48 Hours in Dumaguete, Philippines: 10 Cool Things To Absolutely Do


Nestled on the southeastern coast of the Philippines, Dumaguete is a vibrant city that offers an abundance of natural beauty, rich history, and warm hospitality. Known as the “City of Gentle People,” Dumaguete is a popular destination for both locals and travelers alike. Whether you’re visiting for a quick weekend getaway or exploring the Philippines on a whirlwind tour, here are 10 cool things to absolutely do during your 48 hours in Dumaguete.

1. Explore Silliman University Campus

One of Dumaguete’s iconic landmarks, Silliman University offers a delightful blend of educational excellence and architectural beauty. Founded in 1901, this prestigious institution boasts a magnificent campus that features lush gardens, century-old heritage buildings, and a stunning church. Take a leisurely stroll through the grounds, visit the famous Silliman Hall, which houses a museum showcasing the region’s history, and immerse yourself in the bustling student atmosphere. Exploring the Silliman University campus is not only a cool way to appreciate Dumaguete’s cultural heritage but also an opportunity to witness the vibrant academic life of the city.

2. Dive into the Underwater Wonderland of Apo Island

Apo Island, located just off the coast of Dumaguete, is a haven for divers and marine enthusiasts. With its crystal-clear waters and vibrant corals, this small island offers some of the best diving and snorkeling sites in the Philippines. Swim alongside sea turtles, spot colorful tropical fish, and marvel at the breathtaking coral formations. Apo Island is also known for its conservation efforts, making it a perfect place to learn about marine ecosystem preservation. Take a day trip from Dumaguete and be mesmerized by the underwater wonderland that Apo Island has to offer.

3. Enjoy the Sunset at Rizal Boulevard

Rizal Boulevard, named after the Philippines’ national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, is the heart and soul of Dumaguete City. This bustling waterfront promenade is the perfect spot to unwind and watch the world go by. Lined with palm trees, food stalls, and restaurants, Rizal Boulevard is a popular gathering place for locals and visitors alike. As the sun begins to set, the boulevard transforms into a picturesque vista, with vibrant colors reflecting off the water. Find a comfortable spot and immerse yourself in the captivating beauty of Dumaguete’s sunset, capturing some stunning photos along the way.

4. Explore the Majestic Casaroro Falls

Nature lovers and adventure seekers cannot miss the opportunity to visit Casaroro Falls, a hidden gem tucked away in the mountains of Valencia, just outside Dumaguete. Cascading from a height of over 100 feet, the falls create a mesmerizing sight as water plunges into a crystal-clear pool below. To reach the falls, prepare for an exhilarating trek through lush forests, navigating narrow pathways and hilly terrains. The journey is well worth it, as the awe-inspiring beauty of Casaroro Falls awaits at the end. Take a dip in the refreshing waters, surrounded by the breathtaking sights and sounds of nature.

5. Visit the Historical St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral

For those interested in history and architecture, a visit to St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral is a must. Located in the heart of Dumaguete, this stunning church is a testament to the city’s rich religious heritage. Step inside and marvel at the intricate stained glass windows, towering ceilings, and beautiful altar. The cathedral holds significant religious and cultural importance for the local community, making it a cool place to learn about Dumaguete’s spiritual traditions. Whether you’re seeking solace, admiring architectural marvels, or simply immersing yourself in the soothing ambiance, the St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral is a must-visit.

6. Indulge in a Food Adventure at the Dumaguete Public Market

No visit to Dumaguete is complete without experiencing the vibrant and bustling Dumaguete Public Market. Here, you can truly immerse yourself in the local culture and culinary delights. From fresh seafood to exotic tropical fruits, the market is a sensory paradise for food lovers. Sample local delicacies such as kinilaw (raw fish marinated in vinegar), pancit canton (stir-fried noodles), and budbod kabog (a sticky rice delicacy). Stroll through the maze of vendors, embracing the bustling atmosphere and authentic flavors of Dumaguete.

7. Take a River Cruise at the Manjuyod Sandbar

Located off the coast of Bais City, just a short drive from Dumaguete, the Manjuyod Sandbar is a natural wonder that shouldn’t be missed. Accessible through a river cruise, this unique sandbar emerges during low tide, creating a breathtaking vista of white sand stretching as far as the eye can see. Join a guided river cruise and witness playful dolphins frolicking in the calm waters as you make your way to the sandbar. Enjoy a picnic, take a swim, or simply bask in the tranquility of this natural paradise. The Manjuyod Sandbar experience is a true escape from the ordinary.

8. Explore the Waters at Lake Balinsasayao

For nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts, Lake Balinsasayao is a sanctuary that offers an immersive ecological experience. Nestled amidst lush mountains, this breathtaking lake is a haven for birdwatching, kayaking, and trekking. Take a boat ride across the serene waters, immersing yourself in the tranquility and beauty of the surroundings. Make sure to keep an eye out for the endemic Philippine Eagle, which can occasionally be spotted soaring above the treetops. When visiting Dumaguete, a trip to Lake Balinsasayao is a cool way to reconnect with nature and explore the region’s extraordinary biodiversity.

9. Immerse Yourself in History at the Negros Oriental Museum

Step back in time and delve into the fascinating history and culture of Negros Oriental at the Negros Oriental Museum. Located within the Capitol Complex in Dumaguete, this museum houses a vast collection of artifacts, artwork, and historical memorabilia. Discover the diverse heritage of the region, from pre-colonial times to the present day, through engaging exhibits and interactive displays. Gain insights into Dumaguete’s indigenous roots, Spanish colonization, and the people who have shaped the city’s identity over the centuries. The Negros Oriental Museum offers a captivating journey through time that will leave you with a deeper appreciation for the region’s rich history.

10. Relax and Unwind at the Hot Springs of Pulang Bato

Tucked away in the volcanic hills of Valencia, the natural hot springs of Pulang Bato offer the perfect retreat for relaxation and rejuvenation. The steaming sulfuric waters are believed to have healing properties, making them a popular destination for wellness seekers. Take a dip in the warm pools, surrounded by lush greenery and majestic rock formations. The tranquil atmosphere and therapeutic benefits of the hot springs provide a cool escape from the bustling city life. Whether you’re seeking healing or simply want to unwind, a visit to the Pulang Bato Hot Springs is a rejuvenating way to conclude your 48 hours in Dumaguete.

In conclusion, Dumaguete is a destination that offers a harmonious blend of natural wonders, cultural experiences, and warm hospitality. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a history enthusiast, or a lover of gastronomy, Dumaguete has something to offer everyone. From exploring vibrant university campuses to diving into crystal-clear waters and immersing yourself in the tranquility of natural wonders, the cool experiences in Dumaguete are endless. Plan your 48-hour itinerary wisely, and get ready for an unforgettable journey through this captivating city in the Philippines.

– Silliman University: https://su.edu.ph/
– Apo Island: https://www.apoisland.com/
– Rizal Boulevard: https://www.dumagueteboulevard.com/
– Casaroro Falls: https://www.tourisminthephilippines.com/casaroro-falls/
– St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral: http://dumagueteneo.silk.co/
– Dumaguete Public Market: https://dumagueteneo.blogspot.com/2016/02/dumaguete-market-where-to-buy-fresh.html
– Manjuyod Sandbar: https://www.philippislandholidays.com/manjuyod-sandbar/
– Lake Balinsasayao: https://www.tourisminthephilippines.com/lake-balinsasayaw/
– Negros Oriental Museum: http://www.gibhcb.com/negorientmus/
– Pulang Bato Hot Springs: https://www.dumagueteinfo.com/pulang-bato-hot-springs-dumaguete/