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Islas De Gigantes is located at the municipality of Carles, Iloilo. Most people also know it as Gigantes Island or Island of the Giants. It has two main Island namely the Gigantes Sur and Gigantes Norte. Gigantillo, Gigantuna, and Bulubadiang are the islets of Gigantes Norte while
We availed a day tour package from Gigantes Island Tours and Services. They also offer 2d1n and 3d2n package tour at a very affordable price. Out of the 10 islands, we’ve only been to the three islets of Gigantes Norte. Better stay longer if you want to explore more of the islands. Below are my review and experience about the Gigantes Island Tours and Services:
There are two jump-off points when going to Gigantes Island: Bancal Port and Estancia Port. Bancal Port is the nearest if you’re coming from Iloilo, while Estancia is the closest if you’re coming from Roxas or Kalibo.
For people who didn’t avail any package tours, there are tourism offices that can accommodate you upon arriving at the port. I suggest availing a package tour if you are only 2-3 people traveling. If you are in big a group, rates are cheaper if you hire your own boat.
A. Small boat (Per Contract) 1-10 Persons- PHP 3500.00
B. Medium boat (Per Contract) 1-15 Persons- PHP 5000.00
C. Big boat (Per Contract) 16-39 Persons- PHP 6000.00
Add PHP 1500.00 for overnight
We left our hotel at around 4:30 AM and arrived at Bancal Port minutes earlier than our call time. It was just a 3-hour drive. Upon arriving, we were asked to proceed at “Dayon
Kuya Paul, our coordinator, divided us into two group. The first group started their tour at 8 AM. We were put into a second group even though we were the first one to arrived. We already started our trip at 9:30 AM because we still waited for other people. Another thing that pissed us off was that fact that we are the only boat that didn’t have a roof. They kept on insisting that there’s a possibility for us to sink due to the heavy wind and waves. Travel time from the port to Gigantes Norte would take 2 hours. Imagine being exposed under the sun the entire trip?
Antonia Island was our first destination. What I like about this island is the white powdered-sand that will give you a Boracay vibe. It has palm trees and rock formation that is perfect to achieve your instagrammable picture. Sadly, we are only given 30 minutes to explore the island.
Bantigui Sand Bar
Bantigui Sand Bar was our second destination. A lot of people were swimming and enjoying the massive waves when we arrived. We only stayed in one place covering our heads because it was so hot at that time. Our boat guide kept on telling us to swim already because this sandbar is only visible during the low tide. How can we enjoy the beauty of this sandbar after getting exposed at the sun for so long?
Cabugao Gamay Island
Cabugao Island is the most photographed and famous island. Tourist usually goes on top of the hill for a scenic view of the Island. All this time I felt like a fool when I believed that Cabugao Island is Gigantes Island itself. I made it a suspicion that you’re the giant everytime you’re on top. Another thing that interests me was the rocks that you can find at its sandbar. For those who wanted to stay longer, there is also accommodation that you can avail!
Gigantes Island is home of white sand, palm trees, and fresh plates of seafood. Never miss a chance to taste their PHP 1.00 scallops when you’re there. I swear it’s the best. For those who wanted to stay longer, you can pinch a tent at any of these islands and do camping. There is also fan room accommodation that you can avail at a very affordable price. If you have a lot of time, might as well try their other activities such as exploring the caves, cliff diving or snorkeling.
The night before our tour, a number texted me. He introduced himself as “Kuya Poul” who offered a van transfer to us. I think they are in a partnership with Gigantes Island Tours and Services. For only PHP 500.00/head, you will be picked up and dropped at the hotel. We didn’t think twice but availed his offer. The taxi would cost the same, and it’s more convenient than commuting at midnight.
VIA Iloilo City to Bancal Port:
1. Ride a taxi going to Tagbak terminal or J
2. At the terminal, you can ride either a van or a bus: PHP 200/head
4:00 AM- First trip of bus
5:00 AM- First trip of
6:00 PM- Last trip
VIA Roxas City to Bancal Port of Carles
1. Ride a tricycle at Elpueblo terminal: PHP 150
2. Go to Roxas city terminal then ride a van with Estancia signboard on it: PHP 75/head
3. Tell the driver to drop you off Balasan Junction
4. Ride a tricycle going to Bancal Port: PHP 100/head
VIA Roxas City to Estancia Port
1. Take Ceres Bus going to Estancia.
2. From Estancia, take a tricycle going to the Port: PHP 10.00
3. Ride a boat going to Gigantes: PHP 80.00
VIA Kalibo to Estancia
1. From Kalibo, take Ceres Bus or UV Express Van going to Roxas.
2. From Roxas, follow the directions above.