San Carlos Corridor includes approximately 5,000 hectares of sugar cane and other agriculture; the township of San Carlos and several smaller villages – Guadalupe, Fortuna and Buluangan; areas of aqua-culture and forested hills stretching approximately 18 kilometers along the coast and two kilometers deep from the coast to the foothills.
The land slopes gently toward the sea from the foothills and is punctuated frequently by small “hillocks” and extensions of the foothill range. Physically, there is virtually no constraint to development of this land besides several large drainage corridors which drain the interior mountain watersheds to the sea.
Refugio Island, a low-lying island two kilometers off shore across the Tanon Strait, parallels San Carlos town, providing protection from typhoons and creating a deep water shipping channel.
The two lane National Highway passes through the existing township and serves the smaller villages within the corridor. A new Trans-Link highway crossing the mountains, in the process of being completed, connects the city to Bacolod. This very important transportation link not only cuts travel time between these two cities to just over an hour but offers a means of linking all of the smaller upland villages within San Carlos. An existing port, currently being enlarged and upgraded, connects the town to the sea and serves as a ferry terminal, fishing marina and shipping port. However, this port does not have the capability to accommodate the volume of shipping which will eventually be generated by development in the city and the surrounding municipalities.
Just inland of the port lies the “old town” of San Carlos, a charming town of narrow streets and low buildings, many of fine historic character. Residential quarters surround the commercial center with its plaza, cathedral and new civic auditorium. Other residential neighborhoods are situated across the National Highway to the west. Even further west, between the old town and the foothills a new central business district has been laid out and a new city hall constructed.
The San Carlos sugar mill and refinery, one of a number of mills where cane is processed in Negros, provides much of the employment in the town. It is situated just north of the old town center with its own wharf and sugar rail line terminus.
South of the town center, along the coast, three smaller villages – Guadalupe, Fortuna and Buluangan – complete the other populated areas. Remaining lands within the corridor are devoted to agriculture, farming, grazing, aqua-culture and sparse forest cover..
Overall, the corridor is decidedly rural in character with San Carlos town and small coastal villages set within vast sugar plantations bounded by mountains to the west.
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