If you are looking for a perfect getaway place far from the city chaos and traffic, Islas de Gigantes is a great place! Nature mixed with different thrill and adventure, great food, serenity, and peace is just one of many things the place has to offer.
The island is located in the northern part of Iloilo, Philippines particularly in Carles. The nearest airport to Carles is Roxas Airport in Roxas City. It takes 2 to 3 hours by van to get to Carles town. Other airports such as Iloilo International Aiport is 4-5 hours by van, and Kalibo Aklan International Aiport is 5-6 hours. There are two jumps off ports to get to the island, Bancal port in Carles town, and Estancia port. While you can you get to the island in either of two ports, however, Bancal is the most recommended one and the fastest way to get to the isle. A municipal tourist office is also available to assist visitors, and it has plenty of passenger boats that transits to the island of Gigantes daily.
Reminder: If you take the Estancia port unless you chartered a boat remember that there is only one passenger boat in Estancia port that leaves at 2 PM.
WHERE TO STAY AT ISLAS DE GIGANTES
Most of the resort on the island is at Gigantes Nortes. There are quite many good resorts to choose from, Jesa, Arjan, Rejohn. Among of which is the oldest and probably the most famous one is the Gigantes Hideaway Resort. The Resort also has an extension Bulobadiang Island. Most of these resort offers packages. The cost depends on the number of persons and number of days/nights you are staying. I also suggest that for you to fully enjoy the island is to take their package tour. It’s the most practical way for a handful of reasons. Everything is all prepared for you, food, room accommodation, entrance fees, transportation, and boat. Alternatively, I will also include the local means of living and how to get to the island in the friendly budget way.
What we did is we stayed at Hideaway Resort and availed their tour package.
Package rate: PHP 2,745 – per pax. Nine (9) adults and four children. The price does not include the kids; they’re free of charge.
- Islas de Gigantes island tour 3days 2night full board all in expenses.
- Private boat – Includes round trip transfer at any of your desired port, Bancal port or Estancia port. Leaves anytime, depending on your schedule.
- Island hopping tour in all six islands.
- Entrance fee and Environmental fee
- Two-night accommodation
- Six meals – Family service seafood buffet meal with unlimited rice
- All transportation expenses within the Island of Gigantes Norte – Motobike mode of transport for three days.
Gigantes Hideaway Resort
They have two resorts, one in Gigantes Norte, the main resort and an extension in Bulobadiang Island.
Gigantes Hideaway Resort, Gigantes Norte
The resort speaks a lot about the history of Islas Gigantes. At the entrance of the resort, you’ll be welcomed with a gigantic Balete tree with a tree house on top. You also are welcome to stay there overnight should you choose to stay there as it one of their room accommodation. It also houses two giant coffins that according to the owner were found from Nami-Nami cave.
I’d also like to commend the owner and the staff of the resort. They are all very accommodating and fantastic. Every time I visit a place I do not just give my rating on the place but the experience in general. What good could a place be when people around you try to take advantage of you? I don’t want to get stressed! That’s why I went on a vacation, ain’t right? At Islas de Gigantes, ain’t just the place is fantastic but also the locals make it even more worthy to visit. And take note, once is not enough in Islas de Gigantes. I am going back there!
Islas de Gigantes Travel Guide – How to get there
Take a flight from NAIA to Roxas. From Roxas Aiport, take a tricycle to the Roxas Bus Terminal. The fare is PHP 10/pax. Then take a van/bus to Carles town. Buses going to Carles town stops at Bancal port.
Note: Vans are relatively faster because of fewer stops.
There would be plenty of options if you are from Cebu
Take a flight to Iloilo International Aiport but take note with travel time. From the airport take a motorcycle to Tagbac Terminal. From there, take a bus/van to Estancia. If you cam from Iloilo, Estancia port is closer. But boat travel going to Islas de Gigantes is longer compared the ones from Bancal port.
Head to Cebu South Bus Terminal and take a bus to Bacolod. From Bacolod take a ferry to Estancia port or Iloilo port. Estimated time is – 6-8 hours.
The fastest way is to take a bus from Cebu North Bus Terminal going to Tabuelan Wharf. From there, take a ferry to Estancia. Estimated travel time is 5-6 hours.
For ferry schedule and rate, visit Ocean Jet
From Bancal to Islas de Gigantes
There are a handful passenger boats that take you to the Island.
At Bancal port, you need to drop by at their municipal tourist office to list your names. Should you prefer to charter a private boat, you may also ask for their assistance.
The boat back to Bancal Port from Gigantes Norte leaves at 1:00 pm daily (once a day trip only).
Passenger boat fare is 75 PHP/pax.
From Estancia port to Islas de Gigantes
There is only one passenger boat that leaves at 2 PM. Commuter boat fare is 80 PHP/pax. To chatter a private would cost you 5 000 PHP at least.
Cebu to Iloilo (ferry) – 800 PHP/pax
Iloilo Port to Tagbak Terminal (taxi) – 150 PHP/pax
Bus to Carles town – 197 PHP/pax, Van is 200 PHP/pax
Three days and two nights all in accommodation plus private boat including island tour – 2745 PHP