Our last lengthly stay in the Philippines found us in the small town of Dauin just south of Dumaguette at Puerto Cita’s Beach Resort. While at Driftwood Village we ran in to a couple we had met while in San Vincente on Palawan Island. We told them we were looking for a place to stay for our final nights on Negros before heading back to Cebu. They sang the praises of a small, very affordable, beach side resort in Dauin by the name of Puerto Cita’s. We reserved a room based solely on their recommendation since reviews online were difficult to find. It turned out to be a very good decision. Puerto Cita’s is fairly larger resort located on the same beach as the Dumaguette Springs Resort. The water by the beach is clear and chock full of reefs and marine life. Just a short walk on the beach leads to a small marine sanctuary where you can snorkel and dive. The resort itself is home to small single rooms as well as large family style rooms. The resort also caters to travelers who plan on staying extended amounts of time. There are full kitchen facilities free to use and mid sized refrigerators that are shared between two rooms in their series of duplex cottages. Each room also has a wonderful porch area complete with bistro table and clothesline. The resort also boasts of a wonderful albeit small pool. The pool is very clean, safe (good textured tiles that prevent slipping when your feet are wet), and raised slightly above ground to help prevent any critters from taking a dip. The room itself was adequate and served its purpose. Unfortunately our room was right outside of the kitchen and dining area which limited our privacy and contributed to unwanted noises throughout the day and night. We did like the fact that we had the ability to use a proper kitchen complete with dishes, flatware, and most pots, pans, and kitchen tools you would need to create any meal you wanted. Eggs and fruit for breakfast, fresh vegetables for lunch, and fresh seafood purchased from the market for dinner. We ate very well and came in under budget for our food for the three days we were there. The resort is roughly a kilometer from the center of Dauin where you can easily find restaurants, markets, and, in my case, a barber shop to help rid me of a two month old beard. The town is also home to a 300 year old cathedral built by Spanish missionaries. While we visited the church the priest allowed us to climb the bell tower to take in the 360 degree view from the top. Three of the original bells still remain and are in use to this day. From the bell tower you also get a perfect view of Apo Island to the southeast and Valencia Mountain to the northwest. You can easily hop on a jeepney, tricycle, or bus and travel to Dumaguette for more extensive shopping or to Malatapay to stroll through the large open market and livestock auction and catch the ferry to Apo Island. One drawback of Puerto Cita’s was its lack of internet connectivity. Though the price of the room was perfect if the resort offered wifi we would’ve gladly paid extra. The luxury of having a kitchen gave us the feeling of home and living there versus just staying there. The staff were also gracious, friendly, and quick to conversation. While cooking one evening I made friends with Robin - the pool maintenance man and head of the organic farming project that is run at the resort. He gave us great advice on what to see and do in the area if we had more time on our hands.
Cost: Very affordable for the budget traveler. With the combined savings the luxury of the kitchen gives this place is can’t be beat.
Accessibility: The resort is in the town of Dauin which lies on the main highway that circumvents the island of Negros. From the main market area of Dauin, the resort is less than a kilometer walk away. Upon our arrival we took a tricycle since we weren’t familiar with the area and had no idea where the resort was.
Activities: The resort does not offer any activities to my knowledge. When we inquired about snorkeling gear rental they directed us to the neighboring resort. The town of Dauin does have some diving outfitters at resorts that can be hired and great diving sites. Nearby is Apo Island where there is world class diving and snorkeling though getting there requires an expensive ferry trip and is overrun with fellow tourists all vying for water position to see the aquatic life.
Food: Though the resort does not have a restaurant or bar it does have full kitchen facilities that help save the budget traveler money while staying there. Duane has a few restaurants and a decent market. La Fiesta, our favorite place in the area, is 3km away and the town of Malatapay with it’s extensive market and street food selection is a short jeepney ride away.