6 Things to Do in Dumaguete
Last time I’ve been to Dumaguete was more than a year ago, when i stayed at the Islands Leisure Boutique Hotel & Spa. It’s hard to believe it has been so long, time sure flies by when you are travelling and having fun.
So i figured it’s time I write a quick guide to describe some of the great activities available at Dumaguete. These are just some of my personal favorites. So if you’re looking for more things to do there, it shouldn’t be any problem keeping yourself busy. All these attractions can be easily done in D-I-Y style, or you can use a travel agency to plan your Dumaguete itinerary.
Tour in Siliman University – Dumaguete’s most famous landmark
Students comprise more than a third of Dumaguete’s population, so it’s no wonder the university is the most important place in the city. Founded all the way back in 1901 as the first Protestant school in the country, Siliman University has maintained a record of excellence ever since.
The campus area is 33 hectares large, with many beautiful sites to visit. Enter through the famous gates of knowledge and spend some time touring the place. There’s a young and vibrant atmosphere around, which will make you feel like you are a kid again. Stroll down the 2 km long main avenue and admire the beauty of this place.
The university also has 3 museums within its perimeter – anthropology, natural history and marine mammals. All three are quite interesting, especially the latter which boasts the 2nd largest collection of whale bones in the world. They provide a great opportunity to witness Negros’ history and nature while having a relaxing day full of fun and learning.
Visit Rizal blvd in the evening
Rizal is the main street of Dumaguete and where most hotels are. A long boardwalk overlooking the ocean, it’s a great place to take a stroll and gaze into the horizon. The boulevard is especially beautiful at night, when everything is lit up and you can watch the sunset.
Siliman University’s other entrance, the gate of opportunity, directly faces Rizal boulevard – so it’s very easy to combine both locations. It’s a great way to spend a day in the city, and get a taste of its unique atmosphere. The boulevard is also full of restaurants and bars. It makes for a perfect place to end your days with some fun before heading back to the hotel.
Visit the Twin Lakes – a great nature hike
Balinsasayao and Danao are two crater lakes created by a volcanic eruption, which is an hour away from the city. The lakes offer plenty of activities for you to try, surrounded by one of the most stunning landscapes in the country.
Once you pay the entrance fee, arriving to the shores of the lake takes only a few minutes. You can swim and have some fun there, or rent a kayak and go exploring both lakes on your own. If that’s not adventurous enough, you can also reach the lakes in a different route – a 6 hours long trek through the jungles.
This is one of the nicest places near Dumaguete, and one can easily spend a full day at the lakes alone. However, it can also be combined with another attraction such as visiting some of the waterfalls in the area. It’s all a question of how much energy you got.
Go to one of the beautiful waterfalls
Speaking of waterfalls, there are a couple that are most recommended – Casaroro and Redrock. They are not the only ones though, so you can easily make a full day of waterfall chasing if you wish to.
Anyone who’s well traveled might not be too impressed with Dumaguete’s waterfalls. They are not as spectacular as the most famous falls in the Philippines. Still, they allow for a fun day out of exploring and having some adventure. Out of the two, Casaroro is more impressive, though a bit more challenging since you’ll need to climb for about an hour to reach them.
Redrock is better for those who are not eager to climb in the heat of the day. Only 30 minutes away from Dumaguete, near the town of Valencia, they are much easier to reach. The waterfall is surrounded by red rocks and that’s how it earned its name – a really unique sight definitely worth checking out. There are a few small pools you can swim in, and also hot springs nearby.
Island Hopping Tours – Relax all day in the sun
There are actually quite a few great options here, all quite different from one another. If you’re time in Dumaguete is limited, you’ll probably have to choose the ones you’d like to focus on. All islands are amazing, each offering a unique experience – so no matter which one you choose you won’t be disappointed.
One option is to go Dolphin watching in the Tañon strait between Dumagute and Cebu. You can also combine it with a stop at Manjuyod Sandbar – a 7 km stretch of white sand in the middle of the ocean. Manjuyod is the most popular island hopping site thanks to the beautiful surroundings and quiet, relaxing environment it offers.
Going to Oslob to meet the whale sharks is another great option. This trip will take longer – about 3 hours to reach Oslob from Dumaguete. It’s really worth it though – since Oslob is one the best diving sites in the area. It’ also a perfect place to get up close and personal with these gentle giants.
Lastly, there’s Siquijor island. Honestly, if you got the time it’s much better to actually spend a night or 2 there. But for those who are short in time, a day tour to Siquijor could certainly do the trick. Don’t let the island’s reputation of witchcraft and sorcery deter you. It’s one of the most beautiful and interesting places to visit.
Go diving in Apo island – one of the best diving spots in the Philippines
Don’t believe the people who tell you sleeping on the island is a good idea. It’s only recommended for hardcore divers since the conditions there are quite rough. It’s better to stay at Dumaguete and take a day trip to Apo island instead. Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the place and check out all the attractions.
Keep on swimming 🐢 On the last day of summer in the Philippines, I went away for 21 hours to be with friends and these adorable creatures and it was all worth it. Actually, I was about to feel sad that summer’s about to end and I haven’t swam on any body of water. Yet @youngxplorer and @filipinaxplorer’s trip in the Visayas region gave me the opportunity to grab my flippers and just go. This unexpected 21-hour trip involved 2 bus rides, 2 boat rides and 1 jeepney ride per way just to join them. It was quite tiring actually but for someone who needs her Vitamin SEA, it didn’t matter at all. 😄 #ApoIsland #ItsMoreFuninthePhilippines #blueplunge
Apo island is known to be one of the best diving spots in the country. Thanks to its status as a protected marine sanctuary. There are plenty of different dive sites, suitable for all levels. Apo is most famous for its sea turtles. It is sure to meet them no matter where you go on the island.
Even if you are not into diving, visiting Apo might be a good idea. It’s still a beautiful island with stunning, secluded beaches where you can relax and enjoy privacy. Just go swimming and do some snorkeling instead. You’ll still get to enjoy the beautiful coral formations and see the turtles anyway since they often come to swim very close to the shore.