For an active, outdoor person, the challenge when living in Dumaguete is what to not do, rather than what to do. Dumaguete is ideal for exploring nature, and participating in outside adventures. There are many sporting activities or, if you wish a more leisurely approach to the outdoors, there are ample trekking options or trails to explore.
Located facing the sea, Dumaguete has Apo island and Cebu on one side, and Siquijor island on the other. Towering behind the city is Mount Talinas, which, standing at 1,864 meters, is the second highest mountain in Negros Oriental.
In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the level of sports tourism in Dumaguete. That evolution was confirmed in 2017 when the city was awarded the title of the best sports organized location in the Visayas. This was a culmination of several years of successfully organizing local, national, and international sporting events. Those achievements were also recognized when Dumaguete was chosen as the host city for the 2020 Association of South East Asian student games.
After you arrive here, you may want to consider going on a few general sightseeing tours to familiarize yourself with the area. There are many nature parks and other areas with magnificent waterfalls under which you can swim or simply lounge about.
A full day at Apo island is highly recommended. Apo island is one of the many volcanic islands to be found in the Visayas. People come from far and wide to scuba dive there. Apo island has been officially named as one of the top diving spots in the world.
You can also swim with the turtles and whale sharks. There are over 650 fish species to be found there, and over 400 types of coral. It’s a special experience to enjoy a day on Apo island.
Omoyen bee farm provides the visitor with an invaluable insight to the important role bees play in our lives, their impact on the environment, and on agriculture. Having the social hierarchy within the beehive explained is, in itself, an educational experience.
Scuba diving is one of the main attractions around Dumaguete. Dauin, a short drive from downtown, is renowned as one of the best snorkeling areas in the entire Philippines. It’s also one of many marine sanctuaries which are formally protected by the Department of the Environment. Commercial or private fishing is banned in all these areas. Boat use is also tightly controlled. Consequently, there is an abundance of aquatic life and healthy coral reefs.
If you enjoy running, either at a leisurely or competitive pace, there are clubs here that attract many foreigners. They train for all levels of racing beginning with 5k progressing to marathon level, and even triathlon.
If more leisurely pursuits are what you enjoy, there are many hiking trails especially in the Mount Talinas area which provides much of the electrical power for Valencia and Dumaguete. You can also climb to the summit of Mount Talinas, but would be advised to camp one night before making the final ascent.
Golfing is popular, especially among the many ex-pats living in the Dumaguete area. While the golf courses are not up to the standards of North America or Europe, the fees are only a small percentage of what one would pay abroad and it’s still fun to walk the fairways while having fun with friends.
What’s special in Dumaguete is the many options for physical activity that you can enjoy at diverse levels of activity depending on your fitness and enthusiasm for the outdoors.
So that you can gain meaningful insight to what’s available in the Dumaguete area, the following are more activities not previously mentioned. This list is still only partial, but it confirms the diversity of what is waiting for you to enjoy. Here they are: Kite flying, mountain climbing, hiring an airplane, windsurfing, canoeing, zip lining, visiting the Filipino/American/Japanese shrine where the final fighting of WW2 happened, and cave exploration. There’s almost everything except skiing available in Dumaguete!