Siquijor is an island just south of Cebu known to some as “Witchcraft Island.” The name comes from traditional yet unconventional healing methods that are still practiced today. This island is a great place to go to get away from the tourists, sit back, relax, and enjoy the island life.
LANGUAGE: Tagalog, English
CURRENCY: Philippine Piso
CLIMATE: Tropical (hot & humid), Rainy season is June – October but still okay to visit during these times
DRESS CODE: Casual
GETTING AROUND: Tricycle, Motorbike
TIPPING: Tipping is not expected and most restaurants don’t even give you the option
SAFETY: Safe, use normal precautions
BUS FROM CEBU CITY TO DUMAGUETE: From the South Bus Terminal, take a Ceres bus to Dumaguete. The bus will take you to Bato where it will then board the ferry to Dumaguete. Total cost for the bus and ferry ride should be around 350 PHP ($7 USD) and take around 5 hours. If you are unable to catch a bus directly to Dumaguete, you can take one to Bato and then catch the ferry there yourself.
TRICYCLE TO DUMAGUETE PORT: Once you get to Dumaguete, you will need to take a tricycle to the Dumaguete Port. It should only take about 10-15 minutes to get there and cost around 10 PHP.
FERRY TO SIQUIJOR: Once you get to the Dumaguete Port, you can buy a ferry ticket from various companies for either a regular ferry or a fastcraft ferry. If you choose a regular ferry, it should cost you around 120 PHP and take around 2 hours to get to Siquijor. A fastcraft costs about 210 PHP and takes about 1 hour to get to Siquijor. Ferry and fastcraft times vary but run every few hours.
TRICYCLE TO ACCOMMODATION: Once you arrive in Siquijor, there will be a lot of tricycles lined up to bring you to your accommodation. It should cost you around 100 PHP but may vary depending on where on the island you are staying.
You can also choose to take a local taxi or Grab to Bato which will take 3-4 hours from Cebu City. Once you get to Bato, you will follow the directions above to get to Dumaguete and then Siquijor.
WHERE TO STAY
The hostel starts around $8 per night or you can book a private bungalow for $26 a night. They own a restaurant/shop which has amazing and cheap food as well. I highly recommend eating there. The location is great and the staff is super helpful. We were able to book motorbikes here and the owner even had someone take us to find a bolo-bolo healer as well!
If you have extra money to spend, this resort is extremely nice. We ate dinner there one evening and felt like we were really classy people. Located directly on the beach, this hotel has three pools and a few restaurant options.
Fall asleep to the sound of the waves crashing in one of these luxury tents. Perfect for a romantic getaway or just to spice up your insta game. (They look pretty cool) Tents come with a fan and a bed and cost around $30 to $40 per night.
WHAT TO EAT
WHERE TO EAT
This is a restaurant that is owned by the same owners as the place we stayed (Tagbayalon Lodging House). Extremely cheap prices and homemade local food. We ended up eating most of our meals here and playing cards.
Eat here for some instagram worthy smoothie bowls.
Come here for pizza and the sunset. Located directly on the beach, this restaurant offers some of the best pizza on the island at reasonable prices.
The concept of Baha Bar is to take traditional Filippino dishes and spice them up. A great place to try the local cuisine. All ingredients are fresh and local as well with the vegetables grown on their own organic farm.
WHAT TO DRINK
WHERE TO DRINK
A chill place where you will find both locals and tourists enjoying some drinks on the beach.
Part of the Coco Grove Beach Resort, this bar is located directly on the beach giving you an amazing view of the sunset. Sit back and enjoy some cocktails while you watch the sun go down.
Friday nights, this hostel turns into a club with a dance floor, bar, and all. This is where you will find most of the travelers on the island enjoying some music and cheap drinks.
WHAT TO DO
A single waterfall with a swimming pool at the bottom. Extremely pretty and when we came here, we had the place completely to ourselves.
The most well known of all of the falls in Siquijor and for good reason. Here you will find a 3 tiered waterfall and swimming hole that comes with a rope swing and all. (For a minimal fee you can swing off of it all day)
These are the tallest waterfalls in Siquijor but remain the least visited due to their off the beaten path location. You will find them hidden in the mountains between Larena and Maria Town.
Mini waterfalls that were developed by the youth of Barangay Kinamandagan and Barangay Tignao in order to have additional tourist spots and attractions in Siquijor. About 500 meters from Cambugahay Falls.
WATCH THE SUNSET
The sunsets here are over the water so head to the beach or one of the many beachfront restaurants.
VISIT A BOLO-BOLO HEALER
Experience the magic of traditional healing. Bolo-bolo healing is done by taking a clear glass filled with water and placing a black stone inside. A long straw is placed into the water and the healer will blow bubbles into the water while moving the glass up and down your body. As this is done, the water turns murky and various substances (toxins) from the patient’s body fill the glass. The process is repeated until the water remains clear. Truly an off the beaten path unique experience.
Siquijor is the perfect place to rent motorbikes and explore the island. The roads are generally clear and easy to navigate. This is the best way to go waterfall hopping, see the various beaches, or just get a feel for the local community.
You will have no problem finding a karaoke bar in this town. I am not usually one for karaoke but I found it to actually be enjoyable here as you get your own personal television and microphone directly at your table. You don’t have to conquer your fear of standing in front of a crowd, it is a more intimate experience. And absolutely no one cares how talented you are (or how untalented you are).