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Siquijor, even in the modern days, has this negative impression from people who do not live on the island just because of the stories that have been passed on from generation to generation. I planned not to tell Mike until we have left the island just so we can have the most of our time there.
We were hanging out in the common area of our hostel one morning when he got curious about the books available for guests to read on and this book about Philippine Travel Destinations got his attention.
Mike enjoyed reading descriptions about each province until he read about Siquijor. He was quick to question me “Baby look! Witches?! Healers?!”.
Hearing this, I giggled then firmly told him ssshhhh as other people might hear him. I told him I know about the stories but I don’t want to spoil the vacation.
We stayed there for 4 days and 3 nights but never encountered anything related to what people think of Siquijor. All we know is we wished we could have stayed longer as it was not crowded, no traffic, has clean air and laidback.
1. Dine at Dolce Amore
This place is a must to experience and dine at during your stay in San Juan, Siquijor. We just happened upon it during our scooter ride on the main road.
What drew us in, other than the fact that it was an Italian restaurant and we were both craving pizza and pasta; was the visual appeal of the restaurant from the road. And we were not disappointed!
The pasta dish we had was truly tasty, but the real star was the pizza. The crust was one of the best we’ve had and we’ve had a lot of crusts.
We were told by the staff that most of the ingredients were imported and you can tell, fresh and delicious. The price of a pizza starts at ₱220. The Dolce Amore signature pizza is at ₱320.
The dining area is an open-air space with a wonderful atmosphere. The staff is friendly and attentive to service.
When we ate lunch, the restaurant was not too busy, but when we returned for dinner a couple of days later, it was packed. It is one of the more popular establishments on the island to eat and does get busy.
So plan your evening accordingly and get there early if you can to beat the crowd, unless that’s your thing.
2. Dine at Baha Bar
We ventured to the Baha Bar after an afternoon of free diving nearby and with a hearty appetite. When you pull up to the restaurant, you can see that it has two levels and when you walk in you can see it has a very large outdoor dining area in the back.
They strictly do not allow any footwear inside the restaurant. It just took some time looking for our flip flops after dinner as there were a lot of guests too.
They also hang frames with interesting facts where one is about Native Americans which caught Mike’s attention because he is a Cherokee Native American.
Baha means “flood” in Tagalog which can be used to describe their food servings. All the food that we ordered was said to be good for 1 person but it is like to be for 2 to 3 persons at a reasonably affordable price.
The bulalo at ₱310 pesos can serve 4 to 5 persons. The cost of a bowl of bulalo in Tagaytay with this serving flashed in our thoughts since its price can start at ₱500.
See Baha Bar’s complete menu here.
3. Dine at Luca Loko
This restaurant offers Italian and Fusion dishes but is also a place for smoothie bowls and vegetarian dishes. Though the restaurant’s name is a little funny and intriguing, its menu is unique and unusual on the island. It is something you will not want to miss when you visit Siquijor.
A rice or noodle bowl cost from ₱190 to ₱340 while Fusion Dishes at ₱300 to ₱315.
4. Sip a coffee at Napoli Caffe
A place for good dessert and Italian coffee with strong Wi-Fi. You must try the fresh mango crepe! That’s what keeps us coming back.
We loved hanging out here at night after dinner. Coffee costs from ₱50 to ₱100 while crepes costs from ₱100 to ₱180. The Italian owner is nice and friendly too.
5. Freedive in Siquijor
We will not want to miss the underwater beauty of Siquijor. Mike was able to do depth training for the first time.
Depth training while travelling? Why not? He was able to set his first PB (Personal Best) at 11 meters or 36 feet in. A freedive session costs $35 for each person.
We had our session with Luca of Siquijor Divers. He was friendly, professional, patient, and detailed with his coaching.
Mike was able to achieve his PB with the techniques that he taught him and a little push from him while both of them were underwater.
6. Tour the island on a scooter
We always want to go to places like the locals. It was a small island so you can go around it in a day riding your scooter.
Of course, we did not do that because we wanted to stop at places and to appreciate the view or to enjoy the experience. This was our only transportation in exploring the island except for the tricycle ride from the port to the scooter rental place and vice versa.
A scooter can be rented at ₱350 for the small one and ₱400 for the big one. The small one is already enough for me and Mike. Unlike in Moalboal, they did not require us to return it in a full tank of gas.
You may also book online in advance by clicking below for price comparison. Mike and I were told by our tricycle driver that he will take us to the scooter rental place and that the rent is ₱400 a day.
When we arrive at the scooter rental place, I ask the attendant how much is the rent per day and was told ₱350. I saw the driver discretely waved his 4 fingers to the lady but the lady still gave it to us at ₱350.
7. Have a fish spa at the Old Balete Tree
Your not so usual foot spa. It was awkward at first but relaxing once we got over the thought that the fish is not going to eat our feet.
Mike and I enjoyed the coolness under the shade of the big old Balete Tree while having the spa and talking to each other. The fish spa entrance fee is only at ₱10 per person.
We also ate at the restaurant on the second floor of an establishment near the Balete Tree. It has souvenir shops at the ground level.
We were allowed to use the restroom near the parking lot for free because we were restaurant customers but they asked us to pay ₱5 for the scooter parking fee.
8. Visit the Cambugahay Falls
Cambugahay Falls is the most famous falls on the island. We arrived there an hour before it closed at 5 PM.
Mike parked the scooter near the entrance then we went down the stairs after paying the entrance fee. The stairs connecting the entrance to the falls are made with cement and have steel side railings for support.
The Cambugahay Falls was not crowded but it has the most visitors compared to the other falls. Its ambiance is very relaxing and the water is clear.
Cambugahay Falls is one of the best waterfalls in the Philippines. The entrance fee is at ₱10 each, with no guide and parking fee required. There are multiple swings that visitors can enjoy.
Opposite the saying about mountains, the hard climb is after the good view when you are chasing waterfalls. The stairs are 135 steps so take your time going up to the exit (which is the entrance too).
You can go as early as 7 AM to enjoy the place all by yourself.
If you are in Dumaguete and wish to visit Siquijor for a day, you may book your Cambugahay Falls and Salagdoong Beach tour with Get Your Guide.
9. Relax at Salagdoong Beach
Salagdoong Beach has white sand and pristine water. It was windy when we arrived so most access to the beach was closed including the slide and the cliff dive access but there’s a small side of the beach where people were allowed to swim and snorkel.
The Salagdoong Beach Resort is spacious and has several huts available for guests. For walk-in guests, the entrance fee is at ₱30 each plus ₱20 scooter parking fee.
10. Spelunking at Cantabon Cave
The Cantabon Cave is located in the middle of the island. We were hesitant on our way to the cave from San Juan as we didn’t see any person nor houses along the way.
Mike and I thought that we might be taking the wrong route but as per Google Maps, we’re not. We only saw a foreign couple driving back from where we came from. Curiously, we asked them if they were going to the cave but they said the lady was just practicing to drive the scooter.
Despite the hesitation, we continued the route to the cave. We cannot deny that the road going to Cantabon Cave was unwinding. The route was full of trees on the side of the road and had fresh air.
This kind of serenity with nature is one of the things to be enjoyed about Siquijor. We know we were near the cave when we started seeing houses. Mike and I were relieved when we reached the tourist center.
We paid ₱700 for the tour for 2 persons with the following breakdown :
- Guide fee – ₱500
- Entrance – ₱40
- Light – ₱60
- Water Shoes – ₱100
This is one of the few spots in Siquijor that requires a guide. As per our tour guides, some tourists will attempt to enter the cave without permission just because they don’t want to pay the guide fee but will end up getting hurt.
11. See the island of Siquijor at Mount Bandilaan Tower
After spelunking, we headed to the tower of Mount Bandilaan since it was just nearby. There’s no entrance fee to enjoy this amazing view. The stairs going to the tower were about 150 steps so take your time to enjoy the forests, the fresh air and the sound of the crickets.
When we arrived at the view deck of the tower, we had a 360 view of the island. We took this opportunity to pause, breathe, and just appreciate the view for a few minutes.
12. Sunset Watching
Sunset in Siquijor is lovely and romantic. Never miss watching this when you visit.
13.Visit Locong Falls
There is a place in Siquijor where there are 4 waterfalls near each other. The first that we visited was Locong Falls.
The stairs going to Locong Falls can be slippery due to wet soil so be careful and do rush. It was amazing that we had the place all to ourselves! The water was clear and they had a swing too!
In Locong Falls, pool may not be as big as the Cambugahay Falls but the serenity was worth it. The entrance fee is at ₱50 each, the parking fee is at ₱10 and no guide fee.
Plus, the locals were friendly and courteous. Locong Falls is not yet in Google Maps but it is along the way of Kawasan Falls.
14. Visit Kawasan Falls
Kawasan Falls may not be as famous but also not as crowded as the one in Cebu. From Locong Falls, we just drove back to the road and went up until we saw the sign leading to Kawasan Falls.
The path going to the entrance of Kawasan Falls is a bit challenging for the scooter. There is no entrance and parking fee to visit Kawasan Falls.
The guide fee is also not yet determined. When we asked how much, they responded that it would be up to us. It would have been better if there is a standard rate.
Although we got a tip to pay the guide only ₱60 for both of us, we just paid our guide the same rate as Locong Falls. The stairs going to the Kawasan Falls are steep so always be extra careful.
There was a couple who got to the Kawasan Falls before us but they had already gone to the other pool of the falls so we had the place all to ourselves for a while. Kawasan Falls has a small cave that adds to its beauty and like other falls, a swing.
After hanging out in the main pool, we went up to the other pool and relaxed a bit. Our guide took us to a different route to ascend back to the parking area. We were not able to visit the two other falls, the Lagaan Falls and the Cabugsayan Falls, as we needed to depart for Dumaguete after lunch.
15. Snorkel in Tulapos Marine Sanctuary
This was on our list to do in Siquijor where we can swim with a school of barracudas. However, I was having a terrible migraine during our stay in Siquijor so we decided not to go underwater for the meantime.
Things To Know When Planning a Trip to Siquijor
Siquijor as called Isla del Fuego or Island of Fire by the Spaniards during their colonial period in the Philippines due to the glow at night caused by massive fireflies.
The island of Siquijor is also mystically famous due to stories about its healers and witchcrafts that made some people fear in visiting this amazing island. There were healers that you could visit but Mike and I preferred to experience the beauty of nature in Siquijor and we did have a good time!
As we were told, the good thing about these mystical beliefs about Siquijor is that tourist respects the place because they were afraid that something bad may happen to them if they abuse nature.
No visa is required for up to 30 days of stay in the Philippines.
Although a visa is not required for a short stay in the Philippines, you should take note of the following:
- your passport should be valid for at least 6 months beyond your intended period of stay
- you can present a return flight ticket upon arrival to the Philippines
For longer stays, you will need to apply for a visa to the Philippine Embassy or Consulate in your country prior to your arrival.
English is widely spoken and understood.
The best time to visit in Siquijor is in March and April as this is the peak of the dry season.
Between December to February is also a good time to travel in Siquijor if you want to prevent too much heat from the sun.
It is humid in the Philippines so wear lightweight and breathable clothes that will make you feel comfortable in our tropical weather.
What to pack
Sunblock – we recommend the reef safe type so we don’t harm the corals when protecting ourselves from the sun
Insect repellent – always protect yourself from mosquitoes when you go to islands that are abundant with trees and when you go out for dinner where the dining area is open
Reusable water bottle – keep yourself hydrated all the time in an eco-friendly way
Dry bag – your phone or your camera is the last thing you want to get wet when island hopping
Wet shoes – always wear this when island hopping as you may step on sharp rocks and shells, or worse, on sea urchins or stonefish
Mask and snorkel – these are available for rent just in case you don’t want to bring this in your bag but in our case, we don’t want biting someone else’s mouthpiece
Fins – fins are not required especially if you will just be snorkelling but if you will be freediving, this will help you to propel better in the water
Our currency is Philippine Peso. 1 US dollar or 0.90 euros is approximately 50 pesos.
Siquijor is a small island so it is recommended to bring enough cash before going to the island. While some establishments accept credit cards like the Baha Bar, most businesses will only accept cash.
Wi-fi and mobile data are slow in Siquijor which is the perfect time to disconnect and enjoy your vacation.
But if you want to stay connected and updated in social media, rent a pocket wi-fi in advance then claim it upon your arrival in Manila.
Klook offers a 4G LTE WiFi for only ₱90 a day but this is at 150MB data limit only. They also have plans for 300MB, 500MB, 1GB and unlimited.
Below are the rates for 4G unlimited data up to 5 devices:
It is safe to visit Siquijor but always keep an eye on your belongings especially when visiting a beach or a waterfall where you leave your things somewhere dry when you swim.
Bring a dry bag so you can take your things with you while swimming.
We took a tricycle ride when we arrive in Larena Port going to our hostel in San Juan and from our hostel going to Siquijor Port.
When we arrived in Larena Port from Moalboal, there were tricycle drivers that will approach you and offer to take you to your accommodation. They will also show you the published rates from Larena Port to your hotel.
Our fare from Larena Port to Lazy Lizard was at ₱500 because it was a 22-km trip.
From our hostel to Siquijor Port, our hosts helped us booked the ride and we paid ₱250 for the ride. Then the trips around Siquijor are by a scooter ride since Mike is an experienced rider.
If you are not experienced and confident in driving a scooter, ask your hosts or hotel staff to book you a ride. There was a guest during our stay in Lazy Lizard that got himself in an accident riding a scooter so safety first!
Tipping is not required but we encourage you to give a tip of about 10% to 20% of your bill and to include this in your trip budget planning.
How To Go To Siquijor
No flights are going to Siquijor yet so the only way to go to Siquijor is by ferry. There are two ports in Siquijor: Siquijor Port and Larena Port
If you are from Manila or international origin, you can fly to Cebu, Bohol or Dumaguete then take a ferry to Siquijor. These flights are approximately an hour and a half. Search and compare flight rates to find the best deal here or click below based on your origin.
Cebu airfare cost at a glance
Bohol airfare cost at a glance
Dumaguete airfare cost at a glance
I gave you the options above but I will show you the comparison below since most tourists stay in accommodation in San Juan town in Siquijor.
If you will arrive in Cebu airport, the ferry route is 5 hours of travel time and will arrive in Larena Port that is 22 km away from San Juan.
But if you will arrive in Bohol airport, the ferry route is 1 hour and 20 minutes of travel time and will arrive in Larena Port that is 22 km away from San Juan.
While if you will arrive at Dumaguete airport, the ferry route is 50 minutes‘ travel time and will arrive in Siquijor Port that is 11 km away from San Juan.
Unless you are visiting Moalboal, the best option to go to Siquijor is to fly to Dumaguete then take a ferry to Siquijor.
Nonetheless, I will still give you the details per option below.
Ferry from Cebu to Siquijor
Once you are in Cebu, you may ride a ferry to Siquijor or visit Moalboal first then go to Siquijor.
From Cebu City, you will take a ferry that will stop over in Tagbilaran, Bohol then will go to Larena Port in Siquijor. Check the details below:
Cebu City Pier 1 to Tagbilaran Port: 2 hours travel time, ₱715 per person via Ocean Jet
Stopover in Tagbilaran Port: 1 hour 20 minutes waiting
Tagbilaran Port to Larena Port in Siquijor: 1 hour 20 minutes travel time, ₱910 per person via Ocean Jet
Search Ocean Jet schedule and availability below.
If you want to visit Moalboal before going to Siquijor, the travel is by land only and will take 3 to 4 hours. You may rent a private car to take you from Cebu City to Moalboal, ride a shared van, or ride the bus from the South Bus Terminal to Moalboal.
From Moalboal, we took a ferry from Liloan Port that arrived in Larena Port in Siquijor.
To know more about how to go to Moalboal from Cebu City and how to go to Siquijor from Moalboal, read here.
Ferry from Bohol to Siquijor
From Tagbilaran, you will take a ferry to Larena Port in Siquijor. Check the details below:
Tagbilaran Port to Larena Port in Siquijor: 1 hour 20 minutes travel time, ₱910 per person via Ocean Jet
Search Ocean Jet schedule and availability below.
Ferry from Dumaguete to Siquijor
If you are in Dumaguete, you will take a ferry to Siquijor Port. Check the details below:
Dumaguete Port to Siquijor Port: 50 minutes travel time, ₱590 per person via Ocean Jet
Search Ocean Jet schedule and availability below.
Other ferry routes to Siquijor take longer travel time but you may check availability and compare rates here.
Where To Stay in Siquijor
Lazy Lizard Hostel
Located in San Juan, Siquijor you will find a most relaxing, laid back, and comfortable island stay. The property, fortunately, is still surrounded by beautiful local vegetation, trees, and a garden.
As you walk up a short, well-maintained path to the stairs of the main structure you will view a bar/kitchen and an open shared lounge area. This area provides comfortable furniture to rest on while you enjoy the free Wi-Fi, read one of the many books on hand, eat your breakfast, enjoy a beverage from the bar or just enjoy the garden views.
You will also encounter the owners’ four friendly dogs, so make sure you extend your hand and give them a gentle pat of affection.
For our stay, we were in the small bungalow. The bungalow had a full, futon style bed that was on the bamboo floor. There were electricity, a small fan on the floor, and swing-out style windows at the back of the bungalow that could be opened for fresh air.
A night stay is at ₱700 plus 10% city tax.
Just outside our bungalow was the building that housed two separate rooms that were the bathrooms/showers that are shared by guests. And next to it was a large covered, open structure where we observed guests doing yoga.
Chris and Odi are exceptional hosts and they don’t mind talking with you. They are an excellent source of island knowledge, so don’t be afraid to ask them suggestions for where to go on the island, what to do, and most importantly where to eat.
There is also a laundry service provided onsite for a small charge. They answered all our requests and needs upon inquiring and on our check out the day they scheduled our tricycle ride for us to the port to catch our ferry.
Little Nomads eco-guesthouse
A hostel in San Juan Siquijor with a garden for solo and budget travellers. A bed in a dorm is at ₱350 per night.
Love Shack Hostel
Another hostel in San Juan Siquijor that is near Solangan Beach. A bed in a dorm is at ₱500 per night.
Glamping Siquijor by the Beach
Enjoy glamping in San Juan Siquijor near Solangon Beach. A tent for two starts at ₱1,900.
Mandala Tribe Treehouses
A three-star hotel in San Juan Siquijor that has rooms with a balcony. A deluxe bungalow rate per night is at ₱3,290 but there was once that I saw it was offered at ₱990. Search availability and promos below.
Aquamare Beach Camp Resort
A three-star beachfront resort in Larena Siquijor that has uniquely designed domes. Price per night starts at ₱2,500.
Coco Grove Beach Resort
Huge beachfront property in San Juan Siquijor. A standard room per night is at ₱4,200.
Salamangka Beach and Dive Resort
Another beachfront resort in San Juan Siquijor. A cottage starts at ₱8,360 per night.
Mike and I went to Dumaguete after our trip to Siquijor and we immediately missed the laidback life in Siquijor as soon as we arrived in Dumaguete. We would be missing a lot if we got scared to travel in Siquijor.
Are you planning a trip to Siquijor? Was this post helpful to you? Let me know by leaving a comment below. It will make my day!