Sipalay: Jewel of the Sugar Island

mwtwhite

If you relish the sand and the sea without the noise and the socials of Boracay, Sipalay is for you.  Touted as the Jewel of the Sugar Island, Sipalay is actually Negros’ best-kept summer destination.

early-morning-2

The people from Western Visayas almost always speak highly of the white sand beaches of this seaside town but when a friend (not from there and a foreigner to boot) raved about it, it was time to go.  To satisfy our curiosity, what better time to explore this much talked about but (except for people from Bacolod and perhaps Dumaguete) hardly explored island?  It was a long holiday, it was at the height of summer and we were all in need of a break from the urban jungle.

After sweating it out at the foothills of Kanlaon (some even got to the top) and after stuffing ourselves with not only the goodies but also of the cultural schtuff, it was time to chill.  The drive to Sipalay took between 3-4 hours, and it builds up to a more scenic drive as the town nears.

view-from-the-road

I had no expectations really but Nataasan Resort was pretty charming.  It was the only one perched up on a cliff without any beach to boast.  To get to the beach, one must climb down these stairs

stairs-2

but the view, the view makes going up and down a non issue.

framed-early-morning

reflection-2

My brother’s family, on the other hand, stayed at Artistic Diving so we can use their dive facilities and where there’s a pool for the kids.

artistic

With a lot of dive resorts scattered around the island, we figured that diving must be a big thing here and it was… in a macro kind a way.  There were no pelagics but with a good dive master (to spot), there were some never seen before stuff and without a camera, you’ll just have to take my word for it.  There was one really huge cuttlefish, some seahorses, and some really strange but fascinating stuff down there.  And the corals were just amazing, sadly though we saw huge amounts of Crown Of Thorns (COTS).   😦

divers

Snorkeling, I heard was a bit disappointing for the discriminating.  Some enjoyed it though, especially the kids.  There are 2 stretches of beach, Sugar (or Langub in their native tougue) Beach, known for its sugary fine beach and Punta Ballo (where we stayed) has at least a kilometer of stretched white sandy (also fine) beach, both supposedly boasts of good snorkeling.

The 3 days that we were there got us to explore some attractions such as Tinagong Dagat, a hidden sea sprinkled with a dozen islets covered with lush vegetation.

tinagong-dagat

They said it was near Sugar Beach but the banca (boat) we took was not big enough (or so we thought and felt) to fight the swells of the ocean.  It was one scary ride and coming from some of us who had experienced a lot of scary stuff, it was scary!  I guess, it was scarier because we had 2 kids, ages 4 and 8 with us.  And so it was the longest short ride we ever had!   😯

boat-in-Tinagong-D

Quite disappointing was Campomanes Bay especially after a nice memory of it some 7 years ago when we visited from Danjugan Island.  It was noted to be an excellent spot for snorkeling and diving but again from the discriminating bunch, it was middle of the road.

The best of this piece of heaven, in my opinion, are the incredible sunsets (and the sunrise caught one early morning before our dive).

early-morning

The sunset for me made the whole Sipalay trip worthwhile.

sunset-2

float

boardwalk
deep-sunset

Many including this set of foreigners took pleasure in just enjoying the sunset.

watching-sunset

And during this time in Punta Ballo, the beach was brimming with activities… mostly of children playing.

children-playing

children-sandcastle

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Sunsets and children playing make for beautiful shots.

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children-sunset

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As I said, if you are looking for a place to party, Sipalay is not for you.  It’s a remote seaside town surrounded by spectacular white sand beaches, secluded coves, scattered islets, dive reefs and waters teeming with unique marine life.  A perfect place to unwind and recharge.

For a glimpse of other spectacular worlds, click here.


Nataasan Beach Resort
Brgy. 4 Sitio Punta Ballo
Sipalay City
email:  divetludie@aol.com
http://www.nataasan.com
Artistic Diving
Punta Ballo White Beach
6113 Sipalay City
email:  info@artisticdiving.com
Cell:  0063919-409-5594
http://www.artisticdiving.com
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This entry was posted in Negros, Philippines, Sipalay and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Sipalay: Jewel of the Sugar Island

  1. lawstude says:

    the sand indeed look like sugar.

    great views in here. congratulations!!!

    Like

  2. marites says:

    really beautiful place. not surprising that foreigners go there in flocks.

    My world is here

    Like

  3. Guy D says:

    Fantastic selection of photos. I must also commend you on your header photo, its outstanding.

    Have a great week!
    Guy
    Regina In Pictures

    Like

  4. Erin says:

    your series of photos are awesome…i liked especially the fog lifting and the reflection of the clouds on the water…beautiful.
    have a lovely week.

    Like

  5. koala says:

    ahhh you could take me away to stay there forever

    Like

  6. Esther Garvi says:

    Your beaches are amazing!! You always make me want to come for a visit – and a long one too! 🙂

    Warm greetings from Zinder,
    Esther

    Like

  7. sylvia says:

    Fabulous photos! And what a terrific place! Thanks for sharing “your world”! and thanks for visiting my blog and your comment! Hope to see you again and I’ll definitely be returning here! Have a great week!

    Like

  8. Carver says:

    That looks like a wonderful place to get away. Thanks for sharing this wonderful set of photographs.

    Like

  9. Arija says:

    Such beautiful scenery…I would love to be able to take advantege of it.

    Like

  10. Indrani says:

    How I long to be there… running around there in the beaches! Fantabulous shots!

    Like

  11. That was a beautiful paradise. akes me want to visit. Great pictures too!

    Like

  12. Lantaw says:

    love the morning pics! this looks like a nice destination. I too dont like beaches like Boracay

    Like

  13. Ebie says:

    A very informative post and lots of photography. What a way to end the series with a sunset shot. Amazing!

    Like

  14. Badet says:

    Very nice location! This is a perfect getaway especially those who wants their peace and quiet. For some, Boracay, though beautiful, can be sometimes tiring too especially with its night life. But with this, I think one can have the ultimate rest and relaxation away from the stressful life.

    Like

  15. Gattina says:

    Looks like a holiday paradise ! beautiful pictures !

    Like

  16. Denise says:

    Wonderful series of photos, all very beautiful. Thank you for stopping by my blog and have a great weekend.

    Like

  17. Mariz says:

    What a paradise, thanks for introducing this new vacation spot to us. Loved your photos, the one with the golden sunset is so breathtaking. Ganda talaga ng Pinas!

    Like

  18. caryn says:

    wow, that looks amazing! i’ve never been there before. must go! 😉

    Like

  19. Rjun says:

    My Beautiful place…i coming home sipalay..i miss u so much…

    Like

  20. Pingback: MAY 2015 – SIPALAY GETAWAY | PASSERSBY

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