THE summer heat in tropical Philippines is making us sweat profusely. And here in Negros Island, we are not spared from the sun as well. The good thing though, there are plenty of destinations in the province that can make us escape the scorching hot weather. A drive down south or up north or towards the eastern portion of the province will lead us to beautiful scenic places.

My visit at the recently concluded Panaad sa Negros Festival 2017, as I went from one pavilion to the next, reminded me of the various sights that we can enjoy in our province. This summer, there are plenty of places in Negros Occidental where travelers can cool off and take refuge from the heat.

1. Mountain resorts

Talisay, Murcia, and Salvador Benedicto are becoming sought-after destinations because of the mountain resorts found in these localities. The elevated portions provide a cool ambiance, especially at night. Moreover, the views and landscapes are spectacular anytime of the day.

Drive through the pine-tree laden highway of Salvador Benedicto or see the view of Bacolod City from the mountains of Talisay for Instagram-worthy scenery. Apart from the relaxing weather, travelers also get to enjoy fresh produce, such as fruits and vegetables, grown in the area. One of the healthy destinations in DSB is the Rapha Valley, which serves delectable organic food.

2. Waterfalls, rivers and springs

Head to La Castellana, La Carlota, Kabankalan, Bago, Don Salvador Benedicto, Murcia, and other areas in the province where you can find natural springs, rivers, and waterfalls.

Some are not yet well-developed, which makes it less crowded. However, always take extra precaution when trekking to the waterfalls for safety purposes. Enjoy cool water gushing from above or flowing from below.

Mambukal Mountain Resort is one of the top-of-the-mind destinations that are set in the upland portion of Murcia; plus, it has natural hot springs and waterfalls, to the delight of vacationers.

3. Beaches

The beaches of Sipalay and Hinobaan are gaining popularity among Filipinos and foreigners alike. The less crowded, isolated beaches are welcome alternatives to other known beaches in the country. One of the places travelers are curious about is the Tinagong Dagat, which seems like floating hills.

Up north, there are also plenty of beaches for the sea-lovers. Small islands in the province are also making waves, such as the Danjugan Island, Lakawon Island, and the white sand bar of Carbin Reef.

4. Swimming pools

Just within Bacolod City alone, there are many resorts with beautiful swimming pools where kids can enjoy the water in a safe environment.

Punta Taytay has a number of pool resorts that provide a relaxing view of the sea. Head west and you will find the oldest resort in the city, Sta. Fe Resort. Around Bacolod and its neighboring cities of Bago, Talisay and Silay, there are several facilities with swimming pools where families and groups can bond and have a fun gathering.

All photos are by this author. Claire Marie Algarme blogs at Follow her as @firsttimetravel on Twitter and Instagram and like her Facebook page First-time Travels.