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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Senior Citizens / PWD||70.00|
|Children (Below 8 years old)||20.00|
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|
Where to Stay
26th Lacson St, Bacolod, 6100 Negros Occidental
(034) 707 3145
Sukro in Bacolod
38 La Salle Ave, Bacolod, Negros Occidental
+63917 890 0920
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
- Sipalay Food Park
- Tay Oming
- Lechon Haus
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!
|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
|15:30||Late Lunch at|
|17:30||Explore Sipalay Town|
|19:30||Dinner at Sipalay Food Park|
|Day 2||Sipalay Tour|
|6:00||Wake Up / Prep|
|8:30||Start of Tour|
(Need a boat ride for Php700)
|11:30||Early Lunch at Tay Oming|
|14:00||Perth Paradise Resort
– Entrance Fee at Php80
– Pool Use at Php100
|16:30||Punta Ballo Beach|
|17:00||Back at the hotel|
|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|
|14:45||Bacolod City Tour|
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
|18:00||Back to Bacolod City|
|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
|Swimming / Photo Ops|
|Taw Hai Floating Bar
Try Laka Bash (Human Launcher)
|Swimming / Photo Ops|
|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|
|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|
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.
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.
|Island Adventures Tourist Inn||1,721.04|
|Amaia Steps Capitol Central via AirBnb||80.16|
|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|
|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|
|Breakfast at Merzci||180.00|
|Lunch at Groovy’s||327.00|
|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|
|Sipalay Tricycle Tour||1,000.00|
|Sugar Beach (Tricycle and Boat)||700.00|
|Lakawon (Entrance, Boat Fare and Terminal Fee)||700.00|
|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|
I hope this will help you explore Negros Occidental beauties and gems.
Safe travels always!