SIPALAY BUDGET TRAVEL GUIDE (with DIY itinerary, top attractions, tips and how to get there)

Summary: This blog shares a budget travel guide for Sipalay, with an estimated budget of P2,850.00 per person that is good for 2 days which covers expenses for entrance, food and transportation. All needed details for each Sipalay top attraction are laid out in the post including operating hours, entrance fee, location and information on how to get there. Moreover, this Sipalay blog is intended for DIY budget travelers, either solo or traveling in group.


The city of SIPALAY in the province of Negros Occidental was once a mining center and the copper belt of southern Philippines for more than five decades until 2001 when the industry faced its tragic slowdown. The open-pit mining operation, which had catapulted the thriving community into the greater heights of a city life, dwindled and left Sipalay into the rustic feel of a rural village. Nowadays, the city of Sipalay, while trying its best to rise high above its economic setbacks, is all but farmlands and fields of green.

Sipalay rice field
A usual scene in the morning: the locals of Sipalay on a rice field.

Through the traveller’s eyes, what has happened to the city somehow is more of a blessing than a catastrophe for it kept what beauty has remained to the place. Sipalay is home to verdant land masses and photogenic waterfronts. At its seas are rich marine life and natural wonders which make it a go-to-destination for diving enthusiasts.

Read through and learn more about this another well-hidden gem in the Philippines, the city of Sipalay.


  1. Even in the early days, Sipalay had been frequented by locals and Chinese traders for its abundance in rice which gave birth to its name. Sipalay is derived from the native phrase Si Palay which means There is rice.
  2. Some barangays have suffered water issues brought about by 5 decades of open-pit mining operations. The town proper and areas for tourists however are safe and have enough source for potable water.
  3. During Charter day which happens every March, Sipalay celebrates Barongoy fish-tival where everyone grills and eats fish for free. It is a sort of thanksgiving for the abundance of fish and sense of fellowship that locals and tourists can both enjoy. The festivity happens at Poblacion beach.
  4. Sipalay also observes the Pasaway festival every December (since 2011). The festivity honors bounty for copper and gold, and features street dancing and merry-making where contingents from each barangay wear costumes in the guise of the said minerals.
  5. Sipalay food park is the go-to place for good and affordable eats which is located at Poblacion beach. Enjoy the sunset while you munch on some favorite local cravings.
  6. Cellular reception is patchy in some areas. Before finalizing your booking, contact your accommodation and gather information about their internet connectivity and data signal of your network provider.
  7. Be aware of the topography to where your accommodation is. Some resorts at brgy. 4 of Sipalay can be challenging for the unfit and old.
  8. There is only one (1) ATM servicing in Sipalay. Withdraw a considerable amount of cash as you go on a tour, or if you are staying outside the city proper.


Sipalay is in between the cities of Bacolod and Dumaguete (the two capitals of Negros, respectively one for Occidental and the other for Oriental) which are the only points of access by plane and ferry. Once you arrive to any of the city, you will embark on a 4-hour bus ride.

  • For Bacolod:  Head out to the SOUTH bus terminal and take a bus or van bound for Sipalay, which leaves in an hourly basis. You can also take a bus bound for Hinoba-an and get off at Sipalay bus stop. Fare is P300.
  • For Dumaguete:  Go to the bus terminal nearby Robinsons mall. Take the only Ceres bus bound for Sipalay which leaves once a day at 1PM. If the bus has left, you can ride a different bus bound for Hinoba-an or for Bayawan (P145.00) then to Hinoba-an (P85.00), and take another on its stop for Sipalay (45.00). Total fare is P275.00.

Local destinations that offer trip to Bacolod

  • Manila (by ferry and plane)
  • Cebu (by ferry and plane)
  • Iloilo (by ferry only)

Local destinations that offer trip to Dumaguete

  • Manila (by ferry and plane)
  • Cebu (by plane and ferry. For ferry, travel to Liloan, Santander port from South bus terminal. Travel time is 4 hours)
  • Siquijor (by ferry only)
  • Bohol via Tagbilaran (by ferry only) click here for the schedule
  • Dipolog (by ferry only)
  • Zamboanga via Dapitan (by ferry only)

Click here for Dumaguete ferry schedule and ticket price.

The Capitol hall of Sipalay which can be located outside the city proper.


Here are 10 of the best places and top attractions in Sipalay which can be covered in a day tour or with an itinerary for 2 to 3 days.


Poblacion Beach

A public beach that has been a  major come on to the wanderlust for its long stretch of ivory sand which makes for an excellent site for camping. Pitch your tent here for free while watching the fascinating sunset. Beside the beach is Sipalay Food park where there is a lineup of affordable grill and restaurant. Visit the food park at sundown for dinner and taste some of the city’s delicacy.

Rating: 3/5


Sugar Beach

It is yet another long stretch of sand, but sugary brown in color, that gives the right sweetness for those who love to find themselves in a quiet and secluded beach front. The beach is located at barangay Nauhang, outside the city proper, and can be reached by either going on a boat ride for 20 minutes from Poblacion beach (fare is P300 per boat) or by chartering a tricycle (for P100) from the town to brgy. Nauhang where you can find small boats that will take you to the beach in a minute (the entrance to the beach is only a sight away) for P10 per person. You will be met by a mix of low to mid-range resorts – some offer a snorkeling and scuba diving activity (like Takatuka and Driftwood village resorts) which is a must-do while here because of the strong sense of marine life and underwater attractions at the coast of the beach. Sugar beach also faces the west and is suitable for a sunset experience. Give it a twist, hike up the hill and watch the sunset as it slowly dives deep down the horizon of a 360-degree Sugar beach view.

Rating: 3.5/5


Punta Ballo Beach

The beach is frequented by tourists not only for its kilometer strip of white sand and cool blue waters but also with its first class diving resorts that assemble as backdrop to its fine shores. Some of these diving resorts are Artistic Diving, Easy Diving, and Nataasan beach resorts. The beach is another spot to grace the sunset. While going to its waters, be wary of the sea urchins that seem to form like gardens in the little holes of its seafloor.

Rating: 3/5


Perth Paradise Resort

Arguably, the one to blame for the influx of tourists in Sipalay. Not that it’s meant in a bad way, but the resort is a magnet for a fascinating view of an infinite azure that stretches from the waters of its pool to the horizons of its seas where awaits an iconic sight of dotted, limestone hills. The resort is a 15-minute ride from the town proper. Entrance fee is P80, with a separate fee for use of pool for P100. Cottage is P500 and kayaking activity per person is P250. Contact them at +63 946 059 0076.

Rating: 3/5


Tinagong Dagat

The resort is on the same level when it comes to offering a fabulous view of the green mounds which Sipalay is known for. Yet, unlike Perth, Tinagong Dagat is cheap with only P30 as entrance fee. The resort is hidden, by which it gets the name “Tinagong” Dagat resort, but easily accessible from the main road of sitio Latasay, the same area where Perth Paradise is situated. The resort is composed of clustered islets that are connected by wooden footbridges. The first islet connected to the mainland offers a full view of the surrounding resort when you climb up to its top. Contact them at +63 920 902 2300, +63 917 304 1748.

Rating: 3/5


C View Haven Resort

The newest addition to the resorts that share the view of clustered islets at the waterfront of Sipalay. It is nearby Tinagong Dagat but closer to Perth Paradise. The resort also offers a swimming pool that makes for a fair vantage point for sunset viewing. Use of pool is P100 for adults, P50 for kids (free use for checked-in guests). Contact them at +63 923 612 1555, +63 923 460 6977.

Rating: 3/5


M/V Guimaras Juliens Wreck

Sipalay is easily a haven for scuba diving enthusiasts. What makes it a standout is its underwater attractions that are only few minutes away from mainland. Julien’s wreck is one, which can be explored even by snorkeling or free dive since the tip of the shipwreck is only a few feet away from sea level during low tide. If you are at Sugar beach (the nearest beach to the shipwreck), arrange your snorkeling experience with Scuba Planet for a fair and affordable underwater experience. Contact them at +63 908 128 6766.

Another shot of the shipwreck which is now shrouded with a strong presence of marine life.

Rating: 3/5


Anhawan Turtle Island

One of the protected areas in Sipalay, the island is often visited by turtles to lay eggs, thus, the island’s name.

Rating: 3/5


Panaon Pulo

A small cave at the left end point of Poblacion beach that works like a window dispensing a view of cool blue waters splashing through the clustered rocks at the caves foreground.

Rating: 2/5


Maricalum Mining View

One of the abandoned open pit that has slowly turned into a basin of stagnant water. It is massive in scale that is surrounded by a lush vegetation, which is giving life to a now dead land form. Entrance fee is P20.

Rating: 2/5

Click the link for the top attractions that can be found in Negros Island. 


Here are the top activities to do in Sipalay.

Dive Safari – A 5 or 6-day diving experience that covers 40 of the dive spots in the Visayas including the ones in Apo, Sumilon, Panglao and Pescador. The safari is exclusively offered by Easy Diving and Beach Resort at Punta Ballo which requires that you are a certified diver to join. Contact them at +63 918 979 2804.

An underwater shot of the pass going to the cave, as one of the featured stops in the snorkeling adventure.

Beach bumming

Water bending at the white beach of Punta Ballo. *wink

Kayaking – Go round the clustered green mounds on a kayak and see for what makes Sipalay the hidden jewel of Negros Occidental.

Kayaking activity at Perth Paradise for P250 per person, good for an hour.

Sunset Viewing – It is a cliche of an activity that never loses its charm. Spare some time for it as Sipalay makes for one fascinating sunset experience.

The Golden hour at Sugar beach.


When making your Sipalay itinerary, you have to consider that the top attractions around the area are easily accessible so going on a DIY is the more practical thing to do than arranging a tour package so you can give more value to your money. The sample 2-day Sipalay DIY itinerary below assumes a party of two and sets you back with a P2,850.00 budget per person excluding accommodation. It covers both land and island hopping tour. Contact information for tour providers are found below.


Arrive in Sipalay1:00PM
Tricycle TourP750
Tinagong Dagat2:00PMP30
C View resort3:00PMP100
Perth Paradise4:00PMP80
Maricalum Mining5:00PMP20
Depart to Sugar Beach5:30PMP60
Chill until Sunset
Lights Out
Having the entire Sugar beach to myself.




Snorkeling tour at Sugar beach8:00AMP700
Julien’s shipwreck
marine sanctuary
Island Tour1:00PMP750
Punta Ballo beach
Campomanes Bay
Back to Town Proper4:00PMP60
Sunset at Poblacion beach5:00PM
Sipalay Food park7:00PMP200

Sipalay Tour Operators:

  • Fremand Agravante +63 936 773 6953 P500 only for 2 persons
  • Edison Militante +63 999 391 8411
  • Boatman +63 912 677 4562
  • Tricycle Driver +63 921 786 5615
An assembly of palm trees at Poblacion beach.


Sipalay is a laid back city and most of the accommodation are local standard. Apart from the resorts cited in the list of top attractions, here are other accommodation that are arranged by town.

Manna Pension House at Quirino Street, Sipalay City (dorm type at the town proper, near the plaza). Click here for rate and availability.

Big Bamboo beach resort (where I stayed) at Sugar Beach, Brgy. Nauhang, Sipalay City. Click here for rate and availability.

Takatuka Lodge and Dive Resort
at Sugar Beach, Brgy. Nauhang, Sipalay City, which offers island hopping and scuba diving activity. Agoda rating is 9.5 out of 45 review. Click the photo for rate and availability.
Easy Diving and Beach Resort at Punta Ballo, Brgy. IV, Sipalay City, which offers island hopping and scuba diving experience. Click the photo for rate and availability.
Tinagong Dagat with its wooden footbridges connecting two islets.


Generally, the locals in Sipalay can understand and speak English. However, here are phrases that are proved to be useful when endearing with them.

English to Hiligaynon (main language)

Good morning – Maayong aga
Good afternoon – Maayong hapon
Good evening – Maayong gab-i
Thank you – Salamat
Where is… – Diin ang…
How much – Pila


Balabac Travel guide with top things to do, travel itinerary and sample expenses.
Extend your trip to the southmost part of Palawan, the group of islands of Balabac. Click this link for Balabac budget travel guide.

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