Siquijor is the absolute paradise island that offers white sand beaches, clear and turquoise waters, stunning waterfalls, and great snorkeling spots. Besides that, Siquijor is an off-the-beaten-path destination in the Philippines, and for that reason, beaches and waterfalls are much less busy than in other places. We loved exploring everything this island has to offer, and in this ultimate guide for Siquijor, we share all our tips and experiences.
Best time to visit the Philippines
The best time to visit the Philippines is between November and April because these are the dryer and colder months. The wet season starts from Mai until October and brings a lot of rain and hotter temperatures. However, the tropical weather in the Philippines is very unpredictable all year round.
We visited Siquijor in February, and it rained sometimes. But the rain usually lasted only a few hours. Be prepared that the weather can change very quickly. It can be the most beautiful sunny day, and an hour later it is raining heavily. Another hour later, it may be perfectly sunny again.
How to get to Siquijor
The easiest way to get to Siquijor is by ferry. The island has two ferry ports (Siquijor Port and Larena Port) and can be reached from Cebu, Bohol, and Dumaguete. We traveled from Moalboal in Cebu to Siquijor and took the ferry in Liloan, which is located in the most southern part of Cebu. This ferry to Siquijor (Larena Port) runs only once a day at 10 am and takes you around 3 hours. It is the fastest and only direct way to get to Siquijor from Cebu. If you look for ferry timetables and tickets in the Philippines, we can recommend you to visit Rome2rio.
However, if you like to travel to Siquijor by plane, you can fly to Dumaguete and take the ferry from there, which takes you around 1 hour.
Visa to enter the Philippines
Most nationalities can enter the Philippines for 30 days visa-free. If you want to extend your stay, you have to apply at an Immigration office. You can find all information here.
Top things to do in Siquijor
Cambugahay Falls is the most famous waterfall on Siquijor, and that’s for a good reason. Cambugahay Falls is a three-level waterfall with turquoise waters and several rafts and swings for your entertainment. Therefore it can get quite busy, that is why we recommend you to come here early in the morning.
We got here at 7 am when it opened and were the first ones together with another couple. While they started taking pictures at the primary level immediately, we decided to explore the whole falls first. We ended up liking the third level most and stayed there for about 2 hours, taking photos, having fun on the raft, swinging into the water (countless times), swimming, and talking to the locals. It was pretty quiet up there, and when we walked back down to the other levels, we realized it got already quite busy there. But we had a lot of fun watching the locals jumping from the higher swings and doing somersaults.
The entrance fee for Cambugahay Falls is 20 Pesos. However, you will have to pay an additional 50 Pesos for each swing and raft you want to use. But once you paid for one swing, you can use it unlimited.
Lugnason Falls and human-made jungle pool
We weren’t lucky when visiting Lugnason Falls because when we got there, it was completely dried, so no swimming and enjoying the fresh water. But some cute kids guided us through the jungle, and they showed us another place which we liked a lot. There are some human-made jungle pools not far from the waterfall, and they are a fantastic refreshment too. We had a lot of fun playing with the kids there and jumping into the pools. There is no entrance fee for either the waterfall or those pools.
Kawasan Falls on Siquijor is our secret tip, and you should not miss this place. Don’t get confused because of the name. It has genuinely the same name as the famous waterfalls in Cebu, but this one is much smaller but much more of a little gem.
Once you get here, one of the local people will guide you to the waterfall. The guys are super friendly and interested, and we had a great time with them. The way down to the waterfall can get a bit steep at some places. But this little gem is truly worth the effort and was surprisingly one of our favorite places in Siquijor. We spend half a day here, and only one other couple was joining us here.
The small waterfall has a beautiful pool with turquoise water where you can swim in. Besides, there is a cave where you can swim inside and a swing, which is a lot of fun. The locals will help you use it right. This place is very dreamy, and we loved the jungly way back up as well.
There is no entrance fee, but you have to take a guide who takes you to the waterfall. In total, we paid 200 Pesos for the guy who guided us and additional 50 Pesos to park our scooter.
If you would like to go snorkeling on Siquijor, we recommend you to go to Coco Grove Resort at Tubod Beach. There you will find a Marine Sanctuary and great snorkeling for colorful fishes. There is a fee for snorkeling of 50 pesos (1$) per person. You can rent snorkeling gear as well.
Be aware that when the tide is low, you have to walk out quite a bit. It is recommended to wear reef shoes.
Go cliff jumping
In Salagdoong, which is located in the most eastern part of Siquijor, you will find a big rock where you can go cliff jumping from a rock springboard. If you want to jump here, check the tides before you go. We got there and could not jump because the tide was to low. Under no circumstances jump when there are signs that the tide is too low. There are many rocks, and it can get quite dangerous.
There is a lovely beach next to the rocks where you can relax and swim. We loved to go swimming here because the water was deep enough to swim from the beach, which was nowhere else on the island the same.
Enjoy the magical sunsets
We must say Siquijor was one of our favorite places for sunsets. They were truly magical. Maybe it was because we were fortunate with the weather or because we could watch them in front of our tent at the beach.
We recommend you to come to a beach on the southwestern part of the Island to have a fantastic sunset view. For example, Paliton beach is a beautiful white sand beach. We usually stayed at the beach in Solangon in front of Glamping Siquijor where we stayed.
Where to stay in Siquijor
We stayed at Glamping Siquijor, and this made our stay on the island even more memorable. Like you can guess from the name, this accommodation is not a usual hotel or guesthouse as we stayed in a tent. The tent was big and had a real bed inside. Besides, we had a terrace in front of our tent where we could sit outside. We were lucky and got a front-row tent, which made our stay even more magical because the first thing we saw in the morning when we came out of our tent was the ocean. Glamping Siquijor is located directly on the beach. They offer different sizes of tents with shared bathrooms/showers. There is an outdoor kitchen as well that can be used by all guests.
Furthermore, every tent has a barbecue grill. The staff makes the fire for the guests, and everyone can barbecue on their own. We loved that, and therefore, had a private dinner almost every night. We bought different kinds of veggies on the market, which we put on the grill and made some salads. As a side dish, we mostly had rice, which was provided by the Glamping. So we enjoyed the sunset at the beach right in front of our tent and having a private dinner after sunset. It truly felt like home, and we enjoyed our stay there a lot.
Where to eat in Siquijor
We heard a lot how hard it is to find food in the Philippines as a Vegetarian / Vegan, so we were positively surprised that it wasn’t that hard anymore. The typical Philippino cuisine is indeed very meat and fish heavy, and for that reason, the local food was not an option for us personally. But we found the following cute places to eat which were very Vegan friendly:
- Glow Beach Cafe – Charming beach cafe, which we loved. Delicious and healthy smoothie bowls, delightful coffee, seating in the sand, and with ocean view.
- Luca Loko – Very delicious food, we loved the Buddha Bowl and the smoothie bowls.
- Monkey Business – Local food with good vegetarian options, cozy location with swings, and seating in the sand.
- Tomato & Basil – Delicious Italian food with good vegan/vegetarian options
Budget for 5 days in Siquijor
These are the costs we had for the 5 days we spent in Siquijor which will give you an idea of what kind of a budget you will need to travel here:
- Ferry ticket to get to Siquijor: 400 Peso (7.60 $) for two persons
- Tricycle to get to the accommodation: 400 Peso (7.60 $)
- 5 nights at Glamping Siquijor accommodation: 12’000 Peso (220 $) for two persons
- Costs for food per day: 1’140 Peso (21.60 $) for two persons
- Scooter rental per day: 350 Peso (6.60 $)
How to get around on Siquijor
The easiest way to get around in Siquijor is by renting a scooter. It will give you a lot of freedom to explore this beautiful island and all the waterfalls and beaches it has to offer. There is one main road which leads around the whole Island and which is a very safe street. Also, there is not a lot of traffic, so we found it easy to drive ourselves and explore the island like that.
Besides renting a scooter, you have the option of taking a Tricycle. These are a popular and cheap way to get around in the Philippines. We usually took a Tricycle to get from the ferry port to our accommodation.
Internet access in the Philippines is only reliable near big cities. If you’re on one of the many small islands, having internet access may sometimes be a matter of luck. Even though many cafes and hotels offer free WiFi, this doesn’t mean you’re having access to the internet.
From our experience, the best you can do is to buy at least one, maybe two SIM cards, or having a hotspot like the one from Skyroam as a backup with you. There are two major telecom providers: Smart and Globe. We chose Globe and have to say that we multiple times ended up not having a signal, where we would have had it with Smart. But as it sometimes was the other way around too, choosing the right provider is a matter of luck. In retrospect, we think we would go for Smart the next time we visit the Philippines.
Getting a SIM card is easy, as many shops are selling SIM cards. Even in remote places. We got ours at a small booth at the airport, and we paid 1000 Pesos (around 19 $) for a SIM card with 21 gigabytes of internet data. Unfortunately, we could only use twelve gigabytes but never figured out exactly why. Toping up your SIM card is straight forward and can be done instantly at one of the many small shops. Just watch out for posters from Smart or Globe. In the case of Globe, four gigabytes of internet data costs 140 Pesos (around 2.70 $) with the GOSAKTO140 package.