7 BEST DUMAGUETE TOURIST SPOTS – THE ULTIMATE GUIDE

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I have put together this easy travel guide highlighting the 7 Best Dumaguete tourist spots for anyone planning a visit to the famed ‘City of Gentle People’ on Negros Island in the Philippines.

Also in this Dumaguete Tourist Spots guide, I have included some useful information on how to get to Dumaguete, where to stay in Dumaguete, getting around and the best time to visit!

 

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WHERE IS DUMAGUETE & HOW TO GET THERE

Dumaguete City is located in the southern region of the Philippines on Negros Island.

BY PLANE:

From Manila to Dumaguete it is approximately a 1.5 hour flight that will cost you around $50 – $150 one way.

The majority of travelers tend to visit Cebu Island first before making their way over to Dumaguete.

From Cebu to Dumaguete you can take a 50-minute direct flight that will cost you around $50 – $100 one way.

Search All → Flights to Dumaguete on SkyScanner.com

BY FERRY:

Alternatively, you can take a ferry from Cebu City to Dumaguete which takes approximately 5 hours.

I always use 12Go Asia to book all of my transport in the Philippines and you can too using the search form below:

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DUMAGUETE TOURIST SPOTS MAP

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TOP 7 DUMAGUETE TOURIST SPOTS

 

#1 RIZAL BOULEVARD

Rizal Boulevard is one of the best Dumaguete tourist spots and it is for sure to be added to your Dumaguete itinerary when visiting Negros Oriental.

Rizal Boulevard is a buzzing waterfront strip that is lined with bars, restaurants and street vendors during all hours of the day. There are also several festivals throughout the year where Rizal Boulevard plays host for parades, live music and outdoor barbeques for everyone to enjoy.

Rizal Boulevard faces east over the Philippines Sea and it is the best spot in Dumaguete to catch the sunrise from one of the bench seats, all the while watching local boats zipping in and out of the Dumaguete Port.

At dusk, Rizal Boulevard comes to life with the brightly lit street lamps shimmering on the waterfront and the cool sea breeze that fills the air, a tranquil end to a busy day exploring Dumaguete City.

Last but not least, don’t miss getting a photo taken in front of the ‘Dumaguete Sign’ on Rizal Boulevard.

Search All ∼ Hostels, Hotels & Resorts in Dumaguete

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#2 CAMPANARIO DE DUMAGUETE

The Campanario De Dumaguete is an iconic landmark to add to your list of Dumaguete tourist spots. Built in 1811, this belfry tower was put in place to warn the local residents of Dumaguete of impending danger by Moyo pirate attacks.

Campanario De Dumaguete is a two-tiered watchtower located right next to the Cathedral of St. Catherine of Alexandria.

On one side of the watchtower, there is a grotto where locals and devotees offer prayers to Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

At the entrance to the grotto are a few small street vendors selling candles and other religious souvenirs.

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#3  St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral

The St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral is the oldest and most historic church in Dumaguete City making it to the list of must-see Dumaguete Tourist Spots. It was built some hundreds of years ago in 1776 and every Sunday, the Dumaguete Cathedral hosts masses for local Filipino’s and other religious tourists.

Upon entrance to the St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral, you can see four large stone pillars holding up the entrance gate which is also surrounded by lush green palm trees and frangipani gardens.

The best time to visit the St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral is on a Sunday from 10 am onwards to experience all the action.

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#4 SILLIMAN UNIVERSITY

Silliman University is the first American University in the Philippines and the entire Asian continent. Silliman University was founded in 1901 and it is mainly used for private research.

The most aesthetically pleasing point of interest at the Silliman University is the symmetrical tree line that surrounds a field of well-kept turf in front of the main campus entrance.

The Silliman University is also home to the anthropology museum showcasing artifacts of ancient Filipino culture. The museum is open Monday to Friday and there is a small entrance fee for outside visitors.

Search All ∼ Hostels, Hotels & Resorts in Dumaguete

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#5 EAT A SILVANA FROM SANS RIVAL CAKES & PASTRIES

If you haven’t tasted a Silvana from Sans Rival than you are missing out. A global craze for this buttery sweet treat has people traveling to the flagship store in Dumaguete just to get their hands on some.

The Sans Rival store makes its way on to the list of the best Dumaguete Tourist Spots for it’s creamy, mouth-drooling Silvana’s.

Silvana’s consist of egg whites, cream of tartar, ground cashews, butter, milk and cake crumbs. Silvana’s are available in original butter or chocolate for 26 pesos per piece or you can buy a dozen for 312 pesos.

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dumaguete tourist spots, things to do in dumaguete, what to see in dumaguete, dumaguete, rizal boulevard, dumaguete itineraryUnfortunately, Nic is allergic to some of the ingredients in a Silvana

 

#6 APO ISLAND SNORKELLING TOUR

Apo Island is a volcanic island located 30km off the coast of Dumaguete. Apo Island is the longest-lasting community-led marine protected area in the Philippines since 1986.

I highly recommend adding Apo Island to your Dumaguete itinerary to experience an entire day of snorkeling with sea turtles, reef fish, sea snakes and hundreds of colorful corals. There are a few small mountain peaks on Apo Island that you can hike also.

There are two options for getting over to Apo Island for a snorkeling trip:

Option 1: Ultimate Package

Option 1: Ultimate Package

Atlantis Dive Resort in Dauin, just 20-minutes south of Dumaguete City, offers the ultimate package for scuba diving and snorkeling tours every day of the week to Apo Island.

The tour kicks off after a complimentary breakfast at the Atlantis Resort before jumping on the boat at 8am for the 45-minute journey over to Apo Island.

There are 3 stops throughout the day to different dive and snorkel sites around Apo Island. A barbeque lunch is also included on the boat and the tour ends back at Atlantis Resort around 4:00 pm.

Cost for snorkeling: 4095 pesos / includes tour guide, boat transfers, mask, snorkel and fins hire, barbeque lunch and marine park fees.

Cost for diving if certified: 2300 pesos per dive / includes dive instructor, dive equipment, barbeque lunch and marine park fees.

To book accommodation and a snorkeling trip to Apo Island with Atlantis Resort, Click Here.

Option 2: Budget Package

If you are staying in the Dumaguete, the cheapest option to get Apo Island is to take a 1-hour jeepney ride from Dumaguete to Malatapay and from here you can take a motorised outrigger boat over to Apo Island which is a 30-minute journey. Boats to and from Apo Island run frequently throughout the day.

Cost for jeepney from Dumaguete to Malatapay: 20 pesos

Cost for the boat from Malatapay to Apo Island (round trip): 2500 pesos

Cost for marine park entrance and snorkelling fees: 150 pesos

Cost for snorkeling equipment on Apo Island: 150 pesos per day

Full blog post: Apo Island Dumaguete

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#7 BALINSASAYAO TWIN LAKES 

One of the best Dumaguete tourist spots is Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park. The twin crater lakes known as Balinsasayo and Danao are the prominent features within the national park which is located on the western side of Mount Guintabon.

The twin lakes national park is located 14.5 km west of Dumaguete in a small village known as Sibulan. Balinsasayao Twin Lakes is one of the best Dumaguete tourist spots not to be missed.

The best way to get to Balinsasayao Twin Lakes is to rent a motorbike in Dumaguete for 500 – 800 pesos per day or you can rent a car for 1500 – 2000 pesos per day. The journey time takes around 1 hour.

The twin lakes of Balinsasayao and Danao have formed from a volcanic eruption some 10,000 years ago and the 90 meter deep craters over time have filled up with water from rain and stream deposits, resulting in the two lakes, separated by a narrow mountain ridge.

Must Read → 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary

Hundreds of species of forest trees, fruit-bearing and flower plants dominate the vegetation around the lakes. On top of this, Twin Lakes Natural Park is a famed spot for bird watching enthusiasts, playing home to many different species of bird, the most popular being the Flaming Sunbird.

Balinsasayao Twin Lakes National Park is open Monday to Sunday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and the entry fee is 50 pesos for local Filipino’s and 100 pesos for tourists.

There are two main viewing platforms at twin lakes, the first is located next to the main carpark/restaurant that overlooks Balinsasayao, the larger lake of the two.

The second viewing platform is a 1km hike around the edge of the crater lake towards the narrow mountain ridge and this is where you’ll find a 3-tiered watchtower that overlooks both Lake Danao and Lake Balinsasayao.

If you prefer not to hike and want to take a paddleboat ride with a local across the lake, it’s possible to rent the boat for 250 pesos per hour. Alternatively, you can rent a kayak for 100 pesos and paddle out on to the lake yourself.

Across the lake, you can also visit the Olayan Waterfall and rock pools which were the highlight of my adventure to Balinsasayao Twin Lakes National Park.

Full blog post: Bainsasayao Twin Lakes

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DUMAGUETE TOURIST SPOTS – THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

Dumaguete is located on the south-east tip of Negros Island, which is the 4th largest island in the Philippines. The population of Dumaguete is 130,000.

Dumaguete is commonly known as the ‘City of Gentle People’ and you will quickly realise why when you interact and experience the kind-hearted souls of the people of Dumaguete.

The best time to visit Dumaguete is in the hot and dry months between February and June. Although, I visited Dumaguete in low season in October and was welcomed with fantastic weather throughout my stay.

The English language is spoken throughout Dumaguete, so you shouldn’t have any trouble conversing with the locals if you are in need of some directions or something of the like.

Dumaguete Airport is located 20-minutes away from the city center. Taxis and jeepneys are readily available for transportation to and from Dumaguete City and the airport.

 

WHERE TO STAY IN DUMAGUETE

Dumaguete has hundreds of accommodations to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in Dumaguete to fit the needs of budget backpackers and luxury travelers. See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:

LUXURY: ATLANTIS DIVE RESORT

Check prices on Agoda | Check prices on Booking.com

MID RANGE: SIERRA HOTEL

Check prices on Agoda | Check prices on Booking.com

BUDGET: OPTIMUM PENSION HOUSE

Check prices on Agoda | Check prices on Booking.com

 

MORE PHILIPPINES TRAVEL GUIDES

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Siargao Travel Guide: 15 Things To Do In Siargao

El Nido Travel Guide: El Nido Island Hopping

Coron Travel Guide: Coron Island Hopping

Boracay Travel Guide: 15 Things To Do In Boracay

Siquijor Travel Guide: 3 Day Siquijor Itinerary

Bantayan Island Guide: 15 Things To Do In Bantayan

Malapascua Island Guide: 11 Things To Do In Malapascua

Camiguin Travel Guide: 13 Best Camiguin Tourist Spots

Romblon Travel Guide: 12 Epic Things To Do In Romblon

Tablas Travel Guide: 10 Things To Do In Tablas

Carabao Travel Guide: 7 Best Things To Do In Carabao

Dumaguete City Guide: Best Dumaguete Tourist Spots

Sumilon Island Guide: Sumilon Island Itinerary

 

MY CAMERA GEAR

• DSLR Mirrorless Camera: Sony A7ii 

• Drone Camera: DJI Mavic Pro 2

• GoPro: GoPro Hero 8 Black

• Everyday Lens: Sony F2.8 24/70mm

• Camera Bag: Lowepro Protactic 31L

• Selfie Stick: Sandmarc Metal Edition 1.2m 

• Tripod: Joby Flexible GorillaPod

• GoPro Dome: Underwater GoPro Dome

• Power Bank: Anker Powerbank

• External Hardrive: WD Elements 4TB

 

WHAT TO PACK FOR PHILIPPINES?

• Waterproof Phone Case: Universal Waterproof Case

• Reusable Water Bottle: Hydro Flask Water Bottle

• Rain Jacket: North Face Rain Jacket

• Water Shoes: Slip-on Water Shoes

• Day Bag: Nomatic 20L Day Bag

• Power Adapter: Universal Power Adapter

• Packing Cubes: 4 Set Packing Cubes

• Microfibre Towel: Quick Dry Travel Towel

• Travel Insurance: World Nomads Travel Insurance

• Money Belt: Hidden Money Belt

 

I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions about Dumaguete Tourist Spots, please drop me a comment below.

Happy Adventuring!

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