April 18, 2024
Travel

Cebu To Siquijor Travel Guide: Secrets You Must Know

Cebu To Siquijor Travel Guide: Secrets You Must Know

This Cebu to Siquijor travel guide is perfect for first-time solo women travelers hoping to enjoy Siquijor’s hidden charms.

I vividly recall the excitement of disembarking from the ferry and shielding my eyes from the intense Philippine sunlight. I was all set to begin my adventure on the small island of Siquijor. The water at Siquijor Port immediately caught my attention with its crystal-clear appearance. A shimmering turquoise that was so enticing, I nearly wanted to dive in! It was unlike the usual murky brown found at so many ports around the Philippines! 

Siquijor is ideal for women in their 30s and 40s looking to experience the magic of solo travel. This location stands out as a hidden gem, offering a peaceful escape from the bustling tourist spots in the Philippines. This Cebu to Siquijor travel guide is perfect for you if you want to explore this magical place.

I’m here to reveal the mysteries of this captivating tropical haven. Imagine incredibly vibrant scenery, powerful waterfalls tucked away in the jungle, and deserted beaches. The island also has a fascinating mystical side, with traditions of folk healing that have captivated travelers for generations. I’ll help you understand everything so you can organize the ideal trip, tailored for the adventurous and independent woman. 

How Do I Get From Cebu to Siquijor?

Traveling from buzzing Cebu to the enchanting island of Siquijor takes some careful preparation. Let’s explore the details in this Cebu to Siquijor travel guide so you can embark on this adventure ASAP!

To start with, I should warn you that the ferry ride is anything but a quick jaunt. You’ll start your journey in Cebu and make a quick stop at Tagbilaran in Bohol before reaching Siquijor. The whole trip can last over 5-6 hours, depending on the sea conditions and ferry schedules. Even if you have to exercise some patience, the destination is well worth it!

There are several ferry companies available, and OceanJet is a well-known choice. I opted for the OceanJet route and secured a tourist class seat for ₱1,600.00 (approximately US$30). The ferries are quite practical. You’ll enjoy air conditioning to combat the tropical heat, and the seats are reasonably comfortable, though not overly luxurious. Here’s a tip: consider bringing a book or loading up some podcasts, as gazing at the ocean can become monotonous after some time.

For a smooth journey, it’s crucial to stay updated on the schedules for your departure and arrival points. Usually, Pier 1 is where you’ll take off if you’re leaving Cebu City. To optimize your travel time, think about which port, Larena or Siquijor Town, is nearer to your accommodation. If it’s in San Juan, it’s best to hop on a ferry that will bring you to Siquijor Town. On the other hand, if you’d rather get off at Larena Port, you have the choice of Lite Shipping, which is a more budget-friendly alternative. But the travel time will be longer, approximately 10 hours.

Also, remember to account for the terminal fees by adding an extra ₱25 (US$0.45) to your budget.

First time in Cebu? Discover the 7 Ways to Get from Mactan Airport to Cebu.

Siquijor Transportation: Your Ultimate Guide to Island Adventures

Alright, let’s explore how to navigate Siquijor with the expertise of a seasoned wanderer! This place is all about adventure, so let’s explore ways to fully enjoy the stunning views passing by.

Having choices is great when you’re exploring on your own! Here’s the scoop:

  • Tricycles. These omnipresent three-wheelers are essential for getting around. For short trips within towns, you can expect to pay around 20–30 pesos. The fare increases for longer distances, sometimes reaching upwards of 300 pesos depending on your destination. Negotiating is a key aspect; maintain a respectful yet assertive approach. For solo female travelers, it’s a good idea to negotiate the price in advance and seek recommendations from your hotel for reliable drivers if you’re feeling wary.
  • Motorcycles. This is the true essence of Siquijor’s magic. Expect to pay around 350–400 pesos per day for renting a motorbike. Safety is crucial when traveling alone, especially on remote roads. Strap on a helmet and practice defensive driving. What’s the payoff? Imagine a morning journey by the sea, feeling the breeze in your hair, with no one else in sight. Discovering hidden waterfalls that many people overlook is truly invaluable.
  • Multicabs. Imagine them as communal jeepneys on a fixed route. Great for those on a tight budget, but may have limited options for schedules and destinations. 
  • Private Car Rental. For those seeking ultimate comfort and convenience, there is an option available at a price. If you’re in the mood for a luxurious road trip, simply ask your hotel to help you arrange it.

The book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert Pirsig, contains a powerful quote: “Sometimes it’s a little better to travel than to arrive.” That sentiment is particularly relevant in a location such as Siquijor. Embrace the leisurely pace, the outdoor breeze, and the unexpected paths your preferred mode of transportation may lead you to.

Where Should I Stay in Siquijor?

Kawayan Holiday Resort, San Juan, Siquijor

Siquijor provides a delightful combination of affordable accommodations, trendy boutique hotels, and choices that offer a good balance. For those looking to save money, consider places such as Tori’s Backpacker’s Paradise in San Juan for affordable, no-frills accommodations. Longing for a taste of luxurious island chic? Coco Grove Beach Resort offers luxurious beachfront relaxation, varied dining choices, and a welcoming atmosphere perfect for solo adventurers seeking a mix of tranquility and social connection. For a delightful compromise, check out Salamangka Beach and Dive Resort, known for its beautiful rooms, a breathtaking infinity pool, and a relaxed, upscale atmosphere. You might also want to consider Kawayan Holiday Resort for its private villas, luxurious amenities, and a tranquil setting

Where you choose to stay matters as much as how much you’re willing to spend! For those who love spending time at the beach, San Juan is the perfect destination with its expansive sandy shores and numerous lodging choices along the coastline. Enjoy being near the action? Larena is the heart of the island, offering convenient access to restaurants, shops, beaches, and attractions. Larena also boasts hidden treasures, such as Thornton’s Sea View Cafe for a stunning view of Siquijor. For those seeking a unique and social island experience with a touch of luxury, Siquijor Sunset Glamping Village offers a truly magical stay with its cozy glamping tents perfect for solo adventurers.

And remember, solo travel doesn’t have to be all about isolating yourself! Choosing a location that offers both privacy and opportunities for social interaction is crucial. Many resorts offer a combination of private rooms and shared spaces, ideal for connecting with fellow travelers who share similar interests (imagine relaxing in hammocks by the pool!). Doing some research can be very beneficial, and that’s where this travel guide from Cebu to Siquijor proves to be useful. Make sure to look up online reviews from other solo female travelers to gauge the safety, friendliness, and ease of navigation of a place. 

Activities You Can’t Miss in Siquijor: Exploring, Relaxing, and a Touch of Magic

Cambugahay Falls, Siquijor

Discover the must-see attractions, hidden treasures, and mystical experiences in this Cebu to Siquijor travel guide. Let’s explore all the thrilling experiences waiting for you in Siquijor! Exploring waterfalls and immersing in local culture, this island guarantees a memorable adventure.

Let’s start with these must-visit landmarks:

  • Cambugahay Falls. Picture a sequence of cascading turquoise pools in a vibrant jungle environment. That is Cambugahay Falls! Arrive conveniently by tricycle or motorbike. Prepare for a small crowd, but the experience is worthwhile. Make sure to experience the Tarzan swing for an incredible rush of excitement before you leave! 
  • Salagdoong Beach. A beautiful beach with crystal-clear waters and stunning cliffs. It also provides a thrilling cliff jump for adventurous souls (offering various heights, so no need to fret!). An enjoyable place to swim, sunbathe, and soak up that vacation atmosphere.
  • Paliton Beach. If you’re looking for a “picture-perfect tropical beach,” Paliton is the place to be! The serene setting with coconut palms, white sand, and tranquil waters creates the perfect environment for a peaceful afternoon. Bring along a book, some snacks, and refreshments, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.

Hold on, there’s an additional surprise! Siquijor is brimming with undiscovered treasures just waiting to be found.

  • Lagaan Falls. Located further into the jungle of the island, these waterfalls provide a secluded and magical experience. 
  • The Best Places to Watch the Sunset. Consult with the locals to discover the best spots to watch the sunset; some might require a brief walk or just locating a quieter area on the beach. The golden hour on this island is enchanting.
  • Community Markets. One of the best ways to truly immerse yourself in the essence of Siquijor is by visiting a local market. Visit San Juan or Lazi markets for fresh produce, colorful souvenirs, and a glimpse of everyday life.

Now, let’s talk about the big issue here—or should I say, the mythical creature in the room! Siquijor is known for its rich history of folklore and mysticism, especially the practice of healers and tales of the aswang, a mythical creature that can change its form. This reputation contributes a distinctive element to the island’s charm.

If you’re interested in delving deeper, approach it with care and consideration. Keep in mind that tales of the aswang have been circulating for centuries. In the book “Revisiting Usog, Pasma, Kulam” by anthropologist Michael Tan, it is mentioned that the Spaniards in the 1500s were the first to document encounters with aswang, which played a role in shaping these stories over time. 

Avoid actively pursuing supernatural encounters. Instead of striking up conversations with locals or even joining a guided tour that explains the island’s culture and folklore. Always prioritize the respectful sharing of information over sensationalism.

Is Siquijor a Safe Destination for Women Traveling Alone? 

Let’s be honest… You’ve probably come across the stunning images of Siquijor, felt its enchanting atmosphere, and are now pondering, “Can I explore this island alone as a female traveler?” This is a completely valid question! I’m certain you’ve encountered plenty of thrillers where enigmatic islands are far from being “Paradise Found” and more of a “Wrong Turn.” 

I’m here to alleviate those concerns. Siquijor is known for its welcoming and secure environment, boasting minimal crime rates. Indeed, many female travelers who have visited this island alone share stories of friendly receptions and trouble-free experiences. 

Being a smart, independent traveler is always a good idea, so here’s the scoop:

  • Remember to stay mindful of your surroundings, as it is crucial no matter where you are. Listen to your instincts; if a location or circumstance seems wrong, don’t hesitate to distance yourself. 
  • Choose guesthouses or resorts with high ratings and positive reviews, especially those that highlight their friendliness towards solo female travelers. Opt for locations that are not too remote and offer some security measures.
  • Every corner of the globe has its fair share of overly enthusiastic admirers. A resolute “no thanks” typically gets the job done. If situations become intense, do not hesitate to speak up and confidently move towards a public area or other individuals.
  • Embrace the tropical sunshine and stay sun-savvy! Don’t forget to always wear sunscreen. For the best protection, you may want to try Women’s UV Sun Protective Clothing. Seek out wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses, and keep in mind that the shady areas are the best spots to relax—in more ways than one!
  • Siquijor has a relaxed vibe; just be cautious of secluded spots after dark. Opt for well-lit streets or take a tricycle for very affordable transportation back to your place.

Always keep in mind that a little bit of common sense can take you far. If you have experience with solo travel, your instincts will come in handy for this as well. Without a doubt, Siquijor is a much safer destination compared to the bustling cities I’ve explored on my own!

Exploring the Culinary Delights of Siquijor

Alright, time to indulge in some delicious food! Let’s explore Siquijor’s delectable food scene. This island, though small in size, offers a burst of flavors that cater to those with adventurous palates.

You’re not interested in chain restaurants and generic hotel buffets, are you? Great! Siquijor’s culinary scene is filled with local charm and flavors that will surely make your taste buds dance with joy.

Local Cuisine

Avoid the crowded tourist attractions and explore the places favored by the residents. You can discover small eateries similar to Filipino “carinderias” that offer home-style dishes. Keep an eye out for delicious sisig, seafood, and the classic chicken adobo. Make sure to visit Baha Ba’r for breathtaking sunset views and delicious meals, or explore the humble yet charming Dagsa for genuine flavors. Keep in mind that there are times when the more humble a place appears, the more delicious the food!

Seaside Snacks

Time to kick back with your feet in the sand and a refreshing coconut drink in hand—island snacking at its finest! Make sure to check out the row of small bars on Paliton Beach, including the well-known one and a more peaceful option to the north. It’s a great way to casually immerse yourself in the Siquijor atmosphere. 

Cafes

Looking for a refreshing break with some delicious coffee and perhaps a slice of cake? Experience SEE-KEE-HOR Cafe‘s artsy and relaxed vibe, ideal for enjoying some “me time.” If you’re seeking a bit more social interaction, Monkey Business frequently attracts a welcoming blend of locals and tourists. 

Vegan/Vegetarian Options

Although it’s not a vegetarian paradise, there are choices available if you know where to search. Luca Loko provides a variety of delicious vegetarian wraps and salads. Plenty of nearby restaurants are more than willing to prepare a delicious vegetarian dish for you; just inquire! 

Keep in mind that life on the island moves at a leisurely pace, and online updates may not always be immediate. Being adaptable is crucial while traveling, particularly when it comes to meeting specific dietary requirements. The most exciting finds, whether it’s about food or something else, come when you let go of strict schedules and don’t stick too closely to any Cebu to Siquijor travel guide, but instead, welcome some spontaneity.

Siquijor Souvenirs: What Should I Bring Home?

Let’s now discuss how you can bring a piece of the mystique of Siquijor back with you! Souvenirs serve as tangible reminders of your incredible solo adventure. Let’s move away from the ordinary keychains and explore the distinctive treasures this island has in store.

First off, Siquijor is renowned for its talented craftsmen and locally made products. Look for woven bags and baskets crafted from local materials, ideal for achieving a boho-chic beach look back home. You can discover exquisitely crafted wooden pieces and stunning shell accessories. If you enjoy a touch of mystical charm, consider exploring handmade amulets and talismans with a curious and open-minded perspective. 

When it comes to mysticism, Siquijor is well-known for its traditional healers and their herbal potions. These potions and concoctions make for intriguing souvenirs, but caution is advised when making a purchase! There is minimal scientific evidence supporting their effectiveness, so it’s more appropriate to consider them as cultural artifacts or potential conversation pieces when you return. Don’t expect to suddenly develop magical powers after a couple of sips, okay?

And for food enthusiasts, Siquijor offers a wide array of delectable snacks. Discover local bakeries known for their delicious pan bisaya, or visit the market for dried mangoes and other tropical delicacies. You may come across homemade peanut kisses, a specialty from Siquijor that could be considered a superior version of the popular American chocolate-peanut butter cups.

When it comes to shopping, local markets are always a treasure trove. The San Juan Public Market is an excellent place to begin exploring. Smaller shops and stalls are scattered throughout the island. Feel free to engage in conversations with the vendors and inquire about the background of their products. What’s even better? At times, you have the opportunity to buy directly from the artisans, which helps the local community and allows you to own a unique, authentic piece. Negotiating is common practice, so approach it with a cheerful attitude and some wit. It’s all about embracing the whole journey! 

Essential Items to Pack for Siquijor

Alright, ladies, it’s time to say goodbye to that habit of overpacking! For your Cebu to Siquijor travel guide, remember that packing light is key. Let’s concentrate on the essentials and fashionable items that will help you feel confident and ready for any adventure.

A Trusty Sarong

This is a woman’s travel essential. You can use it as a beach towel, a cover-up in town, or a breezy scarf on a motorcycle ride. This item is quite lightweight and features attractive patterns. 

Coral Isles Sunscreen SPF 50 Hawaii 104 Reef Safe Act Compliant

Eco-Conscious Sunscreen

It is essential for protecting both your skin and the reefs! Choose a mineral sunscreen that is safe for coral reefs. This Coral Isles product has become my favorite.

Repel Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent

Insect Repellent

Mosquitoes and other tiny creatures can be quite aggressive, especially after dark. An effective DEET-free alternative with essential oils can get the job done; check out this top-rated option.

Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag

Compact Waterproof Dry Bag

Great for boat trips and exploring waterfalls. Toss in your phone, some cash, and sunscreen for stress-free adventures. Check out this product in a variety of vibrant colors.

Travel Ready Portable Emergency First Aid Kit

Travel First Aid Kit

Having a few essential supplies on hand can be useful for treating minor scrapes or stings. I always put together a small kit with bandages, antiseptic wipes, antihistamine cream, and a few pain relievers.

Siquijor exudes a relaxed atmosphere, so it’s best to pack comfortable footwear and casual outfits. Imagine lightweight materials with a hint of exotic charm. 

Women’s Summer Loose Kimono Maxi Dress

Flowy Maxi Dress

This is the perfect choice for charming cafes and romantic dinners. This item is compact and can easily go from day to night. This patterned one is just lovely.

Roxy Women's Oceanside Pant

Airy Linen Clothing

Linen pieces easily wrinkle, but who gives a hoot? They are breathable and stylish. Consider these linen pants and a basic top for a versatile outfit.

Speedo Women's Swimsuit One Piece Prolt Super Pro Solid Adult

Swimwear

When it comes to beach attire, bikinis are suitable for the beach, but one-pieces or a tankini paired with cute shorts are more appropriate for exploring towns or markets. The classic Speedo Women’s Swimsuit One Piece Prolt Super Pro doesn’t disappoint.

Small Round Polarized Sunglasses for Women

Sun Protection Essentials

A wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses are essential. This is not only sun-smart (think about future wrinkle-free skin!), but it also gives off major vacation vibes.

Water Shoes Men Women Adult Quick-Dry Aqua Sock Barefoot for Beach Swim River Pool Lake Hiking Kayaking Surfing

The Perfect Footwear

Consider getting a pair of comfortable sandals for the beach, durable walking shoes for waterfalls and light hikes, and perhaps a pair of stylish flats for dinners out

Now, let me get my geek out for a bit. Have you ever considered how your clothing can affect your body temperature? Opt for light colors and natural fibers, as per thermodynamics. If you’re into it, the book “How to Cool the Planet” by Jeff Goodell presents some unconventional ideas on this subject! 

Is it possible to travel to Siquijor on a budget?

Sure thing! Island travel can seem pricey at times, but Siquijor provides the beauty of the Philippines without the high costs of popular tourist destinations. Let’s explore a sample one-week budget breakdown. Keep in mind that these are approximations. Just like Captain Kirk estimating the time needed to repair the warp drive, it’s a helpful reference, but circumstances may alter.

Sample Siquijor Weekly Budget for Female Solo Travelers

Avg. Daily CostWeekly Total
Accommodation (Budget-Friendly)₱600 – ₱1000 ($11 – $18)₱4200 – ₱7000 ($76 – $127)
Food (Local Eats)₱300 – ₱500 ($5.50 – $9)₱2100 – ₱3500 ($38 – $64)
Transport (Tricycle/Motorbike)₱300 – ₱500 ($5.50 – $9)₱2100 – ₱3500 ($38 – $64)
Activities/Entrance Fees₱100 – ₱300 ($2 – $5.50)₱700 – ₱2100 ($13 – $38)
Total1300 – ₱2300 ($24 – $41.50)9100 – ₱16100 ($165 – $292)

Note: It’s important to keep an eye on exchange rates, as they can change frequently, especially before your trip!

Just a few more budget tips:

  • Choose local living. Forget about fancy resorts and go for charming guesthouses or homestays. Dine at the same spots as the locals for tasty meals at a lower cost.
  • Master the art of haggling. Tricycle fares can usually be negotiated, so feel free to politely haggle a bit.
  • Embrace DIY opportunities. Renting a motorbike can help you save money and enjoy unparalleled freedom.
  • Skip some of the popular tourist attractions. Certain popular locations may have expensive entrance fees and large crowds. Discover those lesser-known treasures instead!

Just a heads up: this Cebu to Siquijor travel guide focuses on solo adventures, and making smart budget choices can help you savor your trip! Whoever claims that traveling alone on a budget isn’t enjoyable hasn’t experienced it firsthand! 😉 

Conclusion

Alright, let’s conclude this Cebu to Siquijor travel guide.

Embarking on a solo adventure can be both exciting and daunting. However, let me tell you, Siquijor is an excellent option for easing into solo travel. It strikes a perfect balance between convenience and the thrill of exploring new places. The people are friendly, the scenery is stunning, and there’s a touch of magic that makes the entire adventure more enchanting.

Tap into your adventurous spirit, and go ahead and book those tickets! Explore the enchanting island and uncover its wonders! 

administrator
I'm a self-proclaimed geek girl and a chronic introvert. I've spent the better part of my wandering years holed up in my Cebu apartment – a haven for bookworms and the occasional Netflix binge. I'm fueled by strong coffee, good writing, and the allure of slow travel. You won't catch me hopping from city to city. Instead, I obsess over the nuances—the local hole-in-the-wall eatery, the quiet laneway with hidden stories. I'm a firm believer that the magic lies in taking it slow, in savoring those often-overlooked details. Let's uncover the hidden gems of Cebu, one quiet corner at a time.

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