The Sandbar itself is a beautiful strip of white pristine sand which can be reached via a short 15-minute boat trip from Bais City.
The sandbar’s surface only emerges when it is low tide, exposing the stilts that hold up wooden native cottages on the sandbar. However, during high tide, the cottages appear to be actually floating on the water.
Amazingly, the surface of this strip is around 600 hectares, which includes the portions that are submerged, and stretches for over 20 kilometres, although only around 7 kilometres is visible at low tide.
Dolphin watching is a popular tourist attraction in this part of Negros Oriental. Bais City is the main area that offers tours for dolphin watching in Negros Oriental, although you can also organise tour packages from Dumaguete.
Many of the tourists and visitors to Bais choose to combine their visit to Manjuyod Sandbar with dolphin watching. There are full day-trip packages available along with a stay overnight in one of the cottages at Manjuyod Sandbar.
However, having been inside one of these cottages, they are very very basic and far from comfortable so don’t expect anywhere near even a two-star hotel standard.
Fear not, as you can also hire them just for the day so you can hang out on the balcony and watch the tide come in and go out while having a picnic or BBQ and enjoying a few drinks.
The boat ride takes you to Tañon Strait where you get to enjoy the sights of dolphins in their natural habitat while cruising along crystal clear blue waters.
Tañon Strait is known for having one of the largest concentrations of marine mammals in the world. It is also home to the biggest protected marine areas in the Philippines which is located between Negros Island and Cebu Island.
Thanks to the protected status of this area, marine life remains rich and abundant. This is because the national and local government are focused on conserving the wildlife in this area, while at the same time promoting foreign and local tourism.
This area boasts 14 different species of whales and dolphins. The more common sighted include the spotted dolphins, the spinner dolphin, Pygmy sperm whales, and bottlenose dolphins.
From time to time you might also catch a glimpse of the pilot whales, dwarf whales, and Pygmy killer whales.
The dolphins remain in this strait throughout the year, yet the more popular dates to book a tour run between March and October. This when the Tañon Strait is calm which makes this the perfect time to take part in these tours.
The most popular months are from March to May which is the summer months.
The ability to watch these beautiful animals that are not confined to tanks or aquariums is a truly amazing experience which I enjoyed immensely.
The ideal time to book your dolphin watching tour would be as early as possible in the morning, directly after sunrise.
The ocean is usually at its calmest making it easier to spot the whales and dolphins. In the morning they are also more active and populous improving your chances of spotting them.