San Carlos is the main port city connecting Negros to Cebu, with daily ferries heading to Toledo, on Cebu's west coast. It's not overflowing with charm. In contrast, nearby Sipaway Island is a nice place to spend a day or two, and is only 15 minutes by bangka from San Carlos port (P15).
Valencia is a clean and leafy town with stately tree-lined avenues and a large, grassed central square. It sits at the foot of Mt Talinis (1904m), whose twin peaks are known as los Cuernos de Negros (the Horns of Negros). There are four trails to the summit and guides can be arranged by the Provincial Tourism Office in Dumaguete and Harold's Mansion.
Bais City & Around
About 45km north of Dumaguete, Bais City is one of the country's top spots for dolphin- and whale-watching. More species of cetaceans (including killer whales), especially leaping spinner dolphins, have been seen in the squid-filled, 3000ft-deep Tañon Strait between Negros and Cebu than anywhere else in the Visayas.
Near the northern tip of Negros is Sagay City, which is actually two cities: New Sagay on the National Hwy and Old Sagay on the coast, 5.5km away. The city is best known as the guardian of the 32,000-hectare Sagay Marine Reserve, which has some nice snorkelling spots and white-sand beaches.
Mt Kanlaon Natural Park
Mt Kanlaon Natural Park is 24,388 hectares of cool, dense forest surrounding a towering active volcano with a deep crater. The park is home to diverse wildlife, including wild boar, civet cat, leopard cat, spotted deer, hornbill, hawk eagle and bleeding-heart pigeon. However, most of these are rare, endangered or nocturnal, and so spotting them is difficult, even with a guide.
Dauin (dow-in) is a small coastal town on the Bohol Sea, but diving has put it on the international traveller's radar. It's known for macro diving in the Masaplod Norte marine reserve, and as a base for trips to nearby Apo Island, as well as for good snorkelling over the drop-off about 20m from shore.
Punta Ballo is a promontory with a divine white beach of fine shell sand (high-tide swimming only) and a backdrop of wooded hills. But it's best known for what lies underwater: some of the best diving in Negros with at least 10 marine sanctuaries, and 42 dive sites, including three wrecks.