SELINOG ISLAND TRAVEL GUIDE: 5 Best Things To Do
When you go island hopping in Dapitan City, Selinog Island is one of the best destinations that you must visit along with Aliguay Island. With its white sand beaches and rich aquatic resources, this island is a breath of fresh air especially to travelers who seeks of an island escape away from home.
The whole island and its surrounding reefs was declared a marine reserve by the local government of Dapitan City which was eventually proclaimed by the Philippine government as a protected landscape and seascape to better manage its resources. That’s why most of the activities here such as fishing, swimming and diving are cautiously guarded.
This blog will guide you regardless if you’re a first timer or someone like me who traveled to Selinog Island several times already just because I love the calmness and peace that the island has given me.
5 Best Things To Do in Selinog Island
Selinog Island is located in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte Philippines and it is famous for its ever-changing sandbar landscape because of the two kinds of winds and seasons that occur in the country every year — amihan and habagat. The island can be enjoyed in one day, but to make the most out of it, I highly suggest that you should book an overnight trip instead of a day tour.
Are you wondering what to do in an island with a limited electricity usage? Here are the best things to do in Selinog Island, Dapitan City.
1. Bike Tour in Selinog Island
Renting a bike to explore the island is one of the best things to do in Selinog Island. A lot of first time tourists know that it’s a never-to-miss experience. This still even excites me whenever I visit. Bicycles for rent can be found near the beach where the heart of the tourism of Selinog is located and it will just costs you around PHP50.00 for 1-hour.
You can tour half of Selinog Island within an hour and you’ll get to see a lot of amazing views for your gram along the way. The track is not diffisult to follow through, so you don’t have to worry about getting lost. During the bike tour, there are places in Selinog Island that you don’t wanna miss taking a picture of such as the Muslim mansion and the secret beach which has a Siargao vibes in it.
2. Visit Catappa Cafe — The first cafe in Selinog Island
Catappa Cafe is locally owned and the first running cafe business in Selinog Island. The name Catappa is another term of ‘Talisay’ tree which was used to name this café. The huge Talisay tree is one of its main attraction there and the attached wooden ‘duyan’ gives a more chill and tropical island vibes.
Catappa Cafe serves an all-day breakfast, the famous Sutukil recipe with a fresh catch of fish, alcoholic drinks, and has a wide varieties of iced and hot coffee. They got everything you need! Well, one thing that I love about this place is the convenience. Whenever I go to Selinog Island, I book my dining experience with them in advance so that it’s going to be a less-hassle for me to think on what to eat and I just get to bring an additional food if I want to.
3. Swimming in the crystal clear water near the Sandbar
The best swimming area to take a dip in is the inside corner of the sandbar where most of the boats are usually anchored at. I don’t suggest going for a swim in the outside area of the sandbar, especially for kids and non-swimmers, because that is where the big waves and strong water current are.
Also, be cautious and take extra careful when swimming in Selinog Island even though you’re just inside the corner of the sandbar because the sand landscape is usually steep, so the depth level is high.
I went snorkeling in Selinog Island but it was a bit scary because I’ve done it outside the sandbar and the water current was intensely strong. It wasn’t even a bad weather at that time, but the waves were not tourist-friendly. So, be extra careful when you go snorkeling in Selinog Island. You can find a few locals who are renting out snorkeling gears — short fins, mask, and snorkel for PHP300 if you’re interested. But, you can also bring your own gears.
Now that I have learned how to freedive, I am looking to explore the underwater environment of Selinog Island soo. And sure, I’ll let you know about this experience soon. Sign-up on my newsletter to keep you updated.
5. Take a Photo in “Selinog Island” Landmark
Most of the tourist destinations has a name landmark and you don’t want to miss this when you visit Selinog Island.
How To Get To Selinog Island
The travel time to Selinog Island from the jump-off point of Dapitan City is approximately 1 hour and 30 mins.
VIA BOAT. The cheapest way to reach Selinog Island is via boat. Here are different jump-off points and ports where you can aboard.
- Taguilon Port – Taguilon is one of the 50 barangays of Dapitan City in Zamboanga del Norte. The pier in Taguilon is a secondary/alternate port to the main passenger/cargo port in Dapitan City. The main sea port is called Pulauan Port. Taguilon Port to Selinog Island fare will costs you around ₱200/way and some other tour transport service costs ₱500 for round trip fare.
- Port of Dakak Beach and Resort – They have a private port that transfers their guests from Dakak Park and Beach Resort to Aliguay Island or Selinog Island. However, the travel schedule depends on the number of guests. If you’re not a check-in guest, you may want to contact Dakak Aqua Sports to inquire for any available boat schedule. It will also costs you ₱500 for round trip fare.
- Local port near Rizal Shrine – This is the common port of all public boat transfers that travels to Aliguay Island and/or Selinog Island everyday. If you book on transport service like Selinog Biyahero, then this is where the jump-off is. The best advantage of this port to backpack and solo travelers is its location because it’s within the heart of Dapitan City.
VIA CHOPPER. If you want a more convenient way to go to Selinog Island or Aliguay Island, then this private transport service might be for you. This can only be availed exclusively in Dakak Park and Beach Resort. It is expensive, but if you have the means then why not. P.S I will edit this part of the blog once I have more information about it.