Weekends are built to create a pause from the 5 days of daily grind. They breathe new life before going back to your 9-5 life. For Erik the Hungry Traveller weekends mean short getaways and fun adventures. This past weekend and in the coming weeks I will travel to neighboring islands of Cebu. First stop a weekend solo travel in Dumaguete and its neighboring towns!
Dumaguete is found right across the Southern tip of Cebu. It is the most populous and is the capital of Negros oriental. It is otherwise known as The City of Gentle People. And I for one can attest that Dumaguete is a wonderful place to travel for a quick weekend getaway.
So why did I choose a solo travel in Dumaguete as my first weekend getaway adventures? First off, Dumaguete is near Cebu, my hometown. Second, I visited Dumaguete numerous times but did not explore its outskirts. This could not be more than a perfect time to do this road show.
My solo travel in Dumaguete adventure starts with a 4 hour bus ride from Cebu South terminal to the town of Liloan Santander. From Santander I hopped on to a motorized boat where after 15 minutes I arrived at Sibulan Port.
To get to Dumaguete city you have to ride either a tricycle, jeepney or a motorcycle to get to Dumaguete city. I chose to rent a tricycle for a 10 minute travel from Sibulan port to the city of Gentle People. You get to have a solo tricycle ride experience for an affordable price.
Erik the Hungry Traveller Travel expense:
Bus fare to Cebu to Liloan, Santander – 210 Php
Ferry Boat Fare from Liloan to Sibulan Port – 70 Php
Tricycle Ride from Sibulan to Dumaguete – 150 Php
Partial expense for the whole trip: Php 430.00
I arrived in Dumaguete city at around 12 pm. I started my bus journey from Cebu 7 am thus the journey took me 5 hours to get to the place.
Upon arrival , I immediately went to one of my favorite restaurants, Qyosko. I saw this restaurant grow from a 24 hours classic diner in the Philippines to a posh quirky trademark in Dumaguete. Despite their improvements the restaurant still maintained its homey meals and ambiance.
They have an array of Filipino classics such as pochero, sisig, lumpia. They also have their Qyosko trademarks like drunken buttered chicken, adobo flakes and my favorite arroz balao.
Arroz balao (which i ordered) is a rice meal with grits of bulad (dried salted fish). The meal is my comfort food and it has the right balance of saltiness from the fish and blandness of the rice. A quick and affordable meal for any hungry traveler visiting the place.
Qyosko Arroz Balao- Php 98.00
After that satisfying lunch, l I went out and looked for a hotel to stay for the night. Dumaguete is a hub for hotels and bed and breakfast places. I went to my go to hotel. It however had no vacancies thus I decided to try a new one.
Hotel Palwa is at the center of the city. I have known of this hotel for some time but never really had an interest to stay here until now. I though the hotel was expensive. But when I looked at their prices it actually was an affordable hotel.
The hotel was a simple and clean. Not fancy but definitely presentable.The hotel staff were friendly and accomodating. They cater to your requests and queries quickly. I also tried their room service and it was fast and the food was affordable.
Room at Hotel Palwa: Php 1198.00
Breakfast Meal: Php 98.00
Partial expense for the whole trip: Php 2254
Now Erik the Hungry Traveller’s stomach is full. I now have a place to stay for the night. Thus there is only one thing to do. Let the solo travel in Dumaguete begin!
After settling down in my hotel room. I was now ready to do some adventure. It was 3 pm when I left my room. And yes it was extremely hot, like prickly hot. But i only have the weekend to explore this place so Mr. Sun bring it on!
For this solo travel in Dumaguete my choice of vehicle was a tricycle. I told the driver to take me to as many tourist spots he can take me. Since this was only a weekend get away my driver and I had to focus on one area of Negros which was Valencia.
Valencia is 9 km west from Dumaguete city.
I visited 3 tourist spots for my 3 hour travel and they are: Tiera Alta, Sulfuric vents and the Red Rocks Site.
Tiera Alta was my first stop as it was the closest from Dumaguete city. This is a high end subdivision with a European , Santorini-esque feel. The highlight for this place is their man made lighthouse whith the view of Dumaguete and the outskirts of Valencia.
As a traveler and a blogger. One must be honest with their reviews and recommendations. And Tiera Alta is a place which I recommend only at an average level. A 5 out of 10 for me. The lighthouse was good but not great. Plus since it is a subdivision, upon heading up to the lighthouse what you can see are soon to be built houses and truck loads of construction. Not something you wish to see for a nature lover like me.
They ask you to pay 50 php to check out their lighthouse. This is a matter of preference but I visited places that are free or asks for a smaller entrance than Tiera Alta which are more worthwhile. Which brings me to my second destination.
Pulang Bato Waterfalls (Red Rocks )
Located just a few kilometers away from Tiera Alta . Pulang Bato is named such as the water seemingly appears red due to the rocks that are naturally (you guess it) BLUE, kidding they are naturally RED.
You have to travel uphill by riding a motorcycle to bring you to the actual location of the falls. Upon arriving you have to pay 50 Php for the entrance. Unlike the first destination the entrance is worth it!
For those who love the water (like me) this is a hot spot! Red Rock Falls not only has a waterfall but it also has a hot spring. If you intend to sleep over then the place also has cabins for you stay the night.
It is a tourist attraction so expect a lot of people. But if you find the right angle and are a bit adventurous you can find your sweet spot and just capture the falls minus the crowd.
I went as close as I can get to the red rocks falls to ensure i capture and give justice to its beauty.
Located along the highway before you ride a motorcycle to Pulang Bato falls. This was my last stop as recommended by my guide/ driver. He believed that Red Rock falls is mystic and he recommended for me to leave the place before dusk.
In fact all my guides did. So in respect of their tradition and belief I obliged. Now on to the sulfuric vents.
Like I said, the vents is found along the road. This for me was the highlight of my trip. Waterfalls and lighthouses are common with my travels but I never seen a smoking mountain. Like ever!
I could not get a scientific explanation as to why the rocks and soil spew sulfuric smoke. The locals did mention that the area spewed smoke since time in memorial. The area smelled like rotten eggs and it would be hard to take a good smokey picture as the area was windy.
I would recommend to explore the vents. I allocated some time checking out each vent and soil. The smoke came from the inside of the rocks and soil. Up to now my curiosity still remains with the smoking mountains of Negros oriental.
I left the place a quarter to six. My driver brought me back to my hotel. There were some other places that he recommended but due to time constraint i was not able to visit. I definitely will visit those said attraction on my next travel adventures on my upcoming solo travel in Dumaguete Version 2.0 (wink).
Tricycle Tour – Php 800
Entrance at Tiera Alta – Php 50
Entrance at Red Rocks – Php 50
Motorcycle Fare to Red Rocks (back and forth) – Php 50
Partial expense for the whole trip: Php 3204
For those interested to visit and have a tour in Negros you can contact my friendly and knowledgeable driver/ guides.
JunJun – 0935 815 7395
Allan – 0912 311 4429 / 09352527128
Solo Travel in Dumaguete Capping of the Night:
Instead of finding a restaurant for dinner I went to a popular food outlet along the boulevard. It is a street food haven where a stretch of vendors sell fish balls, squid balls , tempura and balot.
For those who are adventurous this is a must try. You inform the stall owner on what you wish to order and they will have it cook for you. They will ask you to sit in small benches and table which also serves as your dining table. Reminds me of kindergarten days.
Done with Dinner at the Boulevard, now on to dessert!
Since i have some money to spare I decided to visit a budding cafe shop in Dumaguete. For my dessert i tried the cake and coffee of Chef Tobz RN cakes and pastries.
Dinner at the boulevard- Php 100 ( includes tempura, egg and drinks)
Dessert – Php 270 (cake and coffee)
Partial expense for the whole trip: Php 3574
The morning after went like a breeze for me. I made a quick visit to their Cathedral and to Sans Rival to buy some pastries.
These two stops if you are to do a solo travel in Dumaguete are also a must go to place. Both are found in the city proper and are just a tricycle ride away.
You can also tour Siliman university which is the first american university in the Philippines. I visited that place before plus the sun was at its 10th power during that day that i decided to just stay in my hotel before I checked out.
Solo Travel in Dumaguete : That is a wrap Hungry Travelers!
So there you have it my solo travel in Dumaguete was a blast. Jam packed but definitely worthwhile.
Overall I spent Php 4004 for my travel, accommodation, food and Negros exploration. This does not include my pastry souvenirs that I bought in Sans Rival.
Again, if you wish to do solo travel in Dumaguete and Negros Oriental. Do not hesitate to contact Junjun and Allan.
They work as a full time motorcycle drivers and part time travel guides. Their familiarity with the place and their first hand experience is what will make your experience an authentic adventure. They even take your pictures which helps when you are a solo traveler.
Solo Travel in Dumaguete Tour Guides:
JunJun – 0935 815 7395
Allan – 0912 311 4429 / 09352527128
About the Blogger: Erik the Hungry Traveller is a lover of arts, travel, photography and of course food. Visit his instagram pages for more adventures: IG: erikjamesart, ejrequina, erikthehungrytraveller or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org