Spending a week in paradise on Siquijor island

Siquijor island
We only came here by chance when we briefly chatted to a girl checking into a hostel as we were checking out. She raved about Siquijor island, saying we had to add it to our travel list and I am so glad we did.

I think I fell in love with the island within the first 10min of docking at the port. Most island ports aren’t that spectacular, you often have to go round to at least the next bay to find the turquoise waters and white sands. But I was already impressed with the waters of Siquijor island as we came into port. Our friendly home stay host was already waiting to take us to our home for the week. The home stay was a simple but nice double room and private bathroom. Only cold water and no flush toilet but this is a small island after all and for $10 a night we couldn’t complain, this even included breakfast!

We hired a scooter for the week ($5 per day) and our first stop was the gorgeous Cambugahay Falls. We spent hours here swimming in the turquoise water (I still don’t understand how the river water in the Philippines gets this unique colour?), swinging of the Tarzan rope swing and jumping off waterfalls. We ended up coming here most mornings, right after breakfast, giving us a few hours before all the tourists started turning up. My favourite was the last waterfall, it often had the least number of tourists and the waterfall was the perfect height for a fun jump. We spent hours jumping off the waterfalls with the local children, I just couldn’t seem to get enough of it. We visited Lugnason Falls as well, which was also well worth a visit. The jump from this waterfall is pretty high though! You can also get a local guy to show you the 12 smaller waterfalls further up the river.

Siquijor islandWe visited some stunning beaches and did a bit of snorkeling throughout the week. My favourite beach was Salagdoong beach. Although it is owned by a hotel which results in a small entrance fee, so it is best to plan to spend a decent amount of time here, which isn’t hard. It is a nice sheltered cove with clear blue waters. There are some good cliff jumping spots and they also have BBQs available if you want to cook your own lunch. However, if you would rather find a free beach then my suggestion is Kagusuan Beach in Maria. It is hidden away up a small path which ends in car park from here it’s just a short walk down to the beach. It was nice and quiet when we visited (no cafes or anything, so bring your own food), only a handful of tourists and some local children.

Siquijor is also known for its old Balete Tree which has a spring that originates from it’s bases where you can enjoy a fish spa. You only pay a dollar to put your feet in the water at the tree trunk for as long as you please. In the beginning its a fairly odd and ticklish sensation, having these fish nibble at your feet. It took me a while to let the bigger fish anywhere near me, but afterwards my skin was smoother than ever.

Before I knew it our time on Siquijor was over. I could have easily spent another week swimming, jumping and relaxing by the beautiful waterfalls and beaches, surrounded by some of the friendliest locals I have ever met.

Some last tips:

  • We stayed at Xylla Guesthouse
  • Hiring a scooter is pretty necessary to explore the island but can be done on the cheap
  • We stayed down by the waterfalls and beaches but there are also jungle forests to explore up in the hills.

Please note that prices are from February 2016 and may have changed since then.

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