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Source: Choose Phil, Sagay City Site

Some of the pictures are not mine, credit to the owner.

Carbin Reef is a huge, tongue-shaped, white sandbar 15km northeast of Old Sagay and is bounded on the North by Asuncion Pass and the Visayan Sea. It is centered on the 32,000-hectare Sagay Marine Reserve.

The sanctuary was established in 1999 and is abundant with a wide variety of underwater species such as thriving coral formations, the occasional turtles and large schools of fish. Above the water, the reef looks merely like a strip of sand but below the surface is a wealth of natural beauty.

Due to the shallow water diving is discouraged but swimming and snorkeling conditions are just about right. The reef itself can accommodate up to 100 people at low tide conditions.

How to Get There:

Sagay is at the northernmost tip of Negros. It is approximately 82 kilometers northeast of Bacolod City, the provincial capital of Negros Occidental.

From Manila, you can fly to Bacolod (Php2500++, round trip, 45 minutes). From Bacolod-Silay Airport, you can take a shuttle (Php75-100 per head), or a cab and ask to be dropped off at the nearest bus station for Bacolod-Sagay.

From the port you can hail a cab and ask to be dropped off at the north terminal bus station for Bacolod-Sagay. Going to Sagay City, buses and vans for hire regularly ply the northbound route of the Negros highway. Sagay is approximately a two-hour drive by private car from Bacolod city.

From Sagay, Carbin Reef can only be reached by a rented boat (15 minutes from the Old Wharf). Passenger pumpboat roundtrip rates are: ·1-5 pax – Php1,000 ·6-10 pax – Php1,200 ·10-15 pax – Php1,500 ·15-20 pax – Php1,700

Where to Stay:

Visitors to Carbin Reef can only go on a day-tour. For safety purposes, Sagay Tourism allows guests on the reef only up to 3-4pm depending on wind strength and direction.

At the reef you could rent tents or a two-storey tower (Php300-600 ,all seasons). If you wish to stay overnight you could get accommodations in the city. Peak season is between March to September while the low season is between October to February depending on the weather.

What to Do:

The clear, pristine water is the perfect enticement for swimming, boating and (best of all!) snorkeling. If you simply love just being surrounded by the sea the reef is a great private spot for a picnic or a frolic on the sand.

Rates: ·Entrance Fee – Php20 ·Kayak – Php100 If you plan to go to Carbin Reef, it is recommended to book the place prior to the date of your visit. The local tourism office will facilitate your transfers and will reserve the venue for you and your group.

For bookings, contact Sagay City Information and Tourism Office during office hours at (034) 488-0649 or Sagay Marine Reserve Office at (034) 488-0101 local 117. You could send an email to sagaycityinfo@yahoo.com or inquiry@sagay-city.com.ph for inquiries.

What to Bring:

·Don’t forget to bring your favorite sunblock or tanning lotion. Before boarding the boat, make sure to lather generously on your skin to avoid skin damage. There are only a minimal number of tents in the area. You could bring your own tent also for extra shade.

·Wear your most comfortable beachwear and bring extra dry clothes.

·Bring a plastic bag or waterproof container to secure your belongings and keep you electronic gadgets dry as the ride may get wet. A separate bag for trash is also recommended.

·Water is scarce so see to it that you bring plenty of drinking water. The collected rainwater in the tower area is only suitable for washing and restroom use.

·Bring your own snorkeling gear since there are no available rentals at the site.

·Bring enough food during your stay. There are no restaurants or stores when you are already at the reef. Sagay City requires all guests to manage their own litter in line with the policy of responsible tourism and in consonance with Sagay Marine Reserve law. Carbin Reef guests should follow the “garbage in, garbage out” policy.

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