Island Hopping in Sipalay | Lady & her Sweet Escapes

May 27, 2016

Island Hopping in Sipalay

Turquoise blue waters and lush tropical islets with wooden boats sailing around them greeted me when I glanced out the viewing deck of Latasan Island Resort. I was surprised, pleasantly surprised! It was my first time in Sipalay and I never thought there's something like it in my province. Shame that I often tend to look for beautiful destinations in far away places and only laid my eyes on this "jewel" when my aunt mentioned it as nothing but an option for our homecoming plans.

The view of the islands from the deck made me look forward to the upcoming activity on our schedule that day. I excitedly took the stairs, then the hanging bridge, back to the resort where we spent the night. It's time to explore some of the unspoilt islands that I have seen from up there!    

Island Hopping in Sipalay

Island hopping is a must-do in Sipalay. Some resorts offer boat trips, but pump boats can easily be hired along the shore of Punta Ballo beach. Boat rental fee depends on the season, on how many islands you intend to visit and on your haggling skill. 

It was mid-February when we island hopped in Sipalay, off-peak season and a weekday, hence our family of 8 was able to secure a good deal with a boat man. Our half-day trip to three islands cost us Php 1,500.
the clear blue waters of Sipalay
the clear blue waters of Sipalay
pump boat in Sipalay
All aboard!

Before we embarked on our island hopping adventure, we prepared these 5 essentials:

1. Snorkeling Mask - Because Sipalay boasts a rich marine life! 
2. Swimwear - The water is super clear. Nobody can avoid jumping in.
3. Food and Water - We're not sure what's in store for us in the islands. Sipalay is not as touristy as Honda Bay, so there's probably no restaurant or even a sari-sari store.  
4. Sunblock - Because sunburn is a no-no!
5. Camera - Because, of course, the memories in paradise should be preserved.  

Punta Ballo beach Sipalay
sailing away from Punta Ballo beach
Sipalay island hopping
Thumbs up for safety! Life jackets were provided on board the pump boat.

We sailed away from the white sand beach of Punta Ballo towards one of the diving sites in Sipalay. On our way, we saw private coves and floating gazebos, islands with rocky edges and lush greens. 

Since I'm not a good swimmer, I only watched Ed dived into the deep blue waters, waited for his one line stories as he bobbed up and down the sea. On his first dive, he went back to the surface and said "Ahhhh, nami nami!" (It's really nice). Then at one point, he shouted "I found Nemo!" Hahaha!

one of the private coves in Sipalay
one of the private coves in Sipalay
floating gazebo in Sipalay
a floating gazebo
diving site in Sipalay
The surface of the diving site. Too bad, Ed forgot to take underwater shots.

The non-swimmers, that's including me, were so happy when the boat finally docked in an island where we can take a dip. Our boat man said that the island is called Campomanes. It has a port for medium size vessels and a snorkeling area with a sunken ship. We didn't get to see the ship, but we had a lot of fun frolicking in Campomanes' crystal clear waters.

Summer in Sipalay
Island #1: Campomanes
clear waters of Sipalay
the husband playing in the outrigger
family fun in Campomanes
 frolicking in Campomanes

Our next stop was in an island with a cave. This island only has a tiny sandy beach and the rest is made up with rocks and boulders. I didn't get to explore the cave, but the men in our family took a peek and said that it quite has an unpleasant smell because of the bats.

island in Sipalay
Island #2
rocky island in Sipalay
quite an ideal spot for muni-muni
island adventure in Sipalay
more dose of Vitamin Sea, this time in a rocky shore 
one of the islands in Sipalay
This rocky island is breathtaking!

We went back to our boat to have a quick lunch. Bringing packed meals was a good idea as the island is deserted. It is uninhabited, preserved in its natural state, not like the touristy islands we have been to in Puerto Princesa and Boracay. 

lunch in Sipalay
lunch time in our little boat
starfish in Sipalay
spotted a starfish while having lunch

Our last destination was the island with a Grotto of the Virgin Mary. Sad to say, the grotto was destroyed a few years back and has not been rebuilt since then. The view, however, made up for the disappointment of not finding the place for prayer intact. 

From there, we could see Sipalay's stunning karst landscape covered in lush vegetation. It is indeed a jewel that deserves a spot in the "Top Summer Destinations in the Philippines" list, but part of me fervently hope it would remain untouched.   

Sipalay's spectacular karst landscape
view from Island #3: Sipalay's spectacular karst landscape
Sipalay tourist destination
No other tourists, just us!
family fun in Sipalay
Family Fun and a whole lot of Family Love in Sipalay

Negros Occidental

Wondering where to stay in Sipalay? 
Check out my previous post: 4 Resorts to Visit or to Stay in Sipalay

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