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.
- Belfry Tower
- Catherine of Alexandria Church
- Filipino-American-Japanese Amity Shrine
- Siliman University Campus
- Tierra Alta
- Rizal Boulevard
- Chinese Bell Church
- Pawikan (Apo Island)
- Mabinay Cave Town
- Dolphins (Tanon Strait/Bais)
1. Belfry Tower
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.
- Type: Bell tower
- Location: Dumaguete Belfry, Perdices St, Dumaguete. From the airport of Dumaguete, take a taxi directly to the Church. From the city center, take a tricycle going to Perdices St. and you can tell the driver to let you off at the Belfry.
- Budget: FREE
- Activities: Take photos, leave a candle and say a prayer by the grotto
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.
- Type: Cathedral
- Location: Perdices St, Dumaguete City, 6200. From the Airport of Dumaguete, take a taxi directly to the Church. From the city center, take a tricycle going to Perdices St and you can tell the driver to let you off at the Belfry. The church is a short walk away.
- Budget: FREE
- Time: Mass starts as early as 5am on weekdays.
- Activities: Attend mass, appreciate architecture and art
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.
- Type: Monument
- Location: Sagbang Hilltop, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. From Dumaguete city, take a tricycle to the Valencia Jeepney station. Ride a jeep going to valencia. Once there, take a habal-habal to the shrine.
- Budget: P100-120
- Activities: Hiking, sightseeing
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.
- Type: School
- Location: 1 Hibbard Ave, Dumaguete, 6200. From the port, take a trike to the Flores Avenue exit, from there you’ll see the Siliman University sign where the road converges with Rizal Boulevard.
- Budget: FREE
- Activities: Walking tour, visit the museum
5. Tierra Alta
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.
- Type: Resort
- Location: Palinpinon, Valencia, 6215 Negros Oriental. From the public market at Dumaguete City, take a trike to the entrance of the resort. From the gate, you’ll have to walk up the hill to the clubhouse.
- Budget: Clubhouse entrance fee (Consumable) Adult – P200, Child -P 50, Sightseeing only – P50
- Time: 9am-5pm
- Activities: Sightseeing, ziplining, swimming
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.
- Type: Boulevard
- Location: Rizal Boulevard, Dumaguete, Negros Oriental
- Budget: FREE
- Time: All day
- Activities: Biking, jogging, sightseeing
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.
- Type: Temple
- Location: Rizal Boulevard, Dumaguete, Negros Oriental. Walk towards the south of Rizal Boulevard through Barangay Tinago then turn left on Banica bridge. Keep going until you get to the end of the block then make a left. This little concrete road will take you directly into the Church parking lot.
- Budget: FREE
- Time: 6am-6pm
- Activities: Sightseeing, take photos
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.
- Type: Island
- Location: Dauin, Negros Oriental. From Ceres terminal in Dumaguete, take a bus going toward Bayawan, go down at the Malapatay stop. From there, the walk to the ferry station is about 500 meters.
- Budget: P100 island registration fee for tourists, P10 for locals. Boat rental: Approx P2000 per head for a small boat, P3000 per head for a big boat.
- Activities: Diving, snorkeling, swimming
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.
- Type: Caves
- Location: Brgy. Bulwang, Mabinay, Negros Oriental. From Dumaguete, you can ride a bus going to Mabinay. It is about 87 kilometers away from the City. From the bus terminal, you can take a 20 minute trike ride to the caves.
- Budget: Beginners – P50 per head per cave, Advanced– P150 per head per cave. Guide’s Fee: P400 for every 5-7 visitors except for educational tours.
- Activities: Spelunking
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.
- Type: Strait
- Location: Bais, Negros Oriental. From Dumaguete City you can take a Ceres bus liner to Bais City. From there, take a tricycle going to Canibol Wharf or Capinan Wharf where you can rent a boat.
- Budget: Average tour package – P3000-P5000
- Activities: Dolphin watching, swimming
Enjoy a fun experience and check out other restaurants, things to do and more in Dumaguete. Discover cheap hotel deals and cheap flights from carriers like Philippine Airlines, AirAsia, and more with Traveloka!