Welcome to Siquijor, a hidden gem in the Philippines that offers a unique and magical experience for backpackers. Known as the “Island of Fire,” Siquijor is famous for its stunning beaches, enchanting waterfalls, mystical caves, and vibrant marine life. This small island province, located in the Central Visayas region, is often overlooked by tourists but is a haven for adventure seekers and nature lovers.
Siquijor’s charm lies in its untouched beauty and laid-back atmosphere. With its pristine white sand beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and lush green hills, it is truly a paradise for beach bums and nature enthusiasts. But Siquijor is more than just a pretty face; it is steeped in rich history and folklore, with tales of witches, healing rituals, and mystical powers that add an air of mystique to this tropical paradise.
Getting to Siquijor is relatively easy. You can fly to the main airport in Dumaguete City and take a ferry or fast craft to the island, or take a direct ferry from other neighboring islands. Once you arrive, prepare to be captivated by the island’s natural wonders and warm hospitality.
The best time to visit Siquijor is during the dry season, from November to May. During these months, the weather is mostly sunny, and the sea is calm and perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. However, even during the rainy season, Siquijor’s beauty remains, with lush green landscapes and a more laid-back vibe.
In this in-depth travel guide, we will explore the top things to do in Siquijor, where to stay, and where to eat, ensuring that your backpacking adventure in Siquijor is unforgettable. So grab your backpack, put on your adventurer’s hat, and let’s dive into the magic that awaits on the Island of Fire.
Getting to Siquijor
Getting to Siquijor is relatively easy and can be done through various transportation options depending on your location. Here are the most common ways to reach the island:
- By Air and Sea: If you are flying into the Philippines from an international destination, you will most likely land at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. From Manila, you can take a domestic flight to Dumaguete City, which is the nearest major airport to Siquijor. Several airlines offer daily flights to Dumaguete, such as Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. Once you arrive in Dumaguete, you can take a ferry or fast craft to Siquijor. The ferry ride takes approximately one hour, while the fast craft takes around 30 to 45 minutes.
- By Sea: If you are already in the Philippines and coming from nearby islands like Cebu or Bohol, you can take a ferry directly to Siquijor. There are several ferry companies operating routes to the island, such as OceanJet, Montenegro Lines, and Lite Ferries. The ferry ride duration varies depending on your point of departure, but it is generally between one to three hours.
- Private Charter: For a more convenient and personalized option, you can also charter a private boat or yacht to take you directly to Siquijor. This option is ideal for those traveling in groups or with a larger budget. You can arrange private charters through local tour operators or yacht rental companies.
Once you arrive in Siquijor, you will be greeted by the island’s laid-back and welcoming atmosphere. The main port is located in Siquijor Town, and from there, you can easily explore the different attractions and destinations on the island.
It’s important to note that ferry schedules may vary, especially during the rainy season or due to unforeseen circumstances, so it’s always a good idea to check the latest schedules and plan your trip accordingly. Additionally, be prepared for potential sea motion sickness, especially if you are prone to it. Consider taking motion sickness medication if needed.
Now that you know how to get to Siquijor, it’s time to dive into the exciting activities and adventures that await you on this beautiful island.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Siquijor is during the dry season, which typically runs from November to May. During these months, the weather is generally sunny and the sea is calm, making it ideal for beach activities, snorkeling, and diving.
The months of December to February are considered the peak season in Siquijor, as many local and foreign tourists flock to the island to escape the colder weather in their home countries. During this time, expect larger crowds and higher accommodation rates. It’s advisable to book your accommodations and activities in advance if you plan to visit during the peak season.
From March to May, the weather in Siquijor tends to be hot and dry, with occasional showers. The upside of visiting during this time is that you can enjoy the island’s attractions with fewer tourists. It’s also a great time for swimming, snorkeling, and exploring underwater life, as the sea visibility is generally good.
The rainy season in Siquijor starts around June and lasts until October. Although it’s considered the off-peak season, visiting during this time has its own charm. The island becomes greener, and the waterfalls are at their fullest. However, do keep in mind that tropical storms and typhoons can occur, leading to rough seas and disruptions in ferry services. It’s essential to monitor the weather forecast and plan accordingly if you decide to visit during the rainy season.
Regardless of the season, Siquijor offers a unique and unforgettable experience. The island’s natural beauty and charm shine through, no matter the weather. Whether you prefer a more vibrant and energetic atmosphere or a quieter and more serene environment, Siquijor has something to offer all year round.
Now that you have an idea of the best time to visit Siquijor, let’s delve into the top things to do and see on this mesmerizing island.
Things to Do in Siquijor
Siquijor may be a small island, but it is packed with incredible sights and activities that will make your backpacking experience truly memorable. From pristine beaches to mystical caves, here are the top things to do in Siquijor:
- Exploring the Beaches: Siquijor is blessed with stunning beaches, each with its own unique charm. From the powdery white sands of Salagdoong Beach to the secluded beauty of Paliton Beach, there are plenty of options to satisfy your beach cravings. Relax under a palm tree, soak up the sun, or take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters of the Philippine Sea.
- Visiting the Historic Lazi Church and Convent: Built in the late 1800s, the Lazi Church and Convent is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the oldest and largest colonial-era churches in the Philippines. Marvel at the intricate woodwork, admire the antique religious artifacts, and soak in the history and culture of the island.
- Swimming in Cambugahay Falls: This three-tiered waterfall is a must-visit destination in Siquijor. Take a refreshing plunge into the turquoise pools, swing on the Tarzan vines, and admire the lush surroundings. Don’t forget to capture that perfect Instagram-worthy shot on the bamboo rafts floating in the pools.
- Snorkeling in Tubod Marine Sanctuary: Explore the vibrant underwater world of Tubod Marine Sanctuary. Strap on your snorkeling gear and dive into the clear waters teeming with colorful coral reefs and a diverse array of marine life. Spot tropical fish, sea turtles, and maybe even a majestic manta ray.
- Trekking to Mt. Bandilaan: Lace up your hiking boots and embark on a trek to the highest point on the island, Mt. Bandilaan. Trekking through lush forests, you will be rewarded with panoramic views of the island and its surrounding seas. Make sure to visit the butterfly sanctuary and the famous Balete tree on your way up.
- Watching Fireflies in Cantabon Cave: Experience the enchanting beauty of nature’s twinkling lights as you embark on a night tour to Cantabon Cave. Marvel at the thousands of fireflies illuminating the walls of the cave, creating a magical ambiance. This unique and mesmerizing experience is definitely one for the books.
- Enjoying the Sunset at Salagdoong Beach: Head to Salagdoong Beach in the late afternoon and witness a breathtaking sunset. Watch as the golden sun sets over the horizon, painting the sky with vibrant hues of orange and pink. It’s the perfect way to end a day of exploring and relaxation in Siquijor.
These are just a few highlights of the incredible adventures that await you in Siquijor. From nature lovers to history enthusiasts, this captivating island has something for everyone. So pack your sense of adventure and get ready to make unforgettable memories in the “Island of Fire.”
Exploring the Beaches
One of the top things to do in Siquijor is to explore its breathtaking beaches. With its pristine white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters, Siquijor offers a paradise-like setting for beach lovers. Here are some of the best beaches you should not miss:
a) Salagdoong Beach: Located in the town of Maria, Salagdoong Beach is known for its powdery white sand and vibrant blue waters. It’s the perfect spot for sunbathing, swimming, and other water activities. For the more adventurous, Salagdoong Beach also offers cliff jumping opportunities from a 20-foot-high platform. Be sure to brave the jump for an adrenaline-filled experience.
b) Paliton Beach: Tucked away in the town of San Juan, Paliton Beach is a hidden gem that offers tranquility and natural beauty. With its palm-fringed shoreline and calm waters, it’s an ideal spot for relaxation and solitude. The beach is also famous for its stunning sunsets, so make sure to stay until dusk and witness the sky ablaze with hues of orange and pink.
c) San Juan Beach: San Juan Beach is the main tourist hub of Siquijor and is located in the town of the same name. The beach stretches for kilometers and is lined with resorts, restaurants, and bars. Here, you can indulge in beachfront dining, enjoy live music, and engage in various water activities such as snorkeling, paddleboarding, and kayaking.
d) Kagusuan Beach: For those seeking a more secluded and untouched beach experience, Kagusuan Beach is the ideal destination. Accessible by a short boat ride from the town of Enrique Villanueva, this hidden paradise offers tranquility and raw natural beauty. Immerse yourself in the pristine surroundings, go for a swim, or simply bask in the sun.
These are just a few of the many stunning beaches in Siquijor, each with its own unique charm and allure. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or simply to soak up the beauty of nature, Siquijor’s beaches provide the perfect setting. So grab your beach essentials and prepare to spend blissful days under the tropical sun.
Visiting the Historic Lazi Church and Convent
When in Siquijor, a visit to the historic Lazi Church and Convent is a must for history enthusiasts and those seeking cultural immersion. Built in the late 1800s, the Lazi Church, officially known as San Isidro Labrador Parish Church, is a significant religious and architectural landmark on the island.
The Lazi Church is recognized as one of the oldest and largest colonial-era churches in the Philippines. Its impressive architecture features a combination of baroque and neoclassical styles, adorned with intricate stone carvings and decorative motifs. Step inside the church, and you’ll be greeted by a serene and reverential atmosphere, with ornate details and beautiful religious icons.
Adjacent to the church is the Lazi Convent, the largest and one of the best-preserved convents in the Philippines. This convent served as the residence of Spanish friars during the Spanish colonial period and is now a museum that showcases the cultural and historical heritage of Siquijor. Explore the rooms and corridors of the convent, and you’ll be transported back in time, witnessing the grandeur of colonial architecture and craftsmanship.
The Lazi Church and Convent complex is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognized for its historical significance and architectural beauty. Visiting this site not only offers a glimpse into the colonial past of Siquijor but also provides an opportunity for spiritual reflection and appreciation of the island’s cultural heritage.
While exploring the church and convent, take time to immerse yourself in the quaint charm of the surrounding town of Lazi. Wander through its quiet streets, interact with the friendly locals, and admire the traditional houses and structures that reflect the island’s rich history.
Guided tours are available at the Lazi Church and Convent, providing visitors with in-depth knowledge about the history and significance of the site. It’s advisable to check the opening hours and tour schedules beforehand to ensure a smooth and informative visit.
Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the historic Lazi Church and Convent during your visit to Siquijor. Immerse yourself in the island’s cultural heritage, marvel at the architectural beauty, and gain a deeper understanding of its historical roots. It’s a journey back in time that will leave you with a greater appreciation for the rich tapestry of Siquijor’s history and culture.
Swimming in Cambugahay Falls
One of the most enchanting natural wonders in Siquijor is the mesmerizing Cambugahay Falls. Located in the municipality of Lazi, this three-tiered waterfall offers a picturesque setting that will leave you in awe of its beauty.
To reach Cambugahay Falls, you will need to descend a series of steps that wind through a lush forest. As you make your way down, the sound of cascading water becomes louder, foreshadowing the breathtaking sight that awaits you. Once you reach the falls, you’ll be greeted by clear, turquoise pools of water surrounded by majestic trees, creating a tranquil and pristine atmosphere.
One of the highlights of visiting Cambugahay Falls is the opportunity to take a refreshing dip in its cool, freshwater pools. Each tier of the waterfall offers a unique swimming experience. The lower pool is the largest and generally the busiest, perfect for socializing and enjoying the ambiance. The second tier is slightly smaller and less crowded, while the uppermost tier offers a more secluded and serene swimming experience.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try your hand at Tarzan swinging. Rope swings are available at the second tier, allowing you to swing over the water and make a spectacular splash. It’s a thrilling and fun-filled activity that adds an extra element of excitement to your visit.
For those looking to unwind and relax, you can simply find a spot on the rocks surrounding the pools, soak up the sun, and listen to the calming sounds of the water. The natural beauty and tranquility of Cambugahay Falls make it an ideal place to spend the day, connecting with nature and rejuvenating your senses.
While swimming and enjoying the falls, be sure to be mindful of the environment and follow any safety guidelines provided by the local authorities. Respect the surroundings and help preserve the pristine condition of this natural attraction for generations to come.
Cambugahay Falls is a popular tourist destination, especially during weekends and holidays. If you prefer a more peaceful experience, it’s best to visit on weekdays or arrive early in the morning. Additionally, hiring a local guide is recommended to ensure your safety and to learn more about the falls and the surrounding area.
A visit to Cambugahay Falls is a must-do when exploring Siquijor. It’s a chance to immerse yourself in nature’s beauty, cool off in the refreshing waters, and create unforgettable memories in a truly magical setting.
Snorkeling in Tubod Marine Sanctuary
For marine enthusiasts and adventure seekers, a visit to Tubod Marine Sanctuary is an absolute must when exploring Siquijor. Located in the town of San Juan, this protected marine area offers a vibrant and diverse underwater ecosystem, making it a snorkeler’s paradise.
Tubod Marine Sanctuary boasts an abundance of marine life, colorful coral reefs, and clear turquoise waters. Strap on your snorkeling gear and prepare to explore a world of underwater wonders. As you dive beneath the surface, you’ll be greeted by a kaleidoscope of tropical fish, vibrant corals, and other fascinating marine creatures.
The sanctuary’s calm and shallow waters make it ideal for both novice and experienced snorkelers. Whether you’re an expert at free-diving or a first-time snorkeler, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this underwater haven.
As you swim, keep an eye out for a variety of fish species, including angelfish, butterflyfish, clownfish, and parrotfish. You might even spot a majestic sea turtle gracefully gliding through the water. The coral formations are equally impressive, with their intricate shapes and vibrant colors creating a mesmerizing underwater landscape.
Exploring Tubod Marine Sanctuary is not only an exhilarating experience but also an opportunity to raise awareness about marine conservation. The sanctuary plays a vital role in protecting the fragile marine ecosystems and promoting sustainable tourism practices. Be mindful while snorkeling to avoid damaging the coral reefs and marine life, and always follow the guidelines provided by the local authorities to ensure the preservation of this precious sanctuary.
It’s recommended to bring your own snorkeling gear, including a mask, snorkel, and fins, as rentals may not always be available. Wearing a rash guard or sunscreen is also advised to protect your skin from the sun’s rays. Don’t forget to bring an underwater camera to capture the incredible moments you’ll encounter during your snorkeling adventure.
Whether you’re an avid snorkeler or a curious first-timer, exploring Tubod Marine Sanctuary is an experience that will leave you in awe of the beauty and diversity of Siquijor’s underwater world. So dive in, embrace the tranquility of the sea, and witness the magic that lies just beneath the surface.
Trekking to Mt. Bandilaan
If you’re seeking a thrilling outdoor adventure and breathtaking panoramic views, a trek to Mt. Bandilaan is a must-do activity in Siquijor. Standing at 557 meters above sea level, Mt. Bandilaan is the highest peak on the island and offers a rewarding hike for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.
The trek to Mt. Bandilaan takes you through lush forests, verdant hillsides, and rugged terrain, providing an opportunity to immerse yourself in Siquijor’s natural beauty. The trail, although challenging at times, is well-marked and offers stunning views along the way.
As you ascend the mountain, you’ll witness the vibrant flora and fauna that call Mt. Bandilaan their home. Keep an eye out for unique plant species, including orchids and ferns, as well as a variety of bird species that flutter and chirp amongst the treetops.
One of the highlights of the trek is a visit to the butterfly sanctuary located midway up the mountain. Here, you can marvel at the colorful butterflies in their natural habitat and learn about their life cycle and importance to the ecosystem. It’s a chance to connect with nature and gain a deeper understanding of the island’s biodiversity.
Upon reaching the summit of Mt. Bandilaan, you’ll be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of Siquijor and its surrounding seas. On a clear day, you can see the neighboring islands of Bohol, Negros, and even Cebu in the distance. It’s a sight that will take your breath away and leave you in awe of the beauty of the islands.
While trekking to Mt. Bandilaan, it’s important to come prepared with appropriate footwear, comfortable clothing, and plenty of water. The trail can be steep and challenging, so it’s advisable to have a moderate fitness level. It’s also recommended to bring insect repellent and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun and pesky insects.
For those who prefer a less strenuous hike, there are also options to reach the summit by motorbike or tricycle, as there is a road leading to the top. However, trekking up the mountain allows you to fully immerse yourself in the natural surroundings and experience the beauty of Siquijor at a slower pace.
Trekking to Mt. Bandilaan is an extraordinary experience that allows you to connect with nature, challenge yourself, and witness the stunning landscapes of Siquijor. So put on your hiking boots, embark on this adventure, and be rewarded with unforgettable memories and breathtaking views.
Watching Fireflies in Cantabon Cave
Prepare to be enchanted by a truly magical experience as you venture into Cantabon Cave, located in the town of Siquijor. Exploring this mystical cave system not only offers a unique adventure but also provides an opportunity to witness the mesmerizing spectacle of fireflies illuminating the darkness.
Cantabon Cave is known for its impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations, underground rivers, and chambers. It’s a treasure trove of natural wonders waiting to be discovered. The cave is believed to be millions of years old and has been a sacred and mystical place for the locals.
Embarking on a guided tour of Cantabon Cave will take you deep into its depths, immersing you in its eerie yet captivating atmosphere. As you navigate through narrow passages, crawl through low ceiling sections, and wade through underground streams, you’ll feel a sense of adventure and wonder.
But the highlight of the Cantabon Cave tour comes towards the end, when you reach a vast chamber. The darkness is suddenly illuminated by the soft glow of countless fireflies. Witnessing these magical insects fluttering and dancing in synchrony is a sight that will leave you in awe of the wonders of nature.
The fireflies in Cantabon Cave are like tiny living fairy lights, creating a mesmerizing spectacle that will transport you into a mystical realm. Their luminescent glow illuminates the cave walls, creating a magical ambiance that is difficult to describe in words. It’s a truly enchanting experience that will stay with you long after you leave the cave.
Visiting Cantabon Cave requires a local guide for safety and preservation purposes. The guides are knowledgeable about the cave’s geological features, local legends, and, of course, the behavior of the fireflies. They will ensure that you have a safe and memorable experience while respecting the delicate ecosystem of the cave.
It’s recommended to wear sturdy shoes, comfortable clothing, and bring a flashlight for the cave tour. Take note that the caves can be slippery and wet, so it’s important to exercise caution and follow the instructions of your guide.
Experiencing the mesmerizing display of fireflies in Cantabon Cave is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Allow yourself to be transported into a world of natural wonders and magical incandescence as you witness the beauty and mystery of these enchanting insects.
Enjoying the Sunset at Salagdoong Beach
As the day comes to a close, there’s no better way to end your Siquijor adventure than by soaking in the breathtaking sunset at Salagdoong Beach. Located in the municipality of Maria, this stunning beach not only offers golden sand and clear waters but also provides the perfect vantage point to witness a mesmerizing sunset.
Arriving at Salagdoong Beach in the late afternoon sets the stage for a magical experience. The beach features a natural cliff diving spot that adds an adventurous element to the serene surroundings. As the sun begins its descent, the sky transforms into a canvas of vibrant colors, with hues of orange, pink, and purple painting an awe-inspiring display.
Find a comfortable spot on the beach, lay down a mat, and immerse yourself in the tranquil ambiance. Watch as the sun slowly sinks below the horizon, casting its golden rays over the water and illuminating the entire stretch of the beach.
The panoramic view combined with the calming sound of the waves crashing against the shore creates a sense of peace and serenity. It’s a moment to pause, reflect, and appreciate the beauty of nature.
At Salagdoong Beach, you can capture stunning photographs as the sun sets, creating memories that will last a lifetime. The golden hour provides the perfect lighting for beautiful silhouettes against the painted sky, offering countless opportunities for unique and breathtaking shots.
Once the sun has disappeared from view, the beach doesn’t lose its charm. Stay a little longer and witness as the sky transitions from vibrant colors to a tapestry of deep blues and twinkling stars. The beach takes on a different ambiance, with the cool evening breeze enveloping the atmosphere.
While at Salagdoong Beach, make sure to explore its other attractions, such as the cliff diving platform and the clear waters perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Grab a refreshing drink or snack from the beachfront vendors and enjoy the laid-back vibe as the day transitions into an enchanting evening.
Whether you’re seeking a peaceful moment of reflection or a romantic setting for a special occasion, witnessing the sunset at Salagdoong Beach is an experience not to be missed. It’s a moment that encapsulates the beauty and tranquility of Siquijor while creating memories that will stay with you long after the sun has set.
Where to Stay in Siquijor
When planning your trip to Siquijor, finding the perfect accommodation is essential to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable. The island offers a range of accommodations to suit different preferences and budgets. Here are some options for where to stay in Siquijor:
- Budget Accommodations: If you’re a backpacker or on a tight budget, Siquijor has a variety of budget-friendly accommodations such as guesthouses, hostels, and homestays. These options provide basic amenities, comfortable rooms, and a chance to meet fellow travelers. Some popular budget accommodations include Tori’s Backpacker’s Paradise in San Juan and Villa Marmarine in Siquijor town.
- Mid-range Options: If you’re looking for more comfort and amenities, mid-range hotels and resorts are available in Siquijor. These accommodations offer well-appointed rooms, swimming pools, restaurants, and additional services. Coco Grove Beach Resort in San Juan and Infinity Heights Resort in Enrique Villanueva are popular choices for mid-range stays.
- Luxury Resorts: Siquijor also boasts luxurious resorts that provide top-notch facilities, stunning beachfront locations, and excellent service. These resorts offer spacious rooms, private villas, spa services, and gourmet dining options. One of the top luxury resorts in Siquijor is the Kawayan Holiday Resort in Larena, known for its serene ambiance and breathtaking views.
When choosing your accommodation, consider the location that best suits your preferences. San Juan is a popular area for tourists, with its beautiful beaches, lively atmosphere, and a wide range of dining and entertainment options. Larena and Siquijor town also provide convenient access to the ferry port and other attractions on the island.
It’s advisable to book your accommodations in advance, especially during peak seasons, to ensure availability. Many accommodations in Siquijor offer online booking options through their websites or reputable booking platforms.
Remember, Siquijor is a relatively small island, so getting around is easy regardless of where you choose to stay. Renting a scooter or hiring a tricycle is a convenient way to explore the island’s attractions and nearby towns.
Regardless of your accommodation choice, you’ll find warmth and hospitality from the locals in Siquijor. The island’s relaxed atmosphere and friendly community will make you feel right at home throughout your stay.
Now that you have an idea of where to stay in Siquijor, it’s time to plan your dream getaway to this enchanting island paradise.
If you’re traveling on a budget, Siquijor offers a range of affordable accommodations that provide comfort and convenience without breaking the bank. These budget options include guesthouses, homestays, and hostels, making Siquijor an excellent destination for backpackers and budget-conscious travelers. Here are a few recommendations for budget accommodations in Siquijor:
- Tori’s Backpacker’s Paradise: Located in the heart of San Juan, Tori’s Backpacker’s Paradise offers dormitory-style rooms and private cottages at affordable rates. This cozy guesthouse provides basic amenities, a communal kitchen, and a social atmosphere where you can meet fellow travelers. Tori’s Backpacker’s Paradise is just a short walk from the beach and local restaurants.
- Villa Marmarine: Situated in Siquijor town, Villa Marmarine is a charming beachfront resort that offers comfortable rooms at budget-friendly rates. The resort features a beautiful garden, a restaurant, and a private beach area. Villa Marmarine is a great option for those looking to stay in a peaceful environment and enjoy easy access to the town’s attractions.
- Siquijor Homestays: For a more immersive experience, consider staying in a homestay where you can experience the warm hospitality and local culture of Siquijor. Many locals offer rooms or small cottages for rent, providing an authentic and budget-friendly accommodation option. Homestays can be found in various towns throughout the island, offering a unique insight into the island’s way of life.
When booking budget accommodations, keep in mind that the amenities and facilities may be more basic compared to higher-end options. However, the affordability and local charm of these accommodations make them a popular choice for many travelers.
It’s recommended to book budget accommodations in advance, especially during peak seasons, to ensure availability. Many budget accommodations in Siquijor can be booked online through their websites or popular booking platforms.
Regardless of your budget, Siquijor offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere for all travelers. Exploring the island’s stunning beaches, natural wonders, and vibrant culture is within reach even on a tight budget, making it an ideal destination for those seeking an affordable tropical getaway.
Now that you know about the budget accommodations in Siquijor, you can plan your trip while keeping your expenses in check and enjoy everything this beautiful island has to offer.
If you’re looking for a balance between comfort and affordability, Siquijor offers a range of mid-range accommodations that cater to travelers seeking a bit more luxury without breaking the bank. These mid-range options include resorts and hotels that provide comfortable rooms, additional amenities, and a pleasant stay. Here are some mid-range accommodations worth considering in Siquijor:
- Coco Grove Beach Resort: Nestled in the heart of San Juan, Coco Grove Beach Resort is a popular choice for mid-range travelers. It offers spacious rooms and cottages with modern amenities, a private beachfront area, swimming pools, a spa, and various recreational facilities. The resort also has its own restaurant and bar, serving delicious local and international cuisine.
- Infinity Heights Resort: Situated in Enrique Villanueva, Infinity Heights Resort offers comfortable rooms with picturesque views of the surrounding hills and ocean. The resort features an infinity pool, a restaurant, and a bar, providing a relaxing and enjoyable stay. Infinity Heights Resort is an excellent choice for those seeking a peaceful and serene atmosphere away from the busier tourist areas.
- La Villa Alta: Located in Maria, La Villa Alta is a mid-range resort that combines modern comforts with a tranquil ambiance. The resort offers spacious rooms with balconies overlooking the garden, an outdoor pool, and a restaurant serving delectable local and international cuisine. With its proximity to Salagdoong Beach and other attractions, La Villa Alta provides easy access to the island’s top destinations.
Mid-range accommodations in Siquijor typically offer more amenities, services, and a higher level of comfort compared to budget options. You can expect facilities such as swimming pools, restaurants, bars, and well-appointed rooms with modern conveniences.
When booking mid-range accommodations, it’s advisable to make reservations in advance, especially during peak seasons, to ensure availability. Many mid-range accommodations in Siquijor offer online booking options through their websites or well-known booking platforms.
Choosing a mid-range option allows you to enjoy extra comfort and convenience while still keeping your budget in mind. Whether you prefer a beachfront resort or a hillside retreat, Siquijor’s mid-range accommodations provide a pleasant and memorable stay on this enchanting island.
Now that you’re aware of the mid-range options available in Siquijor, you can plan your trip while striking a balance between comfort and affordability, ensuring a delightful experience throughout your stay.
If you’re looking for a truly indulgent and luxurious stay in Siquijor, the island offers a selection of high-end resorts that provide top-notch facilities, stunning beachfront locations, and exceptional service. These luxury resorts cater to discerning travelers who seek an elevated experience and a touch of opulence. Here are some of the finest luxury resorts in Siquijor:
- Kawayan Holiday Resort: Situated in Larena, Kawayan Holiday Resort offers an exclusive and intimate stay with its spacious villas surrounded by lush gardens. Each villa is elegantly designed and equipped with modern amenities, private plunge pools, and stunning ocean views. The resort provides personalized service, a spa, a restaurant serving gourmet cuisine, and a beautiful infinity pool that overlooks the sea.
- Coral Cay Resort: Located in the municipality of Maria, Coral Cay Resort is an upscale beachfront resort that offers luxurious accommodations with breathtaking views of the Ocean. The resort features stylishly designed villas and rooms, an infinity pool, a spa, and a restaurant offering delectable international and Filipino dishes. With its secluded beach setting and exceptional service, Coral Cay Resort provides a truly lavish and tranquil retreat.
- Amorita Resort: Although not on the island itself, Amorita Resort is a luxurious option located in nearby Bohol, accessible via a ferry ride from Siquijor. Nestled on a cliffside overlooking the Bohol Sea, this resort offers stunning villas and rooms, a infinity pool, a spa, and multiple dining options. Amorita Resort is known for its exceptional service, tranquil ambiance, and breathtaking ocean views, providing an unforgettable luxury experience.
Staying at one of Siquijor’s luxury resorts offers a higher level of comfort, privacy, and exclusivity. These resorts provide extensive facilities such as private pools, fine dining restaurants, spa services, and personalized excursions, ensuring a truly indulgent and memorable stay.
When booking a luxury resort, it’s recommended to make reservations well in advance to secure your preferred dates and accommodations. Many luxury resorts in Siquijor offer online booking options through their websites or through trusted booking platforms.
Choosing a luxury resort in Siquijor guarantees an extraordinary vacation with exceptional service in a stunning tropical paradise. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply seeking the pinnacle of comfort and luxury, these esteemed resorts will surpass your expectations and create lifelong memories.
Now that you know about the luxury resorts available in Siquijor, you can plan your trip while immersing yourself in elegance and experiencing the epitome of relaxation and lavishness.
Where to Eat in Siquijor
Exploring the culinary scene is an essential part of any travel experience, and Siquijor is no exception. The island offers a variety of dining options that highlight local flavors, fresh seafood, and international cuisine. Whether you’re looking for traditional Filipino dishes or international fare, here are some places to satisfy your hunger in Siquijor:
- Local Delicacies to Try: Sample the flavors of Siquijor with a taste of its local delicacies. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to try “salagubang,” a type of beetle that’s cooked and eaten as a delicacy on the island. You can also sample “himay-himay,” a seafood dish made from mixed fish and vegetables in coconut milk, or “kalamay,” a sticky sweet rice cake. These local delicacies can be found in small eateries, local markets, or even from street food vendors in the towns.
- Popular Restaurants and Cafes: Siquijor has a range of restaurants and cafes that cater to various tastes. In San Juan, you’ll find beachfront establishments serving fresh seafood dishes and international cuisine. The area is also known for its vibrant nightlife, offering live music and entertainment along with delicious food. Check out restaurants like El Monte Grill House or Baha Bar for a lively dining experience. In Siquijor town, there are cozy cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy casual dining or indulge in Italian or Asian fusion cuisine. Try Monkey Business or Triad Coffee Shop for a delicious meal or a cup of local coffee.
While exploring Siquijor, be sure to savor the traditional flavors of the island’s cuisine. Look for local eateries and food stalls, especially in the towns and markets, where you can tantalize your taste buds with dishes that are true to Siquijor’s culinary heritage.
It’s also worth noting that many resorts and hotels in Siquijor have their own restaurants, serving a variety of dishes from local to international cuisine. These establishments often use fresh, locally-sourced ingredients to provide guests with a delightful and satisfying dining experience.
From trying local delicacies to enjoying international flavors, Siquijor offers a range of options to appease every palate. Whether you prefer to dine at beachfront restaurants or savor street food, the culinary scene in Siquijor is sure to leave you satisfied and craving for more.
Now that you have a taste of where to eat in Siquijor, embark on a gastronomic adventure and indulge in the delectable flavors that the island has to offer.
Local Delicacies to Try
One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the rich culture of Siquijor is through its local cuisine. The island offers a variety of unique and flavorful delicacies that showcase the culinary traditions of the region. When visiting Siquijor, make sure to try these local delicacies for an authentic and memorable dining experience:
- Salagubang: Salagubang is a type of beetle that is considered a delicacy in Siquijor. These insects are harvested, cleaned, and cooked in various ways, such as grilling or frying. While it may sound unconventional, salagubang is prized for its crunchy texture and earthy flavor. Dare to step out of your comfort zone and give this local delicacy a try!
- Himay-himay: Himay-himay is a popular dish in Siquijor made from mixed fish and vegetables cooked in coconut milk. The combination of fresh fish, a medley of vegetables, and rich coconut sauce creates a hearty and delicious meal. Typically served over steamed rice, himay-himay showcases the island’s abundant seafood and the flavors of traditional Filipino cuisine.
- Kalamay: Kalamay is a sweet rice cake made from glutinous rice, coconut milk, and brown sugar. It has a sticky and chewy texture and is often flavored with different variations such as chocolate, peanut, or latik (coconut caramel). This delightful treat is a popular delicacy in Siquijor and is often enjoyed as a snack or dessert.
To sample these local delicacies, head to small eateries, local markets, or even street food vendors in the towns of Siquijor. These establishments often offer homemade and authentic versions of these traditional dishes, allowing you to experience the true flavors of the island.
While exploring Siquijor, don’t be afraid to venture out of your culinary comfort zone and embrace the local cuisine. Trying these unique delicacies gives you a deeper appreciation for the island’s food culture and allows you to create unforgettable gastronomic memories.
Remember to ask the locals for their recommendations and tips on where to find the best versions of these local delicacies. They will be more than happy to share their food traditions and help you explore the diverse flavors that Siquijor has to offer.
So, embark on a culinary adventure and indulge in the flavors of Siquijor by embracing these local delicacies. Your taste buds will thank you for the unique and memorable experience!
Popular Restaurants and Cafes
Siquijor is not only known for its natural beauty but also for its delightful culinary scene. The island offers a variety of popular restaurants and cafes that cater to different tastes and preferences. Whether you’re craving local Filipino dishes or international flavors, here are some popular dining establishments in Siquijor:
- El Monte Grill House: Located in San Juan, El Monte Grill House is a charming beachfront restaurant known for its delicious seafood dishes and Filipino specialties. With a relaxed and laid-back ambiance, it’s a perfect spot to savor fresh catch-of-the-day grilled to perfection, along with local favorites like sinigang (sour soup) and kinilaw (Filipino ceviche).
- Baha Bar: Situated in the heart of San Juan, Baha Bar is a lively restaurant and bar that offers a vibrant atmosphere and a diverse menu. Indulge in a fusion of international and Filipino cuisine while enjoying live music performances or simply lounging on the beachfront seating area. The menu features favorites like wood-fired pizzas, mouthwatering burgers, and refreshing cocktails.
- Monkey Business: Located in Siquijor town, Monkey Business is a cozy café and restaurant popular among locals and tourists alike. Serving both international and local dishes, this charming establishment is known for its delicious all-day breakfast options, coffee selections, and yummy desserts. The laid-back vibe and friendly staff make it a great spot to relax and unwind.
- Triad Coffee Shop: For coffee lovers, Triad Coffee Shop in Siquijor town is a must-visit. This quaint café offers a cozy and inviting atmosphere along with a wide selection of coffee beans sourced from different parts of the Philippines. Indulge in aromatic espresso-based drinks, pour-over coffee, or try one of their specialty drinks. Pair your coffee with some delectable pastries or light bites to complete the experience.
Aside from these establishments, many resorts and hotels in Siquijor also have their own restaurants that offer a variety of cuisines. These range from local Filipino dishes to international fare, prepared using fresh ingredients sourced from the island.
When exploring Siquijor, be sure to ask the locals for their personal recommendations on where to eat. They can often provide valuable insights into hidden gems and lesser-known eateries that offer authentic flavors and dining experiences.
With a mix of captivating flavors and inviting atmospheres, the popular restaurants and cafes in Siquijor are ready to satisfy your culinary cravings. So, go ahead and indulge in the island’s delicious offerings for a delightful dining experience.
Safety Tips for Backpackers
Siquijor is generally safe for travelers, but it’s always important to prioritize your safety while backpacking. By following some basic precautions, you can ensure a hassle-free and enjoyable experience on the island. Here are some safety tips for backpackers visiting Siquijor:
- Research and Plan: Before your trip, research the local customs, laws, and any potential risks or travel advisories for Siquijor. Familiarize yourself with the island’s transportation options, emergency contact numbers, and popular tourist areas.
- Stay Alert: While Siquijor is generally a safe destination, it’s wise to stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye on your belongings, especially in crowded areas, and be cautious of your personal belongings while traveling on public transportation.
- Travel Insurance: It’s always a good idea to have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and personal property. Check your insurance policy to ensure it provides adequate coverage for your trip to Siquijor.
- Use Reliable Transportation: Whether you’re renting a motorbike or hiring a tricycle, ensure that the vehicle is in good condition and operated by licensed drivers. Take note of potential hazards on the road and drive with caution, especially on winding and steep roads.
- Stay Hydrated and Protect Yourself from the Sun: Siquijor has a tropical climate, so it’s important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Protect yourself from the sun by wearing sunscreen, a hat, and lightweight clothing to prevent sunburn and heatstroke.
- Respect Local Customs: As with any travel destination, it’s important to respect the local customs and traditions of Siquijor. Dress appropriately, particularly when visiting religious sites or attending cultural events. Be mindful of local sensitivities and behave respectfully towards the local community.
- Locate Emergency Services: Familiarize yourself with the location of hospitals, police stations, and other emergency services on the island. Keep important phone numbers handy and have a plan in case of any medical or safety emergencies.
- Share Your Itinerary: Let someone know your travel plans and itinerary for Siquijor. Inform a family member or a friend about your accommodation details, contact numbers, and any planned activities. This provides an extra layer of safety and ensures that someone is aware of your whereabouts.
By following these safety tips, you can minimize potential risks and have a memorable and enjoyable trip to Siquijor. Remember, being prepared and staying cautious are essential for a safe and worry-free backpacking experience.
Take the necessary precautions, explore all that Siquijor has to offer, and create amazing memories on this enchanting island paradise.
Siquijor, with its natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture, is a captivating destination for backpackers seeking adventure and exploration. From its stunning beaches and enchanting waterfalls to its historic landmarks and delicious cuisine, Siquijor offers a memorable and unique experience for every traveler.
In this in-depth travel guide, we have covered the essential aspects of backpacking in Siquijor. We’ve explored how to get to the island, the best time to visit, the top things to do and see, where to stay, where to eat, and important safety tips to ensure a worry-free journey.
Whether you’re relaxing on the pristine beaches, exploring the mystical caves, hiking through the lush mountains, or diving into the crystal-clear waters, Siquijor promises to captivate your senses and leave you with unforgettable moments.
As you soak in the island’s natural beauty, connect with its warm and welcoming community, and indulge in its diverse culinary delights, you’ll discover that Siquijor is more than just an ordinary destination – it’s a destination that weaves together breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and a sense of magic.
Remember to embrace the local customs and traditions, always prioritize your safety, and be respectful towards the community and environment. By doing so, you’ll not only enhance your travel experience but also contribute to the preservation and sustainability of this beautiful island.
So, pack your bags, embark on your Siquijor adventure, and unlock the countless wonders that await you in the “Island of Fire.” Let the magic of Siquijor leave an indelible mark on your travel memories, and may you return home with stories to share and a yearning to come back to this enchanting paradise.