Dapitan City: Once a Hero’s Exile, Now A Traveler’s Bucket List

Pinay Voyager Rating: 8/10

Dapitan City, known as the Shrine City of the Philippines, is a third-class city located in the province of Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines. In history books, Dapitan City is remarkable for being the exile place of the Philippine’s National Hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, where he spent four worthwhile years of his life. Nowadays, Dapitan City is not just all about Jose Rizal anymore. It has a lot more to offer for a getaway in addition to living out the history.

Regardless of modernization and various tourist developments, Dapitan City cloaked by the splendor of nature being surrounded by the mountains and the sea, maintains the impression of a peaceful province giving you a matchless blend of rustic beauty, tradition, and heritage.

How to Get There:

            A private road trip with a group of friends all the way from my hometown in Cagayan de Oro City is almost always the most convenient mode of transportation for me, not only I find it cheaper but also you get to enjoy various stop overs along the way like MOAP from my previous blog.

For others, especially those living in Luzon or Visayan. A plane ride would be most convenient but a ship could also be a good alternative, only that it caters passengers from Cebu. You can book a flight directly to Dipolog City or Ozamiz City and work your way from there to Dapitan City by riding a bus.

Bus Ride

Where to Stay:

           Accommodation really depends on what type of traveler you are. If you’re in a Luxury trip, Dakak Beach Resort would be a perfect place to stay but as for me traveling in a group of 4, we opted to stay in Monina Pension House. Php 900/night for a family room the suits very well for the 4 of us – Airconditioned with Hot and Cold Shower. Personally, the price fair and worth it for a convenient and comfortable stay while in Dapitan.

5 Place You Should Visit While in Dapitan

  1. Dakak Beach Resort – There’s nothing more perfect than strolling on a 750 meters fine white sand and having a dip on turquoise beach in Dakak Beach Resort which makes it an ultimate getaway while in Dapitan City. It’s definitely one of the City’s main attractions you shouldn’t miss. The resort has been popular for both foreign and local tourists and it boast not only their most priced white sand beach but offering also their best equipped resort and modern amenities.

How to get there: If you booked a room in Dakak, transfer can be arranged in the front desk as part of their resort service. However, if you’re doing a day tour, you can either rent-a-car/motorbike or arrange a habal-habal or tricycle for roundtrip in between Dakak and City Proper. Entrance is Php 1,000.00/pax consumable of foods and drinks.

Other Activities:

If you feel like snorkeling and Island Hopping, you can visit a nearby island called Aliguay Island and/or picnic at Senilog Island for Php 500/pax (roundtrip w/ lunch).

For Room Rates and Reservation => Click Here

Casa Redonda – An octagonal stilt house that served as the quarters of Rizal’s students and a clinic
  1. Rizal Shrine – One of the major historical sites in the country is The Rizal Shrine which was the former home of our National Hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, from which he was exiled during the Spanish Colonial era and spent 4 years of his life from 1892-1896. Inside the 70 hectare Rizal Shrine Complex is a replica of Jose Rizal’s 4 houses – Casa Residencia, Casa Redonda, Casitas de Salud and Casa Cuadrada, built in its original location. You can also visit Rizaliana Museum inside the vicinity where it houses the original memorabilia (including a journal with a complete list of all his girlfriends). Rumor has it that somewhere in this area is where Jose Rizal buried his still-born child with Josephine Bracken.

Mi Retiro Rock – It is where Rizal and his girlfriend, Josephine Bracken, use to spend romantic moment.

How to get there: Rizal Shrine is located in Talisay Village is just 10-15 min from Taguilon where Dakak is. Getting around is quite easy and transportation is fairly cheap. You can go anywhere for only Php 5.00 – Php 10.00 tricycle fare.

The Baroque-styled century old church built by the Jesuits way back in 1871.


  1. James Church – The Baroque-styled century old church considered a historical landmark is where Jose Rizal used to stand to hear a mass during his exile. It was built by the Jesuits sometime in 1871 in the honor of St. James the Great, patron saint of Dapitan, and it houses the 18th Century pipe organ from Germany. Along its perimeter is where you can find the relief Map of Mindanao made by Jose Rizal himself.
The most amazing feature in this church is its vibrant and colorful ceiling.


How to get there: It’s just a walking distance if you’re staying in the city proper. If you’re staying somewhere else, a tricycle would be handy in giving you a lift for Php 5.00.





  1. Fantasy Land – Wanted to have your own Disneyland experience in the local scene? Then you shouldn’t miss Fantasyland located at Gloria de Dapitan. It boasts the first world-class amusement park in Mindanao that is comparable to Luzon’s Star City and Enchanted Kingdom.
Fantasy Land


At Php 1,000.00/pax entrance, kids and kids-at-heart will be thrilled with unlimited rides as well as having a magical experience in meeting a wide array of astonishing characters, beautiful princesses and colorful floats during their regular parade while their nightly entertainment shows.



For More Information => Click Here

If you’re not up for the rides, you can pay Php 300.00/pax as entrance for sightseeing with complimentary entrance to the horror house or 5D cinema.

How to get there: Tricycle.

Me and my friend Janice Tan. At dusk, locals and visitors flock the Sunset Boulevard.
  1. Sunset Boulevard – Chasing sunset or even catching the moon over sunset boulevard is one of the best experience I had after a long day of going around. The best spot is the Sta. Cruz beach which is famously known Rizal Landing Site Monument stands.

How to get there: Tricycle.



So next time you’re thinking where to go – Add Dapitan City in your bucket list. Trust me, it’s more than just living out the history!


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