Although locals know Siquijor as the ‘center of mystical power,’ with folklore on mystical objects such as the ‘agimat’ or ‘anting-anting’, which is a small charm meant for pagan sorcery, the Spaniards called it the Isla del Fuego (Island of Fire) for the great number of fireflies that dotted the island at night, giving it a warm glow.
The small but charming island is home to many natural wonders, such as white beaches, cliff diving spots, marine sanctuaries, and more. Take a seat and get comfy as we explore this mystical hidden gem off the coast of South Cebu!
Handy Tips Before Embarking to Siquijor
To prepare for your trip to the Island of Fire, it’s a great idea to get your traveling essentials ready, as you never know what you’re going to need before the moment you need them. To remedy this, here are a few handy tips for you to prepare:
- Bring an umbrella
It’s necessary to bring umbrellas for most travel destinations in the Philippines, as the weather can be quite unforgiving and unpredictable, and Siquijor is no different!
- Mosquito repellent
With tropical weather comes everyone’s least favorite tropical fauna: mosquitoes. Get your mosquito sprays or lotions ready to fend off these pesky insects that come with the territory.
- Bring cash, not credit.
You won’t have any issue with credit/debit cards when in densely populated areas like the ones in mainland Cebu, but the island of Siquijor just doesn’t get too much traction when it comes to tourism, meaning not too many ATMs can be seen here. The locals also mainly use cash for transactions, so it’d be wise to bring extra cash in case you might need it!
- Rent a scooter
Granted, traveling around the little island won’t put that much of a hole in your wallet, but renting a scooter for around ₱250.00 can help you save up on travel costs around the island and affords you a freer experience since you’re the one choosing where to go.
Your Home Away From Home!
The southern municipality of San Juan is the most popular destination for tourist accommodations, so it’s a wise idea to look for a place to stay there! With that being said, here are a few hotels and establishments that might be worth your time:
- Bermuda Triangle Bungalows
Just within walking distance from Maite Beach and 1.3 kilometers from Tubod Beach, Bermuda Triangle Bungalows puts you at a very advantageous point that gives you space to explore what Siquijor can offer. Here, you get access to free WiFi all throughout the property with air-conditioned rooms and a terrace wherein you can relax and unwind with a view of their garden.
Exact Location: Provincial Road, Maite, San Juan, Siquijor, 6227 Siquijor, Philippines
Best Possible Deal: Deluxe Bungalow with Garden View – ₱5,270 (advanced payment)
- Zosimo’s Inn
If Lazi Roman Catholic Church is on your itinerary, then Zosimo’s Inn is an excellent choice for you to go to the biggest convent in Asia on foot. It is also just a three-minute drive to Cambugahay Falls, so you know you’re in for a colorful day just at the tip of your fingers.
All rooms here have amenities such as air conditioning, a flat-screen television with cable, free WiFi, and a free breakfast. You can also rent a motorbike at the property!
Exact Location: 10th Street, Tigbawan, Lazi, 6228 Siquijor, Philippines
Best Possible Deal: Budget Double Room – ₱1,898 (advanced payment)
- White Bada Guesthouse
If you want to stay somewhere, you don’t have to travel far just to take a dip in the beach; just enter White Bada Guesthouse! This place best caters to large groups as it boasts multiple family rooms and barbecue equipment. A private beach is at your feet, and you can enjoy free WiFi throughout the property.
The rooms are also air-conditioned, with a flat-screen television and some kitchenware. It is just 100 meters from Solangon Beach and 2.2 kilometers from Maite Beach.
Exact Location: Solangon, San Juan, Siquijor, 6227 Siquijor, Philippines
Best Possible Deal: Triple Room – ₱2,400 (advanced payment)
Where to Go in Siquijor
If you’re still unsure what treasures await you in what is likely an unfamiliar place, read ahead to learn what lies in the Island of Fire.
- Salagdoong Beach and Cliff Jump
Salagdoong Beach is deemed one of, if not the most beautiful, beaches in Siquijor. It is a shade of blue like no other, and the rock formations and trees surrounding the shoreline make it the perfect place to relax in the natural shade.
Aside from its beauty, the beach also offers 8 and 10-meter diving boards, which adrenaline junkies can happily jump off of and into the azure waters.
Exact Location: Maria, Siquijor (the eastern part of the island).
- Century-Old Balete Tree
There is just something so beautiful and haunting about Balete Trees, which is one of the reasons why it is the topic of a lot of folklore throughout the country. If you’ve never seen one, prepare to get goosebumps seeing a living thing that is more than a hundred years older than you with Siquijor’s Century Old Balete Tree.
You can see the tree from the side of the road, but if you want to go to its area, you’ll have to pay Php 10. With that, you can dip your feet in the pond, where fish would nibble at your feet, and simply marvel at the aura of this beautiful flora.
Exact Location: Siquijor Circumferential Road, Lazi, Siquijor (near the south part of the island, around 20 minutes from San Juan).
- Tubod Marine Sanctuary
One of the best indicators of a thriving island is the life that thrives in it. Siquijor is home to the Tubod Marine Sanctuary which breeds and protects aquatic life from fish to corals, which you can see by swimming here or by snorkeling. The schools of tropical fish are a treat to watch, so if you’re a marine enthusiast, you might want to check this out.
Exact Location: San Juan, Siquijor.
How to Get to Siquijor
Getting to Siquijor is as easy as taking the bus to the southmost tip of Cebu and riding a ferry across!
- Getting to Liloan Port
From the City South Bus Terminal, book a bus headed for Santander. This will cost you around ₱190 – ₱250 and takes around 3 to 4 hours depending on the city traffic. From there, take a tricycle cab to Liloan Port.
- Getting to the Port of Larena (Siquijor)
From Liloan Port, buy ferry tickets to the Port of Larena. These cost around ₱250 for each person and take around 3 hours. Once you’ve arrived at Larena, it’s all a matter of choosing your preferred mode of transportation. Renting a scooter, which costs around 250 per day, is arguably more cost-effective than paying tricycle cabs or habal-habal riders to move you around, but that would depend on your willingness to carry around big bags on a motorbike! However you choose to go about riding around the island, you’re sure to have a wonderful time there.
With the vibrance of Siquijor as a hub of nature as well as a community, there is no doubt that you’ll have an amazing time here. With the availability of affordable accommodations and the wide array of options you have here to explore, you’d simply have no choice but to want to witness Siquijor in real life.