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Travel Guide to Siquijor: The Island of Fire and Magic

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If you’re seeking a distinctive and enchanting destination in the Philippines, Siquijor, known as the island of fire and magic, is worth your consideration. Our Siquijor Travel Guide provides insights on how to plan a trip to this remarkable place. You’ll discover the must-see attractions, accommodation and dining options, and how to maximize your time on this mystical island. Whether your interests lie in history, culture, adventure, or relaxation, Siquijor offers something for every traveler. Join us in uncovering the mysteries of this captivating island of fire and magic.

Siquijor Overview

Siquijor, a captivating island province in the Central Visayas, covers just 337.49 square kilometers, yet it’s a land of contrasts. With a scenic coastline stretching 102 kilometers and a rugged interior crowned by the 628-meter-high Mount Malabahoc, this tiny province boasts a rich history and culture, shaped by diverse local and foreign influences.

Reasons to Explore Siquijor:

  • Pristine Beaches: Siquijor’s untouched beaches beckon without the crowds.
  • Easy Exploration: Its compact size lets you explore its wonders in a day or two, whether on a rented motorcycle or by tricycle.
  • Authentic Charm: The island’s underrated status ensures an authentic experience, steeped in local culture.
  • Natural Wonders: Siquijor’s appeal goes beyond beaches, with waterfalls, caves, forests, and coral reefs for swimming, snorkeling, diving, and hiking.
  • Disconnect and Relax: Detox from the noise of modern life and unplug from social media while basking in the island’s peaceful serenity.
  • Provincial Life: Experience the simple and charming provincial life, partake in local festivals and rituals, and celebrate traditions with the welcoming Siquijor community.
Philippines Siquijor
Philippines Siquijor

Top Things to Do in Siquijor

  • Cambugahay Falls: Dive into the pristine waters of the three-tiered Cambugahay Falls, a Siquijor gem. Swing from a rope, plunge into the crystal-clear pools, or simply unwind on bamboo rafts. A short walk down some stairs from the main road gets you there for a mere 10 pesos entrance fee.
  • Old Enchanted Balete Tree: Explore the mystical 400-year-old Balete Tree in Barangay Campalanas, Lazi. Used for sacred rituals, it offers a unique fish spa experience where friendly fish nibble at your feet. For a small entrance fee of 5 pesos, you can also purchase souvenirs and snacks from nearby stalls.
  • Salagdoong Beach: Find excitement at Salagdoong Beach, Maria, featuring cliff diving, a slide, and a diving board. Take in the serene turquoise waters and impressive rock formations or extend your stay with a cottage or room at Salagdoong Beach Resort. The entrance fee is 30 pesos per person and 20 pesos for parking.
  • Tubod Marine Sanctuary: Dive into Tubod Marine Sanctuary in San Juan near Coco Grove Beach Resort to witness a diverse coral reef and mangrove forest, teeming with colorful marine life including fish and turtles. For a 50-peso entrance fee, rent snorkeling or diving gear from the resort’s dive shop.
  • Siquijor Butterfly Sanctuary: Immerse yourself in local culture and history at the Siquijor Butterfly Sanctuary in Lazi. Here, you’ll encounter over 20 butterfly species, learn about their life cycle, and contribute to conservation efforts. The entrance fee is 100 pesos per person, and don’t forget to explore the butterfly-themed souvenirs at the gift shop.
  • Cantabon Cave: Embark on an adventure in Cantabon Cave, Siquijor town’s natural wonder filled with stalactites, stalagmites, intriguing rock formations, and a crystal-clear pool. To navigate this 800-meter-long cave, hire a guide, bring a flashlight, and pay a 20-peso entrance fee, along with 500 pesos for the guide. Ensure you wear suitable clothing and shoes to tackle the cave’s wet and muddy terrain.
Philippines Siquijor Old Enchanted Balete Tree
Old Enchanted Balete Tree

Where to Stay in Siquijor

San Juan Town:

If you’re drawn to beaches and dining, San Juan Town is your ideal haven. With a cluster of resorts and restaurants, it’s the hub for beach enthusiasts. Check out the Coco Grove Beach Resort, a top-rated choice that features a pool bar, a marine reserve, and exceptional service.

Siquijor Town: 

Opt for Siquijor Town for proximity to the port without compromising access to restaurants and beaches in San Juan. Enjoy affordable accommodation at Isla Inn, offering a garden, terrace, and complimentary WiFi.

Lazi Town:

If waterfalls tickle your fancy, Lazi Town is your spot with the renowned Cambugahay Falls and the island’s oldest church. Unique stays await at Glamping Siquijor by the Beach, which provides sea-view tents, barbecue facilities, and bicycle rentals.

Larena Town:

Larena serves as the island’s commercial hub, home to the second seaport, banks, an array of restaurants, and a handful of resorts. Pamper yourself at Infinity Heights Resort, a luxurious option featuring breathtaking views, delectable cuisine, and a serene setting.

Philippines Siquijor Hotel Coco Grove Beach Resort
Coco Grove Beach Resort in San Juan Town

How Many Days to Stay in Siquijor

The time you spend in Siquijor can range from 1 to 5 days, depending on your preferences. Nonetheless, to fully savor the island’s charm and explore its highlights, most travelers suggest a minimum stay of 3 days. Below, you’ll find sample itineraries tailored to different durations:

  • 1 Day: For a swift island tour, rent a motorbike or enlist a tricycle driver. Check out the Balete Tree, Cambugahay Falls, Lazi Church and Convent, Salagdoong Beach, and Capilay Spring Park.
  • 2 Days: With an extra day, you can leisurely explore each attraction. Consider adding Kagusuan Beach, Tulapos Marine Sanctuary, Guiwanon Spring Park, and Cantabon Cave to your itinerary. Catch a mesmerizing sunset at Paliton Beach or Coco Grove Beach Resort.
  • 3 Days: Extend your stay for a relaxed pace, indulging in activities like snorkeling, diving, kayaking, or stand-up paddleboarding. Delve into lesser-known gems such as Lugnason Falls, Mt. Bandilaan National Park, Cang-Isok House, and the Siquijor Butterfly Sanctuary.
Philippines Siquijor Cambugahay Falls
Cambugahay Falls

Siquijor Weather & Best Time to Visit Siquijor

Siquijor boasts a tropical climate, characterized by consistent warmth and humidity year-round. The typical temperatures fall within the range of 77°F to 88°F (25°C to 31°C), while the sea remains inviting for swimming throughout the year. Nevertheless, it’s essential to consider the impact of seasons and rainfall.

For the most favorable weather conditions, plan your visit to Siquijor between late February and mid-April or from early May to early June. During these periods, rainfall is at its lowest, and sunshine hours peak, ensuring an ideal backdrop for outdoor adventures and the island’s natural splendor.

Conversely, the least favorable time to explore Siquijor is from July to October when the island experiences heavy rainfall and an elevated risk of typhoons. These months also bring sweltering heat and heightened humidity, which can make your journey uncomfortable. Muddy, slippery roads and potential flooding or landslides can disrupt travel plans.

The shoulder seasons of November to January and June to July present another option for your Siquijor visit, offering milder temperatures, moderate rainfall, and reduced humidity. However, anticipate more cloud cover and reduced sunshine, requiring you to carry a raincoat or umbrella and maintain flexibility in your schedule.

Siquijor Transportation: How to Get to and Travel around

How to Get to Siquijor

From Manila: The swiftest and most convenient option is to fly from Manila to Dumaguete and then catch a ferry to Siquijor. The flight lasts about 1.5 hours, followed by a 1 to 2-hour ferry ride, with a total cost ranging from ₱2,560 to ₱11,900. Alternatively, you can opt for a more economical but lengthy route: a ferry from Manila to Tagbilaran, then another ferry from Tagbilaran to Siquijor, spanning approximately 35 hours and costing about ₱3,808 to ₱4,088.

From Cebu: For expediency, consider flying from Cebu to Dumaguete, followed by a ferry to Siquijor. The flight is approximately 40 minutes, with a 1 to 2-hour ferry journey, and a total cost ranging from ₱1,500 to ₱6,000. Alternatively, take a bus from Cebu City to Liloan or Bato, then board a ferry from Liloan or Bato to Sibulan or Dumaguete, and finally another ferry from Sibulan or Dumaguete to Siquijor. While this option is more budget-friendly, it extends your travel time to about 5.5 to 8 hours and costs roughly ₱685 to ₱1,000.

From Bohol: The most straightforward approach is to embark on a ferry journey from Tagbilaran to Siquijor, taking around 2 hours and incurring a cost of about ₱800. Another option involves taking a ferry from Tagbilaran to Dumaguete, followed by another ferry to Siquijor. Although slightly more time-consuming and costly, this route spans approximately 3 hours and has an estimated cost of ₱1,000.

Ferry from Bohol to Siquijor

How to Travel around Siquijor

Tricycle Hire: Opting for a tricycle driver is a convenient and cost-effective choice to tour the island’s attractions. You can discuss the price and your preferred itinerary with the driver, who may also act as a guide. Typically, this service costs approximately ₱1,000 to ₱1,500 per day for a group of two to four people.

Multi-Cab Rental: If you’re traveling with a sizable group or seeking added comfort and space, consider renting a multi-cab. These small trucks come with rear seats and can accommodate up to 10 passengers. Renting a multi-cab usually includes the driver and fuel, costing around ₱2,000 to ₱2,500 per day.

Bike Rental: For a popular and enjoyable means of exploring Siquijor at your own pace, bike rentals are an excellent choice. You can rent a motorbike or scooter for approximately ₱300 to ₱400 per day, or a bicycle for around ₱100 to ₱200 per day.

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