Negros Oriental Travel Guide

Overview of Negros Oriental

Negros Oriental comprises the island's southern-eastern half, while Negros Occidental comprises its western half. A total of 5402.30 square kilometers of land make up the country. Low, ridged mountains that are typically found close to the coast characterize the province. Negros Oriental confronts Siquijor to the southeast and Cebu to the east across the Taon Strait. Its southern border is defined by the Sulu Sea. Negros Oriental undoubtedly offers it all for you, from the nice inhabitants to the spectacular tourism destinations as well as the delicious food and amazing diving places.

Where to Go

Dumaguete City

Known as the "City of Gentle People," Dumaguete is the capital of Negros Oriental and a hub of culture, education, and commerce. Visit the famous Rizal Boulevard for a leisurely stroll along the seaside promenade, or explore the historic Silliman University campus.

Apo Island

A short boat ride from Dumaguete, Apo Island is a marine sanctuary renowned for its vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life. Snorkeling and diving are popular activities here, offering the chance to swim with sea turtles and colorful fish.

Twin Lakes of Balinsasayao

Located in the municipality of Sibulan, the Twin Lakes Natural Park is a protected area consisting of two crater lakes surrounded by lush forest. Visitors can enjoy hiking trails, birdwatching, and boat tours on the serene lakes.

Casaroro Falls

This stunning waterfall is nestled in the mountains near Valencia town. Accessible via a trekking trail, Casaroro Falls cascades into a deep gorge, providing a refreshing spot for swimming and picnicking amid nature.

Manjuyod Sandbar

Dubbed the "Maldives of the Philippines," Manjuyod Sandbar is a picturesque stretch of white sandbar emerging during low tide in the Tanon Strait. Visitors can rent cottages and enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and even dolphin watching in the surrounding waters.

Pulangbato Falls and Hot Springs

Located in the town of Valencia, Pulangbato Falls offers a scenic backdrop for swimming and relaxation. Nearby, Pulangbato Hot Springs features naturally heated pools with therapeutic properties, perfect for unwinding after a day of exploration.

Cuartel and Bell Tower

In Dumaguete City, explore remnants of Spanish colonial architecture, including the Cuartel de Santo Domingo, an unfinished Spanish barracks, and the bell tower of the St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral, offering panoramic views of the city.

Dolphin Watching in Bais City

Take a boat tour from Bais City to spot playful dolphins in their natural habitat along the coast. Bais is also known for its sugarcane plantations and scenic views of Tanon Strait.

What to Do

Snorkeling and Diving

Explore the vibrant underwater world around Apo Island, where you can encounter sea turtles, colorful coral reefs, and diverse marine life. Several dive centers in Dumaguete offer guided snorkeling and diving trips to Apo Island and other nearby dive sites.

Island Hopping

Embark on an island-hopping adventure to discover the beauty of Negros Oriental's surrounding islands. Visit nearby islands like Siquijor, known for its mystical charm and pristine beaches, or explore smaller islands like Manjuyod Sandbar for a day of sun, sea, and sand.

Nature Treks and Hiking

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Negros Oriental by going on nature treks and hikes. Explore the lush forests surrounding the Twin Lakes of Balinsasayao, hike to Casaroro Falls for a refreshing dip, or trek through the scenic countryside to discover hidden waterfalls and panoramic viewpoints.

Beach Relaxation

Spend a relaxing day soaking up the sun and enjoying the beach life along the coast of Negros Oriental. Whether you're lounging on the shores of Dumaguete's Rizal Boulevard, basking in the tranquility of secluded beaches, or picnicking on the powdery sands of Manjuyod Sandbar, there are plenty of opportunities for beach relaxation.

Cultural and Historical Tours

Delve into the rich cultural heritage and history of Negros Oriental by taking guided tours of historical sites, churches, and museums. Explore the colonial-era architecture in Dumaguete City, visit centuries-old churches, and learn about the region's sugar industry at local museums.

Food and Culinary Experiences

Indulge in Negros Oriental's culinary delights by sampling local delicacies and specialties. Don't miss the opportunity to try traditional Filipino dishes, seafood fresh from the ocean, and Negrense favorites like chicken inasal and piaya (a sweet pastry).

Adventure Activities

For adrenaline junkies, Negros Oriental offers a range of adventure activities such as zip-lining, ATV rides, and river tubing. Get your heart pumping with thrilling outdoor adventures while enjoying the scenic landscapes of the region.

Community Immersion and Eco-Tourism

Engage in community-based tourism initiatives and eco-friendly activities that support local communities and conservation efforts. Participate in eco-tours, volunteer for environmental projects, or visit community-run enterprises to learn about sustainable living practices and support grassroots initiatives.

When is the Best Time to Visit Negros Oriental

The dry season typically runs from November to April, Negros Oriental enjoys sunny weather with minimal rainfall. This period is ideal for outdoor activities such as snorkeling, diving, beach relaxation, and nature treks. The calm seas and clear skies make it perfect for exploring the underwater wonders around Apo Island and other dive sites, as well as enjoying island-hopping adventures and beach excursions.

The wet season typically spans from May to October. During this time, the region experiences more rainfall and occasional tropical storms. However, instead of being alarming, this season brings about lush green landscapes and cooler temperatures, making it a refreshing and picturesque time to visit.

How to Get to Negros Oriental

By Air

The fastest way to reach Negros Oriental is by flying into Dumaguete City, the capital of the province. Dumaguete Airport (also known as Sibulan Airport) serves as the main gateway to the province. Several domestic airlines operate flights to Dumaguete from Manila and Cebu.

By Sea

If you prefer traveling by sea, you can take a ferry or a fast craft to Dumaguete City's port. There are regular ferry services from Cebu City, which typically take around 4-6 hours, depending on the type of vessel. Some ferry companies also offer routes from other nearby islands such as Bohol and Siquijor.

By Car / Bus

Negros Oriental is accessible by land transportation from neighbouring provinces and cities. If you're traveling from nearby areas in the Visayas region, you can take a bus or drive to Dumaguete City via the road network. The province is connected to the rest of Negros Island via the Dumaguete North Road and the Dumaguete South Road, which provide access to various towns and municipalities within Negros Oriental

How to Get Around

By Taxi / Ride-Sharing Services

In urban areas like Dumaguete City, taxis are readily available for short-distance travel within the city and its surrounding areas. You can easily hail a taxi on the streets or find them at designated taxi stands. Additionally, ride-sharing services like Grab may operate in Dumaguete City, providing another convenient option for getting around.

By Car / Motorcycle

Renting a car or motorcycle is a popular option for travellers who prefer the freedom and flexibility to explore Negros Oriental at their own pace. Several car rental agencies operate in Dumaguete City, offering a range of vehicles to suit different preferences and budgets. With a rented car or motorcycle, you can easily access various attractions and destinations within the province, including remote beaches, mountainous landscapes, and scenic countryside roads.

What to Eat

Local Food

Travellers can embark on a culinary journey through Batangas by sampling the region's rich local cuisine at popular eateries such as Kusina Dee Apo, Ragay's Best Eatery, and Jp's Eatery.

Fresh Seafood

In the coastal towns and beachside areas of Negros Oriental, visitors will discover a wide range of seafood dining options, where they can indulge in an extensive selection of freshly caught ocean delicacies. Notable establishments include Seaside View Restaurant, Malco Seafoods, Dagsa-an Restaurant San Jose, and Beb's Sea Food Diner.

Western Food

In Negros Oriental, numerous dining establishments serve up a tempting selection of Western dishes, offering a delightful change of pace from the local flavors. Notable spots include Joe's Place, Ground Zero Restaurant, and Tinto.

What to Buy

When visiting Negros Oriental, consider purchasing locally-made handicrafts and delicacies as souvenirs or gifts. Handwoven items such as baskets, bags, and mats showcase the province's rich tradition of craftsmanship and make unique keepsakes. Additionally, indulge in Negrense delicacies like piaya (sweet flatbread filled with muscovado sugar), barquillos (crispy rolled wafer biscuits), and other homemade sweets. Don't forget to take home a bottle of locally-produced rum, which is renowned for its quality and flavor, as a taste of Negros Oriental's culinary heritage.

Where to Stay

Negros Oriental offers a variety of accommodation options to suit every traveler's preferences and budget. In Dumaguete City, the provincial capital, you'll find a range of hotels, resorts, guesthouses, and backpacker hostels catering to different needs and tastes. For a luxurious stay, consider beachfront resorts such as Atmosphere Resorts & Spa or Bongo Bongo Divers Resort, which offer upscale amenities, stunning ocean views, and world-class service. If you're traveling on a budget, budget-friendly options like Harold's Mansion or Flying Fish Hostel provide comfortable dormitory-style accommodations with shared facilities.

For those seeking a more immersive experience, homestays and eco-lodges in the countryside offer opportunities to connect with local communities and experience authentic Negrense hospitality. Additionally, boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts in towns like Dauin and Valencia offer cozy and intimate settings amidst scenic landscapes.

What to Bring

  • Bring sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses to shield yourself from the sun's rays.
  • Comfortable sandals or flip-flops are ideal for beach outings, while a pair of sturdy walking shoes may be useful for hiking or exploring.
  • If visiting during the wet season, a compact umbrella and a lightweight rain jacket can come in handy.
  • Stay hydrated by carrying a reusable water bottle, particularly if you're engaging in outdoor activities.
  • Ensure your electronic devices stay charged by bringing the necessary travel adapters.
  • While there are ATMs in urban areas, having some local currency can be useful, especially in more remote locations.

What to Wear

For your journey to Negros Oriental, it is advised to pack lightweight and comfortable attire, taking into account the tropical climate. Choose breathable materials such as cotton and linen to remain cool in the heat.

Bring swimwear for beach outings, and consider modest clothing when visiting religious sites. Comfortable sandals or flip-flops are suitable for casual outings, while a pair of sturdy walking shoes may be useful if you plan to explore nature reserves or hike.

Things to Note

  • Stay hydrated, especially in the warm weather, and use sunscreen to protect against the sun. Consider bringing insect repellent, particularly if you plan to explore nature reserves.
  • The local currency is the Philippine Peso (PHP). While ATMs are available in urban areas, it's advisable to have some local currency on hand, especially in more remote locations.
  • Keep a list of important contacts, including the local emergency numbers, contact information for your accommodation, and the nearest embassy or consulate.
  • Filipino and English are widely spoken, but learning a few basic Filipino phrases can enhance your travel experience and interactions with locals.

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