Siquijor , Island of the Witches or Hidden Paradise?

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Growing up, I always here about stories of witchcraft about this Island. Unbeknownst to me and this island is also very beautiful.

After I saw pictures of my former co-worker who is  local of the island and some bloggers, I made a decision to visit it when I have my vacation and last April I finally had that chance.

At first, I was discouraged to find out that transportation to Siquijor from Cebu takes more than 12 hours by boat and will arrive in the island around midnight.

I found out later from a friend that you can either fly to Dumaguete City and take the boat from there or take a bus from Cebu City to Dumaguete (direct) via Oslob and take a slow or fast boat from there.

If you are planing to take a bus from Cebu, you need to go to South Bus Terminal. Take a Ceres Liner that goes directly to Dumaguete City.

We left Cebu City around 7 am in the morning and finally got to Siquijor around 1:30ish pm.  As of this writing, bus fare was about 205 pesos + 75 pesos for the ferry. You can ask the bus conductor to drop you off the port so that you don’t need to take a trike from bus terminal to port again.

From Dumaguete, the fast boat is about 200(economy seat) pesos and will take only 40 minutes and the slow boat is I think about 120 pesos and will take about 1.5 hours – 2 hours.

We had a little problem with our accommodation but that is another story.

After we got settled down, it’s time to see the beauty of Siquijor.

Majority of the Resorts and Guesthouses are located in San Juan area.

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Early morning at beach front of San Juan.

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The Sunset and the boat.

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My not-so-little cousin and the sunset around San Juan

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A panoramic view in front of our apartment.

There are two ways to see the Island, follow the coastal road and go around or take the mountain road and explore the inner Siquijor.

Our group decided to do the coastal tour instead. We rented a multi-cab for day, which is 2000 pesos for the whole day, including driver who was supposed to be also our tour guide but a dear friend from college who is currently working there and who I have not seen for the past 15 years, became our tour guide.

Our first stop was the place called Enchanted tree, which a very big Banyan tree. At the foot of the tree there is a pool of water with fishes that can eat away calluses. Each person has to pay 5 pesos to enter.

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Beautiful Big Banyan (BBB)Tree

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BBB Tree and it’s guest.

Next stop is the beautiful Cambugahay Waterfalls. There is no fee but you need to pay the parking fee for all vehicle.

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We can already see the very blue waters.

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Very very blue. Everybody or the boys took their sweet time swimming here, while me and my friend were just chatting and catching up. There are no cottages or places for rent to leave your things.

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The upper part of the waterfalls, and the last area accessible to the public. The more higher part is closed to the public.

An hour or so later, after we convinced everybody to move, most were getting hungry, we arrived to Salagdoong Beach.

I think we paid about 25 pesos each, to get in and you can rent a cottage if there are available ones. There is also a restaurant but I find them really pricey and the waitress snotty. So if you have your own food, just rent a cottage or two.

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T went to the highest jumping area, and then just jump. It was me who screamed and not the jumper.

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We stayed for most part of the day here. You can also rent a Kayak for 150 pesos/hour. T and my friend had there snorkel so they were out of the water most of the time. By the time we left, everybody have sunburn.

My friend took us to the marine preservation site, free too, but the tide was so low and we found several sea urchin so we decided to call it day and go home. We did found many interesting sea creatures just along the shore.

There are lots of fresh fish and is cheap but unfortunately, the San Juan Market barely had any fresh veggies or fruits. We tried going to the other town of Larena but it was still very expensive.

Majority of the local have their own little farm and use it for there own and the rest of the things they need is bought from Dumaguete City, hence the expensive price.

I was expecting the Island to be abundant with fruits and veggies and more cheaper, but it’s actually more expensive than Cebu.
There are still some areas that are still unexplored and maybe good for snorkeling or diving. So if you plan to visit Siquijor and is staying in one of those apartment-style inn where you can cook, just make sure you get ingredients first in Dumaguete.

It was fun, and I’m glad I went. 1 island down , 7000++ more to go. 🙂

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