These off-the-beaten-track destinations have so much to offer, from beautiful sights to active adventure and eco-friendly amenities
Negros is a region that’s blessed with ecological diversity. Its interior is lined with lush highlands that extend from the north to the south, while its clear blue seas teem with rich and colorful marine life. Attractions abound, too, from cool mountain resorts and unspoilt beaches to cities dotted with historical landmarks. For a vacation to remember, check out these gorgeous under-the-radar spots on your next visit to the region.
Lakawon Island from an aerial perspective (Photo: Lakawon Island Resort)
In the northernmost part of the region, off the coast of Cadiz, lies this banana-shaped island. There’s no shortage of things to see and do in this pristine white-sand paradise. For instance, you can try your hand at watersports like jet skiing and banana boating, or simply lounge around in any of the Balinese-inspired umbrella huts scattered on the shore. Alternatively, head to the island’s only fishing village for a chat with the locals.
However, the main attraction here is undoubtedly the hip and happening TawHai Floating Bar, which bears testament to Lakawon’s party-island aspirations. On this stylish wooden boat (not unlike the party boats of Ibiza!), you can sip on cocktails, nosh on finger food or simply soak up the sun.
How to get there: Take a 90-minute drive from Bacolod City to Brgy. Cadiz Viejo. From there, the island is a 20-minute boat ride away.
At the foot of Mount Kanlaon (Photo: Rhoda Dejito)
Despite its diminutive size and small-town vibe, Canlaon City is rich in sights and sounds. For starters, it’s home to many waterfalls, thanks to its mountainous locale. Zoom down the natural waterslide that is Padudusan Falls for an experience like no other, or jump into the freezing waters of Sudlon Falls. Alternatively, head to Kanlaon Inland Resort and Eco-Tourism (KIRAET), where you can enjoy a bracing swim in the icy spring waters of its three-tiered pool. Note that the resort is located in a valley, so you’ll have to descend a long stairway to reach it.
Then there’s also Mount Kanlaon, an active stratovolcano that’s the highest peak in the province. While climbing activities have been suspended by the government for more than a year now, you can still pitch a tent at Mapot Base Camp and hike up to the foot of the mountain for breathtaking views of the city.
How to get there: Canlaon City is approximately a two- to three-hour drive from Bacolod City.
One of the many lagoons on Danjugan Island (Photo: Rhoda Dejito)
You’ll find a wealth of natural attractions at this prime eco-tourism destination. Snorkeling is a must-do here — you’ll get to glimpse giant clams, more than 500 species of fish and almost 250 types of hard coral in the island’s protected marine sanctuary. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a giant sea turtle or two!
Then, climb atop the island’s viewing deck for a chance to see a pair of white-breasted sea eagles in the flesh. These majestic feathered giants soar the skies freely, but always return to the same nesting tree on the island. If you don’t manage to spot them, don’t worry — Danjugan is also home to 72 other bird species.
Of course, don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about the sustainable practices employed on the island. Did you know that the island is powered by only a few solar panels, and that treated rainwater makes up most of its water supply?
Its two accommodation options are also as eco-friendly as they come. The huts at Typhoon Beach Camp are fashioned from mud, while Moray Lagoon Camp employs a unique sewage-disposal system — waste is flushed not with water, but with a mixture of woodchips and dried leaves. The waste is then channeled into a large compost pit, where it is converted into fertilizer.
For gorgeous sunset views, head to Typhoon Beach. Secure a spot on one of the viewing decks along the shore, and you’ll have perfect front-row seats for sundown magic.