Dumaguete City, the land of the gentle people, is the capital city of the province of Negros Oriental. Aside from silvanas, the province has a lot to offer in terms of natural attractions from marine biodiversity, lakes, and waterfalls. Meanwhile, this guide will give you chance to explore some destinations of Negros Oriental particularly Apo Island in Dauin, the Twin Lakes of Sibulan, and the wonderful history and food of Dumaguete City. Below 48 hours in Negros Oriental is almost enough to appreciate its inner beauty, here’s the simple Dumaguete itinerary.
700AM Early morning arrival in Dumaguete City after a wobbly bus and ferry ride from Cebu City. A short visit to Cathedral of Sta. Catalina de Alejandria or Dumaguete Cathedral, Negros Oriental’s oldest stone church, to offer a simple prayer for your weekend stay in the province. Catch some breakfast or try the local variation of suman called Bodbod sa Tanjay best served with tsokolate and ripe mangoes.
800AM Travel to Malatapay Market in the town of Zamboangita and secure boats bound for Apo Island. Apo Island is a 72-hectare volcanic islet about 5 kilometers from its mother town of Dauin. It is also known for the sea turtles and some pebbled beaches.
930AM Survive the gigantic waves to Apo Island. Settle for the environmental fees and other fees necessary. Rent a cottage for your things as well as snorkel gears and life-vests. Discover the beauty underwater and make friends with the sea turtles.
1130AM Rest and have some lunch on the sari-sari store along the beach.
1200NN Take a hike to the lighthouse and see the panoramic view of the entire island and nearby mainland Negros. Have photos with the famous rock formation in Apo Island. You have the option to visit the lake surrounded by mangroves at the other side of the island.
130PM Snorkel for the second time and spot turtles as many as you can. When you enjoyed the experience, prepare to leave.
300PM Travel back to Malatapay Market and prepare to join big and crazy waves. Showers are available for a fee at some resorts near the market.
400PM Ride a bus or jeepney bound for Dumaguete City and check-in at your accommodation. Freshen up and take some nap from the tiring activity.
600PM Visit Dumaguete Boulevard and don’t forget to try the tempura being sold at a night market near the bay famously called as Tempurahan. You can also have some fishballs, kikiams, and balut. For more descent dinner, restaurants dot the stretch of the boulevard.
800PM Sample some cakes from the dozens of flavors being offered by Sansrival, don’t forget to take home a box of the famous silvanas, blend of meringue and nuts wrapped in rich buttercream.
700AM Breakfast at the quirky restaurant of Gabby’s Bed and Breakfast and savor the platters available. You can have your hearty meal below Php200 complete with bread and spreads, sausage, bacon or ham, hashbrown, egg, and coffee, tea or juice. While waiting, take some Instagrammable photos.
800AM Long ride to Twin Lakes, Lake Balinsasayao and Danao in the next town of Sibulan. Fare for the habal-habal is Php400 roundtrip per person for the 45-minute ride, per way.
900AM Arrive in Lake Balinsasayao and try boating to see the other lake, Lake Danao. You can also help the boatmen in paddling the boat.
1200NN Back in Dumaguete City. You can also visit Siliman University to take a look at Siliman Hall, a relic of American architecture assembled in 1903 and the oldest structure on the campus. It also serves as an ethno-antro museum with archaeological artifacts dating as far back as 2000 years.
100PM Lunch at any restaurants near Siliman University. Since KRI Restaurant is near Siliman, you can contrast different fusion dishes they offer, in addition to the restaurant’s classy and chic ambiance. We weren’t glad with the meals we had though, but you can try it yourself.
230PM Photo-op with the Campanario De Dumaguete, the most popular landmark in the province built as a lookout tower to warn locals of impending raids and marauders. The first two levels were completed in 1760’s while the upper levels added around 1870. The belfry’s biggest and oldest bell is dated 1818.
300PM Prepare to leave Dumaguete City and if you’re going to utilize the ferry in Sibulan back to Cebu, get a priority number near the ferry ticket booth. This number will reserve you a seat in the buses at Liloan Port back to Cebu City.
A weekend Dumaguete itinerary is not enough to explore all tourist attractions of Negros Oriental but in addition, you can also visit other spots like Casaroro Falls, Manjuyod Sandbar, Central Azucarera de Bais, and Maalum Twin Falls. But a weekend is just right to have a slice of the great landscape that Negros Oriental can offer. You can also consider a day trip to the nearby province of Siquijor, here’s a separate Siquijor travel guide.