A Solo Backpacking Guide to Central Visayas, Philippines 5D4N

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Have you been to the Central Visayas region? This blog highlights the things I did, the places I visited when I traveled around the Central Visayas region. This guide will be all about my Central Visayas solo backpacking guide.

About Central Visayas

The Central Visayas region is in the center part of the Philippines. It is between the island of Luzon and Mindanao. Needless to say, Central Visayas is consisting of four island provinces. Negros Oriental, Bohol, Cebu, and Siquijor. With that, I decided to go solo backpacking in the Central Visayas region. Upon reading this blog, you will get to learn more about the Central Visayas region. This is a solo backpacking guide to Central Visayas!

Mentioning the four islands of Central Visayas, they must be your top destinations. The vast arrays of lush green forest plants and the stunning landscapes of the mountains. In addition, they are home to the best white-sand beaches. Moreover, here, you can try mouthwatering local and exotic food. You can also get to meet hospitable people. These reasons make the Central Visayas region fit your bucket list!!!

Not to mention, there are a lot of things to see and to do around the Central Visayas region. You can go hiking and go swimming with sea turtles. You can also visit historical places, walk around the cities, and talk to the locals.

My Central Visayas Solo Backpacking Story

This is my first time traveling solo in the Visayas region. A year ago before my trip, I booked a flight to Dumaguete to explore the beauty of the island.

At first, it wasn’t my plan to visit the other islands. But, the mere fact that the other islands are nearby Dumaguete! Given that opportunity, I eventually decided to visit the other islands. I planned to visit Siquijor and Bohol. I decided to go solo backpacking in the Central Visayas. Although, Cebu as part of the itinerary, unfortunately, I couldn’t make it for some reason. Oh, I have already visited Cebu twice. I’ll have another itinerary for this.

I was able to stay in the region for 5 days and 4 nights although I needed to go back to Manila on my 5th day in the morning. Thus, I was able to explore the island and get to know more of it for 4 days.

Sample Itinerary

Entry Point: Dumaguete

Exit Point: Bohol

Day 1: Dumaguete

Dumaguete was the first stop of my solo backpacking in the Central Visayas. Dumaguete is a tiny busy city that is jam-packed with people; either locals or tourists. The city looks stunning with its century ancient houses and buildings around it. In fact, it makes the city look interesting and historical at the same time.

I observed that the place didn’t seem to bother with the time that has gone from the past through the present. Also, I enjoyed talking with the locals, they were all friendly and they would even smile at you all the time. I felt safe in the city.

Known as the “City of Gentle People” and referred to as “a university city”, Dumaguete is one of the best places to visit! Since I only had a day to explore the city, these are the only places that I visited and the things I did:

St. Catherine Of Alexandria Cathedral

It is a historic church located in the city of Dumaguete facing Rizal Park. The church was originally constructed from 1754 to 1776. Yet, people reconstructed it in 1885 and the present facade extended in 1936. You may also call it, Dumaguete Cathedral.

Campanario de Dumaguete Bell Tower

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You can see this watchtower because it is right nearby the church. One fact about it is, this bell tower has been part of Dumaguete’s history for centuries.

Silliman University

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This is one of the oldest universities in the country. In fact, this is one of the most popular landmarks in Dumaguete.

Rizal Boulevard

This is where you can find different kinds of restaurants in this area. As a matter of fact, the best place where you go on a food trip. As a matter of fact, people love to go here. Therefore, you can see a lot of food stalls that you can different kinds of food at very affordable prices.  

Chapters Cafe

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You may realize that Chapters Cafe is one of the most popular cafes in the city. Due to its creative interior and exterior design, it seems to be very appealing that make you go and stay inside. The place is definitely an instagrammable spot!

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Watch the Sandurot Festival

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Funny thing when I arrived in Dumaguete, it was around September. To my surprise, they were celebrating their annual festival. That is the Sandurot Festival. I was able to witness how they celebrated it, I watched the parade and talked with the locals. I wasn’t very familiar with their festival until I saw it! Surprisingly, it was fun and amazing to watch!

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Where to stay in Dumaguete? 

Mahogany Upland Resort

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This resort is such a good place to relax. Certainly, you will love the serenity of the place. In fact, it is just 30 minutes away from the city.

Day 2: Siquijor Island

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Siquijor Island is the third smallest island in the Philippines. In spite of that, it doesn’t change the fact that this magical island has a lot of beautiful places to visit! Historically speaking, this island used to called Isla De Fuego or “Island of Fire” by the Spaniards during the Spanish era.

Places to Visit in Siquijor

Welcome to Siquijor Sign
Saint Francis De Assisi Church
Paliton Beach
Enchanted Old Balete Tree
San Isidro Old Church
San Isidro Convent
Cambugahay Falls
Man-made Forest
Salagdoong Beach Resort
Hapitanan Cafe and Restaurant

How to get to Siquijor from Dumaguete?

From Dumaguete port, take Montenegro Ferry which only costs Php140 per head. But, if you want to arrive in Siquijor right away, you can take Ocean Jet (fast craft) that costs Php 250 per head.

Terminal Fee: Php 25

Day 3: Bohol Countryside Tour

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There are more than enough reasons to make this place part of your bucket list! Its pristine beaches and hospitable locals. More to that, its vast array of scenic views and untouched beauty of nature.

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Bohol was my last stop after conquering the Central Visayas region and I decided to stay here for two days!

I decided to rent a tricycle for the countryside tour. I didn’t get to visit all the places because I decided to spend a long time in each place.

Places to Visit in Bohol Island

Chocolate Hills
Tarsier Conservation Center
Bilar Man-made Forest
Baclayon Church
Souvenir Shop

Day 4: Panglao Tour

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I spent my last day touring around the island of Panglao. I visited some of the most popular tourist destinations! This time around, I rented a habalhabal (a motorcycle with a driver). In comparison, it was much cheaper than I expected compared to a rented tricycle.

Places to Visit in Panglao

Hinagdanan Cave

Bohol Bee Farm

Dumaluan Beach

Panglao Church

How to get to Bohol from Siquijor Island?

There are two ferry companies operating from Larena port, the Oceanjet (fast craft) and Lite Shipping Corporation. 

Oceanjet has trips every day leaving at 12:30 PM. As a matter of fact, it takes two hours to get to Tagbilaran port. Therefore, the ferry arrives around 02:30 PM.

Yet, Lite Ferry only operates on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday which departs at 7:00 PM. It usually takes 4 hours to get to Tagbilaran port.

TAKE NOTE: Purchasing the ticket on the same day of departure is not highly recommended. It gets sold out fast.

Day 5: Back to Manila

In 4 days, I was able to visit the three islands of Central Visayas. Therefore, I was glad that I was able to get to know more about the places as well as the people. It was really fulfilling and truly a dream come true to me!

Among the three islands that I visited, I couldn’t say that I’ve got the most favorite one. The fact that each island has its own charm, you get to appreciate every little thing about it. Thus, why not try solo backpacking in the Central Visayas region, too?

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About the Author

Ara Patria

A half-travel blogger in the Philippines (based in Cavite) and a half-K-pop enthusiast, Ara Patria (The Adventuress) pursues her passion and love for traveling. She’s been blogging for years, where she writes about her own travel experiences and promotes the wonders of the Philippines. Not only does she promote the beauty of her country, but she also focuses on promoting sustainable tourism. She dreams to travel the world and inspire other people through her own written works and captured moments with her camera.

The Adventuress is a travel blogger with a purpose. She aims to inspire other people through her personal experiences, stories, and lenses. Outside her blogging world, she is an English teacher, an SEO specialist, and TEFL/TESOL certified.

Join her adventures!

18 thoughts on “A Solo Backpacking Guide to Central Visayas, Philippines 5D4N

  1. Hi Ara,

    Traveling is fun but without backpack one cannot even think of planning a trip to some place.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. I absolutely have to commemd you for traveling solo. I would love to visit various places around the world with that sort of confidence! This was such a fun and interesting read and I look forward to seeing morenof your trips im the future!

  2. Awesome post, love the detail, this is a great itinerary for anyone looking to travel in the area. Also thats so cool you just happened to be there for the Sandurot Festival, very cool!

  3. Traveling has always been fun for me and reading your post on solo backpacking makes it a lot more interesting.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience. Looking forward to reading more interesting articles from your blog.

  4. Thanks for your great solo-backpacking guide. I love how quirky Chapter’s Cafe looked, deffo one for Instagram. SIQUIJOR Island also looks like such an incredible place to visit. I love the bright tropical colors.

  5. Chocolate Hills look so beautiful and the sight behind in the photo is simply worth beholding. Thanks for this detailed blog for a place I didn’t know about but will love to visit now.

  6. Looks gorgeous!! Crazy the motorcycle with a driver was cheaper than a bike! But both ways sound wonderful for exploring. We haven’t made it to the Philippines yet, but it’s definitely up there and this is a helpful post!

  7. I always love to visit historical places and cultural events and that would be the first thing if I visited this place. Siquijour Island looks stunning.

  8. Ooh, we’ve always wanted to go to the Visayas! The Chapter Cafe looks so cute and colorful. The last time we were in the Philippines, we were only able to explore Luzon.

  9. I LOVE reading stories from other solo female travelers and WOW – what an amazing place to visit! I especially love that you included Dumaguete Cathedral! I absolutely love the architecture and culture you wrote about here and — well — now I have to go!

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