Sipalay is one of the highly suggested places to visit when in Negros. It’s is not your typical city, kind of more rural and laid back than our home city, Dumaguete. This is a must-go for easy-going travelers in search of laid-back stops. The place is lavished with natural resources such as their unspoiled beaches, limestone islets, hidden caves, and waterfalls which are very Instagrammable. Thus, to kick off our travels for the year 2019, this was at the top of our list. Not my first to this city but Xavy’s first. So we’re sharing this guide if you’re planning to visit Sipalay anytime soon.
HOW TO GET TO SIPALAY FROM DUMAGUETE
- You can fly into Dumaguete or Bacolod airport and kickoff from any of the two. But Sipalay is slightly closer to Dumaguete than it is to Bacolod.
- From Dumaguete airport, take a tricycle (locally known as pedicab) to Ceres Terminal. You can haggle for a P100 fare for the entire ride.
- At the terminal, you can take the Sipalay bus. There’s only one (1) trip daily. Last I checked, it’s scheduled to depart at 1PM. But feel free to call the Ceres operator prior to your trip (Vallacar Transit at 035 225-9030) to confirm the schedule. Otherwise, you need to take the Dumaguete – Bayawan bus (2.5 hours).
- At Bayawan Ceres Terminal, take the Bayawan – Hinoba-an bus (1.5 hours).
- At Hinoba-an Terminal, take the Bacolod bound bus and get off at Sipalay (around 45 minutes).
HOW TO GET AROUND THE CITY
Passengers are dropped off at the Sipalay Bus Station beside the market. The primary mode of transportation is tricycles and motorcycles (locally known as habal-habal). If you’re staying in Punta Ballo or Sugar Beach, you can take the tricycle at around P100-200 or P50-100 with the habal-habal per person. By the way, the dialect is Hiligaynon (Ilonggo) but locals can understand and most can speak English. You should bring enough cash because it’s the primary mode of payment. You can find ATMs around the city though. Some resorts accept credit cards but most of the restaurants don’t.
Cellular signal is not very good in some areas and most of the hotels do not have wifi signals in the room.
WHAT TO DO IN SIPALAY
- Visit Tinagong Dagat and trek to their view deck then cross the wooden and hanging bridge to Latasan Resort.
- Drop by Perth Paradise Resort and swim in their infinity pool overlooking the view of the bay with islets that look like Chocolate Hills of Bohol but in the ocean.
- You can go beach hopping at Punta Ballo, Sugar Beach, Nauhang Beach, Campomanes and other hidden beaches and coves.
- See the caves such as Matlag Cave, Mamara Cave, Pulo Cave and a whole lot more. Please note that you need permit to get inside some of the caves.
- Go scuba diving, free diving or snorkeling. The city has more than 40 dive sites.
WHERE TO STAY IN SIPALAY
- There are dozens of places to stay in Sipalay, of course depending on your budget and which area you want to go.
- Sugar Beach is the most popular beach in the city and is the perfect choice if you’re on a budget. There’s several restaurants and resorts in the area. One of the recommended B&B at TripAdvisor is Takatuka Beach and Dive Resort.
- You can also stay at the city center. Some of the places you can stay here includes Jamont Hotel and Sealey’s Inn.
- If you prefer the southern coastline, you can stay at Perth Paradise Resort or Artistic Diving Resort if you’re on a budget.
- Campomanes Bay area – this is secluded and where we stayed for the night, at Bugana Beach and Dive Resort. The signal is terrible which is ideal if you’re looking to get away from the rest of the world.
Tips from Xavy and Mom from this trip
- Withdraw enough cash for the trip. If you plan to stay at the southern coastline, there’s no ATM in the area so make sure you have enough cash as most of the establishments don’t accept credit cards.
- Cellular reception is not very reliable throughout the city. It’s best to call the resort prior to booking your stay.
- Don’t be afraid to mingle with the locals. Negrenses are quite friendly and nice so don’t be afraid to make friends or ask around if you get lost.