Only a handful of people know that the province of Negros Oriental is home to some breathtaking sites, majestic waterfalls and enchanting islands. It’s capital city, Dumaguete serves as the gateway to all the wonderful things the province has to offer. But don’t ever think for a second that that is all there is to this city because behind its streets bustling with hundreds of motorcycles everyday are historical landmarks, awesome restaurants and scenic views that is set to blow your mind away. What made it even more endearing to visiting tourists is the warmth and kindness of its people.
DUMAGUETE CITY is also strategically located in the coastal area of the Oriental Negros province making the other nearby provinces such as Cebu, Bohol and Siquijor within arm’s reach.
HOW TO GO THERE
Tip: Please make sure to check schedule of trips to Dumaguete from the place where you are coming from for a hassle-free travel. Saves time. Less Cost.
- From Manila – You can fly directly to Dumaguete City via CebuPacific and PAL. If you wanna spend long solitary hours in the sea, there are also 2GO Ferry Trips bound to the city. Kindly check this link for up-to-date schedules.
- From Cebu – You can ride a Ceres Bus from Cebu all the way to Dumaguete. Travel time takes about 5 hours and Fare is P250. Earliest trip is 5:30AM and the latest is 6:00PM. For parts of Cebu near Liloan port, you can just board a ferryboat bound to Sibulan port and from there, take a jeep to Dumaguete. You would just spend roughly around P80. If you have less time to travel then you can just board from Cebu to Dumaguete. Check here for schedule and fare for each of the shipping lines operating Cebu-Dumaguete trips although I am most certain about OceanJet still operating this route unlike the other shipping lines mentioned in that website and fare may just be around P1000 or so.
- From Bohol – Ride an OceanJet fastcraft bound to Dumaguete. Fare is P700. Check this link for trip schedules.
- From Siquijor – Ride a ferryboat. There are several trips bound to the city everyday and 2 or 3 shipping companies operates this route including OceanJet, Aleson and GL. Fare starts at P120. Earliest ferry leaves at 5:30AM and latest in the day leaves at 6PM.
- From Bacolod – Ride a Ceres bus going to Dumaguete. Fare is P290 for AC bus. Earliest bus leaves at 1AM and the latest at 7PM.
WHERE TO STAY
There are plenty of budget hostels in Dumaguete City but the most famous among tourists especially backpackers is Harold’s Mansion. Located along Hibbard Avenue, this hostel offers a P250 dorm room, shared toilet and bath and a sumptuous breakfast.
I’ve also listed other budget hostels you might want to check out while you are in the city.
- Casa Demonteverde
Address: Daro Claytown, Dumaguete City
Price range: P500 to P1600
- Obdulia’s Business Inn
Mobile: 0916 156-9974 & 0917-314 3384
Address: Gov. Perdices Street, Cor. Pinili and Colon Sts. Dumaguete City 6200
Price Range: P899 to P1899 (with ref, hot and cold drinking water)
- One Bethany Place
Address: E.J. Blanco Drive, Piapi, Dumaguete City 6200
Price Range: P550 to P1500
- Hotel Nicanor
Landline: (035) 421-0787
Address: San Jose St. Dumaguete City 6200
Price Range: P950 to P2000
- Vintage Inn
Landline: (035) 225-1076 or (035) 422-9106
Address: E. Surban St. (across the public market)
Price Range: Starts at P300 for single economy rooms with private T&B.
- Bethel Guesthouse
Address: Rizal Boulevard, Dumaguete City, Philippines
Price Range: Starts at P250
WHERE TO EAT
Hibbard Avenue is home to some awesome bars and restaurants. I happened to chance upon a fellow female backpacker who told me about Neva’s Pizza. Lots of thanks Cess if you happen to be reading this! I absolutely love the pizza. It was probably one of the best tasting pizzas I’ve ever had which might even give those famous pizza chains a run for their money. Not only do they serve great pizza but their pasta dishes and rice value meals are to die for. Pay this place a visit and I guarantee they will give you the best value for your money.
You might also want to check other interesting restaurants in the city.
- MOON CAFÉ SILLIMAN – Mexican with a Filipino touch and nothing but good words are all what you will wallow about this restaurant over the internet. Need I say more? Just give this one a Go!
- TACO SURF – Probably Taco’s and everything Mexican would pop into your mind the moment you hear of this restaurant but surprisingly it is mostly known for its delectable sushi platters. Weird but definitely worth it.
- HAYAHAY TREEHOUSE BAR & VIEW DECK – Craving for delectable seafood dishes? Look no further. This restaurant got them all covered. Plus, enjoy the view of the coastlines while chilling with a bottle of beer or a glass of cocktail.
- SANS RIVAL BISTRO – Located along Rizal Boulevard and fronting the coastline of Dumaguete, this restaurant boasts not just a great view of the sea but a menu that’s worth every peso.
- FLAMIN’ GRILL CAFÉ – Burgers. Fries. Buffalo Wings at just the right price? This should be the place you should go to.
There may be plenty of restaurants in the city that you can choose from but nothing beats the local favorite. Take a walk in Rizal Boulevard at sundown and join the locals and other tourists enjoy clean streetfood mainly of chicken tempura and balut (boiled duck’s egg). Compliment it with beer and just simply have a wonderful time.
THINGS TO DO and/or PLACES TO SEE
- See the Twin Lakes of Danao and Balinsasayaw
- Go Chasing Waterfalls (Casaroro and Pulangbato Falls)
- Roam Around Town
- Pay Siliman University a visit
- Swim with the adorable sea turtles in APO Island
- Hike up Mount Talinis or better yet Mt. Kanlaon
- Experience the rush of adrenaline in The Camp or Tejero Adventure Park
- Discover the Enchanting Island of Siquijor
- Swim with the gentle giants (whalesharks) in Oslob Cebu (I don’t really recommend)
- See the city of Smiles – Bacolod
- Go Dolphin Watching in Bais City
- Wallow in a tropical island goodness of Sumilon Island
- Check out the Maldives Of The Philippines.
TIPS AND OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION
- Hiring a tricycle from the airport can be a bit pricey. Better to walk outside of the airport and ride a jeepney (multicab) and it will already take you to the city for the price of P10. You can get off the main highway and hire a tricycle for the mimimum fare of P7.00
- When you are touring the city or the nearby tourist spots, it will be better for you to rent a motorcycle. Check Kokoi’s Motorbike Rental through mobile no. 09269230455 or MoTour Motorcycles for Rent through telephone no. 035-226 1890.
- If you want to explore the nearby provinces such as Bohol, Cebu and Siquijor, it will always be best to know the schedule time of departure of ferryboats before planning your itinerary. It will be an absolute budget saver.
- I hate writing anything bad about any place but if you are a female solo traveler, be very careful. Some men in Dumaguete aren’t the nicest in the world.
- Hotel check out time is 12NN. To avoid paying extra, you can just leave your bags in the reception and go back for it after your day tour.
HOW SPENDING P6538 IN 5 DAYS POSSIBLE? Read about MY ONCE, ALMOST SO PERFECT CENTRAL VISAYAS TOUR STORY
When I traveled to Dumaguete on the last week of September 2015, I was alone, a very first for me. For the longest time, I had been travelling with Boyfie or with some friends so at that time, I was just glad to get one heck of a nuisance off my back, for just a short while that is (but honestly, I missed them). I was ecstatic at the same time nervous but I didn’t let it show. I just wanted to have a great time hoping to discover the perks of being a solo traveler in a place that was once unknown to me.. The weather wasn’t at its best as well. A couple of showers in the morning hindered me from getting started with my well planned adventure. To make things worse, this trip was bombarded with a lot of awful things throughout the 5 days I was there. There was that traffic jam in SLEX that I almost missed my 7AM flight. There’s that almost getting molested by a local maniac and a whole lot more of those unexpected misfortunes. Should I be thankful I am normally as passive as the most passive human being ever existed since those awful stuff did nothing to make me falter or have the worst of time? Anyhow, allow me to walk you through my first solo adventure which didn’t quite turn out the way I planned.
DAY 1: NATURE TRIP IN ONE OF DUMAGUETE’S GEMS, THE LAKES OF DANAO AND BALINSASAYAW
I arrived in Dumaguete at 9AM, just in time for me to get started with my itinerary that I named as the “Ultimate Nature Experience” with plans of seeing the Twin Lakes, Casaroro Falls and Pulangbato Falls. However the weather didn’t allow things to fall just as planned. I didn’t get on with touring until after 12 noon. I went to see the twin lakes then since they seemed to be more favorable in proximity than the waterfalls in Valencia. I rode a mini jeep en route Amlan and alighted at the juncture in San Jose. I hired a motorcycle and driver to take me to the jewels lying hidden in the mountains. The next series of events were the most captivating that day at the same time the most horrible (will write a separate post).
|SUMMARY OF EXPENSES (Day 1)|
|Fare Airport to Harold's Mansion||P17
|Fare to San Jose Juncture||P15
|Environmental Fee + Parking||P50|
|Dinner (Korean Noodles)||P50|
DAY 2: CHASING WATERFALLS IN VALENCIA
Waterfalls are the apple of my eyes and those gems in Valencia are definitely not the kind to be missed so early morning of my 2nd day, off I went to the little town situated just south of the bustling Dumaguete. I rode a jeep and hired a motorcycle plus driver upon reaching the town. This day made me completely forget all the awful things that happened the day before and some other bad days I had prior to this trip.
Read: CASARORO FALLS AND PULANGBATO FALLS – 2 Stunning Waterfalls in Visayas You Might Have Never Heard Of
|SUMMARY OF EXPENSES (Day 2)|
|RT Fare Jeep Dumaguete-Valencia||P22
|RT Fare Hotel to Terminal||P20
|Lunch (Local Eatery)||P65
|Dinner & Beers (Street Food at the bay)||P120|
DAY 3: SWIMMING WITH THE WHALESHARKS IN OSLOB AND THE SEA TURTLES IN APO ISLAND
The night before, I spoke with Cess, a dorm mate and a fellow solo traveler who has travelled all over Visayas for past 2 weeks. She gave valuable tips to cheap eats and awesome places to visit while in Dumaguete which included swimming with the whalesharks in Oslob. Although this is on my bucket list, this however wasn’t part of my original itinerary since I had reserved it for my trip to Cebu come January of 2016. Yet she made it seemed so amazing that first thing in the morning after we’ve spoken, off I went to see these gentle giants.
My trip to Oslob was just fine but it was completely not much to my liking (Will write a separate post about it). Now to brighten things up, shortly after I left Oslob I went to see Apo Island and the adorable sea turtles.. I would have regretted calling the day over after some awry hours spent in Oslob as the time I had in Apo Island was that turning point I was just looking for.
|SUMMARY OF EXPENSES (Day 3)|
|Fare Trike Hostel-Sibulan Terminal||P8|
|RT Fare Dumaguete-Sibulan Port||P24|
|RT Fare Sibulan-Liloan Ports||P128|
|RT Fare Bus Liloan Port-Oslob||P60|
|Lunch (3 sticks BBQ + Rice in Apo Island)||P35|
|Whale Shark Tour Fee||P500|
|RT Fare Bus Dumaguete-Malatapay||P60|
|Boat (P3000 shared with the other 7 people)||P375|
|Dinner (Neva's Pizza)||P200|
DAY 4: A FUNFILLED DAY IN THE MYSTIQUE ISLAND OF FIRE, SIQUIJOR
Trips to Siquijor from Dumaguete are limited. I was not able to catch the last trip to the island the day after coming from an awesome adventure in Apo Island so I instead woke early to catch the first trip on my 4th day. My time in Siquijor was probably the happiest and the most memorable. People were very friendly and they effortlessly saved themselves a special place in my heart. In the place widely known for evil sorcery was where I had the most wonderful conversation, hearty laugh, unmatched thrill and adventure and the safest feeling away from home. Siquijor will always be dear to me.
I must have really loved Siquijor! So much that I missed the last ferry back to Dumaguete at 6PM making me spend the night there. It cost me more money and worse! My trip to Bohol. I should be disappointed which at first I was (I even cried! Haha) but instead of brooding over my messed up plans, I went to see the local carnival and joined in celebrating the town’s fiesta.
|SUMMARY OF EXPENSES (Day4)|
|Ferryboat to Siquijor (Aleson)||P100|
|Terminal Fee (Dumaguete Port)||P12|
Balete Tree - P5
Salagdoong Beach - P25 + Parking fee - P20
|Accommodation (Tumamak Lodge)||P120|
Dinner + Beers
|Mobile Phone (My phone ran out of battery and I left the charger back in Dumaguete)||P500|
DAY 5: THE GREAT MISS
Yes. I missed Bohol. My plan was after Siquijor, I’ll go back to Dumaguete, pick up my stuff at Harold’s Mansion then ride a Ceres bus to Cebu City so I could catch the first ferry bound to Bohol. But this didn’t happen. 5AM I woke up. Although I enjoyed every minute I had spent the last night but waking up to slowly realize I have to wait for another opportunity to see the treasures of Bohol is like waking up to a bad hangover. But it was not the time to wallow on my failure so after completely picking up my senses, immediately I ran to the port where several other passengers lined at the ticket booth hoping to catch the first trip to Dumaguete. I arrived in Dumaguete a little over 9AM but instead of going directly back to Harold’s, I took the time to roam around and explore the city. To Go fastcraft to Bohol wont be available until 3PM giving me plenty of time to get enough of the City Of Gentle People.
I arrived in Bohol at 5PM giving me too short of a time to see even the nearest tourist site. It again brought me a feeling of regret, but it was just too late to be sulking over one great miss. I just wanted that day to end so off I went to find me a place to doze off the misery away!
The following morning. I woke up early to catch my flight back to Manila.
|SUMMARY OF EXPENSES (Day 5)|
|Ferry Boat To Dumaguete (GL Lines)||P130|
|City Tour on Tricycle||P100|
Lunch (Mang Inasal)
|Fastcraft to Bohol + Terminal Fee||P712|
|Accommodation in Bohol (Celine's B&B)||P300|
|Tricycle to Celine's|
Tricycle to Airport
|Terminal Fee AirPort||P150|
IF THINGS WENT SMOOTHLY, THIS COULD HAVE BEEN MY ITINERARY INSERTING A DAY IN OSLOB
0700 Fly to Dumaguete
0900 ETA Dumaguete (Settle stuff in hotel)
1000 Start Tour Twin Lakes
1300 Casaroro and Pulangbato Falls
1700 End Tour (Back to Dumaguete)
1800 Dinner at the bay
2200 Lights Out
Safe Budget: P850
0430 Wake Up
0600 Depart Delta Fastcraft Siquijor
0700 ETA Siquijor (Breakfast)
0800 Cantabon Cave
1300 Cambugahay Falls, Lazi Church and Convent, Balete Tree, Salagdoong Beach etc
1700 End Tour
1800 Ferry Back To Dumaguete
1900 ETA Dumaguete (Dinner)
2200 Lights Out
Safe Budget: P1500
*** You can stay overnight for longer touring hours and to let you squeeze Cantabon Cave which might require up to 4 hrs to explore.
0600 Wake up. Freshen Up. Breakfast
0700 ETD Ceres Bus To Malatapay
0800 ETA Malatapay
0830 ETD Boat Apo Island
0930 ETA Apo Island. Registration. Explore
1300 Resume Exploring. Photo Ops
1500 Depart For the City
1600 Malatapay. Wash Up
1700 ETA Dumaguete
1800 Dinner + Beer (Some random bar in Hibbard Ave)
2200 Lights Out
Safe Budget: P600 (Boat ride to Apo Island can go as low as P300 if you get to join bigger groups)
0430 Wake Up. Freshen Up. Pack Up
0530 Sibulan Port
0630 Liloan Port
0700 Oslob. Whaleshark Tour
0800 Tumalog Falls
0900 ETD Oslob to Sumilon Island
1000 Sumilon Island (Tour may be arranged with Blue Water Resort for P1500/person)
1300 Explore Sumilon Island
1630 Depart for Oslob
1730 Oslob. Bus to Cebu
2100 Cebu City. Dinner.
2200 Lights Out
Safe Budget: P2500
0500 Wake up. Freshen Up. Pack Up
0600 Ferry Cebu-Bohol
0700 Bohol. Breakfast.
0800 Blood Compact Site, Baclayon Church, Loboc Cruise
1300 Punta Water Tower, Bohol Bee Farm, Bilar Manmade Forest, The Phil Tarsier, Chocolate Hills
1900 Laoay Firefly Cruise (Optional)
2100 End Tour. Pack Up
2200 Fly Back To Manila.
Safe Budget: P1000
***There are van service offered in Bohol where you can share the tour cost of P2000 with 12 other passengers. If you happen to be traveling from Cebu on a ferryboat, you would come across lots of other travelers with the same business in Bohol as you so it’s really up to you to do the talking. Saves you money and gets you to meet new travel friends.
***You can book an early morning flight back to Manila to make sure you enjoy touring around without the worry of being a little pressed with time.
Altogether this itinerary should have a safe budget of…….. P7000+ including accommodation.
There you go folks!!
Guess, this is pretty much it. I will be very happy to answer your query if there is any. Just shoot me an e-mail or leave it in the comments box below. Lastly, I would greatly appreciate if you would share this post. See yah.