Now that the country is easing restrictions, corporate gladiators and working citizens are LITERALLY back on the road for their daily grind. Along with it is the return of the metro hustle and bustle with long queues at the train station, hours-long traffic jams, and late-night overtime. While all these are indicative of the positive progress toward recovery, it can be assumed that these also need some warming up to by a working population that has been mainly reporting from home for quite some time.
It is therefore no shock to many that people are looking for quick escapes for a much-needed mind and body reinvigoration before facing the GRIND. The sea and sand are gaining significant traction this Summer – but Dumaguete and Negros Oriental are offering off-the-beaten-path nature must-tries away from the usual tourist crowd. And with AirAsia Philippines officially flying to Dumaguete starting April 08, tightly knit groups looking to chill and explore new destinations can experience these amazing nature escapes just 15 to 25 minutes away from the Dumaguete-Sibulan airport.
- Pulangbato River and Falls
The Pulangbato River and Falls is known for its cold and refreshing natural waters and captivating stone formations. Complementing these is the lush greenery surrounding the entire area. Located in the Red River Valley, the Pulangbato River and Falls are easy to visit as they are just a short drive from the town of Valencia.
Aptly named as Pulangbato, this river and falls flow through the Red Rock Valley which sports a reddish hue. The color of the stones and rock formations are well accompanied by the thick forestry, making the water destination an IG-worthy and camera-ready must-visit, while giving all its guests a unique and relaxing nature experience.
- Red Rock Hot Spring
Near the Pulangbato River and Falls is the Red Rock Hot Spring, which takes pride in the calming and even healing effect of its hot, mineral waters. The hot spring, which started as a private sanctuary, is easily among the most sought-out locations for leisure and nature-tripping near Dumaguete.
Making Red Rock Hot Spring famous among tourists are its hot spring pools which are known to provide relief from the pain of strained muscles and tired joints. According to the Red Rock Hot Spring profile, trace amounts of minerals such as carbon dioxide, sulfur, calcium, magnesium, and lithium present in their spring pools are absorbed by the body, introducing healing effects to various body organs and systems. This hot spring destination offers relaxation to anyone submerged in its 37°c mineral waters – perfect for anyone heading back to the 40 hours a week grind.
- The Forest Camp Nature Resort
The Forest Camp Nature Resort offers 2.5 hectares of unique foliage and water attractions that cater to nature enthusiasts and those wanting to experience the great outdoors. It is a valley under a canopy of tropical, indigenous forest trees and has a river passing through its landscape with nine cold spring swimming pools perfecting the entire scenery.
Those in for extra thrills can also make use of other facilities of the nature camp, which allow activities such as wall climbing and zip-lining. Completing the relaxing nature experience is the resort’s spa services. The Forest Camp Nature Resort is a destination for tourists who want a taste of nature-tripping sans the hours of hiking and walking. The serenity of the place and its many amenities offer the right relaxing ambience for people who wake up to honks of horns and the busy metro life.
These three nature getaways are just a few among the many hidden gems in Dumaguete and Negros Oriental in general. With the easing of the country’s travel protocols, Filipinos are encouraged to participate in rebuilding the country’s tourism industry by visiting the natural wonders of our own backyard – both top-ranking and up-and-coming. AirAsia aims to spur tourism and economic activity in Dumaguete and the entire province with the launch of its flights to the city.
The world’s best low-cost airline flies to Dumaguete City every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The city accepts local and foreign tourists with just the vaccination card as entry requirements.