Siquijor Island is my favorite place in the Philippines so far. Despite the small size of the island, there are many things to do in Siquijor. Here, you’ll find what can you expect, when exploring Siquijor Island.
Exploring Siquijor Island is one of the best parts of my trip to the Philippines. The island is extremely beautiful, very relaxed, and a bit off the beaten path. On top of that, there are many things to do in Siquijor Island, every sunset is spectacular and generally is an amazing place not to be missed when you travel around the Philippines – you’ll easily fall in love with it!
Siquijor is a small and remote island that not many people are visiting when they go to the Philippines. That might be because of its reputation of being haunted? Maybe because of the stories about witchcraft? – No, I don’t believe so! I have heard those things after my trip to Siquijor, but not even once while I was there and of course, I don’t believe that anyone would reconsider its visit to the island because of that, it might just make one person even more curious. The Spanish, who originally colonized the place called Siquijor the ”Fire Island” and is believed that the island has risen from the ocean in a massive storm. It’s also known as a land full of mysteries.
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Why Siquijor Island is my favorite place in the Philippines? Honestly, I don’t know what made Siquijor my number 1 place in the Philippines. I guess we were just meant to be. Maybe the mysterious charm of the remote, or the lazy days by the beach, or maybe all smiley faces of the local people who were waving at me as I was passing by on a motorbike.
Yes, Siquijor is an absolute delight!
Some people, though, find it a bit boring, but Siquijor it’s NOT a party island. Siquijor is a place where to relax, where you can enjoy the beautiful scenery away from the tourist crowds, where there are many things to do and where you can also find a party, just not like in Boracay, for instance.
So, if you’re considering exploring Siquijor Island, the remote island that many backpackers haven’t discovered yet, here are my travel tips for you and recommendations of the best things to do in Siquijor Island.
Things to do in Siquijor Island:
Explore the island on a motorbike
The best way to get around and explore Siquijor Island, or any other place in the Philippines, is without any doubt a motorbike.
Exploring the place on a motorbike it’s absolutely one of the best things to do in Siquijor Island – it is fun and it gives you the freedom of going wherever you want, whenever you want. While driving around the island, which can easily be explored in 2 or 3 days on a motorbike, you’ll get to enjoy some wonderful views. On the way, you’ll also be greeted by the local people who will keep you in a good mood with their smiley and genuine faces.
Not all the roads in Siquijor Island are in good condition, although most are – sometimes, you’ll need to leave the motorbike and walk to get to the place you want to go to.
For motorbike rent prices, etc., check the Siquijor Island Travel Tips section below.
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Apart from the Cambugahay Falls that I would mention next, you can also visit Lugnason Falls, which in my opinion, are even better.
Actually, I was on my way to Cambugahay Falls when I saw some sign saying ”X falls”, so I decided to make a detour and head straight there. I’m happy that I found this place because it’s so beautiful and fun to explore. When I arrived there, I was probably the first person to visit for the day and during my walk to the falls and the time spent there, it was just me. A little bit before I left some other people came, but they didn’t spare much time for it.
There, you have a Tarzan swing, from which I jumped off numerous times, and also something as a small cave inside the falls. Jumping from Tarzan swings at each fall is one of the fun things to do in Siquijor Island.
When you get there, you’ll be greeted by local guides, mostly very young boys. One of them will come with you and take you to the falls. After returning back to your motorbike, don’t forget to tip your guide. That’s how some people there make their living and you don’t need to break the bank in order to support them.
You need to pay a parking fee of 20 PHP.
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Cambugahay Falls is one of the most famous and favorite spots around the island. It’s easy to get there and once you do, there are 135 stairs leading down to the falls – be careful on the way down as the stairs are very stiff.
At the Cambugahay Falls, you can enjoy some Tarzan jumping again. The swing costs 20 PHP and it’s unlimited, meaning that you can jump as many times as you want.
These falls are beautiful, too, but I didn’t enjoy them as much as I did the Lungason Falls. I also didn’t spend a lot of time there because it’s a very touristy place on the island and it was crowded. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go there, not at all. I would advise you to go there early in the morning, if possible, for a bigger chance to avoid the crowds.
Salagdoong Beach Resort
Siquijor is one of the best places to visit in the Philippines and the Salagdoong Beach Resort is another popular spot on the island that you should check out. The Beach is a government-owned resort that is known for its beauty. The whole place consists of villas to stay in, a beautiful beach, a cliff, bars, and more. It’s located a bit further away from the other tourist spots, but well worth the drive to.
Take the courage to jump!
One of the main reasons why people are visiting the Salagdoong Beach Resort is also one of the most fun and adventurous things to do in Siquijor Island – the famous Siquijor cliff jump!
There are two cliff jumping platforms and also a water slide. The cliff jumping platforms are situated at 6 and 9 meters high and the water is about 4 meters deep.
Although I love doing such things, I didn’t jump. It seems like a super fun thing to do, so the next time when I visit Siquijor Island, I would take the courage to jump!
Now I remembered that I meet a girl at my hostel that did the cliff jumping and she cut her leg. The cut was not such a big deal, but she said that there was nothing in the water that could have cut her leg. She then said something about the legends, etc., I just didn’t pay attention to it back then.
The entrance fee to the Salagdoong Beach Resort, as per 2018 is 75 PHP.
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When going to the Salagdoong Beach Resort, you will pass the Salagdoong man-made forest. The forest reserve is part of the National Greening Program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and its home to Molave trees. The trees are lined on the roadside going to the beach resort.
The man-made Salgdoong Forest is lovely and it’s so nice to drive through it on the way to the beach resort. You will surely want to stop for a while and make some shots.
One of the things to do in Siquijor Island is to visit the beautiful Paliton Beach. Paliton Beach is the most famous beach on the island and it’s well known among travelers visiting the island. It’s also a favorite spot for the locals.
This beautiful white sand beach is located close to the town of San Juan. According to what people say, it’s better to visit this beach Tuesday to Friday, as on the weekend it gets very crowded with local people who also don’t care about keeping it clean.
I visited Paliton beach only once and I like it. It should be a great spot to watch the sunset as well.
Tubod Beach and Marine Sanctuary are known for the good snorkeling and diving opportunities. The beach is in front of the Coco Grove Resort, a few minutes ride away from the town of San Juan.
Tubod beach is also calm and relaxed and a great place to visit in Siquijor Island.
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The secret beach
I don’t know if this beach has a name and I’m not really sure if it’s not a part of the Tubod beach. But what’s the story about it?
A guy that I meet in my hostel told me about this beach that he found and that it’s amazing. Of course, I wanted to check it out and along with two other guys, we went there to see what it is about. I really love this place! When we arrived there, we were the only people at the beach and we spent the whole day there drinking beer, eating coconuts and relaxing.
While I was writing this post, I became even more curious to know about this place. I was looking at the map of Siquijor, I knew approximately where it is, but I just didn’t have any success in finding it. Then, when I was going through my photos from Siquijor, I noticed that we had holders on our beers, which we bought from there and the name of the resort was on them – place found!
The ”secret beach” is a small, peaceful, and gorgeous beach in front of the Islandia Beach Resort. There, you can order food, use the toilet, and get a beer. You can also book your stay in the resort or in one of the bungalows on the beach. A beer there costs 40 PHP.
For more information on the accommodation check the Siquijor Island Travel Tips section below.
The amazing sunsets!!
You might have heard that the sunsets in the Philippines are one of the most beautiful ones in the world! – Well, that might not be too far away from the truth, and especially in Siquijor Island.
The sunsets at Siquijor Island are one of the most memorable ones that I have ever seen. I can also easily say that sitting on the beach and enjoying the captivating sunset each evening is my favorite thing to do in Siquijor Island. Seriously, they’ve been spectacular!
All the beaches mentioned so far are great spots to enjoy the sunsets from. I was watching the sun setting down from the beach in front of the place that I was staying at – Tori’s Backpacker’s Paradise, which is next to Tubod Beach.
Party on Siquijor Island
As I wrote at the beginning of this post, Siquijor Island is NOT a party island. However, that doesn’t mean that you will die out of boredom. There are parties going around the island and once you’re there and you ask around, you’ll find the party, or the party will find you.
Usually, there is something happening on the weekend, Friday, and Saturday evenings. There are also two known places where the parties are going on: Czar’s Place and Sylvia’s.
When there is a party, the entire island goes there – no joke! My first night out was at the Czar’s Place where there is live music, a dance floor, tables and chairs, and cheap drinks. Every traveler on the island was there, as well all the local people and everyone was having great fun.
One thing was a little bit weird for all of us, the travelers. The party is fun and everyone is having a great time and then, at midnight, the party is over. Let’s compare it to Bulgaria for example – here, when you go out partying, you go out at this time not home. Not to worry, people often make after parties at the beach, so you can continue the fun.
Although there are a few places where they organize parties on the weekends, you won’t be able to find a place to party during the rest of the time. Siquijor is not Boracay or El Nido. But with all those things to do in Siquijor Island, I’m sure that you’ll still have a great time.
Planktons & Night Swims
After the party at Czar’s, no one wanted to go back to his hostel and sleep, so we decided to go for a night swim! Of course, that was a great and fun idea. We even saw some planktons and it was awesome. The beach that we went to was Tubod beach.
Be aware of the sea urchins!
You might know them, have seen them, or even been a victim of those annoying animals. There are sea urchins in the Philippines, as well in Siquijor. I got stung by one during the night swim. I know that they are moving on the ground, so I don’t really know how it happened. I was swimming and suddenly felt something. I thought that I have hit a rock but also felt that there is something in my knee. Before even seeing it and realizing what had happened, I managed to get most of the spines out of my knee.
When I got out of the water and saw my knee, I didn’t know what was it and freaked out a bit. The others assure me that it’s going to be okay. On the next day, my knee was swollen and red. It took about a month, if not, even more, to heal. Well, I hurt the same knee not long after in El Nido and that probably influenced the healing process, but that’s a different story.
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Mount Bandilaan is the highest peak on Siquijor Island. Apart from the peak, Mount Bandilaan also has a Nature Park at its foot that its reach on flora and fauna species. In the mountain area, you can also find some religious pilgrim sites and a butterfly range.
I skipped the peak the first time I went to Siquijor Island, but the next time when I visit it again, I would give it a chance. I was told by a guy who went to the peak that the views from there are nice, but you also need to be careful with your motorbike in that area. He had injured himself falling on that road.
Century Old Balete Tree
This is something else that I missed, but it’s on my list of things to do in Siquijor Island the next time.
The Century Old Balete Tree is considered to be the oldest and the biggest one in Siquijor – it’s believed to be about 400 years old. There is a nice little pool at the base of the tree that it’s used as a fish spa.
San Juan Town
San Juan is the unofficial tourism capital of Siquijor. That’s where most of the accommodation options are located and where you’re most likely to stay.
In San Juan, you’ll find Tubod Beach and my secret beach, Czar’s Place, and Spring Park. Spring Park is an iconic spot on the island and it’s right in the middle of the town center.
Siquijor Island Travel Tips
Siquijor Island it’s not so known and popular tourist spot in the Philippines. That’s why there’s also not that much information about it online, although you can find everything that you might be interested in. To help you around Siquijor Island, I have gathered those travel tips on how to get there, how to get around, where to stay, and where to eat.
How to get to Siquijor Island
The easiest way to get to Siquijor Island is by ferry from Dumaguete or Tagbilaran, Bohol.
You can get a direct ferry from and to both of these places and that’s would be the easiest way to get to Siquijor, if you’re already in one of those places in the first place, tho. If not, then it will take you a lot more time to get to Siquijor.
From Cebu, you can either get a bus down to Dumaguete and then change to the ferry to Siquijor, or you can get a ferry to Tagbilaran, Bohol, and then change to another ferry to Siquijor. If the price is reasonable, you can also fly from Cebu to any of these places.
There is also a direct ferry from Cebu to Siquijor. It’s a fast ferry by Ocean Jet and it’s much more expensive 2 000 PHP.
From Manila, the easiest way to get to Siquijor would be to fly to Dumaguete or Tagbilaran and then take a ferry from there.
PLEASE NOTE that the schedules and prices are different and you better check that online before you go. Otherwise, make sure to check at the port or the bus station on the previous day before you want to take the ferry/bus.
Another thing that you should know is that Siquijor has two ports – Siquijor port and Larena port. Both are further away from the area that you’ll most likely stay at, so you’ll need to either get a tricycle ride or rent a motorbike.
The port in Dumaguete is close to the city center, but depending on where you’re staying at, you might need to get a tricycle, too. It’s pretty much the same about Tagbilaran. If you stay at the famous Alona Beach on Panglao, it’s about a 30 to 40 minutes ride away.
How to get around Siquijor Island
I already mentioned this – the best way to get around Siquijor Island is on a motorbike. You can rent a motorbike at the port when you arrive on the island. Other places that offer accommodation offer motorbike rent as well.
If you rent it for a longer time, you can probably negotiate the price. I rented my motorbike from the place where I was staying at and it costs me 300 PHP for 24 hours. The gas that was enough to fill up the tank costs me 134 PHP.
Let’s compare the prices for motorbike rent between Siquijor (not touristy) and El Nido (touristy):
Siquijor = 300 PHP for 24 hours
El Nido = 500 PHP for 5 hours / and that was a good deal that I found after others were offering me a motorbike for 700 PHP for the same amount of time. Maybe if you’re not looking for a motorbike when everyone else does and almost all motorbikes are already rented, maybe you can find a better price.
Where to stay in Siquijor Island
I arrived in Siquijor without having any accommodation sorted in advance. There was also not much available, so my options were limited. I ended up staying at Tori’s Backpacker’s Paradise.
This place is very basic but it was okay for a few nights stay. The best of it is its location and the fact that it’s on the beach from where you can watch amazing sunsets. It also has a café that serves coffee, shakes, and food.
The power went off once during my stay there and it took about an hour to get back. Siquijor is a more remote and undeveloped island, so that can totally happen.
You can use the widget below to search for other places where to stay in Siquijor.
Where to eat in Siquijor Island
There is just one place that I can recommend in Siquijor Island. It was difficult to find it on the Internet, so I can share it with you but I did. That place was recommended to me by fellow travelers and I ate there most of the time. The place is called Carenderia de Seanlhya. Click here to see its location on the Siquijor map.
The food there was good and so cheap! You can easily fill your stomach for as little as 50 to 80 PHP.
Where to party in Siquijor Island
Czar’s Place and Sylvia’s, I already covered that above. With time passing by, new party places would probably pop-up around the island. If you’re visiting Siquijor Island and you find out about one, let me know. It would be great to include it to the list so other travelers can use it as a resource. Thank you!
Much of the island is undeveloped and power can get off often. There are no street lights or public transportation at night. You should also better come with cash.
Thanks for reading,
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