CARBIN REEF: DIY Travel Guide 2018 (Itinerary + Budget)

Carbin Reef is a rising destination in Negros Occidental.  This tongue-shaped sandbar is located off the coast of Sagay, about 2-3 hours away from Bacolod.  If you are itching to frolic in crystal clear, blue water and powdery, white sand, pack your swimwear, snorkeling gears and sunglasses and head to Carbin Reef.  This drone-worthy and Instagram-worthy sandbar is impossibly perfect that you have to see it in person to believe it’s not photoshopped!

But the real beauty of Carbin Reef is hidden underneath because it is actually a 200-hectare marine sanctuary, part of the 32,000-hectare Sagay’s protected seascape, the first of its kind established sometime in the 1980s.  Here’s my Carbin Reef Travel Guide 2018 with sample itinerary with budget to help you plan your trip.

 

WHEN TO VISIT CARBIN REEF

 
LOBO, BATANGAS WEATHER

Carbin Reef is a year-round destination, especially the snorkeling area, but the best time to visit Carbin Reef is during the dry season – March to May, so you can witness its sparkling, deep blue water.

 

CARBIN REEF DIY TRAVEL GUIDE

 

WHAT TO BRING TO CARBIN REEF

 

There are no stores, restaurants or other establishments in Carbin Reef, bring your own food and drinks.

Bring snorkeling gears if you want to go snorkeling in Carbin Reef. Snorkeling gears are also available for rent at Buhay Dagat Snorkeling Guides of Sagay Association for PHP 250 /USD 5/EURO 4.

Bring a coral-friendly sunblock, you can purchase one from my friend’s online shop – Beach Born.

Secure your gadgets, keep them in a water-proof bag.

Bring garbage bags for your trash, take the trash to the mainland, and dispose it properly.

MOBILE SIGNAL: Globe and Smart are both available.    

MODES OF PAYMENT: Everything is on cash basis, so stack up cash.

 ATM’s IN SAGAY: There are ATMs in Sagay town (BPI,BDO,Landbank), the jumping-off point to Carbin Reef.

CARBIN REEF DIY TRAVEL GUIDE

HOW TO GET TO CARBIN REEF

 

 

Manila to Carbin Reef

 

1. From Manila, Cebu or other parts of the Philippines, you can fly to Bacolod City in Negros Occidental (Bacolod-Silay International Airport).

2. Follow the Bacolod to Carbin Reef directions below.

 

Bacolod to Carbin Reef

 

1. If you are coming from Bacolod, head to the North Ceres Bus Terminal.  If coming from downtown Bacolod, you can take a Bata multi-cab or Mandalagan multi-cab. Fare is PHP 7. Alternatively, you can also ride a taxi or Grab. If coming from Bacolod-Silay Airport, there are shuttle vans to Bacolod for PHP 150/USD 3 /EURO 2.45 per person, get off at North Bus Terminal.

2. At North Bus Terminal, take a Ceres bus bound for Sagay.  There are also passenger vans to Sagay. Transit time is about 2 to 3 hours and bus fare is roughly PHP 170/USD 3/EURO 3.

3. Alight at Sagay bus terminal, hire a tricycle to take you to Old Sagay Port for roughly PHP 70/USD 1.33/EURO 1.14, good for 5 persons.

4. Alight at the Tourism Information, pay the entrance fee and hire a boat to take you to Carbin Reef. Transit time to is roughly 20 minutes. (See Carbin Reef boat rental rates and entrance fee below).

 

Lakawon to Carbin Reef

If you are wondering how from Lakawon to Carbin Reef, here you go:

1. From Lakawon Island, ride the boat back to Cadiz Port.

2. At Cadiz Port, hire a tricycle to take you to Burgos Public Market along the highway.  Fare is PHP 120/USD 2/EURO 3, good for 5 persons.

3. At Burgos Public Market, cross to the other side of the road and wait for a bus bound for San Carlos, Escalante or Toboso. Tell the conductor you are getting off at Sagay.

4. Alight at Sagay Plaza. TRAVEL TIP: Check out the old train displayed at the plaza.

5. Hire a tricycle to take you to Old Sagay Port for around PHP 70/USD 1.33/EURO 1.14, good for 5 persons.

6. Get off at the Tourism Information, pay the entrance fee and charter a boat to take you to Carbin Reef. Travel time is about 20 minutes. (See Carbin Reef boat rental rates and entrance fee below).

 

 

CEBU TO CARBIN REEF

 

1. There is a ferry (Goldenbridge Shipping) from Tabuelan, Cebu to Sagay, Negros Occidental.  It leaves Tabuelan, Cebu daily at 2:00 AM and 2:00 PM to Sagay, and returns to Tabuelan, Cebu from Sagay at 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM.

2. At Old Sagay Port, head to the Tourism Information and pay the fees. (Refer to the Carbin Reef boat rental rates and entrance fee below).

 

carbin reef photo - aerial

CARBIN REEF RATES 2018

 

 

Here’s a list of Carbin Reef entrance fees, cottage/tent and boat rental. I also included the boat rates for Suyac Island.

ENTRANCE FEE for TouristsRATES
General Admission for TouristsPHP 50/USD 0.95/EURO 0.82
SMR Environmental Fee for TouristsPHP 40/USD 0.76/EURO 0.65
Port FeePHP 10/USD 0.19/EURO 0.16
Total Fees for TouristsPHP 100/USD 2/EURO 2
PWD/Senior CitizensPHP 82/USD 2/EURO 1.34
Children (Age 12 y.o and below)PHP 40/USD 0.76/EURO 0.65
ENTRANCE FEE for Residents
General Admission for ResidentsFree
SMR Environmental Fee for ResidentsPHP 20/USD 0.38/EURO 0.33
Port FeePHP 10/USD 0.19/EURO 0.16
Total Fees for ResidentsPHP 30 /USD 0.57/ EURO 0.49
PWD/Senior Citizens and ChildrenFree except for Port Fee.
BOAT RATES  
1-10 personsPHP 1,200/USD 23/EURO 19
11-15 personsPHP 1,500/USD 29/EURO 25
Suyac Island (additional)PHP 300 /USD 6/EURO 5

 

Carbin Reef limits its visitors to 100 per day, 70 slots for those who reserved and 30 for walk-ins. So best to book in advance. For bookings contact, Sagay City Information and Tourism Office – 034 488 0649 or email them at [email protected]

 

THINGS TO DO IN CARBIN REEF

 

Carbin Reef itinerary
(photo by Gabz of  @pinoytravelfreak who invited me to join this trip)
  • Swimming
  • Picnic
  • Snorkeling

If you wish to go snorkeling, you can hire a guide and rent snorkeling gears. Only 15 persons are allowed to go snorkeling at the same time, so better book in advance. Here are the rates:

 

Package for two (snorkeling guide, complete snorkeling gear and life vest)PHP 600/USD 11/EURO 10
One person (snorkeling guide, complete snorkeling gear and life vest)PHP 400/USD 8/EURO 7
Snorkeling gears only + life vestPHP 250 /USD 5/EURO 4
Guide only (good for 2 persons)PHP 250 /USD 5/EURO 4

 

For bookings, contact: Sagay City Information and Tourism Office 034 488 0649 or email them at [email protected] or contact Mr. Ramil Demboy Rodriguez – 0949 9187 711.

 

CARBIN REEF SIDE TRIPS

 

Carbin Reef travel guide

  • MUSEO SANG BATA SA NEGROS – Visit the Museo Sang Bata sa Negros, a hands-on interactive museum for kids near Sagay Port.
  • SUYAC ISLAND – If you still have time, you can go on a mangrove tour to Suyac Island Mangrove Eco-Park. This community-based eco-tourism site is home to one of the oldest and biggest soneratia alba mangroves in Negros Island. See the rates below:

 

SUYAC ISLAND FEESRATES
Entrance Fee to Suyac IslandPHP 50/USD 0.95/EURO 0.82
Terminal FeePHP 10/USD 0.19/EURO 0.16
CottagePHP 500 /USD 10/EURO 8
Paddle TourPHP 300 /USD 6/EURO 5 per person
Pre-Nuptial PhotoshootPHP 500 /USD 10/EURO 8 per day

 

For bookings, contact the following:

SIETAS President (Nori Bulian) – 0912 5377 166

You may also order food in advance:

SIETAS Secretary and Kitchen Committee (Vangie Arceo) 0907 396 2199

 

WHERE TO STAY IN CARBIN REEF

 

 

 

There are no resorts in Carbin Reef and staying overnight is strictly prohibited.  But you can rent a cottage for day trips.

Shed – Single Cottage (good for 5-10 pax)PHP 300 /USD 6/EURO 5
Shed – Double Cottage (good for 11-20 pax)PHP 500 /USD 10/EURO 8
Panal TowerPHP 300 /USD 6/EURO 5 per floor

 

If you plan to do Carbin Reef as a day trip from Bacolod, here are some of the top-rated Bacolod budget hotels according to Agoda users:

Avenue Suites

Corner 12th Lacson Street, Bacolod Downtown, Bacolod (Negros Occidental)

I stayed here when I first visited Bacolod, and our room is quite spacious, clean and has comfortable beds and breakfast is included.

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE

 

Mahogany Tourist Inn

Magsaysay Avenue, Singcang, Bacolod (Negros Occidental)

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE

 

The Suites at Calle Nueva

15 Corner Nueva, Locsin Street, Bacolod Downtown, Bacolod

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE

 

 

CARBIN REEF ITINERARY

 

 

carbin reef itinerary

Here are some sample Carbin Reef itineraries, feel free to tweak them depending on your schedule.

 

Carbin Reef Day Tour Itinerary (from Bacolod)

 

SCHEDULECARBIN REEF ACTIVITIES
07:00 AMMulticab to North Ceres Bus Terminal, PHP 7
07:20 AMETA North Ceres Bus Terminal. Bus to Sagay, PHP 170
10:30 AMETA Sagay. Hire tricycle to Old Sagay Port, PHP 100
11:00 AMETA Old Sagay Port. Hire boat to Carbin Reef and pay entrance fee + cottage, PHP 1,200 + PHP 50 per person + PHP 300
11:30 AMETA Carbin Reef. Swimming + Snorkeling.
12:00 PMLunch
04:00 PMETD Carbin Reef
04:30 PMETA Old Sagay Port. Hire tricycle to Sagay bus terminal, PHP 100
05:00 PMBus to Bacolod, PHP 170
08:00 PMETA Bacolod. Multicab to downtown Bacolod, PHP 7

 

 

Carbin Reef Itinerary (from Lakawon)

 

Since we came from Lakawon Island, this is the route that we took.

SCHEDULEACTIVITIES
08:00 AMBoat from Lakawon to Cadiz Port.
08:30 AMETA Cadiz Port. Hire tricycle to Burgos Public Market.
09:00 AMBus to Sagay,PHP 43
10:30 AMETA Sagay Plaza. Take photo of the old train. Tricycle to Old Sagay Port,PHP 70
11:00 AMETA Old Sagay Port. Rent boat to Carbin Reef + pay cottage + entrance fees at Tourism Office, PHP 1,200 + PHP 50 per person + PHP 300
11:30 AMETA Carbin Reef. Swimming + Snorkeling
12:00 PMLunch
04:00 PMBoat back to Old Sagay Port.
04:30 PMETA Old Sagay Port. Tricycle to Sagay bus terminal, PHP 70
05:00 PMBus to Bacolod, PHP 170
08:00 PMETA Bacolod. Multicab to downtown Bacolod, PHP 8

 

 

CARBIN REEF EXPENSES (Budget Breakdown)

 

 

carbin reef sandbar

Here’s a sample Carbin Reef budget if you are coming from Bacolod. Take note that we are a group of 5 persons reason why the boat rental and cottage fees below are divided by 5.

 

ACTIVITIESEXPENSES
Bus to SagayPHP 170/USD 3/EURO 3
Tricycle to Old Sagay PortPHP 170/USD 3/EURO 3
Entrance FeePHP 50/USD 0.95/EURO 0.82 per person
Boat RentalPHP 1,200 / 5 = PHP 240/USD 4/EURO 5 per person
Cottage FeePHP 300/5 = PHP 60/USD 1/EURO 0.98
Tricycle to Sagay TerminalPHP 70/5 = PHP 14/USD 0.27/EURO 0.23
Bus to BacolodPHP 70/5 = PHP 14/USD 0.27/EURO 0.23
TOTAL EXPENSESPHP 718/USD 14/EURO 12 per person

 

Here’s a sample Carbin Reef trip budget if you are coming from Lakawon Island:

ACTIVITIESEXPENSES
Entrance FeePHP 50/USD 0.95/EURO 0.82 per person
Boat RentalPHP 1,200 / 5 = PHP 240/USD 4/EURO 5 per person
Cottage FeePHP 300/5 = PHP 60/USD 1/EURO 0.98
Tricycle to Burgos MarketPHP 120/5 = PHP 24
Bus to SagayPHP 43/USD 0.82/USD 0.70
Tricycle to Old Sagay PortPHP 70/5 = PHP 14/USD 0.27/EURO 0.23
Tricycle to Sagay TerminalPHP 70/5 = PHP 14/USD 0.27/EURO 0.23
Bus to BacolodPHP 170/USD 3/EURO 3
TOTAL EXPENSESPHP 615/USD 12/EURO 10 per person

 

*Food and drinks not included in the sample budget.

 

 

CARBIN REEF TRAVEL TIPS

 

Carbin Reef travel blog

(Carbin Reef with my travel blogger squad: Regil, Pinoy Travel Freak, Pinoy Adventurista and Lakwatsero)

Leave no trace, take your trash with you.

Do not collect sand for souvenir.

Keep yourself hydrated.

If you are on a tight budget and you don’t want to rent a cottage, you can stay in your boat.

Use coral-friendly sunblock.


ALSO READ:

LAKAWON ISLAND

SIPALAY ITINERARY

SIPALAY TOURIST  ATTRACTIONS


About the Blogger : Gael is a Filipina travel blogger. Her work has appeared in local and international publications.

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