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(Last Updated On: July 28, 2020)One of the perfect vacations in the Philippines is to visit several islands via ferry. Travelling around Moalboal, Siquijor, and Dumaguete via ferry will give you the best island experience in the Philippines while staying on a budget.
Read on to get tips on how to travel around Moalboal, Siquijor, and Dumaguete from Cebu City in 10 days plus a bonus of how to travel to Bohol via ferry and where to stay at $10 to $14 per night.
Save our Moalboal Siquijor Dumaguete route below on your Google Maps
After almost 5 months of not being together, Mike went to the Philippines to spend some quality time with me. He arrived in Manila on December 25.
I told him that as much as I wanted us to travel right away, I also wanted us to welcome a new decade with my family. This was the first time Mike and I were together during New Year’s eve.
Not travelling right away to Moalboal, Siquijor, and Dumaguete gave time for Mike to attend a freediving introduction course. Since I already learned freediving last September, I wanted Mike to also learn freediving so we can freedive when we travel.
We also stayed for a few days in Batangas with friends so Mike was able to practice his freediving skills in the open water before we go to Moalboal, Siquijor and Dumaguete.
Mike and I initially planned to visit Siargao but the flight cost from Manila to Siargao is too expensive. The flight cost was around ₱8,500 round trip per person with Philippines Airlines (PAL).
While comparing prices with other airlines, PAL had a slight sale but flights to Siargao were still expensive. Checking on other destinations through Philippine Airlines, the flights going to Cebu have a more reasonable price.
Airfares take the most amount from the money we saved for travel. And if you are like me who feels ... Read More
Mike and I were able to book a roundtrip flight to Cebu at ₱7,566 for two persons. I thought maybe we can do a Cebu-Siargao trip since Cebu has a special place in our hearts.
After booking this flight, I researched how to go to Siargao from Cebu. A ferry ride from Cebu to Siargao will take about a day. With that information, I did not check any other details as for sure, we don’t want to do a long ferry ride.
Then I’ve seen that Philippine Airlines flights from Cebu to Siargao are around ₱2,500 roundtrip. This amount was okay for us but I did not book it yet because I have to research more about Siargao first. Being in Cebu several times, I also wanted to decide where to go to Cebu on this trip.
Airfare to Cebu City based on your origin at a glance. Click below if you want to compare prices and book.
Why visit Moalboal, Siquijior, and Dumaguete?
While planning our trip, I came across some posts saying that diving in Siargao is not at its best during January. On top of that, Mike and I have agreed to visit Moalboal in Cebu for this trip since diving in Moalboal is perfect in January.The nearby islands of Cebu like Siquijor, Dumaguete, and Bohol are also perfect for diving in January and we can easily go from one island to another island via ferry. It’s a done deal! We will have a Moalboal-Siquijor-Dumaguete tour.
Unfortunately, Mike and I agreed that we will not go to Bohol on this vacation because we don’t want to be rushing on our 10-day vacation. After watching some fireworks and pigging out with the family on New Year’s Eve, we prepared for our flight in the early morning of January 1st.
What to pack for Moalboal, Siquijor, and Dumaguete
How to go to Moalboal from Mactan-Cebu International Airport
The trip from Cebu airport to Moalboal takes about 3 to 4 hours.
See the transportation options from Cebu City to Moalboal below.
Cost: ₱156 per person
Travel Time: approximately 3 to 4 hours depending on traffic
Pros: cheap, spacious
Cons: no online booking, long wait time as they will fill up the bus with passengers, longer travel time due to stops to pick up and drop off passengers
Cost: ₱120 per person
Travel Time: approximately 2.5 to 3 hours depending on traffic
Pros: cheap, shorter wait time than the bus as there are fewer seats to fill up, shorter travel time than the bus due to fewer stops, online booking is available with Klook
Cons: not much legroom, you may pay for another seat if you have big pieces of luggage
Go to GT Express Terminal along Junquera Street across the University of San Carlos. The first V-Hire leaves at 5 AM.
You can also book online with Klook to ride a shared van to Moalboal from Cebu City that includes hotel pick up. The van departs at 6:30 AM and you will be picked up within an hour before departure. Click below to check availability.
Taxi or Private Car
Cost: ₱2,500 to ₱3,000 for 1 to 3 persons
Travel Time: approximately 2.5 to 3 hours depending on traffic
Pros: convenience, no need to wait for other passengers, shorter travel time due to non-stop ride, online booking is available
Search below to compare prices, check the availability, and book a taxi or a private car to Moalboal online.
How to go to Moalboal from Cebu City by bus
Arriving in Mactan-Cebu International Airport
Cebu airport has changed a lot since our last visit in 2017. The airport building has been expanded and new restaurants and shops have been added.
Taxi rates in Mactan-Cebu International Airport
Mike and I went to the taxi bay to hire a taxi that will take us to the Cebu South Bus Terminal.
Below are the rates between a white and a yellow taxi.
A yellow or dedicated airport taxi in the Philippines are metered taxis that charge double per meter drop compared to a white or regular taxi. As per an airport staff, the fare is almost the same whether we take a white or a yellow taxi but we opted for the white taxi.
Just make sure that the white taxi driver will turn on his meter at the beginning of the ride and will not demand a fixed price. Also keep the small piece of paper containing your name and the plate number of the taxi given to you by airport staff.
Mike and I opted to ride the bus to Moalboal to save money.
For comparison, see the total cost of our commute from Cebu City to Moalboal with the cost breakdown below.
Taxi from Mactan-Cebu International Airport to South Bus Terminal: 30 to 45 minutes travel, ₱273.5
Bus from South Bus Terminal to Moalboal: 3 to 4 hours travel, ₱156 per person
Tricycle from the bus drop off point in Moalboal to Nicco’s Place: 10 minutes travel, ₱150
Total Cost: ₱735.5
Arriving in South Bus Terminal
If you took a taxi from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, you will know if you are near the South Bus Terminal if you see the Elizabeth Mall to your left.
Only restaurants in the airport and canteens and food stores in the bus terminal were open during this holiday. The canteens in the South Bus Terminal has limited options. You can only order breaded fried chicken or fish tinola then rice.
South Bus Terminal Tips
Mike and I always bring a reusable water bottle to keep us hydrated so we usually look for water to refill our bottle. I noticed a water refilling dispenser at the canteen so I asked the canteen lady if it was free for customers.
She said yes but when I went to refill our water bottle, there was a slot for coins. There were also plastics bags and straws on top of the water dispenser which left me puzzled.
I figured I needed to insert coins to get water but there was no label how much and a knob to start the flow. Curiously, I tried to insert ₱1 and to my shock, the water dispensed right away! I wasn’t ready so some water was spilled on the floor but I was quick to put in our water bottle.
After eating breakfast, we bought donuts at Dunkin as our food to go before loading the bus. There is no need to buy tickets as the fare will be collected during the ride.
Ride the Ceres Bus going to Moalboal
We loaded the Ceres (yellow) bus at 9:02 AM and the bus left at 9:39 AM. I would advise that it is better to sit at the right side of the aisle of the bus as the sun was on the left side. Although there were window curtains, you might have to endure the heat of the sun if the commute was during the middle of the day and summer.
There was one stop for restroom break during the ride. Luckily, we arrived in Moalboal at 12:10 PM which is less than 3 hours of travel because there was less traffic probably due to the holiday.
Useful Tips in Moalboal
Moreover, it’s good to have smaller bills as the driver did not give our change. I have to ask for it when we have unloaded.
After the bus ride, we rented a tricycle to take us to Nicco’s Place. The driver said our fare was ₱150 since we have a big suitcase and a long fin bag which consumed the spaces for other seats.
After we have checked in, we were told that a tricycle ride should only be ₱20 per person if we get the ride at the back of Three Sixty Drugstore and if we don’t have a big bag or suitcase.
It is advisable to ask your hosts about the tricycle fare from your stay going to anywhere in Moalboal as drivers tend to overprice the rides for tourists. Or rent a scooter to go around Moalboal.
Scooter rental in Moalboal is at ₱350 for 24 hours. You may ask your host for recommendations on where to rent a scooter or you may book in advance online.
Click below to compare rates and check availability of scooters in Moalboal.
Where to stay in Moalboal
We stayed in Nicco’s Place, known as the home of freedivers, where we booked a private room with airconditioning at ₱1,500 per night. Nicco’s Place has a common kitchen, garden, and bathroom shared with all guests. Drinking water is provided in the kitchen which is a plus point for me since we prefer not to buy bottled water when we travel.
There is a small spot at the back of the house with a really strong wi-fi connection which was strategically designed that way so guests will interact more with each other. Nicco, the owner, is very friendly and accommodating to his guests.
When you freedive with Nicco, expect amazing underwater photos and videos. He also arranged and prepared a boodle fight with all guests for dinner which was the best dinner we had in Moalboal!
Nicco’s Place doesn’t serve breakfast yet but there is a restaurant right across Nicco’s Place that opens at 7 AM with a wide variety of menu to choose from. You can also buy food from the market to cook and prepare in Nicco’s Place.
If there’s one feature I would love to have in Nicco’s Place is a bathroom where the toilet has a division from the shower. It is a nice-to-have so my feet will not get wet when I will pee or brush my teeth but seriously, I have never been to a hostel in the Philippines where the toilet has a division from the shower.
Smooth Cafe, Cocktail Bar & Hostel
A bed in a mixed dorm in Smooth Cafe, Cocktail Bar & Hostel is at ₱359++ with airconditioning and free wi-fi. The hostel is 350 meters away from Panagsama Beach and offers à la carte or halal breakfast.
Laguno Bed And Breakfast Hostel
A bed in a mixed dorm in Laguno Bed And Breakfast Hostel is at ₱350++ while a double room is at ₱700++. All guests will enjoy air-conditioned rooms, free wi-fi, and a shared lounge. A la carte breakfast is available.
Pig Dive Hostel Moalboal
The Pig Dive Hostel Moalboal is a hostel that is uniquely designed from container vans. Guests will enjoy a shared lounge and kitchen, free private parking, free wi-fi, air-conditioned rooms, and a terrace.
American breakfast is available is Pig Dive Hostel Moalboal. The mixed dorm rate starts at ₱550++ for one person while a private room for two persons is at ₱2,580++.
Pawikan Resort Moalboal
Located 100 meters from Panagsama Beach, guests will love a stay at the Pawikan Resort Moalboal. The king room price starts at ₱2,600++ and the resort has a bar, free wi-fi, free private parking, a garden, and a shared kitchen. Guests may avail of a continental or à la carte breakfast during their stay.
Ancelle Cristo Re
The property has villas with a terrace and a private white sand beach with an amazing coral reef. A one-bedroom villa in Ancelle Cristo Re has airconditioning, free wi-fi, and complimentary breakfast for 3 persons at ₱5,000++.
Swim with a school of sardines in Moalboal! This is one of the free things to do in Moalboal because you can just go to the beach and snorkel. However, I would recommend booking a guide as the Panagsama Beach is busy with tour boats and you can be hit by one while snorkelling or freediving.
The island whose name means fisherman in Spanish is rich in marine life that attracts recreational divers.
Swim with the turtles in Tongo Point
Enjoy freediving in a coral garden with several sighting of turtles!
If you are coming from Cebu City, book a private day tour with Klook that includes Pescador Island Hopping then swim with the sardines and turtles.
Or book a Pescador Island Hopping join-in day tour here!
You can go to the Basdaku White Beach in Moalboal by riding a scooter then pay ₱10 to ₱20 entrance fees. There are several stores to buy food and drink or rent a tent.
Things to do near Moalboal in One Day
Kawasan Falls and Canyoneering
Explore a challenging adventure by canyoneering in Badian, Cebu that includes swimming, hiking, and cliff jumping then end your tour by relaxing in Kawasan Falls. Make sure not to skip any jumps at 10, 12, and 14 meters!
Then after all the adrenaline rush, enjoy one of the most famous waterfalls in the Philippines. Kawasan Falls is a multilayered waterfall with a turquoise water pool.
Start your canyoneering early as it is a popular place!
If you are from Cebu City, book your private Kawasan Falls and Canyoneering tour here!
Or book a Kawasan Falls and Canyoneering join-in tour here!
During our trip to Moalboal, we decided to stay at a hostel with favorable reviews, called Nicco’s Place. The bus ... Read More
How to go to Siquijor from Moalboal Cebu
After staying 3 nights in Moalboal, our next destination is Siquijor. The ferry to Siquijor from Liloan Port is at 10 AM.
Mike and I left Nicco’s Place at 6 AM and took a tricycle ride to the Monument bus stop. We were lucky as there’s a bus going to Bato when we arrived at the bus stop.
At the Bato bus terminal, we took a tricycle ride to Liloan port. Upon arrival, we registered and paid the environmental fee at a table near the ticketing booth but the tickets will be paid during the ferry ride.
Since we were early for the boarding time which starts at 9:30 AM, we ate breakfast at one of the local eateries around the port while waiting.
Most tourists stay in San Juan to be near to most of the interesting spots in Siquijor. Mike and I took a tricycle ride from Larena Port to San Juan at ₱500.
It sounded expensive to us but the rates are published depending on which hotel or hostel you are going to. Moreover, San Juan is 22 km away from Larena Port.
With all that travel, we did not schedule any tour on that day so we can relax instead of rushing in going around.
See the breakdown and total cost of our commute from Moalboal to Siquijor below.
Tricycle from Nicco’s Place to Monument Bus Stop: 10 minutes travel, ₱150
Bus to Bato: 40 minutes, ₱102 per person
Tricycle from Bato Bus Terminal to Liloan Port: 10 minutes travel, ₱150
Liloan Port Terminal Fee: ₱5 per person
Ferry to Larena Port: 2.5 hours travel, ₱200 per person
Tricycle from Larena Port to Lazy Lizard Hostel: 30 minutes travel, ₱500
Total Cost: ₱1,414
Where to stay in Siquijor
Lazy Lizard Hostel
Mike and I stayed in a hut with a fan in Lazy Lizard Hostel as it was recommended by a friend. We arrived just time for check-in.
Lazy Lizard is surrounded by trees and located at an elevated place 400 meters away from the road so it was cool the whole time that we never used our fan. Mike and I were pulling our side of our shared blanket just to keep us warm at night except for our last night when it was a little warm. A stay in a hut is at ₱700++ per night.
Lazy Lizard hostel has a yoga place and they have yoga classes during the afternoon. The CR is shared and slippers are not allowed inside the CR so it means your feet will get wet every time you will use the CR.
What will immediately get your attention is the common area where people can socialize, read some books, connect to wifi, and buy some refreshments. The wifi connection can be improved but we did not stay there just to be online. You can also play with their friendly dogs.
The hostel has available breakfast. Mike and I loved ordering the toast with chocolate spread in the morning. They served the jar and allowed me to get a good amount of spread for my toast. Drinks are available all day and drinking water is for free!
Another plus point for me is when we ordered cold drinks, it went with a steel straw! The owners, Cris and Odi, are very friendly and helpful too. We had some fun chatting with them about our travels and they also gave us tips on where to go and where to eat.
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.
Siquijor, even in the modern days, has this negative impression from people who do not live on the island just ... Read More
How to go to Dumaguete from Siquijor
Odi helped us to contact a tricycle driver that will pick us up at noon from Lazy Lizard to Siquijor Port. Mike and I bought tickets for the 1:30 PM schedule of fast craft to Dumaguete upon arrival at the port.
We had snacks at a local eatery beside the ticketing booth while waiting for boarding time. Before boarding the fast craft, they required us to check in our big suitcase.
See the schedule of Ocean Jet below:
Or you can book your tickets online below.
Claiming our checked suitcase was no sweat when we arrived in Dumaguete Port.
See the breakdown and total cost of our commute from Siquijor to Dumaguete below.
Tricycle from Lazy Lizard Hostel to Siquijor Port: 20 minutes travel, ₱250
Fastcraft to Dumaguete: 40 minutes travel, ₱250 per person
Siquijor Port Terminal Fee: ₱14 per person
Luggage check-in fee: ₱70 per item
Tricycle from Dumaguete Port to Kingswick Residences & Lodge; 10 to 20 minutes, ₱150
Total Cost: ₱998
Where to stay in Dumaguete
Kingswick Residences & Lodge
Mike and I stayed in Kingswick Residences & Lodge in Dumaguete. It is about 2 km away from the port but due to traffic, it took us more than 10 minutes to arrive in the hostel via tricycle ride. We stayed in a private room with AC and a shared bathroom in Kingswick Residences & Lodge at ₱801++ per night.
Kingswick Residences & Lodge has rooms with private bathrooms but we opted to save a little on our accommodation cost. Wi-fi is excellent, the staff is friendly, and breakfast can be ordered at their restaurant on the 4th floor.
Breakfast is okay and pricey to be at ₱150 for rice, egg, and cured meat or dried fish. Drinking water is not provided so we bought our supply in a convenience store.
Flying Fish Hostel
A bed in the dormitory is as low as ₱490 plus taxes while a double room is as low as ₱1,428 plus taxes. Make sure to book your stay in advance!
Casa Arrieta Hostel
A hostel with a shared lounge and terrace that is 3km away from Robinsons Place Dumaguete. The rate is ₱550 for a bed in the dorm and ₱1,185 for a budget double room.
Another hostel that is near Robinsons Place Dumaguete with a cool hangout place at the rooftop. The rate is ₱475 for a bed in the dorm.
Dumaguete City Tourists Spots
Known as the Maldives of the Philippines, enjoy the sandbar and swimming in clear waters around the stilt houses in Manjuyod.
Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park
Rent a boat to tour around the lake or hike to the view deck to appreciate the Danao Lake and the Balinsasayao Lake beside each other.
Dumaguete has always been at the top of my travel bucket list in the Philippines but I have never been ... Read More
How to go to Cebu City from Dumaguete
Ferry rides are going directly to Cebu City at noon with Cokaliong or 11 PM with George and Peter Lines. We were told that the travel time is about 6 to 7 hours.
If we have chosen this schedule, we will arrive in Cebu City either too early for check-in or late for dinner. Trips not available daily so it will be advisable to always check with the shipping company.
Mike and I bought our tickets a day before we departed for Cebu City. The Ocean Jet ticketing office near Dumaguete Port is a little difficult to spot compared to other shipping companies. We were only able to find it after going around twice.
You may also book online for convenience.
We took the 9:50 AM fast craft to Cebu City. Travel time was 5 hours an hour layover in Tagbilaran, Bohol. We took this schedule since we always wanted to arrive in our stay just about check-in time so we can settle and relax after the trip.
You can stay in Bohol
Bohol could be the 4th destination for this trip but we cannot prolong our vacation since we also have other travels for this year. We also don’t want to be rushing our vacation in Moalboal, Siquijor, and Dumaguete.
If you have a longer time, you can use this route to go and stay in Bohol before going back to Cebu City.
You can fly from Dumaguete back to Manila
Direct flights to Manila are available in Dumaguete. You may fly back to Manila from Dumaguete instead of going back to Cebu City. Flying to Manila from Dumaguete may cost more but can save time.
Search for the best flight deal from Dumaguete to Manila below.
Arriving in Cebu City
Mike and I arrived at Cebu City Port 1. The distribution of checked bags took a long time and was crowded. I hope they will improve their baggage claim system.
The line for a taxi was long and people claiming to be taxi drivers approached us to offer a ride right away but asked us to pay triple the price. We recommend not to fall for this kind of offer. There were a lot of taxis picking up passengers in this line and we did not have to wait for a long time to get a ride.
See the breakdown and total cost of our commute from Dumaguete to Cebu City below.
Tricycle from Kingswick to Dumaguete Port: 10 to 20 minutes travel, ₱150
Dumaguete Port Terminal Fee: ₱15 per person
Tagbilaran Port Terminal Fee: ₱20 per person
Fastcraft to Cebu City: 5 hours travel, ₱1200 per person
1 luggage and 1 fin bag check-in fee: ₱110 per item
Taxi from Cebu City Port 1 to Mactan: 30 to 45 minutes travel, ₱150
Total Cost: ₱2,990
Where to stay in Cebu City
Our driver was kind enough to allow us to make a stop at Sawum Freediving Shop before taking us to Kiener Hill Condo. On the 6th floor, there is this newly opened cute hostel.
Mike and I stayed in OTravel Hostel for one night since it is 5 minutes away from Mactan Airport and our flight the following morning is at 4 AM. We shared one bed in a dorm at ₱1,080++ for one night.
OTravel Hostel is also on the same street with Rico’s Lechon, a must-eat place when you are in Cebu. This is where we had our early dinner to celebrate our wedding monthsary and to cap off our vacation.
Total accommodation and transportation cost of our Moalboal, Siquijor, and Dumaguete trip
Cebu City to Moalboal Transportation Cost: ₱735.5
3 Nights at Nicco’s Place: ₱4,500
Moalboal to Siquijor Transportation Cost: ₱1,414
3 Nights at Lazy Lizard Hostel: ₱2,310
Siquijor to DumagueteTransportation Cost: ₱998
3 Nights at Kingswick Residences & Lodge: ₱2,691.36
Dumaguete to Cebu City Transportation Cost: ₱2,990
1 Night at Otravel Hostel: ₱1,209
Grab from Otravel to Mactan Airport: ₱84
Moalboal-Siquijor-Dumaguete Total Cost: ₱16,931.36
Moalboal-Siquijor-Dumaguete Trip Conclusion
Flying to Cebu and commuting to Moalboal then travelling to nearby islands as Siquijor and Dumaguete saved us a lot of money than booking flights to farther islands. Our Moalboal-Siquijor-Dumaguete trip was the perfect 10-day vacation in the Philippines.
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Katie is a Software Quality Assurance Analyst by profession. She is also a dragon boat paddler, a Crossfit athlete, and a weightlifter by passion. She has travelled within Asia, Europe, and Micronesia before meeting Mike.