If you’re tired of the city life and need a quick getaway, then you may want to head over to Negros Occidental, Guimaras and Iloilo. From historical monuments to breathtaking views of lush greenery and the blue ocean, there’s so much for one to see!
Thanks to weekend warrior Zaldy Diverson, here’s the perfect guide for when you want to conquer all three destinations.
Since this is a multi-province trip, you’ll have to purchase two (2) one-way tickets: Manila-Bacolod and Iloilo-Manila. The trips in between will be via land and water. Travelers who book their trip in advance can save as much as 70% via budget airlines and the Traveloka App.
Estimated cost: Approx. P4,000 for both tickets already (without promo)
Getting to Sipalay from Bacolod and vice versa is pretty simple. You can ride a tricycle (P40) to the Ceres Bus Terminal from anywhere in the city proper. Buses (P265) heading north to Sipalay leave every few minutes, travel time is four to five hours.
Estimated cost: Approx. P610 (Bus and Tricycle round-trip)
From Bacolod, you’ll have to take a ferry or “Roro” to Iloilo. The trip takes a little over an hour. It will cost you less than P300 for an economy seat.
Estimated cost: P245
Since we’re exploring multiple destinations, make sure to pack light and keep your luggage to a minimum. Consider that at some points, you’ll be traveling via tricycle and your bag should be able to fit.
Home to the Masskara festival, delicious food, and the country’s best smiles, Bacolod packs a wide range of interesting and exciting destinations. If you have just a few days to spare these are the places, restaurants, and shops you should visit:
Lakawon is one of Bacolod’s latest developments that has been gaining popularity, particularly for its floating bar. Tawhai, meaning “relaxed” in the local dialect perfectly summarizes how you feel upon boarding.
With a strawberry margarita in one hand and the view of the beach ahead, Tawhai really lives up to its name. Bus fare to Lakawon island is P47, tricycle to port ride is P40 per head. Lakawon port fees P300/head all-in, Lakawon Island tour and Tawhai Floating Bar entrance fee P250/day tour.
The 1920s Mansion owned by former muscovado king, Don Mariano Lacson, was left in shambles after the Japanese were done with it. But due to its haunting beauty and historical significance, efforts are being made to restore it to its former glory.
Entrance fee to the ruins is P100. The mansion also boasts of an Italian restaurant which is popular for romantic dinners.
If you have space in your bag for pasalubong, then don’t forget to pass by the iconic Bong Bong’s for some caramel tarts, piaya and other famous Negrense treats. If you’re craving for sweets more than usual, then order a whole box of Calea’s White Chocolate Cake (P900).
One of the most exciting parts about your trip to Bacolod is the Chicken Inasal. If you want to sink into this deliciously charcoal-grilled dish, then head over to Manokan country. It’s an open-air dining area that serves the best inasal you’re bound to have (paa P75, pechopack P80).
Estimated Bacolod budget: Approx. 1500 (fees, fares, and food)
This seaside city in Negros Occidental is probably one of the most underrated destinations in the country. Rich with unspoiled natural resources and picture-perfect views, Sipalay has tricycle and boat tours available for around P1500 per group of four.
Tinagong Dagat is a resort surrounded by multiple islets similar to that of the Hundred Islands in Pangasinan. The little islands are connected by bridges so visitors can walk from one islet to the next.
On top of one of the little islands is a viewpoint that overlooks all the Sipalay islands and its coast. Entrance fee is P30.
This resort is home to an infinity pool with one of the most breathtaking views in the country. Whether or not you plan to swim, Perth Paradise is worth the visit. Simply Take in the view and be reminded of the beauty of the Philippines. Entrance fee is P100.
When in Sipalay, you must have brunch at the cozy Mix Food restaurant ran by couple, Fred (French national) and Anne. If you can’t decide what to order, their homemade potato croquettes (P70) and Fried Rice Special (P99) never fail to hit the spot.
If you find yourself in Sipalay on a Monday, you have to make time for the Farmers Market. The mix of fresh fruits, livestock, dried fish, and cheap clothing make for a colorful spectacle. Buy a kilo of sweet fruit for snacking, or enjoy a slice while wandering around the market.
Estimated Sipalay budget: Approx. 700 per head (tours, fees and food)
Often referred to as the “Heart of the Philippines”, Iloilo is best known for being the perfect jump off point to explore the most beautiful islands and gems of the country.
The islands of Guimaras in Western Visayas are characterized by their rugged coastlines and towering mango trees. But more than just its reputation for having the world’s best mangoes, Guimaras is abound with natural beauty.
Boat fare from Ortiz Wharf, Iloilo port is P14. Coming back from Guimaras at Jordan Port will cost you P20 if you leave past 6pm.
If you think pineapple on pizza is delicious, then you have to try The Pitstop’s famous Mango Pizza (P240). The speciality pizza is made with 100% Guimaras mangoes, how can you go wrong?
Head towards north to visit the famous Gigantes islands. The remote group of islands are blessed with the whitest sand and striking rock formations. A day tour will cost you P999 per head.
For a truly novel tourist experience you have to take a photo with the “I am Iloilo” sign.
Estimated Iloilo + Gigantes budget: Approx. P1,900 (tours, fees, food)
Though you’ll be exploring different places around Negros, you’ll only need to book one in Bacolod and another in Iloilo. Here are our recommended hotels:
Estimated Hotel Budget: Approx. P920 per head (3 nights/4 days)
Are you ready to explore? What are you waiting for? Book your trip with Traveloka today!
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