Last Updated on April 27, 2023 by Tina
For most Filipinos, Siquijor is famous for stories of magic potions, sorcerers, and witchcraft. I guess this is the reason why not too many Filipinos explore this beautiful island. When I was there in January 2019, most of the tourists are foreigners. In the hostel that I stayed at, I was the only Filipino guest. And when I went back there a few weeks ago, it was still the same. Siquijor is still on my top 3 of my favorite islands in the Philippines. It has amazing sunsets, beautiful waterfalls, and white sand beaches with crystal clear waters. There’s something about Siquijor that makes you want to stay there forever. I originally wrote this post as a solo travel guide to Siquijor but I am updating this post as a guide for anyone planning to visit Siquijor, whether you’re going solo, or with someone else (like I did last time).
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Located in the Central Visayas Region in the Philippines, Siquijor is the third smallest province in the country. The province can be explored in just one day. It is a small island midway between Visayas and Mindanao Islands. It is bounded on the north by the island of Cebu, Bohol to the northwest, Negros Island to the west, Camiguin to the east, and mainland Mindanao to the south. Facing its northern shores is Bohol Strait while at the southeast shores is the Mindanao Sea.
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Is Siquijor Open to Tourists?
Siquijor is now open to everyone. They no longer ask for any requirements when you visit the island. Tests and vaccination certificates are no longer required.
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Best Months to Visit Siquijor
Siquijor has a tropical climate. Rainfall is significant in most months of the year. Its rainy season is from May to January with October being the wettest month. On average, the warmest month is May and the coolest month is January. April is the driest month. The best time to go to Siquijor is right after the rainy season, January because it won’t be too hot, there is not much rain and everything is green.
How To Get To Siquijor
Siquijor has its own airport but has no commercial operations yet. People who want to go to Siquijor normally take a flight from Manila to Dumaguete in Negros Oriental then take a ferry to Siquijor. Tagbilaran in Bohol could also be an option as there is a ferry to Larena, Siquijor from Tagbilaran. If you are in another country and would like to avoid Manila, you can fly to Cebu and take a ferry to Siquijor via Tagbilaran. Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines (PAL) have daily flights to Dumaguete, Tagbilaran, and Cebu.
How to get to Siquijor from Manila via Dumaguete
From Manila, fly to Dumaguete via Cebu Pacific or PAL. Then from the airport, walk to the highway and hail a tricycle. Ask to be dropped off at Dumaguete Sea Port. (Fare is cheaper if you get the tricycle outside the airport. Based on my experience in 2019, tricycles inside charge Php 50 more than those outside. The highway is just a 2-minute walk.) At the port, buy a ticket and board a ferry to Siquijor. There are different shipping lines bound for Siquijor:
Ocean Jet is more expensive than the others but the tricycle driver recommended it and said it is safer (and faster). In case you are taking Ocean Jet, their ticketing office is outside the port about a 2-3 minute walk. The fare is Php 350 (~US$ 7) for the Tourist Class/Open Air and Php 580 (~US$ 11.60) for the Business Class. Their schedule for Dumaguete to Siquijor is as follows: 7:20, and 19:20. You can also book in advance online with Bookaway.
Montenegro Shipping Lines has daily trips from Dumaguete to Siquijor too. The regular fare is Php 234, the student fare is Php 187, and the senior citizen fare is Php 167. Their schedule for Dumaguete to Siquijor is as follows: 7:00, 10:00, 14:00, and 18:20.
How to get to Siquijor from Cebu via Tagbilaran
If you are traveling from Cebu, Ocean Jet has a connecting trip Cebu – Tagbilaran – Siquijor. The schedule is 13:00 for the Cebu to Tagbilaran trip and 15:20 for the Tagbilaran – Siquijor trip. The fare from Cebu to Tagbilaran is Php 800 (~US$ 16) for the Tourist Class/Open Air and Php 1200 (~US$ 24) for the Business Class. The fare from Tagbilaran to Siquijor is the same, Php 800 (~US$ 16) for the Tourist Class/Open Air and Php 1200 (~US$ 24) for the Business Class. You can book your Cebu to Siquijor trip in advance online with Bookaway.
If you’re traveling from Cebu, I highly recommend spending a few days in Bohol (where Tagbilaran is located) before going to Siquijor. Bohol is where you can see the smallest primate in the world- the Philippine Tarsier. The province is also home to the famous Chocolate Hills and has beautiful white sand beaches. If you have limited time, 2 or 3 days in Bohol is enough to explore the province. I’ll publish a travel guide for Bohol next time.
How to get to Siquijor from Tagbilaran
You can easily travel from Tagbilaran, Bohol to Siquijor and vice versa by ferry. Apekop and Ocean Jet have daily trips to Siquijor from Tagbilaran.
Ocean Jet has daily trips to Siquijor at 15:20. The fare from Tagbilaran to Siquijor is Php 800 (~US$ 16) for the Tourist Class/Open Air and Php 1200 (~US$ 24) for the Business Class. You can buy a ticket at the ticketing office of Ocean Jet near Tagbilaran Port. You can also book online through Bookaway or Klook.
Apekop is another company that has daily trips from Tagbilaran to Siquijor. I haven’t personally tried this but my roommate at the hostel was able to and she said it was fine. Their schedule is 10:00 and the fare is Php 750 (~US$ 15).
Mobile Signal and Internet Connection in Siquijor
Mobile signal is available in Siquijor but there are spots that have very weak or no signal at all. There is mobile data but in most areas the signal is intermittent. Most hotels and hostels have a free wifi connection. If you are planning to work online while in Siquijor, it is doable. You just have to find accommodation with really good wifi. I highly recommend Stella’z Guesthouse. We stayed there for 2 nights, and I worked while we were there. I also managed to attend a Zoom meeting, and the connection was good.
Getting Around Siquijor
There are several ways of getting around Siquijor. Public transport is not a good option as there are very limited trips available.
- Rent a motorbike- If you are traveling alone, and you know how to drive a motorbike, renting one is the cheapest option. There are motorbikes for rent available in shops near the port. Some hostels and hotels have motorbikes for rent too which cost around Php 350 to 400 (~USD 7-8) per day. We rented our motorbike in PLS Motor Bike Rental Siquijor for Php 350 per day. The shop is located near the port, across St. Francis de Assisi church. You can message them in advance at +639753142903. Stella’z Guesthouse has available motorbikes for rent too at Php 350 per 24 hours.
- Charter a tricycle- If like me you don’t know how to drive a motorbike and you are traveling alone, you can hire one of the tricycle drivers waiting outside the port. Tricycle fare from Larena port to San Juan (where most hostels and hotels are located) costs around Php 600 (~USD 12). The tricycle drivers also offer tours.
- Hire a multi-cab or van- If you have a big group, hiring a van or multi-cab is the best option. It costs around Php 3000 (~60 USD). You can hire a van/multi-cab near the port.
Where to Stay in Siquijor
Siquijor is a small province with only six towns- Enrique Villanueva, Larena, Lazi, Maria, San Juan, and Siquijor. Siquijor is the provincial capital of Siquijor Island. It is where the Siquijor Port is located.
The main tourist area on the island is San Juan. It is where most hotels, hostels, bars, and famous restaurants are located although there are also hotels in other towns. Most tourists visiting Siquijor stay in San Juan. Paliton Beach, Tubod Marine Sanctuary, and Lugnason Falls are located in this town.
Lazi is where Cambugahay Falls, Lazi Convent, San Isidro Labrador Church, and the Century Old Balete Tree are located. Salagdoong Beach, with a platform where people can go cliff jumping, is located in the town of Maria.
Siquijor has a range of options for accommodations depending on your budget. From luxury hotels to backpacker’s hostels, Siquijor got you covered. You could do glamping on the island too.
Where to stay in San Juan, Siquijor
I stayed at Cliff Garden Hostel during my solo trip to Siquijor in 2019. It is not located in the central part of San Juan, where most hotels/hostels and restaurants are located. What I love there though is hanging out by the cliff every afternoon, watching the sunset. And at night when it is dark, you can see fireflies. A dorm bed costs Php 350 (~US$ 7) a night. Other hostels that are highly recommended by backpackers are Fable Hostel, Wonderland, Lazy Lizard, Tori’s Backpacker’s Paradise, and Love Shack.
During our trip to Siquijor recently, we stayed at Stella’z Guesthouse. I highly recommend this guesthouse. It has a good location- just a 5 to 10 minutes motorbike ride to the center of San Juan. It is near the beach. The room is clean and big and the bed is comfortable. The bathroom is wide and has a hot and cold shower. There is a big closet and a mini ref in the room. And as mentioned above, the internet connection is good. Lastly, the staff are very friendly and accommodating and the room is reasonably priced, maybe cheap even. To know more about this accommodation, check out my Stella’z Guesthouse review.
For fancy accommodation, a popular choice among tourists is Coco Grove Resort. It is a huge property along San Juan Beach and has a wide array of amenities such as a swimming pool, restaurant, and pool bars.
If you want to do glamping, check out Glamping Siquijor by the Beach.
Where to Stay in Lazi, Siquijor
If you’d like to experience living in a jungle, I highly recommend Jungle Hut Siquijor. It is a cute bamboo Airbnb cabin in Lazi located near the Enchanted River. It is a 10 to 15-minute walk to Cambugahay Falls.
Where to Eat in Siquijor
On my solo trip to Siquijor in 2019, for my first two nights I only ate at the restaurant of Cliff Garden Hostel because it was a bit far from the area where most restaurants are located. I don’t know how to drive a motorbike and there aren’t tricycles around the area. But on my third day, I met a Taiwanese girl at the hostel and she has a motorbike which she rented at Larena. Because of her, I was able to try Baha Bar and Monkey Business. These are the ones I have tried:
One of the most popular restaurants in Siquijor is the Baha Bar. It has a relaxed vibe and good food. There is also a live band playing. I have to warn you though that it can get very busy so even giving out your order takes time (because there aren’t waiters in sight). It also takes a long time for the food to arrive and the food is a bit pricey.
Triad Coffee Shop
Located at the top of a mountain in Larena, this coffee shop has an amazing view of the coastline. And their food is not that bad either.
U.Story is a resort with a restaurant located near the hostel where I stayed at, Cliff Garden Hostel. It has a zen atmosphere and the decoration is Balinese-inspired. The food is really good and reasonably priced. You can eat in the garden where you have a really nice view of the sea. The resort also has a lounge area that leads down to a stone staircase that runs into a swimming cove. Even though we only ate in the restaurant and are not booked in the guesthouse, we were allowed to hang out by the lounge area and swim at the cove.
A must visit when you are in Siquijor. A nice place with really good food and drinks. The restaurant has a very chill vibe. They offer Asian and European cuisine.
Siquijor Tour Packages
There are two types of tour packages in Siquijor, the Mountain Tour and the Island Tour. If you have very limited time, I recommend skipping the Mountain Tour.
- Mountain Tour– Mt. Bandilaan, Butterfly Sanctuary, Cantabon Cave, Triad View Park, Guiwanon Spring Park, and Lugnason Falls
- Island Tour– St. Francis de Assisi Church, Old Enchanted Balete Tree, Lazi Church and Convent, Cambugahay Falls, Salagdoong Beach Resort, Paliton Beach, and Capilay Spring Park
The standard rate for a tricycle day tour in Siquijor is Php 1500 (~USD 30). Toto Arvin is a DOT Accredited drive/tourguide. You can contact him at +639667651000.
Siquijor Tourist Attractions
One of the most beautiful waterfalls I have ever seen. It is a three-tiered waterfall with natural pools and clear waters that can be reached by going down the one hundred thirty-five stone steps. You can swing by the rope and jump over the water. There is no entrance fee to the waterfalls but there is a parking fee of Php 20 (~US$ 0.4).
Another waterfall in Siquijor, this is a great spot for adrenaline junkies. They can climb the side of the falls and cliff jump from the top.
This beach is claimed to be the island’s most beautiful beach and locals dubbed it as little Boracay of Siquijor. It has powdery white sand, clear turquoise waters, and tall coconut trees. I love this beach so much that when my guide noticed that I wasn’t enjoying the Mountain Tour he brought me to the beach again.
St. Francis de Assisi Church
One of the old famous churches in Siquijor, it is a well-known landmark as it is just a hop away from the local port. In front of the church is a Welcome to Siquijor signage.
Old Enchanted Balete Tree
A 400+-year-old Balete Tree, it is considered as the oldest and the biggest in the island of Siquijor. A natural spring flows underneath the tree to a man-made pool where fishes swim around. You can have a fish spa at the man-made pool. Entrance fee is Php 20 (~US$ 0.4).
Hapitanan Cafe and Restaurant
Many tourists drop by this place after visiting the Old Enchanted Balete Tree to do the broomstick challenge. There is no entrance fee here, but you can leave tip in the tip box.
Lazi Church and Convent
The San Isidro Labrador Church, also known as Lazi Church, is one of the oldest churches in the island. Known for its huge convent located across the church, it was declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines.
Salagdoong Beach Resort
One of the most popular beaches in Siquijor, it has fine white sand and crystal blue waters. Another spot for adrenaline junkies, it has a 20 ft and 30 ft platform where one can go cliff jumping.
As of April 8, 2023, Salagdoong Beach is temporarily closed. You can go there to take pictures, but you can not go cliff jumping or swim in the sea.
Capilay Spring Park
Situated in the middle of the town park, it is a natural cold spring pool where locals love to hang out.
It is the highest point of Siquijor Island at 632 meters above sea level. There is a viewing platform at the top and it takes about 20 minutes to climb the stairs from the parking area. Don’t expect too much though as high trees cover most of the view of the island.
Located close to the highest point on the island, this is a place where you can observe and get close to the butterflies. The entrance fee is Php 100 (~US$ 2).
It is the most famous cave on the island. You need to hire a guide to explore the cave. Inside the cave runs a subterranean stream.
Guiwanon Spring Park
This is mainly a mangrove forest with elevated pathways made of wooden planks going to the open sea. At the end of the pathway looks like a bar/coffee shop. The bar is a good place to do sightseeing. There are also a few wooden houses on some trees that are for rent if you want to stay overnight.
Additional Tips When Visiting Siquijor
- Don’t forget to bring sunblock. You’ll be staying under the sun for very long periods of time so better protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
- Insect repellent may come in handy too.
- Philippine peso is the currency used on the island. Make sure you exchange your money to the local currency in big cities before going there to avoid having the problem of looking for money changers.
- There are banks on the island where you can withdraw money but I suggest bringing enough cash before going just in case the machines are offline.
- The island is very safe even for solo female travelers but as in any place, don’t leave your things especially your valuables unattended. There has been a reported theft incident in Cambugahay Falls.
- If you are in Dumaguete and want to do a day trip to Siquijor, you can book a tour with Klook. You will be picked up from your accommodation in Dumaguete. Click on the link to find out more about the tour.
Hope you find this guide useful. If you have any questions, feel free to email me or write them down in the comments section. And if you like my writing, consider donating to my cheesecake fund. It takes a lot of time to come up with something meaningful to write- a slice of cheesecake really helps and it’s up to you what the cheesecake is worth.