Backpacking to Dumaguete: A Guide

While you can always board a plane to Dumaguete, getting there the “long way” is one of the best experiences you’ll ever have. The best jump-off point to Dumaguete is Cebu. Simply get yourself to the South Bus Terminal in the city and get on a bus bound for Liloan, Santander – the bus’ last stop is the port. From the port, get a ticket to the ferry that will take you across to Sibulan, a town not that far from Dumaguete. Once you dock at the port of Sibulan, get on a jeep or a tricycle bound for the city of Dumaguete.

Starting your adventure in Cebu allows you to see the many beautiful churches along the way as well as the beautiful scenery. Although the travel across the water is short – about 20 minutes – it allows you to savor the wide open sea and its beautiful colors. Isn’t that what a backpacking adventure is all about? You can even stop at a couple of sites in Sibulan before heading off to Dumaguete.

What’s there to see in Dumaguete?

When you mention taking a holiday in Dumaguete, most people would probably wonder why because they have this perception that there’s nothing much to see and do in the city. That’s entirely subjective as there are many historical and visually interesting sites in Dumaguete. Let’s start in the center of town:

  • Siliman University. This school has one of the most beautiful campuses in the entire country. Who wouldn’t love walking along tree-line streets and seeing some great colonial architecture? Even better, the university has an Anthropology Museum worth checking out. You can also stop by the Whale Bone Museum to see some samples of whale bones.

    Siliman University Photo by: Hbalairos/Wikimedia Commons
    Siliman University Photo by: Hbalairos/Wikimedia Commons
  • Quezon Park. You’ll always find three major attractions in an old town center in the Philippines: the church, the park and government buildings. Then again, the level of interest you might have in them depends on how well they are maintained and their architecture as well. Luckily, the one’s in Dumaguete still retain their beauty and charm even after all these years. Speaking of the park, the attractions here include old canyons, a vintage fire truck and a monument dedicated to Jose Rizal and Maria Clara.
  • Rizal Boulevard. This has to be one of the most beautiful seaside boulevards in the country. Here, the air is almost always fresh and it’s just offers a way to relax after a long day. If you love watching the sun set, just sit and wait at the boulevard.

    Rizal Boulevard Photo by:
    Rizal Boulevard Photo by:
  • Dumaguete Cathedral. There are a few other old churches in Negros Oriental, and this is one of them. In fact, you can start a church-hopping trip here before heading south. The churches may not be as numerous as those in Cebu or as grand as those in Iloilo but they are lovely to visit.

    Dumaguete Cathedral Photo by:
    Dumaguete Cathedral Photo by:

Of course, a trip to Dumaguete wouldn’t be complete without tasting their food. You can have chicken inasal for lunch then stop by Sans Rival Cake and Pastries for dessert – their sans rival and silvanas are delicious.

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2 thoughts on “Backpacking to Dumaguete: A Guide”

  1. Dumaguete is such an awesome place. Can’t wait till this pandemic is over to visit. People are nice and the waters are great for diving.


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