DANJUGAN ISLAND ON A BUDGET: Travel Guide & Itinerary 2017

Some things never change. And sometimes, it’s a good thing.

It’s been six long years since the last time I was in Danjugan Island. Between the island and I, it seems like it was me who had undergone major changes. Back then, I was still a full-time employee working long marketing hours for a telco. Our blog then was in its infancy; in fact, Danjugan was one of the first destinations we covered. And I was 50 lb lighter. LOL. But I was delighted to see that the island was still in almost the same condition as we left it.

     

 

Understanding Danjugan Island

Danjugan Island is a 43-hectare strip of land carpeted with dense rainforest and secluded in the middle of a marine sanctuary. It is privately managed by the Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation (PRRCF), who bought and saved the island from possible destruction back in the 1990s.

Because it is a protected area, fishing is prohibited here, allowing the biodiversity to flourish. Tourists are welcome but the visit must be pre-arranged. Each visitor must attend a short briefing about the island’s history, the do’s and don’ts, and the itinerary for the day.

Here are some trivia bits about Danjugan Island.

  • Five lagoons. The island harbors five lagoons, three of which are land-locked; the other two are flooded during high tide. These lagoons are easy to explore and many species of corals and fish have found home in them.
  • Diverse Wildlife. Although famous as a marine reserve, the island is also covered in lush rainforest. You know forests that seem to be impossible to get around in, that’s exactly like it. That said, the island boasts 72 species of birds including sea eagles and the Tabon scrub fowls and 10 species of bats. You can also see several species of other animals like coconut crabs and snakes.
  • Diving Paradise. The island is surrounded by healthy coral reefs and sea grass. Expect to see a wide array of marine lifeforms such as fish (including small sharks), turtles and giant clams. In fact, scientists have recorded 579 species of fish and 244 species of corals in the island. The best part is that you don’t need to be a scuba diver to see these precious living gems. You can see many of them even when just snorkeling.
  • Solar-powered. There is no electricity and running water in the island. Solar power is harnessed for lights and water was being delivered from the mainland.

 

How to Get to Danjugan Island

First of all, walk-in guests are not allowed. The management must be advised in advance so they could arrange the boat transfers. So please contact them first:

  • Email: experience@danjuganisland.ph
  • Call: +63 915 234-7145, +63 908 525-4108, or +63 34 441-6010 to reserve.

Don’t end the call without confirming the pick-up point and time. There are two possible pick-up places, depending on whether you’re taking public transportation or you’re driving a private car. But this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule.

 

From Manila

  1. Fly to Bacolod-Silay Airport. Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air offer multiple flights a day.
  2. Take a cab to the South Ceres Bus Terminal in Bacolod.
  3. Follow the steps below.

 

From Bacolod

  1. At the South Ceres Bus Terminal, board the bus going to Hinoba-an. There’s one almost every hour. Travel time: 4-5 hours. Fare: 209 (non-aircon bus).
  2. Tell the driver to drop you off at Crossing Remollos-Quadro de King in Purok 3, Barangay Bulata (in Cauayan, Negros Occidental). You need to ask the driver because it is almost impossible to spot if you’re not familiar with the place. It’s an inconspicuous corner with no easily recognizable landmark. The best marker would be the Quadro de King store, but their signage is parallel to the road, which makes it difficult to see if you’re looking ahead.
  3. Walk from the Crossing Remollos to the beach, where the boat is docked. Often, the boatmen will be waiting for you at the crossing. Sometimes, they are on the beach. Make sure you clarify with them when you call.
  4. Take the boat to Danjugan Island. Travel time: 30 minutes. Fare: included in the package.

 

From Sipalay City

    Take the bus bound for Bacolod, but ask the driver to drop you off at Crossing Remollos. Travel time: 40 minutes. Fare: P30. An alternative would be the van (also bound for Bacolod or anywhere north), but again, tell the driver you’re alighting at Crossing Remollos.

    Walk to the beach from Crossing Remollos.

    Take the boat to Danjugan Island. Travel time: 30 minutes. Fare: included in the package.

Related Post: Sipalay City Travel Guide

 

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • If you’re bringing a car, instead of going to Crossing Remollos, go to ANTOL instead. You’ll find the ANTOL signage on your right hand side, after the Welcome Bulata Marker. There is a parking space specifically for Danjugan Island guests.
  • Again, this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule. Most of the time, Danjugan accommodates only one set of guests per day. However, there are instances when groups will be joined together. The complication arises when one group is taking public transport and the other isn’t. There will only be one pick-up point. Case in point, on our second visit, even when we had our own car, we were asked to go to Remollos because there is another couple joining us who are commuting. So again, in case I haven’t emphasized it enough: Confirm first with the management which pickup point you should go.
  • If you’re staying at Punta Bulata, you can arrange to be picked up from the resort.

 

Danjugan Island Tour Rates

Danjugan Island management offers two types of day tours. Here are the rates and inclusions as of 2017.

FULL DAY TOUR
Price: P1950 per person
Inclusions:

  • Roundtrip boat transfers
  • 1 lunch + 2 snacks
  • Purified drinking water
  • Unlimited use of kayaks: first come, first serve basis
  • Free use of Snorkeling Gear: first come, first serve basis
  • Trekking & Snorkeling Guide
  • Conservation fee

ECO-TOUR (3 HOURS)
Price: P950 per person
Recommended ONLY for guests staying at nearby resorts
Inclusions:

  • Roundtrip boat transfers (additional P600 if group is smaller than 7)
  • Conservation Fee
  • Tour Guide

Rates may have changed so please contact them first before going there.

 

Where to Stay

Although spending the night on the island is possible, most guests stay at a resort outside of the island. Sipalay City, another popular attraction, is near so it makes sense to stay there instead. Moreover, we recommend visiting Danjugan as part of a larger Sipalay trip.

Below are your best lodging options!

Danjugan Island Accommodations

You may choose to stay at Danjugan Island. They have two types of accommodations, packaged with the tour. Each booking comes with the following:

  • Roundtrip boat transfers
  • 3 meals + 2 snacks
  • Drinking water
  • Unlimited use of kayaks: first come, first serve basis
  • Free use of Snorkeling Gear: first come, first serve basis
  • Trekking & Snorkeling Guide
  • Conservation fee
  • Insurance

Here are the room types (as described on their official website) and rates:

MORAY LAGOON CAMP – P2950 per person per night
Room: Open-air eco-cabana
Bed: Dorm-style single mattresses with mosquito net
Bathroom: Shared toilet and showers
Electricity: Solar-powered lights only. Phone charging not possible.
Cellular reception: GOOD.

TYPHOON BEACH – P3,950 per person per night
Room: Private room
Bathroom: En suite (private)
Electricity: Solar powered lights and fans, and phone charging
Cellular reception: NONE.

 

Punta Bulata Resort in Cauayan

If you don’t want to spend the night in the island but you’re not interested in seeing Sipalay City, Punta Bulata is the most ideal option. It is close enough to the island that you can arrange to be picked up here. However, Punta Bulata is more on the pricey end of the spectrum.

Check Rates & Availability

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Jamont Hotel in Sipalay

If you’re visiting Danjugan Island as part of a larger Sipalay trip, Jamont Hotel is your best bet because it is located at the city center, which means transportation won’t be a problem. This is the top rated Sipalay property in poblacion.

Check Rates & Availability

There are higher ranking resorts but they are in secluded beaches, which can be costly commute-wise. Guest houses are also available for a much lower price, some as low as P250 per night.

Photos above were provided by the resorts via Traveloka.

 

Search for more: Sipalay Hotels

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Things to Do in Danjugan Island

Ready to kayak at Moray Lagoon

Danjugan may be small but it is brimming with natural beauty and wonders. Its dense forests and pristine beaches offer a fantastic time with nature! Here are some of the places you shouldn’t miss during your visit.

  • Snorkel or dive! Have you seen giant clams? You’ll find a good number of them here among other vibrant lifeforms! You’ll see all sorts of starfish, fish, shellfish, corals, and even sea snakes!
  • Visit Typhoon Camp. The solar-powered mini-village is composed of mud houses. The guide can even show you how to build one using materials available in the island. A short boat ride and an easy trek is required to get here but the view is worth it.
  • See black tip sharks. They are often spotted in the lagoon near the educational center. If you’ve never seen sharks in the wild before, you will definitely enjoy this. This is seasonal, though.
  • Turtle Beach. Named after the marine turtles that use this beach as their nesting grounds, the sand here is soft and beige. The caws of sea gulls are also loudly heard given the relative silence of the place.
  • Kayak. The calmness of the flooded lagoons are perfect for easy kayaking rounds! If you’re lucky, you’ll spot schools of fish jumping and swimming along with your banana vessel.

Danjugan Island also hosts marine and wildlife camps, ideal for children and families who wish to have a better appreciation of nature in the company of nature’s cutest and most colorful creatures.

 

Turtle Beach

 

Sample Itineraries with Budget Breakdown

You’ll find two sample 4D/3N itineraries below, both of which bundle a visit to Danjugan Island with other Negros Occidental destinations. The first one with Bacolod, the other with Sipalay.

Both assume you’re a group of two and will be staying in a double/twin room and split the costs. As always, feel free to adjust to match your preferences and budget.

 

Option A: Danjugan + Bacolod

If you want to get out of the city and see more of the Negros countryside, this itinerary is for you.

Hotel arrangement: Stay 2 nights in Bacolod (Ideal budget: P1500/night) and 1 night in Danjugan Island (included in the overnight tour package)

Day 1: BACOLOD CITY TOUR
09:00 am – ETA Bacolod-Silay Airport
09:30 am – Take cab to city center – P130 (P260/2pax)
10:15 am – Early check-in or drop baggage
11:00 am – Brunch at Sharyn’s Cansi House – P200
12:30 pm – Travel to Mambukal – around P50
01:30 pm – Mambukal Resort – P50
05:30 pm – Travel back to Bacolod – P50
07:00 pm – Dinner at Manokan Country – P200
09:00 pm – Calea – P150
10:30 pm – Back at hotel

Day 2: TALISAY & SILAY
09:00 am – San Sebastian Cathedral/Capitol Lagoon – FREE
11:30 am – Lunch at Aboy’s – P300
01:00 pm – Jeepney to Silay – P50
01:45 pm – Tour Silay City – P120
04:30 pm – Transfer to The Ruins
05:00 pm – Explore The Ruins – P100
07:00 pm – Back to Bacolod
07:30 pm – Dinner at 21 Restaurant – P300

Day 3: OVERNIGHT AT DANJUGAN ISLAND
03:00 am – Hotel check out
03:30 am – Taxi to South Terminal
04:00 am – Bus to Cauayan – P180
08:30 am – Arrival in Sipalay
09:00 am – Begin Danjugan Island Tour
06:00 pm – End Tour (P2950 for overnight tour)
06:30 pm – Freshen up
07:00 pm – Dinner
08:00 pm – Lights out

Day 4: BACK TO BACOLOD
08:00 am – More island activities
11:00 am – Lunch + Pack up
12:00 pm – Leave for mainland
01:00 pm – Catch bus back to Bacolod – P180
07:00 pm – Taxi from Bacolod to airport – P130 (P260/2)
08:00 pm – Check-in at airport – P200 Terminal Fee

If you follow this itinerary, please make sure you get the last flight out of Bacolod to make sure you have ample time and that you don’t miss it.

 

Option B: DANJUGAN + SIPALAY

This is great if you want to skip Bacolod altogether and go straight to Sipalay.

Hotel arrangement: Stay 3 nights in Sipalay (Ideal budget: P1200/night).

Day 1: BACOLOD-SIPALAY
09:00 am – ETA Bacolod-Silay Airport
09:30 am – Take cab to South Terminal – P130 (P260/2pax)
10:00 am – Early lunch – P100
11:00 am – Bus to Sipalay – P209
04:30 pm – Arrival in Sipalay
05:00 pm – Hotel check in
05:30 pm – Sunset at Poblacion Beach
06:30 pm – Dinner at Sipalay Food Park – P150
08:00 pm – Back at hotel, rest

Day 2: DANJUGAN ISLAND DAY TOUR
07:00 am – Bus to Crossing Remollos – P30
08:00 am – Arrival at Remollos/Bulata beach
08:30 am – Begin Danjugan Island Tour
06:00 pm – End Tour (P1950)
06:30 pm – Travel to Sipalay
08:00 pm – Dinner – P150
09:00 pm – Lights out

Day 3: SIPALAY TOUR
08:00 am – Start Sipalay Beach-hopping – P750 (1500/2pax)
09:00 am – Sugar Beach – Boat: P250
11:00 am – Early lunch – P200
12:30 pm – Punta Ballo
02:00 pm – Perth Paradise Resort – P80 Entrance + P100 Pool Use
04:30 pm – Tinagong Dagat – P30
06:30 pm – Dinner at Sipalay Food Park – P150

Day 4: DEPARTURE
07:00 am – Hotel check out
08:00 am – Bus to Bacolod – P209
01:00 pm – Lunch – P150
02:00 pm – Taxi to airport – P130 (P260/2)
02:40 pm – Bacolod-Silay Airport – P200 Terminal Fee

Either itinerary will set you back P7500 – P800 per person, excluding airfare.

The biggest bulk of the budget goes to the Danjugan Island tour. Yes, the tour is indeed a bit expensive, but it is absolutely be worth it.

 

Other Tips for the Poor Traveler

  • If you want to reduce the cost of either itinerary, stay at a budget guesthouse in Bacolod/Sipalay instead.
  • The itineraries above allocate P150-P250 per meal, which is already pretty big because we want you to try popular restos especially in Bacolod. But if your pockets aren’t that deep, you may dine at cheaper eateries around the city.
  • Conserve water in the island. There is not freshwater source in the island, so if you’re on a day trip and you want to shower, do so in the mainland. They have showers near the jumpoff point too.
  • Bring an action camera. Danjugan’s underwater wonders are something you WILL want to capture on your camera. It is truly breathtaking.

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