The Visayas include seven islands in the central part of the Philippines. The Western Visayas consist of the two major islands of Negros and Panay, as well as some smaller isles and islets in the area. Many people know them for sugar and agricultural products, but they also offer a number of attractive tourist spots. The tropical weather, many coasts and beautiful scenery make the Western Visayas desirable tourist destinations year-round.
The small island of Boracay off Panay's coast attracts many tourists, especially for its beaches. White Beach is a major tourist spot slightly more than four kilometers (2.5 miles) in length, according to Boracay Tours Philippines. A row of restaurants and lodging establishments operates near the beach. Panay and Negros also offer various beaches. Baybay Beach on Panay features a 7-kilometer (4.3-mile) long stretch of white sand, with water desirable for kayaking and swimming. It often serves as a tourist spot for people from neighboring provinces.
The Western Visayas island of Negros holds major festivals each year. The Negros Occidental Tourism Center promotes the yearly Panaad sa Negros Festival in Bacolod City as an important tourist attraction. It occurs during April and features concerts, seafood, sports competitions, a parade and fireworks, according to the tourism center. It's also favored among locals. Cadiz City, Negros, holds the smaller Dinagsa Festival in January. It features such events as a dog show, hip-hop contest, boxing tournament and fireworks, as well as a beauty pageant.
A tourist visiting the Western Visayas can also see many historic structures. The grand architecture of the Roxas City Museum (Ang Panubli-on) was built in 1910, according to the website of Roxas City in Panay. Other tourist spots of architectural interest in the city include the first Philippine president's house and the Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Church, which is hundreds of years old. An impressive bridge spans the Panay River.
The oceanic location of the Western Visayas makes them desirable for any tourist interested in diving. Many people go to the city of Dumaguete and surrounding areas in eastern Negros for diving, according to Dive Buddies Philippines Dive and Tour Center. It's generally safe from typhoons throughout the year. Lonely Planet indicates that Boracay Island offers at least 30 diving spots. The western coast of the island often provides better diving for beginners.
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