The Dumaguete Rundown
Dumaguete is alluring to backpackers and tourists who want to experience small town charm. This rustic coastal town in Negros Oriental, Philippines is the gateway to world-class diving spots. The laid-back attitude of locals has earned Dumaguete the moniker, ‘The City of Gentle People’.
In the city’s centre is the Silliman University, a privately owned university that echoes colonial American architecture. During lazy afternoons, college students and locals flock to Rizal Boulevard for a quick jog under the tree-lined track or for some rest and relaxation while watching the sun drop to the sea. By evening, the seaport is packed with barbecue stalls and food stands where one can get a sumptuous and cheap dinner.
Dumaguete is teeming with rich marine sanctuaries to explore. Coral shelves are a few metres away from the beach and are perfect for snorkelling. If you want to pack more punch in your vacation, hire an outrigger boat to the nearby Apo Island protected area and go scuba diving. Dolphin-watching in the waters of Tañon Strait is another fun activity. Best of all, there are plenty of affordable hostels in the city.
When To Go
Dumaguete has two seasons. The wet season is from June to November, whilst the dry season is from December to May. If you are planning to do some island hopping in Dumaguete, the best time to go is between the months of March and May. This is also a popular time for tourists and you will see hundreds of people from the neighbouring islands of Cebu, Negros and Bohol. Typhoon season begins in April and lasts until October, although Dumaguete is situated below the official typhoon belt in the Philippines.
- Average maximum temperature: 34.3°C (94°F) during April and May
- Average minimum temperature: 22.9°C (73°F) during December and January
- Best time to visit: March, April or May
Tourists arriving from local Philippine airports (NAIA in Manila or MIA in Cebu) can fly directly to Dumaguete into the Sibulan Airport.
Dumaguete is also accessible via passenger boats, fast crafts and RORO ships (which can transport vehicles such as cars and trucks) from other ports in the country. As long as there are no typhoons or low-pressure areas, boats bound for Dumaguete from the main ports (Cebu or Manila) are not prohibited from sailing by the Philippine Coast Guard. Dumaguete can be reached by bus from Negros Occidental, the northern province of the Negros Island. It’s about a six-hour trip costing P320 one-way.
- Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines have two flights to Dumaguete daily
- SuperFerry or Ocean Jet boating companies can take you to Dumaguete.
- Daily buses from Negros Occidental to Dumaguete
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