Siqijour Island is a tiny island off Dumaguete in the Philippines. To some Filipinos, the island is a mysterious island shrouded by witchcraft and healers and some are hesitant in travelling here for that reason. But to most it's a beautiful, safe island with incredible waterfalls, fringed with palm trees and amazing sealife. According to the locals I spoke to, it’s a very friendly and low crime island where everyone knows each other (I even asked how the postman knows where to find them with no letterboxes - his reply was no need as the postman knows everyone on the island). The streets aren’t buzzing with restaurants, shops and cafes – mainly local sare sare stalls (neighbourhood stores), traditional housing and street dogs. We caught the ferry here from Bohol on Oceanjet via dumaguete which took around 3 hours all up.
The island only takes around 3 hrs to drive around and has many beautiful attractions along the way. We did our tour in one day as we wanted to spend most of the time relaxing and snorkelling at the resort, so we chose to visit the Cambughay Falls, Enchanted Balete Tree and fish spa, Salagdoong Beach Resort and the lookout.
Cambugahay falls was our favourite place on our whole trip in the Philippines – we could have easily spent a whole day here. The falls are owned by the same Australian owners who own Coco Grove Beach Resort – entrance is free and instead you give tips to the local guides who earn their income by assisting tourists up and down the falls, and guiding you on the best and safest places to jump.
There are around 130 cobble stone style steps down to the falls which are quite steep and can be very muddy and slippery – but well worth the attraction at the bottom! My first thought was how beautiful and blue the water was! There are 3 levels of falls with the bottom being the deepest. The kids were quick to strip off and start swinging from the rope swing, and the guides would help them up if they weren't tall enough and give them a push. The water where you land was chest deep on me with soft sand on the bottom, and the water under the waterfall where we all jumped from was about 12 feet deep. Once they got the guts to jump once they wouldn’t stop! The guides would again help them up the waterfall and hold their hands until they jumped as it was so slippery. We had the most fantastic time here and we tipped the guides extra at the end as they were so great with the kids and took a heap of photos for us.
EHCHANTED BALETE TREE
This tree was over 400 years old and is just beautiful . At the bottom is a natural spring with a fish “spa” – the fish love to nibble at your toes and legs! Defnitley worth a visit on your way to the falls.
SALAGDOONG BEACH RESORT
We had high hopes for this place as it is run by the government and looked amazing in the pictures - It is a spot famous for cliff jumping and it's beach. The cliff jumps were around six metres so I didn’t let the kids even attempt this one! There is a waterslide off the cliff into the water but I'm not sure its still operating, or perhaps the water was just too shallow when we were there. The water looked amazing, but according to the locals the coral and marine life is quite damaged so we didn’t snorkel. The hotel pool also had no water and instead had dirty murky water in the bottom.
The food here wasn’t great, we all made the decision to not eat our burgers and find some food elsewhere. There were lots of stray dogs with visible diseases hanging around which was all too much for my daughter so we decided to leave and continue on with the island tour. It's quite a shame as I think this resort would have been something amazing had it been maintained., but I think it's a popular spot for locals now.
We drove up to a lookout which has a beautiful view over the whole island , aswell as onto neighbouring islands. We decided to have lunch here instead which was really yum – Defnitley worth a visit !
We didn’t end up visiting Apo Island as the boats got cancelled due to bad weather , but the island is around one hour on the boat and is famous for turtles and snorkelling.
These were all the places we visited on the Island as we only had 3 full days and we just wanted to relax and spend time at the resort. The island is just beautiful and has a great little friendly feel, we would defnitley come back again (and spend half our time at the Cambughay Falls!)
For accommodation I recommend staying at Coco Grove Hotel, you can read my review on that here.