Discovering Dumaguete A Guide to the Best Activities in the City
We extensively test and research all services we review. Here's why you can trust us.

Discovering Dumaguete: A Guide to the Best Activities in the City

When looking for a relaxed and peaceful location, Dumaguete City, a serene seaside village, is one of the most suggested places to visit! 

Dumaguete City, referred to as the City of Gentle People, offers its tourists a stunning view of the Bohol Sea and a variety of experiences that will leave them with lasting memories.

Just for you, we’ve compiled a list of the top 15 activities to add to your Dumaguete bucket list. Read on to learn more!

Things to Do in Dumaguete

1. Try street food along Rizal Boulevard.

Try street food along Rizal Boulevard
(Image Source: Trip Advisor)
AddressRizal Boulevard, Dumaguete
How to go thereRide a taxi from the city
Entrance feeFree
Best time to visit6 AM - 11 PM

You can unwind, stroll, and enjoy the afternoon breeze on Rizal Boulevard. Take the chance to snap a photo with the #DumaGetMe Signage at the Rizal Boulevard Sea Deck!

Benches, trees, and food stands are all present here. Even more food stalls with tables and chairs emerge in the evening as the street lights up. 

Balut and tempura, made Dumaguete-style, are among the street food available here!

Insider Tips

  • Get some massages by the seashore. Some locals offer massages for a reasonable price! 
  • Keep an eye out for the sunset! Rizal Boulevard is located at the seashore of Dumaguete, and it’s the best place to watch the sunset!

2. Take a breather at Aquino Freedom Park.

Take a breather at Aquino Freedom Park
(Image Source: Dumaguete Info)
AddressDumaguete City
How to go thereRide a taxi going to the park
Entrance feeFree
Best time to visit8 AM - 7 PM

The Ninoy Aquino Memorial Freedom Park is a peaceful, refreshing spot of green located close to the center of a busy metropolis like Dumaguete. It is the ideal location for a break from touring and relaxing!

The area is filled with fountains, trees, and flowerbeds. The elegant white provincial capitol building, encircled by wide walkways and tall trees, is also in the park. 

Insider Tip

  • You can have a picnic with your friends and loved ones. They allow you to bring food for a small potluck or picnic with your family. If you want to rest and relax while having a snack, this is the best place for you.

3. Watch dolphins in Manjuyod Sandbar.

Watch dolphins in Manjuyod Sandbar
(Image Source: Traveloka)

AddressManjuyod White Sandbar, Manjuyod, Negros Oriental
How to go there Ride a ferry 
FeesPhp 2,400/pax (tour going to the island and dolphin watching)
Best time to visitOctober - January

Manjuyod Sandbar, known as the “Maldives of the Philippines,” boasts pristine seas and breathtaking ocean views. Locals sell and prepare fresh fish in tiny boats while you wait for the sandbar to appear at low tide. 

If you’re fortunate, you might see bottlenose, long-snouted spinners, and pantropical spotted dolphins!

Insider Tips

  • Go as early as 5:00 AM. Try to go early because you won’t see the sandbar when it’s high tide.
  • You can buy fresh seafood from the locals. You can purchase the freshest fish, squid, and shellfish for affordable prices. They can be prepared by sellers in their boats.

4. Explore the Bird Sanctuary in Talabong Mangrove.

Explore the Bird Sanctuary in Talabong Mangrove
(Image Source: Bais Tourism)
AddressBais City, Negros Oriental
How to go thereRide a taxi or rent a car from the city
Entrance feeFree
Best time to visit8 AM - 5 PM

A reserve for mangrove forests is the Talabong Mangrove Park. It is a serene setting ideal for anyone who enjoys being in tune with nature and trees!

You can enjoy the soothing sea breeze and the breathtaking ocean vista here. The area is also ideal for birdwatchers depending on the season, since migrating species find refuge here.

Insider Tips

  • Bring an umbrella, mini fan, or extra shirt. If you visit in the summer, expect it to be hot in the park. 
  • Bring insect repellent. That is, unless you’re fine to be feasted on by all sorts of bugs that are expected in a natural environment!

5. Pray at Chinese Bell Church.

Pray at Chinese Bell Church
(Image Source: Dumaguete Info)
AddressRizal Boulevard, Dumaguete City
How to go thereRide a tricycle from the city
Entrance feeFree
Best time to visit6 AM - 6 PM

At the southern end of Rizal Boulevard, there is a vibrant Taoist temple called the Chinese Bell Church. It’s certainly worth a visit if you’d like to explore a place of worship other than Catholic churches.

The peaceful setting is also ideal for strolling, praying, or taking pictures with your loved ones!

Insider Tips

  • They don’t allow food and drinks inside the temple. Make sure you eat before you enter.
  • Respect the temple and its visitors. Don’t be too loud when you’re in the temple. Also, don’t use flash when taking photographs inside.

6. Hike Mt. Kanlaon.

Hike Mt. Kanlaon
(Image Source: Google)
AddressNegros Occidental
How to go thereRide a bus from the city
FeesPhp 400 pesos for the registration/trekking fee

Php 500 pesos per day for a guide (mandatory)

Php 400 pesos per day for a porter (mandatory)

Best time to visitMarch - June

With a height of 2,430 meters, this highlight of Mount Kanlaon Natural Park is incomparable. Filled with animals, scenic views, and hot springs, Mount Kanlaon is a climber’s paradise!

Insider Tips

  • The hike can last up to 3 days, so buy all you need in advance. There are markets and supermarkets you can visit to buy all you need.
  • Don’t forget to get a permit before you go. Head to the DENR office in Bacolod to apply for a hiking permit beforehand. Anyone who climbs the volcano without a permit can be penalized or jailed.

7. Explore Apo Island.

Explore Apo Island
(Image Source: Trip Advisor)
AddressDauin, Negros Oriental
How to go thereRide a boat from the city
FeesBoat - Php 3,500/3 pax (roundtrip)

Marine park entrance and snorkeling - Php 150/pax

Snorkeling equipment and guide - Php 300/pax

Best time to visitApril - June

Apo Island is well-known worldwide for its profusion of fish, turtles, and stunning coral gardens. 

In the marine reserve that surrounds the island, there are 650 known species of fish and over 400 different types of coral! It makes sense that it has grown in popularity as a snorkeling and scuba diving location. 

On the island, you can also hike and walk to the lighthouse.

Insider Tips

  • Wear reef-safe sunscreen to protect our pawikans and corals. Wear sunblock or sunscreen that is reef friendly. 
  • You can rent a go pro from your tourist guide. If you wish to record or photograph your experience snorkeling, you can rent a go pro from your tour guides for a reasonable price.

8. Discover Mt. Talinis.

Discover Mt. Talinis
(Image Source: Trip Advisor)
AddressNegros Oriental
How to go thereRide a bus from the city
FeesDay hike - Php 1,500/for the whole group’s guide

Overnight hike - Php 1,000/day for the whole group’s guide

Permit Valencia - Php 50

Permit Dauin - Php 100

Sleeping bag rental - Php 150 (optional)

Best time to visitFebruary - May

With its numerous volcanic lakes, Mt. Talinis is a natural gem that offers breathtaking climbs. Lake Kabalin-an, twin lakes Balinsasayao and Danao, and Lake Kabalin-an are all located in the Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park.

Insider Tips

  • Don’t miss out on the lake. If you want to see a breathtaking scene while trekking to the summit of Mt. Talinis, you must not miss the lake. It’s the perfect spot to recharge and appreciate nature!
  • Use a waterproof bag. The air in the park can be damp, so use a waterproof bag to protect fragile items.

9. Visit the Filipino-Japanese Amity Memorial Shrine.

Visit the Filipino-Japanese Amity Memorial Shrine
(Image Source: Google)
AddressValencia, Negros Occidental
How to go thereRide a bus from the city
Entrance feeFree
Best time to visit8 AM - 5 PM

Built on a sturdy concrete base with three angles, this historical obelisk represents peace and brotherhood between the nations that fought in the war—the Philippines, the United States of America, and Japan!

Insider Tip

  • You’ll need to rent a 4×4 car.
  • The path leading to the shrine is steep and challenging to navigate.

10. Check out Lake Balanan.

Check out Lake Balanan
(Image Source: Lake Balanan)
AddressSiaton, Negros Oriental
How to go thereRide a bus from the city
Entrance feesPhp 50 for 3 years old and above

Php 25 for senior citizens and students

Php 100/hr - for 8 persons

ActivitiesPhp100/hour - Pedal Boat

Php 150.00/hour - Kayak

Php 200.00/hr - Triak


Php 100.00/hr - Floating Cottage

Php 2,000.00/day for 10 pax - Staff House

Additional Php 100.00/ pax

Php 2,000.00/day for 6 pax - Tree House

Php 30.00/day - Picnic Table

Php 150.00/day - Camping Fee


Php 4,000.00/day for 4 pax - Big Rooms

Php 1,500.00/day for 3 pax - Small Rooms

Additional Php 200.00/ pax

Best time to visitApril - June

This freshwater lake is located deep within a forest and is encircled by thick rainforests and sweeping mountaintops. This lake was naturally formed in 1925 due to a tectonic earthquake.

The magnificent body of water is now fed by three adjacent creeks and rivers that lost their way during the earthquake. 

You can easily explore Lake Balanan if you want to. Spend a few hours swimming, relaxing, and admiring the scenery!

Insider Tips

  • You can rent a habal to go to the lake. The road is rough, and you will have a bumpy ride. If you don’t have a car or choose to commute, we suggest you rent a habal from the locals.

11. Relax at Tierra Alta.

AddressPalinpinon, Valencia, Philippines
How to go thereRide a motorcycle or habal from the city
Room ratesPhp 2500 - Php 4500
Best time to visitYear-round

Valencia’s Tierra Alta Residential Resort’s Tierra Alta Lighthouse offers magnificent views you shouldn’t miss!

The ideal site for a panoramic view of Negros, Dumaguete City, and Cebu is here. Here, you’ll discover a lighthouse, a pool, a restaurant, a bar, and other facilities ideal for a wedding or birthday party!

Insider Tip

  • Don’t miss out on the longest zipline in Negros Oriental. They have a 600-meter-long zipline for only Php 250 that you don’t want to miss if you’ll stay at their resort!

12. Learn the history of Dumaguete at the Cata-al World War II Museum.

Learn the history of Dumaguete at the Cata-al World War II Museum
(Image Source: Cata-al WW2 Museum)
AddressLuzuriaga st., Valencia
How to go thereRide a taxi from the city
Entrance feeFree
Best time to visit9 AM - 5 PM

Visit the Cat-al World War II Museum in Valencia to learn more about how Dumaguete was affected by the war. 

The Cat-al family’s private property houses the museum, which houses a sizable collection of wartime relics gathered by a father who served in the military and his son, Felix. 

You’ll be astounded at everything they gathered, including tools, grenades, machine guns, field manuals, uniforms, even bones and teeth!

Insider Tips

  • The owner himself answers your questions. The owner of this museum is very good at customer service, and they will let you ask a question about the museum.

13. Have a good time at Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park.

Have a good time at Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park
(Image Source: Trip Advisor)
AddressPark in Sibulan, Dumaguete
How to go thereRide a bus or jeepney from the city
Entrance feePhp 100
Best time to visit8 AM - 5 PM

The Twin Lakes of Sibulan are one of Negros Oriental’s most popular tourist destinations. It comprises Lake Balinsayao and Lake Danao, two little yet deep freshwater lakes!

On a clear day, the Twin Lakes’ water reflects the blue sky, creating the ideal relaxing environment. The lakes are encircled by slender mountains covered in unique plant life on all sides.

Insider Tips

  • You can ride a boat instead of trekking. Alternatively, you can paddle your boat for 250 pesos from one lake to the other, where you can see the two lakes together.
  • Wear outdoor shoes, not slippers. And if necessary, bring rain gear. The terrain is frequently uneven and slick.

14. Explore Pulongbato Falls.

Explore Pulongbato Falls
(Image Source: Trip Advisor)
AddressValencia, Negros Oriental, Philippines
How to go thereRide a jeepney and tricycle from the city
Entrance feePhp 100
Best time to visitDecember - March

The name Pulangbato (Red Rock) comes from the dialect terms “pula” for red and “bato” for rock. 

True to its name, Pulangbato is a “red princess” as the cold waters cascade down the falls and through the river, passing over the naturally reddish rocks of the Red Rock Valley!

The Pulangbato Falls are bordered by red cliffs and lush green vegetation, creating the perfect scene. The red beauty’s location is sufficiently removed from Valencia’s city proper, making Pulangbato a practical and restful getaway!

Insider Tips

  • You can buy food inside the resort. There is a store where you can buy drinks and snacks inside if you forget to buy outside. The staff is also friendly.
  • They can accommodate you overnight. If you decide to extend your stay at the falls, they have rooms that can accommodate you overnight.

15. Have a day trip adventure at Forest Camp.

Have a day trip adventure at Forest Camp
(Image Source: Trip Advisor)
AddressValencia, Negros Oriental, Philippines
How to go thereRide a jeepney and tricycle from the city
Entrance feePhp 120 for 9 years old and above

Php 100 for 2-8 years old

AccommodationPhp 400 - Php 2000 - Hammock Houses

Php 1,500 - Php 3,500 for couples and family cottages

Php 300 - Tent

Best time to visitNovember - April

No, it’s not Bali – it’s just Valencia’s renowned Forest Camp! 

Less than 30 minutes away from the city proper, this camp boasts nine cold spring swimming pools that are modeled after river-created lagoons in nature.

A 90-meter zip line inside the building spans the river and the swimming pool. A hanging bridge built of wood materials is also present. 

For those who enjoy a modern workout, it also boasts a skating bowl and a climbing wall.

Insider Tips

  • Book early if you’re planning to go in the summer. The camp is usually full-packed.
  • Catch the sunrise if you’re staying overnight. Getting up early to see the sunrise is highly advised if you stay the night. The view is worth it, we promise!

Dumaguete City has everything you could want, including historical structures that have endured for hundreds of years, waterfalls, hot springs, and thrilling underwater excursions.

Have a great stay!

Related topics