Witchcraft, sorcery, and enchantments are one of the usual descriptions that comes to our mind whenever we talk about “Siquijor“. Needless to say, grimoires, broom sticks, needles, and voodoo dolls are no strangers to people’s minds travelling to this place.
Nestled in the southern part of Central Visayas is the peaceful province of Siquijor, which is also the third smallest province in the Philippines. By the time Siquijor was first discovered by the Spaniards, the peaceful island was filled with countless fireflies from afar, as to why it was dubbed as the Land of Fire.
Up to this day, tourists and foreign visitors in our country are quite hesitant to visit Siquijor as it is famously known as the hometown of witches and “mambabarang“, thus, making it one of the most fearsome place to visit in the Philippines next to Capiz in Western Visayas. But little do they know, the famous Land of Fire has so much for your eyes to see.
How to get there
First thing to take note in mind is that there’s no public airport that goes directly to Siquijor. From Manila, you will have to ride a plane to the nearest airport which is in Dumaguete. Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air, and Air Asia offers this route most of the time. To scan for cheaper flights from different airlines that offers this route, book with Skyscanner below.
From Dumaguete Airport:
Now that you have your flight, from Dumaguete airport you can charter a tricycle to Dumaguete port for PHP100.00 good for 2-3 people. There are 2 ports in Dumaguete which is the Sibulan Port and Dumaguete Port, the port that you want to go is in Dumaguete Port. They are the only one that caters ferry ride to Siquijor.
Take note that the earliest departure is at 6:00 in the morning and the last trip is at 6:00PM. Fare is PHP145.00 and travel time is 1-2 hours.
From Cebu Airport:
CEB – Liloan Port – Sibulan Port – Dumaguete Port – Siquijor
This route is a bit tricky since the airport is far. I suggest that you explore North Cebu and South Cebu first before heading to Siquijor so that you will enjoy your travel as you head to Siquijor (just like what I did). There are buses in South Cebu terminal located in Cebu City that departs hourly, ride a yellow Ceres bus to Oslob and advise the driver to drop you off at Liloan port. Moreover, all buses have their stopover here to wait for passengers coming from the port. The travel time is 2-3 hours and bus fare is ranging from PHP150.00 to PHP200.00.
From Liloan port, ride a ferry to Sibulan port for 30 minutes and fare is PHP70.00. Once you arrive in Sibulan port, transfer to Dumaguete port by riding a tricycle, PHP60.00 is a reasonable fare for 3 people.
From Dumaguete port, ride a ferry to Siquijor just like what I said above, earliest departure is at 6AM and last trip is at 6PM. Fare is PHP145.00 for 1-2 hours.
Getting around Siquijor
One day is enough to travel around Siquijor. This island is the 3rd smallest province in the Philippines both in land area and population which tops the reason why you can tour it in one day. Explore Siquijor with its mountain-dwelling views, chase waterfalls, check out mythical century old balete tree, jump in its broomstick challenge, get lost in the enchanting island, see pristine beaches, or just take photos of museums and churches. Yes! All these places in one day! Buckle up and get ready for an adventure worth remembering!
Rent a motorbike
The first tip to take this one whole day of adventure is to rent a motorbike in Braap Motorbike Rentals just beside the port, motorbike rental is PHP350.00 and full tank of gas is PHP150.00 only (good for 1 whole day). If you don’t know how to drive a motorbike, there are tricycles you can rent with a driver for PHP1000.00 in one day.
I don’t want to be a bad influence but I rented a motorbike and I’ve never tried driving a motorbike in my life, although I know how to ride a bicyle (I think it counts), I pretended I’ve been driving a motorbike for quite some time now so that they’ll allow me to rent one. So I drove one, at first I was so careful and nervous they’ll be able to tell I’m lying (haha!) but I stayed calm and just drove the damn motorbike. And voila! Got approved! (haha!) They’ll ask for a license but you can tell them you left it and they’ll ask for other valid ID’s and off you go.
San Juan, Siquijor
We first went to look for a place to leave our bags and have breakfast in San Juan. We were able to get a Family room in Hannah’s Place for PHP1300.00 and it’s good for 3 people. Next thing, we ate our breakfast at Treasure Island restaurant in Sa Juan too. After filling our tummy and dropping our bags in our hostel, we went to start our motorbike tour.
9:00AM – started our whole day Siquijor tour
Nice thing about Siquijor is that you just have to follow the main road and all the tourist spots is just beside the main road. Some are not but you can still see the signage and just follow the way. The people in this island are very helpful too, you can ask them if you’re still driving on the right track and they’ll happily give you directions.
9:20AM – ETA in Century Old Balete tree
Just a 20 minute ride from San Juan is this mythical 400 year old Balete tree. The century old tree is very hard to miss since the huge tree is just beside the main road. Instead of soil, below the tree is water coming from the tree itself. You can stay for 10 minutes to enjoy a relaxing fish spa from the water coming from the tree or longer if you want.
- Entrance Fee: PHP5.00
- Operating days/time: Open daily/6AM-6PM
10:15AM – ETA Lagaan Falls
15 minutes away from the Century old Balete tree is Lagaan Falls. There’s a signage that you can see in the main road and once you turn you’ll just have to follow the way since it’s just one route and I guarantee you won’t get confused. As you arrive there’s a PHP10.00 entrance fee and PHP10.00 parking fee. Also, there’s a 5 minute walk going to the falls.
Just like in Cambugahay, there’s also a tarzan swing but we didn’t go for a swing or swim since we just decided to swim in Cambugahay falls instead. Still, the water is refreshing and there were tourists swimming, jumping, and sliding around.
- Entrance Fee: PHP10.00; PHP10.00 parking fee
- Operating days/time: Open daily/6AM-6PM
10:45AM – ETA Hapitanan Cafe
This cafe is just beside the main road too and is 10 minutes away from Lagaan falls. You won’t be able to see it in google maps for some reason, we weren’t able to try if Waze app will work but we didn’t need it. We just asked the locals for directions and it’s very easy to spot the cafe. It’s located in an open area with a mini garden in it.
I was so excited to come here, and you shouldn’t be missing it! It’s your chance to do the famous broomstick challenge. I personally find the activity very attractive and fun to do since Siquijor is known to be the land of Witchcraft and sorcery, I think it would be fun to get a photo illusion of flying on a broomstick.
There’s no entrance fee, they will take a photo of you for free. It’s fine if you won’t be eating in the cafe just like we did but there’s a donation box where you can place a good amount of tip (up to you) as a sign of respect and a humble attitude. They sell buko juice too, and there’s a signage that says “if you can’t stay, take me away!”
- Entrance Fee: N/A
- Operating days/time: Indefinite/business hours
11:00AM – ETA Lazi Church and Convent
5-10 minutes away from Hapitanan Cafe is the Lazi Church and Convent. We decided to just take pictures of it outside but you can get inside with an entrance fee. I’m not sure of how much it cost but it won’t go beyond PHP50.00. The Church and convent is so huge I have to look for a better angle to take a picture of the whole convent. Also, the trees in here are very stunning! (I personally love trees, so.. can’t blame me!)
- Entrance Fee: PHP50.00 (estimated)
- Operating days/time: Indefinite/business hours
11:30AM – ETA Cambugahay Falls
Cambugahay falls is near the Lazi Church and Convent, it was likely 10 minute drive to Cambugahay Falls. There’s no entrance fee but you’ll have to pay PHP10.00 parking fee for each motorbike. There’s a small karenderya outside where we ate our lunch. Outside the falls, there are locals offering for a tour guide, don’t hire one. The falls is just a 5 minute walk down the stairs, you won’t be needing a guide at all.
Cambugahay Falls is one of the top tourist spot in Siquijor. Famous for its tarzan swing and stunning waterfalls. After a 5 minute walk down to the falls, you will first see the Cambugahay falls which is the main waterfall of the 2 falls. We went to the first waterfall, jump in its own tarzan swing too and swam for a few minutes then headed to the main falls. Every tarzan swing has PHP20.00 fee but it’s unlimited jumps, I only tried once. If you don’t know how to swim, don’t worry because there are life jackets available for rent almost everywhere.
At the main falls which is Cambugahay falls, we paid another PHP20.00 for an unlimited swings too. This is the highest tarzan swing and is the most famous swing circulating around the internet when in Siquijor. So don’t ever miss this swing. You can’t swim? Rent a life jacket!
We enjoyed our stay here so we spent at least an hour to swim and just relax in the water. By the way the color of the water is somewhere between green and blue. I love the color!
- Entrance Fee: PHP10.00 parking fee
- Operating days/time: Open daily/7AM-5:30PM
3:00PM – ETA Salagdoong Beach
So this is the part where we got lost! Haha! So the man responsible for looking out for our motorbike in Cambugahay falls showed us the way to Salagdoong beach but is actually the farthest way to Salagdoong! So yeah, we got lost. But we didn’t regret it since the view is mountainous and breathtaking! We just considered it as part of our adventure of literally getting lost in Siquijor. Positive thinking leads the way, as they say. Haha!
It was supposed to be a 30 minute ride to Salagdoong beach from Cambugahay falls, but instead we did it for 2 hours since we got lost. Salagdoong beach is not in the main road, there’s also a signage you’ll see that will lead you to Salagdoong beach. Just follow the way since there’s only one route. You will notice that you’re getting near Salagdoong beach when the trees are all over the narrow road and the branches are stretched from up above, giving shade on the road you’re driving and a cooler atmosphere.
Salagdoong beach is a developed resort, there’s a PHP40.00 entrance fee/parking fee and as you arrive, you’ll first see the restaurant where we had our meryenda due to a long exhausting trip. We ate torta, it looks like a muffin and it taste very sweet, not the regular torta we have in the city which is an eggplant viand.
Also, Salagdoong beach is famous for its cliff jumping site. Although we weren’t able to cliff jump due to low tide, we still enjoyed relaxing by the shore and sightseeing at the beach and taking pictures at the cliff jumping site. You can tell it’s a famous beach in Siquijor since there’s a lot of foreigners in here.
- Entrance Fee: PHP40.00
- Operating days/time: Indefinite/business hours
4:30PM ETA Guiwanon Spring Park
An hour away from the famous Salagdoong beach is the Guiwanon Spring Park. Ever wonder what to see here? Mangroves and lots of mangroves and more mangroves! The best time to come here is during the high tide season.
This was our last destination in our whole day of exploring Siquijor. And we didn’t regret it because it was so perfect to come here during sunset. When the skies change colors, the sun turns orange and the atmosphere is cool which gives it the perfect relaxing feeling of just watching the sun meet the horizon. Perfect to end your day!
- Entrance Fee: PHP10.00
- Operating days/time: Open daily/6am-6pm
6:00 AM the next day – St. Francis of Assisi Church and Siquijor marker
St. Francis of Assisi Church is the first tourist destination you’ll see upon arriving in Siquijor. You can stop by and offer a prayer before starting your whole day tour. It’s just beside the port and there’a also a Siquijor marker where you can take a picture. You can buy your pasalubongs here too.
Where to stay
There’s a lot of places where you can stay in Siquijor. Most of the budget hostels with beachfront can be found in San Juan, Siquijor. If you are a solo traveler and looking for budget place to stay, there are PHP250.00 fan room and shared bathroom that you can find around San Juan just be patient enough to look and inquire. As for us, we stayed in Hannah’s Place in San Juan just beside the main road for PHP1300.00 per night good for 3 people. The closest tourist destination here is the Paliton beach.
You can also find the accommodation that suits your preference in Agoda.
Where to eat
Known as the 3rd smallest province in the Philippines, cheap eateries is not a problem here. You can find them in the streets or while touring around. We decided to eat our breakfast in Treasure Island restaurant with a reasonable price and plus we were very hungry already so we didn’t look for karenderyas. But it’s still cool since we got to talk to the staff and they were very helpful to show us the way we will be going and even gave us a tip to not visit Paliton beach and Kagusuan beach as of the moment since there are rumored thieves roaming around the beach which is why it’s not safe for tourists in motorbikes.
After visiting Guiwanon Spring Park we ate our dinner at a baywalk in San Juan. The eateries in this baywalk only opens at night starting at 6PM so in the morning you will not see them there. We were actually surprised when we were passing here because we didn’t know they open at night. So we stopped here and got our tummies a few seafood, chicken, and BBQ after a long day of touring in Siquijor.
Budget & Expenses
Motorbike rental: PHP350.00
Full tank: PHP150.00 (good for whole day tour)
Meal: 100.00 x 3 = PHP300.00
Century Old Balete Tree: PHP5.00
Lagaan Falls: PHP10.00 entrance fee; PHP10.00 parking fee
Hapitanan Cafe: FREE
Cambugahay Falls: PHP10.00 parking fee; no entrance fee
Lazi Church and Convernt: PHP50.00 (estimated)
Salagdoong Beach: PHP40.00 entrance fee/parking fee
Guiwanon Spring Park: PHP10.00 entrance fee/parking fee
Siquijor Travel Vlog
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