Siquijor island, the island of magic, fireflies, small breathtaking bays and so much more

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With over 7000 islands chosing which island to visit in the Philippines can be a challenge. The most popular islands are often far apart and you will be flying in and out Manila to get from one island to another. I have visited the Phillipines twice and worked for a while in Manila so I know my way around the Philippines. I found out that wherever you go, a trip through the Philippines is always an unique experience full of surprises. All the islands of the Philippines are beautiful, however Siquijor island stands out for us. It is the island of magic, fireflies, small breathtaking bays and so much more. Believe me, you'll stay here longer than planned.

We spend almost 3 weeks in Siquijor and for us it is the perfect size island. It is not to small and not to big, also this island is less crowded than the more popular Philipino islands. You can drive in 1.5 hour from one side of the island to the other.  So this means you won't be bumping in the same tourists and it is big enough to explore for a few weeks. It of course depends on what kind of traveller you are. If you are very active and like activities daily you might get bored after 4 or 5 days. But if you like to take your time, have a massage and relax on the beach with a San Miguel light it is the perfect island.

The people

The people is why you want to go to the Philippines. Everyone is smiling at you and kids come running and waving behind you when you pass. Especially when you get out of the villages of Siquijor and San Juan(the main tourist village), it turns out that they are not really used to tourists yet. They all want to have a chat with you or sing a song together on their huge loud playing karoake machines which almost every family has in there home. What a heartwarming and fun population.

Where to stay

If you are looking for an eco conscious dive resort with great staff and great food with vegetarian and vegan options than go to Pawikan Eco Dive Resort. Rooms are very and simple but you will have an amazing view and access to the ocean right in front.

It is perfect to snorkel because it is part of  a marine sanctuary. We  highly recommend the resort to every traveler who puts importance to a resort caring about nature. 

Our favorite massage place

One of the best things about the Philippines is of course the amazing and cheap massages. For around 10 us dollar your body is treated for an hour of massage. Our favorite place on the island was The Sanctuary Massage Therapy. Click here how to find it.

Our favorite restaurants

The Philippines is not known about its exquisite cuisine. Probably it is one of the most terrible kitchens I have ever experienced in a country. Lucky there are some amazing restaurants on Siquijor island.

Dolce Amore Italian Restaurant

The best restaurant was Dolce Amore Italian Restaurant & Resort, which was started by a young Italian couple. Just amazing Italian food. Click here how to find it.

U-Story Restaurant

U-story is a real gem in the jungle. They have amazing food for a great price. It is part of an ocean front resort which is absolutely stunning. It is smart to make a reservation, it can get busy with all the hotel guests later in the evening. It is the most beautiful and special place in Siquijor. Be aware, they close in April. Click here how to find it.

Best travel time Siquijor 

Try to avoid the period from July to October. This is both the rain and typhoon season. If you want to be almost sure of good weather then you can travel the best between January and April. However I last visited Siquijor in April and it was a bit to hot for me. Click here for more climate details. 

Mystical island

Siquijor is the island of shamans, (Black) magic and witches. Witchcraft is never far away and it is actually known as a healing island. However many people in the Philippine's are a bit afraid of this island because of stories of black magic, which is perfect because it makes it a lot less crowded.  The Old Enchanted Balete Tree (see picture above) is a must to visit if you come to this island. This 400-plus year-old tree is believed by the locals to be enchanted to this day.

How to get there & around

Most people take the ferry from Cebu to go to Siquijor. You could also first go to Dumaguette or Bohol and take a ferry from there. Once arrived it is the perfect island to rent a scooter. You can't get lost since it is just one road which goes around the island. 

Written by our reporter and co-founder Jan:

Click here to find him on Instagram

This article was last updated on December 08, 2020.