About 200km from both Bacolod and Dumaguete, the remote seaside town of Sipalay (si-pah-lie) is surrounded by spectacular white-sand beaches, secluded coves, scattered islets, dive reefs and waters teeming with marlin, trevally and tuna.
The premier attraction here has to be the slice of paradise called Sugar Beach (Langub to the locals) - though keen divers may prefer the dedicated dive resorts of Punta Ballo.
The diving around Sipalay is some of the best in Negros. It's particularly suited to inexperienced or learner divers. At last count there were well over 30 dive sites in the area, including three wrecks (one from WWII). The resorts in Sugar Beach and Punta Ballo either have on-site dive centres or can arrange trips through an affiliated dive centre. Prices are fairly standard: one dive is US$20, equipment rental starts from US$5, an open-water certificate is US$300.
Boats for exploring the marine idylls of nearby Maricalum Bay and Tinagong Dagat can be hired (around P500) through the Sipalay Tourist Information Centre (
Regular buses run between Sipalay and Bacolod (P145, 4½ hours). On the rough road between Sipalay and Dumaguete, buses terminate at Hinoba-an (first transfer) then Bayawan (second transfer) before finally continuing on to Dumaguete (total trip P160, six to seven hours including transfers).