Siquijor is the smallest province in the Visayas region. It is dubbed as the island of fire or Isla del Fuego. Ancient folklore has tagged this place as full of sorcery, witchcraft, magic, love potions, voodoo dolls, etc. The stigma lives for centuries wherein it came to the point that when people knew someone who came from the province, they will evade that person and do not make any bad comments else you will know what will happen next. 😀
With all these tales flying around, it gives the turning point of the tourism industry of the province to either progress or gives reasons for the travelers and adventure seekers to hesitate in coming to this beautiful paradise.
No matter how scary the tales are, the natural and pristine beauty of this island has enthused the prying minds of people who have guts to drop all this nonsense and experience the magical opulence the Island of Fire has to offer.
I have been to Siquijor twice and based on what I have experienced and witnessed, the following are my Siquijor Top Destinations list.
1. Salagdoong Beach, Maria Siquijor
Salagdoong beach is one of Siquijor Top Destinations that every beachgoer and adventure lovers shouldn’t miss. The beach is in Olang, Maria, Siquijor Philippines which is approximately 30 kilometers away from Siquijor Port. This beach is located inside a government run resort but it is still open to the public.
The beach is very clean and well maintained that made it ideal for swimming. Salagdoong Beach is famous for its cliff jumping and kayaking activities. The most captivating feature of the beach is its emerald crystal clear waters that will change its shade to Atlantis-blue as you go deeper.
2. Salagdoong Man-Made Forest, Maria Siquijor
Be mesmerized by the thick lush green yet primitive forest as you enter the road going to Salagdoong Beach. The tree branches are like knotted arms that rose ever upwards like hoary fortresses that stood proudly screeching high up forming canopies or an arch of fairytale-green above your heads for you to pass by like royals marching under the arching pavements in the helm of their kingdom.
The orchestra of the bird songs can be heard the further you go to this mystical and spellbinding foliage.
3. San Isidro Labrador Church and Convent, Lazi, Siquijor
The San Isidro Labrador Parish Church of Iglesia Parroquial de San Isidro Labrador, commonly known as Lazi Church, is a Roman Catholic church in the municipality of Lazi, Siquijor, Philippines. Lazi Church is the oldest among churches in Siquijor Island.
The U-shaped bahay na bato convent is one of the largest convents built during the Spanish colonial era. The first floor is stonewalled while wood panels can be found on the second floor. Partitions of the convent were removed but the original structure was maintained. It is said that the convent houses the Siquijor Heritage Museum which has the collections of important church relics and paraphernalia. Currently, the Convent is under repair.
4. Cambugahay Falls, Lazi, Siquijor
Cambugahay Falls in Lazi Siquijor is one of the many precious waterfalls in the island with an enthralling scenery and serene atmosphere. Tourists usually flock to this waterfall when visiting Siquijor due to its magnificent tiers with crisp and clean waters. Even the locals still enjoy spending their time in this mystical attraction.
The falls does not have a significant and spectacular drop compared to other falls that I’ve been to but it is wide which gives a different charm like a spell casted on you from a lovely witch and immediately get hooked with it. Indeed Cambugahay Falls deserves a spot in Siquijor Top Destinations list.
(Read more: Cambugahay Falls Siquijor: The Enchanting Waterfalls)
5. Fish Spa @ Century Old Balite Tree Campalanas, Siquijor
Be amazed by the century old Balite tree with a fish spa at its roots. The tree is said to be 400 years old or more. The Balite tree or banyan has those creepy vines reaching all the way down to its base.
What made this Balite tree unique to others is the cold spring at its roots which the locals had made it an instant foot spa by putting small fishes in the pooled water from the spring. The water on its roots may be one of the factors that explain about its longevity.
6. Lala-o Beach
Lala-o Beach is a pristine beach in San Juan. A totally free beach. The waters are crystal clear wherein you can’t resist on swimming all day and night. The sand is fine and it’s really a nice place to watch the sunset too.
When you look around, you will admire the feng shui perfection of the beach. The coconut trees are lined in serried rows that some dip their heads in obedience to the sea. They have an Eden-green beauty that cannot be rivaled when traveling to the far side of the world.
Underneath them, is the opera of the sea waves like a rippling blanket washing over the fine sand and with the wave music as a great welcome. It was soothing and I was glad to get away from the hurly-burly and stresses of life.
However, to savor the sea’s indefinable beauty we should let its vastness seep into our minds. With pulsing heart, we will carry fragments of it home as a memory.
7. Snorkeling and Kayaking at Maite Sanctuary
Aside from Tulapos Sanctuary, there is a newly established fish sanctuary in Maite, San Juan Siquijor. You can have snorkeling and kayaking activities in the area. The fish and corals are not that spectacular but it’s pretty descent.
Coral reefs is one of the most amazing things created by nature. Experience this magnificent underwater scapes as it is always more beautiful under than what you have seen on the surface.
8. Capilay Spring Park, San Juan, Siquijor
Feel cold after a day coastal tour in the Island of fire? Capilay Spring Park might be the answer to that. You can cool down in Capilay Spring Park with its ice cold water from the spring.
Capilay Spring is located in the heart of San Juan town. The park has a pool with 3 chambers. The upper one is where the spring is located, the middle pool for swimming and the third chamber where laundry should be done (laundry pool).
9. Sunset Viewing at Palm Village
Sunset viewing along Lala-o beach is astonishingly breathtaking. Anywhere near San Juan is a very good place to watch the spectacular sunset. Sunset viewing is the time that you will get the last few glances of light that are cast down in a holy line of laser fire and it is over. The night is here and the sky looks like a black, velvet ceiling sprinkled with dream dust – stars. As you sit and ponder your own mortality, you will then ask yourself with the timeless question of all mankind, ” what are you going to eat for dinner?” 🙂
10. Chillaxing at Bell View Kuzzina Bar
Bell view Kuzzina Bar is a good alternative for chill moments or having meals. The restaurant is serving mostly American and western menu meals. They also have wines and other alcoholic drinks for those who prefer to chillax with a bottle of alcohol.
Bell view is located just near the Church and Bell Tower in Siquijor, Siquijor where the bell Tower is clearly visible hence the name of the restaurant.
11. Lugnason Falls
This falls is less frequented. This is supposedly on our itinerary but due to some reasons we skipped this one and just proceeded with snorkeling and kayaking activities. But I heard good reviews about this waterfall and would love to visit this on my next visit to this Island of Fire.
12. Siquijor Church and Bell Tower
Right after arriving at Siquijor port, going to Siquijor, Siquijor will lead you to San Juan Church and the infamous Bell Tower. This is the first spot that most tourist will take a quick stop to have some photographs taken as souvenirs.
If time permits, the following spots listed below are really worth the time to pay a quick visit. If you are going to visit them all, I suggest you will do an island coastal tour for two days. These beautiful destinations below can wait on my next visit to Siquijor.
- Kagusuan Beach
- Paliton Beach
- Guiwanon Spring Park
- Tulapos Marine Sanctuary
- Mount Bandilaan Nature Park
How to get there:
There are three main entry points going to Siquijor:
- Manila to Siquijor
- Cebu to Siquijor
- Dumaguete to Siquijor
(Complete guide soon…)
Going around Siquijor can be quite expensive per trip. If you don’t know the place or don’t have your own vehicle with you, I highly recommend that you will get an island coastal tour package when visiting Siquijor as the spots are far from each other.
The standard rate for the chartered tricycle, for example, is P1,000/day but it can go up to P1,500 depending on your itinerary and your haggling skills. The tricycle driver will bring you to destinations of your choice. Most common destinations are Cambugahay Falls, Kagusuan Beach, Century Old Balete Tree, Salagdoong Beach, Lazi Church and Convent, Larena Watch Tower, View Deck, Capilay Spring Park, Guiwanon Spring Park, etc.
Balete Tree Environmental Fee – P5
Parking Fee – P20
Salagdoong Beach Resort – P25
Parking Fee – P35
Snorkel : P50
Kayak rental : P50
12:30AM – Meet up (Cebu South Bus Terminal)
0:00 AM – ETD (onboard bus to liloan port)
04:05AM- ETA (lilo-an port)
05:00 AM- ETD (ferry to sibulan wharf)
06:00 AM – Early Morning stroll at Dumaguete Boulevard
07:00 AM – ETD (roro to Siquijor (montenegro))
08:30 AM – ETA Siquijor port
09:00 AM – Breakfast at Bellview Kuzzina
10:30 AM – ETD to Salagdoong Beach
11:30 AM – ETA Salagdoong beach
02:20 PM – ETD Cambugahay Falls
03:25 PM – ETA Cambugahay Falls (135 steps down to the falls)
04: 20 PM- ETD Balite Tree fish spa
05:00 PM – ETD (to San Juan / Palm Village / Lala-o Beach) passing through the view Deck
Sunset viewing, night swimming, etc
06:00 AM – Early Stroll at the beach front / Breakfast
08:00 AM – ETA to Lugnason Falls (Cancelled)
09:00 AM – Snorkeling and Kayaking at Maite Sanctuary
11:30 AM – Capilay Spring Park
12:00 NN – Check out
12:30 PM – Lunch (@Angie’s Residence)
03:00 PM – ETD (ferry to Dumaguete)
04: 30 PM – ETA (Dumaguete Port)
05:30 PM – Dinner at Sans Rival Bistro
06:30 PM – ETD (ferry from Sibulan to Lilo-an Port)
07:00 – ETD (bus to Cebu City)
Total Expenses: 2,200 / pax
Bus Fare – P185 x2
Ferry fare (Lilo-an port to Sibulan) – P62 x2
Easy Ride (Sibulan to Dumaguete) – P20 x2
Roro Fare (Duma – Siquijor) – P130 + P15 (Termina fee) x2
Palm Village – P2,500 (good for 6-10 pax)
Island Tour = FREE (Thanks to Angie)