Islas de Gigantes
- 6 Reviews
- 15 Recommend
- 6 Reviewers
- Tourist Attraction
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Luckily, my boyfriend went home to their province in Carles, Iloilo with me and include me in his budget
So for us to make sulit our 1week stay in Iloilo, we include ISLAS DE GIGANTES in our Itinerary.
It's a beautiful sunny sunday morning when we went for an Island Hopping. Boat starts at Bancal Port where the Fishersman's are busy packing and selling their newly-catched fresh and big fishes.
It's about a 45mins to 1hour boat ride to our first destination which is the Tangke, Lagoon. It was perfect sea-salt water lagoon with a fascinating sky blue water and worth captured rock formations.
Second destination was the most famous Island at Carles today, the Cabugao Island (Gamay), for me it is the most beautiful Island of all (Islas De Gigantes). It has the perfect top view, super fine shelly white sands. 🏻🏝
Third destination was the Antonia Beach Resort, we stayed there for about 1hour for swimming. It has also a long sandbar.
Fourth destination was the Bantigue Sandbar, it has a small cave where we tried to enter but suddenly we went out for some reasons I'm afraid of what's inside actually! I hate the feeling of being inside of a very dark and narrow area. But the Sandbar at Bantigue is amazing.
All in all it was very tiring but worth it because of the 4 beautiful islands I've got to experience just for a day.
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After landing at Roxas airport, we rode a tricycle to the bus terminal going to Estancia. The travel would take around 3-4 hours. Upon arriving at the Estancia Feeder Port, you can ride a chartered boat or wait for the only boat that goes to Isla de Gigantes that leaves at 2PM. I suggest getting a package so you won't need to wait very long.
Packages cost around 2-2.5k for an overnight stay with full board meals and a tour of the Bakwitan Cave, Lighthouse and an island hopping tour.
I really enjoyed Gigantes especially talking to the locals who were really hospitable. Electricity is only from 3 or 4pm until 12mn only if I remember it right then the source will be switched to a generator. Don't expect very cold drinks and we were not able to find any tindahan that sells ice.
The lunch and dinner includes scallops, pusit and crabs kaya lubusin na! I also loved the wasay-wasay! 🏻 Super seafood overload!
Gigantes was a great way to start our Visayas backpacking trip!
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It was about an hour of plane ride, 2 hours on the road and another 2 hours of bumpy bangka ride that led us to our first island in Islas de Gigantes (this, with just about 2-3 hours of sleep). Nobody expected anything because honestly, none of us are familiar with the place, except for 2 from our group who grew up in Iloilo.
What I loved most about the place is that it's almost deserted and garbage is not yet in their vocabulary. Fresh seafood, like alimasag, is too cheap we had at least a whole crab each for just 250 pesos and wasay-wasay (similar to an oyster) is also as cheap as 50 pesos a sack. We also got to try diwal or angel wings clam, which is rare.
Modes of transportation are only by boat or motorcycle taxi (habal-habal). It may sound limited, but activities like trekking, caving, island hopping and water sports can all be done in this group of islands that I would prefer finding and discovering places like this over those that people are familiar of.
Photo: Bantigue Island Sandbar
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Spectacular view! I believe you'll have to pay an entrance fee to go to this specific place to take a pic, I think it was 50php.
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Isla de Gigantes is actually what this group of islands found in the northern most tip of Iloilo is called. To get there from the city, you’ll take a 3 hour car ride zzzz and then a 2 hour boat ride. It sounds like a really long time, because it is... but super worth the travel and since we left at 3am I just slept through it. Hehehe
So, since we knew someone from there, we first had what you can call brunch in the house of the kagawad in one of the islands. Grabe! It was my firs time to have that much seafood at that time of the day. And the freshest pa! We had scallops, what this place is known for. We had 2 kalderos of that. Plus crab, squid – giant ones, and one each pa! Waaah and 2 kinds of fish. White rice… bring it! I didn’t care na. I was looking forward to taking the perfect bikini pics but wala eh.. CRABS>ABS happy tummy!!!! ️
Because we had so much food, we had to just take the leftovers with us for our island hopping. And eating the food on the boat was the best experience ever! Nothing compares. Missing those very moments now, standing up on the boat and eating. Plus also when we ate the scallops as pulutan. Huhuhu take me back!
Aside from the food… Yup! There’s more! Hahaha the 4 islands we went to were heaven! #Iloilostinparadise was our hashtag. Each of the 4 islands had their own special thing. Like, for the first, it had amazing rock formations in its pristine, crystal clear water. Picturesque, as seen in the photo. The second had nice sand and was nice to wade in. The third had a wonderful view from the top of both sides of the island. And the fourth had some sort of lagoon, called Tangke, where you can just float away. I loved every moment of this day.
Everyone we encountered was so nice. I will definitely go back and maybe next time to camp, not just for a day trip, so I can eat scallops till I can’t eat scallops no more!
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Looking for a different kind of beach adventure that not a lot of people know about? Can you rough it up? Islas de Gigantes promises you these and so much more! It is a small group of pristine, quiet and immaculate islands North of Iloilo. 🏝
A refreshing experience for those who just want to momentarily drop everything and be away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
When visiting Islas de Gigantes, contact Joel Decano (09184685006 / 09155796612), Tourism Officer of Carles where the beaches are located. You will love him because his tour is CHEAP (2,500php) and HASSLE-FREE. 🏼
Tour Inclusions (3 Days/ 2 Nights):
1. Passenger boat fare 2way
2. Private boat for island hopping with local island guide
3. Island and cave entrance fees
4. 5 Meals (Family style)
– SCALLOP ISLAND, you will be served all ways to cook scallops, its GLORIOUS!!!
5. Motor bike fare (Habal-habal)
– Only means of transportation around the island 🏍
6. Gigantes Hideaway Tourist Resort (2 nights)
– Non aircon rooms but you can ask to upgrade, no private bathroom
DESTINATION: Manila-Estancia, Iloilo (Port to Islas)-Islas de Gigantes
From ILOILO (Around 6hrs) – Route I took, DON’T!!! Spent around 300php
1. Iloilo Airport
– 1 Hr
2. Travel to Tabak Terminal, Jaro
– 20 Mins
Transpo Options to Tabak Terminal:
A. Shuttle to SM City Iloilo/ Jeepney to Tabak Terminal
B. Cab to Tabak Terminal
3. Travel to Estancia via UV Express Van
– 3-4 Hrs
SIDE TRIP: Netong's Original Lapaz Batchoy
4. Estancia to Estancia Feeder Port via Tricycle
– 10 Mins
5. Estancia to Brgy Asluman (Islas) via Boat
– 2 Hrs
From ROXAS (Around 4 Hrs) - Travel to Estancia via UV Express Van
– 2 Hrs
1. Tangke (Natural Lagoon)
2. Cabugao Island (Twin Beaches)
3. Bantigue Island (Sandbar)
4. Century Old Spanish Lighthouse (Parola)
1. Bring insect repellent, lots of mosquitos in the caves
2. Mobile networks are not available in the island
3. Electricity is only turned on late in the afternoon until 11pm then it switches to power generator.
4. Bring your own supply of mineral/distilled water.
5. Bring your own snorkeling gear
6. You will need a vacation from this vacation! Hahaha
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