An Unexpected Week in Dumaguete

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We had been 1 week in the Philippines. 2 days planning and roaming the streets of Cebu City and another 5 days cruising along the coasts and highlands near Moalboal. The first few days were nothing short of amazing. But meanwhile I had got a bad tooth infection which I really needed to sort out. And being in a small Municipality like Moalboal wasn’t the best place to get medical help. Fortunately we weren’t that far from Dumaguete which is known for its good medical services.

Dumaguete is on the Southeastern coast of Negros island which sits right next to Cebu and a ferry service operates daily between the 2 islands. From Moalboal, a 2 hour bus ride got us to the southern part of Cebu and close to the port. And a 2 Euro tricycle ride dropped us right in front of the port.  Within 1 hour that was 30 minutes waiting and another 30 minutes ferry ride and we were back on dry land in Dumaguete.

Tricycles, jeepneys and small buses were all waiting outside the port in Dumuguete. And us being cheap travelers had to find the cheapest option which was a 40 cents jeepney ride that would pass close by our accommodation. All this may sound easy and surprisingly it really is easy. Getting information in the Philippines such as prices and options for getting around is easy since the majority of locals speak English. 

For the small city that Dumaguete is there are quite a few medical centres, hospitals and private doctors. So at least it was enough to sort things out, at least to some extend. I needed a root treatment and filling plus a few days of antibiotics to clear up the infection. But when I was told the price for the procedure I almost choked. The root cleaning and filling which would cost me around 80 Euro back home would cost 400 Euro here in Dumaguete. I decided to just clear up the infection and only bought the antibiotics.

Given the situation we decided to extend our 2 night stay to 1 week just to see how things went for me. In the meantime we explored all the surrounding area of Dumaguate. And although a few days ago we didn’t have in mind to spend much time here, looking back I realize that we wouldn’t have it any other way. In fact, Dumaguete turned out to be a great place and is just a short ferry away from tropical islands.

>>South Philippines Guides: are you planning a trip to Cebu, Siquijor, Bohol, Dumaguete, Siargao or Camiguin? You can hop from one island to the other by ferry. Click on the links for inspiration on your next trip!!

Once we had sorted out my tooth problem, we started searching things to do in Dumaguete. We found information on Dumaguete is quite limited but thanks to the hosts at the guesthouse, we got quite a few activities worth checking out. And obviously waterfalls were part of the interesting list we made.

Dumaguete is a laid back city and although we love the place for all the good cafeterias and great restaurants, we went further out in the highlands for activities and interesting spots. Most days we would pass by the charming Municipality Valencia located on higher grounds north of Dumaguete. Valencia is where all the waterfalls, hot springs and Forest Camp are located.

walking along the streets of Dumaguete and loaded with backpacks

Pulangbato Falls

Pulangbato was the first waterfall we visited. The day was rainy and we managed to make our way to the fall with just a short shower. Pulangbato is a powerful fall surrounded in a beautiful recreational area where locals come on weekends. For the fall itself we didn’t really think much. However there is a large pool beneath where Jacqueline swam and a second pool in the recreational area.

We were lucky to not have met too much rain on our way to the fall but this wasn’t the case on our way back. Red Rock hotspring 5 minutes away from the fall is where we stopped while the weather would hopefully clear up. Soaking ourselves in the hot baths surrounded in jungle while buckets of rain came down was an amazing experience that we weren’t expecting.

Pulangbato waterfall surrounded in brown rocks due to sulphur
soothing in hotsprings at Red Rock

Casaroro Falls

Located again in Valencia, Casaroro falls is one of the most amazing falls we came across in all the Philippines. And not just the fall but the whole surrounding couldn’t be more stunning. To reach Casaroro a flight of stairs lead down to the river. And a 10 minute trek along a paved path and over bamboo and concrete bridges crossing over the river. 

As we got closer we could hear the powerful water dropping below. Casaroro is hidden away and surrounded by cliffs and jungle. It wasn’t until we got very close to the fall that we saw the amazing setting. In fact we were walking along the path when all of a sudden we came around the rocks and were facing a huge amount of water gushing from high above. Water droplets were floating in the air and the surrounding covered in moss and slippery rocks. I did manage to get just a few meters away from the fall which was quite risky given the slippery rocks. But i still got soaked with all the spray.

a flight of steel stairs that lead to the created by Casaroro Falls
the powerful Casaroro waterfall

Forest Camp

A popular spot with locals and not too far from Dumaguete is Forest Camp in Valencia. To be honest we weren’t that keen on venturing out here. From what we had been told Forest Camp is a park with loads of pools. However everything is man made which isn’t our kind of thing. Anyway, we ended up having a day to spare. Without any other options we decided to give the place a try. 

Honestly, Forest Camp was far from what we had expected. It is true that everything is man made. However the way in which all the pools are built really blend in well with the bouldered river that flows through and mild jungle surrounding. No doubt we would come here again on a sunny day hopefully the chilly pools would be warmer and more inviting.

relaxing at Forest Camp pools
Jacqueline under the mini cascade at forest camp

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