Everything You Need To Know About Getting To, From, and Around Siquijor

Public transport in a third-world country can be a highway to hell—or just purgatory on lighter days. Here in the Philippines, not all companies have websites or regularly updated Facebook pages. Even if you do get the commuting schedules (usually from word of mouth), they’re rarely on time. And when you finally track down the public transport system’s official telephone number, there’s no guarantee someone will pick up immediately.

When I backpacked around Visayas for 11 days early this year, my last stop was Siquijor. I came from Santander, the southernmost part of Cebu. I already experienced several contingencies and failed trips, thanks to the lack of information on ferry and bus schedules.

En route to Siquijor from Santander, Cebu, via Maayo Shipping Lines



My travel buddy Tina on Maayo Shipping Lines. Our ride to Siquijor was ₱200 per person.

Because Siquijor is an elusive island with intermittent phone and internet signal, I made it my goal to compile a list of all the public transport schedules and commuting info to make it easier for my fellow travelers who would like to visit. Now that Boracay is temporarily closed, travelers are flocking to alternate destinations, Siquijor included.

Disclaimer: My sources are the official signs found on the ports and government tourism offices. One thing I learned from my Visayas backpacking trip is that the most accurate source of public transport schedules is not your travel agent, not your hotel concierge, not the company website, and definitely not Facebook. It’s the sign plastered on the actual location when you arrive. And when there is no sign, you have to ask the person manning the booth for the schedule, which is still bound to change without any warning. Sigh.

Note: You may buy tickets as soon as you arrive at the port or bus station. To be safe, be there at least an hour before departure. You may also reserve or buy tickets early. To do that, please look at the phone numbers in the photographs and links below.

Ship Schedule and Fare Rates via OceanJet

Dumaguete, Negros Island to Larena, Siquijor
Departure: 1:10 p.m. daily

Larena, Siquijor to Dumaguete, Negros Island
Departure: 12:00 nn daily

Tagbilaran, Bohol to Larena, Siquijor
Departure: 10:20 a.m. daily

Larena, Siquijor to Tagbilaran, Bohol
Departure: 2:20 p.m. daily

Larena, Siquijor to Cebu via Tagbilaran
Departure: 2:20 p.m.; 4:00 p.m. start of connecting trip to Cebu

OceanJet schedules

OceanJet rates

Fare Rates:
Larena to Dumaguete, Business Class: ₱380
Larena to Dumaguete, Tourist Class (Open Air): ₱250
Larena to Tagbilaran, Business Class: ₱1,000
Larena to Tagbilaran, Tourist Class (Open Air): ₱700
Larena, Siquijor to Cebu via Tagbilaran connecting trip, Business Class: ₱2,000
Larena, Siquijor to Cebu via Tagbilaran connecting trip, Tourist Class: ₱1,200
Larena, Siquijor to Cebu via Tagbilaran connecting trip, Open Air: ₱1,150

Discounted Fares For Filipino Citizens:
Larena to Dumaguete, Senior Citizen: ₱179
Larena to Dumaguete, Student: ₱200
Larena to Dumaguete, Minor: ₱125
Larena to Tagbilaran, Senior Citizen: ₱500
Larena to Tagbilaran, Student: ₱560
Larena to Tagbilaran, Minor: ₱350
*No student and minor discounts for business class (Dumaguete and Tagbilaran)

Ship Schedule and Fare Rates via Maayo Shipping

Lilo-An, Santander Cebu to Larena, Siquijor
Departure: 5:00 p.m. daily

Larena, Siquijor to Lilo-An, Santander Cebu
Departure: 10:00 a.m. daily

Fare: ₱200

Maayo Shipping rates and schedules




Ship Schedule and Fare Rates via Montenegro Shipping

Dumaguete, Negros Island to Larena, Siquijor
Departure: 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. daily

Larena, Siquijor to Dumaguete, Negros Island
Departure: 6:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. daily

Fare Rates:
Regular: ₱170
Senior Citizen: ₱121
Student: ₱145
Half Fare: ₱85 (Don’t ask me what this means, because my answer will be: They will throw you off the boat halfway there! Alternate answer: Only half your body will be on the boat.)

Montenegro Shipping rates and schedules

Ship Schedule and Fare Rates via Lite Ferries

Larena, Siquijor to Plaridel, Misamis Occidental
Departure: 2:00 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays

Larena, Siquijor to Cebu via Tagbilaran
Departure: 7:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays

For other routes, see the photo below:

Lite Ferry rates and schedules

Fare Rates:
Larena to Plaridel, Economy Class (sitting, non-zircon): ₱400
Larena to Plaridel, Standard Class (lying, non-aircon): ₱470
Larena to Plaridel, Tourist Class (lying, aircon): ₱580
Larena to Plaridel, Cabin (lying, aircon): ₱680
Larena to Plaridel, Suite Room (Good for 2 persons, lying, aircon): ₱1,930
Larena to Tagbilaran, Economy Class (sitting, non-aircon): ₱260
Larena to Tagbilaran, Standard Class (lying, non-aircon): ₱330
Larena to Tagbilaran, Tourist Class (lying, aircon): ₱520
Larena to Tagbilaran, Cabin (lying, aircon): ₱565
Larena to Tagbilaran, Suite Room (Good for 2 persons, lying, aircon): ₱1,160
Larena to Cebu, Economy Class (sitting, non-aircon): ₱400
Larena to Cebu, Standard Class (lying, non-aircon): ₱420
Larena to Cebu, Tourist Class (lying, aircon): ₱530
Larena to Cebu, Cabin (lying, aircon): ₱770
Larena to Cebu, Suite Room (Good for 2 persons, lying, aircon): ₱2,575
Senior citizens get 20% off

Port of Larena Terminal Fee

Regular: ₱17
Students and PWD: ₱13.95
Senior Citizen: ₱12.15

Larena Port Ticketing Office’s tel. nos. are (035) 400-3059 and (0917) 710-7080.

Tricycle/ Multi-cab Rates Around Siquijor Island

I took a photograph of this rate list from the tourism center in Larena Port, Siquijor. Please be guided accordingly. Note that you may still haggle. For example, I paid ₱200 (for two people plus luggage) for a tricycle ride from Larena Port to Isla Inn along Circumferential Road. For my solo ride from the hotel back to Larena Port on my last day, I paid the same tricycle driver ₱200, plus a ₱20 tip as thanks for taking me to Guiwanon Spring Park for a stopover.

Government-approved tariff rates for multi-cabs in Siquijor

Motorbike Rental

This is one thing you should NOT skip when visiting Siquijor. Renting your own motorbike is an exhilarating and liberating experience—not to mention, cheaper than hailing a multi-cab. You will enjoy the scenery more while riding a motorbike compared to riding a jeep, private car, or tricycle.

If, like me, your motorbike experience is amateur to beginner, Siquijor is one of the safest places to try it in the Philippines because the roads are wide and there’s zero traffic.

Motorbike or scooter rental fee ranges from ₱350-500 per day. Just ask your hotel concierge for referrals. There’s also a motorbike rental shop at the port. Rental fee comes with a helmet, but you have to cover the petrol expenses. If you’re planning to circle the entire island like I did, ₱100 worth of gasoline is enough to cover it.

Don’t worry; I took out my helmet only for this photo!




Tips:
1. Always wear your helmet.
2. Make sure you master the road rules. If not, just hop on the back as your friend’s passenger.
3. Always bring your driver’s license. Cops randomly pull over bikers to inspect their licenses, especially if they know you’re a foreigner.
4. If you are a slow driver, stay to the rightmost side of the road to allow faster vehicles to overtake.
5. Stop over at the beaches, rice fields, and other scenic views. Take it all in. The biker’s view is one of the best things about Siquijor Isand.
6. Avoid driving at night because the roads hardly have any lamp posts to light your way. Make sure you get home before the sun sets.

The Ultimate Siquijor Map

Unfortunately, Google Maps is not the best map to use when you’re in Siquijor Island, especially since the LTE signals goes and up and down around the island. The best thing to do is save an offline Google map of Siquijor Island prior to your arrival, and then get a copy of this:

Move over Google Maps, this is the ultimate Siquijor map!

Larena Tourism Center, where you’ll find the OceanJet ticketing booth, a tourist café, and the tourist info desk where you can buy a copy of the map

The hand-drawn map of Siquijor is for sale at ₱10 each (a flimsy Xerox copy, but quite useful) at the Tourism Center. Trust me, you’ll love this map, because it shows you all the sights and spots—many of which aren’t even on Google Maps, hotel booking sites, or Trip Advisor yet. One example: The map shows you where to find their famous folk healers.

Pardon the scanned version of my overused, wrinkly Siquijor map. It was in my pocket throughout my trip. Just get a newer copy at the Tourism Center when you land at Larena Port. To whoever drew this map, please give me a shout-out below so that I can give you proper credit. I hope the local government gives you a percentage for every copy sold to tourists.

Bus Schedules

To get to Lilo-An Port in Santander from anywhere in Cebu, check out the Cebu South Bus Terminal Bus Schedules here.

To get to Dumaguete Port from anywhere in Negros Oriental, check out Ceres Liner’s daily schedule here.



What About Hotels?

You can always go to my trusted Agoda for hotel and hostel bookings, but remember that not all accommodations in Siquijor are registered in hotel booking sites.

In case your target date is booked in Agoda, Hostel World, and all other booking sites, don’t fret! You may just walk around and look for budget places when you arrive in the island. I met a number of travelers who did just that, and they had the best time.

Now that you have all the details to prep for your Siquijor vacation… You’re welcome! If you want to thank me, just follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for more travel tips and adventure stories!



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