3 top spots to enjoy on Negros, Philippines

Negros is one of the lesser known islands in the Philippines but is full of hidden treasures. Whether your focus is watersports, food or the beach, there are a number fantastic sites well worth the detour. Here our three top spots not to miss on your visit to Negros.

1. Hanging loose in Sipalay

This is a must for any visitor to Negros – a stretch of un-spoilt sandy beach, accessible only by boat, and lined with just a few, quite low key resorts. With only a tiny village in walking distance, the sense of isolation is here complete and with little do but sunbathe, swim or for the truly energetic head out on a boat trip, it is a perfect holiday paradise. Although the temptation is to take it seriously easy, diving here is good and the sites alive with turtles, coral fish and even a few wrecks.

Hanging loose in Sipalay

2. Eating at the Pala Pala in Bacolod

The only prerequisite for enjoying this top culinary experience is that you like seafood, for the Pala Pala is actually part of the fish market. Perhaps most popular restaurant in Bacolod,  the idea here is that diners buy their dinner straight off the boat before having it specially prepared by the restaurant chef. Although the original venue still exists and consists of a series of rather ramshackle eateries, most up and coming Filipinos head instead to the ‘new’ version, which is clearly the place to be. Decorated in natural tones in stylish modern design, and throbbing to the funky beats of lounge legends, dining here is swanky as well as delicious. Local specialties such as squid adobo come sizzling in the pan, while more simple dishes such as grilled garlic prawns will leave you banging on the kitchen door for more.

3. Getting pampered in Dumaguete

Located just outside the bustling town of Dumaguete, the Atmosphere resort is a secluded piece of paradise providing the pampering and sophistication that make for a truly indulgent vacation. The restaurant offers a tasty mix of local and international cuisine – one of the few places to offer yummy mezze with proper hummus and fresh fruit smoothies that are worth a detour in themselves!  I dropped by mostly for the diving – the  team here are professional and well equipped (they even offer Nitrox training  – for divers who really want to keep up with the times) and can organize whale-watching expeditions. This has to be the best place to stay on the south of the island – for the relaxation, the seclusion and the pure sense of indulgence.

Jane Downs is Co-founder of Islandesia.

Comments (3)

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  1. Oh dear I didn’t manage any of those. I did squeeze in a visit to ” The Ruins” though. Just had a few days but from what I saw Negros is a beautiful island.

  2. Claire Apigo says:

    Something to consider for your Negros trip:

    Negros is divided into two provinces, Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental. Bacolod is the capital of the former and Dumaguete is the capital of the latter. Bacolod is about 6 hours away from Dumaguete by bus.

    My favorite tourist spots to explore in Negros Oriental:

    1. Dolphin watching and swimming at the sandbar in Bais
    2. Snorkeling and/or diving in Apo Island
    3. Snorkeling and/or diving in Mantalip Reef
    4. Casaroro Falls in Valencia

    I have been to these four tourist areas, and I highly recommend them.

    Whale watching is in Oslob, Cebu, another island, that is close to Dumaguete. It’s possible to go there on a day trip.

    Hope this helps! :)

  3. George says:

    What a perfect post for my forthcoming trip. I am starting at Siquijor- which is a must by the way in this region. It is a short boat ride away from Dumaguete. I was wondering whether to head elsewhere or stay on Negros. You have convinced me to visit Sipalay, then Bacolod (home of the best BBQ chicken), then finish up on Guimaras Island near Bacolod.

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