Isla De Gigantes Iloilo 2018: Budget and Travel Guide
Isla De Gigantes is located off the coast of Carles and Estancia towns in Northeastern part of Iloilo. It is rich of fresh seafoods like scallops and selling of it, is one of their sources of income. This remote island has a lot to offer, from their pristine blue waters, white sand beaches and cheap seafood. And it’s one of a must see places here in the Philippines.
How to get there:
From Iloilo Airport (travel time 4-5hrs) (Got our ticket for 2,119php each at Airasia)
Take a taxi going to Tagbak Terminal or if you’re lucky enough, the resort will prepare a van and pick you up at the Airport (but this is better in a group like us hehe)
Ride a bus or van to Bancal Port, Carles (faster than in Estancia Port) – we took a van for faster trip and fare is 200php each but if you don’t want to wait for other passengers you can pay 300php each.
Ride a public or private boat going to Gigantes.
Isla De Gigantes Tour Package:
I think most of the resorts in Gigantes offer an ALL IN package; got our package at Jesa Beach Resort, it is cost 3,223.50php each for 7 pax in 3D and 2N. The package inclusions are the following:
- Roundtrip boat transfer (private service)
- Room accommodation (aircon room). Please don’t expect for an elegant room, but still the room is enough for sleeping. We got 2 rooms each and it has 1 toilet.
- Full board meal (5meals)
- Island tour and entrance fees.
- Private boat for Island hopping with tour guide.
1st Day (Land Tour, not included in the Package)
Cost per head 300php.
When we arrived at the Jesa Beach Resort, we took our lunch first and rest a bit since we travelled for 5hrs haha! And start our tour around 4pm. Our first stop is Bakwitan Cave and we rode a habal-habal.
The term Bakwitan is derived from “bakwit” which means as an “evacuee”. It is used to be as evacuation center during strong typhoons that their native house can’t stand. Our tour guide also tells a story that before it is once a cemetery by their ancestors. And some stones contained sets of human bones.
North Gigantes Island Lighthouse
Our tour guide suggests to come here if the sun is about to set. The old lighthouse was built during Spanish-era and it stands in 12 meters high. We didn’t get the chance to climb the tower deck because it is now closed for tourist.
2nd Day (Island Tour)
We started our Tour and adventure around 9am. Islands on our list are Tangke Lagoon, Cabugao Gamay Island, Bantigue Sandbar and Antonia Beach. First we went to Tangke Lagoon.
It is called “Tangke” because it is like a water tank. Tangke is a natural saltwater pool with beautiful rock formations. It is a smaller version of Palawan’s famous Saltwater Lagoon. During our visit, it was low-tide but gladly it is not really much crowded (maybe because it is not holiday season haha!).
Cabugao Gamay Island
This is the most photograph spot in Gigantes. The word “Gamay” means small in Visayan dialect, but for me this is not as little as what the word means haha! Just be careful when you climb to the top on the man-made stairs but when you reach it, the view is just stunningly beautiful. You can swim as well at the beach and take more selfies haha!
We had our lunch here at Bantigue and the seafood is sooo cheap! 1 scallop 1 peso haha! And there is one shell seafood called Wasay-Wasay, it looks odd but it’s delicious as well. Our tour guide paid our food because it was included in the package hehe. It was low tide that time so the Sandbar looks like divided into two waters. We got some cute and unusual looking shells in here haha!
This is another paradise in Gigantes, where you can camp out in beach. They also offer Snorkeling (in the shallow areas), Boat Ride for 200php/pax (minimum of 5 pax) and Jetski at 2,000php for 30 minutes. You can swim and take more serene photos here.
Bonus Trip (Little Boracay in Gigantes)
A few minutes away from Antonia Beach, there is a Hidden Gem in Gigantes. Our tour guide brought us here and experienced the Boracay feels haha! With its fine sand and clear waters plus the sun is not burning we really enjoyed to swim here.
- Tour Package 3,223.50php each
- Van going to Bancal Port 300php
- Land Tour 250php
- Motor going to Souvenir Shop and eat Burger scallop 100php
- Burger Scallop 35php
- Dried Fish pasalubong 360php
- Tip to Kuya Kenneth 100php
- Van going to Iloilo Airport 300php
- Eat Lunch Mang Inasal 110php
Total: 4,778.50 (individual budget for a group of 7 pax, airfare not included)