Do you want a unique and un-crowded vacation getaway this summer? Then Islas de Gigantes is a great choice for you.
Philippines is a rich tropical country, we are popular from the foreigners and tourists, we are renowned by our beautiful islands and white sand beaches. We have the elegant islands of Palawan, the surf worthy waves of Siargao islands, the white sand beaches of Boracay and many, many more! But these locations tend to be populated and overcrowded specially during the summer seasons, so if you are looking for under rated yet very beautiful vacation spots, then the Gigantes Islands of Visayas is a good option for you.
The Islas de Gigantes is a group of Islands located at the western parts of Visayas in the province of Iloilo near Sicogon, the name of the islands was formally known as “Las islas de los Gigantes”, meaning “Islands of Giants” .There are about ten different islands in Islas de Gigantes , the two most known islands were Gigantes Norte or North Gigantes and Gigantes Sur or South Gigantes.
The Island is a very beautiful yet under rated tourist destination. The island offers a relaxing and very calming atmosphere, almost everything is great in this place, spectacular virgin islands, welcoming and hospitable inhabitants and the pristine waters. It’s a great place to relax and cleanse your body and mind from the chaotic and tiring city life. Isla gigantes room rates are a bit higher than your usual hotels but if you are fine with Nipa huts, then you don’t have to worry.
History of Gigantes Island
Here are some magnificent captures of Isla de Gigantes from AiChan
The Islas de Gigantes was originally named Sabuluag, an endemic type of tree that grows on the area. The name was changed into Las islas de los Gigantes during the Spanish Colonization, legend has it that it was named Gigantes because there are set of coffins located on one of the islands, on the Bakwitan cave that entombs a gigantic set of human bones.
What attractions to see in Isla de Gigantes
There are several sights and places you can find within the area, the place has a lot to offer within its islands.
The Tangke is a saltwater lagoon located near the southern parts of the islands at the Gigantes Sur. There are numerous cliffs that surrounds the area, an ideal place to do cliff diving and swimming. It is called the enchanted lagoon, local legend has it that the waters within Tangke supernaturally moves and mystically rises during the feast of Saint John the Baptist every June 24.
Bakwitan Cave is the reason why the Gigantes Islands was named the way it was
The Bakwitan Cave is the reason why the Gigantes Islands was named the way it was. The local legend tells that there are sets of coffins containing giant bones of human heritage, it was also rumored that engkantos inhabit the cave. Despite the stories and mysteries surrounding the cave, it’s still a very worth place to stop by because of the environment within the area.
The Bantigue Sandbar is one of the stop off points during the island hopping of your trip. It’s estimated to be about one and a half kilometer long and an excellent place to rest and do picture takings especially for its crystal clear waters.
The North Gigantes Island lighthouse
The North Gigantes Island lighthouse is one of the original 27 lighthouses built during the Spanish era in 1895, sadly the original Spanish light house was destroyed ten years ago during the calamity of typhoon Frank back in 2008, the lighthouse was left into ruins. It was replaced by a more modern and solar powered lighthouse donated by the Japanese Government.
The Cabugao Island
Cabugao Island is a small island located two kilometers off the coast of Islas de Gigantes Sur, it features an observation deck and a very beautiful and nearly untouched white sand beach. It is one of the most beautiful spots in Islas de Gigantes because of its peculiar shape, a very instagramable place.
The Antonia Beach is a private beach owned by the Antonia’s Beach Resort. The beach is popular for its elegant white sand beach and it’s very, very affordable one peso scallops. If you are looking for additional fun, then you’re in luck. Because the resort offers Banana boat rides for 200 pesos per person. And Jet ski rides for 2000 pesos per person.
How to reach Islas de Gigantes
There are several ways to reach the Islas de Gigantes, the most common way is to reach Iloilo city.
If you’re from Manila to Isla Gigantes you can travel by air to Iloilo city for less than an hour. But if you’re from Bacolod you can ride a trip going to Iloilo via Van for 200 pesos and above. You can then take a van that will ride a Roro for a much faster transportation. Then from Iloilo city, you can choose to ride a taxi for about 150 pesos to reach Tagbak bus terminal. Going to Charles for 200 pesos.
Don’t forget to handle and book your hotel rooms before going to the Islands to avoid hassle. One of the nearest hotel is the Gigantes Hideaway Tourist inn, found near the coastline in the city of Carles.
Isla De Gigantes room rates can vary depending on your taste and budget. if you’re looking for budget friendly places. Then there are 2 star rooms and bedspaces available near the coasts. For as low as 2000 pesos. Hence you can also rent local Nipa Huts. If you want to spend overnight within the beaches (price varies up to a thousand peso).
The Richmonde Hotel and Seda Atria
There are also above average 4 star hotels. You can rent for 4000 to 5000 pesos. If you prefer a much relaxing and private atmosphere like Richmonde Hotel and Seda Atria. Or you can choose travel pack promos that includes hotel and accommodation like Gigantes Hideaway Tourist Inn.
Choosing travel pack promos also saves a lot of time and money, so if you’re planning to save both. Then its best to book ahead. Isla Gigantes Island Tour Package 2018 includes hotel room and accommodation. Foods and necessities, travel guide and Island hopping for as low as 999 pesos depending on the travel agency.
The Islas de Gigantes isn’t very crowded. Yet so it might be a good idea to visit this place before it becomes more popular. Specially if you prefer a more private and quiet experience. Because the beauty of the islands itself is on par with Boracay and El Nido. Plus the Island chain is near the other attractions such as Sicogon and other places in Iloilo.
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all