Sipalay Travel Guide: Not Your Typical Paradise

Sipalay

About Sipalay

Sipalay is not your typical city. It is more rural than urban, there are more towering greens and hills than skyscrapers, it is more laid back than busy.

Situated on the southern coast of Negros Occidental, approximately four hours from both Bacolod City and Dumaguete, Sipalay beckons with its stunning topography and myriad of natural attractions. From the karst limestone islets and unspoiled beaches on its shores to the caves, rivers, springs and waterfalls of its hinterlands… adventures await in this quiet city.

Sipalay
Raw and unspoiled Sugar Beach

Sipalay also boasts of its rich water, home to colorful reefs, variety of marine species and challenging wrecks that will surely delight depth lovers.

Experience the unspoiled beauty and fall in love with the place nurtured by nature itself, Sipalay!

How to Get to Sipalay

Sipalay City sits midway between Bacolod City in Negros Occidental and Dumaguete City of Negros Oriental. There are buses and vans to Sipalay from Bacolod and from Dumaguete via Hinoba-an. Travel time for both is at least four hours.

Bacolod to Sipalay

Bacolod City is accessible by air via Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific from Manila, Cebu, Clark, Cagayan de Oro and Davao.

From Iloilo City, Bacolod is only one hour by fast craft. Three fast craft operators serve the route with numerous departures daily starting at 6AM up to 5PM, regular fare is P230 one-way plus terminal fee of P30.

At Bacolod City, make your way to South Terninal and catch a van or a bus to Sipalay / Hinobaan. Buses depart almost every hour from 1:30AM to 12NN for a travel time of at least five hours, fare is P265 per person. There are also vans few meters away from the terminal going to Sipalay from 5AM to 2PM, travel time is shorter around four hours and fare is P250 per person.

Alternatively, you may also catch a bus to Kabankalan and transfer to a jeep, bus or van to Sipalay.

Sipalay
Tinagong Dagat

Dumaguete to Sipalay

Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific fly from Manila to Dumaguete City daily. The airport is located in the town of Sibulan, there are multicabs outside the airport going to downtown Dumaguete.

At the Dumaguete City, make your way to Ceres Bus Terminal. There are buses going to Sipalay although the schedule is limited, travel time is around five hours and fare is at P290. Alternatively, you may take a bus to Hinoba-an and transfer to another bus to Sipalay.

Cebu to Sipalay

Sipalay has a local airport served by Air Juan from Cebu.

Alternatively, you can get here by bus and boat via Dumaguete. From Cebu City South Terminal, take a bus to Bato – Santander, transfer to a boat to Sibulan and then to a multicab to downtown Dumaguete.

At the Dumaguete City, make your way to Ceres Bus Terminal. There are buses going to Sipalay although the schedule is limited, travel time is around five hours and fare is at P290. The usual way is to take a bus to Hinoba-an and transfer to another bus to Sipalay.

Sipalay
Punta Ballo

Going Around and Away

Primary mode of transportation around the town is tricycle and single motorcycle locally called habal-habal.

Buses drop off passengers at Sipalay Bus Station beside the market. If you are staying in Punta Ballo or Sugar Beach, you have to take a tricycle at P150 per person or single motorcycle at P75 per person.

Going back to Bacolod, bus departs as early as 2AM while van earliest departure is at 5AM. Direct bus to Dumaguete is limited, the common route is via Hinoba-an where there are numerous departures to Dumaguete.

Sipalay
View from Perth Island Resort

What to Do in Sipalay

  • Beach hopping: Punta Ballo Beach, Sugar Beach, Nauhabg Beach, Campomanes Beach, Miami Beach, Poblacion Beach, Nauhang Beach and other hidden beaches and coves
  • Drop by Perth Paradise Resort and swim in their infinity pool overlooking the panoramic view of conical islets
  • Visit Tinagong Dagat and trek to the viewdeck
  • Cruise Dolongan River and see Canturay Mangrove Plantation and the other mangrove forest in the city
  • Go scuba diving, free diving or snorkeling in at least 44 dive sites of Sipalay
    • Dive Operators in Sipalay: Artistic Diving, Easy Diving, Robinson Crusoe and Taka Tuka
  • Avail of the island and beach hopping tours to visit the major attractions of the city
    • Punta Bulata Tour: Punta Bulata, Turtle Island and Julien’s Wreck (at least P1,500 per person)
    • Punta Ballo Tour: Sugar Beach, Campomanes Beach, Tinagong Dagat and Perth Paradise Resort  (at least P550 per person)
  • Go on a tricycle tour to Perth Paradise Resort, Tinagong Dagat and Sugar Beach
    • Trike Tour: Punta Ballo, Perth Paradise Resort, Tinagong Dagat and Sugar Beach (at least P800 per trike good for 2 pax)
  • Visit Punta Bulata
  • Trek to the caves and waterfalls in the highland of Sipalay
  • See Matlag Cave and the other caves in the city
  • Go beyond the city and see the other famous attractions of the province such as Mag-ask Falls in Kabankalan, Niludhan Falls in Bayawan, etc
  • Spend a day, go on a food trip in Bacolod, check out The Ruins and other attractions nearby
  • Relax in Dumaguete City, see the waterfalls of Valencia or dive or snorkel in Apo Island
Sipalay
Wreck diving in Sipalay

Where to Stay in Sipalay

There are numerous accommodations to choose from in Sipalay whether you opt to stay in the downtown, in Punta Ballo or in Sugar Beach.

Here are the recommended ones:

Top-Rated / Highly Recommended Accommodations in Sipalay (Punta Ballo Area)

Artistic Diving Resort

Artistic Diving Resort
Punta Ballo, Sipalay
Starts at 990 PHP

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Nataasan Beach Resort and Dive Center

 Nataasan Beach Resort &Dive Center
Punta Ballo, Sipalay
Starts at 2,000 PHP

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Top-Rated Budget Accommodations in Sipalay (Downtown Area)

Jamont Hotel

Jamont Hotel
Sipalay Downtown
Starts at 1,500 PHP

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Sealey's Inn

Sealey’s Inn
Sipalay Downtown
Starts at 750 PHP

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Top-Rated Budget Accommodations in Sipalay (Sugar Beach Area)

Sugar Beach House

Sugar Beach House
Sugar Beach, Sipalay
Starts at 1,000 PHP

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Takatuka Beach and Dive Resort

Takatuka Beach and Dive Resort
Sugar Beach, Sipalay
Starts at 2,000 PHP

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Sample Budget Itinerary in Sipalay

Day 1:
0600H-0800H: Arrive in Bacolod / Proceed to downtown / Breakfast / Proceed to South Bus Terminal
0800H-1300H: Bacolod to Sipalay
1300H-1400H: Lunch / Proceed to Hotel / Check-in
1400H-1600H: Tricycle Tour of Sipalay: Punta Ballo, Perth Island Resort, Tinagong Dagat and Sunset in Sugar Beach
1600H – 1700H: Return to downtown
1700H – 1900H: Dinner

Day 2:
0600H-0800H: Call Time / Breakfast / Free time / Check-out
0800H-1100H: Proceed to Kabankalan / Sidetrip to Mag-aso Falls
1100H – 1200H: Back to Kabankalan / Lunch
1200H – 1700H: Kabankalan to Bacolod / Check-in at Hotel
1700H – 1900H: Dinner at Diotay / Desserts at Calea

Day 3:
0700H-0800H: Call Time / Breakfast
0800H-0900H: Proceed to the Ruins
0900H-1000H: Free time at the Ruins
1000H – 1100H: Return to Bacolod / Check-out / Proceed to Airport
1100H – 1300H: Flight check-in / pre-departure

Sipalay
Punta Ballo

Expenses

Particulars Cost
Van: Bacolod to Sipalay P250/person
Tricycle: Sipalay to Punta Ballo P150/tricycle (2-person sharing)
Accommodation in Artistic Dive Resort P1,000/night (2-person sharing)
Tricycle Tour: Punta Ballo, Perth Paradise Resort, Tinagong Dagat and Sugar Beach P800/trike (2-person sharing)
Tricycle: Punta Ballo to Sipalay P165/person
Bus: Sipalay to Bacolod P165/person
Accommodation inBacolod P800/night (2-person sharing)
Optional: Miscellaneous Expenses (souvenirs, personal expenses, etc.) ~P500/person
Food Budget (3d/2n) ~P1,200/person
Entrance at The Ruins P150/person
Transportation expenses in and around Bacolod  ~P700/person
Sipalay
Sunset in Sugar Beach

Notes / Tips

  • Mobile signal is present in town
  • Best months to go are from October to June
  • There are ATMs in town
  • Major establishments accept credit cards

First Published: April 11, 2017; Updated: May 15, 2019