Islas de Gigantes
Gigantes Islands Guide for First-Time Travelers
BEST THINGS TO DO IN ILOILO
Islas de Gigantes Travel
Guide For First-Time Travelers
Isla de Gigantes is a collection of islands that can be found in the province of Iloilo in the Philippines. These islands can be found in close proximity to the shores of mainland Carles and Estancia. It takes around three to four hours to travel from the capital city of Iloilo to the Gigantes group of islands, depending on the land transportation used.
Island Hopping Around the Gigantes
Our tour of the Gigantes Islands by boat brought us right back to our time spent in Palawan. Limestone cliffs that are both sharp and jagged, surrounded by water that has a vibrant turquoise color. It was the perfect spot to forget about the outside world and unwind. Island hopping moved us quickly from one island to the next. The following is a list of locations that are available for you to experience in the Gigantes Islands:
- Bakwitan Grotto
- Bantigue Sand Bar, located at Antonia Beach (good snorkelling area)
- Bulobadian Island
- Cabugao Gamay Puting Baybay Gamay- (cliff diving)
- Langub sandbar
- Pawikan Cave
- Pulupandan island Way Dahon Island
- Puting Baybay Daku
- Tanke (Enchanted Lagoon) – (cliff diving)
Even though there are just 10 large islands in the Gigantes Archipelago, there are a great number of sandbars and smaller islands that can be explored. The vast majority of island-hopping tours offer a seafood buffet for lunch in addition to providing a guide and a boatman. During our time there, the majority of our meals consisted of seafood, specifically crab, scallops, and squid. Be sure to make the necessary accommodations if you are not a fan of seafood, in which case you won’t be required to eat it (bring your own food or inform the boat crew ahead of time).
We strongly suggest that you spread out your vacation in Gigantes over the course of two or even three days so that you are not under any time constraints. In addition, you will have the opportunity to visit the lighthouse that is located in Gigantes Norte. Because it offers such stunning panoramas of the islands, it is definitely worth a visit there.
Everyone I encountered was so kind and friendly! Despite the recent increase in tourists, a significant number of locals are still dependent on fishing as their major means of generating cash. From where we were staying in Gigantes Norte, I was able to see a great number of people fishing, sorting through scallop shells, and going about their everyday lives. Despite the lack of material wealth, there was a strong sense of community and a sense of belonging among the people. The community is very inspiring and lovely.
Each of the islands that we went to was completely untouched, and it was an incredible experience overall. On every island, you’ll find palm palms, untouched, perfectly pure water, and the most welcoming people you’ve ever met. As we traveled from one island to the next, we swam, napped, and lazily enjoyed the day by swimming. We also dined on fresh seafood. The island-hopping tour will visit you to a variety of different places during the day. Among some of our favorites is Cabugay Gamay, which features a little trail that visitors may walk down to get a picture-perfect vantage point of Gigantes Island.
Today, Gigantes is slowly but surely becoming more well-known.
Staying Overnight in Gigantes Island on a Camping Trip
When we went camping in Gigantes, we had the best time of our lives! We set up our tent right next to the ocean, allowing us to fall asleep to the soothing sound of the waves as they rolled in and out. Our tour guide at the time took food of everything for us, from pitching the tent to ensuring that we had access to fresh provisions on the island. Under the clear night sky, we had a wonderful time swimming until the early hours of the morning. You should arrange every effort to incorporate this into your trip if you are in a position to do so and if you have the opportunity to do so.
Getting to Gigantes Island
The topic of how to go to Gigantes Island is one that is asked by most travelers to the Visayas region. Although the Roxas City Airport is the most convenient for getting to Gigantes, you can also get flights to Iloilo and Kalibo, and even Caticlan (gateway to Boracay) from there. There are two ports from which travelers can embark on their journey to the islands. You can go there via Bancal Port, in Carles, or through Estancia Port. Either one will work. Additionally, if it is of any use, the Bancal Port of Carles has a Tourism Office that you can visit.
Due to the fact that boats to and from the islands only run once each day, you have the option of hiring or chartering a pump boat to take you to the port in order to accommodate your flight schedule.
From Roxas City to Port of Bancal, Carles
Take a trike (also known as a tuk-tuk) from the Roxas Airport to the terminal. Ride a van headed to Estancia and inform the driver that you need to go to Bancal, in Carles. Before reaching Estancia Town proper, stop at Balasan, and from there, you can charter a tricycle to bring you to Bancal, in Carles.
Make your way to the Bancal Port, where you will be able to board a boat that will take you to Gigantes Norte. The duration of the ride on the boat is around one hour and fifteen hours.
The distance from Roxas City is around one and a half to two hours.
The commuter pump boat departs from Bancal Port and arrives at Langob Beach in Gigantes Norte. The next day, the same boat leaves Langob Beach and arrives Bancal Port.
Via Estancia to Gigantes
Despite the fact that it requires a bit more time and effort to get there, this route is substantially more popular than traveling via Carles if you are coming from Roxas City. From the Roxas Airport, you can reach the terminal by taking a trike (also known as a tuk-tuk). Take a taxi to the Estancia Terminal, and from there, walk to the port, where you can depart your journey to the islands.
Distances: Roxas City is located a two-hour drive away.
There are accommodations available on both Gigantes Norte and Gigantes Sur, but the majority of visitors arrive on Gigantes Norte Island because that is where the majority of the resorts are located.
- On Gigantes Island, there is no mobile phone coverage or service available.
- Bring insect repellant with you wherever you go.
- In spite of the fact that there are a few sari-sari shops nearby where you may buy refreshments and snacks, you should bring your own with you. Before departing the port area, the vast majority of people stock up on supplies of this item.
- When planning your travel, keep in mind that the boat that departs from Bancal Port and travels to the islands only does so once every day.
- Because it is a destination that is somewhat apart from civilization, you should bring some fundamental first aid items.
- You should still bring the necessary, such as stomach pills, just in case the seafood doesn’t agree with you.
- Joiners’ Package
- Private Tour
- Iloilo-Gigantes Tour
- Roxas-Gigantes Tour
Getting to Carles
Getting to Gigantes
Where to Stay
Isla Gigantes Travel Guide
Islas de Gigantes Island Tour + Travel Guide
Travel Guide to Gigantes Islands
For First-Time Travelers
The Islas de Gigantes are a cluster of islands that are hardly developed and feature azure waters, blue skies, powdery white sands, lagoons that are crystal clear, and almost no phone signal. It is a flourishing off-the-grid paradise that can be found tucked away in the Philippines, right in the middle of the Visayan Sea.
Originally given the name Sabuluag, after a tree species that could be found on the islands, the Spanish colonizers later changed the name to Islas de Gigantes, after it was said that enormous human bones were discovered in one of the caves on the islands.
It is accessible from Boracay, Kalibo, Roxas, and Iloilo, in addition to other parts on Panay. The lengthy journey from Caticlan Airport (Boracay) to Kalibo International Airport, Roxas Airport, and Iloilo International Airport is absolutely, unequivocally, totally, and completely worthwhile. The sight of Gigantes Island will take your breath away.
After traveling by boat for half an hour in the direction of the Islas de Gigantes, it is possible that cell phone service will become unavailable. Being inaccessible in the middle of the sea, with the only sound being the engine of the boat, makes for an experience that is exhilarating as well as fantastic (bangka).
The lodgings in Gigantes Norte are on the more affordable side, and some of them even have a hammock hanging out on the veranda. The majority of the meals are lavishly abundant, which will serve as a benchmark for the remaining meals you consume during your stay. A typical dish on the menu is fresh seafood that has been steamed, served with chicken, vegetables, and rice. The menu features a variety of seafood, including fresh mussels and oysters, buttered angel wing clams, squid-ink shrimp gambas, sweet and sour fish, fried milkfish, octopus, barbecue, fried chicken, and fresh crabs. Other dishes include sweet and sour fish and fried milkfish.
The scenery around Islas de Gigantes is picture-perfect in every way, and its shores are no exception to this rule.
The people who live on the Islas de Gigantes are doing an excellent job of maintaining the purity, tidiness, and beauty of their islands while also finding a way to maintain a sustainable economy through managed tourism.
If you are going to be in the Philippines, particularly in the Visayas region, you should give yourself at least two to three days to explore some of the most stunning islands that Southeast Asia has to offer. Gigantes Island was ranked number 14 on the list of the top 20 most beautiful places in the world, which was published on Forbes.com in August of 2016.
Gigantes Norte Lighthouse
The Lighthouse is a structure that has been around for a century and looks even more beautiful as the sun goes down. This lighthouse has the ability to capture the beat of your heart with its golden light that spreads across the skies and its panoramic views of the bright blue Visayan Sea that are visible from miles away.
This attraction is elevated to an entirely new level of allure during golden hour!
The island of Cabugao Gamay has a stunningly breathtaking landscape. It is the part of Gigantes that attracts the most photographic attention. The one that comes up as the top hit on every Google Image search and every Instagram tag whenever the word “Gigantes” is typed into a search bar. To get a picture-perfect view of a tropical paradise, climb to the top of its rocky features.
This picturesque landmark features a powdery white sandy beach, a cluster of swaying coconut trees, man-made stacks of stones, clear waters, and an iconic view of what it means to be in Gigantes.
The Bantigue sandbar is characterized by an exquisite stretch of white sand that winds its way through the middle of the ocean and provides a breathtaking view of a range of small, verdant mountains.
When the tide comes in, the sandbar, which is typically in the shape of an S, is covered by the water.
The waters off of Antonia Beach are incredibly clear, making them perfect for snorkeling. Get in the water to do some snorkeling, but try to move as little as possible so that more fish will swim in your direction.
Tangke Saltwater Lagoon
A tranquil natural saltwater pool can be found within this bewitchingly verdant lagoon, which is shielded from view by a ring of towering rocks.
You have the option of simply swimming in the saltwater pool or spending the majority of your time jumping off the rocks into the emerald waters below.
The word “sea turtle” is referred to using the indigenous word “pawikan.” Some of the locals claim that the cave’s rocks once resembled the shells of hatchling turtles. Because of this, it is known as Pawikan Cave.
The climb is challenging, but every so often, through the branches and bracken, you can catch a glimpse of the ocean below. The entrance to the cave is located approximately 60 meters (about 200 feet) above sea. At the cave’s entrance is a room with dazzling rock formations made of limestone, and atriums in the ceiling of the cave let beaming sunlight into the otherwise dark chambers.
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