I wanted to start this post with something different, something unique compared to all the other posts I have done about the Philippines. But then I thought, why would I change it, Dumaguete in the Philippines is just as amazing a place as the rest of this awesome country.
To be honest, I can’t say one bad thing about the Philippines. I love it. I really do. There is just so much to see and do, but most importantly the locals are nice people.
Free bike hire at Harold’s
I found this to be especially so in a cool little city called Dumaguete. Initially I went to Dumaguete, which is on the island Negros just for a break. I was worn out from so much travel and after my last incredible adventure of swimming with the whale sharks, I thought it would be good to take a break on a high.
Thankfully, I found a great hostel which suited me well! It’s called Harold’s Mansion and this was my little home for the best part of 5 nights while I rested my run down body. You know it’s actually tougher than you think being a backpacker, sure you are living the dream and I don’t doubt that, but breaks are often needed so as to not burn out. Don’t believe me . . . well then find out here in the post I wrote about what can happen if you don’t take a break from backpacking.
Now, about Dumaguete, it is actually a really cool town with more of a younger crowd getting around, largely because it is a university town by the coast. What more could you expect right. It’s very simple to get here via the southern most tip of Cebu, it only takes a 35 minute ferry ride and then a 10 min drive into the main part of town, close to where I was staying.
And although I needed rest, after too much of it I became restless. I need more stimulation and adventure, which is another reason Dumaguete is so cool, it simply reeks with adventure. From boat rides out to world class dive sites, islands and marine life, to hiking the mountain ranges or caving through their fascinating underground cave systems boasting marvelous stalagmites and stalactites.
Hiking on my way to my caving adventure
So, I tightened up my hiking shoes and set out for a day of hiking and caving in the mountains of Negros. Fortunately I had a really cool guide who allowed me to participate in exploring one of his more extreme caves, through which he only takes an average of 3-6 groups through per year. Thus making it a very unique experience for me, which is just how I like it!
To be fair, it was a tight cave, and being underground and fully submerged in water was a little freaky. Especially when the exit only had an inch of air space from the water level to the ceiling. Being claustrophobic in that situation is not and option. I do admit, I began to feel a little panicky but I quickly realized that, that wasn’t going to help and slowed myself down until I made it out alive.
After the hiking and the caving I checked out the nearby Twin Lakes that are surrounded by lush tropical rainforests sitting 1,000 meters above sea level.
Dumaguete is quite popular for tourists and travelers to visit and take trips to the nearby islands, of which, the most famous is Apo Island. Renowned for its crystal clear water, snorkeling and diving. If you are to visit Dumaguete, its worth checking out Harold’s Mansion where you will get the best deal on accommodation. They also provide day tours, to and from the surrounding islands, as well as other adventures. So if you plan to visit Negro’s in the Philippines, Dumaguete is where it’s at!