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Before I visited Siquijor I knew all about the beautiful waterfalls on the island, and how quaint and picturesque it was, (thank you Instagram!), so I KNEW I had to visit.
Now, it’s one of my favourite islands in The Philippines and should be part of any backpacking Philippines itinerary.
To help inspire your Siquijor adventure, I present to you my guide on the top things to do in Siquijor and some more bonus information that should hopefully make your trip planning fuss-free.
Siquijor is a tiny island in The Philippines in between (kind of) Bohol and Cebu. It’s a lot less touristy than many of the most famous islands in The Philippines. This completely adds to the charm of Siquijor's attractions.
Currently, the only main way to get to Siquijor is via ferry. You can catch the ferry from Demugeute, Cebu and Bohol.
So to summarize:
From Dumaguete: there are ferries to and from Siquijor from a variety of providers. You can check 12Go Asia for the best prices.
When it comes to getting around Siquijor, you have one or two options.
I’m not even sure if you could rent a car with a driver, or if there are specific tours. I didn’t see any on-island specific tours on offers, but this will probably become a more common thing as tourism increases over the years.
Though it's a small island, there is a variety of great accommodation in Sqiuijor, dotted around the island. But, if you’re looking to stay in an area that caters to backpackers, then you’ll want to base yourself in the area of San Juan.
There are lots of places to stay and there are lots of restaurants, bars, and motorbike rental shops. This is where you’ll find the majority of dive shops, supermarkets etc too.
It’s an excellent base to get around to the best stops of the island and it’s the easiest place to meet other travellers if you’re travelling solo.
Okay, now the part that you came from, the top things to do in Siquijor. This list includes basically everything Bradley and I did, including a couple of activites we missed out on but you should check out!
Okay, first up, when we visited this waterfall, it was bone dry. Not a drop of water in sight. This was obviously disappointing, but it was cool seeing what the waterfall area looks like dry!
Anyway, I’ve seen the pictures of it with water and it’s awesome. What I did discover on this visit, is that there is a range of even more waterfalls on a waterfall trail (Lugnason is just the first stop). There is a map of all the waterfalls below, and they’re named after zodiac signs.
If visiting in the dry season, they’ll be dry, but if you go when there is water, do let me know what the other falls are like! Apparently these are among some of the best waterfalls in Siquijor.
Whilst visiting Lugnason falls, the locals told us to keep walking for another 10 minutes past the dry waterfall and we would come to some springs with natural water. We had a walk and were just about to give up when we heard water…
And we discovered this awesome place! We were with our friends and we had some fun jumping in the pool, relaxing and playing with the drone.
This was one of my favourite things to do in Siquijor and there was no one else there when we visited (other than a few locals!) which was awesome. Plus it was cold water which was welcome in the soaring heat!
*2020 update* This place is becoming quite popular nowadays, so if you want to visit without the crowds, it’s best to visit early.
Interesting point, Siquijor is meant to be a mystical island, with a lot of magic in play, and this is one of the enchanted trees on the islands. It's pretty old, at over 400 years, so it's quite impressive that it's still standing! This will be easy to fit on a Siquijor itinerary as it's just off the main ring road around the island and as far as I'm aware there is no entrance.
It's got lots of great reviews on Google, so we missed out! This place makes a great picture spot.
We enjoyed the sunset here for two different nights and it was magnificent. I don’t even think the pictures I took actually do it any justice in real life. Which is a good thing, because you’ll have to go to experience it in all its glory!
It’s a nice beach and one of the most popular beaches in Siquijor, with clear water for relaxing and there are a few stalls selling rum, beer and soft drinks (basic snacks too) so you can enjoy a little something whilst enjoying the beautiful sunset. This beach is close to the tourist hub of San Juan, so it's super easy to access.
When people think of Siquijor, this is the main sight to see. It’s definitely one of the top things to do in Siquijor and it lives up to the beauty you see on social media. It’s a waterfall with a variety of levels and lots of different jumps.
It’s free to enter, but if you want to jump you pay 50 PHP and you can jump as many times you want from that particular rope swing.
If you don’t feel like jumping, you can swim in the beautiful blue water, or even just chill on a bamboo raft.
When I went, I really wanted this photo of me on the raft with the drone from above with no one else around. So we headed early (or what I thought was early). We got there by 7.30 am and it wasn’t early enough, and I couldn’t get the picture, but ah well!
Basically if you want to get photos without the crowds, then you’ll need to head at around 6.30 or basically when they let you in. After that waterfall, I went to other waterfalls at 6am and got the shots with no one in them!
It’s such a nice place to cool off and relax for a couple of hours. Definitely a must-see spot in Siquijor.
The Butterfly Sanctuary is one of the places to visit in Siquijor Bradley and I didn't visit. I’ve been to a few butterfly sanctuaries over the years, and I love butterflies, but we didn't make it to this one whilst we were there. However, if you’ve got some spare time, then it’s a cheap and cheerful thing to do in Siquijor. And actually, you can pretty much guarantee a Butterfly sanctuary is going to be beautiful.
Entrance is 100 pesos and the sanctuary is open until 4 o'clock.
This is the second best of things to do in Siquijor (in my humble opinion). Not only is the beach and water stunning blue, clean and super relaxing, but they have awesome cliff jumps (which Bradley did).
I actually love water and I like heights, but I’m not overjoyed when they’re together. I’m of the opinion that I’ve done cliff jumps when I was younger and I know what it’s like, so I really don’t need to do it again...unless it’s really really special or I’m feeling uber confident!
We all have our limitations!
Anyway, Brad loves to jump, he seeks out the jump, and he had a lot of fun on this jump. We put the drone up and got some footage of him jumping and the area itself.
You can see that they once had a slide that dropped into the sea, but it’s not in use. Trust me, if that was working, I would have slid my way into the water!
You pay an entrance fee into the beach which is around 50 PHP and you can park your moped for free.
There are places to get food and drinks and showers, so it’s the perfect place to relax for a while.
You can only jump when the tide is in! So check Google so you don’t turn up disappointed and have to wait.
Okay, Siquijor isn’t exactly a party place, but it does have one really great bar/restaurant. It’s called Baha Bar and every night they have live music. The place is super cheap and does amazing food that caters for everyone.
It’s a super modern place and probably one of my favourite restaurants and bars in all of the Philippines. We went with friends for a few drinks (a few too many!)
They do Caipirinhas with real cachacha, and anyone who knows Bradley and I (or read any of our South America posts) know that we LOVE this Brazilian cocktail!
You can get 3 wheelers to and from Baha bar so you do NOT drink and drive. Our accommodation was a 5 minute walk away, so it wasn’t an issue for us.
So Bradley and I drove the whole way up to this viewpoint and it was closed. Have to say it was pretty annoying as it took a couple of hours, BUT, I’ve heard that it has beautiful views over Siquijor.
What I will say, is the drive up the mountain (this is the highest point in Siquijor) there are many beautiful views and there are even more waterfalls you can discover.
We kept seeing random signs for waterfalls, so just ask the locals for the right direction and they’re happy to help. Seriously, Siqiujor has so many waterfalls that haven't even made it to Google Maps yet! Lots to discover.
The viewpoint is also part of a pilgrimage site where there are lots of different crosses.
We didn’t do any scuba diving (as we don’t have the qualification yet), but our friends who we were with did! And they said it was awesome. There are lots of dive shops in the area, so you'll find something to suit. Lots of places do night dives too, which sounds scary, but interesting.
You can also do a try dive to see whether you like the idea of scuba diving. Then invest in a course as The Philippines is one of the cheapest places in the world to learn to scuba dive. Plus it’s got some awesome spots!
There are lots of great snorkel spots dotted the whole way around the island. I simply suggest hiring your own snorkel gear and trying different spots you can find. I know that you can go with a company who will take you on a boat to coral reefs, so if you want guaranteed fish, then perhaps organise a tour. Again, there are a variety of tour agencies popping up on Siqiujor, but if you're struggling, ask your hotel/hostel for advice. It's such as small island that everyone knows someone!
Island hopping in Siquijor isn't as frequent or as common a thing as say island hopping in El Nido, or Coron. But, there is an island you can “hop” too and you can see it in the distance from the beach.
Coco Grove Beach Resort is the company/property that organises your island hopping adventures.
They can take you to a nearby island (whose name I actually cannot remember) to swim with turtles. So, if you haven’t had the chance to swim with turtles in other places, such as Port Barton, then you should absolutely do it here.
They’re amazing animals!
Since these tours are based on private organisation and depending on numbers, I really have no idea how much they should cost. If you’ve taken one, please drop a comment and let me know the price so we can help fellow travellers with their planning.
There are lots of old and beautiful churches dotted around Siquijor. Of course The Philippines is a Christian country, so churches are a normal sight, but sometimes you can find hidden churches among the fields, or abandoned ones on the side of the road.
These can be quite picturesque and perfect for some unique photos.
The most famous church to visit on Siquijor island is St Francis of Assisi Church!
Whilst driving a loop around the island, you can make a quick stop at the oldest building in Siquijor. This is known as "Cang-isok House"
To be perfectly honest, it’s a little run down, and we drove past it because I didn’t notice it (much to Brad’s annoyance), but if you want a quick stop on your Siquijor itinerary, then you may as well have a nosy since it's the oldest! Plus it’s free which makes it a great budget Siquijor attraction.
In the town of San Juan (where I will recommend that you base yourself), there is a local, “natural” swimming pool which is there for the locals living there. It’s actually pretty cool, and I’m pretty sure it’s free to enter, so if you need to cool off quick, just pop in there!
There's lots of kids having fun and a great place to stay safe from the sun, especially since swimming pools are an up and coming feature in Siquijor accommodation.
If you don’t know already, The Philippines is obsessed with basketball! They LOVE it. Everywhere you go you’ll find a court. If you want to do something different in The Philippines and get to know the locals then you should join in a game of basketball with the local kids. We found some children playing next to our hotel in Siqiujor and we asked if we could play. We had some fun "shooting hoops" and soon realized they were pretty good! It's a cool way to experience a little bit of local Philippines life and certainly one of the more unique things to do in Siquijor.
So, since we spent 3 days in Siquijor, it’s a 3 day itinerary I can recommend to you. On the map I have dotted all the top things to do in Siquijor for reference, but based on the 16 day things to do in Siquijor, then you could space them out like this.
We visited Siquijor in May. This meant beautiful weather, virtually no rain, but it is the dry season, which means that some of the waterfalls are literally DRY. (including one of the most famous on the island)
So, if you want to catch all the waterfalls, then I suggest heading around March time, but remember there is the possibility of rainfall which could disrupt your day. Just pack a raincoat to stay dry.
Since Siquijor is a small island you really don’t need too long to see it, so it’s easy to squeeze into a tight Philippines itinerary.
I recommend 3 nights as a suggestion, but you can absolutely see everything in one busy day, so it’s up to you, but I think once you see the beauty of the island and the atmosphere of tranquility and relaxation, you’ll want to stay for a couple of days.
Plus we met up with our awesome friends Wayne and Sophie and had a rum-fuelled night that required a full day of recovery!
After visiting the beautiful island of Siquijor, it's a good idea to head to either magical Bohol for some epic adventures, or even Cebu to check out the awesome waterfalls there!
Other awesome guides for planning your Philippine adventure: