing to be your personal photographer.

Take in some sun by Salagdoong Beach
With just the perfect amount of sun and shade to make it one of the best spots in the island for a long swim. For added adrenaline, try cliff jumping into the clear water, and when you’re ready to rest, have a good meal and drinks by the restaurant.

Catch the sunrise at Guiwanon Spring Park
Probably the most perfect place for a good, relaxing conversation with your friends is at the Guiwanon Spring Park. It’s a simple establishment on stilts, surrounded by mangroves, and overlooking the most peaceful and beautiful view of the waters and skyline. Added to this,  there are also some rooms to stay in for the night.

Witness the faith healers work at Annie Ponce’s
Other than its nature escapades, Siquijor is known for the magical healing works of their faith healers. One of the most popular and accessible ones is Annie Ponce, who can provide you many ways to heal any sickness you are feeling. Ask your driver or the locals around if you want to visit other faith healers too.

Restaurants to try

Have some torta for a quick snack on the road
Ask your driver or the locals around where to get the best torta around the city. It’s a soft cupcake-like bread that’s sweet and buttery and baked to a crisp. It’s one of Siquijor’s main delicacies, and a must-try while you’re on the road getting around the city.

Enjoy a Filipino dish at Dagsa
If you’re ready to splurge for a good meal, visit Dagsa for it’s big and hearty dishes. While the prices are more on the expensive side, it’s worth it for the taste of Filipino authenticity matched with Siquijor’s signature spice. Added to this, the interiors make quite an interesting sight.

Image from Monkey Business Restaurant FB

Swing and jam at Monkey Business

Other than the restaurant wide range of rice meals, appetizers, burgers, there are a number of interesting, craft cocktails you can choose to enjoy. With its homey and playful interiors (you can swing while eating!), you’re sure to catch a musical act at night time that’s surely a great way to cap off the night at Siquijor.

Recommended Trip Duration

Siquijor is a small island, and you can visit the best destinations within a day. However to make the most of your stay, we recommend three to five days in Siquijor experience all the activities, sites, and food and still have time to relax and enjoy. Time to erase that fables scary belief around the city, because all you’ll experience here is an abundance of friendliness and pure fun.

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