Situated between the islands of Cebu and Negros, Sipaway Island is an emerging tourist destination in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental. It is only a 15-minute boat ride making it an ideal place for a quick escape from San Carlos City. [Check out our list of top things to do in Negros Occidental]
Sipaway Island is a relatively small island measuring only about 7 kilometers from tip to tip. It is composed of two barangays and is part of San Carlos City. It features cream sand beaches and has several diving spots ideal for both novice and professional divers. [Check out our Bacolod City Travel Guide]
TRAVEL GUIDE CONTENTS
How to Get to Sipaway Island
Sipaway Island is just a 15-minute boat ride from mainland San Carlos City. The boat departs every 30 minutes and is available from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The fare is only Php15.
From Bacolod City
Take a Ceres Bus from Bacolod City to San Carlos City. Travel time is around 3 hours.
From Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Clark, and Manila
Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines have direct flights to Bacolod City from Davao, Cagayan de Oro City, Clark, and Manila. From Bacolod, follow the instructions above.
Take a bus to Toledo City and then take a RORO from there to San Carlos City. To help you plan your trip, here’s the schedule of ferry trips from Toledo to San Carlos.
You may take a RORO from Iloilo City to Bacolod City and just follow the steps above to reach Sipaway Island. For your convenience and reference, this is the schedule of RORO trips from Iloilo to Bacolod.
Where to Stay in Sipaway Island: Hotels and Resorts in Sipaway Island
There are only a handful of resorts in Sipaway Island. One of the most popular resorts in Sipaway Island is Whispering Palms Island Resort. It’s a dive resort so you can also rent your diving gear from them.
Whispering Palms Island Resort
Room rates start at Php2,500 per night
Another resort in Sipaway is Parana Beach Resort. Here, you can opt to stay overnight or avail of their day tour package.
Most visitors to Sipaway Island prefer to camp and enjoy the view of the sky at night or avail of the homestay programs which are regulated by the local tourism office. Upon arrival at the docking area in Sipaway Island, you will be greeted with a tourism staff to register. You can tell him/her that you want to avail a homestay and he/she should be able to show you photos of the available places you can stay.
If you want something different and more secluded, you can stay at Yssa’s tree house near the Sipaway Island lighthouse. It’s a relaxing place to unwind and enjoy the beauty of nature.
Tourist Spots in Sipaway Island / Things to Do and See
Since the island is relatively small, there are only few places you can go and explore. But, if you like the beach, you should be good here.
Century-old balete (banyan) tree
One of the most popular spots in Sipaway Island is the century-old balete tree situated in the vicinity of San Juan Elementary School. As of now, there is no entrance fee but the local tourism office is planning to introduce a minimal fee to cover for the expenses of maintaining the place.
Paraiso de Antonio
Paraiso de Antonio is an ideal place to camp when you plan to stay overnight in Sipaway Island. It’s a good place to chill by the beach and enjoy some fresh air. For only Php150 per person, you can pitch your tent and stay overnight.
One of the must-do activities in Sipaway Island is scuba diving. The underwater scene on the island is spectacular.
Special thanks to the Provincial Tourism Office of Negros Occidental and to the LGU of San Carlos City for making our trip to Sipaway Island possible.
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Glen Nomad is a travel blogger and the founder of Escape Manila. He has visited all the 81 provinces in the Philippines and has explored 46 countries across Asia, Latin America, East Africa, Europe, and Australia. Follow him on IG at @escapemanila