Getting from Cebu to Dumaguete

I don’t need to give you a list of reasons why you should visit the city of Dumaguete and its surrounds, you already know. In fact you probably got to this page after reading one of our other articles, such as 10 Fun Things to do in Dumaguete or our Guide to SCUBA Diving Dumaguete. So you are probably already sold on that.

Since you are sold on the trip, odds are you are probably combining it with other great destinations around the Philippines, which is a perfect idea. The journeys are not long, so there is no reason to skip out on the jewel of Negros Oriental.

So, lets discuss how you are going to get there from Cebu.


Getting from Cebu to Dumaguete

There are a few option for getting from Cebu to Dumaguete, it really just depends on your location and preferred mode of transportation and your budget. Cebu is a pretty big island with lots of great locations to check out, so we will just have to assume that you are eventually going to be in Cebu City. Let’s make that our jumping off point.


By Air:

This is super straight forward, fast and easy. There are lots of daily flights directly from Mactan Cebu (basically Cebu City), straight to Dumaguete airport. You can book flights anywhere easy enough, and they are usually really cheap, especially if booked in advanced. Be aware that Philippines airlines usually charge extra for luggage though.

Flight time is less than an hour, but be ready for delayed departures.



Or should this say “over sea”? If you aren’t flying, you’re going to be doing bother land and water traversing. I assume that if you aren’t flying from Cebu, that you probably want to save some money, so this is definitely the cheaper way to go. Let me show you the options.

There are two big choices for you, when originating from Cebu City: Do you prefer more ferry time, or bus/taxi time? If you would rather just take the boat ride the whole journey, here is how to do that:

From Cebu City:

cebu to dumaguete ferry

From what I have seen locally, there is really two good options for ferries from Cebu to Dumaguete. One is the fast ferry, Oceanjet company, which costs about 1500 Pesos, and has a stop in Bohol. The whole journey takes about 4 hours.

There is another ferry that takes much longer, called Cokaliang Shipping lines. This is much cheaper, especially if you take the cheapest seats. The whole journey should take 6 to 8 hours.

  • Economy seats: 355 Pesos per person
  • Cabin, good for 4 people: 1300 pesos (not per person)
  • Suite, good for 2 people: 2800 pesos (not per person)

cebu to dumaguete

I prefer this method for ferries, because its only a couple more hours, and I like taking the night ferry where I fall asleep and wake up when we arrive. Easy. And very cheap. Since its always me and the wife, I like to get the private suite, because it has cold AC and plugins. Much easier to sleep that way, and not too expensive.

There is actually a few different ships from Cokaliang, some with different room options, so just check out their site for prices.

It should also be noted, that with the slow boat overnight, they arrive around 3am, but not to worry- They allow passengers to sleep in until 7 or 8 before leaving the ship. That way you don’t have to worry about arriving in a new city in the middle of the night.

cebu to dumaguete
The economy seating/beds for the over-night Cokaliong ferry from Cebu to Dumaguete


From Santander:

If you get a little seasick, don’t want to fly, and are on a budget, then there is a third option to get from Cebu City to Dumaguete. You can actually take a car or bus most of the way, with just a short 20 minute ferry hop the rest of the way to Negros. In fact, this might be the fastest and cheapest overland route, with the best views. Here’s how.

What you need to do is get overland from Cebu City, in central Cebu, to the southern tip of Cebu, at the Santander ferry terminal. If you are wanting to get from Moalboal to Dumaguete, then this is really you’re only option anyway.

If you want to take the bus, from anywhere in Cebu City, take a taxi or GrabCar to the South Bus Terminal. Find a bus that is going to Santander. Buses here are actually not bad, and have AC. The journey should take about 4 to 5 hours, depending on traffic.

The bus should cost about 200 pesos per person.

cebu to dumaguete

When you’re in the taxi on the way to the bus station, it is inevitable that your driver will ask you where you are going, and offer to take you to Santander himself. I’ve actually taken them up most of the time, if the price is right, since it is a much faster and comfortable trip with a taxi.

The absolute lowest price I have gotten for a taxi from Cebu City to Santander is 2000 pesos, and normally closer to 3000. It’ll be cheap if you are splitting it with 3 other people.

There you have it. No matter how you get to Santander, by bus or car, once there you will catch one of the many ferries over to Siliman ferry terminal, which is just outside Dumaguete. This isn’t the main Dumaguete ferry terminal, but there are plenty of tricycles to get you into town from there, about 10 minutes away.


ALSO READ: Guide to SCUBA Diving Dumaguete | 10 Fun Things to do in Dumaguete | Guide to SCUBA Diving Philippines