Bucket List: Best Things to Do and See in Negros Oriental, Philippines
Negros Oriental or Eastern Negros, a province in the Philippines, is located in the Central Visayas Region. It’s one of the biggest sugar suppliers in the Philippines and other countries.
In terms of tourism, it’s where the best beaches, dive spots, natural wonders, and the famed Silliman University can be found. Of course, their primary crops are sugar cane, coconut, rice, and sweet corn. The coastal areas are also used for fishing as a source of income. There are other businesses that the locals are invested in, like cattle ranches, rubber plantations, and fish ponds that are primarily found in Bayawan City.
Its capital city, Dumaguete, has seen progress throughout the years with businesses like supermarkets and shopping malls. The tourism economy of Negros Oriental has also grown due to the numerous natural attractions and other adventure activities available in the province.
Here are some of the things that you can do in Negros Oriental.
Go Scuba Diving on Apo Island
Apo Island is included in the list of best diving spots globally. The 72-hectare volcanic island has unique rock formations and a white pebble beach. This island is included in the Apo Island Protected Landscape and Seascape (AIPLS). The scuba diving adventure in this area is remarkable for many tourists because they see 400 coral species, more than a hundred green sea turtles, and 650 different kinds of fish. Some of the creatures you’ll see when you visit are clownfish (Nemo), Moray Eel, Manta Ray, White Tip Shark, and Nudibranchs, a kind of critter that’s not easy to find.
Go Bird Watching in Negros Oriental
Balinsasayao Twin Lakes is home to about 120 birds like the critically-endangered Hornbill, Visayan Tarictic Hornbill, Balicassiao, and Flame-templed Babbler. Another place where you can go bird watching is Cuernos de Negros Forest, where you can find the Negros Striped Babbler. The forest’s mountain has different elevations from 850m to 1,800m ASL. Birdlife International also recognizes it as an Important Bird Area (IBA). You can take landscape photos and watch other wildlife. Camping is possible, but you need to bring your own food.
Swim at the Red Rock Hot Spring Resort
Red Rock Hot Spring Resort is located in the mountain town of Valencia, about half an hour drive from Dumaguete City. It’s best to visit this hot spring resort after visiting the Pulangbato Falls which is just a few minutes away.
Visit Twin Lakes Balinsasayao and Danao
The twin lakes are a favorite spot of bird watchers. Some tourists camp out there at night. The Balinsasayaw Twin Lakes Natural Park is in the vicinity, which cradles a lush ecosystem with thriving forests and vegetation. Lake Balinsasayaw is twice as bigger as Danao. The two lakes are separated by a ridge. Some of the notable activities in the Twin Lakes are trekking, kayaking, boating, and swimming. Visitors can also just chill and experience the splendor of the twin lakes.
Climb Mt. Kanlaon
Mt. Kanlaon stands 2,435 meters above sea level. It’s located in the middle of Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental. The volcano in Canlaon City, Negros Oriental, is the climb to the summit. The area enjoys excellent weather and fertile soil, and visitors will love that there are waterfalls they can go to on their climb.
Go to Casaroro Falls in Valencia
You will have to pass some steep trails and boulders to reach the falls, but the single column waterfalls are such a fantastic sight to behold that you’re not going to feel tired at all though people who have health conditions might want to think about the 335 stairway they have to take before they can see this beauty.
Discover Mabinay Caves
Mabinay is home to some 400 caves making it the cave capital of Negros Oriental. It features limestone rock formations and karsts. These caves are located near the highway, so it’s accessible for trekkers. All the 400 caves have their distinct characteristics. The most well-known caves are Bulwang (Crystal Cave), Mambajo and Cayaso Caves, and Odloman Cave, the 2nd cave system in the Philippines. For major spelunking activities, go to Mambajo and Cayaso caves.
Stroll Around Rizal Boulevard in Dumaguete
Rizal Boulevard was named after the country’s national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. It could be noted that he walked on the beach where the park is situated today. This picturesque park offers visitors and local magnificent sunsets and moonlight walks. It’s lined with ancient trees and has some tourism establishments are located. It’s also considered as the cultural and historical center of the city.
See also: Dumaguete City Travel Guide
Visit the White Sandbar of Manjuyod and Go Dolphin Watching in Bais City
The sandbar of Manjuyod appears during the low tide. It can be reached by motorized boats coming from Campuyo Wharf in Majuyod or Capiñahan or Canibol Wharves in Bais City. It has white sand and clear blue waters.
Bais City is near Tañon Strait, a protected marine sanctuary. There are tours that visitors can join wherein they can spot dolphins such as long-snouted spinner dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, and pantropical-spotted dolphins. Different kinds of whales can also be seen during the tour.
Try the Sweet Delicacies of Negros
Sweet treats in Negros Oriental are some of the best in the Philippines. Their Budbud Kabog suman is made of millet and not glutinous rice. They also sell hot tsokolate (chocolate) in the province. The silvanas of the capital city is another popular pasalubong item of the province. One dessert you can’t take home is their fried ice cream which comes in many flavors.
Visit the Monkey Sanctuary of Santa Catalina
The Monkey Sanctuary is located in Santa Catalina with 300 hectares of forestland. It’s home to the Long-Tailed Macaque monkeys, and visitors have the chance to interact with them. This sanctuary is a famous eco-tourism attraction in Santa Catalina.
The San Agustin Church In Bacong
San Agustin Church, also known as Bacong Church may not be as grand as the ones in various parts of Visayas and Luzon but it definitely has its own colorful history.
The main altar of the San Agustin Church is embellished with gold leaves and painted friezes. It is considered the oldest altar in the region. The church has the tallest belfry in all of Negros Oriental. It served as a lookout during the marauding days of Moro pirates.
Buy souvenirs at Negros Oriental Arts & Heritage Shop
Negros Oriental Arts & Heritage Shop or NOAH’s main products are decorative and multi-use items made from rock materials found in the province. The rocks are cut, carved, and glued with mosaic-like patterns to their respective frames before being glazed and polished.
The items are not exactly cheap, but I guess the pricing considers the amount of work that goes into each hand-crafted piece. Once these products reach the shops in Manila and abroad, they would cost much more.
Shop at Paunay Farmers Market In Valencia
You can go around the different stalls that sell fresh produce from local farmers at this weekly farmer’s market. You can also check out the stalls of the foreigners selling their baked products, canned, and bottled fruit preserves. Both local and foreign visitors can enjoy a variety of agricultural products and international cuisine available in the market. The Paunay Farmers Market opens from 7am to 7pm. The relaxing and friendly atmosphere of the public plaza makes it a safe space for families to bond and children to play.
Relax at Pulangbato Falls Mountain Resort In Malabo
The Twin Falls Mountain Resort, otherwise known as the Pulangbato Falls Mountain Resort, is open from 8am to 6pm on a daily basis. The twin falls consist of the Pulangbato Falls and the Malabo Falls. The name Pulangbato is derived from the wall covered with sulfur deposits turning red from the water cascading down.
The entrance fee starts from Php100 for adults and Php50 for children the age of 10 and below. Children at the age of 2 and below are free of charge. Special rates apply for PWDs and senior citizens. Parking is free of charge and pets are allowed.
Our Top Hotel Picks for Dumaguete City
Negros Oriental Travel and Tour Packages
Dolphin Watching and Manjuyod Sandbar Tour
Start your island escapade with an early hotel pick-up, and you’ll soon be on your way to Bais for a chance to see majestic dolphins. You may spot some pantropical spotted dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, and maybe even some long-snouted spinner dolphins if you’re lucky!
Twin Lakes Natural Park with Dumaguete City Tour
Make the most of your Dumaguete visit by exploring not just famous city spots but also the tranquil and lush forests nestled at the Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park! Tucked away in the mountains of southern Negros are the captivating Lake Balinsasayao and its twin, Lake Danao.
- Top Things to do in the Philippines During Rainy Season
- 5 ‘Virgin’ Beaches to Visit in the Philippines this Summer
- Treasure Hunting in Negros Oriental