Siquijor Island, a gem nestled in the heart of the Philippines, is a paradise renowned for its breathtaking waterfalls, vibrant coral reefs, and pristine white sand beaches. Though its proximity to Cebu Island might suggest an easy journey, the reality can be somewhat challenging. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here are three well-trodden paths to Siquijor Island, tailored to fit a variety of budgets and preferences.
HOW TO GET TO SIQUIJOR ISLAND
Option 1: The Budget-Friendly Adventure (Cheapest but Most Challenging)
Embrace the spirit of adventure with this cost-effective option that lets you soak in the charm of Cebu Island along the way.
Step 1: Hop on the MyBus at Cebu-Mactan International Airport and disembark at SM City Mall. Fare? A mere 25 PHP ($0.50)!
Step 2: Catch a taxi to Cebu South Terminal for 150 PHP ($3 USD) and board a comfy Ceres bus to Liloan Port in Santander for about 200 PHP ($4 USD). Note: Liloan Port is not the same as Liloan near Cebu.
Got extra time? Consider a detour to Moalboal for the mesmerizing Sardine Runs or the stunning Kawasan Falls.
Step 3: From Liloan Port, take a short ferry ride (25 minutes, 85 PHP/about $1.70 USD) to Dumaguete.
Step 4: In Dumaguete, catch a tricycle to another ferry terminal. Say “OceanJet Ferry to Siquijor,” and your driver will know just where to go. We recommend OceanJet for their quality service and ease of booking.
Step 5: Arrive in Siquijor! Upon arrival, you can rent a motorcycle or take a tricycle to your accommodation. The prices for tricycle rides are standardized and displayed at the port.
For the budget-conscious and adventure-ready traveler, this is the route we took and while it might demand a little more time and energy, it certainly lets you experience the local way of life and stretch your budget.
- Airport Bus to SM City Mall: Once you land at the Cebu-Mactan International Airport, take the airport MyBus to SM City Mall, which costs about 25 PHP ($0.50 USD) per person.
- Taxi to the Cebu South Terminal: From the mall, catch a taxi to the Cebu South Terminal. The ride should cost about 150 PHP ($3 USD).
- Bus to Liloan Port in Santander: At the Cebu South Terminal, board an air-conditioned Ceres bus headed to Liloan Port in Santander. The bus fare comes to about 200 PHP ($4 USD). Note that this is Liloan in Santander, not near Cebu.
- Detour to Moalboal (Optional): If you’re not in a hurry, it’s worth taking a detour to Moalboal. Known for its mesmerizing Sardine Runs and the majestic Kawasan Falls, it’s a worthwhile addition to your journey.
- Bus to Liloan Port: If you chose the detour, you’d return to the highway, take a tricycle to the right spot and board a bus to Liloan. Buses pass every 30-45 minutes, and most are air-conditioned.
- Ferry to Dumaguete: Once you’re at the Liloan Port, take the ferry to Dumaguete. The ferry ticket and fees should cost around 85 PHP ($1.70 USD) per person.
- Tricycle to Another Ferry Terminal: In Dumaguete, you’ll need to take a tricycle ride to another ferry terminal. Tell your driver that you’re heading to Siquijor on an OceanJet Ferry, and they’ll know where to go.
- Ferry to Siquijor: After some confusing but usual ferry terminal procedures involving several small fees, you’ll board the ferry and sail to Siquijor. We recommend OceanJet as their service is superior, and booking is straightforward.
Upon arrival in Siquijor, you can rent a motorcycle or take a tricycle to your accommodation. Tricycle fares are fixed and listed on a large board near the parking area.
While this option might seem challenging, it’s a hands-on way to immerse yourself in the local culture. Plus, the thrill of the journey makes your arrival in Siquijor feel like an accomplishment in itself. The island’s exceptional beauty is well worth the travel effort!
Option 2: The Island Hopper
If the allure of Bohol Island has piqued your interest, this route simplifies your journey to Siquijor. From Cebu, take a two-hour ferry to Bohol, then hop onto a 1.5-hour ferry from Tagbilaran, Bohol, to Siquijor for $18 USD.
If you’re interested in expanding your Philippines exploration and don’t mind a detour through Bohol, this option presents a great opportunity to do so while streamlining your journey to Siquijor:
- Ferry from Cebu to Bohol: Your journey begins with a scenic two-hour ferry ride from Cebu to the island of Bohol. This not only cuts out the bus rides through Cebu but also grants you the chance to experience Bohol’s unique attractions, like its famed Chocolate Hills or the cute tarsiers.
- Ferry from Bohol to Siquijor: Once you’ve soaked in Bohol’s charm, hop aboard a ferry at Tagbilaran port to set sail for Siquijor. This sea journey lasts approximately 1.5 hours and can be booked through OceanJet. This route costs around $18 USD, and while it might be a little higher in cost than the bus-filled alternative, it adds a whole new destination to your travel experience.
Just like in Option 3, upon arrival in Siquijor, you can choose to rent a motorcycle for an adventurous ride to your accommodation, or hire a tricycle for a more relaxed commute. The tricycle fares from the port are standardized, with the prices listed on a board near the tricycle parking area, ensuring no unpleasant surprises.
In hindsight, we realized this route might have offered a more enriching experience than the cheapest one, not just for its simpler course, but also for the bonus exploration of the beautiful Bohol. If you’re a traveller who loves to seize every opportunity to experience new places, this might just be the perfect route for you to reach Siquijor!
Option 3: The Quick and Comfortable (Most Expensive but Easiest)
For those seeking convenience and speed, fly directly from Mactan-Cebu International Airport (CEB) to Dumaguete via Cebu Pacific. From Dumaguete Airport, follow the same steps as Option 1 to reach Siquijor.
Tips for Your Journey
Ferry journeys in the Philippines may involve several small fees at different stages of your journey. Don’t be surprised! Always ask to see posted rates if you’re unsure. The locals are generally honest and helpful.
Discover the Wonder of Siquijor Island
With its responsible governance and protection of natural resources, Siquijor offers an enriching and environmentally friendly adventure. Whether you choose to journey via Bohol, opt for a direct flight, or embark on a budget-friendly adventure through Cebu, Siquijor’s charm will make every effort worthwhile.
For those seeking a quicker and more comfortable way to reach Siquijor Island, albeit with a higher price tag, here’s the route for you:
- Fly from Mactan-Cebu International Airport to Dumaguete: Opt for Cebu Pacific’s reliable service that will fly you straight to Dumaguete. The short flight alleviates the hassle of bus rides, presenting you with the opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy your journey.
- Tricycle Ride to the Port: Upon landing at Dumaguete Airport, your next step involves a ride to the port. You can easily hire a tricycle right outside the airport. Simply inform the driver that you’re headed for the Dumaguete Port for a ferry to Siquijor, and they will transport you directly there.
- Ferry from Dumaguete to Siquijor: We strongly recommend booking a ferry with OceanJet due to their excellent service and ease of booking. This ferry ride offers you beautiful views of the sea and surrounding islands, making the journey as enjoyable as the destination.
- Acquiring Tickets and Terminal Procedures: Upon reaching the ferry terminal, you’ll encounter a ticket stand along the roadside. Here, you can buy or pick up your pre-booked ticket. Do not be daunted by the covered alley across the road; it leads directly to the ferry terminal. It’s worth mentioning that ferry rides in the Philippines involve several minor fees, which can be somewhat perplexing. You’ll pay a terminal fee before entering and a baggage fee after dropping off your luggage. Remember to ask for posted rates if unsure and rest easy knowing the locals are typically honest and helpful.
- Arriving at Siquijor: Upon docking in Siquijor, you have options to get to your accommodations. You can rent a motorcycle for an adventurous ride or hire a tricycle for a laid-back journey. Tricycle fares are fixed and clearly listed on a large board across from the parking area, ensuring transparency and fairness.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: How do I get to Siquijor Island from Manila?
A: The quickest way to get to Siquijor from Manila is by flying to Dumaguete. From there, take a tricycle to the port and a ferry to Siquijor.
Q2: How long does the ferry take from Dumaguete to Siquijor?
A: The ferry ride from Dumaguete to Siquijor typically takes about 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the weather and the type of ferry.
Q3: What is there to do in Siquijor Island?
A: Siquijor Island is a treasure trove of natural beauty. You can explore stunning waterfalls, swim in the pristine white sand beaches, go snorkeling in the protected reefs, or simply enjoy the island’s serene atmosphere.
Q4: Is it safe to travel to Siquijor Island?
A: Yes, Siquijor is generally considered safe for tourists. As with any travel destination, it’s important to stay informed about the local customs and safety measures, and always take care of your belongings.
Q5: Can I rent a vehicle in Siquijor?
A: Yes, upon arrival in Siquijor, you can rent a motorcycle or take a tricycle to your accommodations. Prices for tricycles are standardized and listed on a large board at the port.
Q6: Is Siquijor a good place for snorkeling?
A: Absolutely! Siquijor is famous for its vibrant coral reefs, making it an ideal place for snorkeling. However, be aware that snorkeling is prohibited over reefs when currents are strong to protect the marine life.
Q7: Are there direct flights from Cebu to Siquijor?
A: As of now, there are no direct flights from Cebu to Siquijor. The best route is to fly from Cebu to Dumaguete and then take a ferry to Siquijor.