2020 Travel Guide to Dumaguete City
A popular tourist and retirement destination, Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental attracts both local and foreign visitors because of its laidback atmosphere despite its growth as a modern city. It offers a wide array of attractions that cater to all ages and it also serves as a jump-off point to other nearby tourist destinations, such as Siquijor and Apo Island.
In this Dumaguete City Travel Guide, we listed all the useful travel tips for Dumaguete first-time travelers. Aside from the must-visit tourist spots, we also included important tips on how to get there, how to get around, places to stay and more. We will continue updating this blog with new things to do, the best activities in Dumaguete and recommended places to eat in the City.
How to Get There
There are daily direct flights from Manila to Dumaguete City via Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines. Travel time takes around one hour and 10 minutes.
You can take a 36-hour ride on a ship from Manila to Dumaguete City. From Cebu City, there are also fast ferry crafts available that reach Dumaguete City in just four hours.
Among the most popular ways to get to Dumaguete City is through a bus from Cebu City. You can opt to disembark at Liloan port, ride a RoRo to Sibulan, then take the jeepney to Dumaguete City. You can also ride a bus that gets on the barge going to Tampi then brings you to Dumaguete City. Travel time is around five to six hours.
You have a multitude of options if you wish to travel around Dumaguete. For around P10 flag rate, you can already reach different destinations in the place. However, if you are going to distant locations, then expect to fork out more money. The trick is to negotiate with the driver before you get in the tricycle. It is worth mentioning that locals in Dumaguete usually tell the names of landmarks or commercial establishments near their destinations rather than the street names. When you are along Perdices Street and at the corner of Santa Rosa and Pinili Streets, you can rent a small 125cc motorcycle. If you plan to ride in a taxi, you have to know that these are only usually found outside the Bethel Guest House on Rizal Boulevard and at the Dumaguete airport.
Where to Stay
Address: Dr. V. Locsin Street, Piapi’s Beach, Dumaguete City
For those visiting Dumaguete City on a budget, Chris Fil’s Lodge is the best place to stay in. It is located north of the downtown area and has rooms as low as P220 a night. Aside from its very inexpensive rates, this lodge also has a small gym, dining area, and even laundry services.
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Harold’s Mansion Guest House
Address: Hibbard Avenue, Barangay Looc, Dumaguete City
Just eight minutes away from the Dumaguete Port is this modern yet budget-friendly hotel in Dumaguete City. It offers bright and colorful rooms that come with private baths and televisions. For those on a budget, there are also bunk beds in single dorms and shared bathrooms available. Rates already include breakfast.
Dumaguete Royal Suites Inn
Address: East Drive, Dumaguete City
This place is maybe popular for its sizzling bulalo, but it also offers great accommodations for both business and leisure travelers. The inn offers a business center, a coffee shop, a 24-hour front desk, shuttle services, and more. Whether you are visiting for leisure or for business, this hotel provides everything that you need.
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Address: Real Street, Dumaguete City
This contemporary hotel is only a few minutes away from Quezon Park, Rizal Boulevard, and Silliman University and has a stunning view of the Dumaguete Bay. The hotel lets you enjoy several amenities, including a restaurant, coffee shop, travel agency, and function rooms – making them ideal for both leisure and business travelers.
Bethel Guest House
Address: Rizal Boulevard, Dumaguete City
Only 15 minutes away from the airport, this modern hotel has the best view of the sunrise by the sea. It is located just a walking distance from churches, business establishments, parks, and other tourist attractions. These make it a popular choice for leisure and business travelers alike.
Where to Eat
Lab-as Seafood Restaurant
Address: Flores Avenue, Dumaguete City
With its seaside location and an endless array of delightful seafood dishes, there is no reason not to check out this restaurant in Dumaguete City. Here you can try out live seafood, choose which one you like and tell how you want it to be cooked. Chicken and pork meat are also available for grilling.
Sans Rival Cake and Pastries
Address: San Jose Street, Dumaguete City
If you have been hearing about the renowned sans rival and silvanas from Dumaguete, then you should pay a visit to this place. You can bring home boxes of silvanas or you can also choose to eat at their restaurant located nearby where they serve the best pasta and sandwiches.
Famous Events and Festivals in Dumaguete City
One of the best times tourists choose to visit Dumaguete is during Dumaguete Festivals. They wish to participate in these festivities that are described as lively, unique, and colorful. Set forth below are among the most famous festivals and cultural events in this place.
Held for five days every November, specifically starting Nov. 21, Sandurot Festival is one of the most much-awaited events in Dumaguete. The festival is well-liked by many people visiting the place as it depicts the lives of the early inhabitants and features the rich history of the place. For example, the festival captures how the foreigners entered the city via the Dumaguete seas. Organized by the city government, the festival also reflects other cultures that have a great influence on the people in the city, including Japanese, Spanish, American, and Chinese cultures. Of course, the festivity is not complete without the highly anticipated street dances.
Santa Cruzan Fiesta
Celebrated during the month of May, the Santa Cruzan Fiesta has a similarity to the Buglasan Festival. This is the time when the prettiest women in the place come together, along with some showbiz personalities, adorned with elegant dresses. This one also portrays the city’s history. This is said to be celebrated as far back as the Spanish era in the country.
This festival is very popular not only among the locals but to other tourists as well. This event is usually held during October for 10 days. During this festival, one can expect a slew of competitions and cultural shows, including singing contests and dance competitions. Other contests are also launched, such as chess, pyrotechnics, folk dance, and cheer dance competitions. If you wish to snag some local handicrafts, you can find a multitude of booths offering such products.
Popular Attractions and Tourist Spots
This boardwalk is among the most famous attractions in Dumaguete City not just among tourists but also among locals. The entire length of the boulevard is lined with benches where you can sit and watch the sunrise. Many locals also go there to jog or stroll. The place is also very close to popular restaurants and food places in the city.
Address: Hibbard Avenue, Dumaguete City
Dumaguete City is called a university town as most of its residents are students of the well-known university. Here, you can just take a relaxing stroll and enjoy the greens of the university. You can also head to the Anthropology Museum that comes with interesting artifacts including hand-woven products, or the Whale Bone Museum, which has a collection of whale bones (obviously).
Address: Perdices Street, Dumaguete City
Another popular place to have a leisurely stroll in Dumaguete City is at the Quezon Park. The park offers more than just a place to play and relax it also has a bevy of historical pieces, including monuments of Jose Rizal and Maria Clara, canyons, and an old fire truck. The tourism office is also found here.
Dumaguete Cathedral and Belfry Tower
Address: Perdices Street, Dumaguete City
Located right in front of the Quezon Park is this famed landmark of Dumaguete City. The St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral is the oldest stone church in the entire Negros Oriental. Seated beside the structure, you can find the popular belfry built way back in 1760. Here, you can light candles and shop for religious items.
Sidlakang Negros Village
Address: E.J. Blanco Drive, Dumaguete City
If you want to check the cultures of the different towns of Negros Oriental without leaving Dumaguete City, drop by the Sidlakang Negros Village. This place is a permanent site with tourism and trade exhibitions. Here, you can find a wide array of products, including textiles, shells, furniture, stoneware, and other interesting souvenir items.
Exploring Outside Dumaguete City
This 24-hectare volcanic island is located around seven kilometers from the southern tip of Negros Oriental. Because the habitat around the island is a marine reserve, you can catch a glimpse of the place’s diverse marine life, and its most popular residents: the sea turtles. It is also a famous diving and snorkeling destination for many local and foreign tourists.
Also Read: A Quick Getaway to Apo Island
Another popular eco-tourism go-to place in Negros Oriental is the lovely sandbar that boasts powdery white sands and crystal clear blue waters. The sandbar is devoid of anything but a single chalet which seems to float at high tide. The Manjuyod sandbar is a popular stopover for the Bais dolphin and whale watching tour.
Dumaguete City Travel and Tour Packages
Dolphin Watching and Manjuyod Sandbar Tour
From Dumaguete City, you can also visit this famous Manjuyod Sandbar. See the dolphins swimming in the wild as you make your way along Tañon Strait. The tour includes a hearty lunch of mixed grill served onboard while you marvel at the beautiful beach.
Twin Lakes Natural Park with Dumaguete City Tour
By joining this tour, you will be able to explore the twin crater lakes of Balinsasayao and Danao, situated 1,000 feet above sea level. Enjoy panoramic views of the Tanon Strait, Mt. Guintabon in the east and Mt. Guinsayawan in the west. See the most important sights of Dumaguete City with a visit to Silliman University, Handumanan Souvenir Shop, Sansrival Cafe and Dumaguete City Boulevard.
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