Getting to know Negros Occidental
Negros Occidental is one of the country’s most visited province because of its rich culture, history, eco tourism, food and also white sand beaches.
It is located in the western side of Negros Island, the fourth largest island in the Philippines with a total land area of 972,607 hectares or 9,726.06 sq. kms. The province is approximately 375 kilometers long from north to south. It is bounded by the Visayan Sea in the north, Panay Gulf on the west, Tañon Strait and Negros Oriental province on the east and Sulu Sea on the south.
The province is not only known for its sugar plantations but also for its colorful festivals and street parties. MassKara Festival of Bacolod is one of the most colorful and most anticipated festival in the province of Negros Occidental and Philippines as well. It is celebrated every 3rd week of October. Another must see festival is Sinulog de Kabankalan of Kabankalan City. It is a local version of Ati-atihan festival celebrated every January.
Aside from festivals, Negros Occidental is very rich in history and culture. Old palatial mansions of Silay City is a living testimony of how sugar barons lived during Spanish era. Silay City is a museum city with Ancestral houses listed by National Historical Institute (NHI). Also Silay is the second most numbered ancestral houses in the Philippines next to Vigan of Ilocos.
Let us now discover the beautiful province of Negros Occidental. Hope this guide will help you whenever you’ll be visiting Negros Occidental province.
Negros Occidental Overview
How to get there:
Several airlines like Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines have a regular daily trips from Manila and Cebu via Bacolod-Silay International Airport.
From the airport, taxis and UV can bring you to the province capital and bus terminal in Bacolod City. You can also charter a van from airport if money is not a problem.
By sea: 2Go travel has a regular trip from Manila to Bacolod City. Estimated travel time is 18-20 hours.
How long to stay:
If you are a first time traveller 2 – 3 days stay is recommended. But if you really want to explore most of the attractions from North to South of Negros Occidental you can extend your trip whenever you want.
Where to stay in Negros Occidental
There are wide array of hotels, Airbnb, pension houses in Negros Occidental. Accommodation is not that expensive compare to others provinces. But if money is not a problem then why not book in a first class hotel in Bacolod City. The map below are list of hotels you can check to book your accommodation.
How to get around:
If you are staying and exploring within the metro jeepneys, taxi and grab car are available. If you want to spend less jeepneys are best option. Make sure to research the place first and most important is, don’t hesitate to ask the locals about direction.
Buses are also available if you want to travel north or south of the province. There are two terminals around Bacolod. South terminal and North terminal.
Is Negros Occidental Safe?
Definitely yes! People in this province is very accommodating and always smiling. Negros Occidental is one of the friendliest province in Philippines. As a matter of fact Bacolod City ranked 19th as the safest cities in Southeast Asia by a popular travel website.
Places of Interest in Negros Occidental
There are a lot of tourist spots around the province. The lists below are my personal choice of the best places you must visit in the province.
- Silay City’s Ancestral Houses (Heritage walk)
The museum city has a lot of beautiful ancestral houses. It is easy to navigate this spots because it is just around and near the plaza. You can do a heritage walk to explore all this beautiful houses. Some houses is still inhabited and some were turned into lifestyle museum like Balay Negrense, Bernardo Jalandoni Museum, . You can check my blog post of List of Ancestral Houses of Silay for complete list. Also do drop by at Silay Tourism office to ask for map and other sources to help you navigate the city.
- The RUINS, Talisay City
This magnificent edifice is dubbed as the “Taj Mahal” of Negros because of the story behind it. You can check my blog post about The RUINS here. The RUINS is also included in the 13 most fascinating ruins of the world.
- Campuestuhan Highland Resort
A resort in the upland of Talisay. This haven is very popular destination because of its life size structures of cartoon characters, marvel heroes, dinosaurs. Its themed accommodations is also unique that makes this place a one of a kind in the province and in Philippines.
The resort also offers several activities like zip line,
- Lakawon Island Resort and Spa, Cadiz City
This luxury resort located off cost of Cadiz City is another must visit in Negros Occidental. It is famous npt only because of its white sand beach but also because it houses the Asia’s bighest floating bar! You can check mg blog post on how to get to Lakawon Island HERE.
Read: Lakawon Island Itinerary
- Carbin Reef, Sagay City
Want to experience being on an island alone? You can sometimes experience it in Carbin Reef. This sand bar is part of Sagay Marine Reserve (SMR).
Read: Carbin Reef Travel Guide
Beach and Resorts in Sipalay City
The jewel of Negros Occidental. Sipalay City is located on the southern part of the province with long coastal area that makes it the favorite place of beach lovers locally and abroad. There are various beach and resorts in Sipalay that offers diving lessons.
Best Time to Visit Negros Occidental
- In my opinion one of the best time to visit Negros is October. Bacolod City is celebrating MassKara Festival by that month. It is one of the most anticipated festival not only in Negros but also in Philippines.
- If October is not an option, then March to May is also recommended. It is perfect to start your summer vacation. Negros has several beautiful whitesand and underrated beaches.
- During Panaad sa Negros Festival. This festivities is an annual celebration in the province to give thanks to the bountiful harvest. Don’t missed out the festival showdown where 13 cities and 19 town and municipalities showcased their own festival. Perfect way to experience Negros in one day.
- All year round. Negros is perfect all year round.
A freelance hairstylist and makeup artist. Love to travel and explore places. Festival lover, local food lover and proud Filipino! Join me in my adventures and misadventures exploring my beloved country Philippines. Don’t forget to follow me on my social media accounts to stay updated.