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NEGROS ISLAND TOP TOURIST SPOTS
The island of Negros is a unified region in the Visayas divided only by language and a central mountain range. The west part is Negros Occidental with Bacolod city as its capital and Ilonggo as its main language; while the east lies Negros Oriental with Dumaguete as its first city and Cebuano as the dominant language. The convergence of these two provinces makes for the right fit of a top tourist destination.
Negros island encompasses a multitude of attractions and never goes short of sweet delights – from the culinary scene of Bacolod, the ancestral houses of Silay, the coastal resort of Cadiz, the waterfronts of Sipalay to the waterfalls of Valencia, the marine reserves of Dauin and Danjugan island, and the heritage sites of Dumaguete.
To make a run down of its boundless lineup of attractions calls for a quite bold move. But to at least kick off our nomadic pursuits, here are 25 top tourist destinations that you can cover for a week-long itinerary in the island of Negros. Keep reading and enjoy! 😉
Apo Island Marine Reserve of Dauin
A modest work of nature and human geniality that is APO ISLAND lies 30 minutes off the coast of Malatapay in Dauin, Negros Oriental, less than an hour away from Dumaguete city. It stretches for about 72 hectares terrestrial area, and 619 hectares marine area. What draws most tourists are the soft coral gardens that are well-orchestrated from the shallow waters of the island down to the steeps of its ridges; and the turtles that are exceedingly just about everywhere because of the abundance of algae and seagrass that make up for their food. These two create a brimming beauty of underwater scenery that launches Apo island as a premiere snorkeling and diving destination in the Philippines.
Rating: 3.5/5 Check out this link for Apo Island Budget Travel Guide.
The 3rd most active volcano in the Philippines located at the central-northern part of Negros island. There are two main entry points to the volcano: the easier and more common trail is the Guintubdan while the other and more demanding is the Wasay trail. Both are considerably a major climb that will last for 2 days.
The Twin Lakes of Danao and Balinsasayao in Sibulan
The tranquil and relaxing lakes of Danao and Balinsasayao. Getting here from the junction in San Jose, Sibulan requires a long motorbike ride of steep, curvy yet scenic road up at the highlands for about 30 minutes. Entrance fee to the lake is P30, P100 for foreigners. From the entrance, you can hike through the outskirts of the mountain or paddle a boat through the vastness of Balinsasayao lake (the first lake from the entrance) for P250 per boat to the viewpoint section where both lakes meet.
Sugar beach of Sipalay
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 Sipalay 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 barangay 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 off 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.
Lakawon Island of Cadiz
At the coast of Cadiz, outside Bacolod city, is an imposing, banana-shaped island that brags of its sublime, white sands that extend to 13 hectares. Book for an overnight stay (by room, hut, cottage or canopy tent) and jam at the evening party or enjoy a good drink on its floating bar (the bar operates until 5PM Monday to Thursday, until 8PM Friday to Sunday). To get here, make way to the Ceres North terminal in Bacolod. Catch a bus that goes to Burgos public market for P250. Transfer on a tricycle going to the port for P120, travel time is 15 minutes. Book for a boat to the island and pay all fees for P270 . For day use guests, last trip back to mainland is 5PM. Travel time is 30 minutes. Contact them at +63 917 555 6979, +63 939 969 7574 or visit Lakawon Island website.
Note: Food items here can become pricey so bring your own food. Corkage fee is P50. Also, customer service and amenities in the resort sometimes require extra patience. Pack a load of it. 😉
Casaroro Falls of Valencia
You are looking at one of the sought after gems in Valencia, Negros Oriental. Casaroro falls is nature’s finest. To get here from Dumaguete city, take a jeepney at the downtown area and drop off at Valencia town proper. There are regulated tourism tricycle drivers that will offer you a tour to the falls for P200. At the jump off point to the falls, you will hurdle through steep, long staircase and go over rocks and boulders before finally able to view a scenic waterfall with its majestic cascade.
Perth Paradise of Sipalay
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.
Tinagong Dagat of Sipalay
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.
Pulangbato Falls of Valencia
The rustic stones that surround its catch basin make for an astounding view from the dine area of the resort. Entrance is P50. To get here from Dumaguete city, take a jeepney at the downtown area and drop off at Valencia town proper. There are regulated tourism tricycle drivers that will offer you a tour to the falls for P200.
Manjuyod Sandbar of Bais
Manjuyod at its gloomy disposition. Visit the sandbar on a low tide during new moon between the months of April to October to get a glimpse of its full beauty. To get here, take a bus bound for Bais at Dumaguete city near Robinsons mall. Drop off at Jollibee beside a gymnasium and take a tricycle that goes to a small port where outrigger boats that go to the sandbar await for guests.
The Ruins (Mansion) of Bacolod City
The then-mansion-turned-to-ruins was built by a sugar baron for his Portuguese wife upon her death. The place is considerably one of the most famous heritage landmarks in the country and is a premier destination for events in Bacolod. The Ruins welcomes visitors from 8:30AM to 8:00PM daily. Entrance fee is P100. The best time to visit is in the evening when the entire structure is lit up. After enjoying the Ruins, roam around the 400-hectare mansion and find yourself a comfortable seat at its park.
To get here by public transport, take a jeepney en route to Bata from the downtown area. Drop off at the tricycle terminal near a Pepsi factory. There is a sign showing the way to the Ruins. If you haven’t spotted the sign, ask any motorcycle driver in the area for directions. Some drivers would offer to take you to the ruins but the better way is to charter a tricycle which is only around the corner. Take note that there are no available transport from the Ruins back to the main road. It is best to ask the tricycle driver to wait. The round trip on a tricycle would set you back about P80-100, depending on your negotiation with the driver.
Poblacion Beach of Sipalay
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 the 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.
Punta Ballo Beach of Sipalay
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.
C View Haven Resort of Sipalay
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.
Julien’s Wreck of Sipalay
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.
Campuestohan Island of Bacolod City
A sweet escape from the busy streets of Bacolod, Campuestohan is a rural theme park that sits on a 5-hectare highland overlooking mountains. It features a lineup of Native American inspired tepees that can accommodate 6 people. The resort has a garden, restaurant, outdoor pool, kid’s play area, ice cream shop, and a cafe. Activities available here are zipline and cable hamster wheel among others. Contact them at +63 915 211 1406; +63 917 300 5007 or visit their website for more details.
There are two options to get here: 1) By shuttle service which stations at Caltex Circumferential road in front of McDonalds or at i-Mart convenience store. Trip starts goes in an hourly basis from 7:00AM-3:00PM. Last trip from the resort to the city is at 5:00PM. One way fare is P50. 2) By public transport, ride a jeepney to Burgos Market. Fare is P8. At the market, ride another jeepney that goes to Alagilan terminal. Fare is P20. At the terminal, charter a tricycle to Campuestohan. Round trip is P400.
Mambukal of Murcia
Originally constructed by a Japanese, the now government-owned resort sources out its natural spectacle from a big mountain stream that descends through a series of seven waterfalls. Adding up to it are the hot sulfur springs and warm dipping pools dotted around its sloping landscape that make for a perfect bathing place. Everything here ties up with nature.
You can come here for a day use or stay overnight on its accommodation facilities – from cottages, villas, rooms, dormitories and camp sites. Entrance fee is P30 for adult, P20 for kids. Contact them at (034) 473-0610 or visit the Mambukal website for inquiries and reservation.
The resort is located in Minoyan, Murcia, outside Bacolod city. To get here, go by jeepney to Libertad market in Bacolod and take a bus that goes directly to the resort. To get back to the city, take a jeepney or bus outside the resort. Fare is P35.
Forest Camp of Valencia
The nature resort in Valencia, Negros Oriental is 2.5 hectares in capacity and features swimming pools, a campground, a valley, indigenous forest trees, a zipline and a wall climb activity. Entrance fee is P100 during weekdays (P80 for kids) and P120 during weekends (P100 for kids).
Manokan (Chicken) Country of Bacolod City
Lies few meters away from SM Bacolod is Manokan country. A food market composed of stalls serving Bacolod’s front runner in the culinary scene – chicken inasal (roasted chicken)! The top choice among these stalls is Aida’s Restaurant which is usually occupied with a jam-packed of visitors, both locals and tourists.
Tierra Alta of Valencia
The residential resort is a premiere events destination in Negros Oriental. It offers an overlooking sight of the highlands of Dumaguete. Contact them at (035) 536 0096.
Red Rock Hot Spring of Valencia
Enjoy a warm bath in this small resort of Red Rock Hot Spring in Valencia, Negros Oriental. The place is few meters before reaching Pulangbato falls resort. Entrance fee is P30.
Silliman University of Dumaguete City
The amphitheater of Silliman Univeristy. The place was built in 1921 and will turn a century old 3 years from now.
Smokey Mountain of Valencia
On the way to Pulangbato falls in Valencia, Negros Oriental is a mountain with geothermal vents of sulfuric smoke. Check out this pure delight for free especially during rainy season when the vents produce more smoke than usual.
The Negros Museum of Bacolod City
A 1925 constructed museum which lays out an interesting display of artifacts and various artworks that illustrate the defining past of the province. It is located beside the Hall of Justice, 3 minutes away from the Provincial Capitol. General admission is P100, senior citizen is P80, and students is P70. Operations hours is from 9AM to 6PM from Monday to Saturday.
Campanario de Dumaguete of Dumaguete City
The church is century old and its belfry tower is the oldest in Visayas.
SAMPLE ITINERARY AND BUDGET GUIDE
In getting around the best places in Negros, one can go on a DIY or an arranged tour package. The DIY is preferred by travelers who are in a shoestring budget. Here are sample DIY itineraries for Negros that is good for a day tour or for 2 to 5 days.
For more trips in the Philippines, check out the off-the-beaten path Gigantes Islands of Iloilo. Gigantes Budget travel guide here!
BE A RESPONSIBLE TRAVELER
Lastly, have fun and don’t forget to be awesome. 😉
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