Not all travel-worthy spots in Negros Occidental sit on plain sight; others are hard to find as if they are carefully hidden so that only the brave and the dedicated can experience their wonders.

That’s what keeps Sipaway Island in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental a mystery. This island hasn’t created that much buzz yet on social media and other online platforms making it less travelled. Its location may have also significantly affected why only few people have gone to this place yet. It is only reachable via 10-15 minutes boat ride from San Carlos City which is around two hours away from Bacolod.

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Photo by jose mari chua
Photo by Ian Limpangog

The electricity may have also discouraged some because it is only available up to a certain hour every night, depending on the resort that you will be booking. Water supply had been scarce too especially during summer. It is only few years ago that electricity supply and water became available 24/7.

But for the seasoned beach goers, the less travelled the place is, the better. In fact, Sipaway Island is virtually an unspoiled island with minimal infrastructures. It is composed of only two barangays namely San Juan and Ermita. The entire island only stretches seven kilometers in length and around 1.5 kilometers in width, allowing everyone to circumnavigate it in less than a day.

Photo by Symon Dequiña Mercado
Photo by Symon Dequiña Mercado


Since the place is relatively small, you can go around by arranging a trip with a habal-habal driver. To save, you can rent a scooter so that you’ll have more flexibility. Don’t worry because the locals are friendly, and they are more than happy to point directions for you.

The island’s white sand shorelines are proofs that this place is a strip of heaven on earth. If the city life has been so noisy and jam-packed with loads of stress and pressures, here, you will find yourself immersed in complete isolation and peace. Because it’s less crowded, everyone is guaranteed of a day of meditation and just pure nature communion.

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Photo by Hernor de Asis
Photo by 정일우

The sea invites you for a refreshing swim. You will never go wring dipping all day in the water that is a blue the skies. The underwater is also blessed with rich marine life so snorkeling is something that you should not miss out.

At night, you can camp with your friends along the wide stretch of the shores and marvel at the clear skies dotted with twinkling stars. A bonfire together with them can be a good way too to maximize your stay here. Of course, sleeping to the sound of the waves and waking up to the beautiful sight of the horizon are things that will make you appreciate life and nature more.

Photo by Ryan VD
Photo by Ryan VD


Other than spending the time at the beach, there are also other interesting places within the island. A century-old balete tree is one of the most popular spots. Scuba Diving is also a must-do activity. You don’t want to miss the spectacular underwater scene, right?

The town of San Carlos where the Sipaway Island is a part of is a town that houses several tourist destinations worth your time. While in this town, you can visit Broce Ancestral House, Hacienda Sta. Ana Grotto, and the San Carlos Borromeo Cathedral to cap your San Carlos escapade. If time permits, you can choose to date your trip in time for the Pintaflores Festival every November 3-5.

Photo by Symon Dequiña Mercado
Photo by Symon Dequiña Mercado




Exact location: Sipaway Island, San Carlos City, Negros Occidental

BY COMMUTE: From Cebu City, you can take a bus to Toledo City and take a RORO from there to San Carlos City. For those coming from Iloilo City (or Bacolod City), head to Bacolod City and take a bus to San Carlos City. Once you reach San Carlos City, take a tricycle and ask the driver to bring you to the port for Sipaway Island. Boat travel time to the island is approximately 15 mins. From the port, you can take tricycle to your desired destination.  

BY CAR: Navigate with Waze or Google Maps and set your destination to “Sipaway Island” in San Carlos City. You may have to look for a parking spot before you hop on the boat ride to the island.

Looking for a place to stay in this island? Click here to get the best room deals.

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