11 Recommended Places to Visit in Dumaguete City & Nearby Towns

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Since Dumaguete City is slowly been introduced to the many in tourism, a lot of people are asking what are recommendable places to visit in the city and its nearby towns. After 6 years of traveling back and forth in this huge island, I listed the places that I have visited and the adventures that I did which I personally think is worth checking on.

Dumaguete City is situated on Negros Island which is part of the Visayas region in the Philippines. Negros is actually the fourth largest island in the country, divided into two provinces named as Oriental & Occidental where Dumaguete is the capital of Negros Oriental.

While I know it’s impossible for us to have the same kind of experience, at least giving you this list will serve as a good treat.

Where is Dumaguete City and Negros Island? Here is a Map for you.
Where is Dumaguete City and Negros Island? Here is a Map for you.
Local Terms used here and it’s meaning:
Habal-Habal –  is a motorcycle modified to seat more than two persons
Bangka – a type of vessel as a means of transportation, used widely by the local fishermen in the islands.

[1] Dumaguete City Attractions

Silliman University

  • as one of the university town in the Philippines, one must visit the very known university in town which is Silliman, it’s the first American university in Asia, it’s uniquely situated at the center of the city surrounded by those big acacia trees. A quick visit will do No harm.

Silliman Anthropology Museum

  • this museum is inside the campus at Hibbard hall, visit this if you are interested in  checking the exhibits of rare and priceless collections of ethnographic and archaeological artifacts which date back as early as 200 BC
Silliman University in Dumaguete City
Silliman University in Dumaguete City

Painitan at the City Public Market

  • interact with the local vendors selling local chocolate drink and sticky rice stuffed inside a bun. Great experience!
Painitan in Public Market of Dumaguete City
Painitan in Public Market of Dumaguete City

Campanario de Dumaguete

  • this is one of the original watchtower built in the 1760s situated near the Cathedral. It’s best to see at night with its beautiful lights. Catholics visit here to light a candle and offer prayers.

Rizal Boulevard

  • one of the best view to witness sunrise and a chillax night lurking around the area having the famous tempura in town.
Sunrise that can be seen from Rizal Boulevard in Dumaguete City
Sunrise that can be seen from Rizal Boulevard in Dumaguete City
Dumaguete in Roxas Boulevard
Dumaguete in Roxas Boulevard

Sans Rival Restaurant & Bistro

  • known for the yummiest sans rival and silvanas in the Philippines and just to add, a good coffee too. They have open a bistro along the boulevard, an old house from the owner turned the place into a bistro.


Netizens call this as the “Maldives of the Philippines” though I haven’t been to Maldives yet, watching videos of both places made the Manjuyod Sandbar being called the famous Maldives in the south. Thousands of dolphins are visible in the area too, watching spinner dolphins playing around the wild made this the famous place to visit. There are 4 cottages in the sandbar which can be rented overnight. Best time to go is from an end of February to end of May to fully experience the sandbar during low tide.




Not all people knew about this, if you are like me who loves snorkeling or diving, this is one of those that might give you glorious moments. It’s also a place where divers start their journey or their point of entry. Locals flock to the area during weekends for snorkeling, volley games, chilling and some great picnic. If you love experiencing local vibes this will be your place.


Vitamin Sea again 😊😊👙🐬🐟🐡🐠 with the beautiful fish and all under water

A post shared by Ferna of Everywhere With Ferna (@everywherewithferna) on


I first came here in the year 1995 where its name was not known to many. This is my most visited island among the many islands I have been in the country. It’s also the spot that I had the first glance of knowing what an island is, thanks to my family for bringing me here at an early age. Right now, the radiant color of the water with its fantastic sea corals still exists. It’s actually a joy to ride the 30-40 minutes in a “bangka” from Negros (Malatapay port) to Apo Island. If the weather is good, there’s a chance the spinner dolphins will suddenly show up especially in the early morning.  With the rock formation that many tourists love taking photo session, I sure this one adds a classic charm. Also, it’s one of the top 20 diving spots in the country where divers gather in the area and mesmerize by the beauty within. To top it all, tourists come here to swim with the huge sea turtles. Learn more about what else to see in Apo Island here.


It’s a 30 minutes hike in the quiet place heading to the mini pool from the main road of the village. The village can be reached by Habal-Habal or a car for about 10 km drive from Dauin Highway. It is an unusual trip as I have no idea where exactly the place is, I went with my family and the local we met at the entry point just mentioned that as long as we hear a water flowing, it’s where we should be heading. Arriving at the place, we found both warm water which happens to be the sulfur as it smelled like a rotten egg, and the fresh water in a tube that was put into one of the mini pool. This has been abandoned since 2012 as it was destroyed by the typhoon Sendong that greatly hit the area. As of the end of 2016, the local officials had started planning to reconstruct the place as this had helped many people when it comes to health, plus it can give additional income to the people and government as well.



If the bumpy, rocky and uneasy road going to the secluded place is one of the things that you like doing, this must be your adventure. An about 10 km drive going up to the lake from the highway road in Siaton is no easy access, especially during rainy season. But, experiencing a different kind of vibe in Lake Balanan is a unique thing to do. This might not be for anyone as this is a bit far and no swimming is NOT allowed in the lake. Things to see and do here are hiking 4km from the entry point of the lake to the waterfalls, or choose to go Bangka ride to the waterfalls, but my suggestion would be hike in going to the falls and come back using the Bangka, another thing to do is to swim at their freshwater swimming pool situated at the center of the forest, picnic at their bamboo made restaurant or at one of the cottages in the swimming pool area. Nature lover alike will certainly love Lake Balanan, it’s numerous Banyan or Balete tree with the creepy 100-year-old tree is a sure win for my eyes, they are so beautiful. Coming here makes you think you are in the middle of the earth. It’s a simple place, local living is different from the others, settlers have difficulty coming in and out of the main town as they find the fare expensive for a 10-50 pesos Habal-Habal ride. Along the way, mini rice terraces, quiet craggy mountain, and a river can also be seen.


It is a once a week open Market in Malatapay, Zamboanguita, held every Wednesday morning of the week. It is where at the end of the market, a Malatapay port can be reached. Residents from anywhere in Negros Oriental province can set their store and sell what they have in this area. Each small side of the road there were stalls intended for those who wanted to sell, I noticed that some stalls every week, the same locals set in at the same location, there might be some rental fee to own the spot, but this, I could not confirm. There is a massive space arranged solely for livestock where an exchange of business or trading transaction is made for these.


Malatapay Open Market in Negros Oriental
Malatapay Open Market in Negros Oriental


A bit far from the main city, but is it worth a travel? As a waterfalls lover, yes, but, if you are in a hurry and no time to drop here, just skip the place. Yet, for those who are looking an off-the-beaten-path spot, this suits your taste. Almost 150 km distance from the city of Dumaguete with a 43 km bumpy road from Bayawan to Niludhan falls can be such a tiring transfer. So why am I recommending this? The scenic view, the color of the water especially during summer made this waterfalls unique from the many falls in Negros. The photo here can speak for itself. I love a different kind of adventure, and although we came here with a private car, the bumpy road still took us 2 hours to drive the place, but I was mesmerized by the amazing views along the way. If you are like me, lurking for a different kind of adventure and loves a panoramic view, then, I bet we are on the same track here.


An out of the ordinary tourist attraction in Valencia province. Ligiron is actually a four-wheeled wooden cart that has been used by the local farmers from small villages to easily bring their produced goods from the mountain down to the point of the hill. Thus, since this kind of local activity went viral online, people started looking this Ligiron and it is when the local officials initiated to make this one of the tourist attraction. They created a race after that, which this event set on every June of the year.


Located in Apolong, Valencia, it is in the west of Dumaguete City, about 20-30 minutes drive. Prepare yourself for taking the 350 concrete steps staircase which is the only access to see the high waterfalls (the size is 30 meters high as the guide mentioned). After dodging the steep slope of the staircase, another 600M (or probably 700-800M) we passed through different sizes of rocks on the way plus crossing some parts of the water before reaching the main point of the falls. Regardless of its difficult path, Casaroro falls is one of the best that I have seen in the Visayas region. Although the waterfalls are narrow, the water that drops into the stream is really strong.  I find it uniquely situated in a forest that only my soul can understand why I like the place. Just a reminder, this is a “leg day” for you as all your strength will be released, the 350 stairs will also be the way out which made it more difficult to come back.



Pulang Bato means “Red Rock” in English, these two places are separated by location, the first stop will be the Red rock hot spring where the smell of the sulfuric water like a rotten egg exists. This is because there is an active volcano in Negros Oriental, thus, the fuming-smoky smell occurs in this hot spring because of the sulfur. Valencia is likely 60-70% hilly and mountainous that made the place cold. With this Red Rock hot spring, the family owner decided to open this to the public as it’s widely requested by the neighborhood to beat the cold temperature of the province. A few distance after Red Rock hot spring is the famous Pulang Bato Falls or the Red Rock waterfalls. Unlike Casaroro falls, the water of this falls has a wide range and strong water drops in the stream. It also has a high level, yet, not as high as Casaroro. What sets this falls apart from the many falls, is the color of the rock is red. A picnic at this place is also good, it’s well maintained, with concrete cottages. It is a huge place which I find it still relaxing that even if there are heaps of people coming in, there will always be an area to play.

Pulang Bato Waterfalls
Pulang Bato Waterfalls

While Negros is one of the biggest islands in the country, there is massive of activities and adventures that this island can offer. I have just shared the Oriental province which I am not even half of what this place can give.  I do hope I help you maximize your plan and time like it did mine.

  • Have you been to Dumaguete City or its nearby towns?
  • Do you have any place or things to suggest that might add to this list?
  • Does this article help you?

**Comment Below, I would love to hear

Dumaguete City and Nearby Towns

Author: Ferna Mae

Ferna is from the Philippines who travel spontaneously. Thrives to be more independent in her own skin. She first traveled The Philippines before she embarked to other countries. She believes that by traveling, her undying crave for learning excites her in a more profound way. Her flexibility had proven her that time is genuine. As a former tour guide in the Philippines, she hopes that her travel experiences will give value to the aspiring travelers. Connect with her at everywherewithferna@gmail.com,

4 thoughts on “11 Recommended Places to Visit in Dumaguete City & Nearby Towns

  1. This is an excellent write-up Ferna Mae. I am loving those sea turtles. So adorable in their own right. I also dig the beautiful natural setting here as seems to be the case with many towns by the sea in your homeland. Everything looks eye-popping, yet you have the peace and quiet of a place that affords you such serenity. Thanks for the rocking share :)


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