Jude The Tourist

Siquijor Island 2023: Uncovering the Magic of the Philippines’ Hidden Gem

Siquijo tourist spots 2023

Have you been to an island paradise that’s full of history and natural wonders? If not, then you should definitely consider visiting Siquijor. This small island in the Visayas region of the Philippines is a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of beauty, culture, and adventure. From stunning beaches to ancient cathedrals, Siquijor has it all. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the island’s history, how to get there, accommodations, attractions, travel tips, and a conclusion with a hook.

History of Siquijor

Siquijor has a rich and fascinating history. It was once called “Katugasan,” which means “to resist.” This name reflects the island’s long history of resistance against foreign invaders. In the 16th century, Siquijor was a stronghold of the native people against the Spanish colonizers. It was only in 1870 when the Spanish finally established a permanent settlement on the island.

During the American occupation, Siquijor became a part of Negros Oriental province. It wasn’t until 1971 that it became an independent province. Today, Siquijor is known for its natural beauty and mystical traditions. The island is often associated with traditional medicine, witchcraft, and folklore.

How to Go There

Getting to Siquijor is relatively easy. You can fly to Dumaguete City or Tagbilaran City and take a ferry to Siquijor. There are several ferry companies that operate daily trips to the island. The ferry ride takes around an hour and a half from Dumaguete and two hours from Tagbilaran.

Another option is to take a ferry from Cebu City to Larena, the main port of Siquijor. This trip takes around four hours. Once you arrive at the port, you can hire a tricycle or a motorbike to take you to your accommodation.

Getting Around

Siquijor is easy, with several transportation options available. Visitors can rent a scooter or motorcycle for an affordable price. Tricycles are another option for short trips, and private vans and cars are available for hire.

Public transportation options include jeepneys and buses, but schedules and routes may be limited. Visitors should exercise caution when driving or riding on the island’s narrow and winding roads, especially at night or in adverse weather conditions. It’s recommended to plan transportation ahead of time for a smooth and enjoyable trip.


Siquijor has a wide range of accommodations to suit different budgets and preferences. You can find luxury resorts, mid-range hotels, guesthouses, and backpacker hostels on the island. Some of the most popular accommodations are located in San Juan, which is known for its white sand beaches and vibrant nightlife.

If you’re looking for a quieter and more secluded place to stay, you can head to Larena or Maria. These areas have a more laid-back atmosphere and are ideal for those who want to relax and unwind.

Attractions in Siquijor 2023

Siquijor is a small island, but it’s packed with natural and cultural attractions. Here are a few very popular places to visit all around the island:

1. Cambugahay Falls

This stunning natural wonder in Siquijor is a must-visit for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Cambugahay Falls features three tiers of cascading waterfalls, crystal-clear turquoise pools, and lush greenery that surrounds the area. Visitors can swim, jump cliffs, or try the famous Tarzan swing. The falls are accessible by a short hike through a picturesque forest trail.

The area surrounding the falls is well-maintained, and visitors can find a small restaurant and picnic tables to enjoy a meal or snack. Cambugahay Falls is a popular destination in Siquijor and is best visited during the weekdays to avoid crowds. Overall, the falls are a stunning and refreshing natural attraction that offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

2. Salagdoong Beach

This picturesque beach in Siquijor is a popular destination for travelers seeking a relaxing and serene escape. Salagdoong Beach boasts white sand, clear blue waters, and towering cliffs that create a dramatic backdrop. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, or cliff diving at the beach. The area is well-maintained, and visitors can find a small restaurant and picnic tables to enjoy a meal or snack.

Salagdoong Beach is also a perfect spot for snorkeling and scuba diving, as the beach features a coral reef teeming with marine life. The beach is accessible by car or motorbike, and visitors can find parking areas nearby. Overall, Salagdoong Beach is a stunning natural attraction that offers a perfect balance of relaxation and adventure.

3. San Isidro Labrador Church and Convent

This historical landmark in Siquijor is a must-visit for history and architecture enthusiasts. The San Isidro Labrador Church and Convent, also known as Lazi Church, is a well-preserved Spanish colonial structure that dates back to the 18th century. The church features intricate carvings, impressive ceiling paintings, and stunning stained glass windows. The adjacent convent, which is the largest convent in Asia, has been converted into a museum that displays religious artifacts and antiques.

Visitors can explore the grounds of the church and convent and appreciate the unique blend of Spanish and Filipino architecture. The San Isidro Labrador Church and Convent is accessible by car or motorbike, and visitors can find parking areas nearby. Overall, the church and convent are a testament to the rich history and culture of Siquijor.

4. Balete Tree and Fish Spa

This unique attraction in Siquijor combines nature, relaxation, and a touch of adventure. The Balete Tree and Fish Spa is a natural spring that is surrounded by a massive balete tree. Visitors can soak their feet in the crystal-clear waters while tiny fish nibble at their toes. The sensation is said to be therapeutic and refreshing, and the experience is both relaxing and exhilarating.

The site is also home to a small souvenir shop and a snack bar, where visitors can purchase refreshments and local products. The Balete Tree and Fish Spa is accessible by car or motorbike, and visitors can find parking areas nearby. Overall, the Balete Tree and Fish Spa is a one-of-a-kind attraction that offers a unique and unforgettable experience.

5. Guiwanon Spring Park

This ecological wonder in Siquijor is a must-visit for nature lovers and adventurers. The Guiwanon Spring Park is a mangrove forest that is situated on a small island. Visitors can explore the winding boardwalks that snake through the mangroves, and discover the unique flora and fauna that call this ecosystem home. The park also features a floating restaurant that serves fresh seafood and local delicacies, as well as a small museum that showcases the history and culture of the island.

The Guiwanon Spring Park is accessible by boat or kayak, and visitors can arrange for tours and activities with local operators. Overall, the Guiwanon Spring Park is a beautiful and fascinating attraction that offers a glimpse into the natural wonders of Siquijor.

6. Kagusuan Beach

Kagusuan Beach is a hidden gem in Siquijor, perfect for those who want to escape the crowds and experience a more secluded and peaceful beach setting. Located on the eastern coast of the island, Kagusuan Beach is known for its white sandy shores and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Visitors can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, or simply lounging on the beach while admiring the stunning views of the surrounding mountains and sea.

The beach is also home to several small restaurants and snack bars where visitors can sample local cuisine and refreshments. While Kagusuan Beach may not be as well-known as some of the other beaches on the island, its unspoiled beauty and serene atmosphere make it a must-visit for those seeking a quieter and more secluded beach experience in Siquijor.

7. Paliton Beach

Paliton Beach is one of the most picturesque beaches on the island of Siquijor, known for its white sandy shores, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and stunning sunset views. Located on the southwestern coast of the island, the beach is surrounded by lush greenery and towering palm trees, providing a serene and tranquil atmosphere for visitors. Paliton Beach is also an excellent spot for swimming and snorkeling, with its shallow and calm waters filled with colorful marine life.

Visitors can relax on the beach and soak up the sun or take a stroll along the shoreline and admire the stunning views. There are also several small restaurants and snack bars nearby where visitors can sample local cuisine and refreshments. Overall, Paliton Beach is a must-visit for those looking for a serene and picturesque beach experience in Siquijor.

8. Cantabon Cave

This unique and challenging cave system in Siquijor offers visitors a chance to explore the island’s hidden treasures. Cantabon Cave, approximately 800 meters long, features stunning natural formations and underground streams and requires visitors to navigate through tight spaces, climb, and rappel. The cave is a popular tourist attraction, with visitors from around the world coming to experience its natural beauty and unique adventure.

To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, guides are required when exploring Cantabon Cave. Visitors must follow rules to preserve the natural beauty of the cave, including not touching the formations, not littering, and not smoking inside the cave. Overall, Cantabon Cave is a must-visit for adventurous travelers looking for a unique and unforgettable experience in Siquijor.

9. Siquijor Butterfly Sanctuary

This enchanting sanctuary in Siquijor will leave you in awe as you wander through a beautiful garden filled with vibrant blooms and fluttering wings, creating an idyllic haven for a plethora of butterfly species. As you stroll through the sanctuary, you’ll find yourself surrounded by the magical beauty of these magnificent creatures, each with its unique patterns and colors.

The knowledgeable guides will take you through the life cycle of a butterfly, from egg to caterpillar, and from chrysalis to adult. The experience is a true feast for the senses, with the sounds of wings flapping, the scents of the blooming flowers, and the sight of countless butterflies in flight. The Siquijor Butterfly Sanctuary is an enchanting and educational experience that should not be missed by nature lovers and curious minds.

Food and Cuisine

Siquijor is a small island in the Philippines that offers a unique culinary experience. The island’s cuisine is influenced by the local ingredients, culture, and history. Siquijor’s food is known for its simplicity, freshness, and bold flavors. One of the must-try dishes in Siquijor is seafood. The island is surrounded by clear waters that are home to a variety of fish, crabs, and shellfish. Some of the popular seafood dishes include grilled squid, shrimp sinigang, and buttered garlic shrimp.

Another local favorite is the chicken binakol, a soup made with coconut water, chicken, and ginger. It’s a comforting and flavorful dish that’s perfect for rainy days. Siquijor also has its own version of adobo, a popular Filipino dish made with meat marinated in vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic. Visitors can also try local delicacies such as kalamay, a sticky rice cake made with coconut milk and brown sugar, and budbud kabog, a steamed rice cake wrapped in banana leaves and served with coconut jam.

Siquijor’s food scene showcases the island’s opulent culture and natural resources. Visitors can expect a unique culinary experience featuring fresh and savory dishes, which reflect the island’s charm and identity.

Best time to Visit

The best time to travel to Siquijor, Philippines is between May and November, during the island’s dry season. This period offers visitors ideal weather with less rainfall and lower humidity, making it perfect for outdoor activities and exploration. The worst time to visit Siquijor is from December to February, as this is the coldest and driest time of the year, and can make the water activities less enjoyable.

Additionally, from June to October, Siquijor experiences a wet season with more rainfall and occasional thunderstorms, making it less ideal for outdoor activities but can offer a quieter and more affordable travel experience.

Travel Tips

Here are a few tips to make your visit to Siquijor more than entertaining:

  • Rent a motorbike – The best way to explore the island is by renting a motorbike. It’s cheap, convenient, and allows you to see more places at your own pace.
  • Bring cash – There are limited ATM machines on the island, so it’s best to bring enough cash for your trip.
  • Respect local customs – Siquijor has a rich cultural heritage, and it’s important to respect the local customs and traditions. For example, you should dress up discreetly when visiting cathedrals or other religious places.
  • Use eco-friendly products – Siquijor is known for its pristine environment, and it’s important to help preserve it. Use eco-friendly products and avoid littering.
  • WiFi – Staying connected to WiFi on Siquijor can be quite a challenge. While some larger restaurants may offer a slow connection that is just sufficient for sending emails or using WhatsApp, it’s generally not reliable. Therefore, it’s advisable to purchase a SIM card in advance, as it tends to work well throughout the entire island, ensuring a more stable and consistent internet connection.


Siquijor is a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage. From stunning beaches to ancient cathedrals, the island has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or a glimpse into the Philippines’ rich history, Siquijor is definitely worth a visit. So pack your bags, rent a motorbike, and get ready to explore this paradise island. Who knows, you might just discover something magical along the way.

Written by: Ron-Ron Mamaradlo


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