Siquijor Island – A small Paradise in South Cebu
One place you have to consider going to on your travels through the Philippines is Siquijor Island. This small, little piece of pure beauty is absolutely fantastic. I have spent a couple days there, but I could have stayed a couple weeks, if i had the time, because this island is so pretty. Besides the georgous beaches, you can also find some hidden waterfalls, hiking trails and secret spots, that almost no one goes to. Does not really matter what you are searching for, Siquijor Island has something to offer for everyone.
Siquijor Island – A small Paradise in South Cebu
Guys, I have explored Siquijor Island for a couple days lately, when I was travelling the Philippines. So, I can tell you a little bit about it from personal experience, just like I always do. To tell you right from the start: I love Siquijor Island!
I have seen one of the best sunsets and beaches of my entire life there. This place is one of the best ones in the whole Philippines I guess, even though I have maybe seen about 5% of it. Nevertheless, everyone on Cebu and even at other places highly recommends Siquijor Island. It’s very known regionally and absolutely worth a trip in my opinion.
Siquijor Island: General information, costs and how to get there
Siquijor Island lies in the south of Cebu. Cebu is quite a big island that you can find ruffly in the middle of the Philippines. A journey to Siquijor Island is not that easy and comfortable I have to admit. But the reward it is definitely worth the journey.
Generally Siquijor Island is a very famous island in the Philippines, because of its history and stories. Filipinos believe, that there have been special healers and witches with insane magical powers thousands of years ago. The island inhabits about 91.000 people and it obviously has a spanish influence. Spanish invaders called Siquijor Island “Isla de fuego” – fire island – because they have seen a light looking like fire, when they sailed by.
The weather is very constant in this region. It’s a nice climate almost all year around. It barly rains. This is also a reason why Siquijor Island is visited by many tourists even though it does not feel like it.
How to get there & costs
Siquijor Island is quite small, but very beautiful. You only get there by boat. It also depends where you wanna reach it from. I came from Cebu. Thats what most people do.
First you have to get to the most southern point of Cebu by bus, starting from Cebu City (about 4 €). You have to find the southern bus terminal in Cebu and drive all the way down, which takes about 5 – 6 hours.
After that, you take the ferry to Negros (a big island west of Cebu) and then you take another bus to a small port called Dumaguete. I recommend to take the small yellow bus (11 peso/ 20 cents 🙂 ), which will take your there straight.
From that point you take another ferry to the port of Siquijor Island. Every ferry costs a couple dollars plus some terminal fees. The first one takes about 45 minutes. The second one about 1 hour. Make sure to get the last ferry from Dumaguete at 8 pm. Otherwise you will have to find a local hotel. That’s what we had to do, because we missed it.
Luckely we met a wonderful Filipino couple, which helped us out. Thanks for that 🙂 So just make sure to plan with enough time. But timing in Asia is a bitch. Everyone, who travelled there knows what I mean… 😉
All in all the whole way there and back costs you around 20 – 25 $ starting from Cebu. The total travel time is about 9-12 hours (one way).
Siquijor Island: Highlights and where to stay
Now to the fun part. Siquijor Island has a lot to do and to see. When you arrive, the first thing you should do, is to get a scooter. It is the easiest way to get around. You will also see way more of the island compared to getting driven by tricycle. Plus you are free in your decisions. You just go whereever you want very quick.
We stayed at JJ’s Backpackers, which is located in San Juan. This hostel is very good and I highly recommend it. You can sleep by the beach in tents or in very cool bamboo huts for backpacker (or higher) prices. You will find a privat very clean beach, which suppose to be the cleanest one on the island. A very beautiful spot. The whole scenery is absolutely amazing. Especially eating breakfast while watching paradise is just fantastic.
Tip: Watch out for some kind of small water snails when you relax in the ocean. They try to suck your blood out. I did not know that there animals at any beach, which do that… 🙂
What you should see as well
A couple of minutes away from JJ’s Backpackers you will find Paliton Beach. Also very pretty and nice to hang out at. Be aware of the sand flies. They can be a bit annoying.
If you drive down south starting from JJ’s Backpackers, you will eventually cross a couple bridges. Make sure to stop and eat at the first one. Does not matter, if you eat on the right or left side of the street. Both local street food restaurants are absolutely brilliant. Both places had one of the best dishes I ever had. Try the roasted chicken. When I think about the food I get very nervous again – in a good way though 😉
Also make sure to stay there and enjoy the sunset. Also one of the best ones in my whole life 🙂 Just a great spot!
There is even more
But there are also some other cool places on Siquijor Island. When you drive around, make sure to stop at Lugnason Falls, the big food market and Salagdoong Beach. Salagdoong Beach is the second very wonderful location on Siquijor Island. You will find the prettiest water colour there and a spot to jump into the ocean from (hight: 10 m). Very cool and very recommendable!
Besides that, just make sure to enjoy the beautiful surrounding nature while driving around with the scooter. Also have a look at the “San Isidro Labrador”, which is a very beautiful church. It is about to become a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Siquijor Island: What I have learned
Siquijor Island taught me something very valueble. It really did. For me, the journey to get to Siquijor Island was quite long and hard. After we got there, I immediately had the opinion that it was all worth it.
The outcome of this process is something you constantly have to remind yourself of. Good things require a lot of time. Whatever you do in life, that’s important to you or bigger personal projects, will need time to grow. It will need time until it becomes a success. Nothing good comes over night… 😉
And I am very happy that the journey to beautiful Siquijor Island told me that again.
Want to know about Whale Shark Snorkeling in Oslob? Read here