How to Get to Siquijor Island.

January 16, 2020

Philippines

Asia, Philippines, Travel Guides

Siquijor is one of the most amazing islands in the Philippines with several mind blowing waterfalls, protected reefs with incredible snorkeling, and white sand beaches for you to enjoy. It’s close to the island of Cebu, but don’t let its proximity fool you, it can be really tough to get to. After experiencing that for ourselves, we don’t want you to have to go through all the trouble we did, so we’re laying out for you the three different ways to get to Siquijor in order of cheapest to most expensive:

How to Get to Siquijor Island:

Option 1 (Cheapest but Most Difficult Way to Get to Siquijor):

This is the way we did it to try to save money and spend some extra time on the island of Cebu.

  • Take the airport MyBus from Cebu-Mactan International Airport to SM City Mall for 25 PHP ($0.50) each.

  • From the mall, grab a cab to the Cebu South Terminal 150 PHP ($3 USD) where you can take an air-conditioned Ceres bus headed to Liloan Port in Santander (not to be confused with Liloan near Cebu) for about 200 PHP ($4 USD). These buses can’t be booked online, but you can check out the schedule here (see Cebu – Dumaguete).

  • If you’re not in a rush, consider stopping in Moalboal to experience the Sardine Runs or visit Kawasan Falls. If you do want to add the stop, either take a Ceres bus from the same terminal for 156 PHP ($3 USD), hire a taxi from the airport, or hire a driver ahead of time using Klook for around $44 USD.

    • After a stop in Moalboal, take a tricycle back to the highway. Instruct the driver that you’re taking a bus to Liloan en route to Dumaguete, and your tricycle driver will know where to drop you off. Buses pass by every thirty to forty-five minutes and about every other one has A/C. If you get there early enough you can pass on the non-A/C bus or one that only has standing room. That’s what we did! Although, we have heard that the buses don’t get too hot, because the windows all stay down and the buses rarely slow down (yeah, it’s as nerve wracking as it sounds).

  • The bus will drop you off at the end of the route in a bus terminal. Walk out of the terminal and to the street where plenty of tricyclists will be waiting for you. They’ll know exactly where to take you (and likely ask you if you’re headed to the ferry), but you can tell them you’re taking the ferry to Dumaguete.

  • Once you get to the ferry terminal at Liloan Port, pay the ticket and fees. We took the standard pedestrian ferry, but we’ve been told that if you grab the right bus directly from the Cebu Airport to this port, you can get on a ferry that takes the entire bus across, but we were never able to verify that route. The standard ferry takes about 25 minutes to cross and costs 85 PHP (about $1.70 USD) per person.

  • From where the ferry drops you off in Dumaguete, you’ll need to take a tricycle to another ferry terminal. Tell the driver you’re taking an OceanJet Ferry to Siquijor, and he’ll know where to go and you should be there in about 20 minutes. We recommend taking OceanJet, because they are much nicer and simpler to book with than other slightly cheaper options. Book ahead of time here. You’ll be dropped off at a ticket stand on the side of the road. It is near the ferry terminal, but you can’t see the ferry terminal, because it’s across the road behind a covered alley. 

  • Go to the stand to buy or pick up your ticket and then you’ll head through the alley to the terminal. The most confusing and frustrating part about ferries in the Philippines is that they make you pay small fees in several different locations for the same trip. When you get to the terminal (after you’ve paid for your ticket), you’ll have to pay the terminal fee, then you’ll enter and have to drop your baggage off and pay a baggage fee. In our experience, we were always a bit caught off guard and hesitant to believe people when they told us we needed to pay a fee, so we always asked to see posted rates. The people of the Philippines were generally honest with us, and we didn’t have any issues with attempted scamming.

  • Board the ferry and either rent a motorcycle upon arrival or have a tricycle take you to your accommodations on the island. Prices for tricycles in Siquijor from the port are fixed and listed on a large board across from where all the tricycles are parked.

Option 2:

  • If you’re interested in visiting the island of Bohol first, it makes the route to Siquijor a bit easier. You can get to Bohol from Cebu on this two hour ferry (skipping all the bus rides on Cebu), and then take this ferry from Tagbilaran on Bohol to Siquijor. It takes about 1.5 hours and costs $18 USD on OceanJet. Looking back, we probably should have gone with this option, but opted to do Kawasan Falls and the Sardine Runs instead of visiting Bohol.

 

Option 3 (Most Expensive but Easiest Way to Get to Siquijor):

The easiest (and most expensive) way to get to Siquijor is by airplane. Starting at Mactan-Cebu International Airport (CEB), fly Cebu Pacific to Dumaguete
 
  • From Dumaguete Airport, you’re going to take a tricycle to the port where you’ll take a ferry. We recommend taking OceanJet, because they are much nicer and simpler to book with than other slightly cheaper options. Book ahead of time here. After you get off the plane and get your luggage, go outside and find a tricycle driver to take you to the port. Tell the tricycle driver you need to go to the Dumaguete Port to get to Siquijor on OceanJet. Your driver will know where to take you. You’ll be dropped off at a ticket stand on the side of the road. It is near the ferry terminal, but you can’t see the ferry terminal, because it’s across the road behind a covered alley.

  • Once you get to the stand and buy or pick up your ticket, then head through the alley to the ferry terminal. The most confusing and frustrating part about ferries in the Philippines is that they make you pay small fees in several different locations for the same trip. When you get to the terminal (after you’ve bought your ticket), you’ll have to pay the terminal fee, then you’ll enter and have to drop your baggage off and pay a baggage fee. In our experience, we were always a bit caught off guard and hesitant to believe people when they told us we needed to pay a fee, so we always asked to see posted rates. The people of the Philippines were generally honest with us, and we didn’t have any issues with attempted scamming.

  • Board the ferry and take it to Siquijor. Once you arrive, either rent a motorcycle upon or have a tricycle take you to your accommodations on the island. Prices for tricycle rides from the port are listed on a large board across from where all the tricycles are parked.

It seems like Siquijor has a very active government. In our short time there, we noticed the taxi prices are more standardized, smoking is banned in the actual town of Siquijor, and snorkeling is prohibited over reefs when the currents are strong in order to protect the reefs. All of which helped us have an incredible experience on the island!

We recommend getting to Siquijor via Option 2 or 3—either taking the ferry from Bohol (if you’re interested in visiting it’s chocolate hills or tarsiers) or flying from Cebu to Dumaguete. Flights are generally cheap in the Philippines and it will save you so. much. time and the overall headache of having to go from bus to bus to tricycle to ferry to tricycle to ferry to tricycle (just typing that out makes me exhausted again). Luckily, once you arrive in Siquijor all the travel will feel worth it!

Let us know what route you choose and how it goes for you!

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