Gigante Island

Gigante Island, Carles: Address, Gigante Island Reviews: 4.5/5

Gigante Island
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More than 3 hours
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232 reviews
Very good

London, UK153 contributions
Apr 2013 • Friends
I was amazed of this spectacular beauty of nature located in the province of Iloilo . A virgin paradise of these 5 - 6 varying island each with authentic hidden beauty of nature. It was a long a travel starting from Iloilo City a 3 hrs ride with the van transport fully loaded of about 13 passengers squeeze in together that take you from Iloilo City to Estancia bus terminal or if you opted to a 6hrs gruelling bus ride with lots of stop in between but appears to be more comfortable than the first, both cost same P150 one way. Once you reach the terminal, you will have to take a tricycle approx. 5-10mins going to the fishing port there you will hire a boat for your island escapades or you can take a passenger boat cost 80pesos each way that normally leaves at the specific time with the full capacity of 15 people per boat that cost P4,500 includes 5-6 island hopping for 2 days & 1night for a private rent. Boat ride to the island is about 2hrs unless you will do a side trip to Sicogon island in which we do that takes us about 3 hrs. til we reach the base camp at Hideaway Inn. Upon arrival, we are greeted by our young guide Jojo who knows the history and talk to us some interesting tales of the island, he also arrange our itinerary for the entire tour. The first island we visited is the Tangke a mystical natural salt water lagoon located at Isla Gigantes Sur stayed there for photo op and a swim in the lagoon an amazing experience commune with nature. Next stop is the Cabugao island a stunning white sand beach with a beautiful and a romantic scenery on top of the hill is the place to capture the stunning beauty of this island. Our next stop is the Bantigue Sand Bar best seen when it is low tide and you can appreciate the beauty of the kilometres of sand bar of white sand shoreline connecting to Bantigue island. Our last island stop is Antonia Beach island...which form a small cape noted with a unique rock formation, had the opportunity to swim here in the emerald green water, enjoy the corals and beautiful species of fish a perfect place for snorkelling. After the island tour we get back to our base camp dry our self up and we head up to the Lighthouse for the sunset viewing but to do that you must have to climb up around 75step up so you can see the spectacular view of the sorrounding. On our final day we explore the beauty of the Bakwitan cave , noted with its beautiful rock formations similar of that underground river in palawan but dare you its a difficult trail as you have to climb in a vertical walls oh boy what a heart pounding experience.. my unforgettable experience in this beautiful island, truly a remarkable one.
Written April 29, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jason Q
Antipolo153 contributions
Nov 2014 • Friends
The Islands consist of about ten islands, with 2 main islands which is Gigantes Norte (North Gigantes) and Gigantes Sur (South Gigantes). We stayed in the Antonia Island on our first night then stayed at a resort in CARLES for our second night.

How to get there:

Isla de Gigantes is accessible via ESTANCIA PORT or via CARLES. From Estancia it will take you 2hrs to reach Isla de Gigantes. From Carles it will only take you 45min to 1 hour. You can go to the islands via private boat or via commute on a public transport boat which needs to be filled up.

Boats to the Island:

We chartered a private boat from Estancia port costing us us 3,000-5,000 depending on your haggling skills. This rate is already for 1 whole day. We went straight to Carles to have lunch at Isle de Gigantes Hideaway, which is the main resort in CARLES, nearest to Isla de Gigantes then headed island hoping after our lunch. From CARLES tour boats costs only P2000 for island hopping.

If travelling by public boat, you need to be in Estancia Port before lunch time as boats leave at 1-2pm. Public boats take 2 hours to arrive at Isla de Gigantes, seats are tightly packed with people and goods being brought to the island. Price is P100 pesos per person.

Camping out:

If you decide to camp out in one of the islands (Cabugao Daku, Cabugao Gamay, Antonia Beach) this can be arranged with the resort you are staying in. The islets are more of a backpackers place so bring some gear and tents if you plan to sleep in the island. We stayed 1 night in Antonia Beach then stayed at CARLES for our second night.

If you prefer a resort i suggest staying at Isle de Gigantes Hideaway resort in CARLES. Rooms area available for P800 pesos, thats 200per person x4pax. They offer really good fresh seafood specially the scallops, which is abundant in the area. Meals cost P150-200. I suggest staying 4 days and 3 nights to explore all the islets and activities in Isla de Gigantes for a less hectic itinerary.

Islands to visit:

Bolobadiang Island
Antonia Beach (Gigante Sur)
Cabugao Gamay Island
Tangke (Gigante Sur)
Bantigue Island's Sandbar
Isla Gigantes Norte ( Bakwitan Cave )
Lighthouse (Gigante Norte)
Written December 2, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Singapore, Singapore12 contributions
Jun 2015 • Family
Our experience won't be great as it was if not for our accommodating tour guide. You will have to pay 500php for the 1 whole day island hopping, this is their standard fee. But Jedden, the guy from resort, accompanied us for our 3 days of stay in island. He make sure we are on his sight, because not everyone knows how to swim, secure our food, we get the cheaper deal and on time for everything. He didn't rush us in every destination, took a picture and converse with us. He will go overboard just to make sure we are safe and we enjoy. Please contact him directly, and be polite, they are the nicest. He won't expect anything but he would appreciate a small token. His number +639468516513.
Written June 26, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Martensville, Canada11 contributions
Feb 2015 • Friends
Honestly, going to Islas gigantes Carles iloilo is a second option. The first option was to visit Guimaras, iloilo since my friend told me that it is just 15-20 minutes boat ride. But for whatever reason my husband and my friend decided to go to Islas gigantes, Carles. From Iloilo airport you have to ride a FX (50 per head) going to SM iloilo. From SM iloilo, you can ride a jeepney going to TAGBAK, TERMINAL (8pesos per head) where you can ride a FX( 150 pesos per head) going to ESTANCIA port which could take 2-3 hours or more including the waiting period for the other passengers. You have to be particular with your time.... if you don't want to have the same experience that we had. We weren't able to catch the ONE AND ONLY boat going to Isla gigantes which leaves at exactly 1400H daily. So make it a point that you arrive there earlier than 1300H for you to have a nice seat( I mean a good view). The boat is basic, with wooden chairs. Make sure to ask for a Life vest because I think they don't have enough. My friend who does not know how to swim was worried because the life vest are located at the far end of the boat. Since it is the one and only boat the locals makes sure that all their stuffs are inside the boat. We spent one night in Estancia ( NO choice). There are places to stay so you don't have to worry. We found a small FAN room that is 450 pesos per night for the three of us. Not bad right?!! The next day we arrived earlier at the port, 11AM. It was also suggested by the lady, sorry I forgot her name. She is the staff of Mr. Joel Decano. By the way.... I always make sure to search for the cheapest accomodation. And Gigantes Hideaway is the best I could find. They have packages. Cheaper if you are with a group. But since we are only three, we decide to pay per service.... but ended up getting the package heheeheh! We paid more or less 2, 400 pesos per head. Sorry, computation is tricky because at first we paid for our boat ride which should be included in the package so we did the plus and minus thing. Each guest or group will be given a tour guide. So for the three of us, our tour guide is JAVY. He was nice and accomodating. BTW, please make sure to include in your budget the TIP for your "tourist guide" and please be generous :). On that same day, JAVY the tour guide manage to lead us to the Old light house. Make sure to experience the once in a life time feeling on top. It is quite challenging but the view of the island on top is breath taking. We went back to the inn, we had our dinner. Scallops, pork sinigang and their native dish inside a shell ( forgot the name). The next day, Early morning at 7AM we had our BFAST. Scallops, dried fish and fried egg with rice ( Unlimited) . We started our morning visiting the cave. It was nice and challenging as well.Make sure to have extra small bills for tippings. The cave has a separate tour guide. After the cave we went directly to our ISLAND hopping!!! O yeah!!! This is best part of the tour! Words is not enough to describe the feeling. But make sure that you are ready for adventure, there are islands that you have to climb to see the beauty of the island. Our lunch was crabs, pork adobo and scallops with unlimited rice! The 3rd day was the time to say goodbye! Bfast was Dried fish and Scallops and fried egg and unlimited rice. Overall, it was a fantastic experience! I am recommending you guys to visit this island and enjoy the beauty of nature! Until my next adventure!
Written March 19, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Melbourne, Australia16,534 contributions
Jan 2015 • Couples
All five accommodation options for Isla de Gigantes are on the Norte island not the Sur one.

For the most heavily promoted resort, Gigantes Hideaway, the MV Measul with a capacity of 60 passengers and probably at least five tonnes if cargo (our trip carried 30 bags of cement, numerous rice sacks, dry groceries and on the return a motorbike) provides a daily service departing smelly Estancia town port at 1330 and Isla Gigantes del Norte at 0900. The fare may be 200 pesos each way but we paid for a two night package - ferry each way, accommodation and five meals plus the half day bangka tour) for P4460.

Other accommodation are Scallop Point Resort and Las Marias Resort on the same side of Norte as Hideaway, and Arjan Resort, the second biggest, Rosewood Resort and Ray John Resort on the other side of Isla de Gigantes Norte. Three of these are yet to be listed on TA but I will endeavour to rectify this.

The forward trip took two and a half hours while the return, delayed because the owner did nit arrive on the beach until 0915 and was then transferred by raft to the boat, took an hour and 52 minutes as the boat was lighter.

The Norte island has 7000 residents, Sur 9000. Norte Island has thousands of colourful scallop shells on its white sand beaches. You can ride a habal-habal (motorbike) for P10 each way, although a return trip to the lighthouse can be P60.

Half day tours normally visit the sandbar at Bantique Island, small Cubucao Island for rock climbing to get the well known classic beach photo from above, Tangke Lagoon and Antonia Beach, the latter for the provided crab, scallop and rice lunch plus snorkelling. Antonia Beach has a sari sari store for drinks.

These islands are worth the trip even though logically one might expect the boats to depart from Carles, Iloilo Province not Estancia as Carles is closer.
Written January 21, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dumaguete City, Dumaguete, Philippines43 contributions
May 2014
I stayed for 2 nights and 3 days in the island with my two best friends. How to get there: from iloilo city ride a public vehicle named jaro tagbak terminal, fare is 10-12 pesos, in the terminal there are van for hires, ask the fooe hire going Estancia, also informed driver that you are going to the island. Travel time from tagbak is 2hours, fare is 200+ pesos but not more than 250 pesos. Drop in the van terminal and there's tricycle going to port going to the island. Fare is less than 20pesos each. At the port, there are small ferry boat going to the island. Fare is less than 100 pesos. Travel time is another 2hours to get into the island. Limited trips only so it would be best to travel from iloilo city as early as 8am for you to catch the ferry trip before lunch time.

In the island, signal for mobile is limited
for smart and sun and no signal at all for globe/tm. You can ask the motorcycle for hire to bring you somewhere to stay for a night since i stayed in one of my friend's brother i dont have the rate for a stay. There are travel package for the island check on the net.

the island adventure is worth to travel. It is untouched not just like other beach spots that are crowded and lots of business stalls already such as bar, mall and restaurants.

Tip: since it is far from the city food is bit expensive so it would be best to bring food you can have, unless you have enough budget to spend.
Written July 17, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

53 contributions
Apr 2013 • Friends
A 2.5 hr travel by bus and another 2 hr by boat from Iloilo City but truly Isla de Gigantes didn't disappoint. From the super cheap seafoods and a great island hopping experience comparable to Coron, this is a place I would surely visit again! Stay at Hideaway Inn for a worthwhile stay and personalize experience.
Written April 20, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

76 contributions
Oct 2016 • Friends
The last time I was here was about two months after Typhoon Yolanda ravaged the place, and much have already changed! Bancal port is now bustling with passenger boats ferrying people to and from Isla Gigantes. The "tangke" is cleaner and safer and the climb to the "view deck" in Cabugao Gamay is a lot more safer with the ladders and railings. Scallops and wasay-wasay are still in abundance and the crabs get yummier and yummier!

IMPORTANT: Tourists, especially those arriving via tour boats from Estancia, are now required to register at the Carles Tourism Office, where they will be given "access pass" to the Tangke hidden lagoon after payment of P70 per pax environmental fee.

How to get there:

There are several entry points to Isla de Gigantes, but I would rather you take the route that will lead you to Bancal Port in the town of Carles; Isla Gigantes being a part of Carles.

From Iloilo City airport

Make use of the airport shuttles/vans/FX stationed just outside the departure area to take you to SM City Iloilo. From there, take a cab to the Ceres Grand Terminal (Ceres buses now have their own terminal), if you prefer taking the bus or to Tagbak Central Terminal, if you're taking the van. Just make sure you are on the Carles-bound trip, which will take you directly to Bancal Port. [I'm not sure about the schedule of vans in Tagbak, but Ceres buses leave as early as 3AM].

Alternatively, you can just ask the locals what passenger jeep will take you to the Ceres Grand Terminal or Tagbak Central Terminal (Leganes-bound and Jaro-CPU jeeps are some options).

Once in Bancal Port, make sure you register at the Tourism Office before you board any of the passenger boats that will take you to Isla Gigantes.
Where to stay:

Several accommodation options are available. We stayed at Dela Vega Cottages (see photos for their contact details) for P350/pax/night in an A/C room for 6. The resort also offers meal packages (starts at P200 per pax) that will surely satisfy your cravings for seafood.
Written December 4, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

San Miguel, Philippines75 contributions
Apr 2013 • Family
Went there with my family, small kids, and with friends. The long trip from Iloilo city (2-3 hr drive to Estancia and a 2 hr boat ride to the island) surely was rewarded when you arrive at the island. Water is clean and very clear, folks are very friendly, plus the food isn't that expensive. We stayed at the Rosewood resort in Gigantes Norte, and had tour around nearby islands with the chartered boat by the resort that can accommodate 15 persons. You might need a little skill in balancing yourself when disembarking the boat (if needed, they connect the boats) especially when going to the narrow entrance like in the Tangke lagoon (Gigantes Sur), although you may worry less since you're ready to get wet anyway. Yes there are entrance fees to these place but only at Php20, and also for Cabugao island if you decide to swim there (yes i recommend you should). Going up the rocks at Cabugao Is. at your own risk and going down is twice as difficult. Also, note that on the Bantigue sand bar, the other side of it has a very steep slope. You might be surprised that swimming only a few feet from the shore, the water reaches more than 10 to 15 feet deep. Back in the resort, the food they served was great, especially the crabs and scallops adobo, & its not the usual 5-10 pieces like in city restaurants but a whole bowl full of it! The island doesnt seem to have mosquitoes except some usual night flying-light attracted insects. When we returned to Estancia, we stopped over Sicogon island and had our packed lunch there. It was a wonderful getaway experience and getting there on a big group is also much better.
Written May 7, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Quezon City94 contributions
Feb 2013 • Family
Three to four hours travel from Iloilo Philippines. Most traveler take the Estancia port which this port accept 40 passenger per boat. If you visit this beautiful island being in a group is advantage due of high price for the boat when you rent. It take 3 to 4 thousand per 1 day. a little expensive but the place is awesome. You can do it also from Iloilo to carles. since its nearest but you are going to rent the boat passenger boat in carles.
Written May 1, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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