Monday, October 20, 2014

Alluring Beauty: Islas de Gigantes (Gigantes Group of Islands)


            Islas de Gigantes is a group of island located Northeast of the Panay Island, off the coast of Carles and Estancia; towns in Northern Iloilo. Islas de Gigantes is a place of pristine islands and islets with astonishing rock formations, unspoiled white sand beaches with hidden natural pools and fresh seafoods for export quality.


            The Gigantes island consists of about ten islands that includes the two largest; Isla Gigantes Sur (South Gigantes) and Isla Gigantes Norte (North Gigantes) which are situated 18 kilometers from the mainland. In addition to the main islands, the Gigantes group includes the following minor islets: Bulubadiang, Gigantillo and Gigantuna are islets southeast of Gigantes Norte while Antonia, Bantigui, Cabugao, Tanguingui and Turnina are islands and islets southeast of Gigantes Sur.


            Islas de Gigantes used to be called Sabuluag or Salauag, which a specie of a tree endemic on the area. During the Spanish conquest in the Philippines, it was renamed Islas de Gigantes because of local myths that coffins found inside the Bakwitan cave contains gigantic sets of human bones.

How To Get There:
           
            Major jump-off points to Islas de Gigantes includes Estancia Port and Bangcal Port. Both ports are located in Northern Iloilo. However, land travel to Bangcal Port takes longer compared to Estancia Port but sea travel from Bangcal Port to Islas de Gigantes is shorter because of the closer proximity. Transiting through Bangcal Port is a great alternative for travelers with private transportation.


  • Via Roxas City, Capiz

            Travel time is approximately 1 to 2 hours. If traveling solo or in small groups proceed to Roxas City Integrated Terminal located at Pueblo de Panay, Roxas City. Take a van going to the Municipality of Estancia. Dropping off at the Estancia Integrated Terminal, getting to Estancia Port takes only 10 minutes tricycle ride. But if traveling in big groups (more than 10 pax) then rent a van to save time.


  • Via Iloilo City

            Travel time is approximately 3 to 4 hours. If traveling solo or in small groups proceed to Iloilo Integrated Terminal in Tagbak, Jaro, Iloilo. Take a bus/van going to the Municipality of Estancia. Dropping off at the Estancia Integrated Terminal, getting to Estancia Port takes only 10 minutes tricycle ride. But if traveling in big groups (more than 10 pax) then rent a van to save time.


Tips:

  • Bring enough food, water and other necessities since only limited supplies are available in the island (sari-sari store stype).
  • Electricity is powered by a generator and runs at selected hours of the day/night.
  • No/limited telecommunication signal but you can try hanging your mobile phone on a higher surface. You may be able to receive some text messages. If you’re desperate to make a phone call or send a text message, the resort caretakers can accompany you to a higher area within the mountains where there is a signal.

Activities:

Swimming

            Enjoy the long stretch, undeveloped beaches and cool turquoise waters that the island has to offer.

Snorkeling
           
            Feast your eyes on the amazing scenery. Snorkel and get a glimpse of the thriving sea life.

Cliff Diving

            Brace yourself if you want some extreme adventure. Be brave enough to try cliff diving. It is a once in a lifetime adrenaline rush experience.

Spelunking

            Stunning stalagmites and stalactites formations, the sight of the gaping mouth and the dark abyss and the trail of uneven carved steps will entertain you.

Beach Volleyball

            Bump, set and spike your way to some intense calorie burning as you soak up the sun. Beach volleyball is a fast-paced beach activity that works your entire body in all planes of motion.

Bonfire

            They say fire is the main comfort of the camp. It is one perfect way to relax after tiring island activities.

Island Hopping

 Explore the neighboring islands and islets and savor the amazing sceneries.

A must visit islands and islets:

Tangke Salt Water Lagoon

            Tangke is a stunning natural salt water lagoon located within Gigantes Sur. It is surrounded by majestic star shaped limestone cliffs with crystal clear emerald water. It is one of the most famous attractions on the island.


            Many myths surround this interesting natural attraction. One of it states that the waters would magically rise every year on June 24 during the feast of St. John the Baptist. It is also believed inhabited by the enkantos.

Bantigui Island Sandbar

 A sandbar is a deposit of small pebbles and sands that usually emerges from a body of water during low tides. Basically, sandbars are built up by currents and waves in a river or in other coastal waters.


Bantigui island sandbar is one of the many pristine and secluded sandbars in the Philippines. This sandbar is compromised mainly of pebbles and stunning white sands, surrounded by turquoise clear waters. Bantigui island sandbar has a lovely C-shape that changes from time to time most likely due to seasonal currents and Amihan winds blowing during dry season or summer.

Cabugao Gamay Island
           
One of the Iloilo’s most popular island-hop spots is Cabugao Gamay. It is surrounded by azure waters excellent for diving and snorkeling. A glimpse to a twin beach with rocky hills on both ends and coconut trees lining inland and dividing the beaches on both sides captivates the heart of every tourist because of its breathtaking view. A climb to a rocky hill is worth the effort.

Antonia Beach

  Twin beaches are a long stretch of romantic settings and a haven for adventure and a sanctuary to those who seek refuge in paradise. Another twin beach to explore – Antonia Beach. A very similar configuration to the postcard perfect Cabugao Gamay Island however, Antonia Beach is twice the size of it.


The western side of the beach where usually the boat docks offers calm waters and a coral reef teeming with aquatic species that serves a perfect spot for swimming, snorkeling and diving. On the other hand, eastern side faces the open sea.

For more photos kindly visit: Island Escapade 2014: Isla Gigantes

2 comments:

  1. This is where I want to be next year!

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    Replies
    1. This is a must visit place. It would be better if Roxas ang jump off point mo. Mas malapit siya kaysa sa Iloilo.

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