Travel,weekend wanders

Cebu – Bacolod over the weekend travel guide

Bacolod city is one the go-to destinations in the Philippines. It’s known to be the friendly city, bearing the title: “The city of Smiles”. Being the capital and the largest city of Negros Occidental, there are several things that you can do, but the question is: what can you do on an overnight stay?

How we get there:
There are various options to reach Bacolod, either by plane or by land.Since we’re from Cebu, we decided to try the longer way yet the cheaper one.

We started our journey from Cebu South Bus Terminal and rode a bus to Toledo. Due to several stops, travel time was around 2 hours. Fare was for Php. 80.00.

From Toledo, we hop into Fast Cat ferry for another 2 hrs. to reach San Carlos city, Negros Occidental. Fare was Php 150.00.

From San Carlos city, another 3-hour travel via Ceres bus from San Carlos city to Bacolod city via Don Salvador.

Where to stay:

We booked in advance to White Hotel Bacolod through Agoda. White Hotel Bacolod didn’t disappoint. The photos shared on the site were exactly how it looked like when we arrived. It was homey, spacious, friendly staff, bottom line — we had a good stay and we got what we pay for. πŸ™‚

What to do:
Since time is of the essence, we need to manage it well.


Right after checking in, we immediately booked a cab to check one of the 12 most fascinating ruins around the world.

Tip: It’s best to visit around dusk. The time when the light is still visible on the horizon but the chandeliers were already lit up. This provides a dramatic feel to the place.

The ruins is located at Talisay city, Negros Occidental — a 25-30 minute drive from Bacolod. It is also known as the Taj Mahal of Negros due to the fact that it was built by a wealthy sugar baron, Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson, in memory of his Portuguese wife, Maria Braga Lacson, who died during child birth. It was constructed during the 1900s, and was burnt down by the Americans during the World War II to avoid its use as a military base by the Japanese forces.

Before tourists can check out the Italian architecture, there was an entrance fee of Php 100.00 for adults, 50.00 for students, and php 20.00 for children. They have a different charge for photo shoots: Php 1000.00 for the first 5 persons and the rest can pay the regular fee.


We had our dinner at Palawud restaurant, as was recommended by our driver as one of the best sea food restaurants in town. It was the best place to dine while looking at Bacolod’s sunset, however, luck was not with us at that time — it was gloomy at that so didn’t catch the sunset. πŸ™ On the lighter side, their Chicken Inasal was a bomb! We all head back to our hotel with a satisfied palate.

Every delicacy you need, you’ll find it in Bong-bong’s pasalubong center. From the sweet treats to ref magnets and other Bacolod souvenirs can be found there.

It wasn’t really a complete city tour, it was more of a quick stop on our way to Mambukal Resort the next day.

a. San Sebastian Cathedral

b. Pope John Paul tower

c. Bacolod city Hall


Mambukal Resort is located in Murcia, Negros Occidental; a 45-minute to 1-hour drive from Bacolod city. It is considered as one of the most popular mountain resorts in the Philippines. At 1,200 meters above sea level, it is also one of the highest mountain resorts, serving as a gateway to Mt. Kanlaon National Park.


If we had the time to stay longer, we could have hiked into the jungle and checked out the 7 waterfalls of Mambukal, and enjoyed dipping into their warm sulfur pools.

This was our last stop before heading home. With a Php 150.00 entrance fee, it’s already inclusive to roam all over the 5-hectare property, day use of their pool and hanging bridge.

We headed back to Bacolod right after lunch to catch the 2:30 pm bus back to Cebu city.

Here’s our detailed itinerary and expenses:
9:00 am – 10:30 am: Cebu South Bus terminal to Toledo (Php 80.00 ordinary bus)
10:30 am: arrived @ Toledo (Php10.00 – Toledo bus terminal to Toledo port
11:00 am – 1:00 pm: Toledo port – San Carlos (Php 150.00 ferry via Fast cat)
1:00 pm: arrived at San Carlos (Php 10.00 San Carlos port to San Carlos bus terminal)
1:30 pm – 4:00 pm – San Carlos city to Bacolod city via Don Salvador (Pho 150.00 Ceres bus)
4:00 pm – 4:30 pm – (Php 15.00 Bacolod South bus terminal to White hotel; Check in; freshen up)
4:30 – 6:00 – Went to the Ruins (We agreed to pay Php 400.00 back and forth)
6:00 – 7:00 pm – Dinner at Palawud restaurant
7:00 – 8:00 pm – Pasalubong center
8:30 – Back to hotel

Day 2
5:00 am – wake up – prepare for day tour
6:00 am – coffee
6:50 am – check out
7:00 am – call time for day tour (we contacted the same taxi for Php 2500.00 whole day)
7:00 am – 7:30 travel to Mambukal Resort (quick stops on some landmarks: cathedral and pope john tower)
7:30 am – 9:00 arrived at Mambukal Resort (Php 50.00 entrance; breakfast; sight seeing; picture taking)
9:00 am – 10:00 am travel to Campuestohan resort
10:00 – 11:30 am: arrived at Campuestohan (100.00 entrance inclusive with day use of pool and hanging bridge)
11:30 – 12:30 – lunch at Campuestohan (150.00 – 200.00)
12:30 – 1:30 – travel back to Bacolod city
1:30 pm – arrived at Bacolod South bus terminal
2:00 pm – Travel back to Cebu city (495.00 all-in fare straight to Cebu city)
10:00 pm – arrived at Cebu North Bus terminal.

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  • Reply
    March 29, 2018 at 5:11 am

    Looks like you had natural as well as cultural experience.The ruins look beautiful. And coming to the hotel, yes, it definitely looks very homely .

    • Reply
      March 29, 2018 at 12:58 pm

      Yes, it was great experience,
      Neha. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Neil Alvin Nicerio
    March 23, 2018 at 3:20 am

    I have aleays been facinated with Bacolod because I haven’t been there. Thank you for including a detailed itinerary nd wonderful photos in your article. It would surely G elp in my itinerary when I finally visit Bacolod.

  • Reply
    5D/4N Siargao Travel Guide | Kriswanders
    March 17, 2018 at 6:34 am

    […] Cebu – Bacolod over the weekend travel guide […]

  • Reply
    Ina C.
    February 3, 2018 at 12:38 am

    Wow! Thanks for this post very informative! Makes me want to travel to Bacolod with my kids!


    • Reply
      February 3, 2018 at 2:57 am

      Thanks for checking the blog.:)

  • Reply
    Teresa Dumadag
    February 1, 2018 at 8:06 am

    I’ve always wanted to visit Bacolod but never got the chance. I had been to Cebu and Iloilo many times but I simply didn’t have time to go there on a side trip. Those resorts look lovely. I also love your photos of The Ruins. Thanks for your tip to go there around dusk.

    • Reply
      February 1, 2018 at 8:22 am

      I hope you can visit soon! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    October 24, 2017 at 4:25 am

    wow!It seems that you’ve enjoyed an unforgettable trip within a short period of time.These buildings are impressive.The food looks delicious too.I really like those masks.Colourful and beautiful!

  • Reply
    October 22, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    That is a very meticulously planned itinerary for the day. It is really difficult to plan out when the time is short, and we gain from your experience. πŸ™‚
    The hotel is so comfy that I may not want to venture out. Thanks for that chart on the resorts.

  • Reply
    Wandering Ella
    October 21, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    Waaaaaah this is exactly what I needed!!! Thank you for this! I’ve always wanted to go to Bacolod and this “latest” guide is just perfect! Yaaaay!

    • Reply
      October 22, 2017 at 2:06 am

      Yay! πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    Me-An Clemente
    October 21, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    I’m already familiar with The Ruins because I’ve seen a lot of people visit it already. What caught my attention were the two resorts you mentioned as the entrance fee were so cheap and there were a lot of stuff to do there. How I wish you were able to take a photo of the swimming pool of Mambukal Resort. I would like to see if there is something special with it especially that it is located in a mountain resort. As for the Campuestohan, it’s nice because they have different Instagrammable settings πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    October 21, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Bacolod is such a wonderful place and the ruins is one of the places on top of my travel destination list! Your photos showcased the beauty of the Masskara festival and the pretty sights that Bacolod has. The food looks yummy too! I guess, words are not enough to describe this place and I guess it should be experienced. Right? πŸ˜ƒ

    • Reply
      October 22, 2017 at 2:07 am

      What was featured on the post may not be even half of the places that you can check. Definitely worth the visit! πŸ˜€

    • Reply
      Berlin | Momi Berlin
      October 23, 2017 at 3:45 am

      I agree with Maria. Words are truly not enough to describe the beauty of the place. Aside from the beauty, I also find bacolod as one of the most sincere places in the country. Sincere in a way that it gives what it showcases. No pretenses.

  • Reply
    October 21, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    I just can’t get enough of the photos you shared with us. I didn’t even imagine that Bacolod was this beautiful. I loved the architecture, the environment, and natural beauties, and of course, cuisine. And I would definitely buy myself a mask like the one you photographed!! I am truly thrilled!!

  • Reply
    October 21, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Thats a really elaborate and substantial post on the city of smiles! Would love to go down there when I get to Cebu next year! Will bookmark this page for future reference!

  • Reply
    Milton Coyne
    October 20, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    Bacolod is one of my dream destinations. I am really eager to witness their Masskara festival yet I never got a chance to visit the province. Aside from the colorful Masskara festival, Bacolod has so many great destinations to offer and I will definitely include that Ruins on top my list! It is so fascinating how they managed to restore and preserve such building
    Those life size attractions in Mambukal are definitely not to be missed! Thank you for the detailed guide and also for posting the rates. This is really helpful as it gives me the idea of how much to spend when visiting Bacolod!

    • Reply
      October 21, 2017 at 7:26 am

      Hope you can visit soon! πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    October 20, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    I am glad that you enjoyed Bacolod. I am actually from Bacolod City and would have loved to show you around. I would love to share with you other places you can enjoy especially restaurants. πŸ™‚

    On the other hand, I also prefer the long and cheaper route between CEB-BCD. In fact, will take this route via Toledo/Fastcat this weekend to visit Cebu

    • Reply
      October 21, 2017 at 7:32 am

      Awwe! I hope I could’ve met you sooner, even virtually! Haha! Well, there’s always next time! πŸ˜€

      • Reply
        October 21, 2017 at 3:07 pm

        Yes, let me know once you’re back here in Bacolod. Would love to meet you. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Mommy Queenelizabeth
    October 20, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Was wondering if i could take home those masks for display and for how much? πŸ™‚ never been to the city of smiles yet but its on the list! The ruins looks lovely in dusk, yeah i think i should keep that in mind for future reference. And im drooling over that boodle!

    • Reply
      October 21, 2017 at 7:35 am

      Yes those masks were for sales just right outside the cathedral. It was the opening night of Maskara festival when we were on Bacolod so there we masks all over the place. I didn’t had the opportunity to ask for the price though. πŸ™

      • Reply
        Mommy Queenelizabeth
        October 21, 2017 at 2:08 pm

        Yay! I’ll make sure that when i visit Bacolod, i’ll take home one or two of those masks! And i’ll bookmark this blogpost for my itinerary reference πŸ™‚ thank you!

  • Reply
    Berlin | Momi Berlin
    October 20, 2017 at 4:57 am

    When I used to work as a Marketing Person and Trainer for a real estate firm, we frequent Bacolod and Cebu. And from the many places I’ve been to, I always consider Bacolod to have the nicest people. They are so warm and accommodating. I also love Bacolod’s landscape.

    As for Cebu, it seems like Metro Manila already because of the traffic but I love the food and people as well. They are happy individuals. The places to visit seem endless, too.

  • Reply
    October 20, 2017 at 3:39 am

    Love the photos and the detailed description of our travel itinerary and each destination. Bacolod is one of the places I would love to visit soon with my boys. Is it a sign? As I keep on stumbling with it today? Haha! I am sure it will be such a lovely experience to go there one day. The Ruins is absolutely in my Bacolod bucket list, too!

    • Reply
      October 21, 2017 at 7:35 am

      This can be the sign! πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    October 18, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    amazing kris!!! 😘

    • Reply
      October 21, 2017 at 7:36 am

      Thanks, Kate! 😘

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