TOP 13 DAPITAN TOURIST SPOTS FOR FIRST TIMERS

DAPITAN TOURIST SPOTS

Dapitan is a peaceful city that is carefully planned, open to the sea, and still exhibits a bucolic atmosphere.  Located in Zamboanga del Norte, Dapitan City is well known as the place of exile of Dr.Jose Rizal, the Philippine national hero.  In fact, some of the tourist spots in Dapitan are connected to him such as the Rizal Landing Site, Rizal Park, and Rizal Shrine.

 

But more than an exile place, Dapitan has other attractions to flaunt.  This tranquil city is peppered with some of the finest beaches and islands in the Philippines.  There’s Dakak Beach that was heavily advertised on Eat Bulaga, a long-running noontime TV show in the Philippines.  Nearby is the rising beach destination – Sitio Guimputlan that is riddled with rocky coves and scenic beaches. Offshore is Aliguay Island that has powdery, white sand hugged by azure sea.

 

DAPITAN TOURIST SPOT

It would take a few days to do Dapitan justice, you can use it as a base in exploring its neighbouring city – Dipolog, the capital of Zamboanga del Norte.  If you still have more time, you can take a ferry and cross to Dumaguete.

 

There public transportation though in Dapitan is limited. So, to be able to explore the tourist attractions I listed below, it’s best to rent a tricycle for a day tour.  There’s no fixed price, but me thinks ₱1,500 ($29) for a tricycle tour, good for 2 -3 persons is a reasonable price since the beaches like Dakak Beach Resort and Guimputlan coast  as well as Rizal Shrine is uphill and quite a distance from Dapitan city center.

 

If you are wondering what are the things to do in Dapitan and the best places to visit, here’s my handpicked list:

 


DAPITAN TOURIST SPOTS


 

 

1.RIZAL LANDING SITE

As you might have surmised, Rizal Landing Site is where Jose Rizal first set foot in Dapitan, one of the top tourist spots in Dapitan.  It’s located in Sunset Boulevard along the sea, which is a great spot for watching the scenic sunset. There’s a monument here that recreates Jose Rizal’s arrival in town, hence the name.

RIZAL LANDING SITE DAPITAN
 

  • Entrance Fee: PHP 5
  • Opening Hours: Daily 24 hours

 


2. RIZAL SHRINE

 

Rizal Shrine in Dapitan is the actual place of exile of Jose Rizal for 4 years.  It is quite far from  Dapitan city center, located in a forest-fringed mountain, on the way to Dakak Beach Resort.  This place is sprawling and surrounded by trees.  Upon entering Rizal Shrine in Dapitan, you will see some nipa houses scattered around the ground, the most notable is the octagonal cottage called Casa Redonda, that served as Rizal’s clinic.  One of the nipa cottages here served as Jose Rizal’s house and lodging place for his students.

 

RIZAL SHRINE DAPITAN

While you are here, don’t miss  the large rock at the heart of Rizal Shrine where he wrote My Retire (My Retreat), one his notable poems. There’s also a museum inside Rizal Shrine where some of his belongings are exhibited.  If you want to know the story behind the Rizal’s artifacts and Rizal Shrine, there are tour guides at the entrance, there’s no fee, but it is recommended to give the guide a tip.

 

  • Entrance Fee: FREE
  • Open Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

 


3. DAPITAN RIVER CRUISE

 

Unknown to many tourists, Dapitan also has their river cruise, somewhat similar to the famous Bohol River Cruise.  It is one of my favorite Dapitan tourist attractions.  Dapitan River Cruise lasts for about 1 hour, and requires a minimum of 4 persons. Dapitan River Cruise has 2 trips schedule: 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM.  For the 11:00 AM, you can have lunch while on board and its buffet style!  For the 4:00 PM river cruise, you will get to witness the scenic reflections of surroundings and the  tangerine sunlight on the river. What’s interesting is, visitors are also serenaded with local music while on  cruise.  The beautiful, forest-fringed surroundings of the river will definitely calm you.  You will also get to witness the locals during their daily chores by the river.  This is one of the tourist spots in Dapitan that you shouldn’t miss.

 

DAPITAN RIVER CRUISE

  • DAPITAN RIVER CRUISE RATE: PHP 600 per person, minimum of 4 persons with set meal on board and tour guide

 

  • DAPITAN OFFICE
    Gloria De Dapitan Complex, Dapitan City
    0939-922-5401/0927-490-2057
    Email: [email protected]
  • DIPOLOG OFFICE
    Echavez St., Cor. Magsaysay, Central Barangay, Dipolog City
    (065) 212 – 2193
    Email: [email protected]

DAPITAN TOURIST SPOT: DAPITAN RIVER CRUISE
 


 4. DAKAK BEACH RESORT

 

Probably the most popular Dapitan tourist spot is Dakak Beach Resort.  Thanks to its heavy promotion in Eat Bulaga during our childhood years.  That is because the owner of Dakak Beach Resort is a producer of the said popular TV Show.

 

DAKAK BEACH RESORT
During my visit to Dapitan, I made sure to visit Dakak Beach Resort, even just as a day trip. Yes, tourists can do day tour to Dakak Beach Resort from Dapitan city center.   You can hire a tricycle to take you there and wait for you, or get the number of the tricycle driver and ask him to fetch you after you’re done enjoying this luxury resort.

 

I was really curious of Dakak Beach Resort, the mere mention of it connotes images of  powdery, white sand beach and clear blue water.   While some say this beach resort is overrated, I couldn’t really say that since I didn’t stay there overnight.  But I was able to check out some of the best rooms there, which are pretty clean and luxurious, but quite expensive. Probably because the staff said those rooms include personal butler for guests.

DAKAK BEACH RESORT
The beach itself is perfect swimming – the water is clear, calm, and denim blue.  There are available water activities, like jet ski.  But if you are looking for more adventure, head to Dakak Adventure Zone.

 

 

  • Entrance Fee: PHP 1,000 consumable (you can use for purchases inside the resort such as food and drinks)

 


5.DAKAK ADVENTURE ZONE

 

For adventure seekers, Dapitan has the perfect destination for you – Dakak Adventure Zone, located inside the confines of the sprawling Dakak Beach Resort.  You can choose from the different adventure activities offered here.

DAKAK ADVENTURE ZONE
You can try their 1,364 meter zipline (the fastest dual zip line in Asia!), and extreme flying fox!  You can try horseback riding or opt to ride the All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV).  Dakak Adventure Zone also offers rappelling, rock climbing, and trekking.  If you haven’t had enough, you can experience airsoft too with your group. For those who loves to dive, Dakak Beach Resort also offers diving.

 

 


6. DAPITAN OLD HOUSES

DAPITAN TOURIST SPOTS: OLD HOUSES
 Dapitan exhibits a laidback atmosphere and is more like a quiet town than a bustling metropolis.  This place is peppered with age-old houses that are well-preserved. Even the Dapitan Tourism Office is housed inside a brown-colored heritage house.

 


7. ST.JAMES CHURCH

This age-old church is where the Philippine National Hero – Jose Rizal used to attend mass. He used to stand outside because he was excommunicated by the church.  Now, the spot where he used to stand has a marker.

DAPITAN TOURIST ATTRACTION - ST. JAMES CHURCH
St. James Church may look pretty ordinary and bare outside, but go inside and you’ll be awed by its unique spiral-designed ceiling.

 

  • Entrance Fee: FREE

 


8. RELIEF MAP

dapitan RELIEF MAP
 

Just outside St. James Church is a relief map of Mindanao.  You can climb the bell tower of the church to better appreciate it, or if it’s closed, climb the wall surrounding it.

 

  • Entrance Fee: FREE
  • Open Hours: Daily 24 hours

 


9. DAPITAN TOWN PLAZA

 

Also, outside the St. James Church is the beautifully manicured Dapitan Plaza where a monument of Jose Rizal stands.  It is said that Jose Rizal once helped in enhancing this once bare plaza.  There are massive trees surrounding the plaza that makes it an ideal place to get some fresh air early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

dapitan TOWN PLAZA

  • Entrance Fee: FREE
  • Opening Hours: Daily 24 hours

 


10. ILIHAN HILL

 

Meanwhile, behind St. James Church, you can find Ilihan Hill that offers a bird’s eye view of the Dapitan city center and the nearby sea.  You can find the trail one block away from the end of St. James Church along Maria Ulay Street.

 

  • Entrance Fee: PHP 5
  • Opening Hours: Daily 24 hours

 


11. GLORIA’S FANTASYLAND

 

DAPITAN TOURIST SPOT - GLORIA'S FANTASYLAND

For a quiet city like Dapitan, it’s quite surprising that there’s a booming theme park at night here. Gloria de Dapitan is peppered with small shops while Gloria’s Fantasyland is a theme park featuring different rides such as Galleon Ship, Ferris Wheel, Flying Ball, Jumping Bed, and Bull Ride.

 

Don’t miss the Grand Night Parade known as Festival of Colors, the show starts at 9:30 PM. The park also features fireworks display, Fire and Thunder Show and Joie De Vivre (Joy of Life).  It’s a great place to bring your kids.

 

GLORIA DE DAPITAN

  • Entrance Fee:

PHP 1,000 per person (includes unlimited access to all rides, attractions, and shows.

PHP 500 per person (sightseeing only with 6 complimentary rides).

  • Open Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 4:00 PM to 12:00 PM

 

 


 12. GUIMPUTLAN BEACH

 About 20 kilometers away from Dapitan city center is Brgy.Guimputlan,  a rising beach destination in Dapitan that is not usually included in the places to visit in Dapitan.  Guimputlan beaches are quite near Dakak Beach Resort, and a white sand beach resort is open to the public here.  Visitors can also go camping here and rent a tent for PHP 200 – PHP 300.  The beach here is cream sand and some areas are fringed by coconut trees and rock formations.

 

DAPITAN TOURIST SPOT - GUIMPUTLAN BEACH

  • Entrance Fee: Depends on the resort, some areas are FREE some areas charge PHP 100 (10:00 AM – 6:00 PM) and PHP 200 (6:00 PM – 12:00 PM)
  • Opening Hours: Daily 24 hours

 


 13. ALIGUAY ISLAND

 

Aliguay Island is 65 hectares of cream sand sprinkled with trees that is home to a thriving community of about 200 families who rely on fishing.  The other half of the island  is owned by Jalosjos, also the owner of Dakak Beach Resort.  There was a plan to build a luxury resort here but after the kidnapping incident a few years ago, it seems that the plan hasn’t been started yet.

DAPITAN TOURIST ATTRACTIONS - ALIGUAY ISLAND
I’ve read mixed reviews about the island, the beach itself is nice but the there’s a pretty string current so swimming, snorkeling and diving for the newbies aren’t recommended.  But it is said that there’s a pretty decent snorkeling and diving area here.

 

To get here you can rent a boat from Dipolog City for about PHP 3,000 (2 hours travel) or from Dapitan Fishing Port.  Aliguay Island is the island you’ll see off the shore of Sunset Boulevard, it’s about 2 hours away from Dakak Beach Resort, that also offers day trips to Aliguay Island.

 

*All aerial photos provided by Dapitan Tourism Office. 


DAPITAN TOURIST MAP



 

 

 


HOW TO GET TO DAPITAN


HOW TO GET TO DAPITAN

  •  By Air

1.Fly to Dipolog City Airport via Cebu Pacific or Philippine Airlines. Travel time is about 1 hour and 20 minutes (from Manila) and 45 minutes (from Cebu).

2.From Dipolog City, you may catch a bus (Evergood bus) to Dapitan.  Fare is around PHP 25 per person.

3.At Dapitan, there are tricycles to take you to your hotel and tourist attractions.

  • By Ferry

Dapitan is serviced by 7 major shipping companies in the Philippines going to and from Zamboanga City, Dumaguete, Tagbilaran, Iloilo, Iligan, Cebu and Manila plus commercial Fast Crafts which also ply Dapitan-Cebu via Dumaguete and Tagbilaran.  I usually go there from Dumaguete City whenever I am staying in south Cebu.

 

 


WHERE TO STAY IN DAPITAN


 

DKAK BEACH RESORT

  • Dakak Beach Resort

Location: Dakak, Dapitan

CHECK ROOM RATES

 

  • Travel Bee Heritage Inn

Location: Dapitan City

CHECK ROOM RATES

 This is where I stayed the last time I was in Dapitan. It’s clean and affordable, not to mention it is housed in a heritage house.

 


OTHER PHILIPPINE TOURIST SPOTS:

BALER TOURIST SPOTS

BATAAN TOURIST SPOTS

CAPIZ TOURIST SPOTS

CATANDUANES TOURIST SPOTS

 


 

dapitan tourist spot : dapitan river

 


 

 

Comments

  1. Whew! I am booked, to fly here next year and I really can’t wait!

    🙂

  2. looks like a great place to hang out at night!

  3. […] The mere mention of Dapitan conjures images of Jose Rizal, a Filipino hero who was exiled here during the Spanish colonial era (1892-1896).  Spare some time to visit the Rizal National Park cuddled by the mountains of Brgy. Talisay and get a dose of history.  This 70 hectare property of Dr. Rizal houses Mi Retiro rock, Casitas Hospitales, Casa Cuadrada and his residence. […]

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