Siquijor Island Ultimate Travel Guide

  • Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Ey guys, let’s explore Siquijor Island. 

One of the tiniest islands in the Philippines (after Camiguin and Batanes) located in Central Visayas southeast of Cebu and Negros. It is home to pristine white sand beaches, stunning waterfalls, verdant mountains, hidden caves, abundant marine sanctuaries and antiquated churches and convents. It is also known for its sorcery and witchcraft which I guess has hindered many people in discovering what this island has to offer. Actually I was secretly expecting some supernatural encounter during this trip! LOL and I think we did which I will elaborate on my succeeding posts. Today, the beauty & grandeur of the island is no longer a secret. Many tourists most especially foreigners are starting flock the island because of its stunning white sand beaches and its laid back relaxing vibe.
So if you are planning to visit Siquijor anytime soon, heres some basic information you need to know to help you plan out your trip.

How to get there?
From Manila
Since there are no direct flights to Siquijor from Manila, you must fly to Dumaguete, the capital of Negros Oriental, where commercial airlines Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific offer direct flights.
From the airport terminal, you can take a 15-20 minute taxi ride or tricycle going to sea port near the boulevard. Fare is around 100-400 pesos depending on your ability to haggle.
ARCHIEs NOTES: if you are traveling on a budget you can walk past the airport gate to the main road to get a tricycle and just pay the regular fare.

From Dumaguete
Once at the pier, you can ride an airconditioned fastcraft or the non-aircon RORO ferry to the town of Siquijor. There are several shipping lines that operates daily going to town of Siquijor. Major shipping lines includes high speed ferry like Delta Shipping fast craft which has 3 trips daily to Siquijor, Jay Lan Ferry which has the most number of trips for 6 times daily except Saturdays and Oceanjet ferry has only one trip daily at 1pm. The fare in fast craft is about 190-210 pesos (4-5USD) per person plus terminal fee which travels for about 45minutes to an hour. Montenegro Shipping line has RORO trip going to Siquijor twice daily at 10am and 6pm for 140 with travel time for about 2 hours. The fares stated are as of 2014.
One may also reach Siquijor by a charter a light aircraft from Dumaguete to an airstrip on Siquijor. The flight is about 10 minutes but it’s quiet pricey.
Once you reach the Pier, immediately go inside and buy the earliest ferry ticket you can get going to Siquijor. Usually, Trip starts around 9AM hourly (schedule may vary) until around 3PM. But you want to get the earliest trip so that you will have more time exploring Siquijor. There are air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned ferries and the Ticket + Terminal Fee cost around P150 (3-4USD).

From Cebu & Bohol
From Bohol, you may take Oceanjet Ferry to Dumaguete Port. There are trips twice daily which cost about 650 (15USD) pesos for 2 hours travel time.
From Cebu, you may opt to take RORO by Cokaliong shipping which is about 6 hours of travel time for P550 (12-13 USD) or a much faster ferry Oceanjet Fast craft which is about 3hours travel time for P800 (18-19 USD).

From Bacolod
There are several trips daily from Bacolod going to Dumaguete via Ceres Liner. Travel time is around 5-6 hours via Mabinay route. The fare is around 300-400 pesos (9-10 USD) depending if it is an aircon or non-aircon bus.

Going around Siquijor
The island of Siquijor is pretty small and can be tour around in one day if you are already certain on destinations you want to go to. But in my experience one day is not enough to squeeze in all the must-see attractions on the island. It would be pointless if you will just take a visit and just spend a few minutes on a particular place to do a selfie
ARCHIEs NOTES: If you have no choice and you only have a day to go around the island, then just go for quality rather quantity.
There are several ways of going around the island which is mostly by well paved roads and most tourist spots are just along the highway.

TRICYCLE TOUR- the most common mode of transportation is tricycle. Tricycle tour is available on the pier upon arrival which you can hire for the entire day. The standard rate is 1000 pesos (23-25 USD) but you can try to bargain for as low as 800 pesos (18-20 USD) which can accommodate 3-4 persons. For larger group there are also mini van and private cars you can rent for 1500-2500 for the entire day. There are six of us on the first day we went around the island so we decided to hire an SUV to tour us around the island.

MOTOR BIKE- motorcycle is also a popular means of transportation especially among solo tavelers. There are motorcycle for rent at the Siquijor port and also in different resorts and guesthouses. The rentals start at 250 pesos (5-6 USD) per day but you have to refill your own gas.
ARCHIEs NOTES: Try to travel in groups to cut cost. The more the merrier!

Where to Stay?
The island has a wide range of resorts and guesthouses that can cater to any budget. You can opt stay in a high end resort or in a backpackers guesthouse depending on how much money you want to spend for comfort.
ARCHIEs NOTES: it doesn’t mean that since you’re staying in a backpacker’s inn you don’t get to enjoy the view of the sea.

Here are my recommendations:
BUDGET ACCOMODATION- In the town of San Juan, 45 minutes ride from Siquijor town proper there are a wide range of  backpackers guesthouses scattered along the coastline of San Juan. I personally chose to stay here because on the uninterrupted view of the sea, the stunning sunset and it’s laid back vibe. You can choose to stay Lorna’s End of the World Guesthouse where you can get a fan room with its own toilet and bath for 400 pesos a night good for 2 persons. It has a very limited number of rooms so I advised you to book early before your travel dates. Another nice beachfront guesthouse is Casa Miranda, where a fan room with its own toilet and bath is also 400 per night also good for 2 persons.
MIDRANGE ACCOMODATION- In the town of Larena, just around 10-15minutes from Siquijor port we passed by Blue Wave Resort where our friends stayed. You have to travel a few meters from the main highway going inside the resort which has its own beach front area. They have fan room cabanas and airconditioned rooms, a small balcony and a restaurant overlooking the ocean, wifi ready and the staff is very accommodating. But their rooms looks a bit old and poorly maintained. What I love about this place is it has its own beach, the laid back atmosphere and the free wifi. However the place looks a bit old and the room looks poorly maintained. Room rates ranges 1800-2500 depending on the rooms.
HIGH END ACCOMODATION – Infinity Heights Resorts gives you one of the most breathtaking view of the sunset.  Situated on a mountain in Barangay Pili, it gives an amazing 180-degree view of the sea. The cone-roofed cabanas are scattered along the hill with well-manicured lawn that leads to the stunning infinity pool overlooking the sea. They also have a restaurant that serves very good food but a little bit pricey and a jungle bar on the edge of the mountain where you can just chill enjoying a few drinks while waiting for the sun to set. The rates of their cabanas ranges from 3,600 pesos to 4,800 pesos per night with breakfast included.

What to do?
For an island surrounded by beaches, you can surely expect a lot of water activities in the place. Majority of the places we visited had some sort of water involved so it a must to bring your swimming gears and underwater cameras. I have outlined my must to do list in this post.
Archie's Notes: The place is very laid back & sleepy town which is perfect for extreme relaxation so if you are looking for parties and night life this destination isn’t the place for you.

We went on a weekend and did a little side trip in Dumaguete on our way to the island. So this destination is perfect if you have long weekend holidays. Here is my suggested 3D/2N itinerary we did last summer.
So tell me what do you think? I hope this article helped you plan your Siquijor getaway. I decided to make a series of posts from our Siquijor Island experience so stay tuned for the upcoming posts. The best is yet to come. I promise you’ll love it. Thank you for dropping by!

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