Isla de Gigantes Island Hopping Trip – Ilo-ilo City
This was the 2D/5D DIY Trip Ilo-ilo City – Bacolod – Guimaras Itinerary.
It was a long day on the first day trip we had at Ilo-ilo City, so this day we decided to go for more nature seeing and visit the famous Isla de Gigantes. Also read Day 1 Ilo-ilo City Tour : ILO-ILO CITY
HOW TO GO TO ISLA DE GIGANTES :
As early as 4AM we were dressed-up and decided to leave most of our things in the hotel, we we’re thinking of spending the night at Isla Gigantes but only carried the things we’ll be needing. Hotel personnel at Sarabia were kind enough to keep our luggage for a while.
They could also get a cab for you as early as 4AM since Grab and Uber were still not widely use here in the province. Researched will tell you that one has to be We have to be in Tagbac Central Terminal to make it to the first trip at 4:30AM to Estancia.
Note : Make sure the cab uses its meter since it should only cost P150 from sarabia hotel to Tagbac Terminal, but we had shell out P300 for that short trip 😦 (travel time around 20 – 30minutes)
Arrived at Tagbac Terminal Central Terminal at 4:30AM then rode a van which cost P150 / pax going to Estancia.
It was a pretty long ride going to Estancia so make sure you arrive at the terminal pretty early so you’ll travel early as well, travel time around 2 1/2 hour – 3 hours. The van leaves as soon as it gets full, so it is a first come first serve basis.
We arrived at Estancia around 7:30AM then rode a tricycle going to the port which cost P30 (special rate)
As we arrived at the port the passenger boat going to Isla Gigantes is scheduled only once day at 2:30PM which only cost around P100 – P200; we were very devastated hearing the schedule of the trip, as we do not really have a concrete plan for the island hopping and we have no choice since the van only leaves at 430AM from the terminal.
But they we’re other means to keep your itinerary much better.
If you decided to stay for the entire night at the resort at Isla de Gigantes you may book with them ahead of time and they’ll include in the package the boat to pick you up at the port and include the Island Hopping Package as well. It cost P5,000 – P6,000 depending on your agreement. If you’re on a big tour this could save you much expense.
But since it was only me and my best friend at that time, P5,000 is such a big amount to cover our island hopping activity. And the contact person we had also informed us that they might arrive by 10:00AM at the port.
Since it was just 7:30AM when we arrived at the port we decided to think of other ways to keep our time valuable.
We asked thru the locals should there be other place to be if we wanted to go over Isla de Gigantes. And there was still another way, at Carles Port.
We rode a tricycle going to Carles Port for P200 (special rate) travel from Estancia to Carles is around 30 minutes.
At Carles Port you have to pay for the Environment Fee P75 / person. At the port there were so many boats available for island hopping. Since we had our travel at September there was no other tourist available during that time.
The boat service going to Isla de Gigantes with the island hopping initially cost P3,500 for day tour no matter how many are you, it can accommodate even up to 8 – 10 pax. And P4,500 – P5,000 for overnight stay.
Trina asked the boat man if we could barter the cost to P3,000 only so we’ll have to pay (P1,500) each for the entire trip.
And they agreed 🙂
ISLAND HOPPING IN ISLA DE GIGANTES :
Start of the trip at Isla De Gigantes, boat travel was around 2 hours – 2 1/2 hours to be in the first island.
It is definitely a long trip from the van ride to boat ride but we were pretty positive that it’ll be worth it.
It was nice to enjoy the scenery and forget everything about work and stress at Manila 🙂 It was a great escape for a certain time looking around the sea.
First Island was the Cabugao Island.
The island is rich with natural shells and there were no other tourist available at that time. Seems like it was really still a virgin island which is super nice 🙂
It was really relaxing and decided to go over the top of the rock formation.
Entrance fee was P20
On top of the rock formation you’ll get to see this view. Truly enchanting.
Your choice how long you’d like to stay in this island since you rent the boat all for yourself. We were here for about an hour.
On to the next island, the boatman was telling us that big waves is approaching and it might be pretty hard to visit Tangke Lagoon but we still insisted we go over the Tangke Lagoon, since based from research it is pool inside the ocean.
Since it was low-tide when we went there, we find it hard to cross over the island. It was a very challenging thing to do for a photo op. But luckily we still made it.
Note : Make sure to wear an aqua shoes to keep your feet protected from the big rocks formation.
After a couple of minutes we decided to return at the boat and to our surprise the waves were very very big at that moment. Our boatman was also very careful as it was filled with big rocks everywhere. We haven’t gotten into the boat the same way as we should be and decided that we had to swim over the boat!!!! I could swim but the ocean was very very deep to begin with, since we had no choice but to do it, without the life vest and everything we jumped thru the water and swim over the boat. I had bruises over my legs because of it, and Trina and I couldn’t talk for about 20 minutes and realizing how challenging and scary it was. Whooooo!!
The next island was at Bantigue Sand Bar, which we had our lunch.
What was super amazing about this is the Sand Bar Island which segregates both island with a sand in between, it was pretty great and we own the island once again.
The only food they offer are the Fresh Scallops! When I say it was fresh it really was fresh, straight from the ocean you’ll let them know how many would you want and they’ll get it for you, boiled it, cooked rice and served it.
We spent P200 pesos for everything, including the food for our boatman. It was such an experience and I’ll never thought it’ll taste too much good!
We then went at the last island at Antonia’s Beach. It’s the only island where you could go over swimming apart from the usual photos. Entrance fee was P20 pesos and there was a sari-sari store should you wish to buy anything. And definitely much expensive than the usual price.
Clear water in white sand beach. We stayed for another hour in here.
After the Island Hopping you have the option to stay at one of the resorts nearby the place but you’ll have to pay extra to the boatman since he’ll be staying with you at the resort at the same time. Then bring you back at the Carles Port the next day.
Since there was no electricity at the area, no signal and everything we decided to stay at Carles Port instead so we could leave Carles early in the morning to go all the way back to Ilo-Ilo City proper. They have a direct bus ride going to Ilo-ilo City but on a timely basis, 11am, 2pm and 5pm.
Luckily, we arrived at the Carles Port at around 5PM and the last boat going to Ilo-ilo City is still at the area waiting for other passengers.
The bus won’t wait any longer until the bus is full of passengers, I remembered our bus left with only 5 passengers and pick-up more people along the way.
It was a long travel time to Ilo-ilo City, we arrived at the terminal at 9PM and just bought dinner along the way, rode the jeepney straight to Sarabia Hotel after and had the extreme rest we’ll ever want.
You could have spent lesser if you are in a group tour, it was still a virgin island and few tourists have discovered its wonders.
It was a very beautiful island rich with shells and wonders, make sure to keep everything in the area so it’ll preserve its beauty 🙂
Since we cut short our Isla de Gigantes trip from 2 days to 1 day only we have thought of going to Bacolod the next day instead. We thought that the island hopping experience was okay enough than to stay for another night.
Follow my 5D/4N Ilo-ilo-Bacolod-Guimaras Trip. Read my Bacolod DIY Trip : City of Smiles – Bacolod Trip 2015
Here’s my details expenses :
Cab to Tagbac Terminal – P150
Van to Estancia – P150
Trike to Port – P30
Trike to Carles – P100
Envoronment Fee – P75
Boat Rental isla de gigantes – P1,500
Cabugao Island – P20
Sand Bar / Lunch – P100
Antonia Beach – P20
Drinks – P20
Carles Bus to Ilo-ilo – P169
Terminal to SM Ilo-ilo – P8
Dinner – P60
Jeep to Sarabia – P8
Sarabia Hotel – P360