Unlike most metropolitan cities, Dumaguete is known to be more relaxed and laid back. As expected from the City of Gentle People, life here is much more peaceful than most areas in the country. But aside from its reputation as a university town and popularity for retirees, Dumaguete also has a long list of beautiful sights to see. So, If you’re planning a visit, here are 10 must-see tourist spots in and around the city.
The historical Belfry Tower or Kampanarya has stood in Dumaguete for over 200 years, making it the oldest bell tower in Visayas. The centuries old landmark has served as the town’s watchtower during the World Wars and even before that, to forewarn the townspeople about any incoming danger.
Built in 1754 and eventually finished in 1776, the Catherine of Alexandria Church is considered to be the oldest stone church in Negros. It stands next to the famous Belfry Tower and is also referred to as the Dumaguete Cathedral Church. The Cathedral is a famous spot for both tourists and locals alike even during off mass hours. Devotees believe that the patroness of the church grants miracles to those who believe.
The commemorative shrine stands on sacred ground where an actual battle took place during the world war. It was built to remember the lives that were lost as well as to mark a beginning of a friendship among the three nations.
Siliman University was founded in 1901 by the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions. It’s the first American University in the Philippines and the entire Asian continent. The sprawling 62-hectare campus boasts old American architecture, beautiful acacia trees, its own church, an anthropology museum, marine laboratory and more.
Tierra Alta is a mountainside resort nestled on the slopes of Palinpinon in Valencia, west of Dumaguete City. The tranquil resort features manicured greens, fun & adventure facilities, and a restaurant that serves delicious Mediterranean-inspired dishes. But if these aren’t compelling enough for you to visit, Tierra Alta also offers one of the best views of the city.
Dumaguete’s Rizal Boulevard is one of the most famous spots in the city for its breathtaking views of the sea. The boulevard’s stretch of lamp posts and trees are easily viewable from out at sea making it one of the most recognizable areas in the city. While you enjoy the view, it’s become tradition to enjoy an order of fried tempura from one of the many stalls lined up in the street.
The Chinese Bell Church in Dumaguete city is a colorful landmark easily viewable at the southern tip of Rizal boulevard. The taoist temple’s traditional Chinese design and landscaped gardens are well worth the visit. Here, you are free to roam the grounds and offer a solemn prayer as you breath the city’s fresh seacoast air.
Apo island is considered one of the top diving spots in the world. The famous spot is filled with over 650 species of fish, untouched corals, and the famous pawikan or sea turtles. As soon as you dive in the clear blue waters, you will be greeted by an intricate patchwork of colors, some you’ve probably never seen before.
The town of Mabinay is fondly referred to as “Cave Town” for having over 400 caves located within the area. Many of these are popular for outdoor enthusiasts and first-timers for their fascinating stalagmite and stalactite formations. You can also swim, rappel, or climb down the cave depending on which cave you visit.
One of the most awaited tourist activities in Negros during the months of March to October is to go Dolphin watching at the Tanon Strait. During these months, groups of Spinner and Bottlenose dolphins travel through the 161 kilometer strait.
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Go start chasing those waterfalls!