It has been a long work week for me and I needed a break from the city life. I decided to take this trip to Mambukal Resort in Negros Occidental. Since I have already experienced the beauty of Negros Oriental in my previous travel, I thought why not explore Negros Occidental this time. Negros province is gifted with so many beautiful and amazing natural wonders.
I started my travel from Cebu City to Toledo City by taking the V-Hire transportation at the V-Hire Terminal in Junquera St. near USC Main Campus. The fare was only Php 100 and the travelling time takes approximately two hours.
From Toledo Port Terminal to cross the island to Negros Occidental, you must take the ferry boat to San Carlos City. The boat fare was Php 100 and the travelling time also takes two hours to San Carlos City Port.
We left Toledo Port at 6 pm and arrived in San Carlos City at 8 pm. I decided to spend the night in San Carlos City prior to going to Mambukal Resort since it was already late and the road to Mambukal Resort is still unknown to me.
Good thing I met a lady at the boat who was friendly enough to teach me on where to get a good affordable accommodation in San Carlos City which is just 5 minutes away from the port terminal. So I checked in at Yoyong Traveller’s Inn. The room were clean and yes the room rate were cheap since you can get a small room for as low as Php 250 per night with a fan and a room with an air condition with price range from Php 350 to Php 600 per night A Php 100 room deposit was collected at the time of check and is refundable upon check out. All the rooms have a private bathroom to shower and clean up prior to your connecting travel destination.
Yoyong Traveller’s Inn has been a famous stop over for transit travelers.
See Photos of Yoyong Traveller’s Inn
I wake up early at 4 am to begin my travel to Mambukal Resort. At 6 am, I was already at San Carlos City Bus Terminal waiting for the Ceres bus to Don Salvador which goes straight to Bacolod City. The travel to Mambukal Resort took almost took 3 hours passing Don Salvador Benedicto which is another tourist destination in Negros Occidental known to be the little Baguio in the Visayas. I paid Php 160 for my bus fare to Mambukal and from the main road of Mambukal, I took another tricycle ride which cost me another Php 150 fare for the solo trip. It took us almost 45 minutes drive to reached the highland resort and one can noticed a big plantation of sugar cane along the road to Mambukal Resort .
As we drew closer to Mambukal Resort, the climate has changed and it has become colder giving me signs that we are almost there. I could hear the strong water current coming from Mambukal River signifying that a waterfalls is nearby. I could not help but stopped to take memory of this beautiful spot beside the river. I can now feel the excitement of what I can see at the endpoint of our destination.
As we arrived at the end of our travel, I was happy to see that there were small public buses available to take me to Bacolod City and that I don’t have to take a solo trip again with a tricycle just to get to the main road. So the last trip is at 6 pm out of Mambukal Resort which gives me ample time to explore the area. Definitely, I don’t want to spend more on the tricycle ride which I think was a big ripped off for me but since I was still unfamiliar with the place, nothing that I can do but to settle for that. The bus fare from Mambukal Resort to Bacolod City was only Php 60 pesos one way which approximately takes 45 minutes travel time.
See Photos of Mambukal Resort
At the entrance of Mambukal Resort, you will be asked to register your name, mobile number and location on the visitor logbook. There are Resort Patrol Officers and Tourist Guides who can provide you directions and useful information within the resort.
The entrance fee was only Php 50 which I think was a very good value for money considering all the resort facilities, natural resources and various activities that you can see and do within the area. You will also be given a resort map to help you find your way as you explore the big resort . I was very happy to find out through the map that most of the things I like are just within the vicinity.
Mambukal Resort offers different types of room accommodations which range from Php 600 to Php 1000 per night with room type you can choose from regular, deluxe or suite room. They also have rooms for couples as well as picnic huts that can accommodate small and bigger groups of people which are suitable for parties and get together events. Mambukal Resort also have Conference Rooms to host company events and private special occasions such as weddings and birthdays celebration.
Since I am a newbee and not familiar with the place yet, it is required that trekkers going to the mountain must have a local tourist guide with them and so I did availed of a tourist guide service for a fee of Php 300 for the entire round trip of trekking to see the 7-levels of Murcia Waterfalls. My assigned tourist guide was named Willie who was quite nice and gave me lots of information about the place.
I also had the pleasure of having these local children come along with me as I went up through the mountain.
First Stop: Fruit Bats Sanctuary
I got a free lesson of the different fruit bats that you can find in the area on the way up the mountain before reaching the 7 level Murcia Waterfalls. So we can find the following fruits bats: Golden Crowned Flying Fox, Large Flying Fox and Common Island Flying Fox.
Second Stop: Remnant of the hanging bridge
Due to safety and security reasons, the use of the hanging bridge was restricted to avoid accidents. It could have been nice to try it but for compliance, lets just obey the rules and regulations of the resort.
So we are on our way up to the mountain, the trek for the round trip going up and down the entire 7 levels of Murcia Waterfalls will take approximately three hours to complete according to Willie and the last 7 level waterfalls will take another 30 minutes to reach.
The way was not easy and you really have to be careful in climbing since there are no proper pathways, the steps were very small, only one person at a time. It is not safe at all and you really have to gather your strength and endurance to make it to the top of the mountain. I felt my heart was beating so fast and I am losing my breathe away. I have to stopped several times in between levels to regain my vitality.and catch my breath.
Third Stop: Viewing the Seven Levels of Murcia Waterfalls
We were not able to see level 5 of Murcia Waterfalls since it was closed due to a lot of falling stones while level 7 of Murcia Waterfalls is quite far which will take another 30 minutes of trekking and we would need to cross river as in literally get wet to get there so I decided not to continue anymore since I am afraid that we might not come back in time to make it for the last trip of the bus going to Bacolod City.
Fourth Stop: Bird Sanctuary
I had the chance to meet the Resort Administrator – Sir Henry whom I have learned was also from Cebu. He was quite happy to know that I am also a Cebuana so he gave me a brief overview discussion of all the bird species in the area. It sounded like I am in my Biology class and having an Eco tour of the place.
This is one of the rare bird specie that you can find in Mambukal Resort. The Glossy Swiftlet which a lot of Europeans would like to see in Mambukal Resort.
Fifth Stop: Mambukal Resort Foodcourt
After three hours of trekking up in the mountain, I am really hungry now for lunch. Trying out the menu at Enting’s Restaurant, I had the chance to make friends and chitchat with with the owner Ate Edna in the resort who was quite friendly, accommodating and so motherly.
Sixth Stop: Dipping Pool
After my lunch at the food court, I went up to refresh myself and recover from the long trek activity to the mountain to the Dipping Pool. I took a swim in Mambukal Dipping Pool for an hour and made some friends with some local residents. The entrance fee is Php 50 only per person.Indeed it was a relaxing experience and it could have ended perfectly well for me if I had a nice full body massage at the Blade Spa just outside the Dipping Pool area but thought that would make me spend more money so I decided not to take that. Anyway I can always get a full body massage when I get back to Cebu City.
Seventh Stop: Riverside Hot spring
If you would prefer a much hotter temperature of hot spring, Mikawa Onsen or Riverview Hot spring is also available to your liking on the other side of the Dipping Pool. The entrance fee is Php 100 per person. I did try to have a look and try the water inside but it is just too hot for me. I am afraid it will make me become very red or probably burn my body skin. The Dipping Pool was a good option for me.
So I continue roaming around the resort. Further I can see that there is a big swimming pool available for those who do not want to use the hot springs. There are numerous picnic cottages that are available for day use and open area setting. There are a lot of local residents celebrating their Christmas parties during my travel.
Eight Stop: Flower Shop
There is also a Flower Shop in the resort which sells different types of plants and flowers. A lady was trying her best to convince me to by Mickey Mouse flower which indeed was shaped like a Mickey Mouse. But I didn’t buy because it was expensive. She was selling it for a single piece of seed for Php 50 each.
Now heading to the Boating Lagoon was really nice. You can actualy go for boating activity for a fee of Php 30 per person only.
Ninth Stop: Boating Lagoon
Tenth Stop: Butterfly Garden
Now I am excited to see the Butterfly Garden in the resort so I roam further to find it.
Entrance Fee: Php 30 per person
Taking memories of this enchanted place in Mambukal Resort was a wonderful travel experience for me. It didn’t really matter if I was travelling solo because I did have a great time. I was able to enjoy my personal space and was able to wonder around like a small kid in wonderland. Though I had limited time but it was a day well spent and I truly enjoy this travel a lot! It also gave me time to reflect on what really makes me happy as a person and as a woman. Guess I have found another favorite hobby to continue moving forward and yes I would like to share my travel experience to others.
Mambukal Resort also have zip line activities for those who like to indulge themselves into sporty activities. You can also do wall climbing, canopy walk and slide for a lifetime activity.
This place is a thumbs up for me and I highly recommend to visit and experience this place. Mambukal Resort is a very good travel destination for student and children alike. It is a good venue for educational Eco tours, vacation, and a good venue for family, friends and couples to enjoy !
For the adventurer like me who like to explore new places, this is definitely among the recommended destination in my bucket list.