A complete travel guide to Siquijor Island featuring the best things to do and the best tourist spots for your adventure itinerary.
Siquijor Island is an epic, off-the-beaten-path tropical island of the Philippines off the coast of Negros.
For those that make it here, you’ll be rewarded with epic jungle waterfalls, healthy coral reefs, plenty of sea turtles, palm-lined, white sand beaches, friendly locals, and some great cliff jumps!
In this travel guide to Siquijor Island, I’ll cover the best things to do, as well as the best tourist spots to mark out for your Siquijor itinerary. I’ve also included a bunch of photos from my trip that I hope will inspire you to visit this one-of-a-kind island gem!
- About Siquijor Island, The Philippines
- How to Get to Siquijor Island
- Siquijor Travel Guide: Best Things to do in 2023
- Where To Stay on Siquijor
- About the Best Siquijor Tourist Spots
- Siquijor Island Itinerary: How Long to Spend?
- Siquijor Island Weather & Things to Know
- More Philippines Travel Guides and Adventure Inspiration
About Siquijor Island, The Philippines
Siquijor Island is a small island. However, at approximately 343.5 km² in size, it's still a fairly big place to explore!
The main tourist area is San Juan, which is a long stretch of coastline on the southwest side of the island. Here, you'll find some of the most popular Siquijor tourist attractions, seaside hotels, beautiful beaches, and affordable beach resorts.
While Siquijor Island does have tourism infrastructure, it's much less developed than what you might expect to find on Cebu or El Nido and therfore you can expect a more laid back vibe. Most people speak very good English and are very friendly and accommodating to travelers.
How to Get to Siquijor Island
Siquijor Island does have an airport, but flying is the most expensive option. Instead, you can reach it easily via ferry from neighboring Filipino Islands: Cebu, Bohol, and Negros Oriental.
Below are your best options for getting here before checking out all the epic tourist spots and ticking off things to do!
Option 1: Guided Tour from Dumaguete
If you're short on time, or just simply looking to explore the island on a day trip, then you're in luck.
There's one very popular tour running from nearby Dumaguete which seriously cuts the costs of exploring Siquijor Island.
Check price: Guided island tour option for Siquijor
This trip includes:
- Hotel pickup/drop-off in Dumaguete
- Private tour around Siquijor island
- Return ticket ferry included
- History tour with visit to century-old churches
- Take a dip in the turquoise waters of Cambugahay Falls and see the famous 400+-year-old Balete Tree
- End the day at the famous Triad Cafe for views of Negros and Boho
This trip is really affordable and can actually work out cheaper than doing things independently.
Option 2: Direct Ferry From Dumaguete to Siquijor
The cheapest way to get to Siquijor Island if you're taking the independent/backpacker route is to first fly to Dumaguete.
Once you're in Dumaguete, you can book a 50-minute ferry to Siquijor easily online. I recommend the OceanJet ferry as they are fast, reliable, and cost-effective and depart from the easy-to-get-to ferry terminal.
Option 3: Siquijor From Bohol
Book: Bohol Ferry
There's also a ferry running from Bohol in the north. This is a good option if you are planning an island-hopping adventure in the Philippines. I suggest Cebu > Bohol > Siquijor as an epic itinerary.
Option 4: Siquijor Island from Cebu
Cebu is the most popular island in this region of the Philippines. Here, you'll find epic waterfalls, jungle, and diving.
If you're planning to visit Siquijor from Cebu city, then head to the south (Liloan Port). There's just one ferry going to Siquijor from Cebu daily and you can't book it online. This option is great if you're on a backpacker's budget as it only costs 190 PHP per person (pay on arrival).
However, when we tried this option, the ferry was canceled last minute, forcing us to change our plans and visit Dumaguete instead.
Siquijor Travel Guide: Best Things to do in 2023
Alright, with the logistics out of the way, let's dive into the reason you're really here– to discover all the epic things to do on Siquijor Island (and the best tourist spots!).
1. Visit Cambugahay Falls
Visiting Cambugahay Falls is by far the most popular thing to do on Siquijor Island. This epic waterfall features 3 tiers of magical cascades and crystal-clear blue water lagoons.
Due to it blowing up on social media, Cambugahay Falls is one of the most popular Siquijor tourist spots. My advice is to get here early to beat the crowds!
2. Sunset on Paliton Beach
Travelers will find Paliton Beach on the northern end of San Juan town. This awesome beach is arguably the most popular tourist spot on Siquijor Island, featuring white, sandy shores, coconut palm trees, and picturesque swings.
Paliton Beach is a great spot to spend the sunset! We made it a ritual on our Siquijor itinerary to head down here each night as the sun set on the horizon.
3. Explore The Siquijor Circumferential Road By Motorbike
Alright, like all the epic islands of the Philippines, the best way to explore Siquijor is by renting your own motorbike and exploring attractions along the main road.
You'll find motorbike rental anywhere along San Juan for about 250-350 pesos per day.
Once you've got your set of wheels, dot out all the tourist spots on your Siquijor itinerary and hit the Circumferential Road. This is the sealed road wrapping around the whole island. All the best highlights and attractions including the waterfalls and most popular beaches are found along the way, albeit with a few small detours.
We found that everywhere we drove on the island we were greeted with friendly smiles and waves!
Tip: Siquijor Island is an adventure playground! If you're planning to rent motorbikes, I highly recommend travel insurance by WorldNomads. I swear by them as they are one of the only companies offering adventure insurance with cover for things like motorbikes.
Did you know: The Spaniards gave Siquijor the name “Isla del Fuego,” or, “Island of Fire" due to the many swarms of fireflies that inhabit the vegetation on the island.
4. Cliff Jump at Salagdoong Beach
If you're up for an adventure, the drive out to Salagdoong Beach on the far eastern tip of Siquijor Island will be right up your alley!
This beach is famous for its forest entry and awesome cliff jumps.
You'll find 2x concrete diving boards here. One at 5 meters and the taller at 10 meters. Even if you're not an adrenaline-type of traveler, visiting this popular Siquijor tourist spot is still one of the best things to do, so add it to your itinerary!
5. Visit the Ancient Balete Tree
The century-old enchanted balete tree is a popular attraction and tourist spot to visit on the island of Siquijor. The Balete is a type of fig tree that grows in the Philippines and is known as the "strangler fig" in other parts of the world.
This awesome tree is worth a quick stop and is located not far from the south end of San Juan, just before the town of Lazi. It's said that this tree is over 400 years old! Titas Travels writes a great article about it.
6. Rope Swing at Lagaan Falls
Looking for a tropical island waterfall that's seriously flying under the radar? Make sure to add Lagaan Falls to your Siquijor itinerary. You'll find this waterfall close to the much more famous Cambugahay.
Here, you'll also find rich-blue water, rope swings, and beautiful surroundings! Nearby, you'll also find Lugnason Falls, which is another great spot worth visiting.
7. Visit Apo Island
Just a short boat ride south from Siquijor Island is one of the best tourist spots in the Philippines! This awesome marine park has some of the best coral reef systems I've ever had the privilege of diving on! There are literally hundreds of turtles and thousands of unique fish species protected here.
You can arrange an Apo Island boat trip from Siquijor by asking around at the docks at Poblacion Sur. Otherwise, it's easy to visit on a snorkeling day trip from Dumaguete.
8. Chill on Tubod Beach
A great way to wind down this epic list of things to do on Siquijor Island is to spend some quality lazy time at Tubod Beach.
This is a pretty popular Siquijor tourist spot as you'll find its thick coconut palm forests and white sands draping the shores of San Juan. This is one of the best places to visit on Siquijor if you want to relax and swim in clear waters (come at high tide).
Seriously, this beach looks like something straight out of a tropical island TV commercial!
Where To Stay on Siquijor
The main tourist hub on Siquijor is known as San Juan (Siqujor Town). However, there are also several guest houses, hostels, and resorts scattered around the island as well. Below I'll give you the three best options for where to stay in Siquijor to plan your trip.
- Epic Bamboo Treehouse: Mandala Tribe Treehouses - Want to take your Filipino island adventures to the next level? Mandala Tribe features epic treehouse accommodations in a perfect spot on Siquijor. The breakfast is amazing and the price is really fair!
- Budget Guest house: LightHaus Destination Place - This is the best-reviewed guest house on the island! This place costs less than $10 a night, is ideally located, and has a crazy 9.7/10 rating on Booking.com
- Luxury: Descanso En Paraiso Resort - Descanso En Paraiso is a luxury resort on Siquijor without the regular price tag! This resort is just a short walk from popular Pontod Beach and has its own restaurant, pool, garden, and bar.
About the Best Siquijor Tourist Spots
Alright, with the list of things to do on Siquijor Island out of the way, here are a few things you'll want to know about the popular tourist spots:
- It's common to charge an entrance fee and/or a motorbike parking spot at popular spots like Cambugahay Falls. This is usually fairly cheap
- It's also common for locals to offer you a "guide" at many Siquijor tourist spots. This is usually not necessary but sometimes worth the company! A typical tip is 50-100 PHP.
- Most people on Siquijor speak English
- Food at local street vendors is typically very cheap!
Siquijor Island Itinerary: How Long to Spend?
So, still in the planning stages of your Siquijor Island itinerary and wondering how long to spend?
If you're short on time, I again highly recommend the full-day island trip from Dumaguete. This is an action-packed itinerary and features most of the popular tourist spots on Siquijor.
Otherwise, if you're here to explore, spending 5-7 days is a good chunk of time. In saying that, we spent about a week on Siquijor Island and there were lots we didn't get to do! Ahh, until next time!
Siquijor Island Weather & Things to Know
Most people claim that the best time to visit the island is between April and July. This is the "dry" season where you'll get nice weather with much less rainfall. However, visiting the popular tourist spots on Siquijor is much more enjoyable in the shoulder season between December and March.
The weather is typically pretty fierce and wet in the typhoon season, which runs between August and October.
More Philippines Travel Guides and Adventure Inspiration
I really hope that you've enjoyed this comprehensive travel guide to Siquijor Island, The Philippines, featuring 8 awesome things to do and the best tourist spots to visit!
While you're here, why not check out some of my other guides to the Philippines, I bet you'll find something you didn't know existed!