Last updated on January 9th, 2019 at 12:33 pm
One of the highlights of our trip to Cebu was Siquijor. It was our first time to visit this beautiful island in Visayas. Actually, all of the people we met traveling around the Philippines highly recommended us this island. It is truly one of the most beautiful places we have ever been so far. There are many things to do in Siquijor Island and we tried the best Siquijor tourist spots we can find. The province itself is quiet and peaceful, plus there are some lovely serene coastal areas you can go to. These beaches are perfect for swimming alone, with loved ones, and friends.
If you are planning to visit Siquijor, one thing you should know is that during the Spanish colonial period, the island was called Isla Del Fuego (Island of Fire). Keep reading our Siquijor travel guide with the best things to do in Siquijor, where to stay in Siquijor, best Siquijor tourist spots and how to get to Siquijor!
How to get to Siquijor Island (Siquijor Travel Guide)
From Dumaguete to Siquijor, you can get to the island through a 1.5-hour ferry ride which costs around 140-170 PHP per person. From Cebu to Siquijor, you will have to ride a bus until Liloan which is 4.5 hours from the South Terminal. Once in Liloan you will take a ferry to Sibulan. Once in Sibulan, you will then ride a jeepney/tricycle to Dumaguete City and from the city to Dumaguete port. The whole trip will take you 7-9 hours depending on the traffic and the waiting time for buses, jeepneys, tricycles and ferries.
Once you get to Siquijor island, you can ride a tricycle to go around and take you to your accommodation. Or you can even rent your own motorbike for $7 USD or less per day. We totally recommend hiring a motorcycle and moving around the island on your own. Public transportation like jeepneys almost don´t exist and sometimes you have to wait for a long time for a tricycle in Siquijor.
Book your bus/boat tickets online with 12Go Asia.
Best time to visit Siquijor
If you are planning a trip to the beautiful island of Siquijor, it’s best to plan your trip around the sunniest months of the province. The best time to visit Siquijor is around November to May as these are the driest months here. Those who just love warm weather especially when taking a trip to the beach should note that April to June are the hottest months of the year. Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen when you visit Siquijor in those summer months!
Siquijor’s low season falls on June so you might want to book your trip at this time to catch deals and promos from hotels. Just be wary of weather disturbances since this is already the rainy season in the Philippines. You can always check for accurate weather updates at AccuWeather.com.
Daily budget in Siquijor
There are many ways to travel cheap in Siquijor. As an island in the Philippines, Siquijor automatically guarantees modest prices compared to other destinations around the world. For example, a complete meal in local restaurants can go as low as 60 PHP, which is only a little over a dollar. Spending around 150-200 PHP for food will be enough to satisfy your appetite. Add $1 USD for a smoothie or another dollar for a bottle of beer, and you’re good to go.
If you want to travel around Siquijor on your own, you can rent a motorbike for around 350-500 PHP a day. Feel free to haggle on rental rates until you get one that fits your budget. A nice room in a budget hotel can go from 800-1,000 PHP while some resorts offer spacious rooms for around 2,000 PHP per day. You can get Airbnb places for 1000 PHP. Get $30 USD off your first booking with AirBnB when you sign up with us!
If you’re worried about the cost of entrance fees in Siquijor’s top tourist attractions, you only need to cash out around 100 PHP or less and you’ll have a wonderful time guaranteed.
ATMs in Siquijor
If you’re using an international card to withdraw money from ATMs, don’t worry: there are several ATMs available in Siquijor. One international ATM is by Allied Bank (now under Philippine National Bank) which is located in Larena. On the other hand, Metrobank has a branch in Poblacion to cater to your needs.
Transportation around Siquijor
Unlike other tourist destinations in the Philippines, Siquijor doesn’t really have a reliable transportation system. Aside from the shared tricycles (three-wheeled motorbikes) that go around the cities, you wouldn’t find the usual jeepneys, buses or vans. However, you can always rent a motorbike for less than 500 PHP a day. Tricycles can also be hired for a day trip in Siquijor. They usually know the best tourist spots in the island so you’re in good hands. When you’re in the San Juan area, you might not even need these vehicles since most beaches and restaurants are walking distance from each other.
Internet and Wifi Connection in Siquijor Island
It was a challenge for us to do our online job since the connection and phone signal are really weak in the island. Near San Juan, you will get the best internet connection in town. You will find hotels and restaurants with Wi-Fi around this area as well. There are many things to do in Siquijor so if you don’t really need the internet, you can just disconnect from technology for a few days and connect with nature instead!
Things To Do in Siquijor Island and Siquijor Toursit Spots
It will only take around 3-4 hours to go around the island since it’s not that big. You can rent a motorbike or a tricycle or go on a guided tour like we did. Wee teamed up with Orientwind Travel for our trip to Siquijor. Check out our favorite spots in this Siquijor travel guide:
1. Visit Churches in Siquijor Island
There are a few churches in the island like San Isidro Labrador. For me, it was kind of funny since I’m from Madrid and the festivity of the city is called San Ignacio Labrador. The celebration falls on the same day and people honor the same thing: it’s a festivity for the patron saint of farmers. You can also visit St. Francis de Assisi Church, another religious attraction in Siquijor Island.
2. Cambugahay Falls
Cambugahay Waterfalls is a really amazing and very quiet destination. The water is transparent and very clean. You can jump and even swing on a rope to go into the water. The waterfalls has two levels. The first part is the huge waterfall where people jump and swim. The second level is more quiet, perfect for swimming and relaxing. Also, there is no entrance fee, you guys! Going here was a really awesome experience and one of our favorite things to do in Siquijor Island!
3. Old Enchanted Balete Tree
When you visit Siquijor, you will hear about a very old tree in the island. The 400-year old Balete tree is said to be mystical and spiritual. It’s located in Lazy and it’s one of the most iconic spots in Siquijor. It’s definitely a must see in the island.
4. Salagdoong Beach
There are two gorgeous beaches where you can go swimming and even practice cliff jumping and one of them is Salagdoong Beach. The water is so beautiful and you have to include it in your list of things to do in Siquijor. We took nice shots with our drone and enjoyed a nice swim too. Check it out!
5. San Juan Beach
The beach was really quiet and the colors of the island were stunning! It´s perfect for snorkeling especially if you own your own gear and it’s really a great place to take underwater shots, too. This shore is quite long and you will find some spots with hardly any people around.
More Things to do in Siquijor
6. Rent a Sccoter
For going around Siquijor Island, we recommend you rent a scooter so you will feel much freer and you can reach less touristic destinations with a motorbike. Finding good spots is easy and the roads are in good conditions. Plus the island isn’t very big so it’s really easy to explore. Rental prices start at around 350-400 PHP for one day.
7. Paliton Beach
Paliton Beach was our first stop in Siquijor Island. The place was very beautiful with stretches of white sand and crystal clear blue waters. You can definitely enjoy snorkeling here. It’s actually a hidden beach and not everyone knows about Paliton Beach in the area of San Juan.
8. Tubod Marine Sanctuary
Just in front of Coco Grove Resort is Tubod Marine Sanctuary. You can take your own snorkeling gear or rent one, and you’re sure to have an amazing time. The people working here are super friendly and have big smiles for everyone like Filipinos often do.
9. Lugnason Falls
Philippines is famous because of its many amazing bodies of water like rivers, beaches and waterfalls. Turquoise water fills Lugnason Falls. It is a very quiet are that’s really nice to swim on and just relax. If you’re headed to Cebu after visiting Siquijor, you can read our guide to visiting Kawasan Falls.
10. Lazi Convent
We already mentioned that Siquijor Island is a historic province and there are many landmarks and churches spread all over this island. Lazi Convent is one of those destinations. This establishment is quite huge and is actually nominated to be a UNESCO World Heritage site.
What to eat in Siquijor Island
There are a few restaurants and carenderias around Siquijor. Prices are very affordable, starting from $1 per dish in carenderias and little bit more expensive in restaurants. Bars and restaurants close very early. At around 11 pm, the streets of Siquijor are almost deserted, even in the San Juan Beach area.
Siquijor is blessed with an abundance of fresh seafood from fish to sea urchins and other local creatures. If you decide to stay with a local or eat at a carinderia, you will probably eat fish cooked in a soothing, warm broth or one that’s grilled and eaten with beer in bars. You will find all sorts of seafood meals in restaurants like grilled king prawns in lemon butter sauce, grilled stuffed squid, and steamed lapu-lapu with a soy, ginger and black bean sauce.
If you’re looking for a meal that will fit your budget and can be eaten wherever you are in Siquijor, then you should definitely try pastel. This native delicacy is basically a meal rolled into one ball of rice that is filled with all sorts of local viands. This street food is tightly packed so it’s easy to take on your travels. You can have this meal for as low as 5 PHP!
Another truly local food to try in Siquijor is Pan Bisaya, the province’s native bread. It is sometimes referred to as bukayo and is somewhat similar to two other Philippine breads, ensaymada and pan de coco. What makes Pan Bisaya so special is the filling. These light brown buns made with milk and eggs are filled with sweetened coconuts, making them a true delight especially for those who love hearty snacks. The best Pan Bisaya in Siquijor can be found at Lilibeth’s Pan Bisaya. Check it out!
Festivals in Siquijor
Lenten Festival of Herbal Preparation
Siquijor is famous in the Philippines for its mysterious and magical image. It is said to be the home of witches and strange entities. Living up to that impression are the concoctions prepared by herbalists during the lenten season. It is said that the potions and ointments prepared during Black Saturday in Siquijor have the ability to ward off evil spirits lurking about during the days that Jesus Christ is dead.
Healers from all over gather in Siquijor to attend the creation of this concoction and the product is distributed to the participating healers then to the spectators who bring their own containers.
Celebrated in Larena on the last week of April is Canoan Festival, a celebration dedicated to the history and culture of Siquijor and to St. Vincent Ferrer, the patron saint of the community. During the festival, everyone in Larena eats, laughs and parties together on the town’s streets.
Where To Stay in Siquijor
We stayed at Lagkaw sa Sawang Homestay. The place is quiet, peaceful and has all the comfort you’ll need. It´s perfect for backpackers. Your cottage costs 750 pesos per day which is just around $15 USD.
The homestay comes with some clean towels, kitchen with plates and cutlery, and a water heater for tea, coffee or noodles. Everything was very clean and prepared with care.
It is also very relaxing to chill outside the cottages. There are tables, a hammock, and palm trees all around. So beautiful! It’s a 10 minutes away from the beach on foot but you can always rent a motorbike so you can move around the island from your resort.
Click here if you want to rent this place and you will get the first choice by Booking.com.
Book your bus/boat tickets online with 12Go Asia.
Tell us if we missed some other things to do in Siquijor Island! Did you like our Siquijor Travel guide? Let us know in the comments below! Feel free to share the post on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest with your friends if you think it can be helpful for them.
If you are planning to visit Cebu for a few weeks, read our complete Cebu travel guide here.