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Islas de Gigantes: Travel Guide and Itinerary

Islas de Gigantes or Gigantes Islands is a hidden paradise in the northernmost part of Iloilo province. Gigantes group of islands consists of about ten islands; the two largest are Gigantes Norte and Gigantes Sur. The islands are blessed with white sand beaches and crystal clear waters and is also known as the scallop capital of the Philippines.
The scallop capital of the Philippines

How To Get There

Gigantes Islands are part of Carles, the northernmost municipality in the province of Iloilo, around 142 kilometers from Iloilo City. To get here, one must go to Estancia a municipality located adjacent to the water territory of Carles.
Roxas City, the nearest jump-off point to Gigantes Islands

BY AIR FROM MANILA/CEBU
Although Estancia is part of the Iloilo province, Iloilo International Aiport is around 4 hours away from it. The nearest airport to Estancia is Roxas Airport in Capiz, which is around 2 hours away.

  • Take a direct flight from NAIA/Mactan Cebu Airport to Roxas or Iloilo airport.
  • From Roxas Airport, take a tricycle to Roxas City Integrated Transport Terminal.
  • From Iloilo International Airport, ride a van/cab to Jaro and go to Tagbak Terminal.
  • Ride a bus to Estancia then ride a tricycle to the port.
  • Ride the boat from Estancia port going to Gigantes Islands

Bus en route to Estancia
Registration area in Estancia Port
Notes*
  • The passenger boat from Estancia to Gigantes Islands only has one trip per day.
  • If you missed the public boat, you can rent a private boat for PhP 5000.00.
  • Travel time from Estancia to Gigantes Islands is around 2 hours.

Boat dock in Estancia Port

BY SEA FROM BACOLOD
If coming from Bacolod, you can take a fast craft from Bacolod to Iloilo and just follow the instructions above on how to get to Estancia port.


Where To Stay

There are several resorts on Gigantes Island. Most of it is on Gigantes Norte, which includes the very first resort (and probably the most popular) in the Gigantes, Gigantes Hideaway Resort. They also offer tours and accommodation packages. You may also go camping in one of the smaller islands like Bantigue and Cabugao Islands.

Here're some contact details of some resorts.


Gigantes Hideaway Resort


Touring and Getting Around the Island

Gigantes Hideaway Resort offered us an all-in 3-days, 2-nights (via passenger boat from Estancia) tour package for PhP 2895.00 per person, or 2-days, 1-night (via direct private boat from Estancia) for PhP 3895.00. The via passenger boat option is much longer since it sticks to the schedule of the passenger boat trip, which is only once a day while the direct private boat will fetch you anytime you arrive from Estancia. The rates given to us are just for 2 pax, so if your group is big, it will be cheaper than that.

Here are the inclusions on the tour package we availed.

  • Roundtrip passenger boat fares Estancia-Gigantes-Estancia
  • 3-days, 2-nights accommodation
  • Meals (day 1 dinner and day 2 breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • Island hopping tour via private boat (including island entrance fees)
  • Island tours (including transport, and guide)
Meal included in the tour package

The island is just small so the means of getting around the island is just by taking a ride on a motorcycle. The fare is PhP 10.00 per person for near destinations like the Call Center (the only area in the island where there is a network coverage) while going to the Langub Sandbar cost PhP 30.00 per person.
Call Center

For more of our Gigantes Island experience, you may click on this link :)

Activities and Attractions

Here are the main attractions that make Gigantes Islands a hidden paradise!

  • The Lighthouse - the lighthouse ( a new one, the old lighthouse was destroyed by the typhoon last 2008) is located at the northern tip of Gigantes Norte that offers a great view of the ocean including the island of Masbate. The structure around the lighthouse was built during the Spanish-colonial era.
    The lighthouse
  • Langub Sandbar - a sandbar located in Gigantes Norte which is 5 to 10 minutes away from Gigantes Hideaway Resort. The sandbar is a perfect place to chill and watch a beautiful sunset.
    Langub Sandbar
  • Antonia Island - an island which has a beautiful white sand beach and is also a good spot for snorkeling.
    Snorkeling in Antonia Island
  • Bantigue Island - the island that is known for its beautiful sandbar, crystal clear waters that are very nice for swimming and has a nice view of the ocean between two islands.
    Sandbar of Bantigue Island
  • Cabugao Island - the island where most photos of Gigantes Islands that we see on the internet was taken. The island is a stretch of white sand beach with hills at the end and a huge rock at the other side.
    Cabugao Island
  • Tangke Saltwater Lagoon - a hidden lagoon in an island surrounded by limestone rocks. There is also an area where you can go cliff diving here.
    Tangke Saltwater Lagoon
  • Bulobadian Island - an island near Gigantes Norte where the extension of Gigantes Hideaway Resort is located.
    Bulobadian Island
  • Bakwitan Cave - a cave located in Gigantes Norte where you can go caving.

Bakwitan Cave

Itinerary

Here's the usual itinerary for a 3-day 2-night stay in Gigantes Islands.
  • Day 1: Arrival in Roxas
    • 10:00 AM - ETA Roxas Airport
    • 10:-- AM - (Optional) Drop by Baybay Seafood Court for early lunch
    • 10:30 AM - ETA Roxas Terminal to Estancia
    • 12:30 PM - ETD Estancia Port
    • 01:-- PM - ETA Boat ride Estancia to Gigantes Islands
    • 03:-- PM - ETD Gigantes Norte
    • 04:00 PM - Old Lighthouse tour
    • 05:30 PM - Langub Sandbar
    • 07:00 PM - Dinner at resort
    • 08:30 PM - Lights out/rest
  • Day 2: Island Hopping
    • 07:00 AM - Breakfast at resort
    • 08:00 AM - Start of island hopping
    • 08:-- AM - Antonia Island
    • 09:-- AM - Bantigue Island
    • 10:-- AM - Cabugao Island
    • 11:-- AM - Tangke Saltwater Lagoon
    • 01:-- PM - Lunch in Bukibadian Island
    • 02:30 PM - Back to resort/rest
    • 03:00 PM - Bakwitan Cave
    • 04:30 PM - Back to resort/free time
    • 07:00 PM - Dinner
    • 08:30 PM - Lights out/rest
  • Day 3: Going Home :(
    • 06:00 AM - Wake up time/Pack up
    • 08:00 AM - ETD Boat ride Gigantes Norte to Estancia
    • 10:00 AM - ETA Estancia Port/ETD Estancia to Roxas
    • 12:00 NN - ETA Roxas
    • 01:00 PM - ETD Roxas to Manila
Jump shot on Bantigue Island

Expenses

Since our tour is a package deal, I can't give the exact breakdown of expenses so here is just a list of  the costs per person that you need to take note of.

  • Fare (Bus from Roxas to Estancia): PhP 81.00
  • Fare (Trike to Estancia Port): PhP 25.00
  • Registration Fee (Estancia Port): PhP 10.00
  • Fare (Habal-habal from resort to Langub Sandbar): PhP 30.00
  • Fare (Habal-habal from resort to Call Center): PhP 10.00
  • Fare (Van from Estancia to Roxas): PhP 75.00
  • Terminal Fee (Roxas Airport): PhP 150.00
Cliff diving in Tangke

Quick Tips

  • There is only one trip a day from Estancia to Gigantes at 1-2 PM and Gigantes to Estancia at 8-8:30 AM.
  • There is no electricity on the island from 6 AM to 3 PM.
  • There is only one area in the island where there is network coverage which is called Call Center.
  • Schedule your trip during the Scallop Festival around March or April.
What are you waiting for?


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Hey there, thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed reading my article and helped you out with some travel tips and ideas. Please do leave a comment if you have some comments or suggestions and I'll gladly answer it. Cheers!

5comments:

  1. malapit ba ang resort sa seaside? Maganda mag swimming pag gabi :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Can I ask where you took the first photo above, the one captioned as "The scallop capital of the Philippines". Nice and neat photos by the way :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! It was taken along the exit route of Bakwitan Cave :)

      Delete
  3. Hi where did you get your tour package? Can I have their contact number please. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great blog! On my bucket list now!
    Renting a motorbike is possible nearly everywhere. Check our website book2wheel.com

    ReplyDelete