For our next destination in our ILOG (Iloilo-Guimaras) Trip, we went to Iloilo’s famed destination, the Islas de Gigantes or Gigantes Islands. A group of beautiful islands located in the Eastern part of the province. Composed of the North Gigante Island, South Gigante Island, Cabugao Grande Island, Antonio Island(Cabugao Gamay), and the Bantigue Islet.
From Iloilo City Proper, we traveled by van going to the municipality of Carles where the port going to the islands is located. Along the road, we saw the mountains and the plains of Panay Island. It was sunny and we expected nice weather but as soon as we arrived at Carles, the rain started to pour strongly.
The clouds were thick and dark which tells us that a storm is looming but it did not stop us on our trip. Winds started to blow strongly and the waves were so strong that we could feel the tension it gives to our boat’s floats. It’s like riding a roller coaster without a safety harness. This is probably the most exciting and scariest boat ride I’ve ever been to.
NORTH GIGANTE ISLAND – Se San Beach Resort
After an hour of ups and downs, piercing through the waves, we arrived at Se San Beach Resort on North Gigante Island. We stayed there for the night before the island hopping. We took a swim in front of the resort even though there was still a chance of a strong pour. The sand is white and the water is very clear. That night we had our dinner with scallops as the main highlight. We’re somehow worried that the weather will be bad again tomorrow.
SOUTH GIGANTE ISLAND – Antonia Beach
Fortunately, the weather on our second day started to be in our favor. We left early in the morning and as the sun rose, the blue water surrounding us showed its gleam. Our first stop was Antonia Beach in South Gigante Island. It is a beach where you can see limestone rock formations. It is a twin beach wherein you can see two different perspectives of the waters surrounding the island.
ANTONIO ISLAND – Cabugao Gamay
The next island is probably the most popular of these islands as you can see it on most Instagram accounts and travel sites. Every visitor can climb a viewing point where you can see the beauty of this whole island, from its limestone rock formations, white sand beaches, and tropical trees to the blue turquoise waters surrounding it. You’ll want to be stranded on this paradise island.
BANTIGUE ISLET – Bantigue Sandbar
Our last stop is the amazing Bantigue Islet wherein it boasts a stretch of white sandbar where strong waves breathtakingly crash into the sand. We sat by the edge watching the waves and feeling the strong wind touching our skin. We looked around and felt grateful for the peace we were experiencing. Before leaving the islet, we had our lunch at a small cottage, and surprise surprise we had our feast of the scrumptious scallops again (a basket of scallops and other seafood).
We wanted to stay longer and we should still have another stop at the Tangke Saltwater Lagoon but our guides told us that we should return as the waves are getting stronger and it will be harder to go back.
It was a short stay on these beautiful islands but it is one of the places in the country that I really wanted to return to. One of the beautiful and natural wonders that really describe the Philippines as the Pearl of the Orient.
THE NEXT POST WILL BE ABOUT OUR RAINY GUIMARAS TRIP. HOPE YOU CHECK IT OUT TOO. CHEERS!
TRAVEL GUIDE & TIPS
HOW TO GET THERE:
From Iloilo City Proper:
- Ride a Van or Bus bound for Carles at Tagbak Bus Terminal and ask the driver to drop you at Bancal Port (Travel Time: 2 Hours and 45 Minutes)
- From the port, ride a boat going to the Gigantes Islands. (Travel Time: 1 hour and 30 Minutes)
- Entrance Fee: P150/person
- Small Boat – P3,500 good for 1-10 persons
- Medium Boat – P5,000 good for 11-15 persons
- Big Boat – P6,000 good for 16-30 persons
- Gigantes Islands
CHECK OUT THESE DISCOUNTED/PROMO RATES FROM KLOOK:
- Gigantes Island Tour
- Guimaras Island Private Day Tour
- Iloilo City Heritage Tour
- Iloilo Culinary Half Day Tour
- Mobile Number (Carles Tourism Office): 0908-860-6741
- When going around Iloilo, take a van instead of the bus as vans are faster.
- The signal is limited in this area. Only Smart and Sun Cellular have signals at Gigantes Islands.
- Bancal Port in Carles is the official entry and exit point to the destination islands.
- There are no ATMs on the islands so pile up some cash before going here.
- The waves can be very strong in these waters, especially during the rainy season, better schedule your trip in the dry season.
- Scallops cost less than 3 Pesos per piece.
- Leave No Trace. Let’s keep our islands and oceans clean.