10 Best Things to Do in Dumaguete | The Philippines

Dumaguete, located in Negros Oriental, is home to nearly 131,000 individuals. The city is also recognized as a place of enlightenment, for having four separate universities. In recent years, many retired Filipinos have started moving to this place for its quiet and peaceful environment.

If you are looking for a serene tourist destination away from the pressures of big metropolises, you should consider visiting this wonderful city on your next vacation. In this article, we take a look into 10 activities this wonderful city is known for.

You might also interested in: 30 Things To Do In Bohol | Adventure Destinations In Philippines

10 Best Things to Do in Dumaguete | The Philippines

1. The Dumaguete Cathedral

The Dumaguete Cathedral
Source: Fritz Rinaldi De Asis Bernardo, MD | Flickr

The divine Dumaguete cathedral has gained quite a recognition in Dumaguete for its Spanish colonial architecture. Dating back to the late 1700s, some people also call this place the St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral.

This place can become very packed during the Sunday mass, as it is one of the primary churches in the entirety of Negros Island. Therefore, it is a good idea to visit this place from Monday through Friday. Only a few blocks away, you will find the bell tower in Perdices Street.

2. Talabong Mangrove Park & Bird Sanctuary

Talabong Mangrove Park & Bird Sanctuary
Source: eazytraveler | Flickr

If you love nature, make sure to visit the Talabong Mangrove Park & Bird Sanctuary in Dumaguete. Spanning 400 hectares, the nature reserve is under the care of DENR. You will be able to fully explore this enormous park and engage in activities such as bird watching.

Besides that, this park is also great for hiking and you will discover several species of mangroves. You will also get a magnificent view of the sea from the park, and park rangers also allow you to swim. If you’re lucky, you might even catch an exotic fish! There is also a picturesque pier, ideal for an evening stroll.

3. The Silliman University Anthropology Museum

The Silliman University Anthropology Museum - Things to Do in Dumaguete
Source: Cee EL | trover

Silliman University is one of Dumaguete’s most prestigious universities, and it houses a fantastic Anthropology Museum open to the public. Originally developed by a missionary hailing from the United States, you will find many artifacts and objects from 200 BC.

You will find interesting specimens that show how the ethnic people of the region survived during their time. You can also attend a group tour upon request.

4. Mt. Kanlaon

Mt. Kanlaon
Source: bunski

The city of Dumaguete has something for thrill-seekers as well! The astonishing Mt. Kanlaon offers challenging terrain for mountain climbers. Situated at the heart of Mount Kanlaon Natural Park, this active volcano has a height of roughly 2,430 meters and is brimming with a variety of wildlife.

This place is perfect for a prolonged hiking adventure, and you will notice lush vegetation and gorgeous hot springs. However, you are required to drop by the DENR office to get a hiking permit, before you venture off to this wonderful volcano.

5. Lake Balanan – Things to Do in Dumaguete

Lake Balanan - Things to Do in Dumaguete
Source: Carlo Marco Simpao

As you traverse the dense jungle of Dumaguete, you will eventually stumble upon the city’s hidden beauty. The stunning lake Balanan is surrounded by magnificent mountains and wilderness, and it is believed to result from a tectonic earthquake dating back to 1925.

Thankfully, this mysterious lake is completely open to the public. You will be able to take a relaxing stroll along the paved pathway encompassing the lake. As you continue along this route, you will end up on the docks next to the river.

6. Tanon Strait – Things to Do in Dumaguete

Tanon Strait - Things to Do in Dumaguete
Source: Leodb

Do you enjoy watching dolphins? Don’t forget to visit the Tanon strait near Dumaguete to gaze upon these adorable mammals! To observe dolphins in their natural habitat, you would have to come here early in the morning and rent a catamaran boat.

Prepare to be amazed at the sight of several playful dolphins leaping in and out of water. You can also feed the dolphins if you want. Carry your best camera with you to take some fantastic snapshots.

7. Chinese Bell Church

Chinese Bell Church - Things to Do in Dumaguete
Source: mangyanblogger

This spectacular Taoist monastery is only a few miles away from Dumaguete city. Located south of Rizal Boulevard, this place of worship is one of the earliest in the region. Locals and tourists come to this place to find solace and solitude, and this place also offers beautiful scenery of the sea.

The traditional Chinese architecture this temple exhibits will not fail to captivate you. You can rent a cycle to swiftly come to this wonderful temple.

8. Pulangbato Falls – Things to Do in Dumaguete

Pulangbato Falls - Things to Do in Dumaguete
Source: wanderersandwarriors

Pulangbato Falls sets itself apart from several other waterfalls in the Philippines. The surrounding rocks and basin of the cascade have a reddish texture because of the presence of sulfur. Besides that, the force of water flow is remarkably high, and it generates a booming sound as it makes its way to the pool of water below.

Despite the substantial water pressure, the pool beneath is noticeably calm and ideal for swimming. Avoid lying on the rocks to prevent your clothes from becoming stained.

9. Aquino Freedom Park

Aquino Freedom Park
Source: Mike Gonzalez

Aquino Freedom Park is a great place to enjoy delicious Filipino cuisine in an open environment. There are many tables and benches for you to sit with your buddies. You will be able to observe the wildlife and lush vegetation around you as you feast on a variety of amazing dishes.

There are various food stalls in the park serving unique delicacies such as Adobo chicken, tapa cured beef, and sausage at affordable prices. You can also try the deep-fried Filipino specialty known as Lumpia.

10. Center for Tropical Studies (CENTROP)

Center for Tropical Studies (CENTROP) - Things to Do in Dumaguete
Source: thelightchaser | Deviantart

Constructed under the supervision of Silliman University, CENTROP is hailed for creating controlled natural habitat occupying many species of plants and animals. Other than experts and researchers, this marvelous place also welcomes ordinary visitors.

If you’re interested in learning about local and exotic wildlife, then you will have an unforgettable experience here. To obtain a tour of this entire facility, a knowledgeable caretaker will be assigned. This person will guide you through the establishment’s main attractions, such as the endangered animal research center comprising warthog, bat, and deer.


In Conclusion, Dumaguete is a fantastic place to experience nature at its finest. There are many parks and gardens for taking a relaxing stroll. You can organize a wholesome picnic beside a scenic lake or waterfall. You will surely have a delightful time on your visit to this wonderful city.

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