Our Best of the Visayas Tour features the islands Bohol, Cebu, Siquijor and Negros. You will visit the Chocolate Hills, meet the elusive tarsier, enjoy watching dolphins and addmire the old Spanish churches of Bohol. After having seen the highlights of Cebu City you will travel to the island Siquijor with its fascinating healing traditions and relaxed island life. Danjugan Island is a sanctuary that only allows a restricted amount of visitors. The tour ends in the sugarcane heartland of Negros where you will admire heritage house and steam locomotives. You will learn about the history of the sugarcane plantations and visit one of the last remaining haciendas on the island. Enjoy our Best of the Visayas tour.
Arrival on Bohol.
Your driver will meet you at the pier/airport and transfer you to your accommodation. It is the first day of your Best of the Visayas tour. The rest of the day is free for your own leisure.
Overnight at Panglao, Bohol
Your guide will meet you at the hotel. Start your private exploration of this beautiful island. We will head for Bohol’s most famous landmark: The Chocolate Hills. We will pass through a beautiful man-made forest of mahogany trees to a butterfly garden. Visit the lovely butterfly garden. Continue to the Chocolate Hills. They are covered in green grass that turns brown (like chocolate) during the dry season, hence the name. Enjoy the view before we drive to Loboc. Here we will make a cruise on the Loboc River. Lunch will be served during the cruise. After lunch visit the Loboc Church. This church was on the tentative list of UNESCO World heritage sites together with the Baclayon Church. Both churches were damaged during the 2013 earthquake. Continue to the Philippine Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary in Corella. The tarsier is one of the smallest known primates, endemic to the Philippines. Our last stop will be the Baclayon Church. This church was built of coral stone and is one of the oldest churches on Bohol. We will visit the museum of the church. After an entertaining day we will drop you off at the hotel.
Overnight Panglao, Bohol
You will leave the resort at 0500 before the break of dawn. Drive to the wharf for about 5-10 minutes. With your motorized boat you will navigate the oceans where your local spotter will spot the playful Dolphins in the wild and if you are lucky a gigantic whale shark will show-up. Don’t worry this shark is very gentle and it won’t bother to taste you. After an hour or 2 enjoying the sight of the sea mammals you will be taken to Balicasag Island for you to enjoy the rest of the day. Many people in neighboring island used to be hunters of whale shark but were educated and are now protectors of the sea creatures. Most of them are working as spotter and boatmen for tourists.
You have the option to do snorkeling and swimming with sea turtles, local guide will bring you to the spot where the sea turtles are residing, or scuba diving with the beautiful coral reefs, variety of fishes and sea turtles. Lunch will be at the resort. Return to Bohol. Transfer back to the hotel.
Overnight at Panglao, Bohol
Bohol – Cebu City
Your driver will meet you at the hotel. He will transfer you to the pier or airport. Board the Oceanjet Ferry to Cebu City.
Your guide will meet you at the pier. Embark on a tour of some of Cebu City’s highlights. We start at the famous Magellan’s Cross, planted by the explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. From here we walk to the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño and the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral (the seat of the Archdiocese of Cebu). After visiting the next-door Cathedral Museum it is time to visit Fort San Pedro, the old Spanish fort. From here we continue by horse cart to the bronze Heritage Monument on which different eras from Cebu’s history are depicted. Close by is the beautiful Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House. Also visit the nearby Jesuit house. We continue to one of the most fascinating fresh markets of the Philippines, the Carbon Market. Explore this fascinating market with your guide who will explain about the most exotic products on sale. Drop off at the hotel.
Overnight at Cebu City
Cebu City – Dumaguete – Siquijor
Today you will travel to Siquijor, the next stage of your Visayas tour. Your driver will meet you at the hotel. He will transfer you to the airport.
Fly from Cebu City to Dumaguete
Your driver will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the pier. Board the ferry to Siquijor. Upon arrival at the port, you will meet your driver who will transfer you to your resort which is located right on a wonderful white sand beach. The rest of the day will be free at leisure to enjoy the beach.
Overnight in Siquijor.
Your guide and driver will meet you at the resort. Today is a full day of activities around the island of Siquijor, known for magic, sorcery and healing rituals. Wear your hiking shoes, comfortable apparel and swimming suit for the adventure ahead of you. Make your way up to the mountain of Barangay of Cantabon, known to locals as a mysterious place.
Your first stop will be at the house of a healer. She is one of the descendants of a well-known healer in the community, who also practices healing. Depending on what she will get out sense from you, you can either try the fumigation, a ritual cleansing that will protect anyone from exposure to negative energies or a wellness massage or locally known as “hilot”.
To know take away further any negative vibes, it’s time to experience or witness the unique healing method of “bulo-bulo” healing where a glass jar, clean water, straw and magic stone are used to heal anyone who visits the mananambal (traditional healer). The healer blows air into the water through a straw as he passes the glass around the patient’s body, as the water became murky, the glass will be rinsed and the healer repeats the process until the water finally stays clear and that means that the patient/visitor is cleansed from bad spirits or any sickness.
After the healing experiences the outdoor adventure begins. Proceed to Mt. Bandilaan, Siquijor’s highest peak. You will be dropped off at the jump-off point for you to start your trek in the lush forest of the nature centre. You will end your trek in the highest point of the mountain where you can climb the watch tower from where you have a view over the whole Island of Siquijor. Now, you will now head to Lazi, another town of Siquijor for your seafood lunch with a combination of other local cuisine. But before that, you need to relax your feet in a cool pond under a century old “Balete tree” where you can dip your feet and experience “fish spa”.
Your guide will then accompany you to an old church and convent of Lazi, the church, also known for its huge convent, was declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines. It was also nominated for the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List. After a taste of Siquijor’s heritage, it’s time to cool down and take a dip in Cambugahay Falls. This is a multi-tiered cascading waterfall with fresh and clean warm water run-off, coming from natural springs, watersheds and small rain forests of the higher mountains. After this we will transfer you back to the resort.
Overnight in Siquijor.
Enjoy a free day at your resort. An optional excursion to Apo Island is available where the snorkeling and diving is really beautiful. You can also relax at one of the two pools of the resort.
Overnight in Siquijor.
Siquijor – Dumaguete – Danjugan Island
Today you will continue your Visayas tour. Your driver will transfer you to the pier for the ferry back to Dumaguete. Your driver will wait for you at the pier. Hop on the private vehicle that will take you to the jump-off area of Danjugan island. The drive will take about 5 hours passing by old churches, coastal area of Negros Oriental and some nice viewpoints where you can stop to take some photos.
Upon arrival at the jump-off area, you will board on an outrigger boat for less than 30 minutes. Be careful on the bamboo bridge.
Welcome drinks and local snacks will greet you and some birds and picturesque rock formations. Settle down and your guide will give a short briefing about the island and the exciting activities that awaits you.
Rest of the day is at your own leisure.
Overnight in Danjugan Island.
You may start your activity today by waking up early to witness the sun as it rises.The island is a lush 43 hectare and marine sanctuary, it has 5 lagoons and is covered with limestone forests providing asylum to many wildlife species that struggle to exist in the mainland.
What once used to be a threatened and over-fished area is now a protected sanctuary with a dazzling array of marine and terrestrial life. Today, the island serves as an outdoor classroom for students, a research area for conservationists, and a haven for tourists eager to experience nature at its purest. It is now protected and managed by a local non-profit organization that is committed to preserve and conserve the island by implementing green-technology initiatives such solar panels, proper waste disposal, other praise-worthy initiatives.
They have a wide array of activities that you can do such as snorkeling, kayaking on lagoons, trekking to the watch-tower, bird watching, sailing & scuba diving (available upon request and has extra cost).
The non-profit organization is also supporting the young adults of the nearby mainland community by granting them scholarships on fisheries and forestry. You may encounter some of them as your guide when they are available. They are alumni from previously conducted marine and wildlife camp and can talk about the resident birds and other wildlife creatures in the island.
Overnight in Danjugan Island
Danjugan Island – Bacolod
Enjoy a free morning at the island. After lunch, board on your outrigger Bangka that will take you back to Negros. Continue your Visayas tour. Your vehicle is waiting for you at the jump-off area. The drive to Bacolod City is about 5 hours. Stop-over in Bago City and check out the sericulture that improved the lives of the local community
Overnight at Bacolod
Bacolod – Silay – Bacolod
Your guide will meet you at the hotel.
We will drive into the very heart of the historic Silay City, dubbed as the “The Little Paris of Negros”. This city was hailed as the center of economic activity, culture and the arts and home of the affluent families of the period 1850-1900’s Negros.
First we will visit the Balay Negrense (House of Negros). This museum will give you an idea of how sugar planters in the 1800s lived. Lunch will then be served at the quaint café 1925, with recipes based on traditional Silay cuisine. In the afternoon, you will continue the experience with a walking tour around the old city of Silay and see many Ancestral Homes, its classic buildings and the San Diego Pro-Cathedral and a concrete-domed Neo-Romanesque Church. Drive back to Bacolod.
Overnight at Bacolod
*Please note that museums are closed on Mondays except of Tana Dikang.
Silay – Manapla – Silay
Your guide will meet you at the hotel Here you will experience the next chapter of our story by a visit to the Gaston family’s active sugarcane plantation and its crown jewel, the “Dako Balay”(Ilonggo for “big house”), home of Victor’s son and third generation sugar baron, Jose. Discover how the sugar plantations in Negros began in the 1850’s and continued to grow till the early 1900’s.
In the morning, a relaxed trek will take you to the interesting trails around and in between the fields of sugarcane & the village. In this farm, you will find the architecturally radical Chapel of Cartwheels, a significant place of worship. This is the spiritual home shared by both the descendants of the Frenchman and the workers who live in the plantation.
A century-old sugar mill still stands nearby as proof and testament to the process of making traditional sugar called “Muscovado”. Here you will have a glimpse of how this kind of sugar was processed.
Traditional Spanish-inspired lunch will be served at the azotea (veranda) of
The last stop takes you full circle of this sweet life when you are taken on the factory tour of Victorias Sugar Milling Company. Here you will follow the process of bringing the farmed cane to the sugar mill, the stages of making and refining sugar, until packaging. One wonders how they have kept away the ants! You will also admire the old steam trains that are still being used. Drive back to Bacolod.
Overnight at Bacolod
Your driver will transfer you to the airport. We hope you have enjoyed our Best of the Visayas tour.