Name the Philippine’s stunning beaches, and Negros Occidental province will most likely go unnoticed. Unknown to many tourists, this bountiful province is oozing with some of the most Instagram-worthy islands. Take for example Lakawon Island, an emerging destination in Cadiz that boasts of powdery cream sand and denim blue water. If you’re looking for a beach near Bacolod, this 16 hectare island makes for a perfect escape. It used to be devoid of crowd and luxury trappings, but under the new management, came new developments. Lakawon Island is now peppered with open cottages, but what really draws tourists here is the Taw Hai Floating Bar, dubbed as the largest floating bar in Asia. Here’s my Lakawon Island travel guide with itinerary and budget to help you plan your beach get-away here.
LAKAWON ISLAND PRE-TRIP PLANNING
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT LAKAWON ISLAND : The best months to visit Lakawon Island are late December to May, during the dry season in the Philippines. The summer months of April to May, can be pretty crowded especially on weekends. Also, avoid traveling during holidays as beaches and islands can be pretty jampacked in famous tourist destinations in the Philippines.
WHAT TO BRING IN LAKAWON ISLAND : Bring swimwear, coral-friendly lotion, flipflops, bamboo straw, power bank, extra battery and dry bags to protect your gadgets.
LAKAWON ISLAND POWER PLUG: Electrical socket here is Type A, 220 V, 60 HZ.
LAKAWON ISLAND MODE OF PAYMENT : Lakawon Island resort is cashless, meaning, you can’t pay using cash. You have to purchase the Lakawon Island Cash Card at the reception of Lakawon Island Resort for PHP 20 and load/reload it. You will use the cash card to pay for the food and drinks that you will purchase in Lakawon Island Resort. You can refund the load if you still have a credit left on the cash card. Just go to the reception.
ATMs IN SAGAY: There are no ATMs in Lakawon Island. ATMs like BPI, BDO, Banco de Oro, etc. are available in Sagay City.
PARKING IN LAKAWON ISLAND: You can’t bring your car in Lakawon Island, you need to park it near Cadiz Viejo (Lakawon Port), the jumping-off point to Lakawon Island.
LAKAWON ISLAND SAFETY: No safety issues, but don’t leave your valuables unattended. The resort will not be responsible for lost items.
LAKAWON ISLAND TRAVEL GUIDE (ITINERARY + BUDGET) 2018
HOW TO GET TO LAKAWON ISLAND:
IMPORTANT: Lakawon Island boat is runs from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM only. Fee per person is ₱310/$6 (boat + entrance fee + terminal fee). If no other passengers arrive, you can rent the boat for ₱1,000/$19 (special trip).
FROM MANILA TO LAKAWON ISLAND
- From Manila, you need to fly to Bacolod (Bacolod-Silay Airport). Travel time is roughly 1 hour.
- From Bacolod Airport, you can take a taxi to Seven Eleven near the intersection of Rizal Street and Zulueta Street.
- Wait for the bus going en route to Cadiz City, Sagay, Toboso or Escalante. Buses are available until around 3:00 PM only, if your arrive late in the afternoon or in the evening, best to just take a taxi to Cadiz Viejo Port (Lakawon Port).
- Get off at Brgy. Burgos Stop-Over Terminal
- Rent a tricycle to Cadiz Viejo Port (Lakawon Port). Fare is ₱120 ($3) , good for 6 persons. Travel time is approximately 15 minutes.
- Register and pay the fees. Total fee to Lakawon Island is 310 per person. You will be provided a voucher.
- Once your name is called, present your voucher and board the boat to Lakawon Island Resort.
- Alternatively, if you want to secure a seat in the bus, you may travel to Bacolod North Bus Terminal from Bacolod (Bacolod-Silay Airport). There are shuttle vans to Bacolod city from Bacolod airport. Fare is ₱150 ($3).
- Follow the Bacolod to Lakawon directions below.
FROM BACOLOD TO LAKAWON ISLAND
- Head to Bacolod North Bus Terminal. You can go there by taxi (taxis are pretty reliable in multi-cab or Mandalagan multi-cab to North Bus Terminal. Fare is roughly ₱7 ($0.13).
- At North Bus Terminal, ride a bus going to Cadiz City, Sagay, Toboso or Escalante. Fare is roughly ₱105 ($2). Travel time is around 1.5 hours.
- Alight at Burgos Public Market. Take note that you may also alight at Brgy. Burgos Stop-Over Terminal or Martisan Crossing, however the Burgos Public Market is the nearer to the port.
- At Burgos Public Market, take a tricycle to Cadiz Viejo Port (Lakawon Port). Fare is ₱120 ($2.28), good for 6 persons. Transit time is about 15 minutes.
- Register and pay the fees. Total fee to Lakawon Island is ₱310 ($6) per person. You will be provided a voucher.Here’s the breakdown of Lakawon Island fees for 2018:
- Lakawon Island entrance fee – ₱140 ($3) per person
- Roundtrip boat fee for Lakawon Island – ₱150 ($3) per person
- Terminal fee – ₱20 (0.38)
- Present your voucher and ride the boat to Lakawon Island Resort. Make sure you register your name because the guard will call you when it’s your turn to ride the boat. Travel time to Lakawon Island is about 15 minutes.
FROM CEBU TO LAKAWON ISLAND
- Take the ferry (Goldenbridge Shipping) at Tabuelan Port in Cebu to Sagay, Negros Occidental. The ferry leaves Tabuelan daily at 2:00 AM and 2:00 PM. From Cebu, it leaves daily at 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM. Travel time is about 2 hours.
- At Sagay, take a bus to Bacolod or to Cadiz.
- Alight at Burgos Public Market.
- Ride a tricycle to Cadiz Viejo Port (Lakawon Port). Travel time is approximately 15 minutes. Fare is ₱120 ($2.28), good for 6 persons.
- Register and pay the fees. Total fee to Lakawon Island is ₱310 ($6) per person. You will be provided a voucher.
- Wait for the guard to call your name, so make sure you register your name. Present your voucher. Then board the boat to Lakawon Island.
- Alight at Lakawon Island.
Goldenbridge Shipping Inc.
Main office: 420 5467/ 420 5468/0922 587 3500 / 0917 631 7824
Tabuelan: 0943 410 0278
THINGS TO DO IN LAKAWON ISLAND
- Swimming – Lakawon Island is a perfect place for swimming as the water is clear and the shore is sandy.
- Snorkeling – There are parts of Lakawon Island that are ideal for swimming. You can bring your own snorkeling gear or rent a snorkel and mask for ₱150 ($3) for 2 hours.
- Kayaking – You can kayak in Lakawon Island. Kaya rental is ₱600 ($11) per hour, good for 2 persons.
- Paddle Board – You can also go paddle boarding here. Paddle board rental is ₱500 ($10) per hour.
- Banana Boat – Yep, banana boat is also available in Lakawon Island. Fee is ₱2,000 ($38) for 25 minutes, and it’s good for 8 persons.
- Band Wagon – Band Wagon rate is ₱2,100 ($40) for 15 minutes, good for 6 persons.
- Beach Volleyball – Beach volleyball is FREE at Lakawon Island, just present 1 valid ID.
- Lakabash (Human Launcher) – If you are ready for adventure, you can try the human launcher (Lakabash) at Taw Hai floating bar for FREE. It hurts, so make sure your body is prepared for it as you will be launched in the water (think of cliff diving).
- Mermaid Tail – If you dream of becoming a mermaid, here’s your chance. Mermaid tails are for rent at Lakawon Island Resort for ₱350 ($7) per 45 minutes.
LAKAWON ISLAND RESORT FEES 2018
Here’s an updated list of Lakawon rates this 2018.
|Lakawon Island entrance fee||PHP 140/USD 3/EURO 2/SGD 4/MYR 11|
|Roundtrip boat fee||PHP 150/USD 3/EURO 2/SGD 4/MYR 11|
|Terminal Fee||PHP 20/USD 0.38/EURO 0.32/SGD 0.51/MYR 2|
|Lakawon Island Cash Card||PHP 20/USD 0.38/EURO 0.32/SGD 0.51/MYR 2|
|Taw Hai Floating Bar||PHP 250/USD 5/EURO 4/SGD 6/MYR 19|
|Snorkel rental||/USD 3/EURO 2/SGD 4/MYR 11 for 2 hours|
|Kayak||PHP 600/USD 11/EURO 10/SGD 15/MYR 45 per hour|
|Paddle board||PHP 500/USD 9/EURO 8/SGD 13/MYR 38 per hour|
|Mermaid Tail||PHP 350/USD 7/EURO 5/SGD 9/MYR 26 for 45 minutes|
|Banana Boat (good for 8 pax)||PHP 2,000/USD 38 /EURO 32/SGD 51/MYR 151 for 25 minutes|
|Band Wagon (good for 6 pax)||PHP 2,100/USD 39 /EURO 34/SGD 53/MYR 159 for 15 minutes|
|UFO (good for 6 pax)||PHP 2,000/USD 38 /EURO 32/SGD 51/MYR 151 for 15 minutes|
|Lakabash (Human Launcher)||FREE|
|Corkage||PHP 50/USD 0.94/EURO 0.80/SGD 1/MYR 4 per person|
WHERE TO STAY IN LAKAWON ISLAND
If you are traveling with your family or friends and you want to stay overnight in Lakawon Island Resort, here is the updated list of their room rates.
|ROOM TYPE||CAPACITY||ROOM RATES||INCLUSION|
|Premiere Suite B||6 persons||PHP 9,880|
|1 queen bed, 3 single beds, free breakfast|
|Barkada Suite||6 persons||PHP 11,580|
|2 queen beds and 2 single beds, with living area + terrace, free breakfast|
|Condo Suite||6 persons||PHP 11,580|
|1 king and 3 single beds, living area + terrace, free breakfast|
|Premiere Suite A||4 persons||PHP 8,950|
|1 king and 1 queen beds, free breakfast|
|Junior Suite||2 persons||PHP 4,500|
|2 single beds, breakfast for 2 (sea view or garden view options)|
|Pearl’s Place 2nd Floor||8 persons||PHP 4,850|
|4 bunk beds, AC room|
|Pearl’s Place||2 persons||PHP 3,500|
|2 single beds, and 2 pull outs, AC room|
|Tropical Bamboo House||4 persons||PHP 2,500|
|2 single beds, 2 extra mattresses, fan room|
You can book via e-mail or contact Lakawon Island resort by phone:
Lakawon Island Resort
Official website: www.lakawonisland.com.ph
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: + 63 917 5022 625, + 63 949 113 2202 , +63 932 396 4453
LAKAWON ISLAND DAY TOUR
If you only plan to do Lakawon Island as a day tour, that’s possible. This beach resort is near Bacolod and is open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM for day trippers. You can just rent an open cottage, see the cottage rates in Lakawon Island below.
|Family cottage||10 persons||PHP 1,200|
|Open cottage for day tour only, corkage fee PHP 50 per head|
|Canopy tent||6-10 persons||PHP 1,000|
|3 sizes available, for day tour only, corkage fee PHP 50 per head|
|Umbrella Huts||6 persons||PHP 600|
|For day tour only. Extra person will be charged PHP 100 per head, corkage fee PHP 50 per head|
WHERE TO STAY IN BACOLOD
If you plan to stay overnight in Bacolod then do a Lakawon Island day trip, like I said that’s possible. To help you find a good hotel, here’s a list of the top Bacolod hotels according to confirmed Agoda guests.
NOTE: To check the Bacolod hotel room rates, change the date to your desired date of stay, then hit search.
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.
Mahogany Tourist Inn
Magsaysay Avenue, Singcang, Bacolod (Negros Occidental)
The Suites at Calle Nueva
15 Corner Nueva, Locsin Street, Bacolod Downtown, Bacolod
WHERE TO EAT IN LAKAWON ISLAND
SUNSET BAR: This spacious dining room serves local dishes like chicken inasal and fresh seafood daily. This where you can have breakfast, lunch and dinner. They also have an air-conditioned dining area that can sit roughly 50 people for any private occasions.
Monday to Thursday – 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Fridays to Sundays – 6:00 AM – 11:00 PM.
TAW HAI FLOATING BAR: Dubbed as the biggest floating bar in Asia, Taw Hai floating bar is a perfect place for you to sip your beer or margarita while partying at sunset. There’s a PHP 250 fee, for unlimited flat boat service. You also need to sign a waiver before you can enter the floating bar because like I mentioned above, there is a human launcher here. You can also swim here but due to the strong current, you need to wear life jacket. You will not be allowed to swim without it.
Entrance Fee: PHP 250 per person
Mondays – Sundays : 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Monday – Thursday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Fridays – Sundays: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Kids below 18 years old needs to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
LAKAWON ISLAND ITINERARY
Here’s a sample Lakawon Island day trip itinerary. Feel free to tweak this depending on your schedule and budget.
|06:30 AM||Go to Bacolod North Bus Terminal.|
|07:30 AM||Bus to Cadiz, PHP 105|
|09:30 AM||ETA Burgos Public Market in Cadiz.|
|09:45 AM||Tricycle to Cadiz Viejo Port (Lakawon port), PHP 120 (6 pax)|
|10:00 AM||ETA Cadiz Viejo Port. Register + pay fees, PHP 310 per person|
|10:15 AM||Boat to Lakawon Island|
|10:30 AM||ETA Lakawon Island. Swimming + water sports (snorkel, kayak, etc.)|
|03:30 PM||Boat back to Cadiz Viejo Port|
|03:45 PM||ETA Cadiz Viejo Port. Tricycle to highway, PHP 120 (good for 6 pax)|
|04:10 PM||Bus to Bacolod, PHP 105|
|07:10 PM||ETA Bacolod. Bata or Mandalagan multi-cab to Bacolod downtown, PHP 8|
LAKAWON ISLAND EXPENSES (BUDGET BREAKDOWN)
Here’s a sample Lakawon Island resort day tour budget breakdown. Food, drinks, cottage rental and souvenirs not included. This sample budget for Lakawon island day tour is good for a solo traveler. You can save if you a party of two or more as you can share on the tricycle rental and other activities.
|Bus to Cadiz||PHP 105/USD 2/EURO 2/SGD 3/MYR 8|
|Tricycle to Cadiz Viejo port||PHP 120/USD 2/EURO 2/SGD 3/MYR 9|
|Boat + Entrance Fee + Terminal Fee||PHP 310/USD 6/EURO 5/SGD 8/MYR 23|
|Taw Hai Floating Bar||PHP 250/USD 5/EURO 4/SGD 6/MYR 19|
|Lakawon Island Cash Card||PHP 20/USD 0.38/EURO 0.32/SGD 0.51/MYR 2|
|Tricycle to highway||PHP 120/USD 2/EURO 2/SGD3/MYR9|
|Bus to Bacolod||PHP 105/USD 2/EURO 2/SGD 3/MYR8|
|TOTAL EXPENSES||PHP1,030/USD 19/EURO 17/SGD 26/MYR 78|
LAKAWON ISLAND TRAVEL TIPS AND REMINDERS
- Don’t throw your trash anywhere. There are trash cans available on the island, but it’s better if you take the trash with you and dispose it properly in the mainland.
- Do not collect sand for souvenirs. Take nothing but pictures.
- Use coral-friendly sunblock. Do not touch the corals.
- Always use the life jacket when traveling by sea.
- When you get off the boat, your feet will be wet (up to knee level at times), so make sure that your bags are sealed properly.
- Protect your gadgets, put them in a dry bag.
- If you fail to bring sunblock, swimwear or flip flops, you can buy at their souvenir shops. If you are looking for souvenir, check out the stylish Vianellas slippers for sale here.
- Keep yourself hydrated, bring drinking bottle. If you are dining at their restaurant, you can ask for tap water and maybe refill your bottle.
- There’s a small store at Cadiz Viejo (Lakawon Port) registration that sells fruit shakes. We tried the avocado and it was really good. Fruit shake in Lakawon Island is also good but of course, it’s more expensive.
About the Blogger : Gael is a Filipina travel blogger. Her work has appeared in local and international publications.
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