Last week I spend a few days on Siquijor, the island just across from Dumaguete. If you have dinner in one of the nice restaurants on the Dumaguete boulevard, and you look past the alcoholic Western grandpas out towards the ocean, you see the outline of Siquijor. It’s one of the smallest provinces of the Philippines. About two hours of a nice ferry ride (with the chance of seeing dolphins) brings you from Duma to Siquijor, Siquijor, the capitol of the island and province of Siquijor. You will find a very different crowd of tourists here, mostly backpackers and divers.
Most of the tourism infrastructure on the island is in San Juan on the south-west coast of the island. The tricycle drivers at the ferry port will initially ask for 250 Pesos to get you there, but it should be possible to get a ride for 200 Pesos or less.
I dived with Apo Diver, a new dive shop in San Juan, which is a cool place. Owner Steven brought his sizable didgeridoo collection with him from Germany, and there is a paaarty at the place about twice a week – with actual, really good music.
The diving in Siquijor is mostly centered around the south-west as well. A top site is Paliton wall, a steep drop-off with huge soft corals, and interesting fish aktschn just off the wall in blue water. I also dived the Maite sanctuary in San Juan, where we did a beach dive. It’s a 50 meter walk over the reef top, and a 100 m swim to get to the dive site. It’s best done at high tide. The corals here are very healthy and diverse, and there is lots of interesting macro life hiding in-between, like the awesome marble-shrimp. While the corals look very intact, the sites I dived in San Juan mostly lack larger fishes, like snappers and gropers, which is a shame and most likely due too much fishing, like in so many places in SE Asia.
Click on the image below to see all the shots I got during my dives in Siquijor:
And I also got some decent video, of this interesting encounter between three gobies: