Sipalay is a small town situated on the west of Negros, the fourth largest island in the Philippines and part of the Visayas group. The island of Negros is still relatively undeveloped and is split into two provinces. In the north, Bacolod is the capital city of Occidental, renowned for its vibrant art district and museums. The province in the south is Oriental, where Dumaguete is the capital city and the other domestic airport on the island. Negros Island is beautifully lush and tropical and well known for its verdant sugar cane plantations in the north and coconut plantations in the south.
Located in Negros Occidental province in the Western Visayas, the Sipalay area is renowned for its impressive karst scenery, local markets, and friendly locals. As well as featuring over 40 dive sites, non-divers are well catered for with a choice of land-based local sights and activities as well as snorkelling, kayaking and SUP all available in resort.
Diving is suited to all abilities. Most dive sites are within a 15-minute boat ride from the resort. It’s an ideal place to learn, super for photographers, wreck enthusiasts, and experienced divers with a variety of sites and incredible and bountiful marine life.
HOUSE REEF DIVING
With a maximum depth of 25 metres, the gently sloping house reef sites are suitable for scuba training and fun day and night dives. Explore huge colourful coral blocks on the white sand seabed. There are plenty of subjects for macro photographers.
There are several sites along this coast offering divers colourful coral gardens, offshore reefs, turtle encounters and more. Dive along walls leading into the marine protected area of Campomanes Bay where two freighters and a WW2 wreck are waiting to be discovered.
DAY TRIPS FOR ALL
The resort offers regular day trips to Danjugan Island Nature Reserve and Turtle Island. Both include lunch and diving or snorkelling activities, plus the opportunity to explore topside and connect with nature.
GETTING TO SIPALAY
Negros Island can be reached by domestic flight from Manila to either Bacolod airport in the north or Dumaguete in the south. Sipalay is equidistant from both. Travel to resort is 3.5 to 4 hours by car and is arranged at time of booking.
Depending on your other travel plans and chosen airline, at least one overnight stay may be required to ensure you have the best option on your journey to resort. Get in touch with our Regaldive team to make your holiday arrangements.
Sipalay Dive Centre is Swiss managed and on-site at Sipalay Easy Diving resort on the west coast of Negros Island in the western Visayas region of the Philippines. The PADI 5-star IDC centre offers daily boat diving to the local sites as well as a comprehensive range of courses including technical instruction and Sidemount diving. Night dives are available, and Nitrox is free of charge. In addition, there are regular day trips to both Danjugan and Turtle Island (also suitable for snorkellers).
There are over 40 dive sites to explore, all within a 15-minute boat ride from the resort. Join the experienced guides on one of 5 local Banca boats all custom designed for divers. The local area is an underwater paradise waiting to be discovered. Diving in small groups, up to 4 boat dives are scheduled every day, plus easy access to the house reef. Enjoy pristine reefs and an abundance of marine life, drop-offs, coral gardens, walls, wrecks, and an incredible variety of critters, perfect for macro photographers.
The Dive Centre has a classroom and camera room, and full equipment rental is available (Scubapro). It is possible to be a coral gardener by getting involved and contributing to the local reef-building project. For non-divers, there are Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUP), kayak and mountain bike rentals, plus 3-D archery, snorkelling and guided tours to the local markets.
Just over an hour away by boat, there are regular day trips to Danjugan Island and Turtle Island, both with a Marine Sanctuary, available for both divers and snorkellers (local charge).
We recommend that you book your dive packs with Regaldive prior to departure, to secure your diving or course and so that the dive centre is expecting you. Options available include a 10 or 20-dive package with air or Nitrox (for free). Please discuss your requirements with the Regaldive team, who will prepare a quotation suited to your needs.
Note: All divers must dive with a computer.
A comprehensive range of diving courses are available for those looking to learn to dive or further their education including technical certification. Please enquire for details.
EXTRAS IN RESORT
Prices listed below are an indication only and are subject to change. All extras are paid locally.
Equipment rental per day:
- Full equipment (excludes computer): PHP 750
- Dive computer: PHP 500
- Wetsuit with booties: PHP 250
- Torch: PHP 250
- Regulator: PHP 250
- BCD: PHP 250
- 15-litre tank (per tank): PHP 100
Marine Park Fees (where applicable):
The Philippines is an island nation located in South East Asia with Manila as its capital city. The Philippine archipelago comprises 7,107 islands in the western Pacific Ocean. These islands are home to spectacular scenery, pristine beaches, incredible sights and lively cities. Dramatic drop-offs, wrecks, caves and a richly varied marine life also guarantee fabulous diving. Combined with the renowned Philippine hospitality and warmth, an unforgettable dive holiday awaits.
You will find a true blend of cultures; the people are generally of Malay descent, but Philippine history has introduced Chinese, Spanish and American elements as well. The Philippines is a predominantly Christian country where eight out of ten Filipinos are practising Catholics. Filipino hospitality is legendary and the Philippines is the fiesta nation in Asia. Fiestas celebrate harvests, births and victories, as well as religious events. The Filipinos like to party and celebrations are found in every ethnic group and may be large regional events or small local happenings.
Resorts have been hand-picked, not only for their comfort and surrounding scenery but most importantly, for their proximity to incredible dive sites. Whilst out of the water guests can relax on some of the best beaches in the world, enjoy the local markets, festivals and sights or even spend a night in the exciting and bustling Manila or more laid-back Cebu.
As the Philippines is a strong Catholic nation, festive holidays such as Easter are very busy. Either book well in advance or avoid the main religious holiday periods where possible.
The climate of The Philippines can broadly be described as hot and tropical. Most people visit The Philippines during the dry season, however, many regular visitors attest that the best time to visit is during the wet season and that the proliferation and variety of marine life is best in June, July and August.
Dry season: December to May
Wet season: June to November
During the dry season, easterly winds prevail and air temperature is in the high 20s to mid-30s. February to May are generally the hottest. Wet season winds are from the west, with air temperature in the mid to high 20s. You can often strike lucky and have weeks of brilliant blue skies and unlimited sunshine. On the other hand, the rains, when they come, are impressive and prolonged. There are few rivers, so runoff and its effect on water visibility is not generally a problem.
Please note that the Philippines is a large country and has many climatic variations from east to west and south to north.
Best underwater visibility: April to July
Water temperature average: 24-30°C
8 hours ahead of GMT.
Filipino is officially the national language of The Philippines. This language is based on Tagalog which is the most widely used of the 70 plus dialects used within the country. English is also prevalent throughout the country, especially in tourist destinations. English is also widely used as the medium for education, communication and business. Eight major dialects spoken by majority of the Filipinos: Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinense.
The unit of currency is the Philippine Peso (PHP). 1 Peso = 100 Centavos. The US dollar is the most widely recognised foreign currency. Euros & GBP are also readily exchanged.
The majority of larger towns have ATMs, however, facilities for money withdrawal or changing are far less widespread away from the main centres of population. There are bank machines at the airport. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted in most towns, but you may be required to pay an extra 10-15% surcharge for their use. Outside of the main towns, not all places accept credit cards. Please refer to your individual destination notes for each resort, but as a guideline, please see below:
- Sipalay: Accepts credit cards
- Malapascua: Ocean Vida accepts credit cards and has an exchange. Elsewhere credit cards cannot be accepted and there are no ATMs. Please ensure you carry sufficient cash - USD and GBP are accepted.
- Dumaguete: Banks and ATMs are available in Dumaguete town. Pura Vida and Atmopshere accept credit cards.
- Palawan: Accepts credit cards
- SY Philippine Siren: GBP, Euro & USD Currency. Credit card payment is only possible when docking at the following ports: Cebu, Philippines. 3% charge applies.
Tipping is expected for many services. The standard is 10% of the total bill or optional where there is a 10% service charge.
Regaldive can offer packages to the Philippines on a number of different airlines.
London - Manila: Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Malaysia Airlines and KLM all fly daily via their national hubs.
London - Cebu: Singapore Airlines via Singapore on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday; Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong daily.
Carry-On Luggage Restriction:
Philippines Office for Transportation Security has issued new rules that include 'Scuba Diving Equipment' (including regulators) on the list of blunt instruments that are not to be in carry-on/cabin baggage on flights originating within the Philippines. Please ensure that all scuba equipment is secured within checked-in baggage on all domestic flights and on all departing international flights.
Manila - Cebu: Multiple daily flights
Manila - Busuanga: 2 flights daily
Manila - Dumaguete: 2 flights daily
Baggage on internal flights:
The below only applies only to extra flights within the Philippines built into your itinerary, not if it is part of your international ticket.
Baggage allowance: Checked bag - 20kg / Hand baggage - 5 to 7kg. Please note that the internal flight to/from Busuanga (Palawan). This is a shorter airstrip and the airline may not permit any extra weight.
Payment for extra kilos on check-in (guideline):
Cebu Pacific: Php 150 per kilo
Philippine Airlines: Php 169 per kilo
Whichever island you are staying on, you are met at the airport/ferry port and transferred to your resort. Whether by flight, jeepney or Banca boat, there are fantastic sights to enjoy on your journey there and back. Although some transfers can take up to a whole day, most clients pass feedback that this was a very interesting part of their overall trip.
The below information is to give you a general idea of transfer times between regions; actual transfer times may differ slightly according to individual arrangements and ferry timetables, tides etc.:
Cebu - Dumaguete: 4 - 5 hours by vehicle, ferry and hotel shuttle
Cebu - Bohol / Panglao / Cabilao: 3 to 4 hours by vehicle, ferry, vehicle
Cebu - Malapascua: 4 – 5 hours by vehicle and outrigger
Cebu – Moalboal: 3.5 hours by vehicle
Dumaguete - Bohol / Panglao / Cabilao: 3 hours by hotel shuttle, ferry and vehicle or 3 to 4 hours by Outrigger conditions permitting
Dumaguete - Malapascua: 8 - 9 hours by vehicle, ferry, vehicle and outrigger
Panglao - Cabilao: 1.5 - 2 hour vehicle and boat
Panglao - Malapascua: 7+ hours by vehicle, ferry, vehicle and outrigger
Cabilao - Malapascua: 7+ hours by vehicle, ferry, vehicle and outrigger
Manila - Cebu: 1: 15 hour by internal flight
Manila - Coron, Palawan: 2.5 hours by internal flight and hotel shuttle
Manila - Puerta Galera: 3 hours by vehicle and boat
Manila – Anilao: 2.5 hours by vehicle
Manila – Caticlan, Boracay: 2 hours by internal flight, vehicle and boat
Please always check your own entry requirements regardless of your nationality. Your passport should always have at least 6 months of validity on the date of return from travel. Always check for last-minute changes in entry requirements and other nationalities should check with their consular office.
British nationals can enter the Philippines without a visa for an initial period of 30 days. You can also get a tourist visa from the Philippine Embassy before you travel, which will allow an initial 59-day stay. Other nationalities should check with their own consulate.
Vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure. For the most up-to-date advice please consult your travel clinic or GP. Further information regarding vaccinations for travel to this country can be found at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk and from your local healthcare provider. We recommend protection, as a minimum, against typhoid, tetanus, hepatitis A and polio.