Monday, May 12, 2014

Carbin Reef (Sagay Marine Reserve)

Carbin Reef is off the radar.

photo courtesy: Sagay City Tourism

Because it's off-the-beaten and in the middle of nowhere, what you will find in any given day is just a group or two beachcombing on its tongue-shaped sandbar. The day I was there, two groups of locals leisurely spent the quiet and scorching afternoon wading by the edge of the beach. The facilities are sparse and spartan--wooden tables with bamboo benches in makeshift shacks. No restroom. Not a tree in sight. Get the picture? It's perfect for those with Robinson Crusoe-esque persuasions.

The number of guests you will share this jewel of Northern Negros sea with is only 70 people max! Sagay City tourism advocates Sustainable and Responsible Tourism, so the management limits the capacity for the safety of the guests and for the environment. With that being said, prior booking is necessary.

For the high rollers coming to Carbin Reef using their own, ahem, yacht or private boat, you are advised to secure an entry slip at the Visitor's Center near the Children's Museum. 

Beneath the surface of Carbin Reef lies hundreds of giant clams the size of tires. These clams have linings that seem to glow underwater. Word of caution: depending on the tide and time of day, the current could be very treacherous.

The corals are healthy except that most of them are broken after several super typhoons (Sendong and Yolanda) in the past ravaged the marine sanctuary. The prestigious MIT put up a project that promoted fast coral growth in the area. 

How to get to Carbin Reef-Sagay Marine Reserve:
  • from Bacolod City: take the Sagay City or Escalante City-bound Ceres Bus from Bacolod South Terminal. Travel time is approximately an hour. 
  • from Dumaguete: this is a long journey.Take the San Carlos City-bound Ceres Bus from Dumaguete Ceres Bus Terminal. Transfer to a Sagay-bound bus in San Carlos City. Travel time from Dumaguete to Sagay is approximately 8 hours.
  • from Bantayan Island Cebu. there's a boat that plies the route but I have no idea yet about the schedule. Better check the tourism office. The contact number is at the end of this post.
Carbin Reef; Sagay Marine Reserve rates:
  • terminal fee P10
  • entrance, general admission P20
  • entrance, children P10
  • shed, single tent P300
  • shed, double tent P500
Sagay Island Pumpboat Operators' Cooperative
  • 1-10 people P1,200
*all rates are inclusive of lifevests

For booking, please contact Sagay City Information & Tourism Office:
telephone number (034) 488.0649


  1. the general admission rate now is P100 :))

  2. Thanks for d info...will go there this Sunday,January 11

  3. Please tell me how to reach there from cebu mainland to sagay city ?? i know flight route, but i want to know any sea route possibility which is cheaper and less time consume ?? please reply

    1. take the roro to san carlos via toledo or escalante via tabuelan. escalante is next door to sagay while san carlos is three towns away and is about an hour's drive. take the ceres bus to bacolod and get off at the sagay poblacion terminal. take the tricycle to old sagay from the poblacion. not sure about the fares. but tricycle is definitely ripping you off if charging Php200. have fun!

  4. How long would it takes from paraiso sagay going to carbin reef? How much are the current rates.


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