Eco-friendly travel guide to Dumaguete advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Dumaguete, Philippines.
- Air quality: 4 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 3 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 3 / 5
- Public transportation: 3 / 5
- Parks: 3 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 3 / 5
- Locals' English level: 3 / 5
- Safety: 3 / 5
- Accommodation: US$20 - $40
- Budget per day: US$30 - $90
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
This city is termed as a 3rd class component city with a total population of 133377 people. It is the most populated city in the entire province of Negros Oriental and its capital. However, the area is still lesser, around 33.6 km2 creating a density of around 3900 people per square kilometer. They have a lot of universities present here therefore, people from different region come here for higher studies. They have well structured education system. You should always maintain the dignity of the place you are visiting. It helps in building better connections with the local people here.
Air Quality and Pollution
The air quality is ‘good’ and acceptable for most individuals in Dumaguete with an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 21 US AQI. The pollutants concentration of 2.5pm in the city is 5.1 micrograms per cubic meter, making the atmosphere in better condition. It would be best to adopt safety precautions because sensitive groups may experience minor to moderate symptoms from long-term exposure to the surrounding air. Being a responsible tourist, you must avoid transportation with heavy emissions to contribute to the environment's wellness.
Respect the Culture
The city of Dumaguete is the hub of culture, traditions, festivals, and lifestyles for the island of Negros. Being the central meeting place for all the province's people, the city's inhabitants gather here and sell their goods or harvested crops as well as their farm-raised livestock to earn a living. The people here are noble and kind and defines their culture as a reflection of their society. Their culture is captivating and fascinating that tells us about the people of the area, their beliefs, and their lifestyles. All the festivals, events, celebrations, etc., play a significant role in reflecting the culture of Dumaguete in one way or the other.
Top 10 Places to Visit
- Sidlakang Negros Village: Came into existence in 2008, this whole village is a series of semi-traditional native nipa buildings that houses different local arts, products, crafts, and tourist attractions, providing insight into the city's unique culture of Dumaguete and other neighboring cities of Negros. It features individual pavilions and showrooms with a central outdoor stage for various activities. This entire tourist spot is built in a well-landscaped promenade providing tourists with a picturesque location and knowledge about the city's history and customs all at the same place. Tourists worldwide come here to visit the village to connect with its history, culture, and uniqueness of the entire area.
- Silliman University Church: Back in 1899, Silliman University Church compose of both the Dumaguete towns people and the Silliman Community. This church was built to invite all people into a life of discipleship and dynamic witnesses. It follows the Presbyterian architecture that generally uses symbolism and is a sacred place for worship. Silliman University Church also gives you the chance to admire the symmetrical balance of its interior layout, beautiful hanging lamps, and exposed wooden beams at the ceiling. This sacred place gives hope and blessings to plenty of Catholic and non-Catholic citizens of the country.
- Pulangbato Falls: Pulangbato Falls is unique and fascinating because of its rusty red rock walls. People worldwide come here to see this fantastic rusty red waterfall whose falls are way heavier than other waterfalls you will come across in the country. The waterfall basin allows tourists to swim in the calm pool created by this waterfall. This spot is as beautiful as any other waterfall; the only difference is the rusty red walls and stained attraction.
- Mt. Talinis: People call it "Cuernos de Negros" or "The Horn of the Negros", being the second tallest mountain in the region. Mount Talinis is situated right behind Mount Kanlaon and is the only active volcano. Here, people are allowed to hike and trek to reach the mountain tops. Once you start exploring Mount Talinis, you will come across many volcanic lakes, nature trails and view spectacular landscapes of the mountains, volcanoes, and lakes at the same time. Apart from this, you can experience various other activities like camping, fishing, and sightseeing; you may also come across multiple wildlife species.
- Rizal Boulevard: Dumaguete's waterfront promenade along the street of Rizal Boulevard has a beauty and charm of its own. This entire street was constructed in 1916, designed in a scenic quarter-mile lined old-fashioned street, and is a perfect and peaceful spot to stroll around. Locals are attracted to this part of the city to enjoy picnics and quiet walks. Benches along the riverside are built for sea-gazers to sit and watch the scenic view of the ocean. The street is trendy among local citizens', hence you will see a lot of crowd throughout the day. Nearby the location, you can find several top-class restaurants, bars, and food stalls.
- Centrop Zoo: Center for Tropical Studies (CENTROP) is the only zoo in Dumaguete, where around 23 species of plants and 16 species of animals are protected and preserved. There are various cells in which apes, wild cats, dick, python, crocodiles, and several bird species, including the flying fox, are kept in captivation. An entrance fee is required for entry (fee charge varies as per the age groups) in to the zoo.
- Talabong Mangrove Park & Bird Sanctuary: This entire sanctuary is a 400-hectare protected area. Department of Environment and Natural Resources try to protect this natural park and sanctuary by all necessary means. People mostly come here to visit the mangroves and to experience it from very close distance.
- Mt. Kanlaon: Mount Kanlaon is a 2,430 meters high mountain above the sea level. The mountain is very popular among neighboring countries as it is also the highest peak in Central Visayas. Hiking in this area might be dangerous, so take the necessary precautions and carry every means for your safety. Apart from the risks one takes while choosing to climb Mount Kanlaon, you can experience many other activities like sightseeing, camping, fishing etc while exploring this place.
- Lake Balanan: Lake Balanan is a freshwater lake deep in the forest, surrounded by lush jungle and mountaintops. Such a sight is a treat to eyes that one should never miss while traveling in Dumaguete. This natural lake was created by a tectonic earthquake in 1925; a long-cement pathway leads you to the shore, where there are docks and huts on the river. It is a beautiful spot in the entire Dumaguete where you can be at peace with no disturbances. Here tourists are allowed to swim, rest, and spend their time among the beauty of nature. Nearby the location, you can find several restaurants and bar clubs to satisfy your hunger.
- Dolphin Watching in Tanon Strait: Dolphins are amazing creatures and are most active animals, especially during dawns. To reach Tanon Strait, it will take you about an hour from Dumaguete. Your ride will be a catamaran boat that will take you to see the amazing marine creatures swimming, jumping, splashing out of the water. It's incredible to watch these dolphins hunt on fishes.
Dumaguete is a small city in Negros, Philippines. While the city offers semi-cosmopolitan living, its small-town charm continues to appeal to artistic types in addition to eye-pleasing tourist spots and important landmarks. While exploring Dumaguete, you will come across plenty of parks, gardens, museums, lush-green vegetation with sugar cane fields, and pineapple groves in abundance.
City parks and public gardens are an essential part of tourism in any city/country. These parks are a reminder of conserving and preserving natural beauty without causing harm to the environment. You can find such parks in Dumaguete where friends and families stroll around the plaza/park and play around the developed playground. Here are some amazing city parks in Dumaguete you must visit while in the city:
- Freedom Park
- Quenzon Park
- Dumaguete City Baywalk
- Dumaguete Memorial Park
National Parks are a means for conservation purposes of natural species of floras and faunas created and protected by the national governments. However, Dumaguete has one national park in the region – Twin Lakes National Park, about 20 km northwest of Dumaguete. You might find several national parks in Negros, such as Northern Negros National Park in Silay City, Mt. Kanla-on National Park (Guintubdan Station) in La Carlota City, and many others in nearby cities.
Dumaguete city has no lovely beaches in the region, and there are no beach resorts, but there are few existing places where you can find patches of beach within city limits as "natural beaches." Few beaches here are Silliman beach, Bayawan beach, Dauin Beach, and Bacong Beach, where locals go for BBQs or picnics, or outings. However, few beach resorts are just a few minutes north and south of the city, with excellent and clean surroundings and a natural setting. Here is a list of some beach resorts nearby the city:
- Atlantis Dive Resorts
- Pura Vida Beach & Dive Resort
- Sta Monica Beach Club
Landmarks are places that have a unique feature and history behind their existence. Such places lure visitors/tourists worldwide and provide them with information regarding the country's ancient period. Dumaguete is a place with several historical buildings, archaeological sites, sacred homes, old hotels, or villas. Here is a list of some fascinating landmarks in the city of Dumaguete:
- Provincial Capitol, Dumaguete
- St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral
- Bell Tower (Oldest surviving structure in Dumaguete city)
- Silliman University
- Casarora Falls
Museums in Dumaguete allow you to witness plenty of historical, ethnological, and archaeological artifacts. These museums date back to 500-200 BC.
- Silliman University Anthropology Museum
- Gatxs Art Gallery
- Mariyah Gallery
The collection in these museums is composed of archaeological items from previous excavations all over Negros and other parts of the city. These places provide you with historical and ancient information and allow one to closely witness all those old times related to the old Negros period.
Dumaguete is a charming city where you can find varied food options; from traditional local delicacies to new fascinating restaurants, there's always something different and unique to try. The city's bursting life with locals and tourists allows every individual to get lost in the culinary heritage of Dumaguete, making it the world's best place to be in. Most restaurants and eateries are sea-facing and have amazing spectacular views of the ocean, attracting various people to enjoy their delicious delicacies.
Traditional Local Restaurants
The city of Dumaguete gives you plenty of local restaurants that serve both international and local cuisine. These restaurants vary from expensive to budget-friendly in addition to varied traditional dishes. Most restaurants are located in a natural setting or designed in an environment-friendly way to lure as many tourists as possible. Some best restaurants in the city are:
- Sans Rival Bistro
- Hayahay Treehouse
- Kri Restaurant
Vegetarian and Vegan
Vegan foods are in great demand everywhere, whether it is a tourist destination or a local place. Vegetarian food not only improves your health but also keeps you energetic throughout the day. Vegetarian Restaurants in Dumaguete are in few numbers, but they will fulfill your desire for tasty vegan food. Here is a list of few restaurants you must visit while in Dumaguete:
- Chia Eatery
- Pasta King
- Harold’s mansion
The city's side street restaurants and food stalls cater to many locals and tourists alike, where you get plenty of delicious street food at a very affordable price. These local dishes allow you to indulge in the city's depth in culinary. If one wants to know the city inside out, one must start with experiencing street foods present in almost every corner of the town. Some best street foods you must try are:
- Fried Ice Cream of Panda
- Baked Talaba
- Chicken Inasal
- Lasagna platter
Dumaguete is a city with a varied culinary heritage and culture. However, the variety of drinks here offer you lots of booze in addition to healthy fruit juices and drinks made with nutritious ingredients. Some of the drinks you must try while in Dumaguete are:
- Classic Fruit Tea
- Indian Chai Masala
This city's tap water is not fit for drinking; therefore, you must not consume it directly from the tap. However, you can still consume bottled water available in this city in almost every shop, at a low cost. You will get purified drinking water in your rooms of hotels, guesthouses, hostels. If you live independently, such as in a house or apartment on rent, you might have to arrange drinking water on your own. You can even deal with the local water supplying department for the drinking water. You can use the tap water for other household work such as dishwashing, bathing, laundry, and a lot more. Statistics show that around 62 % of the total water in this city is polluted. The main reason is waste dumping; many people dump their waste in water bodies which creates a lot of pollution.
There are organic cafes present in this city that have different options of cuisines. Some of the famous cafes include Alima Cafe, which is one of the famous organic cafes. They offer vegetarian options on their menu. Some of the famous dishes include Pork Carnitas, eggs Benedict, Korean Tacos, bacon strips, etc. It is a cozy restaurant and is one of the best places to hang out with your friends. They even offer takeaway services other than dine-in. Another famous organic cafe is Tribe Cafe; this cafe opens from 8 A.M till 11.30 P.M. You can even enjoy an awesome flavor of coffee along with organic and healthy food. Other than organic cafes, if you are fond of coffee and love to try various flavors of coffee. There is a cafe called Bo's Coffee. This cafe is home-grown, and the coffee is brewed with the traditional method. This cafe deals with the local farmers to availability fresh coffee beans and coffee, which supports them. This cafe even has seats placed outdoors so that you can enjoy the view of the outside area. This cafe even has a WIFI service for its customers.
There is a brewery called Birdie Num Num Tropical Brewery, which produces a tropical beer that is the most famous in the entire city. There are craft beers that are also present in this city which can be enjoyed while you are in this city. There are various beer bars, and even Num Num Tropical Brewery has its bar; therefore, the beer available in this bar is very fresh, and the ambiance is enjoyable. It is not the only brewery; there are other microbreweries which is also present in this city. Another microbrewery is known as Negrense Microbrewery. A microbrewery is smaller than a normal brewery. This brewery has a retro hall where beer is brewed and is available to customers. This beer bar provides an outdoor seating facility also so that you can enjoy a fresh environment. Late-night food and beer are also available so that you can enjoy the nightlife. It is a good place to enjoy yourself with a group of friends. The dining option includes lunch, dinner, and dessert. You must pay attention to that you have to pay in cash; there is no credit card accepted here.
There are different types of activities which you can perform in this city. There is a bird sanctuary spread over 400 hectares that you can visit on a one-day trip. Suppose you want to do some interesting activity to climb up or trek to the top of the mountain at the height of 1903 meters. This mountain has volcanic lakes and many trees that can help you experience the freshness of the wind. If you want to spend some time near the lake, there is a lake called Lake Balanan, which is a freshwater lake, and it was created naturally through the earthquake in 1925. There are a few huts and docks near the lakeshore where you can rest between the natures. There is a Tanon Strait where you can watch dolphins from a distance. It is advised that you should bring your binoculars.
Yoga and Retreats
There are different types of fitness centers which include yoga studios and another retreat. One of the famous yoga studios is Samyana Studio. It is a well-known studio presenting in this city with a lot of people visiting here. This studio provides the best environment to perform yoga. Besides yoga, you can even perform meditation, helping you release stress and calming your mind and body. The studio provides 14 classes per week, including one class in the morning on one evening class. It is the first yoga studio community present in this entire city. The trainers are highly professional and trained in yoga; another yoga studio present in this city is yoga Dumaguete. The studio's best thing is that this studio operates in batches so that equal attention can be paid to all people who are visiting this studio. This studio even has associations with one of this city's hotels, Coco Grande hotel, where they teach different yoga methods every 6:30 in the evening and 8:30 in the morning only on Saturday.
This city's total area is around 3362 hectares, and around 706689 tourists visited this city in 2018. This city is experiencing a constant high tourism rate; therefore, to take care of these tourists, there are many hotels, beach resorts, and other accommodation options. There is a bed and breakfast type of accommodation present near the sea which offers Wi-Fi services will stop other than this you can even try hiking or snorkeling as this type of accommodation is present near the water body. Another accommodation option is JAS Marina Spatial, including free accommodation, WIFI access, a swimming pool, and a small playground for children. Other than this, there are resorts present in this city that can help you experience a luxurious lifestyle during your trip to this city.
There are green hotels which are present in this city to maintain the cleanliness of the environment and to provide great comfort to their customers through natural methods. These hotels do not have air conditioners installed in the rooms because air conditioners damage nature. These hotels have a swimming pool that has saltwater instead of chlorinated water. Other than this, there are other benefits of staying in a green hotel. These hotels even own a large garden so that their customers can spend some time walking on the green grass surrounded by trees all over. Many of the hotels offer breakfast as a complimentary service.
Hostels and Guest Houses
There are different types of hostels present in this city. There is a premium-style hostel named Casa Arietta Hostel, which offers free WIFI, a separate cupboard for luggage, a terrace to enjoy the view, and a tour desk. Certain activities such as a golf course near the hotel, a table tennis room in the hostel, canoeing, diving, and snorkeling. All these activities, excluding table tennis, need to be paid for additionally.
There are apartments which are present in this city. These apartments offer fully furnished rooms and a hall with a pool, high-speed internet, flat television in the hall, and a modular kitchen which includes a refrigerator, microwave, and oven. The best apartment to stay in this city is Dumaguete Studio Apartment with pool and Free Motorcycle, which costs around 450 to 600 us dollars every month. There are other apartments which cost lesser than this apartment and also offer fewer facilities. Apartments are best in providing privacy and security to their customers who are living in this apartment.
This method can help you save a lot of money, but you would have to explain another accommodation type. There are around 450 to 500 hosts present in this city ready to welcome you at their residence. Also, the city's crime rate is low, which states that many hosts do not have any bad intentions with you. The locals are generous and helpful towards the tourists.
There are different places in this city where you can camp. Camping in this city is safe because the crime rates are not very high or even not at a moderate scale. Camping can be adventurous if you love to spend some time between nature and love to stargaze at the Night sky. Camping and help you to save a lot of money. There is also a mountain where you can camp, and it can be a good exercise also as you have to walk and find the best place on the mountain to camp. You must pack your things accordingly, which must depend on the season you are camping. The equipment used in camping is very costly.
How to Get There
There are two ways to reach this city. These ways include Airways through which you can reach here. Another method used to reach this city is through waterways. Other than this, there are no other ways to reach this city. However, you still have to take an indirect flight and land in the Philippines to take a flight to reach this city. Waterways take around 36 hours to reach the nearest city.
You can reach this city with the airport's help, which is called the Sibulan airport or Dumaguete airport. It is mainly a domestic airport; therefore, you have to take an indirect flight from your country to the Philippines, and from there, you can take a direct flight to this airport. The elevation of this airport is around 5 feet. During 2017 this airport has faced a total of 597626 passengers throughout the year. There is a single runway in this airport which is around 1845 meters long. This airport also has a cargo airplane and helps in cargo movement to this city and from this city. Flights are the convenient and fastest mode of transport. These flights are very much comfortable.
There are very few buses which are present in this city. You can travel from other neighboring cities to reach this city. It takes around 6 hours to reach this city from Cebu by bus. Buses can offer one of the best means of travel where you can create a lot of memory. You can even enjoy yourself with friends, or if traveling alone, you can make new friends. There are other cities also present from which you can reach this city.
This city is present on an island that belongs to the Philippines; therefore, there is no international train facility in this city. There are no trains built in this city because the area of the city is small. Therefore reaching this city through trains is not at all possible. Trains can be a good transportation mode if you want to travel a long distance through the land. Often trains are easily affordable.
It is on my third which can help you save a lot of money as it involves asking for a free lift from people going in the same direction. You do not need to take special precautions or attention because this city's crime rate is low. Also, the people of this city are generous and of helping nature. Other things must be kept in mind that though the crime rate is low, you still have to pay some attention to your belongings. With the help of this method, you can make new friends.
There are no other ways to reach this city as it is near the coast of an island. Therefore, there are not many facilities to reach here. However, you can still travel to this city if you are present on the island. Some facilities can help you travel from other places on the same island to reach this city.
It is not a big city; therefore, you can cover the city by walking. However there are motorcycles which are available for rent, you can hire them to move around the city. More to this, there are bicycles which are also available in this city for moving around. There is a motorized tricycle also present in this city to help you reach your destination. These motorized tricycle does not cost, and around 6 to 8 people can sit at a time in this.
Walking is very beneficial for health as it helps to keep the mind fresh and body active. Walking and moving around the city can help you to gain knowledge about the city in detail. You can even save a lot of money you would have to spend on other accommodation types. Walking in this city is safe even at night. There are walking tours where you will get a guide and other people who are a part of this tour.
There are few bicycle rental shops available. However, bicycles present in these rental shops are not of good quality. There are bicycle stores where you can get a new cycle, but you can purchase from a second-hand store if you do not want to spend on a new cycle. There are a few parks where you can bicycle. While bicycling, you must always pay attention to the road and should not drive fast; there are chances that you might get hurt or an accident can happen.
Electronic vehicles can help in controlling pollution. Electronic vehicles are easy to maintain; therefore, you do not have to spend anything on maintenance. However, these vehicles cost higher than normal vehicles but are environmentally friendly. There are no electronic vehicles present in this city. The income of people of this city is not good enough to afford an electric vehicle.
Public buses are the most common mode of transport. You can meet a lot of new people with the help of this type of bus. However, buses have fixed routes, so that can cause you to delay sometimes. There are no buses present in this city. However, buses are present on this island, but you cannot move around while traveling through the bus.
Tram, Train and Subway
There are no trams in this city. Trains are a common mode of transport for large cities which can help to move around. It is a good option for larger cities, but this city's area is not good enough. It is an underdeveloped city; therefore, there are no trains. However, the government and higher authorities are constantly looking into this matter.
There are stores where there are organic fruits and vegetables are there for sale. There is a market where clothes are made and stitched by hands and are made do cotton or silk, which are woven by hand. Similarly, there are other sustainable markets present in this city.
- Savemore supermarket
- Dumaguete Bay Market
- Robinsons Market
- Belarus Food
- Valencia Farmer Market
Second Hand Stores
- K and K trading
- Lynns Fashion Store
Recycling is a method through which you can reuse the same item, which is of no use. Not every material can be recycled. This city is divided into 30 barangays, and each barangay has its recycling center. Other than this, the most recycled item in this city is paper and plastic. Many raw materials are obtained through unfair practices towards nature and earth. The red tag dustbin in every house means that the garbage is non-biodegradable. This non-biodegradable waste is sent to the recycling center of that particular Barangay.
This city's waste management policy includes that every house has to make two different dustbins and has to purchase a green sticker and red tags. Green sticker is for biodegradable waste so that fertilizers can be made from it. The red tag includes non-biodegradable waste, which is sent to recycling and scrap buyers. This green or red sticker is available in the treasurer's office of this city. The rest of the red-tagged waste is dumped in the landfill.
Work and Study Abroad
There are a lot of schools and universities in this city. It means that the education of this city is good. The teachers present in these universities and schools are well qualified. More to this, there are fewer jobs available in this city. This city's area is small, and the population is dense; therefore, job opportunities are less.
Many universities are present in this city, and one of the best universities in Silliman University. This university attains around 300 student’s international students every year. This university is spread over an area of 62 hectares. The student can not only study here but also can jog, skate or perform other sports or co-curricular activities in this city. The majority of the students are from other Southeast Asia countries, such as Japan, Thailand, Korea, India, Germany, and the United States.
You can become an au pair in this city, but you must be a student. Some of the universities can help you to find a host family. However, even if you are not a student and a youth, you can still is an au pair. The families looking for an Au pair are lesser. Even the crime rates are low. You can save a lot of money with the help of this method.
Some organizations can help you to volunteer. One organization called Marine Conservation Philippines helps the government clean the beaches and water bodies as the water pollution is constantly growing. Another organization named Little Children World helps poor children and provides them food and shelter. Similarly, other organizations are also present in this city. These organizations are ready to accept volunteers.