Negros Occidental: The Ruins, Lakawon Island and Sipalay City for 5D/4N with Php8K+ Budget ALL IN

February 29, 2020

MassKara Festival is the yearly festival held every fourth Sunday of October that Bacolod is known for, but if you’ve scored a seat sale on a different month what could you do then? Most of the gems in Negros Occidental are not within Bacolod City, which would require an hour or more of a bus ride. A 5-day itinerary around Negros Occidental is the ideal one to maximize the trip without compromising convenience especially when you are not getting any younger like me.

Here’s our travel guide to Negros Occidental which highlights The Ruins in Talisay City, Lakawon Island of Cadiz City and the greenery islets of Sipalay City.

 

How to get there

  • Fly to Bacolod via Silay Airport (Travel Time: 1hr & 25mins | Regular Fare: Php3,000+)

The fastest way to reach Bacolod is to fly via Cebu Pacific, AirAsia or Philippine Airlines bound for Silay Airport especially if it’s for a short vacation. But if you’re up for a backpacking trip, then you may opt to reach Bacolod coming from Dumaguete or Iloilo.

  • Getting around Bacolod 

To explore Bacolod and nearby destinations, you may either take a multi-cab or a bus at Bacolod North and South Terminal and pedicab. I did not see any motorcycle rentals unlike in Dumaguete where they are at every corner. For details on how we got to each destination, I’ve input them on a day-to-day basis.

Places to Visit

Day 1

Arrival in Bacolod and Transit to Sipalay City

Whether you’re in Dumaguete City or Bacolod City, reaching Sipalay will take around 4 hours of a bus ride. That’s why it was the first one we visited.

We took the earliest flight to Bacolod so we could sleep during the land travel to Sipalay City. Upon arrival, we hop unto the van (Php 150/person) bound for Bacolod South Terminal where we took a bus to Sipalay or Hinoba-an. The one-way fare on an air-conditioned bus is at Php 291/person and we arrived at 3’o clock in the afternoon.

Poblacion Beach of Sipalay City. A walking distance from the Municipal and main road.
Sunset at Poblacion Beach, Sipalay City.

Since the bus ride took most of our first day, after checking in at Island Adventures Tourist Inn, the activities that we’ve done are eating late lunch at Christine’s Garden Cafe and dinner at Sipalay Food Park near Poblacion Beach.

Most stalls offer varieties of barbecue dishes from pork bbq, chicken inasal, and grilled squid. A nice spot to eat as you watch the sunset.

Day 2

Sipalay Tour

For our second day, we woke up at 7AM to maximize the tour around Sipalay City. We hired a trike to take us around the resort and beaches for Php 1,000 good for 4 pax.

Rented Tricycle for Php1,000.

There are entrance fees for most of the tourist spots which ranges from Php 50 to Php 100 per person. You may take your lunch at Tay Oming’s or Perth Paradise Restaurant. We preferred Tay Oming’s since it was cheaper.

Tinagong Dagat

The bridge to Latasan Island Resort was being repaired from wooden to a concrete one, passing through was a challenge.

Perth Paradise Resort

If you want the best view of the Sipalay’s islets, the ideal place would be the Perth Paradise Resort  as it has an infinity pool overlooking the islets.

Punta Ballo Beach

With its peaceful vibe and white sands, Puntal Ballo Beach is where you’ll want to spend the afternoon to take a nap.

Sugar Beach

This wasn’t included on the tricycle day tour because it’s far and not covered on their route area. The best way to reach this beach is to hire a boat at Poblacion Beach for Php700 roundtrip.

Read: Coron: A 5D/4N Travel Guide and Itinerary with Php10K Budget ALL-IN | Travel Guide

Day 3

Back to Bacolod City

Because we were beating the 4-hour bus ride to Bacolod City, we decided to leave Sipalay at 3AM so we could just continue our sleep while inside the bus. We then arrived at 9AM, just in time for breakfast. At Bacolod Bus Terminal, we ate at Merzci and after that, we took a jeepney ride to Amaia Steps Capitol Central near Ayala Mall.

We started exploring the city in the afternoon, Negros Museum, San Sebastian Church, Capitol Park and Lagoon. We would have gone to Jojo Vito Design Gallery if it didn’t rain, we end up having our late lunch at SM near the church.

Bao: The Unbowed Carabao represents the endurance and resilience of the sugar industry and the Filipino farmers.

The Ruins

As for our trip to Talisay City to see the ruined mansion, we opt to visit it late in the afternoon until evening to witness how it looks like at night with all the lightings installed. To get there, ride a jeep to Bata and ask driver to drop you off near the Pepsi Factory or Ceres North Terminal. From there, you may hire a tricycle to take you to the Ruins for Php100 per way.

Read: Port Barton: A Hidden Paradise in San Vicente, Palawan | Travel Guide

Entrance Fees
Consumable        300.00
Adult        100.00
Senior Citizens / PWD          70.00
Students          60.00
Children (Below 8 years old)          20.00

Day 4

Lakawon Island

For our finale, we made Lakawon Island our last destination since it’s on the north part of Negros Occidental. We woke up late because the alarm clock didn’t ring. We rode a jeep to Bacolod North Terminal where we took a bus to Cadiz Viejo for an hour and 30 minutes. Fare for an airconditioned bus is Php118 while non-aircon is at Php74. Drop off is at Burgos Public Market and take a tricycle for Php40/person to Cadiz Viejo port.

Daily Boat Trip Schedule
Morning Schedule Afternoon Schedule
1st Trip 7:00 AM 1:00 PM
2nd Trip 9:00 AM 3:00 PM
Last Trip 11:00 AM 5:00 PM

Lakawon Island is on CASHLESS BASIS, there is a cash card that you’ll get for each group and would be used for purchases and payment around the resort. There are reloading stations in the mainland and the reception area. Don’t forget to refund your balance before you leave the resort.

Fees and Other Charges
Entrance Fee                                      180.00
Boat Fee                                      150.00
Terminal Fee                                         20.00

 

Where to Stay

Bacolod City

Hometown Hotel
26th Lacson St, Bacolod, 6100 Negros Occidental
(034) 707 3145

Sukro in Bacolod
38 La Salle Ave, Bacolod, Negros Occidental
+63917 890 0920

Sipalay City

Island Adventures Tourist Inn
Alvarez Street, Sipalay City, Negros Occidental
+63916 1360 300

Punta Bulata Resort & Spa
Barangay Elihan, Sipalay City
+6916 136 0300

Where to Eat

Here are some places where you could eat in Sipalay and Bacolod City. The prices start at Php70-Php300 per meal. Negros province boasts their Chicken Inasal or grilled chicken, which is marinated in a mixture of coconut vinegar, pepper, calamansi, and annatto, then cooked over hot coals while basted with the marinade. Best served with rice and dipped with soy sauce mixed with calamansi, chicken oil and vinegar.

  • Christine’s Garden Cafe
Located at the back of Island Adventures Tourist Inn.
  • Sipalay Food Park

  • Tay Oming
  • Merzci

  • Groovy’s
  • Ribshack

  • Lechon Haus

Sample Itinerary

Here’s our itinerary for this trip, if you’re planning your D-I-Y trip to Bacolod, you can use this and add other sites that you like to visit such as the old houses in Silay or Jojo Vito’s Gallery. We missed that because it is close on Sundays. Maybe next time!

Time Activity
Day 1 Flight to Bacolod / Transit to Sipalay
6:00 Check-in / Breakfast
7:05 ETD from Manila
8:30 ETA in Silay Airport
9:00 Take a Van to Bacolod City (Bus to Sipalay)
9:30 Head to Ceres Bus South Terminal, take the bus going to Sipalay or Hinoba-an (alight at Sipalay)
15:00 Check-in at Island Adventures Tourist Inn
09161360300
15:30 Late Lunch at
17:30 Explore Sipalay Town
19:30 Dinner at Sipalay Food Park
22:00 Sleep
Day 2 Sipalay Tour
6:00 Wake Up / Prep
7:00 Breakfast
8:30 Start of Tour
9:00 Sugar Beach
(Need a boat ride for Php700)
11:30 Early Lunch at Tay Oming
12:00 Tinagong Dagat
14:00 Perth Paradise Resort
– Entrance Fee at  Php80
– Pool Use at  Php100
16:30 Punta Ballo Beach
17:00 Back at the hotel
19:00 Dinner
22:00 Sleep
Day 3 Bacolod City Tour / Ruins
3:00 Wake Up / Prep / Breakfast
3:30 Take Ceres Bus to Bacolod
4:00 ETD to Bacolod
9:30 ETA in Bacolod
10:30 Check in at Amaia Steps Capitol Central
12:00 Lunch
14:45 Bacolod City Tour
Negros Museum
San Sebastian Church
Capitol Park and Lagoon
Jojo Vito Design Gallery
Merzci Pasalubong Center
15:30 The Ruins, Talisay City

– Take a Jeep to Bata at Php18
– Drop off at tricycle terminal near Pepsi factory
– Take a roundtrip tricycle to the ruins at Php100
– Entrance fee at Php100/person

18:00 Back to Bacolod City
19:00 Dinner
21:00 Sleep
Day 4 Lakawon Island
5:00 Wake Up / Prep
5:45 Commute to Bacolod North Terminal or Bata
6:00 Take a bus to Burgos public market (Cadiz City)
7:30 Take a tricycle to Cadiz Viejo port
8:00 Boat to Lakawon Island
Entrance Fee at Php180
RT Boat Ride at Php150
Terminal Fee at Php20
8:30 Breakfast
Swimming / Photo Ops
Taw Hai Floating Bar
Try Laka Bash (Human Launcher)
12:00 Lunch
Swimming / Photo Ops
14:00 Wash Up
14:45 Prep for Departure to port
16:00 Take the boat back to Cadiz City
16:45 Take a tricycle to Bus Station
17:00 Bus to Bacolod North Terminal (ordinary bus)
18:30 Back to Hotel / Freshen Up
19:00 Tour around the City / Dinner
22:00 Back to Hotel / Sleep
Day 5 Back to Manila
8:00 Wake Up
9:00 Breakfast and Prep
10:00 Check out and brunch
11:30 Take a van to Silay Airport
13:00 Check-in at the airport
14:05 ETD from Bacolod
15:30 ETA in Manila

Sample Budget

For our 5D/4N exploration of Negros Occidental, our total expenses amounted to Php16,862.08 for the two of us. We almost ran out of money because we only brought Php5,000 each since accommodations were all paid before the trip. I also forgot to bring an ATM card, I usually bring one just in case.

Read: Dumaguete – Siquijor: An Adventure of Chasing Turtles, Dolphins and Waterfalls | Travel Guide

I tried to withdraw money from Landbank first, however over-the-counter policy in their branch requires the ATM Card. Even though I presented valid IDs, the transaction did not push through. Good thing I also have a BPI Account, where the over-the-counter transaction does not require an ATM Card as long as you have your proofs of identification and account details. Hence, the transaction was a breeze. This served as a lesson learned for me.

Expenses   Amount   Total
Airfare        2,402.48
Vien’s     1,201.24
Ktian’s     1,201.24
Accommodation        1,801.20
Island Adventures Tourist Inn     1,721.04
Amaia Steps Capitol Central via AirBnb          80.16
Transportation        2,809.00
Van to Bacolod        300.00
Bus to Sipalay        582.00
Bus to Bacolod        582.00
Grab to The Ruins        207.00
Trike to Terminal        100.00
Jeep to Ayala Bacolod          17.00
Jeep to North Terminal          18.00
Bus to Cadiz        236.00
Tricycle to Cadiz Viejo Port          80.00
Tricycle to Burgos        100.00
Bus to North Terminal        150.00
Jeep to Ayala Bacolod          18.00
Grab to Silay Airport        419.00
Food        5,608.50
Breakfast at Jollibee Terminal 3        309.00
Lunch at Christine’s Garden Cafe        390.00
Dinner at Sipalay Food Park        190.00
Drinks and Chips        195.00
Brunch at Tay Oming        730.00
Dinner at Sipalay Food Park        535.00
Snack          52.00
Breakfast at Merzci        180.00
Lunch at Groovy’s        327.00
5-liter water          70.50
Drinks at The Ruins        170.00
Dinner at Hungry Owl        269.00
Breakfast at Cadiz Viejo Port        150.00
Food and Drinks at Lakawon     1,165.00
Dinner at Ribshack        562.00
Brunch at Lechon Haus        314.00
Tours        2,400.00
Sipalay Tricycle Tour     1,000.00
Sugar Beach (Tricycle and Boat)        700.00
Lakawon (Entrance, Boat Fare and Terminal Fee)        700.00
Entrance Fees            880.00
Entrance at Tinagong Dagat          60.00
Entrance at C View Resort          60.00
Entrance and Pool Use at Perth Paradise        360.00
Entrance at Negros Museum        200.00
Entrance at The Ruins        200.00
Other Expenses            960.90
Ktian’s Souvenirs        612.90
Vien’s Souvenirs        348.00
Total   16,862.08

I hope this will help you explore Negros Occidental beauties and gems.

Safe travels always!