DIY Trip and Travel Guide to Dumaguete, Siquijor, Bohol and Cebu: What to do, Expenses and Itinerary for 6 Days

Philippines
travel guide to apo island dumaguete

Yes, you heard it right. It's very possible to conquer 4 provinces in the Philippines for less than one week. Last year, we did Siquijor, Dumaguete and Bohol for 4d4n. Regrets, that trip was so spontaneous and such a short vacation that we ended up not being able to blog about it. I still have some photos though on my Instagram to remind me how beautiful our country when it comes to exotic destinations. The summer is approaching so I am really "looking around" for the next Philippine destinations I want to go back and I think these places are on top of my bucketlist. 

My hours of searching did paid off when I saw a post of Donna Luague who was able to do the same, well actually she is much better because she was able to squeeze in Bohol at the same time for two more days compared to our trip! Actually, it was her breathtaking photos especially the one taken using a dome got me really excited (and envious) to see these places again.  While I'm yet to book a flight for this trip, I asked Donna if she is willing to share her itinerary for South Cebu, Apo Island, Siquijor, Bohol, Balicasag and Cebu City.

She said yes without hesitations so I am so happy for all fellow backpackers like her who has a big heart to share their tips and photos for those who are looking to go to the same locations but do not have much time for the planning part.  



6 Day Itinerary for South Cebu - Apo Island - Siquijor - Bohol - Balicasag - Cebu City
As per Donna, " Please note that some accommodations and transportation are not mentioned since my parents are from Cebu and Dumaguete so we were able to save on those expenses. Yey! :D"


Day 0: Thursday
2105 ETD for Cebu
2220 ETA Cebu
Dinner

Day 1:  South Cebu tour (Osmeña Peak, Tumalog Falls, Aguinid Falls and Dao Falls)
0215 Board bus bound for Dalaguete
0415 Alight at Dalaguete Junction
0430 Habal habal ride to Osmeña Peak
0500 ETA Osmeña Peak (sunrise)
0730 Back to 7-11  for breakfast 
0815 Board bus for Oslob
0930 ETA Oslob / start tour via van
Tumalog Falls, Fantasy Lodge  for Kawa Hot Bath , Aguinid Falls  for lunch & Dao Falls for swimming
1800 ETD for Dumaguete via fastcraft

Where to eat in Dumaguete
Gabby's Restaurant

Osmeña Peak is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Cebu. It is so well-known that every foreign backpacker never leaves the province without having a photo taken here. It is the highest point in Cebu offering its visitors a breathtaking view of otherworldly-looking cliffs  plus a backfrop of the sea. At one point, this place resembles Quitinday Hills in Albay and Chocolate Hills in Bohol. For me, I will Hershey's Kisses chocolates as well. 
   


Osmeña Peak in Dalaguete Cebu


Tumalong Waterfalls is humongous though not highlighted on the photo below.  It is actually so huge that Tumalog Falls cover an entire cliff that is as big as a facade of a building in BGC. There are mossy rocks below for the adventurous - you are free to crawl inside for private shower. 



Tumalog Waterfalls in Cebu


Aguinid Falls is regarded as a group of waterfalls widely spread along Tangbo river. Drinking and eating are not permitted while swimming in Aguinid Waterfalls to preserve the cleanliness of the place. Don't fret because there are tables and cottages available located a few minutes away.  It's composed of five tiers and it isn't for the beginners I would say but the locals have added handholds and footholds to help you climb from one level to the higher one. 

Aguinid Falls in Cebu




Fantasy Lodge Cebu is an upscale villa resort located in between the mountain and sea. While the Kawa hot bath in Antique is the most popular and another one has been put up in Manila which is in El Patio Razon in Rizal, travelers in Cebu can be able to experience the same. Instead of the usual aromatic herbs added to the boiling water, guests are spoiled with fragrant essential oils and even virgin coconut oils for that much-needed relaxation. 


Fantasy Lodge Cebu Kawa Hot Bath


Dao Falls is a tall waterfall in Samboan. Its height is 120 meters and looks like a water dam. The lower basin is actually only 6 meters. Its the rock wall that's much higher/deeper than the water in the falls. Dao Falls is composed of 3 tiers. They say, among the five waterfalls in Cebu, Dao Falls is the tallest. There's even a small waterfall above it that is said to be unexplored until this time.


Dao Falls Samboan Cebu

Expenses:
Bus to Dalaguete - Php 105 
Habal habal ride to  Osmeña peak - Php  200 (roundtrip)
Bus to Oslob - Php 60 
Habal habal to Tumalog Falls -  Php 50 RT 
Tumalog falls entrance - Php 20 
Kawa hot bath at Fantasy Lodge -  Php 450
Aguinid Falls entrance fee - Php 20 
Dao  Falls entrance fee - Php 20
Dumaguete via fastcraft -  Php 62 

Contacts:
Vans for hire for South Cebu - Kuya Arthur via mobile number 09229281828
Tour guide for Aguinid Falls and South Cebu -  Jai Ho via mobile number 09239561919

As per Donna
  • There are no established rates for tour guides in Aguinid Falls and Dao Falls. Please don't take this as an excuse to not to give them a tip. If you do, please make sure it is commensurate to the amount of efforts and your guide did to give you a memorable and enjoyable trip here.
  • Please contact Fantasy Lodge ahead of time . They have a website and Facebook fan page to get updated of their rates. This hotel is popular to both locals and international travelers, to save time and for your peace of mind please reserve in advance. kawa fee is only good for 45 minutes of soaking and relaxation - a bit pricey but definitely worth it. You can also join their other package tours such as river trekking in Matutinao, swimming in Montaneza hot springs and of course a body spa & massage.
  •  For your lunch, there's a store near the Aguinid Falls jump off. Please order your food before going to the falls so they'll have it ready once you're done with the tour. It's really cheap for a generous serving.  Try their best-selling Filipino dish, native chicken adobo
  • Sorry I can't disclose the amount of the van we paid because it was pre-arranged. To have an idea, it does not go lower than php 2,000 for a day trip at any point of South Cebu. Please contact Kuya Arthur (number above).

Day 2:  Diving in Dumaguete
0645 Harold's Diveshop
0700 Apo Island Tour c/o Harold's
1700 ETA Harold's Diveshop

Where to eat in Dumaguete
Snack - Panda Ice cream shop
1st Dinner -  Chicken Inato (near Panda)
2nd Dinner -: Gabby's restaurant


diving in apo island dumaguete



diving in apo island dumaguete




Expenses
Snorkeling fee c/o Harold's-  Php 1,000/pax
Tricycle to Panda - Php 8/pax
Panda's fried icecream - Php 50
Chicken Inato - Php 140 ++

As per Donna
  • The most hassle-free way to enjoy Apo Island is to book with Harold's Diveshop. Fee includes land transfer to/from Malatapay, boat, guides, snorkeling set (mask & fins), snacks (fruits, bread & jam), drinks (water , coffee & tea) and simple lunch (pancit). Reserve ahead of time - they have a website.
Harold's Dive Center is one of the most established tour operators in Dumaguete that offers world class diving classes and of course trips to Apo Island. They also have  presence in Sumilon island of Cebu, Siquijor and Bohol. Diving in Apo Island was quite a challenge for me. The shore is covered with sharp, broken shells that wearing the usual pair of slippers are not a good idea. I was just too lucky my other buddies have spare aqua shoes. While I did not join the group for snorkelling so I can't vouch for what's deep down Apo Island's beach, I can say my friends were telling me endless about turtles, colorful fishes and even a sea snake! On the other side of the island there's a mangrove area where turtles lay their eggs. 

Balete Tree (strangler fig tree) in Barangay Campalanas in Lazi, Siquijor is believed to be 400 years old already. Old locals perform rituals related to sorcery in front of this tree. What's more surprising about this tree is there's a natural cold spring that flows from the base of this tree! It is not recommended for swimmng though because it was converted to a fish spa. You can dip your feet and wait for the fishes to feed on your feet!  


Balete tree in Sijuijor


Day 3:  Siquijor Itinerary: Where to go and what to do
0700 ETD for Siquijor
0900 ETA Siquijor
Breakfast
1000 Start tour c/o Kuya Phil Cortez (multicab)
Cantabon Cave, Cambugahay Falls, Balete tree, Salagdoong Beach & Forest
1900 ETD for Bohol via Lite Shipping
2300 ETA Bohol
Check in @ Tagbilaran
Dinner

Cantabon Cave is located in the mountains of Siquijor. It is 800 meters long but only need half an hour to reach the place. Spelunking inside would take an average of 2 hours (roundtrip). This cadave is made of beautiful stalactites and stalagmites that taking photos of these are the best things to do. This is a wet cave so you know what to bring or at least what to wear. Night spelunking is possible, last batch is at 6 pm. 


Cantabon Cave suquijor

Cambugahay Falls in Siquijor is one of the easiest waterfalls in the Philippines to reach. No need to trek for hours or climb up the mountains. All you have to do is go down the stairs from the cemented road for 5-10 minutes. It's composed of 3 tiers: first one is the most famous and most photographed because of a makeshift rope swing you can use to jump then dive after. The second and third are very easy to reach too. It's just like doing some long strides to get to the top, that's it.  



Cambugahay Falls, Siquijor

Salagdoong Beach and Forest (no photo) is located north of Siquijor.  It's within the vicinity of Hotel Agripino, a public hotel on top of the hill overlooking the beach. This beach is broken in half by a huge coral rock which was transformed into a platform for cliff diving. You can choose between 2o feet high or 35 feet high. Those photos of people jumping down the emerald waters, is taken here. Near the beach is the Salagdoong Forest, it is actually man-made stretching 2 kilometers and took 60 years to finish. If you have a luxury of time, we couldn't think of any other places than drop by here from Salagdoong Beach.

Expenses: 
Boat from Dumaguete to Siquijor - Php 160
Multicab tour - Php1,500
Cantabon Cave fee - php 500
Parking fee @ Cambugahay Falls - php 30 for multicab
Old Balete Tree fee - php 5
Salagdoong Beach - php 25/pax
Boat for Bohol - php 270 (with bed bunks)
Accommodation - php 1200 for 3

As per Donna:
  • Multicab charge is cheaper if you skip Cantabon Cave. But why skip it?
  • Fee for Cantabon Cave is good for 3 pax and it includes 2 guides and helmets. We brought our own flashlight/headlamp
  • No entrance fee for Cambugahay Falls and use of Tarzan swing. They are probably getting revenues from the parking fee.
  • We had our lunch after our trip to Cambugahay falls. Food in Siquijor is really cheap and delicious - one meal costs less than Php 50.
  •  Be conscious of the boat schedules to and from Siquijor and try to book tickets as soon as you can.
  • I don't recommend our accommodation for Tagbilaran.
  • We were picked up by Kuya John from the pier going to the hotel - free of charge
Contact for Siquijor transportation:
Kuya Phil Cortez (multicab driver) - 09275123496

Day 4: Itinerary for Bohol Day Tour
0700 Countryside Tour c/o Kuya John via car
Mag-aso Falls, Kawasan Falls and forest, Chocolate Hills ATV, Sipatan Hanging bridge
Loboc River Cruise buffet, Tarsier Sanctuary, Baclayon church & museum, blood Compact
and Bohol Bee Farm
Check in @ Panglao
Dinner

Expenses:
Tour w/ Kuya John - Php 2,500 (cheaper if you do not include Mag-Aso and Kawasan Falls)
Kawasan falls entrance - php 20
Chocolate Hills ATV - php 450/pax for 30 mins
Sipatan Hanging Bridge - php 20/pax
Loboc lunch - Php 450/pax (cruising for 1hr)
Tarsier Sanctuary entrance - Php 60
Baclayon museum entrance - Php 50
Accommodation  at Alona Beach - Php 1500 for 3 pax

Tour Contact for Bohol Tour:
Kuya John - 09065550098

Mag-aso falls Bohol


Kawasan Falls in Bohol for me is like the smaller and simpler version of the Asik Asik in Cotabato which I have seen myself in person. Please do not be confused of Kawasan Falls in Cebu with this one. They're entirely different. Kawasan Falls becomes more stunning because of the green backfrop of tropical plants plus the rugged cliffs. Watching the water cascading down the pool is also a mesmerizing view. It is in the middle of some hiking paths that's why it is a bit of challenge to get here.



Kawasan Falls Bohol


The Chocolate Hills  ATV Eco-Adventure Tour is for those who want more than selfies than "pa-cute" photos. After all, this is the best way to go around while you own your time and your will. There are 5 packages - the cheapest is going to one barangay only and the most expensive is reaching a total of five barangays. 


Chocolate Hills ATV Ride bohol

Other tourist attractions of Bohol
  • The Sipatan Hanging Bridge(s) or the Twin Hanging Bridges of Sevilla, Bohol. The bridges are made of bamboo but the support cables are made of steel. However,talking a walk here will surely give you some goosebumps because the Bohol Hanging Bridge still bounces up and down a bit. Mind you, there's an entrance fee so don't leave this place without enjoying the thrill. There's an official photographer who takes photo but you will need to pay later of course.
  • Loboc River Cruise and Lunch is one of the most mandatory things to do in Bohol. After all, who wouldn't want to eat his/her food inside a ferry/boat/banca while cruising in one of the cleanest rivers in the Philippines? You can even choose a night cruise and get serenaded by Loboc Youth ambassadors.
  • Baclayon Church or the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception is the second oldest stone church in the Philippines. It was built in 17th century out of coral stones and millions of egg whites. Please be reminded that Baclayon church is entrance free but the museum isn't.
  • Alona Beach is a strtch of white, powdery shore located in the island of Panglao, Bohol. It's world-famous so don't be surprised especially during peak season you'll think you're in Bali or Phuket. The best part to stay is of course at the beachfront but prepare to spend more. 
As per Donna: 
  • Mag-aso Waterfalls was damaged by earthquake in 2013.  If you have extra time and budget for the additional tour fee, go ahead and see the area. Notice the houses damaged by the quake.  We did not pay any entrance fee since there's no one at the reception - it's like a ghost town. 
  • There's a store and a couple of vendors across the other end of Sipatan bridge - try their roasted banana cue.  If you're lucky, you might meet Buko King, he peels the skin of coconut using his teeth
  •  I don't recommend our accommodation as well. :(

Day 5: Island Hopping in Bohol - Balicasag and Isla di Francesco tour 
0600 Dolphin watching
Balicasag
- turtle
- fish sanctuary
- giant clams/corals
Isola di francesco
1300 Back to Hotel / wash up
1430 ETD for Hinagdanan Cave
1530 ETD for Cebu via Oceanjet
1715 ETA Cebu
Dinner

Balicasag Island Sanctuary is one of the best places to watch dolphins frolick in the sea in their natural habitat. You just need to wake up early because they are very visible early in the morning. They say, there's only 40% chance to see them and you can call yourself lucky if you see them do a triple sommersault. This island is a protected area that is home to unbleached coral reef, colorful fishes and sea turtles.


Balicasag Island  Bohol


Isola di Francesco in Bohol, is not your ordinary island in the Philippines. It's actually a place of meditation and reflection because it is owned by the Philippine Centre of St. Pio of Pietrelcina. There's NO entrance fee and there's even a FREE boat shuttle service from the island and back. Saint Pio's statue, religious art pieces, mini-museum and see a relic of the saint.


Islas di Francesco, Panglao, Bohol


Hinagdanan Cave is an underground cave where you you'll find a small grotto, artsy rock formations, stalactites and stalagmites. Because of the green limestone at the botton, the surface emanates the same color. For photographers and Instagram addicts, this is for you. Hinagdanan has a natural light that passes through holes creating some effects. I think, if captured perfectly, this is going to be an awesome photo! Yes, you can swim in this cave!


Hinagdanan Cave Panglao, Bohol

Expenses: 
Balicasag / Islos di Francesco (Virgin island) Tour
- boat fee - Php 1500 (exclusive boat)
- snorkeling masks - Php 100
- guide/boat in Balicasag - Php 450 per pax (turtle, fish sanctuary, giant clam; if you only intend to visit fish sanctuary the charge is Php 250)
Transpo from Panglao to Tagbilaran port - Php 500 (car transpo, then sidetrip to Hinagdanan cave)
Hinagdanan Cave fee - Php 50
Oceanjet bound for Cebu - Php 500

Boat tour contact for Balicasag island hopping
Private boat - contact Kuya John
Rey Lusterio (Balicasag tour) - ask for him when you reach Balicasag Island. He doesn't have a cellphone.

Notes:
  • There's a smaller boat you can rent for a tour in Balicasag Island. Please be reminded that motorized boats can't go around the protected area. The fee of  Php 250 per pax is only for the fish sanctuary area. That means  Php100 will be given to the local municipal office and Php 150 for the boat/guide. There are other tourist spots in Balicasag Island like the turtle area and giant clams area where they charge another Php 250 per pax per spot. Please look for Kuya Rey Lusterio and ask for a discount, he gave us a discounted price for only Php 450 per pax.
  • Joiners for the motorized boat cost Php350 to Php 400.
  • The ideal time to go on dolphin hunting in Balicasag tour is 6 am. 
  • Islos di Francesco (formerly Virgin Island) is a private island dedicated by its owner to St. Padre Pio. They don't charge anything from visitors, even their store (food/drinks) has no price for the items they sell. Again, please give out of the kindness of your heart. All proceeds go to the church :)
Day 6:  Sirao Flower Garden & Temple of Leah tour in Cebu
1000 start of tour
Temple of Leah 
Lantaw Native Restaurant (overlooking Cebu City)
Sirao Flower Farm 
1800 End of tour

Expenses:
Temple of Leah - Php 25
Sirao Farm in Cebu - Php 25
 - one dozen of fresh roses Php 50
- pots of flowers / plants Php 30

Sirao Flower Garden can take you to the famed European town of Amsterdam. Tulips, Hyacinths and daffodils are the most famous and most photographed flowers in this part of Cebu. Go ahead, have your Instagrammable shot here!


Sirao Flower Farm in Cebu


Temple of Leah was built by a wealthy businessman in Cebu in honor of his departed wife. It is patterned to the architecture of Athens in Greece and owned by the family of actress Ellen Adarna.

Temple of Leah in Cebu


As per Donna:
Support the locals. Don't haggle too much. The people in Visayas are very nice and kind so please don't take advantage of their generosity. It's not every day they get the opportunity to be tour guides or drivers. Let's not just enjoy but let's also do our part - help them.

LEAVE NO TRACE. Yes, we pay but we aren't the owners of nature. Don't litter, create too much noise and behave.


You can also read  DIY SOLO 1 - DAY ITINERARY TO CEBU, WHAT TO DO AND WHERE TO GO here.

We would like to thank Donna for unselfishly sharing her DIY itinerary to Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor and Dumaguete. You can add her or follow her on Facebook HERE.All tips and photos are credited to her. Note that this is a crowdsourced travel guide - please prepare your trips responsibly.



Would you like to share your travels too? If you traveled to a destination and you came back with a very memorable experience including  gourgeous photos and complete itinerary (expenses + tips),  please don't hesitate to share it to help our fellow backpackers. You can send me a massage via mariaronab@gmail.com.
balicasag island bohol





Looking for more DIY travel posts, see below:
DIY Travel Guide to Masasa Beach in Tingloy with side trip to Sicilian Reef Resort in Mabini, Batangas
DIY TRIP TO CAMARINES NORTE: GUIDE TO THE TOWNS OF VINZONS (INCLUDING CALAGUAS) AND CAPALONGA
5D4N CEBU - DUMAGUETE DIY ITINERARY, ACCOMMODATION AND CONTACT INFO FOR 2 PAX 

No comments