Things to Do

10 Best Things to Do in Dumaguete

Dumaguete is known as a university town because of the number of higher educational institutions that call it home. However, studying isn’t the only thing you can do there. Aside from its wonderful universities, the City of Gentle People has lakes, waterfalls, and museums that you can visit and explore. If you’re headed to Dumaguete any time soon, check out our list of 10 things to do in Dumaguete.
 

1. Visit the Campanario de Dumaguete

Campanario de Dumaguete

(photo via Shutterstock)

The Campanario de Dumaguete or the Dumaguete Belfry used to be the most imposing structure in Dumaguete before modernization led to other tall buildings being constructed in the city. Built during the 1760s to warn the town of Moro pirates looking for slaves, a bell tower was eventually added in 1867 by Fray Juan Felix de la Encarnacion.

It’s right next to the St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral, and also has a grotto for Our Lady of Perpetual Help at its base. There are also souvenir shops near the grotto where you can buy religious items and candles that you can light at the grotto. During the latest ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) conference held here in the country, it was chosen to be among the 63 landmarks that were lit simultaneously in key cities nationwide and in the capitals of ASEAN member states.

  • Location: Perdices St, Dumaguete, Negros Oriental (View Map)
  • Fees: There is no entrance fee to get into the Campanario de Dumaguete.
  • Operating Hours: The Campanario is open all day.
  • Best for: Travelers looking to discover Dumaguete’s history.
  • Adventure Level: Low
  • Travel Tips: If you don’t want to be part of a crowd, don’t visit at 9 AM and 5 PM, as it is the Campanario’s busiest hours.

 

2. Watch the sunrise at Rizal Boulevard

Rizal Boulevard Dumaguete

People talk about watching the sunset at Roxas Boulevard in Manila, but the sunrise at Dumaguete’s Rizal Boulevard could give it a run for its money. Named after the country’s national hero, Rizal Boulevard is a 700-meter seaside avenue that is a popular hangout for locals and tourists alike.

Once you’ve taken a look at the sunrise, you can also spend the rest of the day there. Rizal Boulevard is lined with restaurants and is just a stone’s throw away from Dumaguete’s commercial district.

  • Location: Rizal Boulevard, Dumaguete, Negros Oriental (View Map)
  • Fees: There is no entrance fee for Rizal Boulevard
  • Operating Hours: Rizal Boulevard is open all day
  • Best for: Travelers looking to take a photo of a picture-perfect sunrise
  • Adventure Level: Low
  • Travel Tips: While you can also catch the sunset here, the colors are better during the sunrise as Rizal Boulevard faces east

 

3. Stroll with friends or family at Quezon Park

If you’ve got friends or family along with you and you’re just looking for a chill time in Dumaguete, you can head on over to Quezon Park. It’s got a playground for the kids and vintage cannons that adults can take pictures off. It’s also just a short walk away from Rizal Boulevard, so you can head on over after you’ve exhausted all the Boulevard’s charms.

Aside from giving you 1.5 hectares of space to stroll around in, Quezon Park also has henna artists vendors selling food and drink. On Sundays, students from different schools also perform in the park. If you and your family are more sporty, football games and practices are also held there.

  • Location: Perdices St, Dumaguete, Negros Oriental (View Map)
  • Fees: There is no entrance fee to get into Quezon Park.
  • Operating Hours: The park is open all day.
  • Best for: Easygoing travelers
  • Adventure Level: Low

 

4. Hike to the Casaroro Falls

Casaroro Falls

Almost 10 kilometers away from Dumaguete City, getting to Casaroro Falls can be quite the journey to make. From the city proper, you can take a jeepney that will take you to the town of Valencia. At the town terminal, rent a motorcycle to take you to the entrance to Casaroro Falls.

Once there, you’ll have to descend down a gorge via 357 concrete steps. After, you have to hike through terrain riddled with boulders and muddy paths for 30 or so minutes. You can also choose to rent a motorcycle at Dumaguete City and go to the entrance to Casaroro Falls directly.

If you manage to make it past all that, the reward is great. Casaroro Falls is a majestic waterfall that stands at 100 feet, and the roar it makes as it lands in the pool below is something you’ll remember.

  • Location: Taft St, Valencia, Negros Oriental (View Map)
  • Fees: P10 entrance fee. Jeepney fare to Valencia is P24. P200 fee to rent a motorcycle and a guide. Motorcycle rental is P450, including gas and entrance fee to Casaroro Falls. You can also have your hotel arrange a tour for you, which will cost you P300 for a minimum of four people.
  • Best for: Hikers and nature lovers
  • Adventure Level: High
  • Highlights: Located 500 meters above sea level, Casaroro Falls is a perfect place to cool down.
  • Travel Tips: Be sure to rest well before heading to Casaroro Falls as the hike to get there is truly punishing. Boulders can get really slippery, so be careful about tripping and slipping on them.

 

5. Buy handicrafts at the Sidlakang Negros Village

If you’ve got a big family or group of friends that are expecting bagfuls of pasalubong once you come back from your Dumaguete trip, head on over to the Sidlakang Negros Village. The village not only houses local handicrafts from Dumaguete, but from all the local government units in Negros Oriental. All six cities and 19 municipalities are represented in the village, and you can check out all of their products. The village also features tourism assets and information, as well as agricultural goods and investment opportunities in the cities and municipalities of Negros.

  • Location: E J. Blanco Dr, Dumaguete, Negros Oriental (View Map)
  • Fees: There’s no entrance fee to the Sidlakang Negros Village
  • Operating Hours: 9 AM to 10 PM
  • Best for: Shopaholics
  • Adventure Level: Low
  • Contact details: (035) 226-3105  and  (035) 422-4168

 

6. Take a selfie at the Pulangbato Falls

Pulangbato Falls

Thirty minutes away from Casaroro Falls is Pulangbato Falls, which got its name from the reddish rocks at its base. The water can look anywhere from bloody to rusty, depending on how morbid you’re feeling. But what’s amazing about it is that the water immediately loses its reddish tint once you take it out of the river. The water’s reddish tint is simply the reflection of the rocks own red color.

Unlike Casaroro Falls, Pulangbato is easier to get to. There’s no hike, for instance. Simply take a jeepney that will take you to Valencia, and from there take a motorcycle to Pulangbato Falls. You can already hear the waterfalls once you reach the registration point.

  • Location: Valencia, Negros Oriental (View Map)
  • Fees: P20 entrance fee. Jeepney fare to Valencia is P24. P200 fee to rent a motorcycle and a guide. Motorcycle rental is P450, including gas and entrance fee to Pulangbato Falls.
  • Best for: Nature lovers, selfie addicts, and photographers.
  • Adventure Level: Medium
  • Travel Tips: You can actually visit both Casaroro Falls and Pulangbato Falls in one day. Just pay P300 for the motorcycle and guide you get at Valencia and they’ll take you to both waterfalls.

 

7. Reflect at the Silliman University Church

Dumaguete City is already a quiet city. But if you want a place more contemplative and spiritual, the Silliman University Church is where you can go and reflect. It’s been around since 1916, starting out as the Silliman Student Church. While the Church is actually Presbyterian, it’s welcoming of any denomination or religious affiliation.  

  • Location: Real St, Dumaguete, Negros Oriental (View Map)
  • Fees: There is no entrance fee to get into the Silliman University Church
  • Operating Hours: Sunday services are held at 9 AM and 4 PM. There’s also a 7 PM service on Wednesday
  • Best for: Soul-searching travelers
  • Adventure Level: Low
  • Contact details: +63 35 422.6002 loc. 340; 225.4837; 422.8133 or email: [email protected]

 

8. Take in the majesty of the Twin Lakes

Twin Lakes

The Balinsasayao Twin Lakes are made up of Lake Balinsasayao and Lake Danao. A little over an hour away from Dumaguete City, the Twin Lakes are a respite from the hustle and bustle of the city proper. A protected national park that’s home to a lot of biodiversity, the Twin Lakes are perfect for those looking to see some of Dumaguete and Negros Oriental’s flora and fauna. You can also do some kayaking, swimming, or fishing at the Twin Lakes.

To get to the Twin Lakes from the city proper, you can take a jeepney going to Amlan and get off at the juncture in La-laan in San Jose. From there, you can hire a habal-habal or choose to rent a motorcycle. Take the road leading to the lakes until your reach the registration point.

  • Location: Balinsasayao Twin Lakes, Sibulan, Negros Oriental (View Map)
  • Fees: P10 entrance fee. Jeepney fare to Amlan is P15. Habal-habal fare is P400 for two people, round-trip. Motorcycle rental is anywhere from P300 to P350. Parking is P10 for motorcycles, P25 for cars, P50 for vans
  • Best for: Travelers looking for nature and outdoor activities
  • Adventure Level: Medium
  • Highlights: While there’s a lot of things you can do at the Twin Lakes, just taking in its majesty early in the morning is a great way to spend your time
  • Travel Tips: Be sure to stick to the P400 for two people fare for the habal-habal as some drivers may ask you to pay the same amount even when you’re traveling solo

 

9. Look at the artifacts at the Silliman University Anthropology Museum

There are some ghost stories people tell about Silliman University, but that shouldn’t be the reason why you visit this esteemed educational institution. If you’re visiting Silliman University, check out their Anthropology Museum. Established in 1970, the Anthropology Museum houses ethnographic and archeological artifacts dating as far back as 200 BC. You can see voodoo dolls, coffin jars, and other interesting things. The building housing the museum is an interesting artifact as well, dating as far back as 1909.

  • Location: Rizal Boulevard, Dumaguete, Negros Oriental (View Map)
  • Fees: P30 for Filipino adults, P10 for Filipino children below 15 or students with valid IDs, P24 for Filipino senior citizens. On weekends, P60 for Filipino adults, P20 for Filipino children below 15 or students with valid IDs, P48 for Filipino senior citizens. For foreign visitors, it’s P60 for adults, P20 for Filipino children below 15 or students with valid IDs, P48 for senior citizens. On weekends, P100 for adults, P50 for children below 15 or students with valid IDs, P80 for senior citizens
  • Operating Hours: 8:30 to 11:30 AM and 2 to 4:30 PM on weekdays.
  • Best for: Inquisitive travelers
  • Adventure Level: Low
  • Travel Tips: You can’t just walk into the Silliman Anthropology Museum. Prior arrangements need to be made, so make sure to contact the University before visiting the Anthropology Museum
  • Contact details: To make arrangements to visit the Museum, call any of the people: Connie P. Cadeliña 09166805714, 422-6002 local 207, 422-4170; Christine S. Batiles 0906527511, 422-6002 local 207, 368; SOAD Office 09065277323422-6002 local 335; Information Booth 09177241866 (c/o Shanice), 422-6002 local 414

 

10. Snorkel and dive at Apo Island

View from Apo Island

(photo via Shutterstock)

Just 30 kilometers south of Dumaguete City, Apo Island is one of the country’s top dive spots. The island has two resorts that both have dive centers, as well as a ranger station and a lighthouse. Apo Island is a haven for biodiversity, with over 650 documented species of fish and over 400 species of corals. There’s a whole range of corals here, from tiny bubble corals to huge gorgonian sea fans and brain corals.

To get to Apo Island from Dumaguete, you can drive down to Zambuangita and then head to Malatapay Market. At the end of the market road you’ll find a boat post where you can hire a banca. The banca will wait for you while you enjoy Apo Island and take you back to the main island at around 3:30 or 4 PM. If you don’t have a car to get to Zambuangita, you can take a bus from Dumaguete to Bayawan and then just ask to be dropped off at Malatapay Market.

  • Fees: P15 to P30 bus fare. Depending on the size of the banca, you will need to pay either P2000 or P3000. General admission into the island is at P100. Docking fees for the banca costs P250, while scuba diving within the Apo Island Marine Sanctuary will cost you P200 per person per dive and an additional P50 for the underwater camera fee. If you’re snorkeling, you’ll need to pay P300 for a snorkeling guide, P100 for a snorkeling mask gear, and P100 for a life vest. Taking a video costs an additional P5000 while camping costs P50 a day.
  • Operating Hours: If you’re not staying on Apo Island, you need to leave by 3:30 or 4 PM as all bancas on the island leave by that hour.
  • Best for: Divers and snorkeling enthusiasts.
  • Adventure Level: High

 

Enjoy a fun experience and check out other tourist spots to visit, restaurants to try and more in Dumaguete. Discover cheap hotel deals and cheap flights from carriers like Philippine Airlines, AirAsia, and more with Traveloka!


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