5 Best Things To Do in Siquijor (Travel Guide)
When you hear about Siquijor Island, there’s always a notion about this place on witchcrafts and black magic. But seeing beyond these conceptions and beliefs, whatever they may be, Siquijor Island is indeed mystical! The island offers a long stretch of white sand beaches that has many marine sanctuaries with crystal clear water, majestic waterfalls, a heaven spot for divers, has great food, and super friendly locals.
Located right under Cebu City, Siquijor is an enchanting, beautiful island outlying in the Central Visayas Region of the Philippines. It is known to be the “Island of Fire” or “isla de Fuega” because of the fireflies that lit up its night sky. Today, the island has preserved a tradition of folk healing and myths of sorcery.
Top Destinations in Siquijor
Siquijor Island being in small size can still be toured within a day. The early you arrive in the island, the better so you can explore Siquijor’s top tourist attractions by motorcycle and spend half a day lounging by the beach.
1. CAMBUGAHAY FALLS – Best Tourist Attraction in Siquijor
This stunning three-level waterfall is one of Siquijor’s top tourist destinations.
In just around 100 steps, you will hike down the stairs to reach the waterfall. Cambugahay Falls usually gets the most tourists that’s why I highly suggest to go there as early as 7:00 in the morning so you can take photos in a less-crowded waterfall. There are two swings in the bottom tier of Cambugahay Falls and you can swing in an unlimited amount of time for PHP50.00. Entrance fee is FREE but you do pay for PHP20.00 for parking fee.
2. PALITON BEACH – Best Beach in Siquijor
The glistening fine white sand and the coconut trees in the shoreline of San Juan makes Paliton Beach the best and most rated beach of Siqujor. It is famous for its instagrammable swing which contribute to a complete summer feels that’s why it’s usually very crowded. If you’ll go there early and get lucky to arrive with less people, then you’d get the best photo of the swing. Paliton beach is best experienced during sunset so from my personal experience, put it on the last destination on your itinerary.
3. SALAGDOONG BEACH – Most Famous Cliff Jumping Point in Siquijor
If you’re in search of adrenaline and has an adventurous heart like me, then you will fall in love with Salagdoong Beach. It is located in the eastern side of Siquijor — around 30 minutes drive from Cambugahay Falls and an hour from Paliton Beach. With its turquoise and crystal clear water, one of the famous activities to do here is snorkeling. I am no longer fond of just hanging around in the beach that’s why I always look for an adventure and Salagdoong Beach has been one of my favorite stops in Siquijor.
4. WELCOME TO SIQUIJOR SIGN
You haven’t been in Siquijor if you don’t take photo in the “Welcome to Siquijor” sign with an incredible view of a Spanish colonial era church of Saint Francis of Assisi. It looks very historical and is a warm welcome of all the tourists of Siquijor island. This welcome sign is around 5-minutes walk from the seaport and is probably the most photographed spot in the island since you will actually get to see this first when arriving Siquijor.
5. CENTURY OLD ENCHANTED BALETE TREE
This 400-year old grand balete tree, that is believed to be the oldest and biggest in the province, has a spring at its base where tourists have their feet nibbled on by the fish. Balete trees are believed, especially by elderly, to be a home of mystical creatures. This is why when you visit this century old enchanted balete tree in Siquijor, make sure to not make loud noises and respect the area as much as possible. You can also find stores here that sells locally-made pasalubong stuff.
How To Get To Siquijor Island
There are no flights going to Siquijor but it is easy accessible via ferry.
Cebu to Siquijor via Direct Ferry
If you’re traveling from Southern side of Cebu, like Moalboal or Oslob, you’ll reach the port of Lilo-an. There is a direct ferry from Cebu to Siquijor via Liloan Port. Maayo Shipping departs once a day at 10:00 am. The ride costs PHP 200 per person and takes 2 and a half hours. You may buy a ticket once you get there, no need to book in advance.
Cebu to Siquijor via Dumaguete Ferry
The Cebu to Dumaguete ferry departs every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday at 7:00PM. Travel time is around 6-7 hours so you will arrive at around 1:00 to 2:00 AM the next day. On Sundays, the boat leaves at 12:00 NN and arrives at Dumaguete by 6:00 PM.
Dumaguete to Siquijor Ferry
There are multiple daily trips from Dumagute to Siquijor via Ocean Jet, Montenegro Lines, GL Shipping Lines, and Aleson Shipping. The first trip is as early as 5:00 AM and travel time usually takes around 3 hours for PHP 150. I recommend Ocean Jet.
MOTORBIKE RENTAL – Most convenient way of getting around Siquijor Island
One of the best things to do in Siquijor is renting a motorbike to tour the island. You’re on your own pace and it’s way more convenient. Depending on the season, the motorbike rental costs around PHP 400 – 500 a day. You can directly rent one when you arrive at the port or you can ask when you get to your accommodation. Other vehicles, such as 4-seater car or a van, self-drive or with a driver are also available in the island.
If you’re a digital nomad like me who works everywhere, WiFi is a necessity when I travel. In Siquijor, staying connected is quite a challenge. Not all restaurants offers WiFi connection and there are accommodations that offers free, yet the connection is slow. However two networks, Globe and Smart, are somehow working fine. But from where I stayed in Residencia Diosa, the WiFi connection is heaven to me.
There are couple of working ATMs around the island but it’s best to take a cash with you especially when you’re on a tour because you have to pay for parking fees, entrance fees, give gratuities if you like, and buy water, food, and stuff in between.
Where To Eat In Siquijor
Where to Stay in Siquijor
Personally, it’s best to get an accommodation in the beach coastline of San Juan. But you can browse for an accommodation below.