Siquijor island is one of the most mystical islands of the Philippines. The moment Peter and I arrived we felt the magic of what is locally known as Esla del Fuego – translated into “island of fire” because of the glow caused by the numerous fireflies that come out at night. An island notorious for stories about witchcraft, healing and sorcery, but for most tourists it’s all about the natural beauty. The Philippines is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, which is why we loved the idea of exploring the Siquijor beaches.
Siquijor is truly a one of a kind island. To locals, especially the older generation, Siquijor is a place of mystery, mystics, and magic. Although, today witchcraft and magic are a lot less prevalent than in the past. We didn’t come across any kind of witchcraft, but then again, we didn’t go looking for it. If you are intrigued by the eeriness of Siquijor, some travellers have spoken about visiting healers on the island. It’s not my kind of thing, and I don’t like the idea of “black magic” which is why I didn’t read much into it. But if you want to connect to the spiritual side of the island, I’m sure you can find it.
We experienced a different kind of magic. A kind that’s really difficult to describe. The lush terrain, vibrant culture, incredible marine life and the feeling of being on an “untouched island,” Siquijor felt like a dream. Our favourite spot was the Kawasan falls – we were the only two people there and connecting with nature like that was incredible. But, as a beach lover and self-proclaimed mermaid, I thought I would put together this travel guide for the Siquijor beaches.
Exploring the Siquijor Beaches
Truthfully, at first I was a little disappointed by the Siquijor beaches. I think it could have been the weather because our first day on the island was overcast and very windy. And the beach never quite looks the same when the sun isn’t shining. The sea wasn’t as crystal clear and blue as I was expecting and the sand wasn’t as white. We had been in Bohol the week before and the beaches there were some of my favourite.
We spent a week on Siquijor island and eventually I started to get the vision of the beaches that I had hoped for. The sun came out and everything started to look a little more beautiful. I also learned that it’s best to visit the Siquijor beaches during high tide – if you want to bask in their true beauty. There’s a lot of seaweed in the ocean and during low tide it comes up onto the beach and covers a large part of the white sand. So if you’re at the beach during low tide, the views aren’t quite the same.
But if you visit the Siquijor beaches with an open mind, I promise you will be captivated by their unique beauty.
Paliton is easily the most popular of the Siquijor beaches. Do a quick Google search of Siquijor and Paliton beach will come up. The most prominent feature of this beach is the line of coconut palm trees that line the shore. Paliton beach is also known for snorkelling and it’s beautiful white sand.
Our first visit to Paliton beach was on our first day – during low tide, when the weather wasn’t great. So my first impression was not great. I had seen amazing photos of this beach and what I was seeing didn’t come close to what I had envisioned. But we visited again when the weather was better and that’s when I experienced the magic of Paliton beach.
Situated in San Juan, finding Paliton beach is easy. Look out for the small church at barangay Paliton and take the road down towards the sea. The beach is about 1.5 km down from the main road. Follow the signs for “Paliton Marine Sanctuary,” and just a little past the sanctuary entrance you will find the parking area for Paliton beach. But you will need to explore beyond this area to reach the palm tree section of the beach. As you walk down onto the beach from the parking area turn to the right. You will need to walk around the mass of coral rocks through the grass and around the bend to reach the main area of Paliton beach.
Paliton beach is notorious for beautiful sunsets and its serene atmosphere. It’s best to visit during the week when it’s not too busy. Although it never gets too crowded.
Not to be confused with Salagdoong beach (which is located on the other side of the island), Solangon beach is also found in San Juan, just 3 km away from Paliton beach. It’s not as rocky and has a longer stretch of sand than Paliton. This is my favourite of the Siquijor beaches.
Solangon Beach is described as having the finest sand and clearest waters in the region. The main section of the beach is found in front of Coral Cay resort. There’s a walkway going through the beach resort, which is how we got to the beach front. It was very quiet and we had a drink at Coral Cay while surrounded by some friendly and loving doggies.
The Solangon beach is filled with resorts and even a few private residencies. But you can walk all along the beach to the end if you like. There is even a school next to Coral Cay so you might come across a few sweet school children. The beach is also scattered with numerous tree swings – although most are for private use. But if there’s no one around you may be able to sneak in a quick swing.
To get to Solangon beach I would suggest having a tricycle drop you off at Coral Cay. You can then make your way down the walkway through the resort. The beach is only a few hundred meters down from the main road.
Tubod Marine Sanctuary is a protected reef area on the beachfront of the Coco Grove resort, and this is also where you will find Tubod beach. It’s located a little south of San Juan. To get there you can ask a Tricycle driver to take you to Tubod Marine Sanctuary – which is a little further up from the main entrance of Coco Grove. Then just follow the short path down to the beach. You will see a bar going across the start of the pathway to stop bikes and tricycles going down. So if you are on a bike you will need to park it at the top and walk down.
There is a small entrance area at the end of the path, just before you get onto the beach. The main attraction at Tubod beach is snorkelling, and there’s a hut with a few locals hiring out snorkelling gear. If you have your own gear it costs 50 pesos to snorkel and it’s 100 pesos to hire gear. We went snorkelling here and it was incredible. Tubod is known for having the best coral reefs on the island and we swam with some of the most beautiful fish. The water was quite choppy but we still had a great experience.
If you just want to check out the beach and go for a swim, there is no entrance fee. Although the Coco Grove resort takes up most of the beach, the beach itself is open to the public. You just aren’t allowed to use any of the resort facilities.
Make sure that you access the beach by going down the public path and not through Coco Grove. A few travellers report having to order consumables to the value of 200 pesos each to be allowed onto the beach.
Where To Stay On Siquijor Island
Siquijor is quickly becoming a tourist hot spot and there is no shortage of accommodation options. A small yet energetic island, Siquijor is the perfect synergy of nature’s beauty and mystery – a true bliss waiting to be explored. If you want to experience the mystic charm of this paradise, there are a variety of resorts and Airbnb options to choose from – ranging from budget to high-end accommodation.
We stayed in a treehouse at Aventura Bed and Breakfast in San Juan which we booked through Airbnb. If you haven’t yet signed up on Airbnb you can follow my link here and get £33 off your first home booking, and £12 to use towards an experience worth £40 or more.
San Juan is the most popular area to stay in and where most resorts are located. This is also the area in which you will find most of the Siquijor beaches. All of the beaches I’ve mentioned here are situated in San Juan.
Siquijor is not big, so if you want to travel around the island, you will be able to do so with ease. We used the tricycles to get around San Juan, but we hired a bike for the day to go to the area of Lazi to explore the waterfalls. If you’re comfortable on a bike you can stay pretty much anywhere on Siquijor island and get around quite easily.
P.S. If you enjoyed this post, you may want to check out my post on the Panglao Beaches.