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Monday, May 26, 2014

Exploring Dumaguete, Siquijor and Apo Island

Hearing about the beauty of Siquijor, I was very eager to spend the most of my vacation there.  But since this small province is near to Dumaguete and Apo Island, I wouldn't want to miss visiting and exploring these places as well.

Its not hard to prepare and plan for a trip on these 3 destinations.  Maybe because I already know where I wanna go on each locations and there are not much to explore on Siquijor and Apo Island.  I started with checking the must see destinations in Siquijor.  Per research, one can explore most of the tourist destination of Siquijor in half to one day.  Famous destinations here are as follows:

  • St. Francis of Assisi Church
  • Capilay Spring Park
  • Balete Tree
  • Lazi Church and Convent
  • Cambugahay Falls
  • Salagdoong Beach

In Apo Island on the other hand, it is famous for snorkeling and swimming with the turtles.  There are also Rock Formations and the Marine Sanctuary.  Read my snorkeling experience at Apo Island here.

Dumaguete was the only province which have quite a number of destinations to explore.  But since our trip is only 4 days, we will be only exploring the city.  Below are some famous destinations that I have researched.

  • Siliman University
  • Anthropology Museum in Siliman University
  • Casaroro Falls
  • Pulangbato Falls
  • Rizal Boulevard
  • Twin Lakes of Balinsasayao and Danao
  • Belfry Tower
  • St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral
  • Quezon Park
  • Aquino Freedom Park

Basically, our planned itinerary was overnight at Siquijor on day 1, rest on day 2 (coming from Siquijor to Dumaguete), day tour in Apo Island on day 3 then explore Dumaguete City on the remaining of day 3 and the rest of day 4.  You may read these blog posts on why this planned itinerary was not followed.

If you plan to visit all these 3 destinations, by plane, your nearest drop off point is at Dumaguete (Sibulan Airport).  From the airport, one can ride the tricycle, about 15 minutes, bound to the port going to Siquijor.  From Dumaguete to Siquijor, travel time by ferry boat can be as fast as 45 minutes or as slow as 2 hours.  This is dependent on the shipping lines that you will be using.  Note that each shipping company provides different schedule and availability to-from Dumaguete and Siquijor.

Ferry from Dumaguete port to Siquijor port

If you are in Dumaguete City, traveling to Apo Island will take you about 1 hour and 20 minutes.  This includes 5 minutes tricycle ride from the city to the bus terminal, 40 minutes bus ride and 35 minutes boat ride to the island.

Our boat to Apo Island from Coco Grove Beach Resort in Siquijor

To help you further, see below on some ferry boat schedules from Dumaguete to Siquijor.  There are 2 ports available in Siquijor: Larena port and Siquijor port.  Siquijor port is nearer to San Juan where famous beaches are located.  These were provided to me by Coco Grove Beach Resort for Siquijor port (you may read my review on Coco Grove Beach Resort here).

·         Jay Lann (Outrigger Boat travels 1Hr & 15 minutes or more) Note: No trips every Saturday. Docks at Siquijor port
·         GL Express (1 hr) Note: No trips every Saturday. Docks at Siquijor port
·         Ocean Jet (Big Fast Craft, Seats options are Business, Tourist & Open-air & Travels only 45 minutes) Docks at Siquijor port
·         Aleson (Big Cargo Ferry travels about 2Hrs) Docks at Siquijor port
·         Montenegro Lines (Big Cargo Ferry Travels 2 Hours but to Larena Pier which 30  minutes travel to & from the resort) Docks at Larena port

5:40 am Jay Lann
8:00 am Aleson Ferry
10:00 am GL Express
10:00 am Montenegro
12:00 nn Jay Lann
1:00 pm Ocean Jet
3:30 pm Aleson Ferry
4:00 pm GL Express
6:00 pm Montenegro


5:50 am Jay Lann
6:00 am Montenegro
8:00 am GL Express
9:30 am Jay Lann
11:00 am Aleson
12:00 nn GL Express
2:00 pm Montenegro
2:30 pm Ocean Jet
3:45 pm Jay Lann
5:30 pm Aleson

Ocean Jet from Siquijor port to Dumaguete port

I prefer and would recommend Ocean Jet as this is the fastest (more review about Ocean Jet here).  However, the time indicated above seems late already but they also have trips to Larena port at an earlier time coming from Dumaguete.  It is suggested to book your tickets early prior your trip to Siquijor as these sells fast.  So it is better to plan your itinerary with ample time intervals to avoid ruining your plan just because you were not able to ride the ferry at your preferred schedule.  Also, the schedule are often changing depending on the sea and whether conditions.

Read my next blog about Siquijor, here.

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