Last time, I have posted about Cheap Isla Gigantes Travel Guide Tour Package Part 1 and Part 2, as well as my pre-birthday celebration on the said island. This time, for those who are planning to have a DIY (Do It Yourself) travel to Isla Gigantes, I hope this post can help you.
- Iloilo Port (coming from Bacolod) – ride a taxi going to Tagbak Terminal, Jaro. It will cost you around P200-250.00 (one way)
- Iloilo International Airport – SM City Iloilo – van @ P150/pax (one way) then from SM City Iloilo to Tagbak Terminal ride a taxi (around P150)
- Tagbak Terminal, Jaro -looked for a van with a signboard that says “Estancia”. I think every hour there is a trip, but be sure to leave the terminal on or before 10AM as you will have approximately 3 hours of travel time going to Estancia. Van costs P150/pax one way. It will be around P170-180/pax for bus.
- Ferry boat/Pump boat, Estancia – boats from Estancia to Isla Gigantes, Carles (Gigantes Norte or Gigantes Sur) only have one trip a day. From Estancia-Carles it leaves at 1:00PM and from Carles – Estancia it leaves at 8:00AM. Fare is P80.00/pax one way. You can have a chartered boat and the cost depends on the number of persons. Just be sure to use your “haggling” skills.
- Motorcycle (habal-habal) in Gigantes Sur costs P10/pax
- Accommodation – Homestay costs P200/pax fan only rooms. For those looking for airconditioned rooms, there are available in the resorts at Gigantes Norte at around P1800 good for 2 pax
- Island Hopping – you can charter a boat for island hopping and the cost again differs depending on the number of passengers, it ranges from P800 -P3,000 for the whole day island hopping adventure.
- Other Fees – Guide (P500), Tourism Fee (Php75), Tangke Entrance (Php20), Antonia’s Entrance (Php40), Cabugao Entrance (Php40), Boat Rental (Php 1000 for 5 pax) and Cave Tour Guide (around P500)
- Be sure to bring a packed lunch if you think you’ll be arriving between 12Noon – 1PM at Estancia, or if you’ll arrive early, you can have your lunch there, as there are a lot of carinderia’s and resto available in Estancia.
- Don’t forget to buy Balasan’s special Bibingka. It’s a must-try delicacy. Just tell the driver of the van that you want to buy Bibingka from Balasan. It’s only P10/pack (5pcs). Balasan is another town before you reach Estancia.
- Buy enough bottled drinking water from Estancia, as you might not like the taste of potable water in Isla Gigantes. Don’t forget to bring something for your dinner in the island, too! But you can buy some pork and chicken BBQ in the island during night time. Fresh seafoods are available early in the morning, just be sure to get to the seaside early in the morning to get some fresh catch at an affordable price (don’t forget to haggle)
- Towels and beddings are provided in Homestay and in the resorts, just bring your toiletries or you can buy from the stores if you like.
- Electricity in the island is either through Solar Panels or Generators, so the island has early lights off.
- Bring extra battery for your gadgets or you can have your dependable power banks on hand. You can also bring extension cords as there are limited sockets provided.
- If you want to see the sunrise, you can stay at Gigantes Norte, and for the Sunset, at the Sur.
- For island hopping, you have to visit the Boulevard, Cabugao Gamay, where you can have a famous uphill picture of the island, then the Bantigue Sandbar, the Mini Boracay (yes, sands are as fine as those found in Boracay, hence the name), the Tangke or the Lagoon, Antonia’s Island and try the Wasay-wasay (shell commonly found in this island) and scallops there (at a much cheaper price) and Pawikan Cave. You can also visit the Light House and other caves, just ask the guide.
Short Background of the Place:
- The Gigantes group of Islands are also known as Islas de Gigantes, Isla Gigantes or simply Gigantes. This means “Islands of Giants” in Spanish as it was believed that this place was inhabited by giants before as evident of giant-like bones found in an old coffin in one of the areas in the island. If you want to hear mystical stories about the place, you can ask any locals and they will be happy to tell you about those stories.
For pictures of Isla Gigantes, you can check them out here: Isla Gigantes