There are many things that make Dumaguete a tourist favorite. For one, it’s home to the acclaimed Silliman University. There are also Apo and Sumilon Islands, two of the best diving spots in the country and maybe even the world. In addition, the locals are some of the most genuinely friendly people you’ll ever meet. In fact, Dumaguete is actually known as the “City of Gentle People.” They even have a festival (Sandurot Festival) that celebrates friendships being connected with other people.
Another great thing about Dumaguete? It has plenty of beautiful, breathtaking spots. If you want to delight your eyes, book your tickets and accommodations through a Dumaguete tour package, and prepare your itinerary by including these destinations.
As we mentioned earlier, Apo Island is one of the best dive spots in the world. Located in the municipality of Dauin, Apo Island is a marine reserve and a protected area under the jurisdiction of the Protected Area Management Board or PAMB. This is to ensure that the diverse marine life and ecosystem doesn’t get spoiled, even with the active tourism industry. Apo Island’s beauty isn’t limited underwater, though. You can trek to the lighthouse on the other side of the island, up 369 steps, to get a sweeping view of the island and the surrounding waters.
Campanario de Dumaguete
Campanario de Dumaguete or Dumaguete Belfry, the oldest bell tower in the province, stands next to St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral, which in turn is the oldest stone church in Negros. The belfry served as a watchtower in the olden days, when pirates used to raid the port of Dumaguete to steal produce, money, and even people to sell into slavery. When the tower was built in the 1800’s, it served as one of the primary defenses of the city. The imposing brick structure is already impressive from the outside, but you can also climb it to see a gorgeous bird’s eye view of the surroundings. The belfry is also a majestic sight to behold at sunset.
Makawiwili Ridge or Makawiwili Peak is also called “Saddle in the Sky” due to its shape. The stunning view from the top, featuring rolling green hills and fields and the clear blue skies, are definitely worth the challenging climb. Once you reach the peak, you may also opt to stay and set-up camp. The view is perhaps even more gorgeous at sunset and at night, since there’s no light pollution to block the view of the stars and moon. Makawiwili Ridge is located between Mt. Kanlaon and Mt. Mandalagan in Silay City, so you can book tours from both Dumaguete and Bacolod.
When you hear the name of Pulangbato Falls, it already gives you an idea of what you can expect: red rock walls. It’s certainly a unique sight and quite striking, too, especially against the green of the trees. Even the waterfall basin has a rusty red color, which is caused by the sulfur deposits on the rocks. Prepare yourself from the roaring of the falls, though, as it can be a little loud. You might end up shouting at your companions to make yourself heard. Another thing to remember is that Pulangbato Falls is not located in Dumaguete but in the town of Valencia, which is only 20 to 30 minutes away. What’s great is that despite its increasing popularity and nearness to Dumaguete, it remains less commercialized and generally peaceful.
Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park
About 15 kilometers west of Dumaguete lies the Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park. The two lakes here are Lake Balinsasayao and Lake Danao, both crater lakes that are separated by a mountain ridge. Together with the forests surrounding them, the lakes serve as the watershed for southern Negros Oriental and provides that headwater of five rivers. Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park is home to 180 species of trees and at least 22 species of mammals. There are more than 100 species of birds in the park, including endangered species like the Negros bleeding-heart, Visayan wrinkled hornbill, Negros striped babbler, and Japanese night heron. The national park is one of the best places in Dumaguete for ecotourists.
For those who don’t want to travel far from the city, you can catch some of the best views in Rizal Boulevard. It was named after Dr. Jose Rizal, who was said to have walked along the boardwalk and was captivated by the view of the sea and the sunset. Locals and tourists love the gorgeous view, especially the spectacular sunset. You can also sometimes catch views of ships passing by. Food stalls set up towards late in the afternoon, so you can also go on a mini food trip if you want.
With beautiful sights in and around the city, from natural wonders to manmade structures, it’s easy to see why Dumaguete is a tourist darling. Book a flight and hotel room today and experience the city it for yourself.