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Your guide to Siquijor
All About Siquijor
With its turquoise waters, white-sand beaches, and lush rainforests hiding waterfall oases, the southern Philippines island of Siquijor is a true paradise. According to local legend, the island appeared after rising from the Bohol (Mindanao) Sea during a bad thunderstorm — proof of which can be seen in the fossils found in Mount Bandilaan, Siquijor’s highest point.
The third-smallest province of the country, Siquijor is in the central Visayas region and lies southeast of Cebu and southwest of Bohol. Salagdoong Beach, the most popular on the island, all but disappears during high tide, but when accessible is the perfect place to snorkel, as there are countless species of colorful fish and coral reefs to admire. The island is home to several stunning waterfalls — stand under their cascading water to cool down from the island heat, or take a dip in the crystal-clear pools below them.
Though Siquijor is small, it has a rich food scene, offering up local Filipino favorites like lechon, or roasted suckling pig. Religious and cultural festivals take place here throughout the year, and the San Juan area of the island is host to a thriving nightlife scene where you can dance on the beach under the stars.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Siquijor?
As a tropical island, Siquijor remains hot and very humid year-round, with the possibility of rain at any time. You’ll see the lowest levels of rainfall from February to May, though always pack a waterproof layer just in case. Even during the rainy season, which is from October to December, you’re likely to still see a few hours of sunshine each day.
Festivals celebrating Filipino culture take place throughout the year — including the Bugwas Festival, held the last week in August, which pays tribute to St. Augustine for a bountiful harvest and clean water. Siquijor is nicknamed Isla del Fuego due to the abundance of fireflies that make it their home, and locals celebrate these venerated insects with the Dilaab Festival, a day full of costumed street performances and dancing in October.
What are the top things to do in Siquijor?
The butterfly sanctuary is one of the most beautiful sights to visit on the island, where their colors match the rainbow hues of the flowers that attract them. Located in the Cabilao village in the town of Larena, this educational conservation center is home to various species of native butterflies at every stage of life.
Surrounded by lush rainforest, the three-tiered Cambugahay Falls tumble into a swimming hole with clear blue water perfect for cooling down. The site has a rope swing and bamboo raft that you can use for a fee, and there are vendors selling snacks around the area.
Old Balete Tree
This grand 400-year-old banyan tree in the town of Lazi is a popular attraction on the island, as the oldest tree in the province was once used for sacred rituals. A spring flows from under the tree into a small pool where, if you stick your bare feet in, fish will nibble at your toes.