So, you’ve found yourself in Dumaguete and you’re wondering where all the best beaches in Dumaguete are. We were just like you and the one thing we’d wished for was a guide to tell us what was worth visiting and what was not. Despite being a coastal city, you definitely don’t want to pick just any old spot to go for a swim. In fact, we wouldn’t recommend swimming in Dumaguete City at all, much the same way you probably shouldn’t swim in the Hudson River. In saying that, there are some amazing beaches just outside the city that are well worth the travel.
WHAT TO BRING TO THE BEST DUMAGUETE BEACHES
Prepare for your trip to the best beaches in Dumaguete with our must-have travel essentials.
Waterproof backpack & phone case: Earth Pak 35L or 55L Heavy Duty Backpack, IPX8 Waterproof Phone Case Included (click for price)
Quick-dry microfiber travel towel: Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Travel Towel (click for price)
Insulated water bottle: Hydro Flask Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle (click for price)
Snorkel, mask & fins: Cressi Adjustable Mask, Fin & Snorkel Set with Carry Bag (click for price)
If you’re interested in photography and/or videography this is the gear we can’t live without:
To see our complete camera gear read this post here.
BEST BEACHES IN DUMAGUETE
1. APO ISLAND
Apo Island is arguably the most famous tourist spot in Dumaguete, so it’s no wonder it’s also home to some of the best beaches in Dumaguete. We made the trip out to Apo Island to swim with the turtles and spent time exploring two pristine beaches along the west coast of the island. The beach in front of Apo Island Beach Resort was secluded and private, tucked away from the main village. It was a beautiful spot to spend an afternoon taking in the raw beauty of Apo Island.
FULL BLOG POST: APO ISLAND DUMAGUETE GUIDE
It may not have any turtles, nor is it actually an island, but Turtle Island Siaton does have one of the best beaches in Dumaguete. A lot of people access Turtle Island by boat, but it can be reached on foot which will take you on a trek along remote beaches and turquoise waters. The sandbar at the very end is the grand finale, a perfect stretch of white sand flanked by shallow water on one side and a deep blue dropoff on the other.
FULL BLOG POST: TURTLE ISLAND SIATON GUIDE
As one of the biggest sandbars in the Philippines, it’s no wonder Manjuyod Sandbar also gets a coveted spot as one of the best beaches in Dumaguete. It’s just over an hour’s drive from Dumaguete City to Bais, and from there you’ll need to book a tour to take you out to Manjuyod Sandbar by boat. We spent the entire day swimming, sunbathing and having a blast on the tube rides, but don’t forget your sunscreen! You’ll definitely need it.
FULL BLOG POST: MANJUYOD SANDBAR GUIDE
Hidden Beach is a secluded little cove at the base of a tall cliff in Siaton, about an hour from Dumaguete City. It’s the smallest beach on our list, and by far the most hidden – go figure. It took a lot of trial and error to find Hidden Beach Siaton, but once we finaly got there we were ecstatic. We had this little beach all to ourselves, tucked away behind giant boulders and trees. We’ve had reports of other people leaving their trash behind here, so if you do visit please bring your trash with you!
FULL BLOG POST: HIDDEN BEACH SIATON
5. DAUIN BEACH
Dauin Beach is home to most of the dive resorts in the area, as Dauin is a popular place to spot creepy and curious creatures deep below the surface. Aside from divers, this dark sandy shoreline is a bustling spot for locals to hang out, barbeque, play beach games and swim. We spent many an afternoon at Dauin Beach, usually out the front of Mike’s Beach Resort, swimming until sunset. If you swim in the seagrass out the front of El Dorado Beach Resort, you might even chance upon a turtle or two.
6. SIATON BEACH
After months stuck inside due to the pandemic, we were itching for some sunshine and saltwater. That’s how we stumbled across this random beach in the town of Bonbonon, Siaton which ended up being one of the nicest beaches in Dumaguete. There’s not a whole lot at this beach, but if you’re looking for a long stretch of soft sand and a little peace and quiet, it’s actually a really great spot. This beach doesn’t have a name, but the rough Google maps location is here. You’ll have to ask locals how to cut across to the beach from the road.
Last but by no means least is yet another serene spot in Siaton, Kookoo’s Nest. This little eco-lodge and restaurant sits on a totally secluded cove only accessible by a steep set of stairs from the top of the cliff. It’s only a small beach, but it’s clean and quiet with a great spot for snorkeling and all the amenities that make for a perfect day out.
FULL BLOG POST: KOOKOO’S NEST SIATON
If you’re looking for some adventure while you’re in Dumaguete, you definitely don’t want to miss out on exploring the waterfalls this amazing province has to offer. We may not have visited every waterfall in Dumaguete, but 23 is a damn good start.
FULL BLOG POST: 23 EPIC WATERFALLS IN NEGROS ORIENTAL
From historical sites and must-visit restaurants to hot springs and monkey sanctuaries, check out our guide to the best tourist spots in Dumaguete.
FULL BLOG POST: 26 TOURIST SPOTS IN DUMAGUETE
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WHERE TO STAY NEAR DUMAGUETE
Most people who visit Negros Oriental are told to stay in Dumaguete, but what they really mean by that is stay around Dumaguete. True, Dumaguete City has plenty of tourist inns and budget hotels, but it’s the surrounding towns of Dauin and Zamboanguita that offer the best spots to stay. There’s not a whole lot to do in the city itself, so when you stay in the nearby municipalities there’s plenty of nature to explore whilst still being nice and close to Dumaguete City. Check out our top picks for accommodation near Dumaguete City.
LUXURY: Atmosphere Resorts & Spa, Dauin
Atmosphere Resorts & Spa in Dauin is the resort to stay at if you’ve got a big budget and fancy the finer things in life. Atmosphere has hosted its fair share of local celebrities and deep pocketed divers looking for the best beachfront luxury in Dauin. Read our full review of Atmosphere Resorts & Spa here.
MIDSCALE: Mike’s Dauin Dive Resort, Dauin
If you want to stay by the ocean without breaking the bank, Mike’s Dauin Dive Resort in Dauin is a comfortable midscale accommodation option perfect for diving enthusiasts. If you’ve never dived before, you can get your certification at Mike’s, and divers of all skill sets can enjoy the abundance of macro diving opportunities in and around Dauin.
BUDGET: Bongo Bongo Divers, Dauin
Bongo Bongo Divers is one of the most popular hostels in Dauin for backpackers looking for cheap accommodation in a convenient location. The rooms are simple, without any glitz and glam, but the vibe is fun and welcoming. They have a variety of room styles to choose from, ranging from couples rooms to AC or fan only dorms.
AIRBNB: Villa Amani, Zamboanguita
Villa Amani in Zamboanguita is the perfect holiday home for small families or groups of friends looking for privacy that a traditional resort or hotel can’t offer. The main house sleeps 4 with additional space for 2 in the guest house, or you can book the guest house separately if it’s just the 2 of you and you’re on a budget. The property has a swimming pool, an unbeatable view of Apo Island and kayaks to use whenever you want. Read our full review of Villa Amani here.