Monday, December 14, 2015

Monday, December 14, 2015
Sugar Beach in Sipalay City
Lat-asan Cove




I've never seen a more succinct display of serenity by the shore than in Sipalay City. Beyond the vast rice fields on both sides of the Negros South Road, a distinct shoreline awaits every visitor coming from either Bacolod or Dumaguete. The city proper or poblacion beach is expansive at 50 meters from the surf. A few minutes of a chartered boat ride from it is Sugar Beach that's a long stretch of fine sand that can be creamy under the sun and brown when surf-swept. On the other side of the poblacion beach is Lat-asan's Tinagong Dagat (hidden sea) where some of the city's more than 20 islets can be found. At every turn in the area's coast, there seems to be something distinct that's ready to impress a traveler.

Charter A Boat Ride

A boat ride from the poblacion beach can be a source of fantastic views of limestone formations and cerulean waters as I determined one early morning from my booked room at Sipalay Suites. The pace can be blissfully slow in all three attractions, but the sense of satisfaction is entirely up to the person engaged in the experience. It was after visiting all of them that I discovered how each can appeal to one's unique vibe or sensibility.

View of Langub Beach from the boat
Foreign tourists at Sugar Beach
Viewing the sunset at the Poblacion Beach
The expansive beachfront of the Poblacion Beach

Poblacion Beach As Jump-Off Point

With its more than 1 kilometer stretch of fine sand, the poblacion beach is best for socials that involve locals as it's easily accessible from the rest of the city proper. Beachgoers there are provided unobstructed views of stunning sunsets every week. Interestingly, the site is considered a natural reclamation in that it used to be submerged underwater until the effects of decade-long mining operations nearby resulted in its necessary rehabilitation. As a result of the current ecological balance being achieved in the area, it's starting to become the city's crowning jewel.

As a result of the current ecological balance being achieved in the area, it's starting to become the city's crowning jewel.

The Poblacion Beach
The beachfront of Sugar Beach
A rustic accommodation at Driftwood Village

Slow Down At Sugar Beach

For those who crave tropical resets, the laid-back Sugar Beach is the perfect spot to kill time. Visitors can charter a boat ride from the poblacion beach or cross a stream inland aboard a small boat to reach it. Formerly called by another name (Langub Beach), the highly-vegetated beachfront is fortunately dotted by a variety of resorts that foreign tourists love to patronize. Those who are after sleek alternatives to Boracay may well need to scratch this off their list because what it offers is its own unique take on being pleasurably stranded. It's rustic in most spots but upscale when guests need to be online. Driftwood Village is a recommended resort to try for unplugged moments. The creative Takatuka Lodge Beach & Dive Resort is another option for those who find quirkiness a legit island therapy.

The restaurant of Takatuka Lodge Beach & Dive Resort
(left) A garage-themed accommodation at Takatuka; (right) Takatuka's resort grounds
A cave-themed accommodation at Takatuka Lodge Beach & Dive Resort
A view of the Lat-asan Cove

Tinagong Dagat As Refuge

For picnics or quick day trips, the hamlet of Lat-asan is a tranquil match for having Tinagong Dagat. The numerous charming islets serve as the cove's veil from the unpredictable sea breeze, making it a worthy refuge for contemplation. According to a representative of Sipalay Tourism, most of the corals at the city's coast were damaged by mine tailings that persisted for decades. Now that mining operations have been stopped, a new lease in marine life is touted to make diving activities in the area more exciting in the coming years. The area where it opens to the poblacion beach is the perfect spot to catch the sunset.

For picnics or quick day trips, the hamlet of Lat-asan is a tranquil match for having Tinagong Dagat.

Visiting the attraction called Tinagong Dagat

Backed by a community that still thrives on rice farming, Sipalay City is far from making the mistake of making its shoreline glossy to a fault. There are functional structures by the shore, but only enough to boost its tourism. The rest of the space that's serene and natural is still the reason why tourists bear the 3 to 5-hour commute from other parts of the Negros Island.

Travel Tip:
For those coming from Bacolod City, board a Faith Taxi across the Ceres Bus Terminal for the same fare to cut down in half the 6-hour bus commute.

Special thanks to Sipalay Suites and Sipalay City Tourism for the tour assistance.

For group tours, contact Marc Torillo:

Check out my other Negros Occidental blog posts:

+ Melba's Farm in Talisay City

+ Sipalay Suites in Sipalay City

Hiking In The Woods of Talisay City's Cabatangan

+ Exploring The Maricalum Mines of Sipalay City

More Photos Below:

Sunset-gazing from the spot between Tinagong Dagat and the Poblacion Beach
Tinagong Dagat attraction
A scenic view of Langub Beach from the boat
A scenic view of Langub Beach from the boat
Island-hopping from the Poblacion Beach
Hammock therapy at Sugar Beach
Sugar Beach from a distance
The creamy sand of Sugar Beach


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