The Visayas or Visayan Islands lie at the heart of the Philippines
archipelago. The Visayas is one of the three largest geographic
divisions of the Philippines, the other two being Luzon to the north and
Mindanao to the south.The region includes some stunning adventure
terrain and top class scuba diving. The islands can be reached easily by
air from Manilla. Philippines Airlines and Cebu Pacific Airways operate
several flights daily to the capitals of the main islands - Panay,
Cebu, Dumaguete, Bohol, Samar and Leyte. Cebu also operate flights
internationally throughout the far east direct into Cebu City, including
as far away as Dubai.
We have a Penthouse at the Trip Advisor top rated Atmosphere Resort, near Dumaguete on the island of Negros and it was from here that we started our tour.
Touring these islands is a relatively easy affair. English is spoken widely and all signage is also in English. Except for the cities, traffic density is low and slow moving (discounting the buses and sugar cane lorries - get off the road if you here them). ATMs are widely available and low cost accommodation can be found in most places.
As this tour took us about seven weeks we have divided it into three separate web pages as described below.
Our ride descriptions give an account of the ride that we completed. As part of the description we also provide links to Wikiloc or Google maps and elevation profiles based on mapping data available through the internet. The ride profiles are smoothed to give what in our opinion is a more beneficial view of the profile. We use paper maps, GPS and on line data to plan and conduct our rides. We are happy for you to use our descriptions, but be aware that we do not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided as situations surrounding any ride change over time.
The first stage of our ride took us south from Dumaguete and around the west coast of Negros as far as Bacalod, taking in some great diving along the way. From Bacalod the short Ro Ro ferry ride took us to Iloilo, the capital of Panay. We couldn't fit in a visit to the small island of Guimaras, but if you are there and get the time you should it has the best mangos in the Philippines and history to boot.
The road took us through several towns with historical Spanish churches, cathedrals and watchtowers before climbing overland to the west side and north up to Caticlan. At Caticlan we joined the throngs of tourist taking the small passenger ferry over to the famed island of Boracay.
Boracay has all the white beaches, diving and great restaurants that
you could want, but for our tastes it is now too commercialised and
after only a couple of days we were ready to move on.
To read about the trip in full go to our Western Visayas Page
Once back at Caticlan on Panay, we took the "pump boat" passenger ferry, bikes strapped to the roof and onto our next island group. These islands are smaller and off the tourist track. Many of the roads are unsurfaced, but the scenery is beautiful and the people are very friendly.
Travel around these islands necessitates the use of small boats so you need good sea legs or be sure to take a pill. Also you have to be prepared to wait if the weather turns.
The route took us from Caticlan to Tablas then Romblon and Sibuyan followed by the four hour journey to Masbate.
Sibuyan is formed, like many of the Philippine islands, from a volcano. This mountain, Guiting Guiting, is the highest in the Philippines.
To read about the trip in full go to our Romblon and Masbate page.
The Ro-Ro Ferry leaves the town of Cataingan in the south of Masbate and arrives in Bago city, on Cebu some hours later.
A short journey north by bus took us to the picturesque Island of Malapascua where there are no cars but there is good diving and more importantly the chance to dive with Thresher Sharks - amazing.
On the way down Cebu we detoured from Danao to the smaller Camotes
islands and then onwards to Cebu city to catch the ferry over to Bohol
and finally down to Camiguin, before returning t our starting point on Negros island.
To read about the full trip go to our Central Visayas Page
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