Siquijor Travel Guide

Overview of Siquijor

Siquijor, the southernmost island in the Visayan Island Group, is referred to as the Mystic Island of Central Visayas. It is roughly 50 kilometers from the closest point on northwest Mindanao and 30 kilometers southeast of Negros Island. Enrique Villanueva, Larena, Lazi, Maria, San Juan, and Siquijor are among its six municipalities.

The island was known as Isla de Fuegos, or Island of Fire, during the Spanish era. The explanation for this is that Spanish explorers who were in the Visayas region at the time discovered that the island was illuminated at night. These, however, were merely fireflies engulfing the molave trees that are supposed to be their habitat.

The island is a calm location that is perfect for anyone who want to escape the rush of city life. Hikers, cyclists, and wildlife enthusiasts will find it to be a refuge. The 102 kilometers of the island's shoreline are covered in white sandy beaches, and the island is dotted with mangroves and marine sanctuaries, which offer a home for its pure marine life.

Siquijor is renowned across the nation for its distinctive healing practices. Its long-standing custom of creating home remedies is being carried out and used as an alternate kind of treatment. Traditional healers would congregate on the island every year to "renew" their relationship with nature and create a brand-new batch of regional medicine.

Where to Go

Cambugahay Falls

This series of picturesque waterfalls is perfect for swimming, relaxing, and cliff jumping. The turquoise waters and lush surroundings make it a favorite spot for locals and tourists alike.

Salagdoong Beach

With its crystal-clear waters and fine white sand, Salagdoong Beach is ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. It also has a diving platform and a cliff diving spot for adrenaline junkies.

San Isidro Labrador Church

Visit this historic church in Lazi, which is one of the oldest and largest churches in Siquijor. The church's architecture and interior reflect Spanish colonial influences.

Enchanted Balete Tree

This ancient balete tree is believed to be enchanted by local folklore. You can dip your feet in the natural fish spa pool at its base, where small fish nibble away dead skin, providing a unique and relaxing experience.

Cantabon Cave

Explore the depths of Cantabon Cave with a guide and discover its impressive rock formations, underground rivers, and chambers. It's an adventure suitable for those who enjoy spelunking and exploration.

St. Francis de Assisi Bell Tower

Located in Siquijor town, this bell tower offers panoramic views of the island and surrounding seas. It's a great spot for sunset or sunrise photography.

Tulapos Marine Sanctuary

Snorkel or dive in this marine sanctuary to witness an abundance of colorful coral reefs and marine life. It's a haven for underwater enthusiasts and eco-conscious travelers.

Capilay Spring Park

Relax in the natural spring pool surrounded by lush greenery. Capilay Spring Park is a popular spot for picnics, swimming, and enjoying the peaceful ambiance.

Lugnason Falls

Trek through the forest to reach Lugnason Falls, where you can swim in the refreshing pool beneath the cascading waters. The journey to the falls offers beautiful scenery and a chance to immerse yourself in nature.

Cang-Isok House

Visit this well-preserved heritage house in Lazi, which dates back to the 19th century. It provides a glimpse into traditional Filipino architecture and lifestyle.

What to Do

Island Hopping

Explore the pristine beaches, snorkel in vibrant coral reefs, and visit uninhabited islands surrounding Siquijor. Many tour operators offer island hopping packages that take you to picturesque spots like Apo Island, Balicasag Island, and nearby sandbars.

Scuba Diving

Discover the underwater wonders of Siquijor by scuba diving in its clear waters. The island boasts diverse marine life, colorful coral reefs, and fascinating dive sites suitable for both beginners and experienced divers.

Motorbike or Bicycle Tour

Rent a motorbike or bicycle and embark on a self-guided tour around the island. Explore scenic coastal roads, lush inland forests, and charming villages at your own pace, stopping at viewpoints and attractions along the way.

Cultural Immersion

Immerse yourself in the local culture by attending traditional festivals, visiting local markets, and interacting with friendly residents. You can also learn about traditional healing practices, folklore, and artisanal crafts from knowledgeable locals.

Sunset Watching

Siquijor offers stunning sunset views from various vantage points around the island. Head to beachfront resorts, cliffside viewpoints, or historic landmarks to witness breathtaking sunsets painting the sky with vibrant colors.

Nightlife and Entertainment

Experience Siquijor's vibrant nightlife scene by sampling local delicacies at beachfront restaurants, enjoying live music performances, or joining beach bonfires under the starry sky. Some resorts also offer cultural shows and fire dancing performances.

Yoga and Wellness Retreats

Rejuvenate your body and mind with yoga and wellness retreats offered by resorts and wellness centers on the island. Participate in yoga classes, meditation sessions, and holistic therapies surrounded by tranquil natural surroundings.

Photography Expeditions

Capture the beauty of Siquijor through photography expeditions focused on landscapes, wildlife, and cultural heritage. Join guided photography tours or explore scenic spots independently to capture stunning images of the island's diverse scenery.

Adventure Sports

Get your adrenaline pumping by engaging in adventure sports such as cliff diving, kiteboarding, and zip-lining. Siquijor's rugged terrain and coastal landscapes provide ample opportunities for thrilling outdoor activities.

Relaxation and Spa Treatments

Indulge in relaxation and pampering with spa treatments offered by luxury resorts and wellness centers. Enjoy massages, facials, and holistic therapies using natural ingredients inspired by Siquijor's rich heritage.

When is the Best Time to Visit Siquijor

The dry typically runs from November to April, Siquijor enjoys sunny weather with minimal rainfall. This period is ideal for beach activities, water sports, and exploring the island's natural attractions. The calm seas and clear skies make it perfect for snorkelling, diving, and island hopping. Additionally, the dry season coincides with the peak tourist season, so you can expect vibrant nightlife, lively festivals, and a bustling atmosphere on the island.

The wet season in Siquijor occurs from May to October, characterised by occasional heavy rainfall and higher humidity levels. While the wet season brings lush green landscapes and lower tourist crowds, it may not be the best time for outdoor activities like beach outings and water sports.

How to Get to Siquijor

By Air

While Siquijor does not have its own airport, travelers can fly to nearby Dumaguete Airport (also known as Sibulan Airport) on the neighboring island of Negros Oriental. From Dumaguete, you can take a short tricycle ride or taxi to the Dumaguete Port. Several airlines operate daily flights to Dumaguete Airport from major cities in the Philippines such as Manila and Cebu.

Once at Dumaguete Port, you can catch a ferry or fast craft to Siquijor Island, with multiple departures throughout the day.

By Sea

Traveling to Siquijor by sea is another popular option, especially for those coming from neighboring islands. Several ferry and fast craft operators offer regular services between Siquijor and nearby ports such as Dumaguete, Cebu, and Bohol. The ferry ride typically takes around 1 to 2 hours, depending on the point of departure and the type of vessel.

By Car / Bus

If you prefer overland travel, travellers can reach Siquijor by car or bus combined with ferry crossings. From major cities in the Philippines such as Cebu or Dumaguete, travellers can drive or take a bus to the respective ports offering ferry services to Siquijor.

In Cebu, for example, travellers can drive or take a bus to Liloan Port in Southern Cebu, where ferries depart for Siquijor Island. From Dumaguete, travellers can drive or take a bus to Dumaguete Port for ferry connections to Siquijor.

How to Get Around

By Taxi / Ride-Sharing Services

While traditional taxi services are limited on the island, you can still find tricycles and habal-habal (motorcycle taxis) for short-distance travel within towns or to nearby attractions. Tricycles are a common mode of transportation in Siquijor, offering affordable fares and the flexibility to navigate narrow roads and alleys. Additionally, ride-sharing services like Grab or local equivalents may be available in certain areas, providing another convenient option for getting around, especially for longer distances or group travel.

By Car / Motorcycle

Renting a car or motorcycle is one of the most popular ways to explore Siquijor independently and at your own pace. Several rental agencies on the island offer a range of vehicles, including cars, scooters, and motorbikes, at reasonable daily or hourly rates. With a rented vehicle, you can easily access remote beaches, inland waterfalls, and scenic viewpoints scattered across the island.

What to Eat

Local Food

Embark on a culinary journey in Siquijor and delve into the vibrant local food scene at establishments like Luca Loko, L Cafe Restobar, Baha Ba'r, and Salamandas Restaurant.

Fresh Seafood

In the coastal towns and beachside areas of Siquijor, travellers can discover an abundance of seafood restaurants and eateries serving an extensive selection of freshly caught ocean delights. Among these establishments are Anya's Kainan The Seafood House, Angel's Wish, Dagsa Resto Bar, and Wakanda Restaurant.

Western Food

Travellers can spice up their culinary journey in Siquijor by exploring a tantalising array of Western cuisine options at eateries such as Tomato and Basil Restaurant, Chelle's Rock Bistro, and Wakanda Restaurant, adding a flavourful twist to their island adventure!

What to Buy

When visiting Siquijor, consider purchasing locally made handicrafts, artisanal products, and unique souvenirs that reflect the island's rich culture and traditions. Look for intricately woven baskets, mats, and bags made from indigenous materials such as pandan leaves or buri palm fibers, which are skillfully crafted by local artisans. Travellers can also find beautifully hand-carved wooden figurines, traditional musical instruments like bamboo flutes or kulintangs, and colourful sarongs or malongs featuring traditional Filipino designs.

Where to Stay

Siquijor offers a variety of accommodation options to suit every traveler's preferences and budget, ranging from beachfront resorts and boutique hotels to guesthouses and budget-friendly hostels. If you're seeking luxury and comfort, consider staying at one of the island's upscale resorts such as Coco Grove Beach Resort, Salamangka Beach and Dive Resort, or Infinity Heights Resort, which offer luxurious amenities, spa facilities, and stunning ocean views.

For those looking for a more intimate and personalized experience, boutique hotels like La Villa Alta, Tori's Backpacker's Paradise, or Casa de la Playa Beach Resort provide cozy accommodations, personalized service, and tranquil settings away from the crowds. Budget-conscious travelers can find affordable guesthouses, homestays, and hostels scattered across the island, offering basic amenities, clean rooms, and a friendly atmosphere.

Some popular budget options include JJ's Backpackers Village, Good Vibes Inn, and Kiwi Dive Resort. Whether you prefer a beachfront retreat, a cozy guesthouse in the countryside, or a budget-friendly hostel in town, there are plenty of accommodation choices in Siquijor to ensure a comfortable and memorable stay on the enchanting island.

What to Bring

  • Bring sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses to shield yourself from the sun's rays.
  • Comfortable sandals or flip-flops are ideal for beach outings, while a pair of sturdy walking shoes may be useful for hiking or exploring.
  • If visiting during the wet season, a compact umbrella and a lightweight rain jacket can come in handy.
  • Stay hydrated by carrying a reusable water bottle, particularly if you're engaging in outdoor activities.
  • Ensure your electronic devices stay charged by bringing the necessary travel adapters.
  • While there are ATMs in urban areas, having some local currency can be useful, especially in more remote locations.

What to Wear

For your journey to Siquijor, it is advised to pack lightweight and comfortable attire, taking into account the tropical climate. Choose breathable materials such as cotton and linen to remain cool in the heat.

Bring swimwear for beach outings, and consider modest clothing when visiting religious sites. Comfortable sandals or flip-flops are suitable for casual outings, while a pair of sturdy walking shoes may be useful if you plan to explore nature reserves or hike.

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